There is something cliché about cafe mocha. I was feeling overwhelmingly exhausted physically and detached emotionally this morning, wondering how much of me do I muster to join the last morning of the Hong Kong Mental Health Conference. As usual, I fiddled with my phone in bed and then replied to a message that caught my eye. That was enough to get me awake to blow-dry and straighten my hair, change into something decent, and get going.
On the way, I decided to take a small detour to Starbucks that I had seen. Wong chuk hang is a part of Hong Kong I do not know well, and Starbucks was a familiar sight.
I ordered my café mocha. And right that moment, I felt my body relax and my breathing slowed down. I stood in anticipation as I waited for a complete stranger to make my cup. The eagerness to sip the warm foam, and to feel the trickle of chocolate down my excruciatingly sore throat – 2 days ago I had lost my voice, and had to concoct some sign language with the air hostesses for hot water and honey on the way to Hong Kong from Singapore, as if that would be some comfort for missing the piece of me that was lost and left behind.
The cliché effect that café mocha has on me made me think of the keynote speeches over the last two days. It all starts with a familiar sense, a label I had put on an innocent cup of cafe mocha: drinking it equates to a particular emotional experience for me. It is not even about the liquid itself, but the sensations it gave me. Keep Reading…