Tuesday, May 22, 2012

A moment in Hong Kong

Otherworldly view
Hong Kong, China
May 2012

Please note: These photos support this week's Thematic theme, "far from home." If you'd like to share your own vision from far away - and we hope you do! - just click here.
The scene: A glass-enclosed airport terminal - one of the largest ever built - halfway around the world from home. We've been disgorged into Hong Kong's Chek Lap Kok Airport after a 15-plus-hour flight from Toronto. We're 12 time zones ahead of the folks at home, so it's already the next morning.

We've got a few hours before our final flight takes us to our final destination of Shanghai, so our little group settles into the almost-deserted, too-comfy-for-words place. This is how all public spaces should be built, and I think a few hours isn't nearly enough to enjoy this stunning piece of architecture built on reclaimed land in the middle of a bay, surrounded by some of the most unreal topography we've ever seen. I pinch myself a few times to make sure it's all real.

Thankfully, there's ample power - thanks, Apple, for making the power adapter thing super-easy - and free Wi-Fi, so we all pull out our laptops and connect with the world we left behind. Once I boot up and get back online - sweet, sweet connectivity - I ping my wife all those miles away and, sure enough, she's there. In a few minutes, she's gathered the munchkins around the webcam and we're talking via Skype as if I'd never left. At one point, our daughter fetches the dog and holds him up for a cameo. It feels like I'm home, my inability to reach through the screen and touch them the only tipoff that so much distance now separates us.

As we idly chat about what I've missed since I left home and what the kids have planned for the rest of the week, I slowly circle the terminal to give them a sense of what it's like here. It doesn't take long before the kids have to get ready for bed, but already I feel as if they have, at least in spirit, gotten to experience some of this journey with me. Before we sign off, we decide technology is a truly miraculous thing, but I still wish we could reach through the screen.

Your turn: When you're far from home, what little tricks, techie or not, do you use to stay close to those who matter most?


Lisa Shafer said...

Wow. That IS a great shot.

H said...

I either see things through the eyes of those I love/miss, or I think about how much they would like or hate a particular place. I like to make plans to bring people back to my vacation spots, or at least tell them what they would love to do if they ever go. My kids especially enjoy to hear my stories and how I thought of them while I was doing something silly like eating lunch or walking by a park.

Galen Pearl said...

What a great use of technology to stay connected. I confess that other than occasional email, I am off the grid when I'm away.

mmp said...

....photos in a frame...fabric....candles....a book....postcards and stamps....