Monday, 26 November 2012

Tuesday, 6 November 2012

three's a crowd


last week was halloween and i desperately didn't want to go out. i love dancing, i like wearing scary things on the MTR, but i avert large gatherings of people, and halloween in the neighbourhood of central is exactly that. 'large gathering' to me is anything more than 2 people, i.e. a few weeks back i was meeting a friend and as i met him he surprised me with 'i actually have to meet some old work colleagues for drinks, but you're invited!' it turned out to only be 4 other people and i tried digesting the existence of everyone as best as i could, but 10 seconds in my entire mind just shut down. my friend and his colleagues took turns asking me if i was okay for the rest of the night, to which i would try and beam my smile but secretly wished i would dissolve into matter. leaving tangent, emma was over (all the way from australia!) and wanted to dance. we settled finally at 1am on a 'walk through the neighbourhood'. this happens almost immediately. happy halloween!

i got home and realised i just can't bring myself to participate in what people know as 'nightlife' (unless it involves pizza and movies and mcdeliveries and staring at full moons while wondering what it would be like to physically transform into a werewolf with a good heart who hides in woods so as to not terrorise loved ones). this isn't suppose to be a backdoor compliment but numerically i have travelled more continents then i have gone 'clubbing'. these are my experiences in chronological order.

*
there is always a precise moment in your asian existence when you realise (through an epiphany or having a racist tirade thrown at you)—white people think all asians look the same. this makes for easy id borrowing when you're in high school. my friend wanted to party and had done the work for me. the id was from a girl who enjoyed hitting me asian-gf style and pinching me on the arm and calling me names and basically bullying me. i lost the id immediately because i lose a lot of things i despise. just kidding i actually lost it, and was worried for a few minutes because this was a real id that belonged to a real girl until i remembered she was a psychopathic bully who physically inflicted pain on me every visual communications class and everything will be okay. 

when my friend found out i lost the id she was distraught we weren't going to 'go clubbing' and i breathed a sigh of relief. the next few blocks we walked has since become a blur but a stranger had overheard my friend complain about my underage-ness and lack of id, turned around and said, 'i have an id you can have.'

she was pretty. she handed me a malaysian driver's license. she was 25 years old.

'she's way better looking—'
'white people can't tell—'
'i can't drive—'
'it's an id!—'
'she's more than 8 years older than me—'
'white people can't tell!'

we realised we were arguing right in front of the girl. 'thank you so much,' my friend quipped, 'i'll try not to address any cocaine to your address,' i joked. the girl's face flickered through all 50 shades of regret and i quickly added, 'that was a joke, i don't even know what drugs look like.' i actually don't.

i ended up getting into the club and danced to every hip-hop song. human joints are not made for house music, seriously.

*
the same friend insisted we go 'asian clubbing'. i had just turned 18 and no longer needed foreign licenses to fuel peer pressure. i dressed for the occasion, no i didn't. i was in a t-shirt, shorts, combat boots. my friend burst into laughter (or maybe tears i couldn't tell under dim street lights) when she saw me. we found the line before we saw the club. to this day that memory remains of the impressionable me gasping at the sheer amount of asians collectively not doing their homework. i told my friend we were not going to line up and to my surprise she agreed. we passed the front of the door so we could have a gaze (why are so many people lining up it feels a bit 1850s gold rush) and noticed an empty 'VIP' line.

'nothing to lose,' i said as i started walking for the VIP door. actually i lost about 6 hours of my life that night.

*
i never realised this before... but this begins again with the same friend only across the equator. i picked her up from hong kong airport at 10pm, and knowing by then that one of her favourite things were going out late at night to get smashed, i suggested i sacrifice my sanity and take her to LKF. by the time we got there it was 3am. i thought the place would be kicking but i forgot to take into account that it was a monday of absolutely no significance.

pretty much everything was closed. but as though God was bored and decided to randomly place a person before us to play the butterfly effect, a typically annoying sort-of drunk expat appears, 'have you see my friend?' i tell him to leave us alone. he persists 'no, i've really lost my friend!' i keep walking and another typically annoying sort-of drunk expat appears, 'he's telling the truth! we don't know where our friend is!' before i have time to ask my friend to please ignore them another one appears and we're faced with a capella of typically annoying sort-of drunk expats looking for a friend.

'friend'.

i'm kind of 'i want to go eat mcdonald's' but my friend is already in a conversation with them. she tells me they know a bar that is open and we should follow them. i say 'i want to go eat mcdonald's' but she is already half way down the cobbled lane. i follow her a few more steps and indeed there is a bar, that looks closed.

'the owner got really drunk and he's passed out, he said we can have whatever drink we want,' one of the dudes explain.
'mcnuggetssss,' i hiss, but she is already behind the counter mixing her own drink.

at that point their missing 'friend' shows up and he is carrying an axe. just kidding he was off his face. i want to leave but my friend is being an idiot. so i stay, checking up on the owner hourly to see that he has not choked on his own vomit, and making sure nothing stupid would happen.

i think she had fun having a bar to herself. that was the last time i ever went out with her after 10pm.

*
this involves a different dance partner and is fairly recent. i thought if my friend wrote for a hong kong paper he would know a place that fitted my description of an ideal dance place without people. he didn't, but suggested we try to get into *name taken out so no triad members come after me* for laughs. i hadn't danced with a room full of sweaty asians since asian clubbing avec combat boots. funnily enough i wore doc martens again, (i only have these two pairs so it's kind of what-are-the-chances but not really as i only have five pairs of shoes all together). we didn't get rejected in our uniqlo esque attire and danced until our feet were sore a.k.a realised how old everyone around us were.

some had white beards.

white. beards.

wheards.

whut.

that is not cool.

Monday, 29 October 2012

Wednesday, 24 October 2012

yangshuo



i rode a super old, about-to-break bike for 70km on a highway, not recommended. i rode a train, sitting, for 22 hours. not recommended. the police made me cry after i reported a robbery, victim blaming sucks. the food was pretty good though.

Saturday, 20 October 2012

huangshan



because a six kilometre vertical climb is worth it.

Thursday, 18 October 2012

central nervous system



kiki in kwun tong.
 

mother and child crossing sham shui po.
 

escalators through central.
 

sarah waiting at central pier.
 

full moon in TST.
 

yu xuan on her birthday.

Saturday, 29 September 2012

eat drink boy girl



teas in wan chai.
 

my favourite place for ramen — nagahama on kau u fong.
 

iced coffees at heirloom.
    

terrible curry from 'tasty curry'.

Tuesday, 11 September 2012

tsim sha tsui



i walk past a child squatting a metre from cartier, his parents whistle him on as a pool of urine slowly coat the pavement around him.

what the fu— i mean, welcome to TST.

i come here mostly to develop film and eat kfc (korean fried chicken)/pickled radishes with friends. this is one of those 'always-a-buzz' places, one you definitely avoid if you hate life. my favourite way to arrive is on a ferry, where i know i am graced with 5-8 minutes of my own personal space before my surroundings envelope and swallow me whole. 

people spill over the zebra lines at every pedestrian crossing, and though it never smells as pungent as mongkok or china, there are scents every few hundred yards that can penetrate through your imagination. some i can only describe as, 'WHUT'. 

there is the walk of stars or stars walk or something to do with stars which i have never walked because i would rather jump into the water a few feet away. there are museums that are some of the worst museums i have ever been too (government budget is definitely all going into reclaiming land and developing transport). i guess it could be a shopper's paradise but we all know that is just an incorrect anagram for my nightmare.

i recently chanced upon this view though, from a random balcony hosting some lost/tired mainlanders located on the second floor of harbour city. 

if you need your mind cleared it is a nice place to sit, or you could take a self-portrait with the view — may require setting up the frame and running downstairs in 30 seconds.

proceed to celebrate this feat with some takoyaki from the nearest food court.

Friday, 7 September 2012

about a boy


he has short frizzy hair that feels like the rough green side of a sponge, it would tickle my palm whenever i brushed his head with my hand. his skin—a beautiful olive that could be best described as 'free from hardship or troubles or fried food'. he never slept, and when i saw him during the day he never dozed off either.

one time during summer's blistering heat, we were indoors. the blinds were shut and the only light filtering in was from the door ajar leading to the living room. he laid there on the bed while i sat on the floor. i knew he wanted to kiss me so i wasn't making eye contact, and every time quietness crept on us i would make some nonsensical comment, 'my favourite vegetable is eggplant but really it's a fruit, all my favourite vegetables are fruits so you could just say i really like fruits,' i would blurt out. he usually laughed to humour me.

i was fiddling with the hem of my skirt when a sudden halt came into the conversation. i said without much thought, 'look at the side of this skirt, the seam is torn', it was a long skirt and i handed him the tail for show. he took two sides of the tear in either hand and flinched his grip, i immediately snatched my skirt back while voicing a panicking whine, 'noooooo!'.

like a room with the air suddenly sucked out, he paused and looked at me, i held his stare unable to read his eyes, seemingly wandering in mine. his lips curled into a smile and he smacked his forehead with both hands, 'you thought i was going to rip your skirt?'

the tension eased in my shoulders, 'yes?' then in my defense added in more detail than he had asked, 'you held it as if you were ready to rip this all the way to my thigh'. he shook his head and said 'sorry' through a few disbelieving chuckles. i blushed but the room was too dim to catch any colour in my cheeks. we sat in silence for a long time after, minds wondering.

later, while in a taxi with his friends, not knowing me any better, he says 'i love you'. i coax a smile, thinking about it.

'you love everyone though,' i respond a few minutes later, as if i knew him.

barely a few weeks pass, and he really, actually, truly falls in love with another girl, and she falls in love with him too. every now and then i think about them, like today. 

not that i know them well, to me they are just names on a piece of paper, no graphs, no illustrations, no stories for me to read. but they fell in love in an interesting place and lead a — if not interesting, at least not mediocre — life.

i guess that's what i'm thinking about today, a 'not mediocre' life.

Tuesday, 28 August 2012

Sunday, 26 August 2012

Wednesday, 8 August 2012

Friday, 3 August 2012

sk85ive2, kwun tong



today kiki asked me whether i knew how to skateboard and this was the reply that played out in my head:
when my brother was two he received a skateboard. who gives a two year old a skateboard i'll never know. 
being nine it was logic that i would use the board until he was old enough, or until the board was lost, or until the board was thrown over the fence by accident and consequently never retrieved. we lose forever the items that land in the yard of certain mysterious neighbours. sometimes they are thrown back but most of the times even we grow to forget them. 
i would skate in the driveway with a surface that physically resembled cobblestones. one day i was pushing with my front foot and the board ran away below me. the thud when i landed on my back was so loud i thought surely all my bones were in pieces. silence sank moments later and my mum opened the door to see what mischief i was up to. unable to move i replied her with my head to the sky. 
mum: why are you lying in the driveway you'll get your clothes dirty!
me: i fell.
mum: why aren't you studying?
me: i can't feel my back, i think i'm paralysed.
mum: have you practiced piano?
me: i don't think i'll ever be able to get back up.
mum: are you listening to me? stop wasting time and go do your homework. 
*single tear drop proceed to roll down from my unloved right cheek*

Monday, 18 June 2012

hang in there


  1. robin, growing tired of hong kong
  2. wanchai
  3. can we pretend that—
  4. central on a busy night

Wednesday, 6 June 2012

Tuesday, 5 June 2012

winter air




takiri

Saturday, 2 June 2012

night tales


laura @ chadwick

Monday, 21 May 2012

Monday, 30 April 2012

Wednesday, 25 April 2012

Wednesday, 18 April 2012

Tuesday, 17 April 2012

hello kitty



amazing al

Sunday, 8 April 2012