The Aurelian Column "Everything we hear is an opinion, not a fact. Everything we see is a perspective, not the truth."

A Hong Kong Memory

Twenty years ago I was one, busy guy covering the end of British Hong Kong for United Press International. I didn't sleep at all for almost two days. What a time. What an experience.

Have not been back since and, in many ways, I never want to return. Would much rather remember the place the way it was back in the 80s and 90s when I walked its streets and haggled in its markets. Fond memories need to be kept intact and unspoiled.

There was a magic about Chinese business combined with British governance that worked well. Really well. It was not Far Eastern, not European, but some bizarre hybrid where everyone was always living on the edge and about to make or lose a fortune. Free enterprise was practiced like nowhere else, and combined with a bit of danger and intrigue around every corner and in every business meeting. The ghosts of the pirates and contraband smugglers who settled that little island in the 1800s never went away. You could sense their presence everywhere. A constant reminder that British Hong Kong was not a place for the faint of heart or a timid soul.

All these years later, I still miss it. The sights, the sounds, the smells, and the palpable anxiety over what will happen next. But all great adventures come to an end, and all adventurers retire to a desk and a chair to write it all down. Hoping that some much younger person will become inspired, and hit the road with wild abandon to experience life in a way most others never will.

Happy Anniversary to some of the best times of my life. Tonight I dine on Cantonese cuisine.

© 2017 Thomas Michael Caldwell. All Rights Reserved. This written work is not to be copied or reproduced without the permission of the author. Links to this page from other websites is permitted and encouraged.