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First Stop: Hong Kong

First Stop: Hong Kong

Bruno and I are waiting at the Gold Coast Airport for our flights to Hong Kong. We’re flying AirAsia with a very brief stopover in Kuala Lumpur – nothing special, but the fares were cheap. The only interesting part is that we used the OptionTown bidding process to gain exclusive use of the empty seat in our row. It’s costing us around $30 AUD for the 8h OOL to KUL leg, which I believe is completely worth it.

We’ll be in HK for ten days, but the truth is that HK never really feels like travel – I was born there, Bruno has spent years living there, and we find ourselves returning almost a bit too regularly. It’s a fun stop but never really a relaxing stop. I don’t think relaxation is part of the lexicon. But I have grandparents to visit and Bruno has friends (plus extended family now, I suppose), and we both do have shopping to do, so here we are.

That’s not to say the food isn’t worth the bustle. In fact, the food is what contributes to the general busyness of our trips. There’s just so much to eat in so very little time that we need to expend additional effort to burn calories and create stomach space. Repeatedly.

To begin with, all of our meet-ups with family and friends involve food of some sort (not that I’m complaining). Then comes the grazing in between proper meals – at street stalls, dessert houses, and all the tantalising stores at every train or subway station. Even when we’re not hungry, we often find ourselves going somewhere because we simply need a place to sit and use a bathroom – and then we end up eating something anyway. It never stops.

Luckily, HK is a city that’s surprisingly walkable and conducive to exercise-by-walking. There is always an overpass or a tunnel or a complex, circling detour through a shopping mall that will get you from Point A to B without requiring you to tackle traffic, and things don’t shut down until late at night (if ever). Now add the weight of multiple shopping bags and the inevitable sprints for public transport seats, and you have an environment that almost force feeds you while preventing weight gain.

Our mission for this trip is simple – meet with people for post-wedding celebrations. We got away with a tiny mountaintop wedding, but we couldn’t really hide away forever, so this is the first stop of our meet-and-greet. It feels a little like doing a world tour, minus the celebrity status and the paparazzi. Bruno will be introduced to parts of my extended family (as will I in some cases). At least we will be eating more than most celebrities do.

In between, we’ll hang out with my grandparents because they have a magical way of making HK feel almost tranquil, and we’ll also try to squeeze in a few other things – some hiking on the MacLehose Trail, a cheese degustation with matching wines at the incredible Caprice Bar, and so forth. I cannot describe how much I am looking forward to more of that four-year comté.

After ten days, we’ll be back in Australia, doing some final cleaning (groan), packing and preparing for the much longer flight to Santiago. We’ll spend around a week there with Bruno’s family and friends, plus hopefully a bit of time in the Andes, then head off to the south. I can’t wait to hit the open road – because that’s when the honeymoon truly begins.

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