300 days in Hong Kong (and then some)
Day 2,605 since October 10th 2013: 194 countries out of 203. No flight, no return home and min 24 hrs in each country
(The opinions expressed on this site are my own, and do not reflect the position or policies of the Danish Red Cross which I represent as a Goodwill Ambassador).
I could be stuck in worse places
Over the past 300 days I have become fairly knowledgeable about Hong Kong. I have been fortunate to see much and meet many people. And I know for a fact that I will cry the day I leave.
Last week’s entry: From paperboy to front page – still in Hong Kong
Hello Debbie, Nat, Carrie, Phyllis, mom, dad, Thomas, Kenneth, Sayeeda, Dries, Ken and all you other wonderful people who take your time to read the blog week after week. We have come a long way. A lot of people think I am patient; however, I think that is in reality misunderstood determination. Living within “a tunnel of countries” and caged within “a prison with the key to the door in my very own hand”. I had six sessions with a psychologist while here in Hong Kong. She was very kind and I most definitely have issues which might be handled best by a professional. It was very interesting for me to dip my toes into the world of mental help. However, the time is not now. It was a very kind pro bono offer and I was furthermore offered to extend with more sessions. Maybe I should have. I don’t know. I do believe I have a very strong mind. Stronger than most. But in my experience, everything breaks within the Saga. On one occasion I observed a pull tab from a solid zipper break into two. I’ve had a padlock simply fall apart. I’ve had my clothes falling apart as well. Seven years across every type of climate will do a real number on most anything. We recently crossed 2,600 days in the world with 300 of them being stuck here in Hong Kong. By last year’s calculations we were due to complete the Saga last month (October). Sure, they are now talking about vaccines and that is a good thing. American vaccines, Russian vaccines, European vaccines and Chinese vaccines. I feel that Australia, South America and Africa have been left out – when are their vaccines reaching the market? Antarctica is supposedly excused. The biggest problem with the pandemic is certainly not the virus. It is the people across this planet. If this was a test then we made a mess out of it. Let’s see how smoothly the distribution of billions of vaccines will go. I’m sure the conspiracy theorists and ‘anti-vaxxers’ are going to have a field day throughout most of 2021. Oh well, 2020 isn’t even over yet…
Hong Kong can be colorful in many different ways.
I’ve been in a rather good mood for the last few days which is always something. From our last nine countries it appears that the Maldives has opened up for tourism…but…how would we get there and how would we get away again. Nope, I’m still stuck in Hong Kong and the Saga along with it. My fiancée remains in Denmark and Hong Kong’s border continues to be shut. A reason for my good mood relates to an upcoming collaboration in an attempt to do every attraction at Disneyland Hong Kong within a day. Furthermore, there is more good news (we take what we can get these days) which I will reveal over the upcoming months about something I have been working on for some time. Also our friends at Ross DK and Geoop, particularly Jesper, conducted a great interview about the Saga. Media coverage is a peculiar thing. Within the Saga we have seen a great amount on a truly global level, but sometimes internationally well-known media houses have produced less impressive reporting – all while local and often unknown ones have delivered impressive journalism. I guess that my answers also aren’t always as fantastic as I would want them to be and it takes two to tango. Jesper has been following the Saga from the day I left Denmark and has an intricate knowledge about it all. That led to a really good article which you can read HERE:
Ross DK and Geoop have been financial partners of the Saga since the project began and cover a large part of the USD 20/day budget. Great interview!
The days they come and go. My workload has been a bit up and down but nowhere near the 80-100 hours per week which used to be normal. I suppose I have a fairly normal workweek (35-40 hours) by now with meeting, research, interviews, collaborations, social media etc. and that has been very manageable. Hiking continues to take up a large part of my time because I like it but also because I still have some way to go within the Sydney to Melbourne Virtual Challenge. I can repeat myself and once more say that 10km (6.2mi) per day generally isn’t a lot but it is truly a lot when you don’t want to take a single step. Thanks Brett from The Running Klub (with a K) for getting me involved in that one-hundred-day challenge. Really appreciate it mate ;) Nah – its alright. And his wonderful wife baked me some delicious sourdough bread so we’re all good. You can always bribe me with good bread. This weeks headlines include a solid hike to see the Savagars, having dinner with them at Hebe Haven (Yacht Club), meeting up with Michael and his friends on Peel Street (beers), helping out at the Danish Seaman’s Church Christmas Bazaar, visiting Kenneth and his family for BBQ burgers, having dinner with Mike and Jo (Korean restaurant), doing an online session with Global Shapers (I met Carter in Jordan), meeting Nick (he reached out through YouTube), having dinner with Phil (Club Lusitano), hiking with Thomas and Kenneth, speaking at Discovery Bay International School (DBIS) and hooking up with Brett and Emma while on Lantau Island. Let’s do some photos:
I crossed a large part of Hong Kong in an effort to walk out to the Savagars.
We were having dinner together that night at Hebe Haven seen here below.
I took this photo on top of Ma On Shan and then showed it to these two hikers. We managed to transfer it between our phones to their delight.
Yeah! That was a solid hike to pay the Savagars a visit! ;)
The Christmas Bazaar was different but successful this year. Coming events can be found on the website for the Danish Seamen's Church.
Having a beer or two on Peel Street with Michael and his friends. I'm not sure what happened to his friends? :)
Sunset burger BBQ on Kenneth's terrace. A lovely evening with Anton (son), Sofie (daughter), Rose (wife) and our mutual friend Thomas.
I was scheduled to join Anders for a demanding hike but the weather did not agree with us.
It was really nice meeting up with Mike and his friend Jo for dinner. Mike and I know each other through the Royal Geographical Society in Hong Kong. And I may soon be seeing Jo again as she deals within tailormade suits and you haven't really been to Hong Kong until you've had a suit done ;)
Phil, who's a member at the Portuguese Club Lusitano, invited for dinner. It's always a good time when there's Portuguese food on the table! :)
Kenneth, Thomas and I teamed up for one of my favorite hikes in HK: Ma Dai Stream! :)
It is a remarkable hike!
And it is astonishing beautiful.
And on a hot day the Ma Dai Stream offers lots of opportunities to cool off.
I had the pleasure of speaking for the year 12s at Discovery Bay International School (DBIS). It was a great but challenging experience. The students were around 17 years of age and were widely distributed across a large room for purposes of social distancing. They wore masks and I wore a mask so we couldn't read each others faces. And I had to hold a microphone in one hand which I'm not used to. However Mrs. Sheila Stamp, Director of IT and Communications, told me that I performed really well. She might just have been polite :) I had a good time though and the students thought of some good questions.
Left: Sydney. Right: Emma (Brett's lovely wife).
Center: Brett. In the back: Romelyn. I dropped by for lunch after the talk at DBIS. Brett and Emma live on Lantau Island. Great food and even better company! :)
Great, I’ll leave you all with some thoughts on vaccines. Wasn’t it Russia who first declared they had one ready? Well, that never seemed to be taken seriously. China has one too. These days the news is full of stories about vaccines and that is a good thing. We know of so many different diseases which we have no protection or cure for. Fortunately, we now have several bids for dealing with COVID-19. Some people are already questioning if it is safe to get an injection? I would happily get the very first injection. Our societies are built up on trust. On an individual level we hardly have any guarantees about anything. Do you believe your money is in the bank? Do you believe your boss knows what’s going on? Do you believe you will get your next salary and the next after that? Do you believe our borders are well protected? Do you believe help will come if you call? For some people the answer to several of those questions is: no. However, in developed countries most should be able to answer: yes. There is no guarantee though and the answers which we give rely largely on trust. Unless you are an expert and specifically deal within test results of vaccines then you’re better off just trusting the system. The vaccines will not be available for a while and we also need to work out the logistics of getting BILLIONS of people vaccinated. I was listening to the news the other day and the reporter spoke to an expert who explained why we have been able to develop vaccines as quickly as we have. The expert assured that it had been done safely and I trust it has, given that the reasoning made sense to me: 1) COVID-19 has been given unlimited funding, 2) COVID-19 has been given first priority and, 3) there has been a near endless amount of test subjects available for scientists.
My goodness Hong Kong is beautiful!
Yeah, so that is that. Let’s get those vaccines out of the labs and injected into our bodies. And while we wait, although it all sucks, just keep wearing a mask when appropriate, wash your hands, respect a safe distance from others, don’t make compromising exceptions, use common sense and think about others. We’ve gotten through a lot as a species and there is light at the end of the tunnel with this too. But this will be a long hard COVID-19 winter. Prepare and be wise. Over and out.
If you enjoyed this blog or think I am doing a good job then you can support here below. The Saga still needs funding. Thank you :)
Mr. Torbjørn C. Pedersen (Thor) - ready to fight.
"A stranger is a friend you've never met before"
Once Upon A Saga