So yesterday morning I was up early with a bag of hopes and cameras tripping to the waterfront in Tsim Sha Tsui of Hong Kong to greet the sun in its annularly eclipsed attire. The newspaper said that the next happening of such over here would be 300 years later, a time when we can all conveniently watch from heavens.
Sorry if you are destined for the hell.
So the annular solar eclipse looked fantastic on the postcard I saw people joyously fanning in the air as I moved closely to the crowd already gathering there. It was 6:00, good gracious, just in time for the best 3-minute slot of the event. What happened next was an hour later it became obvious that in reality the solar eclipse was as good as an expanse of thick fluffy clouds. No sun was in sight. Considered it totally eclipsed by the clouds then, I thought to myself.
But the morning was not totally wasted. Two expected things happened.
First, it was the power of herd mentality. Probably because the crowd had been in high hope of seeing the eclipse but utterly bored for waiting pointlessly in the wind for an hour, when the clouds opened a crack for the sunlight to shine through the people cheered like crazy. Suddenly it was like in the home team stadium celebrating the victory of the Red Devils. Hooray, hooray, hooray! But what on the entire earth were they cheering for? It was a normal scene of any normal moment after sunrise on any normal day! Click click click, photographers finally found use for their cameras.
And there, a man is performing a religious ritual of some sort in the foreground on the left!
Few maintained their sanity. One was me (well I actually saw the total sun eclipse in France back in 1999), the other was the bloke sitting next to me in a graciously casual fashion on his privately arranged pink revolving whatyoumaycallit chair. He was the much-talked-about Kai of Digitalrev.
Before that moment of insanity came, I had a bit of a chat with him. So much of an idol he was that some local (young) photographers kept cornering him and popping embarrassing questions like
how old are you, are you gay, can you speak Cantonese, what is Digitalrev, what is a camera review, which is the favourite video you have made and do you own the company, et cetera, et cetera.
As for me, I knew exactly the key of idol worshipping. So I moved over to take a photo with him.
Well, suffice it to say that, from his facial expression, doing a photo with the idol at such an awkward distance was anything but gratifying. So at the risk being harassed in one way or the other, I went closer for a second shot.
(Artist's impression 2: Me and Kai)
See, he is smiling!
Well, this could be better than the eclipse. I saw something more unexpected. Considered these worthy of the special trip.