(Dear English readers, please scroll down for English translation)
想起来，这次是我第五次去香港了。 如果，澳洲不算，香港也是我开始旅行的第一站。自那开始，香港常常是我去其他国家旅行的转机地点， 包括接下来这次。
我也不多想，就决定去香港。主要原因是，那时，香港刚回归中国几个月。 我想做一做历史见证人 – 把97年的香港看一看，希望三年五载后，会再去看一看它的转变。加上，自小，我看香港电影电视看得多，很好奇这个地方， 和它的风俗人情。于是，那年，拿起背包，游了香港十天。
香港这个灯火辉煌的不夜城，及东西文化的大溶锅，是许多游客趋之若鹜的地方。香港的繁华是众所周知的。 那五颜六色的霓虹灯虽耀眼，也使我振奋。 可是，我去了香港那么多次，走在那灯光下，还是会给我一丝丝寂寞的感觉。在香港，我曾与许许多多的人“擦身而过”。 每个人都是形色匆匆，低着头，自顾自，加快脚步地走。脸上冷冷地，没有笑容。没有时间给任何的东西。我感觉不到他们的温暖，却感觉到他们的寂寞。我在澳洲认识了许多香港朋友。其实，他们都很有人情味， 一点都不冷。
我常听朋友说，在香港，人人都很勤奋，日以继夜地工作。真的是没有什么其他的时间。我第一次去香港时，一对姐妹“收留”我。 妹妹刚好在赶工。她每晚凌晨三，四点才回到家。早上，一大早就要出门继续工作。我在那住了十天，我只见了她几次， 也没时间谈上几句。姐姐告诉我，她也已见怪不怪了。她以前跟人打工也是如此。后来，辞了工，现在只教补习，情况才转变。
我想，我走在街上感受到的寂寞，是在那种“大环境”下，因为激烈的竞争，为了生存， 苦苦地挣扎，所造成。 那是一种为了自我保护，而武装自己和孤立自己的自然反应罢。这也是可以明白的。
April is coming soon. I have been procrastinating for a while. Now it is the time that I should start planning my trip back to Australia to complete my Master degree in May. On the way to Australia, I will stopover in Hong Kong and am thinking to stay there for a few days. (I will also go back to Malaysia to spend some times with family).
When I think of it now, this will be my fifth time to visit Hong Kong. If Australia is not counted, Hong Kong trip in 1997 was also my first oversea trip. Since then, it has become a main stopover for most of my trips to other countries.
In 1997, after I successfully passed my second year in university, I decided to use my saving to reward myself with a trip to Hong Kong. At that time, I did not even consider other places but Hong Kong. The main reason was I wanted to be one of the witnesses of the historical change in Hong Kong. It was end of 1997, Hong Kong had just return to the mainland China for only a few months. I was curious and wanted to see Hong Kong at that time, and hoping to visit it again a few years later, to observe any changes. Also, since childhood, I have watched many Hong Kong movies and TV series. This place and its people always fascinates me. Hence, without hesitation, I begun my journey to understand more about this place.
Hong Kong as a melting pot of Eastern cultures and Western influence is one of many attractions for tourists . It is also famous for its bustling yet clutter natures. I love to walk in its electric streetscapes and the towering urbanity, feeling small and sensing its fast-pace changes. However, I always felt the loneliness of this city and its people. In Hong Kong, you always walk amongst the crowds but never feel their warmth and their time for anything else in their lives. They walk too fast, seem like always chasing something important but seldom have smiles on their faces.
I have always heard from my friends that people in Hong Kong have to work very hard for survival. It is true that they never really have times for anything else. I stayed with a pair of sisters during my first visit to Hong Kong. The younger sister was very busy with some datelines at work. She had to work till 3 or 4am and rushed back to work at around 7 or 8am. During my stay, I only saw her a couple of times not to mention have time to chat. The older sister told me it was quite normal for Hong Kong people. It was the same with her previous work. Hated the pressure at work, she quited and wanted for a better lifestyle, she become a self-employed private tutor for young kids now.
I guess, the loneliness I felt on the streets was the people’s survival fights with the severe competitions with one another. To protect yourselves and not become the targets of attacks, you have to learn how to isolate yourselves. I guess, this is understandable.
Hong Kong is a place with such contractions and idiosyncrasies. I believe it is because of all these contractions that keep attracting me and all other tourists to return to it….
Postscript : Trying to write this post, I had been sitting in front of computer for many hours, constantly write but constantly deleting. At first, I wonder why I felt the things I wrote were contradicting with each other all the times. Finally, I realised it was not me but Hong Kong is itself a place full of contractions…