Years Gone By

Photography

After all those years in the States, I had friends. Most were students, some were ex-colleagues. Some remained in touch, some just disappeared (back then Facebook was still so new) no matter how hard I try looking them up. There’re always something I have in mind want to say to them as time gone by. They’re part of who I’m now, whether it’s the time we spent in school, hangout, workspace. There were all there for a reason.

If somebody still remembers you, you just have to be thankful you are part of their life as well. You might be just a tiny role under his/her long list of friends. At very least, you are bounded by care and aware of the past in a very similar like way you do.

The Bride

The Groom

This friend of mine used to worked in the same office with me while in the States. He’s not the most talkative in front of me, but in and out of the office he had taught me a few things. He’s always calm on the outside and inside is like a super computer working a formula to solve an equation. Yes, he was in the I.T./computer science territory. In order to readapt life in Hong Kong and he refigured his formula – his career. He’s a role model.

His wedding last year was his milestone, a beginning to a new life. He specially asked me to take down two dozens of photographs in positive film. I could not be happier to capture these moments in a (analogue) way no other would understand. Perhaps results did not come the way I wanted because of all the restrictions in church and their own hired photographers/videographers. These two keepers may not even be in perfect exposure, to me there’s enough room (hopefully him too) to reimagine the entire day as part of the memory. A bride whom I did not know and my friend looking down the aisle.

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These came from my backup camera for the day. I love the documentary part of my first unofficial attempt on a wedding shoot. And I also love the fact that, “do not expect me to give you results you’d expect from a traditional wedding photographer, but I’m going to show you something else”. 

Life after …

Photography

What is life like to be carefree? For the most part, nothing has changed yet until my bank account runs dry in a few months. It’s just pointless to worry now while I should be enjoying my break. I have left my skeptic part of me behind. That is, if your reading glasses are fogged; why not just take it off until the moisture goes away?

Beach

I realized a few things I hadn’t while I still had my day job.
First, I could enjoy reading books.
Second, I’m so open to try out eateries (on my budget) out of the district.
Third, the city feels so right during the office hours.

Resting Cows

I have stacks of books, food magazines and some monthly art journals on the desk right next to me. It’s not that I do not have time, not that I’m lazy; It’s just that I do not have a proper reading space at home, with all the complicated reasons when living with parents. That proper reading space means everything when it comes to reading. It allows you to concentrate, relax and even indulge by the authors’ writing. I admit i’m only a light reader, but I understand the benefits when reading the right books, and the right topics can learn a few things or two. If the internet/social media is the fast food, then reading a printed publication would be a proper dining experience. Reading is also a great way to tame your patience. 1 hour of quality reading in a park is now what I do in the week days.

Bamboo

Speaking of food, I just want to use it on all the burnt calories over the weekend. It can be boring to eat at the same restaurants over and over again with the same cuisine especially Hong Kong has so many restaurants to choose from. The most difficult part is to walk through that entrance (or settle the bill). I have not cooked (except cereal) for nearly a month now.

Running Men

It does feel guilty to wander around the city during the office hours while everyone is at work. Streets, parks, restaurants, coffee shops are all quiet and mostly empty. I just love to take full advantage during those hours.

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High Island Reservoir

The Plover Cove Reservoir was my longest hike until I tried the High Island Reservoir – with a total of 22km. The most interesting part of this hike was the “internationally rare acidic hexagonal volcanic rock columns”. 3/4 of the hike belongs to National Geographic dream trail – the MacLehose Trail. Like many seasoned hikers have said, they’d do anything to avoid hiking on those routes. I could not agree more as I stepped onto those sections. It must have been widely advertised by the travel agencies since then, there were just a little too many mix of hikers/tourists. Scenery was also average throughout the way. No wonder most guides recommend taking a taxi to the dam where the rock columns are.

The Korean Hikers

I love the part where I completed it and returned to the same spot 8 hours ago. I dislike the part where half of the route was an open concrete road with traffic.

Abroad

Photography

Romancing on the sea waves

Ireland was the first European country I wanted to visit, huge part of it contributes to the natural scenery and the castle remains. I wanted to see the straight high cliff by the frigid ocean and the castles of many types here and there. They were ironically just part of the agenda while the main one was to attend a concert of an Irish singer. It all did not happen.

One of the most beautifully named places on the map of Hong Kong has to be the Cape d’Aguilar. If you do not mention about the location, people would have thought an European destination or even somewhere that produces wine. That’s just the opening words, the attractions there are just as beautiful. It’s located on the southeastern tip of the main island. If I say I’ve found almost everything I wanted to see from the Ireland by a 30-min bus ride, would it be a surprise?

There is our one of our five surviving pre-war lighthouses (since 1875) and there’s the stunning high cliffs by the frigid sea. The cliffs were so high it gave me goosebumps. The other part of the cape is a rocky gulf where huge white waves rush into, creating a scenery where anyone just want to snap happy. And the climbable Crab Cave by the sea was a bonus if you wished make yourself look like a conqueror.

Stairway

The Cape d’Aguilar reminds me of a theme park or an outdoor version of museum. It’s an adventure if you begin the journey from Shek O where it required some climbing/hiking. It’s also known for the grey area for trespassing when reaching the d’Aguilar Peak.  It’s educational as a historic and geographic tour.

It’d be a surprise if you do not wait for the sunset. Well, make sure you have enough time to walk back to the bus stop. There’s hardly any lamp post on the way back.

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My meaning of home has grown stronger and stronger in this past year or so. You have to love and respect of your home and its people. The complaining and comparing just won’t help, especially when annoying the others.

Under the tower

On a recent wedding invitation of an ex-colleague friend in Hong Kong, who we used to worked in the same office during my last few years in the States. We haven’t really contacted for many years. But he knows I love analogue photography and thought I’d be the perfect person to take down some wedding photos on film. I was given one of his 120 cameras to shoot with during the ceremony. That was my first time ever to play with one. 10 frames per roll is totally my thing!

I met my this friend’s sister at the banquet and had a super brief conversation after introducing myself. She realised many of us (HongKongese who had studied abroad) cannot secure well-paid jobs or advance in their field, results into depression. I told her because they’re still mixed up with thoughts of whom they want to be. The advantages the others think we have are not standing out from many many many other graduates from abroad, and that’s staggering year by year adding to those who’d studied international schools, the returning American/Canadian-born Cantonese, and even the expats. I’m unfortunately one of these live cases she’s mentioning (I’m sure she did not mean it). The only difference is I’m satisfied with life just like that at the moment. You just have to accept in order to move on.

Leafless plant

It’s fair to say, studying abroad really means a temporary escape from our existing local system and to possibly delay the anticipated career decision.