Each morning when I take my shower I marvel at my good fortune in finding Ascension House. I stand in an honest-to-god shower stall, with a large spray nozzle, a (clean) curtain, and an infinite supply of hot water. I don't have to shower inches away from the toilet, which, I've discovered from online research, is common in many Hong Kong hostelries other than my old haunts in Chungking Mansions.
A room with a view is another amazing feature. As I look up from my keyboard, I see city lights glowing through breaks in the greenery. My usual Hong Kong view in the past was straight into someone else's window.
Best of all, this place has broadened my outlook and made me aware that flexibility is a crucial part of staying alive. Sharing a bathroom with strangers, sharing a pathway with monkeys, remembering "Nothing is either good or bad but thinking makes it so." Or as my very dear friend Sak used to tell me, "You don't have to look at this that way."
And that upward path is getting easier every week--who needs a hotel fitness center?
At the end of next week, I will drag my suitcases up to the place where I originally came in, ask someone to call me a taxi, and go off to Shatin's nicest hotel. But as I wallow in comfort for two nights, I know I will look up at the green hill that I've lived on for the past month and feel grateful that I was allowed to stay there.