10 Sep HONG KONG: WITH MR PORTER & ROSEWOOD
From the moment I landed in Hong Kong, I was in a constant state of bliss.
I had only visited Hong Kong once before, years ago when I was 19, but this voyage felt like my first time. And I wonder now whether that’s because I have a greater appreciation for anything that’s different to Western influence. This time I saw Hong Kong in all her grandeur.
I found the charm in her government housing and it’s colourful concrete recreational spaces. I looked to the sky and marvelled as the buildings cut geometric shapes amongst the clouds. I fell for the pastel colours that brightened every space, and the neon lights which glowed from shop fronts, building tops, and LED advertisements that constellated Hong Kong Island’s starry skyline at night.
I live for beauty. I believe it doesn’t always have to be materialistic. There are many experiences which are beautiful. Words, sentences, and sounds the are beautiful. Textures, feelings, and energy. When you walk past a stranger in the street and smell Soleil Blanc. Even little moments like when sunlight cascades through a window casting beautiful shadows, or when it hits glass or crystal and plays with colour in its reflection. The euphoria of beauty – however fleeting it may be – is what I live for.
Then there is Rosewood. Warm and alive with heart, opulence, and absolute beauty. I roamed the hotel and its spaces, walked through it’s Grand Ballroom, and ran my fingers along an abundance of marble – too much, which is also never enough.
I breathed in and lived Rosewood’s atmosphere. Hermes wallpaper, an original Picasso, silver trays of crystal glasses, and the books: giant coffee table masterpieces, Haruki Murakami classics, Chang’s Love in a Fallen City, and Botton’s Art of Travel among a few.
When I thought there couldn’t be anything more, I met Lotus. Who’s kindness and love for Hong Kong was as enamouring as Hong Kong itself. The Rosewood concierge team – which Lotus was a part of – showed me beauty in Hong Kong I didn’t know existed, and Lotus taught me more than I’d have ever hoped to learn within my few days.
Lotus showed us around Hong Kong. I couldn’t get enough of what I was experiencing. I watched and listened in rapt attention. I tried storing all the information I could from Lotus in little bottles to keep in my head, ready to open again whenever I wanted. I found golden nuggets from listening to her talk about Chinese Herbal medicine, and her education Master in Guangzhou. And things like the way she was taught to cook fish; “if it is fresh and killed in front of you it can be steamed, otherwise if it’s not fresh it is to be grilled.”
The most encompassing learning of them all was of Qi. It’s the belief that everything that is, should be in balance – much like that of Yin Yang. There are thousands of Chinese herbs that tend to different ailments for, or workings of, our bodies. Yet I loved that Qi can also exist in a space, or in a home. I believe it exists in Rosewood because the flow and energy was something I could feel inside and out.
The discovery of food I’ve never eaten before. I had chicken feet, deep-fried milk which became a sweet and crunchy custard, wok-fried milk that felt silky on the tongue, as well as Nai Wong Bao, a steamed custard and cheese bun which was a signature to the Moon Lok restaurant we ate at in the Xiqu Centre. I also had You Tiao, a deep-fried dough accompanied with hot soy milk that was comforting to my travelling soul.
I made a promise this year to never stop doing things I’ve never done before, and I hope to continue this in more experiences that give me the feeling of gratitude as I write this. The feeling of which I find just as enveloping as beautiful.