“NANA” is the name of a Japanese teenage anime, “ There are two girls with different personalities in this anime, I think the protagonist is like me, I’m Pisces, and sometimes there are two sides to my personality.” Nana used work for news media for ten years in Shenzhen, two years ago she came to Hong Kong with her husband. We met through an online event and I was drawn to her optimism and cheerfulness. She’s a foodie, also exploring art and different shops in Hong Kong, shuttling in this city’s different streets in search of her own enthusiasm.The soundwalk route Na took me on seemed like a central axis, with skyscrapers under construction in the city to the left and right, while the route itself was filled with flower beds, trees, and the occasional chirping bird. She decided to take off her headphones during the sound walk, arguing that monitors amplify the volume of ambient sounds, whereas listening with the human ear itself allows her to concentrate on her favorite sounds (such as bird calls). “Human ear can ignore lots of sounds which I don’t like,” Na said after completing the route, “but at some moment when there are some sounds too harsh, what I want to hear would have interfered. During the soundwalk, the sounds of construction although affecting, were not so severe as to affect my hearing, moreover, the fact that these construction sounds existed for the betterment of the city in the future.” Na’s feelings about the sounds seemed to give me a glimpse of the future where skyscrapers will rise up here, also accompanied by the crisp sound of birds chirping and mirroring each other.

Na loves the hustle and bustle in the city, she describes herself as a “very practical person”. Through the soundwalk, I found that She’s always looking for a more pure, clean soundscape in a busy city, she won’t be bothered by noise, but she doesn’t like it either. The second route she took me on was inside a downtown park, surrounded by trees, relaxing citizens, and children’s giggles. Na put on her headphone monitors under the trees and listened for a long time, she said it was really hard to have such a peaceful environment in the downtown area, where she could hear the sound of the wind and the friction of the leaves. She said she wanted to listen to more details of the sound, so she chose to put on the headphones monitor to listen, “the sound here is very harmonious, there are sounds of the leaves, sounds of children, sounds of traffic, all kinds of sound seems into one, for me it is a piece of the city’s clean land”. Na told me that actually she doesn’t like child’s sounds usually, anywhere else she would have found it noisy, but she felt it was right to hear these sounds here, this is a place for children to play, to do the right thing in the right place is important for her, and these sounds appeared to complement each other, making her feel very comfortable. She used to live in Shenzhen for a long time, the city is less densely planned, but now she has found her own comfort zone in Hong Kong between one high-rise building after another, trying to embrace the city, adapting to the land, and gradually finding her own connection with it.

As a food blogger who spends a lot of time in different cafes and restaurants, Na enjoys a bit of peace and undisturbed in this City. Na took me on a walk around the K11 MUSEA, I’ve been to K11 a few times before and was impressed by the design, gorgeous décor, and wide array of products. Na’s life is often like unpacking a blind box, she doesn’t like to explore repetitive places in her life, she likes to discover novelty and beauty, and she is constantly searching for new places to satisfy her professional needs in this city. As usual, she searched for a coffee shop online that she had never been to there before, in her most familiar and favorite environment, she settled down to listen to the sounds in this café shop. She enjoyed the sound of the music, enjoyed this private time of her own without being disturbed by others, and only in this quiet sound environment she was able to think deeply about what she should do afterward.

Immediately, after the coffee time, she took me and walked a little further along the seafront at k11. She seemed to be searching for some kind of sound and took on and off her headphone monitors. The sound of people coming and going, the sound of the sea and the background music coming from the mall mingled together and gave her a feeling of being at peace with herself. As before, she said she only wanted to listen to her favorite sounds, standing quietly by the sea, and didn’t want to hear everything clearly through mechanical amplification. While her husband working, she acts like an adventurer, traveling freely through the city by herself, digging into this city deeply.