Every parent spoils their child out of love. Last October Dad bought us a car. It was not a necessity as Mum and Dad both work close to train stations and I have been travelling to Stanley all these years by public transport.

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It is a tedious journey to get from my home to our training base in Stanley. I know I should not complain, as I live in Kowloon, rather convenient when compared to those poor souls who live farther North in the New Territories. However, it is not a very pleasant daily routine to squeeze into a packed train with a big bag of training gear, then waiting in a bus queue amongst a mist of smoke, while you cannot even see the front of the line.

So I have long wanted to get my driving license. And my dad has suffered enough from my annoying complaints.

Now that we have a car, I enjoy getting up early to drive. I have been spending a lot of time training overseas so I particularly adore these private moments of peace and freedom with only me and my music cruising along the winding roads amid the southern coastal hills of Hong Kong. Upon arriving Stanley I can sit behind the glass, out of the heavy summer rains, staring at the sea for a while before getting my windsurf gear ready with all the time in the world.

There is only one thing: I can’t read when I drive.

That is why this day I gave my wheels and wallet a day off so I could sit and read leisurely in the train and bus while the drivers do all the work. I had to leave home very, very early to avoid the rush hour and save myself from the nerves of being late but it was worth it.

And this is what came up on my journey on the train:

6 months since I’ve been on the MTR. I used to be on it every day. To get to the other side of the harbour, to return home from school, to go to a shopping mall that’s only a few stops away.

 This is what happens when you travel a lot. You get sentimental upon returning home. The strange thing is I am never home sick and enjoy being overseas but once I step foot on homeland I realize that indeed there is nowhere like home.

Being away from the city has changed me dearly. Sleeping indoors, living outdoors. Travelling on foot or 2 wheels. Going to the coffeeshop or a bookstore is a luxury, hardly ever tempted to shop for clothes or for the newest gadgets. I got plenty of time to read. Other than spending money on plane tickets and food, Kindle books must be my top cashout.

And now, I’m home. I have remembered what it’s like being in Hong Kong, but I didn’t really need to be here. It is nice to blend into the crowd of black hair and being an average height person. Nice to have friends around to hang out with. Nice to have my own space where I belong, with my books, my bed, my music, my little secrets. Best of all is I have my family here to fidget and annoy, to talk about the most trivial matters, to lend an ear to them as we sit on the same table but minds wandering far out into space. Then there’s those special moments when you don’t talk at all but hearts beat in unity.

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