Wow.. Where to start?
A full mix of emotions come up when I talk about this trip to HK. Let’s just say it was ‘hectic’. The perfect word that sums up organised chaos, hard work yet fun!
Let me start of with the packing for this trip. As a start, to get ready for this ‘workation’, I spent 2 days packing for the whole family and getting the house ‘vacation’ ready. And yes, I did it all by myself. Why? Because hubby was away in London and would touch down Sydney the morning we fly out to HK. So all was left to me to pack and prepare. Needless to say, I was already pretty over the anticipation of the ‘holiday’ by the time I had squeezed the last luggage and zipped it up! Exhausted and sweating like a mad dog, I was determined to make the most out of the trip.
How naïve of me….
The first mistake we made is to take a red-eye flight with a 3 month old. The flight itself was fine. And so was the baby. The only thing that was not fine was the ‘Put on your seat belt’ signal. It was as if the pilot was playing with the switch. It was on, it was off. It was on, it was off. Every single time it went on, the air hostess would force me to lift my peaceful, sleeping newborn from the bassinet and turn him in the crying monster who wakes everyone while he is strapped into his seatbelt onto me. For the first couple of times, I kept returning Noah into the bassinet. But after I realised the Pilot was having a time of his life switching that darn light on and off, when clearly the only turbulence anyone was experiencing was from the roaring of my baby, I decided it was a bad idea to lift him in and out of the bassinet. I decided to just have him on my lap for the rest of the flight. Needless to say, we landed in HK at the early hours with me being the crankiest person on the plane.
At that point, the only thing I was looking forward to was a fluffy hotel bed with crisp white bed sheets. Yes, that was all part of my imagination. Forget the crisp bed sheets. What I was about to face was the second part of the nightmare for that day…
To save ourselves money, we had decided to stay in my Father-in-Law’s vacant, untenanted, one-bedroom apartment. Did I say ‘vacant’ with enough conviction!? We arrive the Kornhill apartment at 6.30am. Voilà! No furniture, no kettle (I don’t remember how we managed to deal with a crying baby with no kettle to make his formula milk). As much as I was very thankful for a place to stay for free, it also came at a cost (not just of buying some simple furniture) but no housekeeping. This meant that, with my OCD tendencies, I had to spend the morning wiping down the apartment with one piece of cloth that I had managed to find in my luggage. And this is with a baby and a 6 year old in the background.
Oh did I forget to mention that Willie had to leave us on the day we arrive to Macau for a 2-day sales conference? Now, if you think Single Motherhood is hard, I can’t agree more. But I tell you what…a single mum would never think of travelling with two kids like this. A single mum would hardly have to clean, wash, pack for another man…I would hope!
So here goes…the start of my 17-day ‘holiday’…..
Over the course of the next few days, I manage to book out EVERY SINGLE lunch and dinner that I had in HK to meet with family and friends. It was expected of, given I hadn’t been back in a while. Plus I have a new addition to the family that everyone wants to meet. It was also my spiritual year of ‘reconciliation’. I had made a commitment reconcile with as many friends as possible, especially fellow brothers and sisters in Christ. Honouring this commitment made it twice as hard in that setting, I guess. Nonetheless, I managed.
Yes, I managed. We managed.
We managed to go to Sunday church service at the most amazing church – Island ECC. This is one of the highlights of the trip, I have to say!
We managed to see all the friends and family who wanted to see us, bar a few whom we will remember to prioritise on our next visit* (*If we EVER visit in these settings again! LOL)
I managed to go into the HK office to visit colleagues, some of which who had no idea I was on maternity leave still. But that’s fine.
Willie managed to ‘fail to let his wife know it was a workation’ but that’s ok. I got over it easily, only vowing to bring a nanny next time or NEVER GET ON A PLANE WITH THE KIDS ALONE AGAIN!
Willie and I managed not to rip each other’s head apart, living in a cramped 1 bedder with high stress levels hanging above our heads and in the hustle and bustle of HK.
We managed to fit in a side trip to Taiwan and enjoy a little romantic getaway.
We managed to fit in Disneyland with Seth.
We managed to get the whole family sick but still survived our flight back home.
Finally, we managed to have some fun. Boy, are we glad to be home….
End of Story.