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Showing posts from November 1, 2009

Hong Kong Eastenders

The Eastenders is a well-known and much watched TV drama in the UK about stories of the ethnic minorities living in an area at the east end of London. As a matter of fact, the mention of the East End can unfortunately conjure up pictures of people at the lower-class of the society. Ethnicity is (on paper?) celebrated in the UK. The corresponding policy of caring for the ethic minorities, however, does create problems to the same group of people.What is the case in Hong Kong?The 2006 Hong Kong By-census revealed that there were about 350,000 people of ethnic minorities living in Hong Kong, who were, and still are, mainly South Asians including Indian, Pakistani and Nepalese. As an aside, by the term Asians, the British take them as people living in Asia except for China, Japan and Australia. This sense is not applicable here.There is a recent development whereby more illegal immigrants coming from as far as Afghanistan seek political asylum in Hong Kong. The move has been commonl…


From the UK, I have brought back with me George Eliot, the famous English female writer of the 19th century. I picked her because she stayed in Kenilworth which is near Coventry, the base city of my UK tour. Her first full-length novel, Adam Bede, portrays the countryside of Kenilworth in her time.She wrote in her Selected Essays, Poems and Other Writings:"Art is the nearest thing to life; it is a mode of amplifying experience and extending our contact with our fellow-men beyond the bounds of our personal lot. All the more sacred is the task of the artist when he undertakes to paint the life of the people. Falsification here is far more pernicious than in the more artificial aspects of life. It is not so very serious that we should have ideas about evanescent fashions -- about the manners and conversation of beaux and duchesses; but it is serious that our sympathy with the perennial joys and struggles, the toil, the tragedy, and the humour in the life of our more heavily-lad…

A Stone's Throw

When you are reading this, I have arrived at Hong Kong safe and sound.  The distance between Hong Kong and the UK suddenly seemed to have become just a stone's throw away.  Obviously, it was the desire to hurry back home.  But the flight now takes the route via Russia instead of the previously equator route via the Middle East, effectively shortening the flight time.Before my next post, the photos below are the results of a lady sitting across the table (less a stone's throw) having taken advantage of my GX200 with the TC-1 plus a filter attached.  She was waiting for the same flight.Well, the Heathrow terminal was not boring.  But every inch of it was so jam-packed with travellers that you had to line up in long queues before every shopping counter, which gave you the least incentive to make use of the pounds left.  And what better fun than to take photos in that case.

Now, what the UK is made of

What to be packed in my luggage must include some afterthoughts about what the Uk is made of as I see it.This is my second time to the UK, the first to London being a decade ago.  The break from the humdrum routines at home has been refreshing to me.  Travelling is a medicine in itself, apart from being educational.^Of Birmingham
The country is too vast and varied to be learned in any single trip.  But I have seen and learned a few peculiar things about the country.  First, it is the ubiquitous "but" in conversations with the slightly exaggerated pronunciation of the middle "/\" sound.  Second, it is the unmistakable stances among the newspaper publishers.  Some smart persons having pondered on the situation bore fruit in the shape of the following catchy phrases:The Times is read by the people who run the country; The Independent is read by people who don't know who runs the country but are sure they're doing it wrong; The Guardian is read by those who thin…

Oldness Makes You Ponder

^ The statue replicas featuring Roman emperors atop the Roman BathIn a city with so many things from the days of yore, one tends to be nostalgic and philosophical about life which will reflect in the photos taken.The lure of old things lies in their connection to the past, the days when people led a primitive life. The ways they acted and thought are reflected in the relics having stood the test of time. Where I touched and walked and watched could be the places some ancient poets and generals did the same.« The Roman BathThe captivating thought is those people died a long time ago and the present-day me will not be missed by the visitors coming here some hundreds of years later. By then, I will be a part of the history, long gone, a past tense.^The intriguing roof patterns of the Bath AbbeyThis thought perplexed me further when I wandered inside the Bath Abbey, looking at the tombs of different descriptions.I walked past a tomb which a husband made for his dead wife. The epitaph wrot…

Sally, Pretty and Grumpy

^The Sally Lunn bun with cinnamon on top.  Yum.Enjoy your Sunday.  If you're in Bath, enjoy the day with tea in the Sally Lunn's!  Look this is the famous bun by Sally Lunn's which is housed in the oldest building in Bath completed in the 17 century.^The Sally Lunn Building and me before going in to wait for a tableThe Sally Lunn's seems to require lining up at all hours for a table.  But, well, this is a main attraction of the place.
^A young lady enjoys her tea and chitchat in the restaurantAnd when enjoying the tea and bun in the restaurant afforded me the chance to photograph the pretty, it was definitely worth the waiting.The next experience was not so flattering.   I was rebuked by this busker for the little amount of money he thought I had given him.  He made a spectacular reaction by picking up the coins and threw it after me who had already walked several shops away from him.  The idiotic photographer still caught the chance to photography him picking up the c…