I am FINALLY back in Hong Kong after yet another whirlwind, immigration-related visit to Los Angeles... I have jumped through so many American hoops these past few months I should try out for cheerleading.
This also means I am too mentally bankrupt to post today, so I am cheating and posting one of my past pages, in case you haven't read it. It's really not that interesting, just seven* random facts about myself. It may explain a few things. Read on, if you dare, otherwise, see you when I'm next looking at you.
*The number 7 symbolizes "togetherness". It is a lucky number for relationships. It is also recognized as the luckiest number in the West, and is one of the rare numbers that is great in both Chinese and many Western cultures. It is a lucky number in Chinese culture, because it sounds alike to the Chinese character 起, meaning ‘arise’.
1. I live in Hong Kong.
I started this blog in 2009 when I ditched my Sydney job and life to follow Mr Right to the crazy world of Hong Kong. I’d always dreamt of living abroad – of Italian piazzas, French coffee, New York nightlife or London chic. China? Uh, not so much. But as John Lennon said, “life is what happens when you are making other plans”, and here is where we ended up. What a ride.
Three things I love about Hong Kong:
(a) This city is ALIVE and makes most others look rather drowsy. People say Hong Kong is like New York, but sped up. They were right.
(b) It’s the safest city I’ve ever been to. There’s something in the water here that makes people non-loopy. I love not feeling creeped out when walking home after dark; it’s a big perk for a chicken like me.
(c) You can be whoever you want to be here. There are so many people - you soon realize that no one could care less what you do. Think of it as a backhanded compliment.
Three things I don’t love about Hong Kong:
(a) It’s exhausting (see first point above). An empty beach where I can be totally alone and contemplate my navel wouldn’t go astray. This doesn’t happen here, there’s always someone pushing you out of the way.
(b) The Chinese eat things like pig's ear, congealed blood and birds nest; and hang raw meat outside all day long, which stinks up the place. This behaviour is odd to me.
(c) My family doesn’t live here. ‘Nuff said.
2. I secretly love acting and always wanted to be a film star.
I'm a TV presenter and writer by trade and LOVE it, however there is only one place I’d rather be: playing a fantastically complex role in a movie or theatre production. It was my childhood dream, and once upon a time I even gave it a good solid go – but at some point being able to afford food and shelter became more important. I still act where and when I can and have played some interesting roles, including a tattooed gothic with suicidal tendencies, a high-class prostitute, and a foul-mouthed British ladette. My break in Hollywood: TBC.
Three movies I love:
(a) Amadeus – The drama! The music! The scandal! The acting! This movie had me at 'hello Mozart'.
(b) Pretty Woman – Do I need to explain? The ultimate romance with sprinklings of salt & pepper-haired Richard Gere. Love stories don’t get any better than this.
(c) The Breakfast Club – defined my early years. It’s incredible how one supremely-aware director captured an entire generation within 2 hours.
Three movies I don’t love:
(a) Anything based on war – Violent, colourless, and little chance for a romantic storyline. There is zero appeal.
(b) Land of the Lost – A Will Ferrell movie. Anyone seen it? Don’t. It’s like a low-budget, badly acted, awkwardly unfunny student film. Actually, it's worse.
(c) The original Texas Chainsaw Massacre. I think I first saw this film when I was around 8. I still can’t sleep right.
3. My boyfriend makes me lolly-eyed.
Let’s not get too mushy here, but well, this is kind of a mushy topic. I’m dating my best friend, who also happens to be rather hot. This is a truly excellent combination. 'B' makes my heart soar; he’s kind, generous, smart, funny, talented, and a super duper cook. He’s deeply loyal, and we have never stopped dating. I doubt we ever will. Of course we fight now and again. Keeps the fire alive.
Three things I love about B:
(a) He calls me every morning for a chat, and often leaves me love notes when he leaves the house. I still get excited when I answer the phone and hear his voice.
(b) He’s smart and worldly, and often says things that results in me thinking, “wow, I never knew that... tell me more!"
(c) He bashfully loves our puppy Otto and spends so much time playing and cuddling him… I smell a dad in the making.
Three things I don’t love (as much) about B:
(a) A basketball obsession, which equates to endless ear chewing facts about the Toronto Raptors, of which my care factor is less than good. Of course I listen though, and nod, and occasionally say things like “wow!” and “really?” But mostly, I'm not listening all that much.
(b) I can’t think of anything else right now! (Can I have more ‘things I love’??)
4. I have this weird thing where I can Latin dance really well.
When I was around 18 years old I thought I wanted to be a professional dancer (don't worry, the kind with clothes) and I was doing ‘street funk’ classes five nights a week. One evening I accidentally wandered into a Latin dance class, and the Peruvian teacher offered me a job at the end of the lesson. With no Latin blood (except in a past life, I’m convinced) I picked up the rhythm like a local, and have never looked back. I went on to perform and teach salsa, and think I’m truly at my happiest on a salsa dance floor.
5. I love it when I get goose bumps.
Oh and not in the “I’m cold” sense, I hate that. I’m not sure why the same bodily reaction can happen when something moves you, inspires you, or resonates with you on a cellular level. It intrigues me. When I’m listening to a song lyric or watching a film and goose bumps dance up the side of my body, I feel like I've been touched by something from another world. God? Maybe.
6. Reading books has made me the person I am.
I was one of those kids who grew up with their nose in a book. I remember stacked under the back window of our car was a library of books for me to pick out and read, even if we were just driving to the corner store. I was allowed to take my Enid Blyton and Babysitters Club books to outings, rather than have to play with the other kids if I didn’t want to (what a snob, ha!). But I believe the imagination found only in books has taught me everything I know and made me a better writer.
7. I only have one more goal in life.
This sounds strange and a little morbid, I know. Only one more goal?? But I kind of like that I have removed all pressure from myself (as I am prone to becoming a pressure cooker at times). About five years ago I sat down and said to myself: Natalie, there are only two things in life that you will really regret if you never do. 1. Live overseas for awhile (tick!). 2. Have a child. So now that I’ve packed up and moved to China, I only have one more goal in life. Which will come when it’s ready. The rest is just a bonus.