[chinese blood, irish heart] - DEFUNCT: May 2006

Sunday, May 14, 2006


So I got some replies from the District Councils and the Antiquities & Monuments office. Good thing about Hong Kong is that although it's a highly beauracratic place, people will still endeavour to reply with haste & urgency. Whereas back in Ireland people need to seriously get their fingers out. I remember when I started off at Iron Mountain as a creditor calling up all those companies who are overdue, a very small proportion replied. So invariably it took a longer time to get things done.
So anyway, they the officials who responded were quite sound, all the usual riff-raff about 'we'll look into this matter' etc etc. I've done all I can at this point, so hopefully someone will bring the good news or just quell my misplaced concerns.
Chek Keng has a lot of potential. It took me about an hour & half to get there from Mong Kok. It's quite surreal- setting off their from an urban maze to an isolated place with no mobile phone coverage. It's in between Tai Long and Pak Tam Au beaches so it's a good resting stop or just even as a visit to see old architecture, not to mention the 150 year old church. My dad and I were discussing whether it would be viable to build a resort-style house. I joking suggested to build an Irish pub but that might be a tad hasty.
Firstly something needs to be done about the roving oxen and dogs. We can't just kill 'em since they've been pratically the only 'residents' since our ancestors fucked off. Fencing off the oxen shouldn't be a problem but the dogs will be much trickier. Good thing is they tend to avoid us but who knows what diseases they might carry.
One thing i'm not gonna do is make it another battleground for those wargamers... even though i'm a big military buff I still won't let 'em set foot here. Sure, it's the next best thing to real combat but it's still a lot of pants. Being ex-military I'd derive no fun of shooting little BB's!

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Chek Keng ancestral home

Going to our ancestral home with us 3 generations together was a great thing to do.
We met a generous yet eccentric fellow by the name of William Chan who's from neighbouring Tai Long. He single handedly restored the collapsed church with his money- and he's not even Christian! Chek Keng is pratically zero population so when my Gran came along he was excited that a former resident has finally returned. Unfortunately my Gran's memory isn't too good and my dad was too young to remember the exact details of the church's architecture and surroundings.
He also told me about the deteriorating foot bridge at Chek Keng and reckons that the District Council or construction company is guilty of cut backs. He tried telling the Chinese newspapers but none took him seriously or didn't want to question the government.
So I went to look for myself.

Running back all the way before our departure boat arrives, I did see evidence of flaking and corrosion on the 8 year old bridge. I'm no structural engineer so I wouldn't know if this really is a case of inferior cement or just natural erosion... but only after 8 years?? I'll look into this more.

More pics

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

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Sunday, May 07, 2006

Special ceremony at Yim Tin Tsai village

My grandmother grew up in Yim Tin Tsai village with her 'Chan' clan. It's a teeny island village just 30 mins away from Sai Kung. The Chans were apparently experts in salt-making but had all left by the 1970's. The salt farm is now nothing but an overgrown shrub.

She flew back from Ireland to attend an annual Catholic ceremony held at the village. But this time was a special occassion as St.Joseph's church which sits high up has been renovated and the recently appointed Bishop Zen held a mass there too. Needless to say the media were out in force, although most asked Zen about the recent Bishop appointments in the Mainland. My grandmother got some attention too as I chatted to journo's, telling them that we came all the way from Ireland to attend. Certainly got Emily Chan's attention who's with TVB Pearl news- who looks way hotter in person- and interviewed my Dad. She also mentioned in Ireland in a typical yank accent: Eiiiireland... still, woo-hoo up the Dubs!

Carried my new 'mobile media command' backpack with almost all of my video & photographic equipment. Well heavy but it's real handy. Mostly did video work so I can make a short docu aswell as a reminder for my gran.

Watch the newscast here

More pics here

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

George Bush vs George Bush?

It may be subversive, but it's damn well funny. Steve Bridges appears on Jay Leno from time to time so I've always imagined him up on stage with the real deal

Monday, May 01, 2006

Random comments

Photo credit: Kimimasa Mayama -- Reuters

Ah pride of one's country, an honourable and sinless act.
But nationalism in conjuction with militarism is another ball game and the Japanese seem to be getting their own Patriot Act going on.
Koizumi's right wing government has been putting forward new measures to foster patriotism among youths, including the whitewashing of history, visiting war criminal shrines and punishing pacificists.
What's worse is the so-called worsening ties between Japan and its ex-WW2 enemies, most notably China. But that don't stop the trade flowing.
I don't know why their politicians have begun this patriotism wave... why now? Is there a deepening social crisis among youths? A loss of identity? The increasing independence from the US? The bleedin' World Cup?? Nobody seems to be addressing the roots but just nit-picking at Japan's alterior motives. Sure the media say things objectively, but the fact that these things are reported unravels their hidden motive to further undermine Japan.
I'm personally not concerned. I don't think these measures will sway the Japanese youth away from electronics and cosplay. Just take a look at some of their most popular TV shows and the type of people on it. Do you think these wasted youths care about nationalism? So why don't you right-wing nuts spend your people's taxes on something more worthwhile?

Falun Dafa march kicks off Golden May week

These guys are always in the Mongkok area. A few drummers and placards here and there, they don't seem to make much impact. But on the eve of our Golden May week about a thousand protestors gave authorities a headache by marching along Nathan Road; one of the most congested roads in Kowloon, if not Hong Kong. I myself have no strong view on their situation, though I firmly believe the Commies are inhumane enough to commit such atrocities. It was cool though, I finally had an excuse to wear my flak jacket with PRESS on the back. Cops were kind enough to let me wander beyond the barriers yet I don't think the Mainlanders (which were the bulk of the protestors) didn't know what PRESS meant. Ironic because I didn't see any mainstream media staff around.

Check the usual place for more pics.