Crack a coconut for release. Release from the honk of the Harbour tunnel car horn, the beep of the Admiralty MTR door and the shrill of the mainlander tones. Embark instead upon a world of damp sand between toes, straws between sunburnt lips and the rhythm of waves in the otherwise silence. Cons of living in Hong Kong: crowds, pollution, over-priced cheese. Pros of living in Hong Kong: Christmas in Cambodia, Chinese New Year in Mynamar, Easter in Thailand, Summer in Vietnam.
The shell of the coconut, dark and hairy. For those holidays spent rip-roaring through dusty sideroads on a motorbike. For peeling flipflops off at the end of the day and discovering grime straps and toe-dirt. For settling down for the night in wood huts with no mosquito nets. Seeing ‘knee cartilage’ on a menu and flies buzz around sun-warmed beef. Tough, traveler’s skin. (Dark and hairy- optional)
The soft palpy skin of a coconut, scraped out with a spoon. The feeling of melting onto a sun lounger, limbs to liquid, breath to exhaled air. Day one of a six day stay. Sky-blue, sea-blue, sand-gold. A lullaby of a language, drifting in the breeze. Page one of a new book, spine unbent. Rolling open a clean sarong, colours to the wind. The smell of a beach kitchen, somewhere near. A watch-less wrist, a phone-less bag, a make-up free face. Sweet, sweet freedom from everything.
The cool, crisp drink of coconut water. Hair just washed and damp on peeling shoulders. Eyes bright and mind clear, tummy hungry and feet ready. Slotting into life outside of the sights and smells of our Hong Kong home. Remembering that different wheels turn, different hearts love and different cities buzz. Caged butterflies playing as plans are made, thoughts refreshed and decisions voiced. Flying back to Hong Kong knowing that a whole world waits. Refreshed.