Last Days in Hongkers

Boy did I go out with a bang. I did genuinely try to end my time in Hong Kong in a subtle manner, because I didn’t want the last few months to be a forced rush trying to complete a bucket list. Despite that commitment to normalcy during my last days in Hong Kong, things started picking up last weekend. My friends made sure I had a hell of a send off, and the weather was of epic proportions as well.

Saying goodbye to my Cici

Last weekend we did a dinner on a private sampan in Causeway Bay typhoon shelter called Shun Kee. Mid-meal there was an amber rain alert issued, which meant we were stuck on our tiny boat with piles of seafood. The final course was fresh crabs in chili and fried garlic which made my freakin' day. Soaked to the bone, we failed to take any group pictures, but I'm sure not going to forget the experience any time soon.

The transfer boat which took us to our dinner boat

On the last day of school, my friends and I fulfilled our annual tradition and did the lunch buffet at 208 Italian Restaurant, followed by a trip to a friend's rooftop for sunset drinks. I think my first year we went to Boqueria (which is closed now), but we have done 208 for the last three years and it's a reliable feast.

Final 208 lunch with my HK family

A final rooftop session on Hollywood Road

During my time in Hong Kong, I was determined to continually appreciate the beauty of the city and not take it for granted. You would have had to be a fool to not notice the stunning skyline on Saturday. A few girlfriends and I booked an all day package at the Plateau Spa in the Grand Hyatt, which included pool access, fruit smoothies and iced coffees, facilities like the gym and sauna, a private yoga class, and a free flow brunch buffet.

 The view from the Grand Hyatt, Wan Chai

This was my last day in the city and WOW was it perfect! There were a couple spurts of rain that had us scrambling but the day ended with us napping on lounge chairs on the deck overlooking Victoria Harbour as the sun set, and it doesn't really get much better than that.

Sun soaking post brunch at the Grand Hyatt

A final breakfast in Tai Hang with all my neighborhood buddies, and I was off! The trip home has been smooth so far- I'm in Dallas and my next flight is delayed a little bit but nothing too worrisome. My suitcases were 49.6 pounds each, HA! I'm still scanning my brain trying to recall if I've forgotten anything because an international move requires you to remember a million things at once.

Final brunch crew, 
not excited by my leaving at all

And that's it! I am in America as we speak. It's a bit jarring being able to understand every conversation around me. If people were complaining or being petty in Hong Kong, I had no idea, so the language barrier was a blessing in disguise. 

When I flew through Dallas over spring break, the immigration officer informed me that I shouldn't hide my pretty eyes behind glasses, and this time a white women in line tried to complain to me that 'those people think they can skip the line' (referring to a family with foreign passports). So America isn't always the best at welcoming people, and the ugly side made itself apparent very quickly. I'm coming home in part because I feel responsible as an international educator to reduce this sort of ignorance and make America a more welcoming place. 

The transition from Hong Kong to America is going to be very different from my transition from Ecuador to Hong Kong, that's for sure.

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