December 2014 was and is a good month. It is always the best time of the year for me, whether in terms of how I feel with the festive vibes reverberating all around or the gradual cooling off of the temperatures albeit with a greater volume of rainfall that could cause some inconveniences on and off. It is also the time of the year when activity at work tends to slow down as many people choose this time to clear their annual leave and jet somewhere for year-end breaks, vacations and holidays, leaving the activity to those of celebration and mirth, shopping and gifting. Gifts have become somewhat of a rarity these days since gatherings and the likes have taken a backseat, as friends whom meet-ups are done tend to be a small select number, and larger group gatherings and gift-exchanging have become a thing of the past for me. Maybe it is just a phase that I have morphed into and whether it will be something to stay remains to be seen. After all, we never say never about anything, because changes do happen all the time, expected or otherwise.
Nevertheless, today being the last day of December and also the last day of the year, it probably calls for a sort of look-back and review. I did not make any conscious resolution for 2014 because I find it pointless that year after year my resolutions tended to be similar and there are always some that I always fail to keep or just roll forward to the next year. I just wanted to stay happy and contented with life, but the simplest of resolutions are the hardest to keep, and it is with a heavy heart that I have to admit that I was not very successful in this area. I have not been the happiest person in 2014 due to a variety of reasons, known or not to me. Sometimes it is weird that we don’t feel happy but somehow we don’t really grasp the cause.
In 2015, I still want to work towards being a happy, peaceful and contented person. It is tiring to feel unhappy. And it must be tiring for the people around me who care and who often have to sit by and listen to my incessant whining and lamentations. I am thankful for the few friends who have stuck by despite the apparent toxicity in me from these frequent gripes and I do hope as well that as I become a lighter and happier person, I will be able to bring a brand of sunshine and cheer to their lives too. Friendship is a two-way traffic and I want to be a good friend too.
Visited Hong Kong twice during the year, once in April and another time this month. April was a hectic 3-day trip that was mainly about eating and shopping (not so much for me as for my travel mates) and the weather was a little erratic, being the change of seasons between spring and perhaps summer. December was a much slower and relaxed trip, with a cooler climate. It was all about coffee and indulging, and I really enjoyed the long chat sessions over coffee and cakes, the long walks from one eating place to the next. Holidays do not have to be about rushing from location to location and ticking off to-do lists and to-visit places, for me, they are about relaxing and breathing in the sights and sounds, doing what we would usually do in our own home cities but in a different locale. At least that holds true for me.
Latte and Piccolo Latte at Coco Espresso in Sheung Wan, a tiny hole-in-the-wall cafe that I noticed last December when I visited Hong Kong and stayed with my friend in her service apartment in the area. Coffee was decent and as usual pricey (as compared to Starbucks) but my friend seemed to feel that the quality has deteriorated slightly from before. I wouldn’t know but I think it’s an ok place to hang out for a bit, if it doesn’t get crowded. We sat on counter seats, since there were probably just a couple of small tables within the cosy cafe. There were other places we visited, such as 18 grams in Sheung Wan, Coffee Academy in Causeway Bay, Fuel Espresso at the Landmark, Elephant Grounds at Gough Street… with many more that I would love to check out the next time I am in the busy city.
After returning from Hong Kong, another couple of weeks thereafter, it was off to Bangkok for the Christmas break. It didn’t really feel like Christmas in Bangkok despite the numerous Christmas trees decorating the malls, the festive lights and yuletide tunes. Even the slightly cooler weather on some days didn’t seem to inject that Christmas vibe that I felt in Hong Kong. I don’t know why, because even with the warmer temperature as compared to what I could ever remember of Bangkok particularly with the freezing cold malls, I just felt like it was a normal vacation at any other time of the year. This was yet another relaxing, chilling out trip, more so than Hong Kong perhaps, because we did not even do much walking around. It was just sitting from place to place, drinking coffee or eating and I felt like I had eaten so much in just those 4 days that I was there. But it is always about the time that we spend with people that counts more, and it was an enjoyable holiday over Christmas for me. We didn’t do any countdown, and we also did not wish each other Merry Christmas, but we all know that we are thankful for some things in our lives. Yes, even as we complain about many things, we also give thanks and appreciate the good things that some other people may take for granted.For the angels in my life, Thank You all for being there. I love you all and I wish you a very Happy 2015 ahead. Have an enjoyable New Year’s Eve tonight and Best Wishes!