Wednesday, 2 December 2015

Hong Kong

Memories and memory continue to fascinate me.  

If someone were to unexpectedly ask me a question about Hong Kong, and the years I spent there, I could probably come up with an answer, but it would be an answer without much depth.  

Read a book like the one I am currently enjoying, which is set in 1940's and 1950's Hong Kong (two stories which weave through each other) so similar to the early 1960's and my childhood years spent over there.  

Familiar place names, beaches, hotels, and markets.   I read them and I am transported to that distant time and place, in an almost 3-D and multi-sensory way.    Sights, sounds, smells, people, atmosphere.

One small example:  A mention of Big Wave Bay takes me back to one of many family expeditions there.  The beach changing tents which could be hired for the day, the man who would bring a container of fresh water so that we could rinse ourselves after bathing and the enormous waves which we would attempt to body-surf in, my horrible green and yellow striped bathing costume which I disliked so much, sandy sandwiches and cold drinks and ices which came in a tiny waxed paper tub (chocolate for me, strawberry for my younger brother, and vanilla for the older one, who could make his ice cream last at least ten times longer than the rest of us) bought from the vendor.

My experiences have undoubtedly enhanced my enjoyment of the book.   I am loving it and find myself with that familiar dilemma, I want to read it, devour it quickly, but I also want to spin out the pleasure of reading it because our Hong Kong days were mostly happy days.

All these memories were already in my head, laid down there almost fifty-five years ago and were then forgotten as life moved on, and the next adventure began.  

Then I find a copy of a particular book in a charity shop, begin reading it, and the seal to the memory cave is broken and the richness of those memories is released into my bloodstream and nourish me again.

We all know that vast areas of our brain are unused, but there must also be great caverns filled with memories which are just waiting to be released and enjoyed.  We just have to find the key, and that key is not universal to all those wonderfully stocked caverns.

The book which has stimulated all of this is by Janice Y K Lee, The Piano Teacher.

These ramblings are just me, thinking and pondering.   Some notes for later.  So please do ignore.

1 comment:

  1. Smells do it for me. Sometimes I smells something like really ripe pineapple and I am instantly transported somewhere else. A certain perfume from body shop I am somewhere else. and lemons, thats easy, Naples, hot and sticky, the smell of nivea sun, briny sea... If I get dementia, this will be the place I hope to fall into.


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