It took about two or three days for me to adapt to the life in Hong Kong. The hot water bath, strong air con and all the sophisticated facilities, which turned strange to me as I had left here for such a long time. I still remember the first day in the Philippines–the tiny airport, children playing on the seashore ,the fierce heat of the sun and the first time we took the pump boat.
It was really tough to say goodbye. Mario’s eyes turned red when we got on the jeepney. Mario and his daughter are silent people. Though I stayed at his place for more than three weeks, I do no know him very well. The only time that we had a long conversation was the day before his wedding ceremony with her wife. He drank a lot and became talkative. He used to work in Manila as a tricycle driver but the competition there was so fierce that he returned to Guimaras later. He was permissive about life on this island and complaint about the difficulty to earn money here. He said that he would not marry again as he loved his wife so much. Similarly, our neighbor Lala said the same thing about her husband. Because I am still a young woman, it was striking for me to know the love between husband and wife.
I used to dislike Iloilo City due to the awful experience on the day I lost my phone. I hate the rainy days. The jeepney driver will close the window when it is raining, which makes me feel suffocated. But during the last week, I start to feel the kindness of people here. Lala’s friends helped me to buy back my phone from the snatcher. And on a rainy night, a lady shared her umbrella with me and asked to take care of myself in the city. On the last night in Iloilo, I borrowed a pen from another customer in Starbucks to keep my diary. He was so considerate that he gave me another new pen because he noticed that there was little ink in the previous one. We had a nice talk afterwards and he introduced a lot about the Philippines. In China and Hong Kong , we rarely got the chance to have a conversation with strangers and people were cautious about talking to strangers. Here, people are very friendly to foreigners.
I also had a good time with my teammate. It was a good opportunity to get to know Hong Kong local students and student from Taiwan. We discussed a lot about political issues and the relation between Hong Kong and mainland China. We also exchanged our opinions on the strike in Taiwan and Brexit.
Sometimes I missed the simple life on Guimaras. During the stay in Guimaras, I came to realize the society imposes so many falsified needs on people living in the city. We can live without fancy clothes and sophisticated facilities. This trip is the escape from the consuming society. We escaped from various form of advertisements in Hong Kong.