14 May 2008

Rauschenberg 1925-2008

“I really feel sorry for people who think things like soap dishes or mirrors or Coke bottles are ugly,” he once said, “because they’re surrounded by things like that all day long, and it must make them miserable.”

13 May 2008

Lei Yue Mun - Seafood 'Bizarre'

Sunday we 'tried' to go for seafood at one of the popular local seafood places. Lei Yue Mun is right across the harbour from HK Island on the Far-East side of Kowloon. We took a short ferry ride over and then the fun began.

The look of the fishing village was pretty much what I expected, but it was a little more crowded than I thought it might be. Also it was very smelly, like fish - big surprise! The idea of Lei Yue Mun is that you go look at the large tanks of sea creatures and pick out what you want to eat. I had read that you didn't 'need' to do this, but it was popular. I don't know a whole lot about how to choose anything from the ocean, so I was thinking we could just order off a menu. Wrong! The place we went had menus, but no prices, and it didn't clearly explain the cooking fees if you did bring food. Our waiter spoke zero English when we asked about how we were supposed to bring our own fish. Feeling a little out of place and knowing I was going to get badly ripped off most likely, we decided to eat somewhere else. Although we didn't end up eating in Lei Yue Mun, the experience was interesting. Huge tanks line the sides of a very narrow alley-like pathway of seafood stalls. Again, not knowing how to buy fresh seafood, and given most people spoke no English didn't exactly make me too comfortable.

I'm sure regularly it's a great place to eat, but I'd only go again if my friend(s) spoke some Cantonese to help out. It was interesting that the seafood hawkers were only talking to me whilst ignoring the locals. That really made me feel like I would get totally ripped on the price. Oh well, next time, next time...

Lots and lots of fish. Some small, some massive. If you like creepy crawlies, this is the place for you.

Local transportation/housing.

12 May 2008

China Earthquake

The death tole has now reached 12,000, and is suspected to jump even higher. I can't even imagine what it must be like in the hardest hit regions. It is sad so many of the deaths are children, trapped in their schools and ultimately crushed by the same roofs that provided them education. If any good can come from this tradgedy, it will be the rebuilding and hopefully second look at building codes, especially schools.

08 May 2008

Does the wind support a boycott?

"The flame of the Olympic torch went out at the start of the Olympic torch relay run on 4 May in Sanya, the capital of the Chinese province of Hainan, the Associated Press reported. The flame extinguished as the first runner, Yang Yang, was setting off. The TV broadcasts did not report the incident, focusing on the crowd while the flame was re-lit."

You would think after all the whining and complaining about how badly the torch relay has been run so far, that the Chinese could get it right in their own country. I wonder if Yang Yang has been arrested yet? Probably on charges of conspiracy.

Speelcherk enywon?

"A 25-year-old woman has died after losing control of the motorcycle she was driving and crashing into the kerb."
-Hong Kong Government

07 May 2008

Welcome to Ping Chau

Ping Chau is a small Island located in the far North-East regions of Hong Kong. It is actually closer to China, much much closer. So close, that they have immigration boats circling around to make sure people are not swimming away from China to escape. To ride the ferry back to mainland HK, two police officers checked everyone's ID. There is another island in Hong Kong called Peng Chau, so a 'Tung' has been added to make it Tung Ping Chau to avoid confusion. The island is a whopping 2km across, so it can be hiked rather easily. Without taking photos I don't see any reason why it would take more than an hour to walk around. We were there the whole day, so everyone took their time taking photos and exploring some of the interesting rock features around the island.

While we were waiting for the return ferry, members of our group decided to spontaneously start jumping. Maybe they got too much sun?

It's a very nice island, although it take at least 1.5 hours to get there. That's how long the ridiculous slow ferry took. A speedboat would maybe take 20 minutes. Also the ferry departs from University Station, which is about an hour away from HK Island East. We had to wake up quite early in order to catch the morning ferry. The water on TPC is very clean, aside from the side that faces China which is littered with trash everywhere. The south side is much much nicer. >more Photos

06 May 2008

Don't do this in Tung Ping Chau.

So let me get this straight, as long as I'm authorized, it's perfectly fine to spear-fish while water-skiing being pulled behind a water scooter, and I have to make sure I'm not enjoying myself? I'd like to see that waiver form...

02 May 2008

Olympic Torch Relay - HK, You've Gone Soft!

"The Olympic torch began its relay through Hong Kong Friday before a flag-waving crowd that heckled a pro-Tibetan protester and jostled the police officers protecting her.

Officers eventually put university student Christina Chan into a police van and took her to a police station to protect her from the crowd. Many yelled obscenities and about 30 people pushed and shoved a dozen police surrounding her."

This comes from the same city/citizens that marched a million people onto the streets to protest the Tienanmen Square incident. Hong Kongers have gone soft. Everyone is so afraid of what will happen to them if they speak out against the Chinese government. So much that they will actually attack those who have a different opinion in order to appear they are pro-China. At least in this incident the police actually 'helped' the protester.

Why did thousands of people flee Hong Kong before 1997? What were they afraid of then? Have they forgotten why they left?

Welcome to Hong Kong!

Has anyone been to Vegas? If not, don't fret, the Blueman Group is making a one day only appearance along a special 30km relay Friday afternoon!

It's a good thing I'm already here. I wouldn't want to have sat on a 14 hour flight only to be told I had to get back on and go home.

The Olympics are supposed to be about peaceful competition, blah blah blah, but the Chinese government is sure doing a good job of ruining the whole point of it. People are being blacklisted and turned away at the Hong Kong airport (note: Hong Kong is not supposed to be China, is it?), and 3000 police are being scattered along the relay tomorrow. Is anyone other than the cops actually going to see the torch? They should just hire the Pope-mobile to usher it around all day.

I really wish I had taken the day off work. I still haven't worn my nice new black t-shirt, and with so many people in Hong Kong loving to protest, something is bound to happen tomorrow. A perfect opportunity to use my telephoto lens lost!

100 days left

Beijing Games Update - Hong Kong Shows Its Hospitality

30.04 - Hong Kong turns away four activists, including a Chinese writer and a Tibetan

In the past couple of days, four human rights activists have been prevented from entering Hong Kong, where the Olympic torch is due to arrive today. Those turned away included Zhang Yu, the general secretary of the Independent China Pen Centre, an writers association, two Canadians from Students for a Free Tibet, Tsering Lama and Kate Woznow, and Free Tibet Campaign press officer Matt Whitticase. They had been expected to give news conferences and meet with journalists to discuss the situation in Tibet.

Whitticase said: “2008 is the year that China is supposed to be opening up to the world in anticipation of the Olympics, but everywhere one looks, China is slamming the door.” The Hong Kong Journalists Association has condemned the decision to deny the activists entry.

29.04 - Danish sculptor denied entry to Hong Kong

Three members of a pro-Tibetan Danish group called “Colour Orange,” who had planned to take part in a demonstration during the Olympic torch relay in Hong Kong on 2 May, were denied entry on arrival yesterday and were put on a flight back to Europe. One of them was Danish sculptor and human rights activist Jens Galschi√łt, the author of a sculpture at Hong Kong university entitled “Pillar of Shame” that marks the 1989 Tiananmen Square massacre. Galschiot, who was to have painted the sculpture during the visit, said: “Hong Kong does not escape the control of Beijing [...] which does not want any criticism during the Olympic torch relay.”

-Reporters Without Borders