When she divorced in her early fifties, she did not believe she would ever get out of her failed marriage, which couldn’t have been more painful. However, she stepped out of the shadow before long and started her new life, not in her home country of Austria but in Hong Kong, a beautiful island-city in Asia, a place far from Europe.
Loretta Kopplinger, 55 years old, has settled in Hong Kong for four years since her divorce from her husband in Austria. “Then, I was so sad that I cried more than I should. But I know that a broken marriage can’t be fixed when the two partners have different perceptions to critical questions such as: How broken is the marriage? What is it that needs to be fixed? Who needs to change most or first?”
She was really sad when she broke up with her husband. So she thought she should have some cheering up. Consequently, she joined a tour group to visit Hong Kong on her own.
“It was my first time to Hong Kong. The tour guide took us to the Peak to have a birds-eye-view over the Hong Kong city and then we went to Stanley. When we got there, I found along the seashore was a row of eight old nice houses overlooking the water. I took to them at first sight.” Loretta said.
Stanley, a coastal village on the southern side of Hong Kong Island, is a must-go place for most visitors to Hong Kong. It used to be a small fishing village but in recent years, a series of restaurants and pubs have been established there. Some of them provide open-air tea houses for customers to enjoy the picturesque scenery of Stanley Bay, cultivating an atmosphere of European continent.
“When I was looking to the sea from the front of the houses, the sound of rushing water became an element of my every thought and every feeling. The rhythm of waves gave me such a sense of freedom and tranquility. I didn’t want to leave. I decided to stay there.”
Those eight houses were built by the Hong Kong British government in 1931 as a compensation made to eight peasant families, with their original houses expropriated by the government.
“I checked the houses door to door. Much to my surprise, I found one of the houses deserted. I really wanted to rent the house, but I was told that the house owner had already emigrated. What’s more, the chances that they would rent out the house were quite slim. But I decided to take chances. I went to the airline to put off my departure date.”