Off The Grid

Photography

It was my misfortune that my 2nd roll from my LCA turned out blank after the unexpected failure from the camera strap. I learned from this fatal mistake and moved on. I had gone back to the same market that surprised me of how busy it could get in the late afternoon. This is where most (older) people get their fresh produce, you may call it the wet market; though there’s also the dry section. They think they get better deals from this type of market. The younger couples would either buy their ingredients from the medium/upscale supermarket instead. I suspect due to the cleanliness and also the origins – anywhere but China. Or else the couple would just eat out to save time and effort.

I got used to this type of fishy, bloody, wet environment since I was a kid. I used to go along to the fresh market back then to just find something to do with the domestic helper (mom & dad both work during the day). It was part of my memory to hang out at the market, I did not even remember how old I was.

Nearly all districts in Hong Kong has at least a few of these wet markets all packed in a building which you would not know there’s one unless you enter one. It’s off the grid and I found myself entered a whole new world of the local community. You may still find the old fashion open markets as stalls and ground level shops in a few gathering location. But those will eventually go away due to the rents and re-development. The live chicken business may go away too one day, who knows (because of the Bird Flu). You’ll see many quirky stuff in these type of markets. Fish cut off still seem pretty much alive, toads hopping in cage, cattles’ internal organs hanging on hooks…alright just those things you thought only be possible in halloween or movies.

I still found myself enjoying this part of life. Seeing how differently people live in our city. And I get to taste what I love too, cold soya milk and hot rolls. I found a place selling just baked roll/bun/bread whatever you want to call it for just HKD$1. The size of a fist. You can get a bag full with just 10 bucks.
Aged District
Foam Price tag
Fish Stall
Fruit Stall
Chicken Cage
Chicken Stall
Chicken Butcher
Vegetable Stall
Toy Skeleton Limbs

People of Prince Edward

Photography

Man with bird cage

While we all get fed up with the shopping malls and overpriced restaurants in the commercial/tourist districts in town. They’re also great gems to be found in Prince Edward.

The city planning of Hong Kong tends to keep you grounded/glued to certain districts, unless you’re motivated to buzz out and seek for new things.

Man with flowers

Flower Market
Sometime ago I visited Prince Edward due to some job related matter. I visited the first time the famous Flower Market in Hong Kong. I did not enter the market but I could feel the neighborhood is different from other parts of Hong Kong. I revisited the place and found out myself.

As soon as I got out of the MTR station, all I saw was concrete. Concrete built buildings, cement paved roads, and a tall vehicle bridge covering up the sky. The Flower Market was just a 5-10 mins walk from the station exit.

The flower ladies

Surely as soon as I arrived, I see floral shops. No surprised…the only plants that interested me were the herbs. Perhaps next time I wanted herbs, I should have a few pots at home instead. So there were full of people trying to get through, scenes were not too pretty so I did not stop by to photo much. I did not want to photograph the actual shops as they’re easy targets for my photography.

Flower Market

After walking for a block or two, I came to the end of the road. And found a path led to a garden of some sort. On the way, I spotted a few folks carry bird cages. So I thought this is it. ‘It got to be the Bird Garden!’

Bird Garden
I always wanted to visit the Bird Garden. I’ve googled for location a couple times before. I wasn’t sure the exact location and now I found it by accident!

Best friends

I’ll just put it as ‘charming’ of this garden. I don’t know if any other places in Hong Kong allows birds displaying freely in public as there’s a growing concern of bird flu and all that in the past. The health safety department had made it clear, we cannot show birds in the public or you can get into trouble (fined). Not sure if that’s true, someone told me that…

Hang out at the bird garden

Forget the flu, life is too short. Just go in and have a look. There are bird enthusiasts and owners hanging out in the garden. The beautiful shades from the trees were shielding off the heat pretty well. It was a hot day but not burning my skin.

Bird cages

You can find bird related shops along the little garden. Others would describe the place as ‘exotic’.

Wish to buy one, whos' the lucky one

Hang out at the bird garden

At the end of the garden I found huge parrots (shackled)! They were owned by the enthusiasts and they’re very kind to allow pictures. And what’s more, they allow you to hold and play with them if you’ve shown interests in them. Make sure you compliment and say thanks 😉 They were making that section look very themed – reminds me of theme parks.

Hang out at the bird garden

Parrots and his owner

Visitors playing with parrots

After all that, I found out I hadn’t had any food except OREO and milk since the morning. So I had to look for food back in the center of the district. I passed by a park next to the Bird Garden. There were retired people chilling playing chess and ping pong. I stopped by and watched for a couple games.

Pingpong master

Goldfish Market
The discovery of the Goldfish Market was entirely an accident. I had a Hainan Chicken set meal at a chained restaurant. And came out to the corner, I saw bags filled with water. Aha! It’s the Goldfish Market!

You look good

The entire block was dedicated to fish (primary) and pets. You can find equipments, such as tanks, pumps and other accessories here. I would love to someday have a tank of fish at home.

Cooling down

My lens focal length was too tight for the narrow streets. Anything came out wasn’t that right. Next time I’d prepare a camera with wider lens for these kind of street action.

Sleeping in the chaos

I still managed to find few shots in the chaos. At very least they meant to me during this visit.

Yau Ma Tei Fruit Market (果欄)

Photography

Yau Ma Tei Fruit Market

Yau Ma Tei Fruit Market

From my walk from the Streets of Jordan – Mong Kok. I also passed by this wonderful part of Old Hong Kong –

The fruit market has been around since 1913. It’s the oldest wholesale fruit market in Hong Kong. I have heard it a lot in the news. It’s also my first time passing by there. The market itself is still partially functional. Many transactions are now not exactly happening here. The entire block you see at the fruit market made me travel back in time.

Yau Ma Tei Fruit Market

Everything there looks dated and beaten. You can easily see the lack of maintenance roof. The complex is only two story high. So you know how flat the buildings were back then!!! This place has a lot of historic value. I really hope the fruit market as well as some of the old buildings around can be maintained.

Yau Ma Tei Fruit Market

I really don’t like the restoration of old structures had turned into new apartment buildings or shopping malls. Our government is forcing the old communities to scatter and move away. This approach is so annoying that i don’t think anyone realize how bad it is, and how far the government had gone.

Yau Ma Tei Fruit Market

Old communities have their own charm, dynamic, ecosystem. By removing them, anything unique, special about the people and the place would be gone forever. A wipe out! Pretty much like the Native Indians in America. Well..not to that extreme. But you get the idea..Where’re they now…

Yau Ma Tei Fruit Market

Our districts are lacking of its originalities. In a sense, most of the districts look and feel the same. Just have a look at all the new developed New Territories districts. I’m sorry to say, but many of those public estates are like prisons. I’ll leave it up to another topic in the future.

What's on a leaflet
What’s on it

Many of these Hong Kong social issues were discussed on a TV program (I Want to Be the Chief Executive) by Mathias Woo. He had raised so many questions and always criticizing positively on why our government is failing since the handover in 1997. I’ve heard much from him.

Torn food menu
Torn food menu

At the time of my visit, it was on Sunday. Many of the stores were closed. Only a few were open. So I briefly passed by and that’s it. Perhaps more next time when I visit the place at the time when they’re working.

This series is presented in B&W. Experience the little travel back in time with me!! Alright, pictures from my last post were too saturated I tuned down my preset on Aperture. I’m still working on the presets.. fine adjustments little by little every time..