travel

Travel Notes- San Francisco (Day 6)

I will always miss you, Bay Area. You mean something to me.

You are different than any cities that I visited before, you are always sunny and bright. Always happy somehow. I still remember the first day I saw you, it feels like ages ago, your beauty captivated me, I am thrilled, marvelled by how perfect everything was.

I wanted to stay longer, but I couldn't, we simply don't belong to each other. Someday I will come back, and I hope you are still adorable as you always have been...

Travel Note- San Francisco (June 2015) Day 1

Going abroad is fun, but flying isn't. Jet Lag is one of the weirdest feelings on Earth. You feel like you are walking, but also sleeping. Sometimes you wonder where you are exactly.

After many hours of flying, I am finally in the Bay Area.

 Woman standing on the street  She stood there for a while. I think she is sorting out her bag or fixing something

Woman standing on the street
She stood there for a while. I think she is sorting out her bag or fixing something

I am actually writing this on the 2nd day of my trip here in the Bay Area. First day was simple yet exciting. My friend and I went to watch the NBA Finals Game 6 at a bar near the airport. Golden State won. And everyone got so excited.

Today I went to walk around San Francisco once again. Walked on almost the same places. First the Financial District...then lunch with two of my friends...after that I walked to Mission District and was trying to look for something interesting to walk/buy.

 Sabrina and CT  I met them in 2 completely unrelated occasions. Small world. It turns out they knew each other.

Sabrina and CT
I met them in 2 completely unrelated occasions. Small world. It turns out they knew each other.

I felt sick soon after I arrived Mission. I couldn't go on anymore but I also couldn't go back to where I stay (about 1 hour by train and car, but I don't have the key), so I decided to go take a rest in a cafe. Interestingly, that was the same cafe that I spent an hour resting when I visited the area in Feb. I thought of many things as I sat down, I thought of what happened to myself these few months, the changes, the challenges, as well as what I have gained and lost. This train of thoughts brought me to a strange place...as I was walking to the exact same shops that I visited, walking on the same street...I thought the day before I left the Bay Area...and I am soaked with many different fragments of memories.

 Mission District  Outside the Bart Station

Mission District Outside the Bart Station

 826 Valencia

826 Valencia

 Chapel, God and Basketball  I like how they merge together. Awesome

Chapel, God and Basketball
I like how they merge together. Awesome

Then for some strange reason. I looked at the world clock on my iPhone, wondering what time is it in Hong Kong when it is later afternoon in California...It says 5pm 'Tomorrow'.

'Tomorrow'

'TOMORROW'

I was thrilled to notice it. Tomorrow!!! When I am still stuck in 'Today'! Is it some kind of sign to tell me that I am living in the past? Did my train of thought about these few months dragged me back this strange place of 'Today' when where I belong is already in 'Tomorrow'? I guess maybe...just maybe...this is how a time-traveller feels when they travel back and forth into the past and the future. 

And staying in Today when the world is already in Tomorrow...is how a Time Traveller deals with the pain from their memories. The Memories of the Future.

 Dystopian's Dream. Memories of the Future

Dystopian's Dream. Memories of the Future

Travel Note- Miss Tokyo (June 2015)

I landed in Haneda Airport at around 7:30pm local time. Quickly I went to take the train to Shinagawa to meet up with my friends whom I have known for years. As I got on the train, I immediately felt the manners of the Japanese people- everyone was so quiet, minding their own business and the train was very clean (compare to those in Hong Kong, London…). But as soon as I walked out of the train, everything changed dramatically. People rushing off work, catching trains, and everything just suddenly became so fast paced, and I am once again soaked into the hustle and bustle of the city. 

 Shinagawa

Shinagawa

I arrived slightly earlier than Jean, and soon we walked to the restaurant where Satoshi has been waiting for us. It’s been almost a year since I last met them, and they both looked wonderful despite the fact that they have been tortured by the Japanese working system- Long hours, lots of socials to go to, as with a minimal chance of promotion until they reach a certain age. Luckily for both of them, things are starting to look better. Satoshi is about to study his ‘dream’ master program in Europe; whereas Jean has been working on some interesting project for her company

 Jean  Looking happy as usual

Jean Looking happy as usual

The dinner was wonderful, lots of great seafood, refreshing beer and awesome sake. I also befriended a waiter, and he bought me a glass of sake. This is something that is not really common form me- knowing a stranger and getting something in return. I guess I will never see him in the future. 

 Jean

Jean

 Satoshi  Holding the head of a fish

Satoshi Holding the head of a fish

 The Waiter  keeps calling me his friend. awesome 

The Waiter keeps calling me his friend. awesome 

We left the place at around half past ten. Jean and Satoshi had to return to where the live and their life continue as usual tomorrow in this great city. Then I took the train to the airport from Shinagawa, and interestingly, I had to change at Kamata Station- a place that I stayed in many years ago when I was in exchange. Then here I am again, a year after my last visit to Tokyo…I will miss you forever, Miss Tokyo. There are so many things that I still do not understand, about the world, things around me, and especially myself. Seems like I have been in this state of mind for far too long, is it why I am trying to find an answer through taking pictures? Or am I looking for the right question? Miss Tokyo, I will love you forever. 

Until next time, be strong and be gentle.

I left without making the rest of the notes...and I feel sorry that I didn't. I wasn't ready.

Going back to the reality is something not easy at all, but at the same time I want to face the reality as I want to know how much I have changed after escaping and giving myself a break from everything that bothered me. But no matter how hard I try to run away from the huge differences between the harsh reality and the sweetness of a dream, I still cannot get over the fact that my one week in San Francisco is now in the past. And no matter how many times I can go there again in the future, it won't be the same. Like many other sayings in the world, even the most simple and the cliche ones, our language is not strong enough to describe the feelings behind each of them...especially the sad ones.

 Mission District

Mission District

 The Church  Taken during the rehearsal the night before the wedding. It was a stormy night

The Church
Taken during the rehearsal the night before the wedding. It was a stormy night

 The Restaurant  Taken at the banquet

The Restaurant Taken at the banquet

My friend Manhin got married on a Saturday..it was a rainy afternoon and definitely reminded me of the spring in England when I was in school. Looking back, I only remember some parts of the wedding, such as the church, the beautiful women and the handsome gentlemen, some dishes at the banquet, the song that we sing after the bestman's speech (Karaoke style!!!). I don't remember the details of exactly what happened (and not that I was drunk). I looked at my phone and I only found random photos here and there...is our memory really that unreliable, that we need a material (a photo) to help us remember?

On Sunday we just walked around in a mall and having a feast in CheeseCake Factory (it's fucking amazing...). And on Monday I spent sometime wondering all around San Francisco, I started in Montgomery Street and walked all the way to Mission District. I walk with a destination in my mind, but at the same time walking aimlessly, trying to explore more different shops/cafe around town. 

I got lost soon after I set off...and I sat down in a cafe, order a mojito iced coffee (recommended by my friend Janice). At that moment, tired from walking, feeling extremely lonely...I realised that I have been lost in my career in the past year. Whenever I go to travel, I always find myself passionate about work and there are many projects that I desire to do 'as soon as I am back'. But every time when I return, things remain the same, the same old lost photographer trying to live his dream. When I stopped and look at the map of where I am, it is the moment when I noticed I am totally lost. I sat down in the cafe for over an hour, stunned by what I realised...

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As I returned home and sorted out my personal matters. I finally look back and realised what a trip it was...As I said in the beginning, it will never be the same...and even today I feel upset about it. I met so many wonderful people, had a lot of amazing food and visited many great places. I miss every single one of you...

世上所有的相遇都是久别重逢...
All encounters in the world are reunions after a long separation...

 Haneda Airport

Haneda Airport

one last thing...to all the beautiful women in California