Sunday, February 21, 2010

Hong Kong from my roof and rockabilly from the Phillipines

The 5th fleet strike force have been in Hong Kong over the past week. What that means is 7,000+ sailors and Marines descended on the city to eat drink and be merry. Bars and restaurants have taken the stars and stripes out of storage hoping to cash in on this mini bonanza. According to the local press the female population of the city has risen dramatically with an influx of "tourists" from Thailand and the Philippines.
I finally got up to the roof during the day and tried out my wide angle lens. It was a hazy day but I think the resulting pictures will give a sense of how condensed the city is.
Across the street from my building there's an abandoned low rise which used to be living quarters of unmarried members of the police force. Its the subject of much too and fro between developers and local residents occupying as it does such prime real estate. For most of the time it sits padlocked and derelict but over the weekend it was given over to a local arts group who used it to display the fruits of labours of an arts school on the Island.
I can't say there was anything riveting on show but it was an interesting diversion for 45 minutes or so.
I headed out Saturday with the intention of taking pictures of the American aircraft carrier docked in HK harbour. Unfortunately the whole task force was moored 7 miles offshore so that was that.
I did manage to get some interesting shots of lessor known nooks and crannies downtown.
Well two shots anyway.
As I've mentioned before, Filipino maids have their day off on the weekend. They congregate all through the downtown core to catch up with their friends, do each other's nails, sing and laugh.
I'm glad they do.
On Saturday I sat on a bench, read the paper and ate a sandwich. When finished, I headed down to the harbour.
With a despairing lurch, I realised I'd left my camera sitting on the bench.
Resigned it was lost forever, I headed back hoping against hope that it was still there.
It was.
The two lovely ladies below, seeing the camera, moved benches and guarded it (they didn't dare touch it) waiting for me to come back.
The world needs more people like these wonderful ladies.
I won't bother going into the hordes of "rent a friend" women in abundant evidence on the streets of Wan Chai as that's a given when the fleet comes to town.
I did find, a delightful fusion of east and west.
A Filipino rockabilly band had set up residency in a live music venue in the middle of all the chaos.
It never fails to astonish me when Asians adopt very American or British cultural badges. They immerse themselves to the point of absurdity. These guys knew everything there is to be known about Rockabilly, various bands and the roots of the music.
Pinoy Stray Cat Strut.
That's it for today.
I'm in HK all week though I have a couple of days off towards the end of the week as I've a ton of stuff to get done before I head to the US in the wee hours of Saturday morning.
Stay well


kserp said...

Close call T! damn...pretty lucky and thank god for those Filipino maids who pronounce their "f's" as "p's"...I think your niche is Building shots...wide angle shots are hot.

LadyHutch13 said...

Fun to listen to Stray Cats on a snowy Monday morning! Life is good!!