HK Raw and Ready: Day 3 NYD

New year, new day, new beginnings.

Learned my lesson. Am not blogging on the go with the WordPress app anymore. Now it’s Notes first and then will transfer and upload the entire text through the app at night.

Close to half past eleven, ventured out to Hung Hom in search of Maxim Palace and dim sum. It wasn’t that hard getting there actually, which was good. Didn’t have to wait despite the queue. There are reasons to love a party of one. Many families are out enjoying a hearty New Year lunch. But I bet this place really comes alive during the Lunar edition.

Let the pictures do the talking now, because I’d rather be eating and snapping, and really, words do no justice to a culinary surfeit. Oh there goes my diet. I guess I’ll have to eat hard now and work it off later when I get home. Or I’ll probably skip dinner tonight.

Then took off for the Adidas Factory Outlet at Kaiser Estate. A bit tricky handling the navigation with the map, but I found the place. One thing I learned about looking for touristy places: keep a lookout for tour buses; they’re a dead giveaway. Turns out we’re at what are some gems factory outlets, so that’s why the crowds came.

The Adidas store was really a bust, cos the selection was pretty thin. Picked up a nice navy Chelsea windbreaker because I didn’t want to have made a wasted trip. Typing this at a 7 Eleven after a hot cup of instant Ovaltine. Gonna walk around Hung Hom before heading back. Sun’s out: it’s lovely.

Wandered into Hunghom Square on a whim. It’s a traditional shopping centre of the forgotten variety, by which I mean goods literally gathering dust in shop windows. Clothes, a couple of computer and handphone outlets, English tutorial centers shuttered for the holiday. A good bargain hunter’s kind of place. The basement had been taken over by a gaudy display of vendors hawking festive decor.

Walked by apartment high-rises with names like Bailey Gardens and Hunghom Estate. 40, 50-storey shoeboxes, some served by shopping malls or outlets like the one in Whampoa Garden, but those without can still stay mercifully private.

Typing this in nearby Hutchison Park. A peaceful sanctuary pretty much completely taken over by little groups of Filipino or Indonesian domestic helpers on their day off. They sit in their cliques on ground sheets, take over benches and pavilions, eating, chatting, some glued to DVD players or laptops. One large group even participated in a dance class. There is an audible buzz in the larger groups, but most are sedate affairs. Sounds of Tagalog or Bahasa Indonesian abound, one of the few places in HK you don’t hear much Putonghua spoken. There are some tourists taking a break or pictures, a few elderly folk on their strolls or working the exercise equipment or at tai chi. I think the same scenario is pretty much repeated in other parks too.

I wonder what the locals make of the domestic helper influx. Do they resent them for reappropriating or changing the nature of their public spaces? I am a foreigner among them too. If I someday do relocate here for work, what kind of welcome will I get?

I can conceive being on The Job here. Someday.

Planning to walk the rest of the park and then decide what to do next. It’s fifteen past four and a little chilly now in the late afternoon.

Next stop was the Promenade in front of Laguna Verde apartments, which is waterfront living with another majestic view of the harbor. It continues along adjacent Tai Wan Shan Park. I end up back on minibus service 6 towards the hotel to recharge for a while.

Turns out I decided to stay in and watch some TV. Caught some of the entrepreneur/visionary type reality TV show ’20 Under 20: Transforming Tomorrow’ on CNBC, where 20 finalists get placed on a year-long Thiel Foundation Fellowship and a cool hundred grand to further their ideas, after a gruelling process of working on their ideas, pitching them and talking to Silicon Valley VCs. Now this is the kind of reality programming that we need: empowering committed and passionate young people to further their ideas in a real way, building a community towards the future upon new ideas and ways of solving problems. The way we approach PW could really use an infusion of some of this too. You don’t give templates; you build dreams and you mentor and you permit the passion of young people. I hope to do some of that this year, in my own small way. It can’t be business as usual because it’s every important we teach the kiddos how to dream right and build the future. The world could use more Peter Thiels.

Tomorrow will be my last day here. I hope to use it well.


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