This week we moved into our home… picture a scene out of an 80s Hong Kong movie and that’s basically where we are living. Our run down old building is home to quite a mix of people, including the flower cart owner who sells fresh flowers during the day downstairs before carting his stock up the stairs to his home, the lady on level two who burns ‘hell papers’ in a metal bin outside her apartment in the stairwell (which is completely inside the building) and the ‘night guard’ who we haven’t quite figured out yet but each night he sits smoking his cigarettes in a room off the entrance stair case which looks like an old school cafeteria but is used for mahjong on weekdays, and is sectioned off only by a metal gate.
On our way out we walk straight into a little lane way full of wet markets and street restaurants where one man is behind a stand cooking what smells to be the most delicious food while herds of people come to enjoy the atmosphere, food, and long necks. It’s a colourful little area with lots of culture, interesting characters, and quite a few health and safety concerns. But it’s home, and we’ve already started to make our memories here. From watching the delivery men carry a washing machine and fridge up four flights of stairs on their back, to the washing machine installer helping put together some of our flat-pack furniture and meeting some of the neighbours. And I’m sure this is just the start…
One of the tourist ‘must-do’s’, I ticked off the Dragons Back hike this week. Trying to get out of the hustle and bustle of the city I packed my bag and headed to Shek-O to start the coastal walk, looking out at 360 degree views of the ocean. Once I started, I soon started trying to dodge the tourists who were stopping to take selfies at every second rock which became a bit of a game, leaving me to not appreciate the view as much as I probably should have. As dad has always said to me on our hikes, it is important to stop and smell the roses, it’s not just about getting to the destination.
I really enjoyed it, and being so close to Shek-O, you can easily go relax on the beach afterwards!
Sam Tung Uk Village
Another little adventure in-between packing and moving suitcases from one apartment to another, I decided to catch the train to the end of the line to Tsuen Wan to check out a 200 year old walled village. What I enjoyed more than looking around the the old Hakka village, was the art exhibition which was there. By learning the traditional use for the areas inside the walled village, Jaffa Lam has re-created some of the scenarios in each. For example, an installation related to water in the courtyard resembles a water tank formation installed by a feng shui master in the past. It was really interesting to see the modern interpretation for how each part of the village was used.
On Saturday we went to Hong Kong’s first Sonar Festival! Not knowing what to expect, we headed out to The Science Park early in the afternoon to find the festival set up in different areas of the park…which had its pros and cons. The great thing was we were free to roam about the public space in between being in the wristband only areas, so we could get drinks and food from outside of the venue partners. Bad thing was the only way to pay for things was using a pre-loaded cash card, and seeing as we didn’t know the layout was so open, we got one when we first got there!
Overall though, it was a really fun day. I particularly enjoyed Nosaj Thing x Daito Manabe and Taku Hirayama. We managed to get front row for DJ Shadow, but with the speakers so close and overpowering, the vibrations made it hard for me to breathe (strange huh!), so after the opening song we headed towards the back to watch from a distance.
Until next week, that’s a wrap!