Nowadays, the only places online I update about my personal life are here on WordPress and on Instagram. I tweet—but hardly ever about myself. And I have noticed a lot of crossover in terms of readers/followers between WordPress and Instagram, so you may have noticed that I have been doing quite a bit of traveling these past couple weeks. But of course, I share much, much more on my blog than on Instagram, so whenever you would like a fuller picture of my life, you know where to look.
First things first: My trips to Hong Kong, Shenzhen, and Phuket. This was a spontaneous adventure, booked and planned on somewhat of a whim—having declined the wedding invitation to Phuket only to accept just a week or two before said event, after deciding I did indeed want to “get away” before another treatment.
But to fly all the way to Phuket and not stop by Hong Kong? Impossible.
And so the journey began from BWI to Newark, including a surprisingly delicious McDonald’s chicken sandwich to satisfy my newly developed taste for fast food. Yes, for most of my adult life, I have largely avoided fast food, but whether it’s because of chemo or because I’m making it the excuse (likely both), I am now finding myself more frequently chowing down Chick-fil-a (no need to lecture me on its shitty founders), Burger King, and the like. Whether I will continue on such a cringe-worthy occasional indulgence after chemo remains unknown.
On the long-haul flight, I managed to watch four movies: Blade Runner 2049 (2017); Call Me By Your Name (2017); Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri (2017); and High Fidelity (2000). As usual, I watched some TV shows and started other movies that I didn’t like enough to finish. Also as usual, I hardly slept. Interestingly, in the same row is mine was an Asian girl dressed in what looked like cosplay or some weird (sorry) kawaii getup. I say weird (I mean, my mom literally laughed out loud, unable to suppress her bemusement), but it also makes me wonder why our society is actually so boring. Why can’t more of us dress up in cooler outfits, even if it meant a somewhat more “dangerous” environment where if you wanted to wear nothing or carry a (ideally) fake samurai sword, why the hell not? Instead, most of us, without wanting to admit it and myself included, are so terribly afraid of avoiding attention in everyday life that we resort to what frankly is drab and uninspiring clothing. Of course, comfort, ease, and laziness are huge factors that play into why we don’t bother to—let’s be honest—play dress-up every day, but still. Japan, I miss you. This girl’s pink backpack full of mini dolls, matching pink ruffle skirt and top, Sailor Moon compact mirror, glittery notebook, blonde-dyed pigtails, and bedazzled phone case all makes my own #blackleggingslife feel all too mundane.
So four movies and no sleep later, we arrived in Hong Kong at night, hungry enough to order a ridiculously expensive room service (redundant, much?) for about $70. Fried rice, and chicken and rice. For hundreds of HKD. And this wouldn’t be the last time ordering room service (albeit different country, different hotel) on this trip.
Despite eating late, we woke up around 5 a.m., and waited for breakfast to open at 6:30. And we still decided to blow more money at the Shangri-la Kowloon at Café Kool. If you’re looking for Chinese food, don’t come here. It’s there, alright, but my mom was quite disappointed. I, on the other hand, stuck to the pastries and light dim sum fare, which I thought were decent. Nevertheless, I wouldn’t recommend coming here with so many better, cheaper choices around.
And then it was off to Shenzhen to visit my former supervisor and best mentor who is now at Huawei. Having fashioned myself into a headscarf (and likely will not again), I almost immediately had to share my situation with him for the first time. Still, it was great to see him again and get a brief tour of the controversially cool tech company.
The next day, my amazing cousin who had saved my many a so-called butts in Guangzhou decided to visit me, bringing some birthday money from my aunt to treat me to dinner and later bought me a Jo Malone perfume I had picked out with her at Harbor City mall. Again, it was just nice to see the people who have had such a big impact on my post-(under)grad life.
The rest of the trip was marked by serious overeating and irksome nonstop MLM-ing from family friends. What I mean by MLM-ing is people who refuse to admit they work for a scam of a company and instead bring it up literally in every conversation, praising the so-called benefits of their so-called overpriced miracle drugs of this so-called great company. And I promise you their talking about the products nonstop is not even because of the fact that I have cancer. My mom’s other friend also acknowledge the constant push from these two people who bring this stuff everywhere, even putting a few drops of it in their teas during meals, truly like drug addicts.
And then it was off to Phuket, Thailand, where I attended my first destination wedding and celebrated my 25th birthday. Stay tuned.