• Barbara Murphy-Shannon

China Day 11 - Clueless in Hong Kong

Updated: Nov 26, 2021

Photo by Simon Zhu on Unsplash

Sunday, February 10, 1985

I woke up at 4:30 am, 5:30 am, and at 6:00 am and I got up.

Got dressed to go catch my plane. Said goodbye to the girls. Met a girl named Dayna at the airline office. She’s a small-cute blond, a teacher from Michigan. We flew together from Kunming to Canton. Then took a minibus to Shenzhen (China border) then 3 hours on the train to Hong Kong.

We arrived in central Hong Kong at 8 pm. Dayna is staying at the YMCA which is very close to Bob’s apartment. I called Bob to let him know I’m here. He seemed a little off and I was disappointed he wasn’t more excited to hear from me.

When I arrived at Bob’s apartment he was still a little stand-offish. It was so weird.

I just acted like I didn’t notice and started telling him about China and how Chris turned out to be a dick, the rats, the beautiful Stone Forest, and all the great people I met. BUT I was so happy to be back with him in Hong Kong.

I noticed he wasn’t happy.

“Bob, what’s wrong?”

“Did you sleep with Chris?” he said as he turns and walked to the window.

I almost puked in my mouth.

“Noooooooo, Grosssssss”

“He was a total psychopath and ruined my time in China”

“Why would you think that?”

“I don’t know, I guess I’m being stupid,” he said with a smile.


Wow. You can hate a guy and they think you like them.



It’s so nice to be in luxury again. Bob’s apartment is high on the top of Hong Kong with amazing views of the city and ocean. He has a housekeeper and a washer and dryer. The little things we all take for granted. And the best part…no rats.

I did my much-needed laundry after being in China.

Then I went food shopping for dinner and plan to cook Chicken Parmigiana. I ran around all day shopping but it was fun. Got back to Bob’s apartment about 5:30 pm and prepared dinner.

Bob came home in a better mood than when he left this morning. I’m not sure why he’s so moody in the mornings if there is anything wrong. We were close last night but it took a long time to not feel awkward around each other again.

Dinner turned out great. After dinner, we watched the tv show Dynasty and then read in bed. Bob was still acting cold. I asked Bob what was wrong a few times but he said it was nothing. I thought maybe work or because he got accepted to business school. He was being less affectionate than before I left for China.

“What’s up with you?” I said.

“You seem distant”

“I’m weird that way”

“What way?” I questioned.

“I’m worried you’re getting serious and it makes me pull back”

He explained that when a girl likes him he gets worried and afraid of becoming serious which in turn makes him less affectionate. He just got into business school and he's not ready for a serious relationship.

He's clueless…

“Bob, I’m on a world tour and I’m going to school in the fall and have a lot to do in my life. Don’t worry. I’m not interested in becoming serious” said the confident woman in the room.

“Ok, I just didn’t want this to get confusing,” said Bob.

“I’m not confused…are you?”

He reached over and gave me a hug.



This is a true story that chronicles my rebellious journey when I was 24 years old backpacking around the world looking for solace after the end of an abusive marriage (ok to escape). An intensely graphic and heartfelt memoir of self-discovery is about how getting lost can be where you belong, how traveling to new cultures and meeting new people helps you heal (they don't judge), find your voice and remember who you really are and want to be. It is certain to inspire anyone who has ever woken up in a life they don’t want to be in. Many life lessons and some bad decisions (sorry Mom) along the way. Buckle in! It's going to be a bumpy ride.

xoxo, Barbara