There is this line in Stephen Chbosky’s “Perks of Being a Wallflower,” which pretty much sums up this particular Hong Kong trip:
And in that moment, I swear we were infinite.
You know that moment when you life is just so crazyfucking good and that happiness seems to go on indefinitely? That’s what being infinite feels like to me. I don’t know when in the trip that specific feeling started, but all I know is that the night before I left for Manila, I was feeling pretty damn good about myself and there was no other way to end it but walking aimlessly around Causeway Bay with a cup of Haagen Dazs Caramel Biscuit & Cream I got from one of the few stores still open.
This is the first time I traveled that I didn’t get that feeling that my trip ended too soon. I don’t know about you but I always ALWAYS get that way every time I visit another country. Even when I know I’ve explored pretty much everything the place had to offer, there’s that greedy part of me who would always want and yearn for more, more, more, more, MORE.
But in this particular trip to Hong Kong, I felt it ended when it was supposed to end, and that was already more than good enough. And considering that this was also the shortest trip I’ve taken really makes it one for the books. We were only there for two full days—arrived Monday midnight, left Thursday morning—but it totally felt like time did not even exist.
I tell you, if there is anything I’ve learned in all my years of travel, it is that spontaneity always works. Sure, it helps to plan a little (especially if it’s your first time in a new country) but you should always leave room for the unexpected. Because these are the moments that tend to live on.
Even the way the trip came to be was spontaneous—I had originally wanted to go on a solo trip to Vietnam, Cambodia and Thailand, but upon learning that the Red Hot Chili Peppers were playing in Hong Kong the first week of August, I thought, “Why the hell not?” I’ve always told myself if there was a band I’d gladly move heaven and hell and fly to another country for, it would be for Anthony and Flea’s motley crew.
I am obviously a huge fan. When I read Anthony Kiedis’ autobiography Scar Tissue five years ago and learned the story behind their music, I loved them even more.
There is so much about the man (God bless his soul), the band, and their songs that I resonate with. The moment I heard the first notes of By The Way LIVE, I swear it reduced me into one screaming, swearing, singing ghost of a being, and I knew that everybody in that audience was feeling the same way. The whole concert felt like an out-of-body experience, and no words would ever succinctly describe how I felt that night. Fuckity fuck fuck FUCK. AMAZING IS THE CLOSEST.
Hong Kong was their first show in years! They were releasing a new album (I’m With You) and we were among the first to hear The Adventures of Rain Dance Maggie and Look Around. How cool is that?? And while I was feeling a little apprehensive over their new songs because old bands tend to lose that “touch” after not having come out with music after their glory years, the new singles were actually pretty cool—these guys are really masters of their craft.
The best thing about watching the concert was that it didn’t end in the Asia World Arena. It extended beyond the encore, beyond Give It Away (their last hurrah!), and it went on all the way to the Asia World Express, which was the transportation of choice for Chili fans heading back to Hong Kong island. Everybody was in high spirits, the energy was amazing, people were shouting, screaming, and at one point we were all recreating the human wave that happened before the band came on stage!
Even much later when my friends and I were walking along Lan Kwai Fong, we came across Matt, Maddison and Renee—three of the most awesome Aussies who were also at the concert—and the celebration continued on. The moment Matt spotted my Chili Peppers shirt and I his Mars Volta (the opening act), we were all exclaiming over how amazing the show was! We all ended up dancing the night away at Graffiti, with me trying my hand at copying Matt’s seamlessly flawless dance moves. I knew I looked totally ridiculous (I have two left feet), but it felt so great to just lose myself to the music. You tend to forget yourself, your nationality, your worries, and your inhibitions. That night is definitely high up there with the most amazing ones I’ve had in my life :D