We returned from Hong Kong. It was supposed to be an amazing trip, where we will go and see a place where I grew up in as well as a place I love. It was a chance to meet your “tai pot” your “cuo gun” Benson and “cuo por” and your two “biu Yee ma.” It was a chance where you would meet your dad’s best friend and spend time with their kids and since your age is so close together, I know you would of had a blast. They have tons of cars to play with which I know you love. It was a chance for Yea YEa to show you all the buses, taxied, trains, cars and all the automobiles in Hong Kong. Show you how Hong Kong is a commuter country but at the same time is jammed with cars. It was a chance for you to go to the peak take the peak tram and just experience something you never experienced before. The trip was also a chance for you to take the boat, a boat to Macau and see the Las Vegas of Asia. And more importantly it was a chance for you to see a different world, a world where everyone spoke your language, Cantonese.
Travelling is stressful for your old man, I don’t like to jump out of comfort zone, especially when there is a 14 hour flight and a time change involved. But I love watching you explore and the curious eyes of yours widened as your horizons are expanded to see more than just Toronto. I love when you are full of excitement as you experience new things and I love how you are so happy that you would giggle and laugh in your sleep just dreaming about all the adventures you went on during the day. Knowing that makes the long flight time change a little more bearable. To you, it’s all one big adventure, but it is your mom and I who suffer through the flight and the time change. But knowing how you love travelling it is a small price to pay to see you joyous.
But this trip was not meant to be. Hong Kong and Macau air quality is horrible, plus the fact that we are going during flu season. Being inexperience parents with time change we figure you would just adapt if we hanged your sleeping times. What resulted was that you didn’t sleep at all and was weak. Your weakened system resulted in you having an asthmatic reaction to the poor air quality and had fevers which resulted you to be bed ridden and stuck inside the hotel. We went to macau and only got to see the sights from the bus which took us from the port to the hotel, after that you were down for the count. Your mom and I rushed you back to Hong Kong and planned to leave back to Canada that night. Having learned from our mistakes we decided to stay the night to let you rest. When you were in Hong Kong, things seem to be a little better. You love watching YouTube with Maa Maa Yea Yea and they love entertaining you this way as well and so you enjoyed yourself. We thought maybe we can salvage the trip. Y taking you to the doctor Andy’s whom prescribe some medicine for you. Big mistake, doctors in Hong Kong are too aggressive with the dosage, which led you to vomit and get feverish again. We were worried again and wanted to evacuate Hong Kong immediately. Never has your mom and I cried so much together on a trip and never have we been so miserable. You were miserable too, being couped up inside you wanted to go out but weren’t allow to. When we finally left for Canada it was bittersweet. Bitter since the trip was miserable, but sweet because you would be safe.
I wanted to capture the moment you could go out and just so I remember the joy you felt being on trains and busses and trans, so I made sure to take pictures and videos of it.
I wish there were more. Look at how happy you were just riding simple public transportation, I can only imagine how much more happy you would be if you saw the whole works of things Hong Kong is.
And so it leaves me with this final thought of how this trip is so bittersweet in every way. Sweet because you are safe and there is nothing in this world I will trade for that, but bitter because it was so miserable. I lived in Hong Kong for four years and made my best friends there and also enjoyed some of my best times there. The place your old man, your BAk BAk, Maa Maa Yea Yea was a small place and everything in Hong Kong is crammed, but it felt close, warm and affectionate. You don’t know the people around you, but you are so close to them on a daily basis you might as well be friends. And also being in hong long I learned to be independent, taking buses by myself, paying for things, doing what I want to do with what I had and learning to navigate the complicated streets of Hong Kong, which at that time don’t seem so complicated.
Hong Kong always has a special place in my heart because of it, but after this trip all I can associate Hong Kong with is you being sick and how scared your mom and I were thinking about you makin sure you were okay. It’s like that special place has been replaced by a nightmare I can’t shake. And it bothers me a lot, it’s like a home being tainted.
Ultimately, your well being is more important than any place. Maybe one day we can go back and you can experience it anew free of sicknesses and maybe that sour taste of Hong Kong will lighten, but for now I just need time reconciling what Hong Kong means to me.
So son, sleep, sleep through the night. Let your dreams be filled with the fun you had riding the public transit, let it not be tainted by the fact you were sick. May all your thoughts be happy, leave the nightmares to me, I will take it for you.