There are those who have it in them, and those who don’t. And if you have a bug in you like me, you should know what I am going through right now. My Samsonite softcase is flung open on the floor, with a few pieces of clothes thrown in. I always do this two or three weeks before my departure, in order to ensure I keep clothes from being left in dirty laundry at the last minute, and to avoid other things I remembered to take with me being left unpacked in the rush of things at the last minute. My Canon is due for its regular service at an authorised service lab in Osaka so I purchased a tiny backup camera, which had already been delivered and waiting for my old room at my parents’. Passport, membership cards, train pre-paid ticket, notes from a few different countries I plan to cover during the holidays are piled up on my desk. I could just call for a cab to take me to the airport in the morning if I could. I’m ready to go. The bug is moving around, wanting to get some action, telling me it is in the travel mode. The travel bug is awake again.

After traveling once or twice a year for so many years, packing for a departure becomes a routine. But I never get tired of it. Fortunately I have avoided jobs that took me away, so going to the airport is always a positive thing for me. It does not mean a meeting with jet lag. I’m excited just thinking about how I’d change my watch to the destination time zone as soon as the plane takes off. This is one of the best ways to adjust your body clock – start living the destination time as early as you can. I look forward to that refreshing shower at the connecting airport. I avoid a longhaul, over-10-hour flights whenever I can, and take a stop-over or a long waiting at the connecting airport instead. That gives me time to have a good long shower at airport shower room, put on new clothes and feel refreshed for another half day in the pressured cabin.

This time I’m heading to my hometown first. I have from 3pm till midnight in HK for connection, for which I have no plans. Friday night in HK. Is there any good place for cheap dinner and a bit of walk, somewhere not very far from the airport? Or maybe I’ll just sit in the airport and read a book all that time. Then back to check in, shower room, and to another plane. The next morning, I’ll be landing in that messy expanse of Osaka.

I wonder how Osaka feels like this time. Will it have its new face to show me? Perhaps the redevelopment of the central Umeda area has made its progress? Maybe there are new shopping malls? Maybe I rediscover the beauty in the oldest shrine in town? Have I grown and matured as an artist, a photogrpaher, a traveler and have I become more stranger in what used to be my most familiar place? I could use that perspective, a bit of outsider’s eye point in my image making. Can I somehow disconnect myself from that reality, yet having the status as a local therefore stepping into the life as locals should?

See, one week out, and I’m already so excited. And I haven’t even talked about Korea. Lonely Planet has not arrived from the Book Depository although it should soon be arriving at my door any day. Let’s save the talk about my ideas for Korea till next post… in the mean time, if you have suggestions and tips for Hong Kong, especially for that 9-hour connection, please let me know in comments. I’d very much appreciate it!

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