Lost in Hong Kong: Laura’s Travels

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Laura Anderson, Assistant News Editor

When you’re sitting around having a chat with your friends, embarrassing stories are bound to be told. Some of the best stories usually involve drunken escapades or getting utterly lost and finding this super cool place that no one knows yet.

While visiting my friend in Hong Kong, I got lost.

Not just the “Oh I’m on the wrong side of the street so everything looks different,” kind of lost. I’m talking about the “I have no idea where I’m at and “it’s really dark outside” kind of lost. I was in a foreign country, it started drizzling and I was by myself. I was riding the bus to lord knows where and hadn’t the faintest idea where I was. I don’t consider myself too much of a crier, but I was ready to let a few tears loose by the time this was over. I’m being honest when I say that I’ve never been so scared in my life.

Hong Kong is a country made up of islands with cities built around forests, and it’s freakin’ huge. It’s a pretty strange dynamic because random growths of trees peek around skyscrapers that are built on the sides of mountains. Let me tell you right now, there are a lot of buildings and they all look damn near the same. They have the same garish bright lights and façades, but they are just different sized and maybe a bit more decrepit looking.

After the fourth day of being in Hong Kong, I decided to adventure off and take a day-trip by myself. With my friend being at work all day, I was tired of bumming on her couch. So I decided to go to The Peak, which is kind of an overlook of Hong Kong and its surrounding islands.

My travels went rather smoothly. I went to the right bus stops and switched to the right one I was supposed to be on. An hour and a half later, I reached The Peak and it was gorgeous.

The trees surrounding were lush and green, and the buildings were starting to turn their Christmas lights on. I could see the boats in the harbor and watch planes fly overhead while I was away from it all. The endless noise that a big city has was just a murmur from where I was standing. It started spitting rain and it got kind of dark. It was a serene place near the bustling city.

After I left, I got on the right bus and it all started out well. I got off at the right spot, and I thought I was on the right bus, but, boy, was I wrong.

I was waiting for familiar surroundings and bus stops, but they were getting awfully strange, and the sun went down. I was by a bay filled with boats and the drizzling misty rain was caking my glasses. I was lost, which was one of my fears of solo travel.

I was biting my lip so hard trying not to cry and let myself feel helpless about my situation, but I caved. I let the helplessness wash over me like the rain outside, but I refused to let myself cry because, damnit, I didn’t want people to see my shame. I had too much pride to ask for help.

After walking around and only getting myself even more confused, I let my pride go and I asked for help from an old lady working in the 7/11 I was loitering by.

She couldn’t have been any sweeter, and she spoke English really well (BONUS!). She led me outside by the arm and pointed out where I needed to go, and even told me what bus to take. In my emotionally overdriven state, I thanked her for everything and almost started crying again.

I finally reached my friend’s apartment and flopped on the couch, relieved to be back after that hellish all-day journey.

Sometimes, I think you need to get lost to really find out where you’re going. Yeah, it’s scary. Yeah, you could cry (more than a few times like myself). But a lot of things could happen. The only way to really get to know a city is by losing yourself and finding your way back home even if it takes all day.