USA

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

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

Travel Note- San Francisco Day 3

Woke up pretty early due to JetLag again. Only slept for 10 hours in total for the past 2 nights. The weather in San Francisco is pretty much like the weather in Hong Kong. Warm during the day, and a bit chilly at night, and because of that, my allergic nose is being super kind to me.

Off to Montgomery Street to meet a senior of mine from HKU. We went to a nice restaurant (The Sauce...and sorry, not photos, I rarely take photos during my meals) and for about an hour and thirty minutes we talked about many things, mainly about how it feels like to work in America. Interestingly, he told me San Francisco is one of the most popular cities for homeless because of its benefits and welfare, and even the Nevada States has brought bus ticket for the homeless in their States to go to San Francisco...that's why yesterday I saw many homeless near the Financial District of SF.

After lunch I set off to de Young Museum in Golden Gate Park to check out an Keith Haring exhibition, one of the artists whom I look up to since I was young. Unlike Tate Modern, there isn't much words/description/information in the Haring Exhibition. Just his works, and a short paragraph here and there. Luckily Haring's works are relatively easy to understand, he didn't want his audience to guess what he is trying to say, he was all about communicating and spreading his message across. A lot to learn from him.

I left after the exhibition to return to town center. Apparently there are 2 exhibitions all in the same buildings that I really want to see. Songbook by Alec Soth, and an exhibition of Fan Ho, a master photographer from Hong Kong. 

Turns out that that particular building is called 49 Geary, and there are lots of Private Galleries in it. On the first Thursday of each months, most of the galleries have openings, and would invite the artist to be there. Lucky me, not only I got a chance to see the works by Alec Soth and Fan Ho, I also see works by Tokihiro Sato, a Japanese photographer who works with light and time.

It was a short day, but jetlag really caught up with me. I went back before dinner and we started preparing for the wedding that is going to take place on Saturday. Seems like I wont be going out tomorrow. But instead I will have to stay in and help out. No Travel Note tomorrow, but instead I might write something called Groomsman Note or whatever...will see.