20.05.2012 28 °C
Yes, you heard me right ” We and Wonderland.” Some Government visitors came to Changsha on Friday the 18th of May, and because of this special event, we got three days holidays from work. As time is limited and holidays few, we decided to go to wonder world for a while. The reality world was not glorious at the moment, and we were in desperate need for a break. This need was fulfilled when we crossed the border from China to Hong Kong. Many people are amazed by the fact that Honk Kong is not a part of China, and yet it is. Hong Kong is an autonomous state within China. That means it deals with inner affairs itself, while the Republic of China is in charge of foreign affairs. This distinction is quite crucial for people visiting Hong Kong, because you need second entry to come back to China again after having visited the island.
However, we decided that it was time to use our first and last entry, and see if Hong Kong was indeed as great as people say it is. From the minute we came out of the subway, there were English signs everywhere, and in the crowd we spotted only a few Chinese people. The majority were foreigners – people from India, Europe, Africa, USA, the middle East, Oceania etc. My heart made a leap by seeing how hundreds of cultures melted in a huge hot pot called Hong Kong. Languages and accents from all over the world surrounded us, and English was spoken by most people. Great Britain, who hold Hong Kong as a colony a couple of years ago, had left its marks, and the electricity plugs were British, the cars drove on the left side, and in the streets, double-decker busses were driving around. Also international bookstores (with English books) and Marks and Spencer’s could be found in the streets. They had a fish and chips shop, for the delightment of our English friends, and British bread.
But for me it was not about the English part of Hong Kong. The soon we entered the building were our hostel was located, I fell in love with the place, simply because it reminded me of India. Along the road side Indians were gathered, and tried desperately to sell there watches and bags to us, recommended Indian food or wanted to show us their hostel. In India I cursed these people – “How annoying can a person become?,” I can still hear myself thinking these thoughts. The same people I used to curse, I blessed now. Regardless what they were saying, they made me smile, and their announcement of pretty bags and cheap clocks, made me feel at home. With every step I took further into the corridor, I fell more and more in love with the place. I felt the urge to hug every single person in the building, greeting them in Hindi and ask where in India they where from, just to hear them talk with their funny accents, and just to hear something from my longing motherland. After an argument with the (Indian) owners of our first hostel, because of a mistake hostel world had made, we went out for Indian food, to celebrate Norwegian national day in Hong Kong, together with Brits. Such a cultural mixture this whole world becomes, and I’m loving it! We cheered for Norway and told our British roommates about the traditions of ice cream, hot dog and parades in national clothes. They, on the other hand, told us about their beloved queen, and soon an argument about whether to have or not have a monarchy started, and ended with everybody having the exact same opinions as it started with.
But queen or no queen, I didn’t really care, as little India surrounded me, and I filled my lungs with the smell of detol and curry. From a couple of metres distance you could tell if there where any Indians in the near surroundings, only because of there typical smell, and I just love it. If I would have been an Indian myself, you would surely have called me patriotic, but as I’m not Indian from origin, I’m just an India – lover.
On Friday we spend our day visiting café’s, entering the fantasy world of books, walking up and down the star avenue in the pouring rain and heavy storm. We also visited the museum of art and the museum of space. I loved the art galleries, with beautiful ancient calligraphy, oil paintings, water colour and ceramics. I caught myself staring at a painting for a long time. It depicted a harbour in China, with wooden boats, houses and people working at the shore. The storm was raging and clearly caused trouble for the workers. I could almost feel their presence, the way they worked themselves through the storms, and the energy it must have taken for them to get everything in safely. It was one beautiful painting, among many beautiful paintings.
The very same night two of our friends came over from Donguang, and after dinner and a chat at an Irish bar, we went of to sleep. After a pillow fight and some pages in my newest (but already finished) book The Last Templar, I drifted away to fantasy land. I floated between snow white and sleeping beauty, visited Ariel under the sea and Simba at the top of the mountains. I saw unicorns and vampires, witches and magicians. I observed a Legolas from Lord of the rings and the hobbit house in hobbit town. Yes, I was in fantasy land all the time until I woke up in a small, hot room with white walls and sparkling curtains.
Not long after we again entered fantasy land, this time with eyes open, and the sun burning our skin. We went to Hong Kong Disney Land, became children again and had a great time. We took pictures in front of the castle, took the rollercoaster twice, ate sweet pop corns, and visited the pirates on Tarzan Island. Disney Land is indeed great for kids, but also for adults. I was the entire time thinking “How beautiful they have made this.” It must be wonderful to go to Disney Land as a child. The world turns into magic, that much I’m sure of. It must be a dream coming true for the youngest. In the afternoon there was held a show of the Lion King. The entire time I held my breath and couldn’t get my eyes of the scene, and afterwards there was only one word to say about the show – AMAZING. There where acrobats, and singers, dancers and fireman. They sang all the important songs in the lion king while the whole floor underneath them was moving and dancing along. We witnessed a flying elf and hungry hyenas while the lightening changed from white to red and black.
We also got told the story of Winnie the Pooh and the golden Mickey. It was a very nice day with loads of magic moments.
And soon day turned into night, our last night in Hong Kong. The next morning we met up, split up in two groups and did some shopping (which is a necessity being in Hong Kong), and went to Starbucks. Before we even knew it, it was time to leave this amazing fantasy land, and the train soon took us back to Shenzhen, and from there to Changsha. My visa in Hong Kong would have lasted for 90 days, and I had no doubts spending as much time there if there was no duty bringing me back to the place I am at the moment. One more month to go, three more lesson plans to make and a couple of events to watch, and then ... then it is time to leave.