The Story Begins with the Setting

Dear Future President and Junior,

When I tell you that I grew up in Hong Kong, you probably don’t really know what that means, except that it is a place far, far away from here. So today I want to tell you about where I lived.

The compound where I grew up was on a steep hill – if I was lucky, I’d take a taxi or ride in my family’s car up the hill, but often I would have to take a bus and the bus stop was at the bottom of the steep hill. Coming home from high school I would get hot and sweaty walking up the hill. Sometimes on my way home I’d stop at my dad’s office in the basement of the hospital to say hi and cool off in the a/c.

The compound had a six-story hospital and a 12-story apartment building. In the middle of the compound was parking spaces and a roundabout. You wouldn’t believe the amazing cars I saw parked in front of the hospital: Bentleys, Rolls Royces and Ferraris were common sights.

My favorite part of the whole compound was the guard tower. The guard tower was attached to the parking structure at the bottom of the apartment building. I spent many hours of my childhood perched atop the guard tower. It was also a favorite hiding spot during many games of Sardines. There were additional parking spaces near the guard tower that would become a kick ball field on Saturday nights. I hated kick ball, but I hated dodge ball even more.

There were two elevators in my apartment building: one for the even floors and one for the odd floors. Both elevators stopped at UG and G, parking levels where we had P.E. and Pathfinder marching practice. I spent a lot of my childhood playing here. In fact, I knocked out my front tooth on UG when I turned a corner and crashed into my friend who was riding his bike. Lucky for me the dentist was just across the street on the sixth floor of the hospital, right next to our church. I know, it’s crazy to think about.

Next time, I’ll tell you about my school and the roof where we had recess and the mountain and jungle where I played. Someday, I hope I can take you to Hong Kong. Until then, we’ll have my stories.


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