Trouble in Hong Kong…

an outsider's perspective of hong kong

Archive for March 2011

my father and i

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many people could tell intimate stories about their fathers, how their fathers are like, what they liked to do, things they like to eat but i am not one of those people. never been.

a few months ago, my dad told me that he would often get very bored at the hospital. i thought about getting him an ipod but i got stuck at song selection. all the memories of the fondest memories i have of him happened before i turned 7.

he passed away on the morning of 10th of march. in a way for many months now, i have been bracing for it but when it finally happened, i felt really sad.

two months ago when i was at my godson’s birthday party. i sat next to a man who told me that his children weren’t speaking to him anymore. i told him. don’t give up, keep trying. they will come to their senses.

i said to him – during my adolescent years, i hated my father a lot. i didn’t speak to him for years.

he said me,” what changed?”.

” it was the realization that being my father does not make him immune to making mistakes and it is unfortunate that when we grow older, we make more mistakes that often involved other people and they are usually people we love”.

“for whatever it may be, i have already forgiven him and wished that we hadn’t wasted so much time”.

i wished my father had known me as a friend and not his daughter because i think he would have been proud of my decision of always trying to be good and to do good no matter the situation. i wished he knew how much i try to be fair and to use my good judgement when facing many ordeals throughout my life.

i am starting to miss him.. somehow. strange isn’t it. i thought i stopped knowing how to miss him because he was never around. in fact, when i think about all the major milestones throughout my life, he missed it all. my wedding, my graduation. everything but i miss him in a strange way.

i delivered his eulogy at the funeral.

i promised him that i will take care of everyone – my brothers, my half brothers, my mum and my step mum.

i didn’t see any of his mistakes as mistakes because now that i am an adult i know that life often throw us situations that do not allow us to be the best of ourselves. we are all victims of circumstances.

i know that towards the end, he had wanted to make it up to us. he had wanted to find a way to say sorry. i hope he at is at peace now because i could never find it in my heart to hate him.


Written by smalltroubleinhk

March 27, 2011 at 8:37 am

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the world of rob ryan

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rob ryan's book - this is for you. it is a book about love and loss told in the form of paper cut outs. holy moly!!!

this is intricate world of rob ryan. how extraordinary that almost all of his work is cut out on delicate fragile pieces of paper

this man’s talent is so oh my god, where do you even start? we live in a world where so much of what we see of art and think of art has been duplicated and replicated to the point whereby you go-  i have seen that done a million times!!  but somehow you could never quite say the same about robert’s art. there is a subtle quality whereby you know that you can’t copy his work blindly because each piece is imbued with so much intricacy and effort. yes, effort is the word i am looking for the world lacks so much of it.

i have been so fortunate to have been asked by a friend of mine to help her company do some copywriting on this project ( it’s highly secretive now because i am not supposed to talk about it now) and the next thing you know – i found myself researching and gorging down with unfounded excitement all of rob ryan’s portfolio and previous projects.

known as the edward scissorhands of today, rob ryan has been fascinating the world for quite a number of years now.  most well known for his outstanding work in vogue magazine – the paper cut dress caused many readers’ jaw to drop in awe.

the paper cut dress by rob ryan

i was reading his blog and what he wrote really spread a big wide grin across my face and made my day!!! thank you rob!!
Were you the kind of child that ate your way all around the edge of the hole in the middle of a biscuit bit by bit with tiny teeth in little nibbles? –  yes,  i was and i don’t think i was alone. where were you rob?

Were you the kind of child who spent much more time drawing margins and making multi-colored borders and underlining the titles and subtitles of your homework than ever actually doing it?
I was always busy jumping over and around the cracks in the sidewalk, and I looked up at the spaces in the sky that lay between the shapes made by crisscrossing telephone lines and power cables waiting for a jet plane or a bird to pass perfectly into the centre of the frame that I had created in my head. At that instant, I shut my eyes as if they were a camera shutter and captured that moment and made it mine – i didn’t do that but i used to play this game of sitting in the field and asking my friends – what does this cloud remind you of?

I do like this whole paper-cutting thing.I like the fact that I don’t need paint or brushes or water or oil or palettes or canvas, just a piece of paper, a knife, and a pencil [and a rubber (eraser)!]. So much less—less mess, less waste, less stuff. More time—more time to say the things I have to say without detail getting in the way. No adding on of paint, layer after layer—no more never quite knowing when to stop. Only taking away and taking away, first of all, all of the holes from the middle of all of the doughnuts in the world, and then the tiny slivery gaps that exist in the spaces in some lovers’ entwined fingers, or maybe that tiny little island of nothingness that lives between two pairs of kissing lips. And then a bigger hole that really is the entire sky, and so on and on until all the gaps fill up and slowly become the solidness that is the world we live in that somehow lies betweenbig big grin. when people are in their element it always shows and their work speaks volume

thank god for people like rob ryan. life can be so banal because we live in a mass-produced society. everybody wants a template to do something because we are expected to produce a standardized level of work. sometimes i think, maybe life was more fun a 100 years ago when most of our biggest discoveries happened throughout different stages of trials and errors and sometimes even as a direct result of an accident.

for more on rob’s work, please go to mister rob

Written by smalltroubleinhk

March 8, 2011 at 9:47 am

i forgive you and i forgive myself

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a few days ago, i received a friend request from a friend whom i had a bad fallout with a few years ago. i was over the moon at the request. let the truth be told. i have often thought about him most especially in the last year. after accepting his request, i saw him online and i initiated a conversation.

i said, hey thank you for the request. first let me start by saying, can you ever forgive a f*****g  idiot like me?

he laughed and said, ” i understood why you were so angry then”.

while i will not go into the details of our argument. i recently evaluated how i have been as a person in the past, present and who i want to be in the future. the fact of the matter is , i don’t really like the person i was. i was unemphatic, spoke too hastily , bad – tempered and egoistic ( the ego part needs a bit a work, i must admit)

have you ever felt like you deserve a second chance? or the fact you wished you could go back to a time to undo some of the mistakes you have made?  maybe that is why we aspire movies like back to the future. but we can’t and we just have to move forward.

i have been observing the lives of many fascinating people. one of the important keys to happiness is i think –  taking responsibility for everything we do.

this is because the moment, we say – i am wrong.  we instinctively put ourselves in the position of power to change something and to find a solution. i wish more people would dare say they are wrong. so much of dealing with a problem begins when acceptance.

life becomes rather sad when we spend all our time blaming people for the source of our pain don’t you think? so much of today’s society as well do not allow us to see the bigger picture on forgiveness. we do not forgive people for forgiveness sake, we forgive people as it is a great way for us to move forward.

Written by smalltroubleinhk

March 7, 2011 at 5:08 am

good old fashioned adele

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thank god for adele.. in a world where so much of everything boils down to looks, sex appeal, positioning and image; adele is the holy grail of unadulterated talent. she reminds me so much of old -fashioned singers like ella fitzgerald, nina simone and etta james. when they sing, you sit up and listen and that is so refreshing.

she proved she could do it all over again with her new album 21 and oh my god, she is only 21. well, i did go oh my god, two years ago when she released 19, her debut album. i can’t believe someone that young has that type of maturity, depth, groove and texture.

my absolute favorite song from 21 is definitely rolling in the deep and her updated version of the cure’s love song is currently on my replay again and again list. i am a fan for life adele!!


Written by smalltroubleinhk

March 6, 2011 at 4:00 pm

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rereading tuesdays with morrie

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page 21 – tuesdays with morrie

because morrie sat in the wheelchair, the camera never caught his withered legs. and because he was still able to move his hands- morrie always spoke with both hands waving- he showed great passion when explaining how you face the end of life.

ted, he said. when all this started, i asked myself am i going to withdraw from the world like most people or am i going to live? i decided i am going to live or at least try to live – the way i want, with dignity, with courage, with humor with composure.

page 35- tuesdays with morrie

so many people who come and visit me are unhappy. why?

well for one thing, the culture we have does not allow people to feel good about themselves. we are teaching the wrong things. and you have to be strong enough to say if the culture doesn’t work, don’t buy it. create your own. most people can’t do it. they are more unhappy than me – even in my current condition.

tuesdays with morrie- page 49

do you remember when i told ted koppel that pretty soon someone was gonna have to wipe my ass? he said.

i laughed. you don’t forget a moment like that.

“well i think that day is coming. that one bothers me”.


“because it’s the ultimate sign of dependency.someone wiping your bottom.but i am working on it. i am trying to enjoy the process”

enjoy it?

“yes. after all i get to be a baby one more time”

that’s a unique way of looking at it.


tuesdays with morrie – page 56

sometimes in the mornings that’s when i mourn. i feel around my body, i move my fingers and my hands-whatever i can still move and i mourn what i have lost. i mourn the slow, insidious way in which i am dying. but then i stop mourning. i give myself a good cry if i need it. but then i concentrate on all the good things in my life.on the people who are coming to see me. on the stories i am going to hear. on you – if it’s tuesday. because we’re tuesday people.

tuesdays with morrie – page 81

“everyone knows they are going to die” he said again, ” but nobody believes it.if we did, we would do things differently”.

so we kid ourselves about death, i said.

“yes. but there is a better know you are going to die and to be prepared for it at anytime. that’s better.that way you can actually be more involved in your life while you’re living.

tuesdays with morrie – page 92

say i was divorced or living alone or had no children. this disease -what i am going through- would be so much harder. i am not sure i could do it. sure, people would come visit,friends, associates, but it’s not the same as having someone who will not leave. it’s not the same as having someone whom you know has an eye on you, is watching you the whole time…. it’s what i missed so much when my mother died.- what i call your ” spiritual security-knowing your family will be there watching out for you. nothing else will give you that.not money. not fame.

tuesdays with morrie – page 135

when morrie was with you, he was really with you. he looked you straight in the eyes  and he listened as if you were the only person in the much better would people get along if only their first encounter  each day were like this- instead of a grumble from a waitress or a bus driver or a boss?

” i believe in being fully present,” morrie said.

tuesdays with morrie – page 157

invest in the human community. invest in people. build a little community of those who love you and who love you back. … in the beginning of life, when  we are infants, we need each other to survive, right? and at the end of life, when you get like me, you need each other to survive, right?

his voice dropped to a whisper, ” but here is the secret: in between, we need others as well”.


Written by smalltroubleinhk

March 3, 2011 at 4:27 am

post oscar fever by now

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confession – i love watching the stars and the beautiful clothes more than the award show itself. frankly i don’t really care about the awards because you often know the results before the actual announcements. when it comes to beautiful hollywood actresses, everything else can wait and should wait because they the very reason why we look forward to a new day and the key to all our earthly aspirations

along the oooooohhhss and the ahhhhhhhhsss, there was as well a lot of….. what the……. so these are some of my what the….. moments

gweneth paltrow shimmered in calvin klein. i like her so much better now that she is older and more comfortable in her skin

for an ethereal beauty like cate. this dress was really wtf.. it looked like a window with bubbles growing on it and the yellow beads on the shoulders. seriously, why?

michelle rodriguez on her way to the oscar after party. it's like as though michelle is telling the world - god i need to try harder to get some publicity!

naomi watts: why did the chicken cross the red carpet? because the chicken saw mama chicken walking on the red carpet

jennifer hudson in versace. one of my favorite dresses of the night and look at her glow!!

halle berry is i think one of the most beautiful women in the world.

mila kunis has arrived. at every oscar there is an actress which makes everyone go - i want to see more of her. this year it was mila!!

mandy moore is so beautiful she makes me cry but no matter how many times i look her i cannot recognize her. why is that? i don’t understand it myself. she is just forgettable

helen mirren is one hell of a hot grandma!!

i get scared every time i look at dresses like that. it just reminds me of a giant bird and the fact that hilary looks like a man doesn't help

what happened sharon? no one recognizes you now. you can start a new life in a different country and recover from your botox addiction(xoxoxox)

celine wow you are the most beautiful man i have ever seen

Written by smalltroubleinhk

March 2, 2011 at 7:46 am

winter play

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one of the trends in the last 10 years that became very apparent to me was the proliferation of the korean entertainment industry. in the 1980s, hong kong was the hub of asian entertainment but sadly they have definitely lost out on the top spot due to the churning of lack luster stars.

i recently found another amazing korean export – they are called winter play

i love their rendition of billie jean. enjoy!!!


Written by smalltroubleinhk

March 2, 2011 at 6:59 am

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