Monday, 3 June 2013

The planets have aligned

Embarking on a 12 day detox appeared to be the stimulant to positive changes here in Hong Kong.  On day one of detox I received a phone call offering me a job with a large international PR agency which I was really hoping I would get.  Suddenly a huge weight was lifted from both David and my shoulders both in terms of alleviating looming money issues, but also allowing us to put down our roots here and start making plans.  So while David has been investigating joining Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club, I've been busy buying organic groceries from the upmarket supermarkets, getting my highlights done, buying good quality hair and skin products and checking out gym memberships!

As I was patting myself on the back for being offered a job I received another phone call.  This time it was the spa at The Mandarin Oriental telling me that a friend had bought me a full body massage and would I like to come in and collect my gift voucher and make my appointment.   I was so hysterical with excitement that I had almost arrived at the spa reception before they had hung up the call to me.   The luxurious decor of the spa is inspired by 1930's Shanghai, the service is outstanding, and the attention to detail is exceptional.  Having booked my appointment, I left with a beautiful silk box housing my gift voucher presented in a glossy gold bag.

My Mandarin Spa Gift Voucher

Thursday was David and my 4th Wedding Anniversary, and despite having an agreement that we were not going to exchange presents to conserve our funds, David successfully made me look like the fairly average wife - which I probably am - by presenting me with a Shanghai Tang bag.  I was first introduced to Shanghai Tang when I worked here in 1995 and shared an office with David Tang - the Hong Kong entrepreneur behind Shanghai Tang.  I fell in love with the brand then, and I love it just as much now.  Shanghai Tang sells a combination of clothes inspired by traditional Han Chinese clothing but with a modern twist, as well as household gifts, and everything is recognisably Shanghai Tang by the vibrant colours.  The bright green bag I was given contained some gorgeous Jade Dragon perfume.  Apparently jade represents virtue, calm and serenity (just like me) and the dragon is the imperial symbol of power, protection, luck and fortune (just like David???).  I bet David didn't know that when he bought it.

My Shanghai Tang Gift

Our wedding anniversary was also a notable day as the weather finally changed from cloudy and hot, to sunny and hot - transforming Hong Kong into the place I thought I was moving to!  This metamorphosis has been a great excuse to explore the numerous beaches on Hong Kong island and I have felt my spirits lift every day with the sun beating down on my skin - which is gradually turning from blueish white to a light tan.

Shek-O beach

Finally on realising that I had a job and therefore an imminent income, David and I decided to buy tickets to watch the British and Irish Lions vs Barbarians - something that we had both been keen to do but were reluctant to commit to while I was unemployed.  Watching rugby wearing a vest top, skirt, flip flops and a layer of sweat at 7.30pm was a new concept to me - along with watching rugby sober while on detox.  Rugby matches for me have always been about hats, scarves, gloves, warm socks, boots and copious lager or red wine (or both) to keep warm.  How the players coped with actually playing in the heat is beyond me - but I enjoyed watching them struggle.  Although I have to confess that the 'people watching' in the South Stand was almost more fun than the match itself.  There were several stag parties having 'stag-off' drinking races dressed in various outfits ranging from Baywatch trunks and mankinis to daffodils and Geishas.  Note to self though - rugby is best enjoyed through an alcohol induced haze!

British and Irish Lions vs Barbarians

So clearly the planets aligned last week and while my body has been detoxing, with not a whiff of alcohol, nicotine, caffeine, wheat, sugar, meat, dairy or processed foods passing through my lips, life has turned a corner here and things are looking up.  Maybe the detox has cleansed more than just my body!

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