People have often said to me that they wouldn’t know what to do with themselves if they didn’t work…which I’ve never understood. During my three months of not working, I’ve never been bored or wishing I was back at work. Instead, I’ve been embracing one of the good old Eat, Pray, Love lessons to practice ‘Dolce far Niente’, the sweetness of doing nothing.
This week we moved into our home… picture a scene out of an 80s Hong Kong movie and that’s basically where we are living. Our run down old building is home to quite a mix of people, including the flower cart owner who sells fresh flowers during the day downstairs before carting his stock up the stairs to his home, the lady on level two who burns ‘hell papers’ in a metal bin outside her apartment in the stairwell
There’s a huge class gap here in Hong Kong. Little do tourists know, but there are people who are living in cage homes, elderly who have to collect and sell cardboard at all hours of the morning to make ends meet, and foreign domestic workers who are often exploited – and sometimes treated like second class citizens.
Navigating your way through Hong Kong when it’s raining is like going swimming at the beach during blue bottle season. You have to be on guard the whole time, making every movement a deliberate decision trying to dodge the stingers, or in rainy Hong Kong, the umbrellas.
Like a delicious Pret A Manger club sandwich that we have become attached to as our comfort food, our weeks here in Hong Kong are filled with colourful, delicious and unexpected adventures. We are making daily observations about the city, the way it treats the wealthy and the poor, and the type of people that live here, while trying to savour every new suburb and cultural experience…planned and unplanned.
As of today I have been unemployed for 73 days. Not because I wasn’t good at my job, or because I was having a baby, or even that I decided to become a ground-breaking entrepreneur in an attempt to change the world and become a billionaire.
One of the best things about travelling is the food. Back in Sydney we used to eat tonnes of Asian food – we couldn’t get enough of it. But now we don’t have the same access to Western food (other than good old McDonalds), of course that’s what we’ve been craving.