March 23, 2003 - Hong Kong
Things got a bit nutty with Maria in Buenos Aires and we broke
up. But a week before I left for India, I met Fai, the girl of
my dreams. She is sexy, smart and loves to eat Chinese. The six
degrees of separation between us are almost freaky. I think it
Here I am catching my connecting flight to Mumbai in this eerie
empty airport on Lantau Island, Hong Kong. I’m the only one
online at these normally jammed packed computer stations. SARS
has vacated these premises this morning. I can’t find Fai
online. It’s late evening in Toronto right now. I hope she’ll be
dreaming about me in her sleep tonight.
I find out on MSN that the Iraqi War just started a few hours
ago. First there’s SARS… now the war… just my luck. I finally
meet the ONE and the world’s coming to an end. Call me a silly
superstitious fool… but when things seem too good to be true, my
neurosis gets the better of me.
April 5, 2003 - Toronto, Canada
While in India during the SARS outbreak, Cheuk and I decided to
skip dinner with Mr. Tung at the Hong Kong International Film
Festival. We wanted to live through this SARS thing and make it
to Argentina and Peru for our remaining stories later this
Cheuk flew home from Mumbai by way of Amsterdam, and I through
Hong Kong as there were no other Cathay Pacific flights to
bypass it. I was given surgical masks and rubber gloves during
the flight. Meals were hard to deal with; I kept forgetting to
remove my mask before the meals and would end up with food
messed all over my masked mouth. The worst part was the stopover in Thailand where space-suited mutants barged into the
plane and hosed down the interior with some mystery disinfectant
without any warning or explanation.
I’m tanned and back in the middle of a late winter snowstorm.
I’ve missed Fai so much but I’m supposed to be in
self-quarantine for two weeks because of SARS. This is gonna
drive me bonkers. My mom even told me to stay away from her
house. But Fai was brave enough to show up at my front door
while I was shoveling snow that night. She must really like me a
lot or just impulsive by nature. I brought back a sari for her
from Mumbai. We couldn’t figure out how it works. But I’m sure
she would look stunning in it once we figure it out. So much for
the quarantine, so if we die… we’ve already got a head start…
because we’re both high in heaven.