Pride of Place: A series in which teaching staff and students from the English Department reflect on a place in Hong Kong. [Read all entries.] [Revisit the “Pet Sounds” series.] [Revisit the “Headspace” series.] [Revisit the “Ongoing” series.] [Revisit the “Interrogative” series.]
Kowloon Park—the less glamorous yet much more soulful sister of Hong Kong Park, the neighbour of cha chaan tengs with the smell of pineapple buns wafting through the air, neighbourhood bars where people actually go to hang out, and the HMV selling CDs and other things—will always be the queen of my heart.
She was where I learnt to swim, where I had my first kiss on a bench a stone’s throw away from the pools. Because of my attachment to these two defining moments, for many years I only set foot in that particular area of the park, trying to relive my eternal summers.
On my birthday in 2016 it dawned on me that to not visit other parts of the park was akin to calling yourself a Tina Turner fan but knowing only her hit “What’s Love Got to Do with It”
. So I took a detour in the park and walked all the way to The Royal Pacific Hotel & Towers—along the route I came across the pond where all the flamingos strutted their stuff and these lovely creatures with impossibly slender legs all unwittingly celebrated my birthday with me.
The moral of the story, my story, is, if you don’t go after the flamingos, they won’t come to you. A life in pink won’t be handed to you—all your petals need to be earned—and you are on your way to having a flower named after you, like Tina Turner.
Victoria Ip is a Hong Kong Baptist University graduate (Class of 2005). [Read all entries by Victoria here.]