Friday, 7 May 2010

Paradise in a not-so-remote spot

Hong Kong is so close to nature, yet it's so easy to forget it's there. The other day I was walking round Central, the originally named centre of the financial district, and had the most terribly sore feet - the humidity here seems to give you blisters from even the tamest of shoes (aka my loyal flip flops). As I'd already gone into two coffee shops to recover from endless hours of flat hunting, I decided to venture 5 minutes from the roaring traffic into Hong Kong Park.
Now, at first glance, the park is nothing to write home about. But, upon sitting still on a bench in the Tai-Chi quarter, which seems to be a popular siesta spot, given the people sitting/leaning around me; an unconscious backpacker, what looked like a banker (given his pink shirt, crisply ironed suit trousers and incredibly pointy shoes), and a snoozing granny, I noticed that I was surrounded by birds. And these were no ordinary birds - parakeets, green parrots, budgie type things, midnight blue pigeons with white spots on their heads.. you name it, every tropical bird was there. Even those white ones with the yellow hairdo that walk up and down the branch sideways. I've only actually seen those birds in cages and noted how they do that odd walk, like they're making sure not to fall. Well they do the same in the wild. There's also an aviary, but I gave that a miss.
The other paradise next door is Lamma Island. Half an hour ferry from Central and you're suddenly on what looks like a Greek island. I have to admit that we went at night, and so all I can say is that it looked like a Greek island in the dark. It was so nice to get away, though, and it made me realise how little time we take to really take a break - even if it's for a minute.

I've noticed that the Hong Kong locals are always taking small breaks - sleeping on the bus, rolling their shoulders while driving, doing Tai-Chi on their terraces (I have a full view of our ancient neighbour every morning as she does her morning rituals)... I've left that long behind, and think that checking my emails on my phone is a break - wrong!
So, now when I'm feeling frazzled, I'm going to try and sit still for 15 seconds, close my eyes and think of nothing... shouldn't be too hard!

I hear you can get into trouble for pulling pics from the web, so thank you for the tai-chi pic!

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