All entries for August 2005
August 21, 2005
It's been a very funfilled but sometimes testing 4 weeks in Hong Kong. The island has not changed…. tasty, fast petit snacks are still as diverse, bright and attractive as ever, girls still aspire to their ever waif thin pretty and "sun" models and actresses.
I just spent last night watching "Miss Hong Kong beauty comeptition," which my cousin reached the last forty contestants. The show consisted of some cute, some graceful yet all pretty thin airheads prancing on stage. They were tested for their ability of IQ, Sport, Gracefulness, Charitability and bodily measurements.. a very deep and cultured society. Fast forward to today and we have a metropolitian hub.. the heart of Hong Kong; Times square, filled with asian phantoms floating in the incessant misty rain with their umbrellas to catch the weekend bargains.. another view; victoria park packed with phillopeano maids on a sunday like a mass gathering outside st peter's cathedral to see the pope… a less amiable view; a rubbish bin already brim filled and spilling over the floor with used umbrella "plastic bags coverings" (available almost at every shop to contain the wet umbrellas in). It's a love/hate relationship I guess that i have with Hong Kong. On the surface everything appears diverse and magical but upon closer inspection, it's the same type of entertainment, same arcade games..same types of cute snacks.. same fickle attitude towards fashion, music and media. Nonetheless, in it's intensity, in all those regards it’s amazing. The delicious food is unforgettable, the "dok bor lei" addictive, the new vivid outfits unique. Although a bit oppressive, but I have been back to this country 7 times now so I can't deny that it’s part of my heart, I just sometimes wish it wasn’t.
August 16, 2005
My stay in Hong Kong has totalled 3 weeks so far. In staying in the cute village of suen wai in the town of Yeun Long I have perceived the beautiful way of minimal, austere way of life. To see my mum's side of the family tree is to understand the way my mum is.. a return to her own origins, to reach back to her roots. Historys provides insight to the behaviour of people who lived in the past. It is interesting to see how fascinated I was with the way my Grandparents led their life. I wonder if that has anything to do with my own underlying culture. The chinese probably revere our ancestors and our history more than any other race.
I now refer to the second half of a couplet first published during the Song dynasty;
_Song Dynasty (AD 960–1279);_
_Shu gao qian zhang
Luo ye gui gen_
Even if a tree reaches the height of ten thousand feet,
Falling leaves return to their roots
August 12, 2005
A trip to the “Venice of the East.” Bangkok was a city that really stretched itself in its’ extremes of experiences. A cute fusion of east meets west. From the myriad of canal alleyways to the highly congested six lane highways surrounded customarily by the fog of emission fumes from “tuk tuk” (their cute equivalent of taxis only in a mini jeep style with open backs), to islands of oasis planted erratically amidst the polluted jungle; traditional, serene, pious “wats” (otherwise known as the extremely decorative temples where devote worship to Buddha statutes takes place). Our first day in Thailand took is to the very epicenter of commotion. We made our way to the Grand Palace in Bangkok; “the equivalent to the Houses of Parliament to London, the Colleseum to Rome,” informed my lonely planet guide. Maybe it was the harsh afternoon sun combined with the cumbersome traveling backpacks but I was more distracted or more accurately, blinded by the glittering tiles, saturated by the vividness of colour and impressive size of the temples. It was definitely ‘Grand,’ but not such a beacon of sanctuary as I had imagined. I guess the ambiance is somewhat spoilt if there are 500 odd tourists swarming here and there from one ‘important’ statute to the next.
….and then off to Pattaya where we were to stay for 4 nights, one of the most seedy and touristic places you can get in Thailand. Such stigma provided useful insights. The trip in the tuk tuk to our hotel revealed a bizarre world of thai girls dolled up for the evening pursuing the “white middle aged male species” in shady nightclubs glowing under red florescent lighting, pumping out tawdry karaoke songs; miscopies of celine dione’s “my heart will go on” and ronan keatan’s “if you say nothing at all.” Any white lads wanting to pull yet need to secure themselves of victory each time?.. pattaya's where its at.