Hurry Up – Beds Needed!

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After years of speculation of what could possibly be the reason for large swathes of Pui O being razed to the ground/covered in rubbish, the … hotel for mainlanders? Guest house for China Air staff? A palace? is raising its majestic head. Now we know how big it will be (huge), just not quite what it will be.

Now the question is: In what kind of tiles will it be covered? Leopard pattern? Diagonal? Just one colour?

Meanwhile, eager customers, tired of sleeping in tents at Pui O beach, can’t wait to move in. They have now taken to camping in the sports ground next to the structure:

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At least for a little while! Just be patient.

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Sleepy Backwater Pui O Gets New Restaurant

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After lying dormant for a long time, the eating establishment on Pui O beach has new owners, a new look and a new name. Mavericks. I thought the name was because the owners see themselves as something of a maverick, but it turned out to be a surfing location in northern California. I’m sure everyone but me knows that though, especially people with an interest in surfing. For make no mistake, Mavericks is all about riding those waves.

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From the fresh, colourful wall decorations of surf-related pop art and surf boards to the menus stitched onto old, cut-off surfboard, this is surfing territory.

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It’s bright, open, airy and perfectly suited to be a beach-side venue. I brought my dog and so did lots of other people, and there must have been something in the laid-back surfer air because none of them as much as raised a single hackle. The dozens of kids there were also having a whale of a time.

We went there Friday night (the first night) and also Sunday for lunch. It was packed on Sunday, and as they only have two (long) tables, we were forced to perch on a barstool/high table arrangement. But the food was excellent. L had something called C.O.B.B. which turned out to be a salad

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I had won ton nachos and they were truly inventive and delicious – chicken served in little cups made of deep fried wonton skins with guacamole and salsa. More, more. This was also one of the few dishes that cost less than $100. For make no mistake: Although situated in sleepy backwater Pui O, Mavericks runs fully on SOHO prices. My friend told me a pint of beer was $88.

I wisely stuck to bottled Tsingtao, which cost $30 if I had four and $40 if I had three… But like the 60s, if you could remember how many beers you had, you weren’t there!

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Incinerator Again!

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Dark clouds are gathering over Lantau and over sleepy backwater Pui O, home of yours truly. It’s that damned EPD (Environmental “Protection” Department) that’s hellbent on building a toxin-spewing incinerator just outside my kitchen window.

They say there will be no toxic emissions, but that we “have to spread the pollution around” (therefore can’t build smaller, more sensible and modern units near existing landfills). They say there will be no toxic emissions but that “what airborne particles there are will blow over to Cheung Chau Island”. They say there will be no toxic emissions, but scoff at the thought of building it in Central so they can admire their handiwork every day. For make no mistake, it will become a tourist attraction, don’t you know!

Former champion for Hong Kong people and environment, Christine Loh, has gone all government on us, saying the incinerator will be built whether we like it or not. Not in my back yard indeed, as she won’t have to look at the 150 meter high chimney eyesore and breathe in the cancerous fumes every day. Congratulations Christine, isn’t it great finally to have come in from the cold?

Meanwhile we in Pui O and Cheung Sha live right in the cancer-belt, and can expect to start dropping off in 10 or so years. But what does the Hong Kong government care about the long term? A quick search of ‘Incinerator and cancer’ brings more than 6 million results. But hey, Elvis Au has said it’s completely harmless and he knows more than the officials in all the countries where incinerators have been shut down after the people around them started croaking at an alarming rate.

People, we need your help! This isn’t only about Pui O, Cheung Sha and Lantau Island; these beaches and islands are for everybody in Hong Kong to enjoy. Also if we allow the government (whose concern should be public health) to ride roughshod over everybody in this way and completely disregard any modern form of waste disposal, what can’t they do next?

Write to wklo@engineer.com, lcc.ntw@dab.org.hk, jkstolegco@gmail.com klclegco@gmail.com or elau@dphk.com before Wednesday April 16 and voice your concern. Please!

Thank you.

Posted in Beauty, Environment, Eyesore, Government, Hong Kong, Injustice, politics, Pollution | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

Insanerator

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Hong Kong Government rides again! Led by the Environmental “PROTECTION” Department’s Elvis Au, they have now decided to fund the most expensive, most difficult and takes longest to build, most stupid, useless and destructive solution to HK’s rubbish problems: The Shek Kwu Chau (pronounced Sek Gu Chau) HK Government White Elephant Rubbish Solution Hope.

I print here in its entirety the email I received from Living Islands Movement today and urge you to help. This is a disaster, not only for us Lantau people but for all of Hong Kong. Write to the bastards! Please!

Living Islands Movement
Dear Members and Friends

We were very disappointed that the LegCo Panel on Environmental Affairs voted in favour of the Environmental Protection Department’s application for funding the incinerator and extending the three landfills (“3+1″). There were 9 in favour, 6 against and 1 obstained.

We would like to take this opportunity to thank our many members who made written or oral submissions to the public meetings on Saturday 22nd and on Friday 28th March.

The application for funding will be submitted to the Public Works Subcommittee in April and then the final stage of approval will be sought from the Finance Committee in June.

What can we do now?

We need to lobby the members of the Public Works Subcommittee and the Finance Committee to vote against the incinerator application.

We strongly encourage you to send emails to the members of these committees, and will shortly distribute an automatic email list for this purpose, as well as some suggested arguments for rejecting the incinerator (though you already know many good reasons).

It’s important to remember that the super-prison planned for Hei Ling Chau was not rejected until the Finance Committee stage, and a strong effort over the coming weeks could again win the day.

Your contribution to lobbying could make all the difference! We also need to raise some funds to continue our efforts so feel free to join as a member or make a donation.

Best regards
The LIM Committee
www.livingislands.org.hk

Posted in Beauty, communism, corruption, Environment, Eyesore, Hong Kong, language, Media, Pollution | Tagged , , , , , | 1 Comment

Down With Simplified Characters

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Oh, how I hate simplified characters! It’s bad enough that I have to see them everywhere in my beloved mainland (although shop-and restaurant owners who want their business to look stylish and upmarket increasingly use normal characters on their signs) but now they’re appearing all over Hong Kong too. The photo above is from IFC; the poster aimed at mainlanders only, forget about local people. This is how that character should look:

Mainlanders coming here are perfectly able to read normal characters. They look up to Hong Kong as a place where you can trust the quality of products. Why then drag our products down to their level by branding them with the cheap and shoddy-looking simplified characters, created so even idiots would be able to read propaganda slogans? They are insulting. And ugly! Here’s another one, also from IFC

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which actually is written 禮。 It’s time Hong Kong stopped the patronising nonsense of thinking mainlanders can’t read real Chinese and showed some pride in her own language and culture.

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I Hate Hotpot

Like, really hate. Like when I see or smell it, I run screaming from the room.

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Your Tax Money At Work

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Every so often, I mean about once every millisecond, this conversation takes place between the boss of some construction company and a government official:

Boss: We need some cash. Give us a job.

Gov Official: OK, I’ll find you something. Lantau Island, OK? Let’s do Pui O, everybody else is.

Two days later the plastic railings go up and the work begins. This particular footpath, another result of the kind of conversation mentioned above taking place about four years ago, is one I have walked along probably once a week since it was inexplicably changed from a perfectly fine footpath – you know, earth, rocks, some trees – into a wild confusion of toilet wall-like tiles, pebbles and a kind of shiny green curved-tile railing reminiscent of a Chinese temple (in Las Vegas).

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Whoever put down the tiles, perhaps bought in a sale of wall tiles in 1983, failed to work out the combination: Wall tiles. Outdoors. Water coming down. Slippery.

But hey! The construction companies are nothing if not inventive. Tiles slippery: Put down some tape! It’s also beautiful.

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But all government money runs out, even for construction companies, so last month it was decided that the tiles should be removed. I asked the workers why and they said because they were broken. Being of a melancholy disposition I frequently look down when I walk, and pointed out I had never spotted a broken tile on that path. “Oh no, it’s because they are slippery” they quickly backtracked.

I’m looking forward to seeing the keepers of our tax money will replace them with! No doubt it will be objects of astounding beauty and usefulness.

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Still Living in Hainan

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It’s been two months since I came back from Hainan but I still can’t quite let it go! Loved that island. Except the betel nut juice that is…

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Christmas In China II, a Photo Odyssey

There are streets full of Christmas decorations of various…accuracy. But all self-respecting hotel lobbies have a saxophone-playing Santa Claus with wildly gyrating hat.


Room party in the hotel before going to Youth Disco


The party at Youth Disco gets underway

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Excellent Goats

I came across these goats eating a tree in little M Chi Saan (Five Finger Mountain):

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