Trouble in Hong Kong…

an outsider's perspective of hong kong

Archive for November 2010

happy thanksgiving

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a few weeks ago, i saw one of my old business associates for dinner as he was leaving hong kong to go back to singapore. just before we started eating, he started saying grace. i remained silent while he did his thing.

i come from a family where my father always tell me – ” if you don’t work hard, jesus can’t help you. no one can”. i guess dad was always the pragmatic one.

i must admit that i am not religious. it is not because i do not believe in god, it is because i do not believe in the versions of how we tell the story of god but it doesn’t matter i always think that even if the day comes for me to see my maker, i could honestly tell him – i have never been that bad – bad to an extent but never deliberately bad.

the act of my friend saying grace has changed my perspective that day – for a long time now, i forgot to how give thanks. maybe it’s because we have so much of everything – we have so much food, so much clothes, so much of everything excess that we forgot how to be grateful.

today is thanksgiving, i hope that all of us especially myself will take the time and give thanks to the things we have and forget about the chase for what we could have or should have.



Written by smalltroubleinhk

November 25, 2010 at 3:29 am

a walk at shing mun reservoir

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maybe about two months ago, i talked about my hiking goals. i listed out all the hiking routes i want to conquer in the next few months before the arrival of next summer.

a few days ago, we  did the shing mun reservoir route. shing mun reservoir is one of hong kong’s largest dams in the territory.  it doesn’t really matter where you start from as there are a few connecting routes that will lead you to either tai po or shatin.

we started the hike at the shing mun country park entrance on shing mun road. there were so many feral monkeys hanging out like gangsters near the kiosks. it does make me a little sad to think about how we have destroyed their natural habitat and as a result to that, they have to hang out with us in order to get food. they do have the tendency to be a bit aggressive so don’t get too close

overall, shing mun is a nice easy walk – the view of the dam is picturesque. also strangely at certain spots around the lake, where the old trees still stand, the breeze is calm and there is an unspoken sense of serenity. like what i always say -you don’t have to leave the city on a plane just to get serenity – just go to one of the country parks. i love hong kong, there is always a side of it, like turning a page of  an intriguing book

head towards pineapple dam- it will link you straight to shing mun reservoir

go towards pineapple dam, it links you to shing mun

sophie is the alpha-female. always want to be in front but lately she never wonders too far from me. when she was younger, she doesn't know how to wait

feed me please

if trees tell a story of us, i wonder what they would say? feels like the enchanted forest and the faraway tree

doing the whole route takes about three hours.. you can always do a bit more if you walk to tai po or shatin

sophie is getting a bit older - a lot of white hair around her face.. but it's okie best friend, i'll take care of you!!!

wherever i go, my best friend follows even to the toilet!!!

lately i have been contemplating on getting another tattoo - i am thinking of a lotus plant. i am not religious but i always like lotus plants. their roots are very deep and they can grow in the nastiest places. it's a little like me. i like nasty

sophie's second best friend....

this is hardly a side of hong kong people think about ya?

we got to the main dam a bit too late - 15 minutes earlier and it would have been perfect!!!

it gets dark so early these days – remember to bring a flash light. the thing is the hiking routes are all linked in hong kong and it is very easy to go another route without realizing. we walked till dusk and the monkeys were teasing us like mad!!!!

Written by smalltroubleinhk

November 24, 2010 at 3:18 pm

fred perry x amy winehouse

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have you heard about the amy winehouse fred perry crossover? i think it represents the best of british preppy-ness. the first time i heard amy winehouse, i thought my god – this girl could blow; the lunacy, the drugs, the drama and HAIR just adds aura to her personality.

i love the collaboration between amy and fred perry. i love gingham skirts, capri pants, sexy argyle sweaters and subtle shirt dresses.. check out the entire collection on the fred perry website

amy has never looked this sober - i think

my favorite piece in the collection

i like the element of sportiness along with subtle sexiness

i love love the skirt

Written by smalltroubleinhk

November 21, 2010 at 3:58 pm

cinema paradiso

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i feel absolutely compelled to write about my favorite movie and about the first time, i fell head over heels with a film – cinema paradiso

i don’t know if many of you have ever watched this movie and if you hadn’t, i’d seriously suggest you to do it ( along with a box of tissues) i watched this movie in 1999 during my first year of film studies. i cried so hard, so loud that my lecturer came to me the day after and asked me about my outburst.

when i discussed this context of this film with its many fans – i get so overwhelmed with the impact it had on different people and the richness of their interpretation towards the film.

a film critic said – i was like toto when i was young, i was obsessed with film and cinema.

many more told said – ” you will never forget your first love”.

for the older people they recounted on the personal impact of war – which destroyed a generation, fathers who died before their children were old enough to remember them.

for me, it was the friendship between alfredo and toto. that friendship that was like father and son, mentor and protege.

this is my favorite scene of the movie – when toto received alfredo’s gift to him after he passed on

my friend was just asking me the other day – how is possible that we could still remember the songs we used to listen to when we young? it has been so many years. i just think that the older we get, the more we forget how to love something with compulsion.

i thought after all these years, the impact of cinema paradiso would have eased on me and a few days ago, i re-listened to the soundtrack and again – i cried for hours. i was quite relieved after that – the movie reminded me that i wasn’t as jaded with life as i thought i would be. i need to watch the movie again soon – alone.

Written by smalltroubleinhk

November 21, 2010 at 6:49 am


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for as long as i could remember – people have often used the word intelligent to describe me. before you call me a narcissistic b****, please allow me to continue for i am not interested to blow my own trumpet. i just want to talk about the quality that comes with being intelligent.

many years ago, i had a teacher who told me – people like you have the opportunity to be very influential in the world  and it is up to you to choose if you want to use it well or abuse it.

i was troubled with her statement. there are days especially when i am in a foul mood, i fear my own thoughts and for as long as i remember as well, i have been fighting a battle between good and evil. i feel sometimes the world should be cautious of me because of when i am good i can be so good but when i am bad – i am a ball of fury.

if you look at everything that is happening to the world – bad and good they are both the doings of intelligent people. think about people like bernie madoff, charles manson – would you call them dumb people by any measure?

sometimes when i listen to peoples’ conversation about other people, it never fails to frighten me how shallow and simplified our minds have become. we talk about the world like as though it is either black or white. we develop one-dimensional opinions of people and conclusions are made almost immediately to summarize person’s integrity.

be careful with people who always talk about being good, be careful of those who always use religion as an excuse and be exceptionally careful with you choose to run your country.

Written by smalltroubleinhk

November 19, 2010 at 7:02 am

chris luk – a very talented photographer!

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i was coming home last tuesday night and i bumped into a friend of mine -chris luk. i have always liked chris. he is one of those people you want to be stuck with in a lift with.

i have been a curator of beautiful photography, beautiful literature ever since i was young.

chris does a lot of part time photography -weddings, photo shoots and i cannot believe why he doesn’t do it full time. the man has such good taste. at the end of the day, i think people can be very technically gifted at what they do, but i what i like about chris’s work is taste. again taste is very subjective. i have a feeling like me, chris loves old movie stars, the glamour of the yesteryears…

so i am going to pimp his work on my blog and i have secretly stole his work ( i didn’t ask his permission yet) and if you guys are looking for a fantastic photographer with a nice ass ( bonus, chris does a lot of kickboxing) please visit his site –chris luk

nostalgic - reminds me of the beautiful jackie o!!!!!

chris was telling me about this recent wedding job he took on - the couple's theme was about dying together.. a bit macabre but so fun!

damn, chris when i die. can you make me look hot like that?

so drama!!!

i don't know why i am thinking of a forlorn maria callas

actually right chris, i have been looking for a tube like this....

Written by smalltroubleinhk

November 18, 2010 at 4:48 am

my favorite best inventions of 2010

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been catching up on reading my stacks of unopened time magazine. i really need to think about renewing my subscription and  digitizing everything. with the amount we spend every month on magazines – like fortune, wired, glamour and time, it may make more financial sense to just buy an ipad.

i know a man who reads four different papers every day when i was young and i remember asking him as a kid – why? so many different versions.

” you need to look and inspect an issue from different angles, there can be many versions of the truth”.

if you don’t read time magazine, here is an article i like a lot – 50 best inventions of the year

my personal favorites

1.) the neonurture incubator – it is said that many as 4 million newborns die within a month from birth and because of the lack of medical infrastructure, even if we could give them incubators – they may not have the technicians and the means to maintain them.

what do you do? they use old car parts and remake them into an incubator. since car parts are easily available and there are many mechanics in even the most remote places – the neo nurture incubator is a technology that is relevant.

a big thumbs up to innovation and recognition that every human life is precious, regardless of where you are born.

2. the almost waterless washing machine

sometimes when i am having a nice hot shower, i think about someday soon wars will be fought because of water. there are just way too many people and water supply is finite. funny how only 3% of the water supply we have is drinkable.

i like this invention – the ( almost) waterless washing machine. it is invented by xeros.

3. the martin margiela plastic fur coat

whenever i buy something new, i cannot wait to rip out the plastic price tag fastener and i’d be happy to contribute them martin margiela. he used 29,000 of them to make this coat. the message from the fashion maven – he wants us to stop and think about reusing our resources and what we immediately discard.

it’s true – i think about the difference between us now and our grandparents. they think of ways to reuse something. remember those tin cadbury boxes, grandpa always reused them as storage facilities for his handymen stuff – nails, bolts, nuts.

i don’t think i’ll wear it though – looks far too uncomfortable.

4.sarcasm detection

damn they need to unleash one of these on me – i’ll be the best test subject since sarcasm is one of my best traits. developed at the hebrew university of jerusalem – the tool is used to spot sarcasm in sentences. wonder if my sarcasm is universal?

it’s funny i searched the net for an image of it – can’t find it, i wonder if this is a joke or something?

5.) the straddling bus

i recently wrote an e-mail to one of my mentors and asked him something i have been thinking about – in my e-mail to him, i said -____  if einstein believed that we only use about 10% of our brain, do you think that even if i used 11% or 12%, i’d still be relatively living an underutilized existence?

the human mind – for all mysteries that behold and capture my imagination – this is the crown jewel and we try so hard to oversimplify it, pretending we understand it..we don’t. the straddling bus – amazing and it is being developed in china. cheaper than a subway, the partly solar powered vehicle will have two lanes and has the capacity for 1200 passengers in every carriage. it is elevated and therefore cars can pass underneath. trial run begins in beijing at the end of 2011.

6.) better 3- d glasses.

yes, please. i suffered all throughout avatar – 3 hours !!. i have a small face and i don’t have a nose bridge ( don’t laugh) thank you oakley.

read the whole article if you want to uncover your favorites. i remember an old indian saying that i have written down somewhere years ago – i hope you think about it in this age and time when the world is in the midst of dying – we do not inherit the earth from our ancestors, we borrow it from our children.


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