Imagine everyday someone would bank in a sum of money into your account. You are free to spend the money in anyway you want. At the stroke of midnight, all the money unspent will be withdrawn but a new sum of money would be banked in again. What would you do? Common senses would say withdraw all the money before midnight and spent it the way you would see fit. Imagine again if that money is time. Imagine some more, going to a city that never sleeps which is also a financial hub for Asia. In the city that does not sleep, does it mean we gain more time?
Hong Kong has its own very distinct character. Growing up watching VHS tapes from Hong Kong, the images remained vivid. Jacky Chan, Stephen Chow, and Andy Lau are all regular visitors into my living room. With a land mass of 1,104 km2 , Hong Kong has exported its brand of culture to the whole world. It is the founding place of Kung Fu movies. Its movies has such a mass appeal that I was asked many times being a Chinese whether I know Kung Fu. Not everyone in Hong Kong knows Kung Fu but nearly everyone possess the spirit of Kung Fu. The city has always come back from many challenges such as Tiananmen Protest, SARS, housing price bubble and many more. Despite the crowded and chaotic streets of Hong Kong there is always a sense of discipline. Ques are respected and streets remained clean. The city and its surroundings never seem tired. This is a stark reminder that we all live in a chaotic world that always spiral out of control, but we still have the choice to stand firm and be who we are.
Tsim Sha Tsui is one of Hong Kong most popular shopping destination. On the main street, there are rows of luxury brand boutiques. The main spoken language in these shops is Mandarin. Tourism money, especially money from China is one of the city’s major life line. Digging deeper, Hong Kong is a reflection of life’s uncertainty. The clock tower of Tsim Sha Tsui is a witness of Hong Kong’s transformation. During the British rule, illegal migrants from China are granted amnesty and legal rights upon reaching the clock tower. The tower was a beacon of hope. How many have shed tears of joy upon seeing this tower, and how many now are taking deep sigh regretting their decisions of leaving as mainland China has now blossomed? The uncertainty of life, how wonderful is that? There is no such thing as a good or bad event, it is how we handle the situation that makes a difference. For far too long we have carried the burden of the past, we just have to make every moment count.
A trip to Hong Kong is never complete unless there is a trip to The Peak. Famous for its stunning panoramic view of the city. Whether it’s day or night, it never cease to capture my breath. As I stood on the platform, I see beyond the tallest building as if I have reached haven. In that short moment, there is tranquility and stillness. To visit The Peak, we can either take the bus or the tram. By either form of transports, there is a need to navigate through crowds. To me this further enhances the whole experience of appreciating The Peak. The noisy crowd in the tramp, the winding road leading to the top represents life’s distractions. It is only by going beyond these distractions, we can see and appreciate the unlimited possibilities of life. How many times we have gotten frustrated with the most trivial things in life? How many times, we were able to see beyond all these? The Peak shows us we can and the infinity that life has to offer.
No. I did not gain more time in Hong Kong, but I learned how to spent it the best to my ability. The transformation of Hong Kong is an evidence that life always finds a way. We are all products of our past actions. There is no need to know what lies ahead as we will never know. The important moment is now. The challenges and set back is part of life that allows us to achieve greater heights. See beyond it and we see life’s promise. More than just shopping, more than just glitz, I always leave Hong Kong knowing a little bit more about myself and reminded me what life is all about. Time is something for us to use and make a difference.
About the Author: Sai Ming Ng a Malaysian Chinese father of two who aspires to fail his life towards success by trying as much as possible. He dreams of becoming an entrepreneur, a photographer and a writer. On his free time, he volunteers to feed the homeless.
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