Golden Grass

Photography

Golden Grass

Everything seems nicer when the weather is good. Last time on the Lantau Peak, I met a trail runner from South Africa. A very nice gentleman whom we had a brief chat. He’s actually a performer (singer/dancer) for the Disneyland HK. I always wondered what brings these expats to our city when our world is this huge. He did not pick the destination, it’s the job he auditioned that picked him. And what’s even better, his family and relatives are working here in town before he arrives here. As a hongkongese, I’m so glad to hear from a foreigner enjoying life in my home city.

The Trail Runner

That day would be a very memorable one for many years to come. The effort and courage behind the hike, the perfect dry clear day which allowed me to see the spectacular view of Lantau, the waving golden grass which covered along my way down the mountain, they all became part of my stories of 2016.

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What’s next, where’s next? Is our city moving forward by measuring anything but the GDP, revenue of the key financial institutions, number of tourists visited, sales number in the retail sector? These are just formulated numbers that have so little correlation to an average citizen in the city. The numbers only tell a small part of the story. The life quality of a person or even a population cannot be calculated or refer as a series of numbers. I hate hearing the numbers and reports that are in flying colors but the actual well-being of the normal population is unlike what it suggests. Many are still worried about their income, lack of personal space (housing) and a list of things that derive from it.

Believe or not, the grassroots level has been contributing so much without us knowing of, or there’ll be no ‘Sifu’ sustaining our lost arts, nobody would be making our world famous dim sum and stir fry, plus my favorite frothy milk tea. They’re the keepers of the city, the ones that keep our engines running. They’re the solid foundation of the Hong Kong brand image, not those once a year sport events and parades.

Our newly built Kai Tak Cruise Terminal was once again surfaced to the news report due to its under-usage. Many of us knew the location picked by the authorities was a terrible decision (the old airport runway). Just to be fair if I were to choose, I’d likely be picking the same site. It’s also probably the cheapest and easiest way without reclaiming any land along the Victoria Harbor. What it’d inherited from this spot is that, it requires buses, taxis to transport tourists to where they really want to go (ex. Lan Kwai Fung, SoHo, The Peak etc..). The proximity issue is more lean toward us, the actual users for the site when idled (no cruise ships embarked). They can revamp the interior terminal into something more public-friendly. There’s huge demand for more city green, open area, vehicle-free urban space. The East & West Kowloon Cultural District Project is the go-to answer, I have so much faith in this and wish this can bring Hong Kong to a whole new era, the door to the next best thing

The First Contact

Photography

I’ve always fond of animals. Besides the wildlife documentaries often shown on our TV, zoo has always been the go-to place to get to see them. There’s not a dedicated zoo in Hong Kong if we exclude our theme park (Ocean Park – more of an aquarium) and the super outdated Botanical Garden with a mini zoo. It’s nothing like the St. Louis Zoo (USA) and ChimeLong Safari Park (China) I’ve been to.

While a zoo can never be as entertaining as the one in the Jurassic Park movie, it still has its place. It’s a ‘no-brainer’ activity. If you’re really bored, you can stare at a bird or taunt a monkey for as long as you want. All that happen in a perfectly safe setting. Have you ever imagine where there’s nothing between you and them?

Military Facility
Popsticle

when I first started hiking beginning of this year, there were two girls looking into the woods across by the simple barrier. As soon as they left, I wanted to see what they saw. That’s when I came across a live wild bore the first time. It was just 10 meters away. They normally won’t attack human unless their lives are being threatened. I’ve never heard any got injured when they see one. Most of the news were them getting lost in the city.

One of the most common wild animals are cows. It was a unsettling feeling when I came across a group of them. They were huge, I was alone still on a mountain late at dusk and completely blocked my way through. When I think of cows, I think of the Spanish bullfighting. The fact was, those cows near me had got horns. It turned out they were calmer than the tamed dogs in my neighborhood.

Butterflies
Quality Time

Another wild animal that is also common are monkeys. I learned from TV that they steal hikers’ food and beverages when not properly kept. They do hold a very steady population, so our ‘Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department’ had done sterilization on some of them. Again, I got influences from movies and programs; made me think of ebola, rabies and all kind of hard to cure virus/diseases. I came across a huge gang of them recently. At first, one of them was just there chilling with a popsicle and another pair enjoying quality time by the water. All these happened before it rained. I was making my way back and I came across them again. This time they were moving in groups by the side of a steep ramp. One of the smaller ones got slid and fell down from that ramp. That’s when their leaders unhappy about my proximity. The angry growl was a clear signal i got to move away. I eventually got pounced on the leg by their leader.

Mirror
Moving in groups

There’s no negotiation between you and the wild animals. They do not care who you are, what you have. No wonder we often refer them as the beasts.

Small World

Photography

Not too long ago a girl that I tried to ask out, we both thought we met the first time. We then later found out that we were on the same portrait at a social event organized by a common friend. All that happened 3 years ago. We, Hong Kongese love saying ‘Tiny Hong Kong’ or others would refer it as ‘Small World’.

I’ve lived in one of the largest countries in the world. Just when I thought I could go anywhere with a car. It turned out the country is just too big and sometimes so time consuming to get around. More importantly, not every part of the country can be interesting enough for you. I used to think Hong Kong was very small, too small to be anything big. We even have the world’s smallest Disney. It feels as much as an insult to us. These days everybody talks about how’s the opening soon Shanghai Disney is going to affect ours’ and how the tourism is going to further suffer

I used to get so perplexed with our high rises and got so fed up with the monotonous city life. It turned out when all things packed into a city, we have the luxury to make things happen much easier than a sparsely populated area. This is our edge as a metropolitan, at the same time there’s also the sacrifice – the high cost of living.

In my heart, I like Hong Kong for what it is. I was born here and this is my home. It’s up to how you accept it or you would not be here. Somehow I got inspired by this girl i met, with a true sense of belonging to her village and the district. Knowing the village is a bit remote to most urban areas, the way she described her home and life sounded nothing like Hong Kong, more like another place on earth.

Perhaps some of us are like rat on a wheel, always running, moving, evading, escaping.

Into the Wild
Soil Erosion
Erosion
Plants
1000 Island Lake
Return to life