All my bags are packed

A young man who seemingly has it all, finds himself on the brink of suicide as he can't contemplate another day of living in a city which has sapped all the life out of him. To add to his stress, his relationship with his father who he once and still does idolise, has all but crumbled. There's not many options left and on the brink of his 30th birthday he decides to travel abroad in order to escape the madness and restore his sanity. Where shall I go?


4. My environment has changed

On the plane i sat next to a charming young girl who was around 19 years old, her name was Arabella she was full of life, chirpy and Australian. She had just come back from a year’s tour which took in South America and Europe. We spoke for the majority of the trip about some of the amazing places she had visited and experiences she had participated in. She was kind enough to highlight points of interest i should go and visit whilst in Australia. She even used a highlighter pen on various sections in my Australian backpackers guide brought for me by Natalie, ensuring i wouldn’t miss out on the "hidden gems not every Pomm knew about". The flight went fairly quickly considering and before i knew it, we were flying low over a neon lit city complete with skyscrapers and funny looking boats with red jagged sails. I was immediately impressed with the efficiency of the airport and how free flowing the transition was from plane to walking out of the airport with my bags. At Heathrow or Gatwick, you have to stand in a meandering cue for what seems like an eternity only to be greeted by a Polish sounding passport control officer who scrutinizes your passport and questions your purpose for being here. I wanted to throw myself into the deep end and so i decided to use the tube system (mtr) to get from the airport to my hotel. Purchasing the ticket proved to be a bit tricky however once on the train, i was at my stop in no time. I paid the equivalent of 15 pence to travel approximately 8 miles. The tube was immaculate and even had l.c.d screens playing adverts and short films. I wonder what state they would be in on the London tube. I arrived at my stop Wan Chai and walked to my Hotel using my IPhone map system as guidance. I checked into a large room with a double bed but didn’t like the fact i couldn’t see out of the frosted windows. This meant that every morning i would have to go downstairs, step outside of the air-conditioned hotel in order to determine what attire i should wear, based upon the weather and temperature. It was a small negative but other than that i was happy. I decided to eat at the hotel that evening as i was unsure of the price of food, the state of the food and how to find food. I decided to try a local dish of pork wrapped parcels, topped with chives and soy sauce followed by a chicken and chili stir fry. What it doesn’t say on the menu is that the chicken is actually 90% bone and 10% fat and so i was forever pulling bones out of my mouth, by the time i finished my food i had covered the entire table cloth with sauce. I wasn’t bothered by my messy table manners, as i felt the restaurant should expect the massacre i created after serving me a meal that required constant bone extraction. I stepped outside for a cigarette but due to the high humidity i soon declined the idea and started walking toward a brightly lit night sky. I assumed the distant lights were the city center and after a good 25 minute walk i realised that my initial assumption was correct. I was immediately taken aback by it all, it almost felt unreal, i could have been on the set of a Batman film, Hong Kong is very Gotham city like. I was dwarfed by these monstrous buildings that rose from the ground to penetrate cloud and all around me was a swarm of taxis and people all jostling for space. I don’t know why but i decided to hop on a tram, i don’t think I’ve ever been on one before however what made this tram unique was the fact it looked like it has been squeezed in a vice. It was tall, narrow and short in length, plus i liked the fact the windows were just square cut outs without any glass meaning i was able to stay cool, take some great pictures and take in the sight and the smells. I rode the tram for an hour and a half covering most of Hong Kong Island. It was actually a great way of getting around and in a weird way i managed to get my baring’s fairly quickly after that. In Hong Kong your sense of direction isn’t determined by road name but it is in fact determined by sky scrapper. It is common to be given directions using terminologies like "turn left at Hilton tower" which is alien to me. I also quickly found out that Hong Kong can actually be navigated using a series of inter connecting walk ways, travelators and tunnels created by the densely populated buildings. Imagine walking from Kensington to Covent Garden without ever having to leave the shelter of a building. That’s how dense this place is. I got home by about 3am, completely exhausted but on a natural high from being in my new environment. The sights and smells were unlike anything I’ve ever experienced before and i returned back looking forward to what i would discover the next day.
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