I am currently sitting in Hong Kong International Airport, Terminal 1, Gate 27...awaiting the long journey towards my first home. It has been quite a ride from the start of 2008 till now. I actually finished packing everything I owned (well...almost everything. I donated a lot of clothes, books, and various items to the school) pretty early - 2am. Waiting for the taxi was unnerving. I wasn't sure if the taxi driver actually knew where he was going - but this morning was the true and final test to how much Cantonese I learned this semester. The taxi driver ended up not knowing where he was going and I had to give him directions. Who knew that I had good enough Canto to actually do that? In retrospect, when I first arrived in Hong Kong, I knew very little Cantonese (and what I did know, I barely used because I was uncomfortable speaking it). It took awhile, but in the end, I had to learn to overcome this uncomfortable feeling. I now understand what my father, mother, and any other person whose first language is not English went through to learn the language fluently. I, too, had my fair share of being poked fun at because I said words differently, or with a different accent. But if you want to learn any new language, just let go of your pride and take it - language only gets better with practice.
FORTUNATELY, I found out I worried over my luggage weight for no reason at all. I was actually wayyyy under the amount of 32 kg maximum that I could bring. My first luggage was 21 kg and my second luggage was 26 kg. I guess I should have kept some more stuff ^.^ I would also like to take this time to say "I told you so" to my father - I know what I'm doing!
Last night was my last dinner with my mother's friend Hazel. I will surely miss her and her motherly ways - but sometimes I get the feeling that she thinks I am a little girl and cannot travel on my own. I've lived in Hong Kong for 6 months, yet she still insisted on walking me to the MTR station. I suppose this is how it always will be with adults ^.^ I am thankful for being able to meet my mom's friends - and even more thankful that I could get in touch with a part of mom's past that she never speaks of. Who knew my mother was a wild one ;-) haha...I'm kidding...or not ^.^
This will be the last entry about my experience in Hong Kong. What lies ahead is beyond my knowledge. The people that I have met along the way till this very moment have had more of a profound influence than they would ever imagine. I've made life-long friendships and only hope to grow and mature in the future. I have definitely learned more about my own culture more than anyone, even my parents, could ever teach me. I feel as if I have finally experienced, not just lived, life - and it's the best feeling in the world. I definitely have, what some would say, "the travel bug." I do wish to see the world and what it has to offer. I hope that whoever reads this blog has enjoyed reading it as much as I have enjoyed writing it. And I hope that, through this blog, you have at least some sense of Hong Kong culture and what its people are like - and learned to surpass the stereotypes that often plague the Asian race (no, we do not eat dogs!).
I truly believe that traveling is the best way to cross cultural boundaries, encourage tolerance and conquer ignorance. I hope that I have enlightened at least one person through my shared experiences - creating one less ignorant person in the world.