First Stop


An attempt at hand-lettering on an ill-lit, turbulent plane.

We arrived in Hong Kong alive and well, and the first thing I thought when I got off the plane was: “It smells like Hong Kong!”

Two memories were triggered by this smell:

1. My mom used to go on business trips a lot when she worked for New West Secondary, and I remember always running down the stairs to hug her when she came home. Her clothes always smelled like Hong Kong, particularly my grandfather’s house. The first thing she would do is open up a suitcase full of presents, and everything she brought back had that scent. It was never just one or two gifts, but always a token from every place she went to so that I knew that there wasn’t a single moment she wasn’t thinking of me while she was away. I like that my first memory was related to returning home.

2. When I stayed in Hong Kong during the summer of 2010, I volunteered at a tutoring centre for underprivileged kids near Jordan. The last day I was there, I told one of the girls that I was going home to Vancouver. Her name was Nosheen had a fiery spirit and thick hair that was always in braids. She never took to me well, but that night, she weaved her fingers into mine and said, “Everyone always leaves. But it’s ok. I love you anyways.” After I left, I cried all the way home. I like that my second memory reminded me that this place is not only for vacationing.

I wonder what new memories will be made during my stay here this time.

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