On a very hot and quite polluted Monday evening, the sidewalks of Queens Road East were particularly busy near the Indigo Hotel and Wu Chung House. People were hanging around a place they had no business to be hanging around. Those pavements are narrow and at busy road intersections.
I guess the safety aspect was marginally addressed by the peak hour slow moving traffic. The pedestrian traffic was also similarly slowed by the concentration of humans occupying a sidewalk that is lined with recycling bins on one side and trees on another.
Look at this:
I was literally having to wade through a bunch of zombies to get to the bus stop.
If you crossed the road, the situation wasn’t much better.
All these zombies milling around anxiously looking at their phones. No one acknowledged each other, though they all knew why they were there. Perhaps they were fighting to the death online and that makes them enemies in real life too.
I sneaked a look at one of the player’s screens. POKEMON.
Wan Chai MTR station has been super crowded since last Thursday. It’s the annual Hong Kong Book Fair and Sports & Leisure Fair. It feels like all of Hong Kong’s residents decided to come.
Crazy crowded isn’t it. Literally walking shoulder to shoulder, the bridge must be at almost maximum loading. It was very slow moving, there was no way to overtake people and there were choke points where people were trying to “change lanes” to get to the other side of the foot bridge (separated by steel barricades) or decide which exit to take.
With the typhoon gone, it was a hot, steamy afternoon. I guess the organisers are making up for lost time today.
Most people going to the book fair and Sports Leisure Fair were advised to turn off here and walk through those Greek key mazes to the convention centre.
If you made it to Immigration Tower, police are in full force and everyone has to follow the lines and signs.
No, no I didn’t go. I was just running an errand at Immigration Tower.
Last Thursday and Friday, there were staff (or volunteers) from Save the Children in their red t-shirts handing out brochures for the Peppa Pig Family Carnival in Lee Tung Avenue.
Now, if you’re a mother of any children between the ages of 2-8 years, you will know that this is absolutely irresistible to your kids. They will whine and demand to go, simultaneously declaring their love for the Peppa Pig characters.
The staff were friendly, the colours of the panels vivid and the booths were well spaced out. However, the content lacked substance and there was nothing to take home unless you were coerced into making a purchase of useless and un-environmentally friendly Peppa Pig paraphernalia in the name of charity.
What did the booths have?
There was a Virtual reality booth which had the clunky goggles ($80 per go) you put on to look around. It was empty on the Friday and I didn’t think the goggles were too comfortable. There were only two goggles on display.
Then there is the string art zone, where the lady in charge explained that kids get some string and get to tie it around the metal protrusions to weave family bonds. Hmm. A bit abstract for kids, I struggled with the thought of it myself in a small dark booth.
Then there’s the kite drawing zone. Here for a $20 donation, kids get a small paper kite (not a real kite) each and sit down for a few minutes to decorate and then the kite gets hung on a big kite board with metal pins.
So all that individual effort goes up onto a collective board and it’s an instagrammable moment for the organisers but what does the kid get as a memory?
“Mama they took my kite away. I got nothing.”
Perhaps the organisers would like to reconsider their activities and strategies to have something for the kids to take home. The string bonding thing is also quite worthless even though the concept probably sounded interesting on paper.
The most striking and entertaining activity on display was the pipe telephone. So simple, free and fun. They could’ve made it more like a 3-D maze but it’s a good effort.
There are different coloured pipes linking one side of the board to the other, at different heights to for adult/child play.
Well, there was a stage and some music and dancing going on, on Saturday but baby was asleep in the sling and I gave it a pass.
What made #1 happy was the opportunity for a photo with Peppa’s family.
Here’s how the overhead kite display looked during Typhoon 3, I wish the wind had been strong enough to make them take flight.
I have a fondness for public time keepers. You know, the buildings which have a massive clock at the top of buildings that can be seen for a few kilometres. It’s usually a big digital display reminiscent of old clock towers in British town squares (think Big Ben). It’s an easy reference for everyone in the city and I love it especially because I usually don’t wear a watch and use the “look up” method to figure out what the next appointment should be. (Far East Plaza in Singapore, Maxis building in Kuala Lumpur).
In Hong Kong, the most visible digital time display is on at ICC but unfortunately only at night, and only transiently as it rotates to other pictorial and self advertising displays. During the day, the building stands bold but cold, trying to stare down IFC across the harbour.
In Wan Chai, the big clock is an old school type analogue display. It’s positioned near street level, just above the tree line at AXA Center. This clock is visible to pedestrians walking along the public walkways of Sung Hung Kai buildings and it’s neighbours, the pedestrian bridges that cross busy Gloucester Road connecting Star ferry passengers to the heart of Wan Chai.
Well, when the clock is working that is. I was walking by at 2.45pm and the clock was stuck at the magic Cinderella hour of 12. A blown fuse? A power cut? Faulty mechanism? I was initially puzzled when I saw it was noon as I was quite certain I was late for my 2.30pm appointment.
I hope they fix it soon so that it can serve its purpose.
Have you seen any other public time displays in Hong Kong? Please share their locations 🙂
It wasn’t long ago that my favourite flower shop left Wanchai and is now under renovation to become something else. The usual frenetic and unforgiving pace of commerce in Wan Chai due to escalating rental.
I came across a new florist shop last week along Queens Road East that looked more like a fashion designer store than a florist. Here are some photos, I spent a good 15 minutes browsing around.
Done in a simple but nice black and white full glass frame with an open door, the shop looks very inviting.
Nice clean concrete floors and layered black shelving help to showcase the plants and flowers for maximum effect. I like the recessed lighting and spotlights that match the shelves.
They do nice big bouquets if you’re looking to impress a date, but I’m sure they can fix something up for you on request.
The selection of potted plants is nice and healthy.
As do the orchids and succulents. There’s something to suit every table and counter top.
I love looking at Bonsai. They have a few beautiful ones right by the window. Wish I could have one but every Bonsai I’ve owned has perished so I think it’s just not my thing…
I picked up a card when I realised that I had met the sales lady before in the other flower shop that I like. Both ladies in the shop are super nice and very helpful without being intrusive. You really feel like you can talk to them about anything.
They also have some artificial flowers which look amazing. I was quite impressed. It is similar in quality (or perhaps better) to the big scale florist at Hopewell Center but this look a lot easier to scan and decide.
I am seriously considering these artificial greenery as the recent thunderstorms have killed off all my plants. 🤔
Yup, these white roses are also artificial but they fooled me until I realised there was no water in the vase.
Speaking of vases, they have a small selection.
And at the very back of the shop, a fridge for the fresh flowers.
If you have a particular plant/ flowers you’re looking for, do contact them by phone or email. I think they can source the plants if unavailable in the store.
Find Le D’or here. It’s a 5 minute walk from the Wan Chai MTR or catch any of the 6 buses, 15, 10, 109 or 113 and get off at Lun Fat Street.
The owner is an artist, don’t forget to stop and admire the two intricate paintings by the entrance of the shop.
I was walking down Lockhart Road yesterday at 11am (not rush hour) looking for a shop to buy the Grohe shower accessory that broke. I was walking at an even pace without any erratic change of direction. I was looking out on both sides of the street to find the shop that I’d been referred to.
Suddenly I heard a jangling noise and a sharp pain in my calf just above my ankles. A metal push cart had caught me in step but the person pushing the cart didn’t stop and caught me in my other leg as well when I stepped forward. This was definitely intentional.
It was painful and it was a shock. The pavement is amply wide and it wasn’t crowded by any definition.
So Why and Who did this?
I turned back to look expecting an apology of sorts, or just a tip of the head at the very least. But no…. what I got was a lady in a mask glaring at me as though I had just elbowed her or something.
She gave me the glare and just wheeled on without a word. I was stunned and it took me a second or two to recover and chase after her. She may have some physical and mental disabilities but it doesn’t qualify her to go around ramming people with her delivery cart.
Look out for her and avoid if possible. Unless you have my misfortune and she’s coming up behind you…
Digging beneath the dirt… To find the good and the gritty