Victoria Park has a massage walk, a walk with smooth, shiny stones placed on edge, a place to walk or run and massage your feet. There is a long path with stones of different colors, and then, a circle with larger, white stones. People prance delightedly about. It is fun, stimulating, and relaxing. It is a different form of labyrinth, a modern way to pilgrimage, a definite way to honor the nobility of our feet.
As many people as there are here, and there are many, I stand out, so receive many smiles as I pass along. People remember me, and, I realize now, I remember them too. I am trained to notice and I do. Somehow, despite all the people, it feels like a small town, but maybe that is what it is to travel. We stay aware, carry a space around us that compacts our journey around us, like what we carry in our suitcase.
I am getting more used to the cacophony though why there is a huge screen with action and sound at the entrance to Victoria Park, I do not know. I expected it in Times Square,
It is an amazing mix of stores, high end and low with everything in between. There are medicinal herbs and an array of watches, displayed in the stores, and those hawked on the street that are “fake.” I know from my copy watch purchased in Bangkok years ago that the fake ones sometimes outlast the real, so are not necessarily a bad bargain, depending on what you want. It seems everything is offered in some form or another in every block. I am starting to know my way around, and with the water to the north on Hong Kong Island and to the south in Kowloon, so far, I have managed not to need my map or get lost.
I read that
I heard the cannon shot off at noon today, in honor of the colonial past.
I picked up Charles Frazier’s new book, Thirteen Moons, in the book store here. The books are light in weight and wrapped in plastic because of the humidity. It is odd to read of our treatment of the Indians while here, and, also remember our treatment of the Chinese. We have quite a past, and reading Thirteen Moons, I remember that though I am shocked at times at the government scandals, there is nothing new. The history we were given in our history books was carefully chosen and manipulated. Perhaps, now, the internet creates more connection and accountability in government and business. The buck flies furiously fast.
Speaking of the buck, here is an interesting fact of creation from Thirteen Moons. “The deer has just enough brains to cure its own hide. No more, no less.”
One wonders about our brains. What might be cured with them when we die? Or perhaps it is best to sink into rest and dissolution with no need or desire to preserve and use our hide.
The Cherokee mourn for a minimum of a year, the time for the passing of four souls, the last soul, the bones. I think we need a symbol to wear when we are in our year of mourning, a necklace perhaps for women, a scarf, or black armband.
I look out and see birds in flight, and the rolling soar of some of the eight hills of
Comments on Monday Evening and Afternoon:
Steve and I enjoy lunch together in an upscale restaurant where the dinnerware and food combinations are unique. I can feel my stomach blaze with trying to figure out where to put all the nutrients offered to it in such an unusual form. Creativity has out-fusioned my digestive system.
I head out for a monastery that used to be on the water but now with all the building is not, but it looks easy enough to find on my little hotel map. I just need to go a bit north of Victoria Park. Well, after noticing the closed circuit TV cameras to ensure safety in the park, which instead makes me feel like I am walking in a science fiction book, and passing multitudes of people all moving continuously in the heat, I come to a major road. I figure out where to cross and then, stumble among all the high rises unsure any longer where north might be. All curves. I return to the crowds without finding the monastery and truly it is an astonishing mass of movements. There are all these high rises and all the people who live in them seem to be out walking and shopping. I couldn’t have believed it could be more crowded but it is. I am anonymous in the afternoon crowds.
I will say there are a few old men sitting together in the park and chattering away. I see why it is so clean. The men and women are continuously sweeping with their brooms. They never stop. Steve says it is like the computer game, Sim City when it first came out, streams of motion.
We find a quiet, air-conditioned place for dinner. Ah! They have something they call fun-time in the restaurant where for just a little more, you get a continuous pour of wine.
The sun pops out red for one moment, and that is it, our first sighting. When the plane landed, we flew down through layers and layers of clouds. I had never experienced anything like so many layers of clouds, one after another. Now, I see why the sun seems so far away. There is serenity in that, and it is odd to see a red roundness peek through for just one moment, and that be an amazing treat, and yet again I wonder if I am the only one who sees. Sometimes I feel I am the only one looking up and out.
There is a light show every night at eight, so we watch from our room as 33 buildings light up to music we can not hear. It is spectacular, and also feels a wee bit odd. Boats are out in the harbor to watch the show, and they, also, are well-lit. The lily is well-gilded here.
I remember when we were in
Yesterday I was more aware of the Communist
The onslaught of advertising is amazing. I wonder what it is to have these images absorbing and absorbed. Last night was the first night we were awake enough to be out in the evening crowds. There are some fashionable young, many look quite pleased with themselves.
I was slowed yesterday by humidity and heat, and did not travel as far as I had planned. I am setting out today more prepared, though it is easy to say when one sits in air-conditioning rather than out in noise, crowds, and heat. I spoke with a Brit yesterday who hopped on the hotel elevator from the fitness floor. I mentioned the heat outside. He said he rarely goes outside, and certainly had no plans to do so that day. There is an area of Central where one can go between buildings without ever going outside. It makes sense in the monsoon season, which can be quite intense. They have warnings of what to do, and when it is an 8, no one is to leave their hotel. Of course, this hotel has absolutely everything, so it would be a party, not a sacrifice. I do need, though, outside air each day.
In this area English is not a problem. As usual, we are pampered language pets.
It is now 5:14 AM