My favourite memories growing up in Discovery Bay, Hong Kong

I woke up this morning thinking about my childhood and how fortunate I was to have had such a stress free one. While my worst years were definitely my teenage ones (and my god, did I have a bad time during high school) ,the memories of my childhood aren’t the slightest bit tainted (apart from a few times I should’ve been sent to anger management – sorry sis!).

Growing up in Discovery Bay, Hong Kong. My friends and I got up to some pretty weird shit as I’m sure all children do. Here are my top 6 FAVOURITE childhood memories.

1.Typhoon chasing. While most parents around the world wouldn’t exactly suggest going out to play in a typhoon 8, my friends and I thought of ourselves as extreme storm chasers. To me, there was nothing more fun than running around the beach with sand being catapulted into our faces by the strong winds and dodging branches that were falling off trees…and don’t get me started on the adventures we had discovering the aftereffects of major typhoons.

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2. Garden Funerals. Somehow our family and our best family friends (who also happened to live directly above us) found ourselves with a new specie of animal every single week. During one year, between the two families, we had homed 6 rabbits, a budgie, a pihrana, a snake, a chameleon, fish and a kitten..oh and don’t forget the various rats I had ‘saved’ from being eaten by the snake. Now, over the next 3 years, we had many funerals. My poor parents had to politely sit through our tailor made funeral services without laughing. We would line up rows and rows of chairs for every single one of our toys, write out programs and sing a few songs. I don’t know how they did it…

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3. Slip & Slide. If you’re reading this and grew up in Hong Kong, I’m sure you’ve experienced at least one Junk trip where the top deck has been decked out in soap. My friends and I would spend our weekends sliding up and down our balcony, collecting large amount of bruises on the way. Being as cool as we were, we even hosted competitions to see which person could slide down our balcony the quickest and then discussed how they had managed to do so (ptttccchh, practicing physics at such a young age.)

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4. Tree houses. After growing up watching Home Improvement (Jonathan Taylor Thomas – what a babe), there was nothing we wanted more than our own tree house. We would spend our weekends rummaging through disease ridden dumpsters in the search for materials which could help build our very own cubbies. Somehow my street friends and I even managed to get a large couch up into a tree once and even though the next day, those bastard security guards always wrecked our prized tree houses, nothing would stop us from rebuilding. To this day, I still feel a slight resentment towards them guards.

5. Christingle on Christmas Eve. My family & I aren’t the slightest bit religious but for some reason , my mother enjoyed bringing us to christingle whilst my dad made up any excuse not to go. For those who have never been, it pretty much involves singing carols and watching christians reenact the birth of Jesus. Now, there was only one reason I and any other DB kid went and that was Gummy Bears. Sweet sweet gummy bears. You were given a orange with a red ribbon around it, sweets and a lit candle which was meant to represent jesus, the world, and the love and blood of christ. Being the cheeky little rats that we were, we would steal a mountain of these oranges and eat the gummy bears off them in the bathrooms. From a young age, my sister, our best friend and I liked to take the piss out of people. I will never forget the time my mate opted to be part of the ‘re-enactment’, wearing a donkeys costume 5 sizes too small, bearing his bum in front of hundreds of Christians and laughing while dancing around half naked. The whole room went rather quiet except for my hyena like laugh…and thanks to him, I think that was the last time our mothers brought us. I still think of gummy bears and oranges every christmas.

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6. Lantern Festival (Which is coming up this weekend!! ) For the locals, Lantern Fest (also known as Mid- Autumn festival) consist of devouring moon cakes (I still won’t go near one) with families and friends and purchasing pretty lanterns made out of tissue paper. But to expats, it merely involves large amounts of drinking and spending the majority of the night trying to get glow stick goo out of your eyes. As a child, I thought the beach on Lantern festival was the closest I could get to magic. We were left to build sand castles with little red candles, run around trying to flirt with the boys whilst dodging fire and building up our glow stick bracelet collections. To this day, I still get excited to see the amount of glow sticks and flickering lights that our beach will display. Nearly 23 and I would rather watch the children of DB running around as excited as I used to be than go out and get shitfaced.

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Happy (half way through the week) Wednesday :)

K.

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