When I first starting writing GOOD CHINESE WIFE, I thought the natural starting point of the story should include my first year in Hong Kong. Or at the very least I figured it had to be included in this book. It was my first impression of Hong Kong, after all.
But after many rounds of revisions (for myself and for the independent editors I worked with; this was way before I found an agent and publisher), I fast forwarded four years and started the story after I had moved back to Hong Kong for grad school.
So I thought I would show some photos from my very first week in Hong Kong. I had two sets of these photos developed and sent one to my parents in Evanston, Illinois.
This is my dorm room. I shared it with two final year students who are still close friends today. My desk, wardrobe, and little storage cabinets for toiletries. We kept hot water in that thermos for tea or just drinking plain hot water Hong Kong-style.
And here’s my bed and bookshelf:
This is the window in our room and a corner of the room occupied by one of my roommates:
The scene outside our window:
And the door of our room. The dorm gave us a few rolls of toilet paper each month, which you can see on the box to the left of the door. My bathing suit is hanging on a door hook. I would swim almost every day the university pool was open, from April through November.
Here’s the pool:
My dorm was on the top of a mountain. This is the view of the middle part of the mountain I would see before I started the steep descent every morning to my Chinese classes at the foot of the mountain.
My exchange program took 70 of us around Hong Kong that week. Here I am at the popular China lookout of the time (Lok Ma Chau).
In those early days I never thought I would find my way around Hong Kong.