Friday, March 18, 2005

Early mornings

Three days a week I start work at 8am instead of 9. An hour makes an amazing difference, the streets are quiet and I can walk a straight line down Nathan Rd. If I'm in a rush and need to catch the MTR I know that I'll be able to fit easily inside the carriage.

Chungking just before eight is deserted, save for a few businessmen standing around drinking tea from either of two small stalls. One of the stalls is Pakistani run and at that time in the morning they play out the Muslim call to prayer, presumably for those on their way to Kowloon Mosque up the road.

As I walked past the stall yesterday I remembered sitting in the rooftop restaurant of my favourite hotel in Old Delhi, opposite the Jama Masjid. I'm not sure when I'll be back there next but I would like it to be sometime soon.

I noticed yesterday that the range of Urdu romance novels under the stall counter includes one with a picture on the cover of Angelina Jolie, hero to all refugee workers. I'm sure that she hasn't given permission for that!

The romantic theme continued when I arrived at work and found one of our French speaking clients at the door. He was eager to use the internet and called me to help him understand an email in English that he'd just recieved. The email really surprised me because this guy doesn't speak any English at all...

Dear ______

I have just arrived back in London. I want to tell you you how much I enjoyed spending time with you in Hong Kong. I miss you already.

love ______

Hmm. I was reminded again of travel in India and all the times I was asked 'will my foreign girlfriend come back and take me to England like she promised?'.

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