Thirty-one Zoom


The view from Hong Kong's oldest and probably most treasured method of transport: the tram. This image encapsulates the entire mood of my 31st birthday. I was feeling the excitement of being back in the city, the romance of winding through Central on the old rails, just Chris and me, and wondering what adventures we'd embark on. After two years, I still pinch myself. It's real, right? I was brimming with thoughts of possibility, and for a critic like me, that optimistic moment deserved a snapshot.

The view from Hong Kong’s oldest and (probably) most treasured method of transport: the tram. This encapsulates the mood of my 31st birthday:  the excitement of being back in the city, the romance of winding through Central on the old rails, just Chris and me, and the dreams of travel and adventure we’d embark on in a matter of months. After two years, I still can’t believe we made the big shift. It’s real, right? I was brimming with thoughts of possibility, and for a critic like me, that moment deserved a snapshot.

I’m back, Muggles! It’s with a hopeful heart I announce the marriage of HK in HK to my Instagram account. They’ve sealed the deal, my two mediums, and I can report: it smells like love (full-bodied words with peppery notes of Lo-Fi).

Let’s be real: I’ve exhausted my expat anecdotes. Drawling essays on Chinese culture, the Hong Kong bustle and high-rise living all have a definitive period at the end of them. A monologue on the surprising, yet justified aggression of the Chinese elderly in public transit may churn out (how do they manage to squirm their way through the crowds that fast?), but it’s time to shift my perspective. It’s time to really zoom in. Ah! Maybe I’ll analyze the length of wiry hairs protruding from their facial moles. Too much zoom?

Seriously – I’m intrigued with the small stuff: the microscopic moments captured, say, in photos. Forget the broad, the expansive, and let us embrace the miniscule; the minute. It’s no less important, after all. As a child I relished living in the very moment. It was me discovering an awareness and appreciation of the now. Nah, really it just freaked me out and made me laugh, saying “nnow, n-now, now, nn-nnow!” in my head. Part of this antisocial game was taking note of the tiniest, seemingly insignificant things. Example: I’d stare at the pebbles in my driveway, or a few blades of grass, and think:

Little rock, little piece of greenery – what’s it like being you? Now I will hurl you from your home and into the street! How do you like that? Now I shall rip you from your roots and leave you to rot amongst the living!

Yeah, maybe not everyone can relate to that. I bet a few of you can, though, and I bet said few are my wacked friends.

What I’m trying to say is, living in Hong Kong can either lead me far away from awareness and into the depths of plugging- through-day–busy–tired. After I check myself (with a good slap every few weeks), I usually regain clarity and become hypersensitive to the right now, where so much is happening. It’s in these moments when I scan for signs of life to capture (with my iPhone). Hey – I know, I’m a drone.

So now that we are into our third year (what?!) of expat life, mulling things over just makes me tired. I’m done with analyzing and contemplating and all the articulating that goes with it. Instead, I love taking snapshots and Instagramming shamelessly to show you the world I dwell in. I know you dig it too!

Disclaimer: I am not above Instagram’s penchant for creating fake insta-art out of thin air and iPhones. There are super-skilled photographers out there who use this gem of an app, and I’m not one of them. But since I’ve been toying around with it, I’ve realized I really like taking pictures. It’s kind of like writing and painting and having great conversations. It gets me goin’!

So, I hope you haven’t lost faith in me, and now that you realize I still draw breath, you’ll join me for another year of HK in HK, in whatever form it may take.

PS: Our Canadian summer was insanely busy and fun, and I really miss everyone I love (y’all know who you are) Whether I was fortunate enough to lay eyes on you or not,  I wish there were more seconds in between the seconds so I could spend more time with all of you.

XO

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2 thoughts on “Thirty-one Zoom

  1. YAYYY! I am soooo happy you are back! :) I totally dig the snapshots of life in HK. It’s a window into your world, sister! Keep it up. I agree with celebrating the small moments. It’s a skill to be able to slow down and just breathe. To enjoy life! Looking so forward to reading more! xo

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