Thursday, October 27, 2011
Back on the Road--or in the Air or on the Sea
So I'm in Southeast Asia again. This time, my trip began in Hong Kong, which is actually a pleasant place to begin because the flight is relatively short compared to most other major cities in this region. Usually I'm in transit for 26 hours at least when flying to Malaysia, Singapore, or Indonesia as a first stop, but Hong Kong, I was in transit for less then 20 hours. It's quite a difference!
I haven't really done a lot here. To be quite honest, I'm not a huge fan of this city in general. I just dislike the crowded megalopolis of towering skyscrapers. Not to mention it's crowded and congested a lot of time, and it just makes me feel claustrophobic. It doesn't inspire me to go out and see anything. I probably mentioned in my blog post the last time I came here that I really realised how much of a prairie girl I am after being in this context. I love my wide, open spaces and skylines where I can see the sun rise and set, and the stars at night are not blocked by either buildings or pollution.
I did go to a cemetery this morning. There's a Muslim cemetery right next to my hotel, so I decided to check that out as it's open to the public. It's also right next to a Catholic cemetery, which is really interesting that they're so close. And then on the other side of the Catholic cemetery is a Parsee cemetery, but I didn't get a chance to see it as the entrance was a little bit farther than I wanted to walk, especially as I have to walk past a sidewalk construction zone. I took a few photos, which I hope is not disrespectful, but there were some interesting pieces, and I also thought it was interesting how many of the gravestones were in both Arabic and Chinese. The oldest grave I saw was from 1903, and it made me wonder for how long there has been a significant Muslim population here and why they came. (Having said that, there's a huge Sikh temple about a block away from my hotel, too.) Anyway, I'm not always a morbid person, but I do find that reflecting on mortality allows one to really appreciate life and to consider life profundities. I saw a grave where a man had lost both his daughter and his wife, and another two people who were related (as there were many people with the same last name of Bux in the same area) who died 3 days apart from each other. I wondered how they died so close to each other and thought perhaps they were injured in an accident and one died sooner from the injuries than the other. With the man who lost his wife and daughter, it even made me grieve for the his pain, though he himself is probably long gone as these ladies died in the 1940's.
Today, I'm hopping on a ferry to head off to Macau. It's a short ferry ride, about an hour and 15 minutes or so. I have a school I can visit there, and then my friend Steve still works at that school, so I'll visit his during the weekend before I have to be in Singapore on Sunday.