Chicago in winter is brutal. Negative temperatures, gusty winds regularly, snow falling at any moment, and ice covering every surface. This winter has been especially awful making me wonder why the hell I chose to come here. I had the perfect opportunity at the end of my time in Hong Kong to move anywhere…Seattle, Florida, the Bahamas! This extreme winter has also caused me to reflect on my time in Hong Kong, particularly when I look at my weather app and it touts 70 degrees for HK. I miss Hong Kong. I miss the weather, I miss my friends, I miss traveling, I miss the culture. In fact, there’s really not much I don’t miss.
Here’s an excerpt from a conversation that I recently had with my friend Shelley that I met in HK: “Do you ever have moments where you really miss Hong Kong? I think I feel that way right now because of the really cold weather. I just keep getting suddenly sad about missing it. Random things bring it on. Is this what happens after a year and a half or will we always feel this way?”
I know that there will always be a part of my heart in the Kong. I’m getting verklempt just thinking about it. Random occurrences bring on the tear-welling: articles posted on Facebook, Christmas and birthday cards from HK friends, not too long ago I even got choked up reading about the wet markets. If you’ve never been to a fish market, it’s this bloody, smelly mess of a street filled with cow hearts hanging from hooks, whole chickens in windows and fish flopping around. But I had tears in my eyes just reading an article about it.
It’s not that I truly ever see myself living there again, but Hong Kong is this whole other part of me that I can’t access easily. Sure, I can Skype with friends, Time Out Hong Kong can plaster my Facebook wall, and I can talk all day and all night about my experiences to my new friends in Chicago, but it isn’t the same. I’ll never again be “that girl who lives in Hong Kong,” that anomaly to my friends here in the U.S.
And it’s true that I feel pretty *normal* being in Chicago, I also really, really miss Hong Kong. And it’s sunny winter. Here’s a great idea: I can live in Hong Kong during the winter and Chicago in the summer (Chi is the best in summer!). Now what job can I find where I can get the best of both of my worlds?