Thursday, 29 December 2011

Offally good


Snip snip man*, Sai Wan Ho:


Snip snip lady, Wong Tai Sin:


*The Sai Wan Ho snip snip man (legendary scissor-wielding streetside offal vendor) was in the local tabloids earlier this year when it was discovered that he kept his ingredients in a public toilet store cupboard! He has apparently repented and found a new location for his stuff, and as far as I can tell has not suffered a drop in custom (he's still there!). My question is, is the new storage solution refrigerated?

All content © Emilie Pavey

Monday, 26 December 2011

Going to the chapel

Sai Kung district boasts two tiny Catholic chapels with stories to tell.



 St Joseph's Chapel, Yim Tin Tsai


A chapel was set up in this small community off the coast of Sai Kung by a Catholic missionary in 1879, the recently canonised Joseph Freinademetz. The good father proceeded to baptise all the Hakka inhabitants of the village. The current building was built in 1890. To visit the church now and see the simple red and white decor inside, you need to keep your ferry ticket.

(Do not confuse Yim Tin Tsai Island in Sai Kung with the other island near Tai Po of the same name! Both are worth a visit though.)


Rosary Chapel, Wong Mo Ying


This tiny church in the heart of Sai Kung country park is of more recent historical significance. It is the place where an anti-Japanese resistance force formed in 1942 to resist the occupation of Hong Kong. The daughter of a former village resident tells me her father remembers pissing on Japanese soldiers from one of the chapel's upper windows! It is now apparently a Catholic Scout centre. I couldn't go inside as the door was locked. 

If you know of any other quirky churches tucked away in the New Territories, please tell me!

All content © Emilie Pavey

Sunday, 18 December 2011

The Hong Kong twelve days of Christmas... again!

= sòh jyū: term of endearment, e.g. sweetie, darling (literally, silly pig)

On the first day of Christmas, my sòh jyū gave to me:


A spoonful of sugar in my tea.


On the second day of Christmas, my sòh jyū gave to me:


Two little dogs
And a spoonful of sugar in my tea.


On the third day of Christmas, my sòh jyū gave to me:


Three fat crabs
Two little dogs
And a spoonful of sugar in my tea.


On the fourth day of Christmas, my sòh jyū gave to me:

Four skimpy shorts
Three fat crabs
Two little dogs
And a spoonful of sugar in my tea.


On the fifth day of Christmas, my sòh jyū gave to me:

Five chicken wings!
Four skimpy shorts
Three fat crabs
Two little dogs
And a spoonful of sugar in my tea.


On the sixth day of Christmas, my sòh jyū gave to me:

Six teens a-posing
Five chicken wings!
Four skimpy shorts
Three fat crabs
Two little dogs
And a spoonful of sugar in my tea.


On the seventh day of Christmas, my sòh jyū gave to me:

Seven monks exhorting
Six teens a-posing
Five chicken wings!
Four skimpy shorts
Three fat crabs
Two little dogs
And a spoonful of sugar in my tea.


On the eighth day of Christmas, my sòh jyū gave to me:

Eight dragons floating
Seven monks exhorting
Six teens a-posing
Five chicken wings!
Four skimpy shorts
Three fat crabs
Two little dogs
And a spoonful of sugar in my tea.


On the ninth day of Christmas, my sòh jyū gave to me:

Nine lamps a-glowing
Eight dragons floating
Seven monks exhorting
Six teens a-posing
Five chicken wings!
Four skimpy shorts
Three fat crabs
Two little dogs
And a spoonful of sugar in my tea.


On the tenth day of Christmas, my sòh jyū gave to me:

Ten cans a-stacking
Nine lamps a-glowing
Eight dragons floating
Seven monks exhorting
Six teens a-posing
Five chicken wings!
Four skimpy shorts
Three fat crabs
Two little dogs
And a spoonful of sugar in my tea.


On the eleventh day of Christmas, my sòh jyū gave to me:
Eleven kids a-playing
Ten cans a-stacking
Nine lamps a-glowing
Eight dragons floating
Seven monks exhorting
Six teens a-posing
Five chicken wings!
Four skimpy shorts
Three fat crabs
Two little dogs
And a spoonful of sugar in my tea.


On the twelth day of Christmas, my sòh jyū gave to me:

Twelve bottles waiting
Eleven kids a-playing
Ten cans a-stacking
Nine lamps a-glowing
Eight dragons floating
Seven monks exhorting
Six teens a-posing
Five chicken wings!
Four skimpy shorts
Three fat crabs
Two little dogs...
And a spoonful of sugar in my tea.


EXTRA, EXTRA:
The Hong Kong Twelve Days of Christmas (2011) appears in this month's special Christmas issue of Time Out Hong Kong, and it looks like this:


Some readers of this blog may remember this from last Christmas - one of the gifts remains the same (soh jyu clearly lacks imagination). Click here to see the 2010 version!


Finally, I would like to wish all my readers a very merry Christmas and a happy New Year! Thank you very much for following Land of no Cheese and for your comments and feedback. I'll be back soon for more cheeselessness!





All content © Emilie Pavey

Saturday, 17 December 2011

The new plastic idea


Mondrian and the Neoplasticists sought to achieve ultimate abstraction in art, and Mondrian described this art movement as 'a pure representation of the human mind'. The human mind has, however, found a variety of ways to corrupt this cerebral artistic concept and has put Mondrian's unmistakable geometrical patterns to a variety of ignoble decorative and commercial uses. 

 The most artistic of government waste-collection facilities in HK:

'New Plastic Art' taken a little bit too literally in this Barbie-themed Christmas installation at Times Square:


Meanwhile, the good Piet turns in his black, white and red striped coffin.


Last year's shopping mall Christmas decoration atrocities.

All content © Emilie Pavey

Wednesday, 14 December 2011

夕陽無限好 ...


夕陽無限好,
只是近黃昏

Zik yeung mo hahn hou,
zi si gan wong fan.

(The setting sunlight is sublime,
Yet all too soon it turns to dusk.)

- Li Shangyin, Tang Dynasty poet

 Lamma

Sai Kung Country Park

This is just a well-known fragment of a four-line poem. Read the full poem with an English translation here.

Photographs © Emilie Pavey

Saturday, 10 December 2011

Sundogs and moon rabbits

The sky is full of wonderful phenomena.

An end-of-summer parhelion, or sundog, spotted from Cheung Chau:



... and the Chinese 'rabbit in the moon', which can be glimpsed in tonight's lunar eclipse (if you are in HK and quick to read this post, you might still catch a bit of it - look outside!)





Or is it just some very ripe double gloucester...? 

More moons.

All content © Emilie Pavey

Friday, 9 December 2011

Island in the sun

As the thermometer nosedives once again, why not pack your bags and clear out of Hong Kong?




And go somewhere with white sands, turquoise waters and palm trees?





All content © Emilie Pavey

Monday, 5 December 2011

Sunday, 4 December 2011

High and low

High Tea - Cafe Causette, Mandarin Oriental.
Approx. 250HKD per person.



Low Tea - 華富冰室 (Wah Fu tea shop), Wah Fu
Approx. 15HKD per person.



See more of my photo contrasts in Time Out Hong Kong on the 'Hidden Hong Kong' page every fortnight.

More 冰室 here.

All content © Emilie Pavey

Saturday, 3 December 2011

蔗汁: a love story



蔗汁= je jap: sugar cane juice

In a city where chemically sweetened, artificial-tasting, additive-stuffed beverages are overabundant, freshly pressed green sugar cane juice bought from a streetside stall never tasted better. Down with 7-Eleven!








Another delicious, natural drink ...

All content © Emilie Pavey

Friday, 2 December 2011

Stairway to Heaven?

This one is a little bizarre and requires an explanation. During a recent trip to an ancient site in Turkmenistan, we passed several graves with ladders propped up against them. Our guide explained that the ladders were a superstition, supposedly to help the souls climb to Heaven. Bear with me, there is a Hong Kong connection - keep reading.



Last weekend, while walking at Devil's Peak near Lei Yue Mun I came across a small garden near the one of the disused defence installations there. In it was what looked a lot like a makeshift grave ... with a ladder.




The question is, who is Thomas?

All content © Emilie Pavey