This is very strange, being in Hong Kong. I feel as if I am in some sort of time warp. Although Hong Kong is now a part of China, it was a British Colony up until very recently, 1997. There are still many reminders of its colonial past. Not least of these reminders are some of the street names. The other day, in my search for the Shin Hwa Art Gallery, I was looking for Aberdeen Street. I traversed other streets with names from Hong Kong’s illustrious colonial past – Connaught Road Central, Queen’s Road Central, Queen Victoria Street. I waited for the bus at Edinburgh Place. In the course of the day, I passed other landmarks, the Hong Kong Jockey Club, the Hong Kong Cricket Club, St. John’s Anglican Cathedral. The list could go on and on.
Yesterday Baby Girl was born in Matilda Hospital high above Hong Kong. Matilda Hospital, another relic from the past. Matilda, for whom the hospital is named, lived here in the 1800’s. And when I entered the room where the baby was sleeping I felt I was stepping back in time to the late 1800’s or early 1900’s. The hospital has been completely modernised but there was just something about the room and its design that made me feel I was in an earlier era.
view of Hong Kong from the balcony of Baby Girl’s room at the Matilda Hospital, the Peak,
The room has nooks and crannies and an overhead fan of antique appearance.
My other “roll back the years” experience today was of a different nature. It was roll back the years to my years teaching in International Schools – in Bangladesh, Ghana, and Kenya. There are many International Schools here in Hong Kong and places are at a premium. Our 4 year old granddaughter has been accepted for a place next September at the Canadian International School. But today was swimming lesson day and I had a chance to see a bit of the school. When I was in my early 40’s I taught at the American International School in Dhaka and our 3 sons were pupils. Now here I am, in my 70’s in Hong Kong watching my 40 year old son guiding our 3 year old grandson having his swimming lesson in the pool at the Canadian International School. A much bigger school than the one in Dhaka in 1978-83, but still the flavour of an International School for the ex- pat community of this generation.