An involuntary slide show of random memories

Sometimes, I would be sitting at my desk in the office, writing up my To-Do list for the week.

Then I would have a flash of an image through my head. The sights and sounds of me walking through a street corner near the Prince Edward MTR station in Hong Kong; it was night-time, but the streets were very busy as usual, all the neon lights are on – exactly how it was when I would walk through the same street corner after hockey practice for many many nights.

This vivid image comes on for a second or two, and then it’s gone. I have no idea what triggered it, or where it came from. It’s like having dream, only you’re wide awake.

I could be making dinner at home, I could be shopping at Sainsbury’s, or I could be looking at a tiny tea shop in central London, and then I would be hit with a random but vivid image of the city or the people I call home.

I would have an image of me sitting in a fast food restaurant with my mom during a visit to Shenzhen, China for a cousin’s wedding.

Or it could be a steaming hot plate of barbecued pork belly on rice.

Or it could be the inside of a Chinese greasy spoon near my office I sometimes went to for lunch.

They only come on momentarily, and like waking up from a dream, I only remembered the ones above because I made the effort to write them down.

Interestingly, unlike dreams, it is usually when my brain is supposedly busy, engaged in a task, or not thinking of home at all, that the images come on.

They have no sound, no smell, nor taste. But they are clear, colourful, moving and alive, as if, for one split second, I have dunk my head into one of my repertoire of memories, or someone flipped a switch on and then off suddenly.

It’s happened for a while now, but I never really thought about it – until I am doing real work and that street corner comes up in my face.

I wonder if other people experience anything similar…

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2 thoughts on “An involuntary slide show of random memories

  1. I have been getting this too, maybe our brains are at a certain stage of memory processing. Maybe your brain is processing a certain time of your life?

    I find myself regressing to South African memories and even ways of speaking that I have not used for years or never even used. Weird.

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