A Weekend of Spontaneous Memories
It's been nearly seven years since I've moved to Hong Kong. I still remember, vividly, walking from Hotel Icon, where I had a meeting (the hotel is part of the PolyU's Hospitality school), to the Avenue of Stars, to take in the skyline and dream/pray/hope that I would one day have the opportunity to live here. At the time, I was living in Singapore and always loved making trips to Hong Kong. Singapore had my heart but Hong Kong was just so glamorous and exciting. Everyone always talks about the energy here and it's true. It's an intense city in so many ways—took me a whole year to get used to the pace, I think!
That said, Hong Kong is changing and so am I. I'm in my tenth (!!!) year of living abroad—my teenage dream come to life! And I don't want to forget that though I do miss my family more than ever. With Hong Kong quarantine rules, it's not quite so easy to travel abroad so I've been asking God what to do. Things are being researched and moves have been made—but I will wait on the Lord and trust his best, his timing is best for me. And in the meantime, I will wait and do my best to enjoy life right where he has me. This is the life I dreamed of all those years ago—and then some.
So as I'm feeling nostalgic and wordy in a way that I haven't been in quite some time, I wanted to start documenting my Hong Kong life. I don't want to forget these sweet moments with special friends. What a blessing it is to be able to share life and do our best to point each other towards Christ.
In this season, I feel so blessed to have so many friends who love to talk about the Lord. Who encourage. Who are hungry for God's presence. We're in such a unique season, and I pray we—more and more—live in light of eternity. May we not waste time on frivolous pursuits but take utmost delight in doing life with God daily. There are things to be done, the gospel to share, God's love to pour out, even just stories to be listened to and shared. One of my prayers this year is to think of others more than myself. Each year, I think I pray this to some degree—not easy but Lord I hope it becomes easier. Help me to give more this year.
This weekend was a special one for there were spontaneous memories made on each day.
KBBQ and rooftop chats
On Friday night, I headed out to dinner with my small group. My work meeting didn't finish until 8pm and I debated cancelling—restaurants close at 10pm and I'm an early bird. I made a quick call to my friend M who encouraged me to come out anyway... and I'm so glad I did.
Dinner was delicious. We went to a restaurant called Jeju Bulgoggi in North Point which was affordable and had good quality dishes, and unlimited side dishes. I especially liked the kimchi—I ate at least 4 plates myself!
Afterwards we headed to E&T's new apartment. They often host our group and are such generous hosts (and have the cutest fluffy bunnies). After hanging out in the dining area and enjoying cake, they suggested we check out the rooftop and wow. We'd already spent time taking photos of the view from their living room but from the rooftop... such an inspiring view. It's so high up, I think it beats the view of almost every restaurant and bar in town!
We settled into the outdoor seating area and just started talking more. I remember recommending Joyce Meyer to T (I never tire of her podcast and always appreciate the reminders she teaches), our group teasing/trying to encourage W about his dating life, discussing upcoming vacation plans and future dreams. And then all of a sudden... it was 3am! And I think we all left with hearts so full. Surprising for me (who is usually passed OUT at 3am), I didn't feel tired at all.
It was a real Hong Kong/expat life kind of night. One of those nights that involved dreaming and new people (we had a visitor) and glamour (that view!!! Growing up in the Canadian suburbs, a view will always make my heart beat faster). Grateful.
Jeju Bulgogi, Shop 210, 2/F, Harbour North Phase 2, 123 Java Road, North Point, Hong Kong, +852 22579121
Biking around Tseung Kwan O
The next morning, I could barely get out of bed. I naturally woke around 9am, made some tea, tried to go back to sleep, and ended up scrolling my phone in bed, looking at photos from the previous night, and making a Reel about it. (The no. 1 reason I don't like staying out late: no energy the next day!) The weather was unexpectedly nice so I asked M if she was up for some impromptu hiking. She countered with biking. Which sounded great, as I've wanted to go cycling for nearly a year and hadn't yet.
On her way over, she asked if she could invite another friend who lived in the area. I said of course and then thought of one of my church friends who lives in the area and who I'd spoken about biking with before. I texted along the lines of "Hey! Super random and last minute but I'm going cycling with friends (very soon)... in case you're free and want to join!" Turns out she was literally walking in the direction of the biking area and said she'd be there in 10-15 mins.
So long story short. A very impromptu cycling session that was SO much fun! We rented bikes from Bibi QQ, which was great. It ended up being $50 per person, per hour.
It was great to: have a new adventure (one we'd all wanted to do for ages), meet new people, sharpen an old skill, get some fresh air and then (when it started to rain) come back to my apartment to eat pastries on my kitchen floor. M had brought over a few treats from Sour Dough, the new Gerard Dubois spot, and I'd picked up a few from LQV on our ride.
After pastries, three of us started looking at a Gordon Ramsey cookbook I had on my shelf and discussed food and recipes... for another hour!
Praise God for a fun afternoon full of unexpected memories. Thankful for new and growing friendships, something I prayed hard about just half a year ago. God, you sure do provide.
Bibi QQ, Tseung Kwan O, 3 Chi Shin St, Savannah, Tseung Kwan O, Hong Kong,
+852 5400 0272
LQV, Alto Residences, Shop 4B, G/F, 29 Tong Yin St, Tseung Kwan O, Hong Kong,
+852 2381 6268
Sushi lunch, promenade walk, foot massage and ramen
Something has shifted in me since I turned 33. Not sure what's happening (or how long it will last). Could be a new season or excitement at restrictions lifting. Maybe a bit of both! Whatever it is, I am alll about new adventures. On Sunday morning, I had a craving for sushi and made lunch plans with my friend J.
After church and a coffee at % Arabica, we walked over to TMK Funk & Rolls where we sat at the counter and enjoyed plate after plate of tasty US-style dishes. My favourites this time? The hamachi sashimi and... the spicy tuna hotdog haha.
Then after a walk along the promenade (snapping photos of beautiful, inspiring scenes along the way), I convinced him to head into Central to pick up my tailoring with me and then do dinner... but not before we went for foot reflexology first. My first foot massage... all year I think! A treat after being on my feet all day in strappy sandals.
Sunday ended with a steaming bowl of ramen (started raining again!) at the beloved Butao Ramen. Extremely rich and flavourful. My favourite Hakata (creamy pork bone broth) ramen place in town.
This year, more than ever, I want to live in the belief that God has good things coming all the time. It's going to be a good year and I want to celebrate every blessing. Lord, I thank you for this weekend full of spontaneous memories, deep conversations, sweet friends, and delicious food. You are so good to me/us. I love you.
% Arabica, Shop 3 on G/F, Yick Fat Building, Nos. 1048-1056 King's Road, Nos. 2-32 Yau Man Street, Quarry Bay, Hong Kong, +852 2474 8883
TMK Funk & Rolls, The Sixteenth, 2/F Oxford House Taikoo Place, 979 King's Rd, Quarry Bay, Hong Kong, +852 2788 3011
Butao Ramen, 69 Wellington St, Central, Hong Kong, +852 3189 1200