Guest post by Lannie of Lannie’s Food and Travel
Let me set the scene: 2019. It’s a hot summer’s day in Hong Kong.
There are regular recurring pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong during this time. Many people were staying home and staying off the streets. I had to go travel to Hong Kong during this uncertainty to conduct research for my thesis.
I planned to meet some fellow travel bloggers for lunch. On my way there, I would stop by Tai Cheong Bakery in Wan Chai to pick up some famous egg tarts. I’ve been to Hong Kong (and this neighbourhood) many times and the bustling energy and familiarity of this neighbourhood immediately pulsed through me.
With Wan Chai’s colourful buildings all around, I saw the bakery in front of me and a cable car throttling toward me. I paused to take a photo of this quintessential Hong Kong scene.
Just as I did, a man wearing a white shirt, black pants, sunglasses and a strange farmers hat for the streets of Hong Kong, yelled something at me in Cantonese (which I don’t understand). And as he walked passed me, he SPAT IN MY FACE.
Saliva was rolling down my face, in my hair, and on my clothes. I stood there in absolute shock. I was stunned into inaction.
I popped into the closest shop and asked for a tissue to wipe myself, feeling disgusted, violated, confused.
To this day, I literally don’t know what it was about.
Was it that I was wearing black (associated with protestors) and he was wearing white (potentially associated with the “white shirt mobs” who beat protestors…)? Or was it because I was taking photos, and he thought I was taking a photo of him?
So, how did the rest of my day turn out? Actually, delightful.
From the incident, I continued on to the bakery and bought my egg tarts. Their value and necessity as a delightful treat have never been higher. I went back to my hotel to shower and change clothes.
Then I made the decision to visit my favourite (chain) restaurant for dinner – Ding Tai Fung. Armed with a full plan of self-care and a positive attitude, I was now ready to put this behind me and move forward. Tomorrow is always a new day.
This incident taught me some very important things. Life is always uncertain. For a solo traveller, that uncertainty rises given a variety of factors.
But, you can’t let the bad get to you. Bad things will happen, and you’ll be upset, but you’re in control of how you lift yourself out of this.
The glass half empty person sees this day as the day I got spat on and assaulted on the streets of Hong Kong. Sure, that definitely happened. But I don’t want this incident to define the whole day or the whole trip.
So I turned this incident into a day where I met wonderful new friends for the first time, ate my favorite meal in the world (xiao long baos, or juicy pork buns!) and the dessert I came to Hong Kong for! And that’s my glass half full memory of the day.
Lannie is a full-time aid worker and part-time food and travel writer. She often travels alone to random corners of the world to learn about new cultures and eat everything in sight! Lannie is actively engaged in the travel blogging community, co-hosting the weekly #TravelBlogTuesday chat on Twitter. She is also an amateur photographer, full-time coffee drinker, budding baker, and obsessed with Scotland.
Website: Lannie’s Food & Travel Adventures