The people we care about – and more Hong Kong
Day 2,724 since October 10th 2013: 194 countries out of 203. No flight, no return home, min 24 hrs in each country and 1 pandemic!
(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).
On borrowed time
In last weeks entry I wrote that the USA didn’t fund the research and development of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine. A friend then wrote that the USA pre-ordered millions of the vaccine, indirectly pouring money into the research and development. Good point – most things aren’t as simple as they seem.
Last week’s entry: Showing wifey Hong Kong
It is great having wifey here in Hong Kong with me. I have been introducing her to “my Hong Kong” which is how I see this corner of the world. I have been showing her some of my favorite places and introducing her to some of all the people I have gotten to know over my time here. I truly know a lot of people in Hong Kong. I feel somewhat calmer now that she is here which might indicate that she is a primary reason for returning home. No big surprise there but it is interesting to observe. We are naturally on borrowed time. Well, we are all on borrowed time but what I mean is that we are both temporarily in Hong Kong and will soon be apart from each other again. I will be on my way into the Pacific Ocean and she will head back home to Denmark. Soon is of course relative. We could have a couple of months together in Hong Kong before she leaves. The remaining nine countries will take minimum ten months to reach under optimal circumstances. For now, they remain out of reach.
Le (aka wifey) baked some rye bread and we had a Danish lunch! :)
Before we get on with what happened this week, I thought I’d tell you where I came from. My parents stuck together for about fifteen years before going separate ways. My mother is from Finland and I’m sure my creative and adventurous side comes from her. My father is Danish and he more than likely instilled a sense of responsibility, structure and humbleness in me. I love both of them and they are now seven years older since the Saga began. I last saw my mother in Rome, Italy, back in August 2017 and my father in Cyprus, October 2017. I have two younger siblings as well. I saw the youngest one in South Korea back in March 2019 and the other in Greece, October 2017. I love them too and they are also seven years older by now. Overall, I do my best to keep my family out of Once Upon A Saga unless they visit and express that it is okay to share pictures, videos and stories. The Saga reaches far and wide these days and I find it better to protect them. Most people are kind and decent but as with everything you’ll eventually run into some rotten apples. We grew up as a middleclass family. Perhaps sometimes upper middleclass depending on how business went for my father. A lot of my friends had more flashy toys than I had. We didn’t waste money in my family. But we had what we needed. Three meals a day, the house was never cold, we had clothes on our backs and it was a safe small-town environment to grow up in. There was nothing which specifically pointed towards that I would get up do a project like this someday. It is funny how things work out.
Apartment prices in Hong Kong are among the highest in the world. This tiny home would likely be a fortune! ;)
And here we are. 194 countries in with nine more to go. I’ve heard of world travelers that got stuck with their plans during the pandemic. They all went home. We are more than 400 days into being stuck. But we did something with that time. My goodness it was lucky that we got stuck in Hong Kong!! Immigration has been supportive throughout. And when they began to get a little impatient, we received help from the Danish community in Hong Kong to get a job, change my immigration status and procure an ID-card. Now I even hold a Hong Kong drivers license, have my wife by my side, and she has a Hong Kong ID as well already!! Both my wife and I got our first COVID-19 jabs and are waiting for the second. It seems like a lot of people are hesitant about it here in Hong Kong. Oh well, probably all around the world as well. I’m not worried about getting vaccines. My body is full of more than thirty of them and I never felt a thing. I hear that about 5% of Hong Kong has received the first jab. If you are above thirty years old then you can sign up to get one. And you can choose between Sinovac and BioNTech. I feel lucky in that regard as well. The Saga got stuck in a place where I could get a COVID-19 vaccine earlier than most other people. And not just that. I could get the one vaccine which appears to be the most widely accepted one.
Wifey got her plastic card Hong Kong ID! Immigration in Hong Kong is spectacularly efficient.
I brought wifey out on a beautiful hike in Sai Kung. She’d already seen a lot of the city and very little of nature. Sai Kung is my favorite part of Hong Kong’s nature scene as it appears more pristine and undisturbed. There are fewer high-rises in the area and hardly any high voltage cables or cable towers. Just forest, mountains and beaches.
Setting out on the trail. High Island Reservoir behind us.
Cows chilling near the beach in Sai Kung.
One of Hong Kong's many beautiful beaches. Kind of looks like a scene from the 20s to me :)
We clocked up approximately 26km (16mi) with an elevation gain of about 1,500m (4,900ft). A nice hike.
After the hike we ended up at the Savagars. Mission completed!! Le had now been introduced to both the Andersen Clan as well as the Savagars. The Savagars hosted me for the Saga’s first five months in Hong Kong and is a family which means a great deal to me. We had dinner together before heading out for a walk by the pier. It is always nice to see them and I'm happy they got to meet Le :)
While returning from the pier Edward (12y) noticed these ripples in the ocean and I snapped this shot.
Overall, we have been able to set up a nice routine. My wife and I have mornings and the early afternoon together depending on my meetings and the work I have at the Danish Seamen’s Church. She logs onto her workplace around 2-3pm and usually works until around midnight. Wifey works for a pharmaceutical company in Denmark and has a great deal of online meetings. So, we try to time dinner in between her work whenever possible. While she works, I try to catch up on emails, social media, side-projects, web calls, research etc. My wife has been out of quarantine for more than two weeks now and the routine seems to flow nicely. Easter is coming up which will give us a few more full days together as it contains several bank holidays in Denmark. In keeping Hong Kong safe we both tested negative for COVID-19 at Lai King Community Hall. We will continue to get tested on a biweekly basis until we have received both jabs. Le has been positively surprised about how well Hong Kong is handling the pandemic with various regulations, systems, tracing, masks, social distancing and frequent sanitizing. I haven’t seen anything else than Hong Kong during the pandemic but I fully agree: things are well under control here and Hong Kong is incredibly efficient with implementing systems. We were in and out of the Community Hall in a matter of minutes and the same goes for the jabs we got. Well done Hong Kong.
It's nice having wifey to run with. Kwai Chung Sports Ground is the best place to run near where we live.
Yeah – that’s about all I care to share with you this time. But here are some photos to complete this entry. See you all again next week.
Jeppe (right) and Gustav (middle) stopped by the Danish Seamen's Church to say hi and hear more about the Saga. We ended up talking a fair bit about the Red Cross which is often an overlooked, but interesting subject. Jeppe and Gustav are Danish and study at CBS (Copenhagen Business School) but currently in Hong Kong. Gustav banged his head into the goal pole during a match with Hong Kong's Danish football team The Vikings. What a Viking!! :)
Le and I had lunch at the Foreign Correspondents' Club (FCC) which is a members only club where I have been given a temporary guest membership. As such I have received a lot of support from several members. the FCC is in many ways the 'stronghold of journalism' within Hong Kong. The clubs history carries back to 1943 and holds deeply rooted traditions along with a rich history.
And the traditional "Thursday Hike" this time included Poul K, Thomas from the Andersen Clan, Cabcon Kenneth and Christian the newcomer! We hiked the mandatory two hours before sitting down for a grand meal with a bit of red wine and the mandatory Radio Retro accompanying some utterly brilliant conversations ;)
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 for the last nine countries!!
"A stranger is a friend you've never met before"
Once Upon A Saga