on the side of a road

Hong Kong, 2014.

There are many things you can try if you want. And some of them will even give it to you.

We used to frequent a tiny bar on Kowloon side called Roadside Bar. A retro poster hung inside covered by shadows and lights of a disco ball above it.

I used to get drunk, stare at it, smoke one cigarette after another. Norah Jones’ The Fall played on repeat. Josephine never rejected my request to keep the album playing. The words are engraved on the inside of my skull. 彌敦道 still remembers my footprints on the way back home. But who am I now?

Hong Kong returns to me in slow motion. Flashbacks both light and painful.

I still feel the heat of the city on my skin.

I am not sure what happened this week. Or what happened to it.

The waves again. Like clockwork. Something is different this time, though. I’m watching Luther for the umpteenth time.

November. Would you please slow down? I keep repeating myself. Old letters, words; it’s all coming up to the surface and I am not ready for it. They say that time’s supposed to heal ya. But I ain’t done much healing.

I’m taking stock of my life again.


june 1

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It’s been a year since I left Hong Kong. A year ago, this was my view from the living room. What a wild life.

count your blessings


written more than a year ago, when I still lived in Hong Kong.
now that I am in Prague, I realize that my ambitions have not really changed.

monday was a public holiday in hong kong; in commemoration of dragon boat festival, which is also known as tuen ng festival and dumpling festival. in other words, it’s all about boat rowing, wine drinking, and sticky-rice eating. I indulged in none of the above, but I did spend the day on the sunniest and brightest beach in hong kong. lower cheung sha beach will remain our favorite for as long as we are here.

because picture this: perfect azure blue skies, with soft breeze, chilled drinks, and light summery food. greek salad with not enough feta cheese, chickpeas, and cucumbers; flat pizza with tomato and basil and cranberry-infused iced tea. I read mandela and I took pictures and relaxed. did a whole lot of nothing, but I could feel that it was good for me. my body relaxed, my mind thought of nothing in particular too much or for too long.

I wondered why I should ever feel guilty about not feeling guilty. why it was nearly impossible to take as many days away from work as one wished, to wake up when one feels rested, to eat healthy and fresh produce without splurging insane amounts of money, to feel amazed when the air is clean rather than taking it for granted. because the air should and needs to be clean. because the oceans need to be clean. because our bodies and minds need to be clean.

hong kong is a place that does not pay attention or devote any time to urban infrastructure, to cleaner living and eating, to create sustainable ecosystems and natural environments. despite the existence of green queen and hundreds of others. globally, it is not enough. it does not even scratch the surface and it angers me. it saddens me. everything is manufactured and fake, and nothing will last for too long, until it is replaced with something else.

something that once used to be normal has now become a selling-point in the sea of consumerism. I ordered a mojito for refreshment and frankie, the boy who made and brought it for me, proudly exclaimed: this is our mint from the backyard, but we have no more, so you will have to choose another drink later. it was not a problem, really, but I wondered why it needs to be like that. why it should be an extraordinary fact that the mint was homegrown, rather than store-bought. I remembered my grandmother’s garden; it used to be my favorite thing to do every morning. picking tiny strawberries to go with pancakes, and cucumbers to put into our salads for lunch, picking off leaves of basil and mint for flavored water. we used to have aloe vera, wild lavender, and small orange tangerines. we grew our own peppers, parsley and blitva – a vegetable not unlike spinach, but with more a profound and developed taste.

an idea that I am often revisiting and thinking about; one day I will have to leave the city and move to a secluded area, a piece of land that has not been destroyed, developed or expanded to suit the masses. I will have to move somewhere where the idea of a natural life is not a strange one, but a given one. something that no one even thinks about, but just does.

maybe then I will find contentment.

Hong Kong Hearts | Volume One

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January favorites. Hong Kong finds. Local. Things I loved.

I make my own coffee at home and there is a Nespresso machine at the office, but there’s nothing I love more than going to a nearby coffee shop to work, write or read for a couple of hours. January’s favorites: Coco Espresso and The Cupping Room.

My favorite alternative to the usual store-bought roasted chicken: La Rôtisserie. Authentic French roasted chicken, including the roasted potatoes cooked at the bottom of the pan, and delicious dessert pieces mean we eat this twice a week. Bonus: the paper box packaging.

Street art and graffiti seem to be booming in Sheung Wan and Central right now. I have been documenting it all and a series is beginning to take shape.

A couple of weeks ago I bought an early Valentine’s card for the boy: I weed you right now by nocturnal paper that I found at the WOAW store in Gough Street. Gough Street is my haven.

Sunday’s Grocery. I go where the chicken is. Third brainchild of Lindsay Jang (I wrote about Yardbird and Ronin before). Two words: chicken and waffles. A weekend special in Kennedy Town; with a great ambient, selection of drinks and the best staff in the city. Now with the railways extended to the west, it is not out of the way for me anymore either.

A Boy Named Sue | NYC-style cheesecake from The Kitchen Addict | Eat Ethio

All images are mine, except for the last one. Courtesy of La Rôtisserie.