3 days ago, I boarded a plane and flew from Sydney to Singapore. It was that most pleasant of flights, the ones that come with people who light up your life with their elbows, knocking into your reading lamp button every half an hour and also the kids who run around the entire plane like it’s the playground at Maccas, only their about 55. When we touched down, my mother conspired to leave me alone at the airport with a false message.

I made no mention to friends that I would be travelling home. Tonight, I would fly again, to Hong Kong. So I filled my days eating at the usuals. Whilst I have little doubt that standards at most places have dipped slightly, I felt hollow despite the fact that I was eating with my mother and brother for the first time in 2 years. It felt like they’d never been away, except my brother’s no longer a child and my mother’s beginning to become one.

But Hong Kong. After 21 years, I’ll finally satisfy my Wong Kar Wai fanboyism with a visit to the much vaunted Chungking Mansions and possibly the California Bar which might still stand. Or more likely than not, I’ll just waltz into places that have no relation to me at all and have moved on with the passing of time, oblivious to the context that I attempt to bestow. Or even more likely, I stuff my face with roast goose and wafer thin dumpling skins filled with treasures of the sea. The latter prospect provides some small measure of comfort but I hesitate because I fear that same hollowness that resonated so fleetingly will make a reprise. I kinda feel like Tony Leung whispering in the tree in Angkor Wat. Except, I hope I get to talk to the best steamed spare ribs with black bean I will ever taste or some next level goose fat.

But not everything is just this painful slog through delicious food. There are already some things that I feel have finally reached some sense of conclusion. The name of my future restaurant, if I were to ever be so stupid as to actually open one, has been decided. In that most hipster of ways, naming it after a movie you like. Just to quell the curious, no it isn’t going to be Epidode 6: Return of the Jedi or Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom.

So maybe I’m getting somewhere. I mean, not everyone figures shit out until they’re past it right? I’m sure some famous dude only “made it” when he/she hit 80 or died before they ever did, like fucking van Gogh. But of course, I realize “making it” doesn’t really matter any more. I’ve found my place and that’s a lot more than I could have said 8 years ago when I told my dad I wanted to learn to be a chef. So yes, I am a chef, I think. Not a great one but one nonetheless.

My final itinerary, which, like almost everything in life, is subject to change, is as follows:

  1. 3 days in Hong Kong
  2. 3 days in Taiwan
  3. 12 days in Japan
  4. 1 day in Singapore
  5. 1 day in Liverpool
  6. 20 days in Peru
  7. 20 days in Europe
  8. 8 days in Singapore

Who knows, I might even have some fun or heaven forbid, eat something tasty.