Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Top Of The World

I'm standing at the window of the world's tallest bar, drinking a gimlet with my best friends and a world traveler. The view was spectacular- all of Hong Kong spread out underneath you, with a light breeze and some ambient music. It's kind of awe-inspiring, and it's not just the gin putting words in my mouth. We gathered there, in the lower atmosphere, to celebrate the birthday of one of our beloved Austrians. Passed the Ritz-Carlton's beautiful lobby, into the Willy Wonka-designed elevator, up to the top of the world, where the air is rarefied.
A drink here will set you back couple bills, no doubt about that. But amid the well-dressed rout that is our revelers, we get something that I've been waiting for since I've arrived: an expat. Or something similar. We get to talking with a gentleman about San Francisco, and find out his story. Microsoft-employed, with company shares coming out of his ears, on a world tour for a few months while on a break, given to him by the company in order to relocate his family to Toronto. In between buying me and my compadres drinks- no small feat, trust me- he gives us some pointers about life. Not every one is a jewel, but there's definitely perspective to be had. I came to Hong Kong in search of experience, and a little bit of a bigger picture in life, and people like this guy help me get that.

I'm going to Thailand. I know, I know, I haven't even scratched the surface of Hong Kong and I'm jumping ship, but it's only for a week. Our school cuts us a break for a few days at the end of the month, and I'm taking the opportunity to expand my horizons a little bit more. See what the land of delicious chili sauce and kickboxing can do for me.
I'll spend a week in that country, checking out temples, eating noodles, and (hopefully) petting some monkeys.
At the end of the day, I just really want to pet a monkey.
The highlight of the trip is the Full Moon Party, an aptly named celebration of that lunar phenomenon, held on a small island. Characterized by absolute insanity. I have no idea what I'm getting myself into, but it's one of those incredible experiences that I think I should have now.

But I really just want to pet a monkey.

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