I’m still here.

RIP Lincoln.

Maintaining a blog is quite hard, especially if one’s laptop is dead. (Like, dismembered. Maimed. See photo, above.) I’m actually blogging from my phone right now. What a time to be alive!

So what’s been going on in my life? I’ve been jamming it up with my band. We’ve got two songs now, though we’re still in the process of finalizing one of them. I can’t wait to share!

Band practice in Yau Ma Tei, photo by Jeames B.

Like Like issue #3 is in the works. Issue #2 is making its rounds around the States. Vincent James took us to the LA Zine Fest, then to Portland! Soon he’ll be at the Boston Zine Fest and Austin for his birthday in November. We’ve gotten a lot of great feedback and encouragement so that’s been rad.

Like Like Zine at Portland Zine Symposium, photo by Vincent James.

I can’t remember if I mentioned this on the blog or not, but Vincent James and I also have a podcast called Mutually Awkward. We just hit our 40th episode and had our first podcast-versary one month ago. Wee!

As for Hong Kong,

I think I’m ready to close this chapter. The past year has been quite tough. The place itself isn’t as convenient as I made it out to be. Hong Kong can be unforgiving and relentless. The summers feel like hell on earth. And sometimes the convenience can end up being a negative factor. For example, everything is opened late so I stay out later. I always find something to do; I’m always busy. I come home at 10pm on average and stay up til 1 or 2am so I can squeeze in a bit of me time before I have to work the next morning.

image

When I tell this to others, locals and expats both nod in agreement. “Yep, that’s Hong Kong,” they say. “That’s life.”

Well, I don’t want this to be my life anymore.

View from the office. Lucerne, Switzerland.

I traveled for work earlier this summer to London and Switzerland. The latter was a literal breath of fresh air, the complete opposite of Hong Kong: wide open spaces, beautiful scenic views abound, the absolute best drinkable tap water. I woke up with a smile on my face every morning and actually skipped to work. “I want this life,” I thought to myself everyday.

Chelsea Arts Club, London.

And then there’s London, my dream city. By no means is it an easy place to live, but the overarching response by expats who have lived there was, “It was the hardest time of my life, but it was also the best time of my life.” London has everything I love, from the clothes to the free museums and art galleries, to the food and the fact that it is a truly international city. Londoners seem to be more accepting towards foreigners; I hardly experienced any racism at all. (I mean, of course racism is everywhere, but it isn’t as obvious as it is in the U.S.)

I don’t know. There are pros and cons to every place. Perhaps there is no point in making comparisons. It’s just this: I’m done. I’m tired. I want to move on.

But, to end on a positive note (because I’m playing a game with a friend where I must think of a positive for every negative complaint I have), this is why I’m back on the blog: to remind myself that Hong Kong isn’t a sick, sad world.

Me, having fun with friends.

+++

The main criticism of social media is that people only post the pretty pictures, not the ugly, boring, behind-the-scenes realities of life. It’s deemed to be fake and unfaithful to the human experience, that it’s depressing to see everyone else having a good time, all the time.

However, what’s wrong with only painting the fairer picture? Truth be told, when I’m feeling a bit blue, I often scroll through my Instagram to reflect upon the fun times I had or the yummy things I ate. Yes, I’m projecting a filtered reality, but I took the picture and it did happen. If a couple of likes from my friends can make me feel smug and proud of myself for a few seconds, I’ll take it. (Then there’s the argument that we’ve turned into a narcissistic society, where our self-worth has become reliant on praise, but, whatever.)

To counter this, my social media life isn’t all Vscocam edits and Instagram filters. Have you seen my twitter? It’s the polar opposite, but I find it quite satisfying to tweet-cry into the endless void that is Twitter when I’m sad and/or drunk.

Anyway, I’m back.

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2 responses to “I’m still here.

  1. Hey there. I found your blog a couple of years ago after seeing the movie Drive, searching for its soundtrack online, and finding your personal mix of Drive-like music. I stayed because we both liked Elliott Smith, because we lived on opposite sides of the US (now on opposite sides of the world), and because you have had a life that’s massively different from mine and interesting and beautiful — even if you feel like the life you’ve been portraying has been portrayed unfairly, with the good parts highlighted and the bad parts passed over. The posts are still full of you-ness and that’s what I subscribed for. I’m glad that you’ve got a record of all of the wonderful things about Hong Kong — it seems to me that it’s better to be able to spread those wonderful things around you and know that life has been rich, than to have a completely perfect and accurate record that gets you down on yourself and doesn’t help make your current life better. The good things have merit. It’s okay to cherish them and move on.
    Or whatever I dunno something less sentimental than that but still just as true

    Anyway. I have no imagination for what life must be like for you in Hong Kong, but if somewhere else is calling you, then by god, go there. Don’t let the opportunity for joy pass you by. You’ll make it, I know it. I know it.

    • Hi Katee! I am very touched by your comment. Thank you for writing to me. I really needed that. I forgot about the Drive post, my Ryan Gosling review theme, and even that I made a playlist! I revisited that post and it made me very happy because I had a lot of fun doing it.

      Thanks for reading my blog and I’m very happy that you were able to see things that I’d forgotten. I didn’t write for awhile because I feared my “travel blog” would turn into an anti-travel blog because I’d been sad for awhile, but yes, I completely agree, I’d rather write about my experience honestly than not writing at all.

      If you have a blog or anything like that please link me! :) have a great day.

      – Jeane

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