TEKLA, Hong Kong

I have a friend living in Hong Kong. A dear friend. Every time I see him, we sink into that same fast friendship we formed the first time we met. He’s the sort of friend who you see for short bursts at a time but spend every second of it together. I never tire of his company.

He lives with his girlfriend and two cats on a boat anchored up outside a shipyard. Tied to this are two smaller boats. One for going to the office, the other for fishing. He sails in the mornings if the wind is right, if it’s not too choppy he says, to catch some fish for dinner that night.

He knows many of the fishermen going out in small boats just as he does. They talk about their catch of the day. He goes to the local pier where retired men sit with their backs to the city, its tall buildings casting shadows across the water.

We sail out to the open sea, jump in the water and swim to a small beach. No people, only sand and water. On the way back we watch the sun set behind the mountains, the last light before the city’s artificial glare illuminates.

When you’re living on the ocean or close to it, it becomes part of you. It’s always present. It forms the way you live. I’ve always loved sailing, especially on smaller boats. It feels like complete freedom. The movement from the waves, the wind pushing against you, the sound, the vastness. I’m captivated by the open ocean, its darkness beneath you.

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