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EARLY MORNING THOUGHTS

It was one of the stranger days in a series of many strange days where many of us were keeping quiet about the many uncertainties in life in Hong Kong we were experiencing. 


It was lunch time and four of us had met at the Grand Cafe of the Grand Hyatt Hotel which is right downstairs from where I live in a very convenient service apartment. 


The HK Rugby Sevens had taken place for the last time at the iconic Hong Kong stadium over the weekend, its home for many years. 


The next year, the hugely popular event is to move to the new and much larger stadium in Kai Tak. 


Most of Hong Kong side seems to be moving to Kowloon side. 


Hong Kong had always disliked change. We are creatures of habit and I couldn’t help thinking about what was going on in the heads of the four of us at the table- two Hong Kong born guys, a Filipino and myself. 


We got along and talked about a number of things- the horse racing at Happy Valley later that evening, the crumbs of a music scene in Hong Kong, ageism and, I guess, what each of us were really thinking about: What next? 


There was so much, we were keeping to ourselves. 


Me, I was still thinking that there were still ways to change things around, but it was a ping pong match as I didn’t think the city could change for the better.


It had gone over the precipice and nothing could put Humpty Dumpty together again. 


My mind was on fast forward and also on reverse and I was missing the girl I married though other women had come and gone and there were life lessons to be learned from each. 


As for the daughter we had, well, our relationship was sprinkled throughout this journography and she exists but she and her family are no longer part of my life. I don’t think we ever were.


But, Trina, well she is a protected species and a good person that the other Hans had hurt beyond repair. 


I don’t know what the others were thinking about, but I am sure it had to do with the uncertainties of life in a city that was trying to be positive, but I don’t think any of us were buying it. 


None of us were twenty anymore and though not exactly “old old”, and there were many things I believe I could do to help make things happen and turn things around, here I was in a very different Hong Kong that I saw lost and caught up in a Groundhog Day and lacking inspiration and motivation and the ingredients to drag it out of the mire. 


I had been to the top of the mountain and now here I was feeling like the only one on that mountain and with only my mobile phone for company. 


Where was any of this leading to and who was going to buy into anything of substance when most had given up and were about to bail out of whatever they were doing? 


Expats were always able to retire. Not Asians. We were as young as we felt which had its good and bad points. 


One could be a cockeyed optimist and believe that everything will work out without doing the mathematics in real time. 


Others could just sit and worry.


I knew that what I don’t want to do is regress and start from scratch. 


I had come too far down the road to turn back and try to make things happen with those no longer in my circle of life. 


That night I read that someone had created some new record riding winners at the races and I thought how meaningless this was. Who cared? 


Same with anything in horse racing. It was and is only a minor distraction from what really matters in life. 


It’s coming up to 5am and I have been jotting down these thoughts to help me work out that road map that lies ahead.


These are times that are incredibly difficult and also exciting and boring as hell and where that Big Picture is somewhere playing hide and seek with me.

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We certainly had a tumultuous relationship, but what we never told each other enough was how much we meant to each other and maybe how we kept our feelings hid. Kristine and I were both divorced and n

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