Roofgarden at night snaps

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The Tiny Urban Balcony

A metropoly like Hong Kong is the best place for enjoying some green out on the tiny balconies constellating the hyper tall buildings. It’s the perfect job to realize how precious even a little patch of mother nature is. Here at home we keep changing and planting new seeds, we like to make experiments with new flowers and veggies depending on the seasons, the weather and how appealing they look on the print of the seed paper bag. So far we have been quite lucky until now and the freshness of a prosperous green mini zone has brought forth jolly smiles and astonishments on how gorgeous every detail in the Hands of mother earth is:

mix of wild flowers

basil and tomatoes and chili

mint, lemon tree…

wax plant (the flower is amazing looking but not seen yet) and aloe vera and chili

fast germinating salad cress 

First Summer images from HK in Cheung Chau island

Greetings from this tiny and congested world spot of China…Summer has bloomed in full, actually over ripe right now, under a climate which is not just subtropical, but SUPER tropical. Birds are singing no stop twenty-four hours in the greenest areas, monsoon showers pouring down any moment, sky shades constantly muting. What we did to embrace all of that was a jump onto one of the many supersmall but fresh and quite islands.

Cheung Chau, with much less than 30 thousands people living and transports on two wheels. Pristine colors and views were awaiting for us on a casual Thursday. THis is one of those hike with your eyes wide open all the time. You don’t want to miss anything on a sunshine day on an island.

One interesting thing about this island is that it’s attracting Tibetan people to trade their handmade goods in shops. But what we truly enjoyed was the first salty splash of the year (thou in not so clean waters, but i have to admit i was too busy with the feeling of a real swim in open sea that i didn’t care about the wide layer of weed everywhere).

There are some spots of the island which are just so peaceful that you want to sit on a rock an d just contemplate the blu. Among the plants, a spiky yellow flowered cactus and lots lots mimosa tree which, because of the scorching sun, have already delivered all of their puffy ball flowers to the rocks and along the hike road, thus no gorgeous mimosa smell for this season. Watch but don’t sniff. Well, some of them still hanging on the branches! Can u believe mimosa is probably the flower i love most and here it is displayed only on this island so far in all Hong Kong. I can’t stop gazing at it, especially with such a wonderful sky as background.

Detail of the cactus…

and of a picturesque guest between the rocks!

Now here it ends the blu sea mini photo tour of Cheung Chau (Long island). If you want we can keep going with a different tonality, vintage pics of a downtown stroll around the center. I could capture some details and views with a lomo feel by IPhone. Wanna see? On a next thematic post for sure!

Most splendid Christmas gift

Last evening while window strolling one of the chicest mall in Hong Kong we were surprisingly watching that a huge part of the shops where naked and empty . All was quite and not many people shopping. Too expensive or what else ? Today morning my quest for a super deep spiritual life is mix matching with the meaning of giving gifts for Xmas. Which is the most splendid gift that you want to receive? I think the most beautiful gift is the spiritual nourishment we can offer for free to others, or we can receive. This is the most useful gift, the most important simply because it totally KEEPS US ALIVE in the real sense. It makes each and every part of our body and cells happy. Without any need for mediators or tools. It is already inside this gift.

Hong Kong pure vint…age

There is something deeply vintage in the soul of the city. It may be the contrast of colors. The feeling of maturity and old character. The strive for excellence in certain areas. I always felt vintage here: the atmosphere, the relations, the outlook. Even in the most super modern neighbor. Because the atmosphere, the breeze in the air is the same everywhere you go; what you see is not as important.

Vintage is the word, old is its fascinating personality. This is it! HK! Hong Kong!

They look so outdated these shots but no, they are from few weeks ago. It s downtown of the upstate area: a place with great affluence of people from China, Nepal, Pakistan, Thailand mostly. Now what s next?…

A conjunction bridge between upstate and middle west side. Awsome scenario from the bus.

It s so magical. The light say it all, people live under the glow of ads and multiple rows of old fashioned white bulbs. I m one of them too ^_^

It s now time for a friendly hot-pot or a homey sushi, it s now time to say Welcome to vintage feel of a city!

 

My first five years in Hong Kong

I wish i had the right perfect words to express all the joy and the gratitude for spending now five years of my life in this wonderful place completely drenched into Chinese culture and understanding. When i decided to come here I dont really rememeber, everything always happen very fast sometimes and plays alot with my inside enamourament for ventursome challenges as well as desire to grow thru different experiences. I got what i deserved: a special environment where introspection is the only way out for a westerner.  There are plenty of stories to tell, five years is not a short span of time and actually i feel it like double or even much more. At the same time it passed so fast.

When i arrived HK one of the first thing to impress me were the forever glittering lights of the city, the supertall buildings and the neverending flow of people walking in every place in every direction. I really abandoned myself to this feeling of “being exploring a new reality, a different dimension with multi layers”; it was  a soft abandonment, as soft as the precious advices and guidelines of my native soulmate. I switched on a decoding mode which would enable me understanding what the local language didnt leave to penetrate. I knew i had  a diverse background and i know my history too. But the most important thing i came to realize is that without them, things would have been totally complicated and i could not explore the immense joy at the present.

The colors of this place are shockingly stunning and full of life, my eyes will never be tired to observe the beauty of its mountains, the green of the farms, the pink and yellow of the my age brickstone buildings, the multicolored hundreds of street market with all their abundant harmonious display. I will always treasure one thing here, which is the real common ground with my original country: history. And all which is connected to her (the history) : the wisdom, the spirituality, the good teachings, the fundamentals, the conduct, the family. These are the pearls, i realize, we people should take care of on a daily base, infact they are the keys for a balanced environment. 

Behind the supermodern aspect of the city, the preservation and the nourishment of something more vital. This is my first attraction in Hong Kong and it makes me feel very proud to live here and it makes me wish to live seventy years more here. I cant imagine any other place to live a happy joyous life for myself. Maybe other posts will have more in-place stories and happenings I experienced until now.

5 random things i loved during this time?

  • the birds: there are five aviaries to protect tropical birds here; they are stunning, cute, funny, many. Migratory birds from Australia, Russia, enjoy the warm weather for few months here and we go birdwatching.
  • the local food: there is lots to learn and copy about because the creativity in this field is just immense and unlimited. I steam much more than before for example and got used to hot soups and the use of dry herbs, learn some of their benefits, learn more things about connection between body and Nature in general.
  • the tropical weather: I didnt end up to collect some wool clothes that the warm weather is already kicking outside the balcony. By tendence my body cells worship the moon but they are taking positive advantages to understand the work of the sun too, unavoidably.
  • the delicate people’s heart: their heart is my heart air. I cant imagine my life without that prominent chinese loving touch into it!
  • the background urban noise: i live more in the countryside so i can appreciate, distinguish and laught at all the different sounds and noises dowtown: the people’s yelling, the music playing aloud, the cars and tractors, the traffic light tic tic tic, the train running and stopping on the rails, the bicycles in the traffic jam…

During these years I ve had the opportunity to travel mainland China, to see different cities and villages in the north, in the east and west side of the country. Maybe in the future i could live somewhere there too. China is an awsome place to be, especially nowadays with all these political turmoils going on in various corners of this planet. I feel a certain pleasant degree of safety here. I think it s a blessing not to underestimate. These politicians are really like magicians and they may work anything under that colorful hanky but again, those fundamentals and the inner freedom we are allowed to access today is somethng extremely valuable and reliable. I do treasure this spirituality and this connection to the essence of everything here. I trust it completely.

The heaviness of the matter

Thursday is the only weekday evening i am free and can stay home in case i decide not to join my husband at his yoga class. The last couple of months have been so busy that i often wished to escape somewhere else from this horrible crowded city where evrything is so fake and profit oriented. The profit of the matter at its peak. I dont know how many years will pass before the trend will change direction. People talk and move like robot, there is no grace in the air, no sense of profound love an compassion. Some days are so heavy that the need to go walking barefeet on the grass during the day is overpushing. Tonite i will paint somebody similar 

Turtle delight

I want to delight you with some turtles we met on our way this past weekend. You know how much Chinese love them historically speaking. They are bizarre pets though and not my fav of all. The only thing i really like about turtles is that they live long enough to enjoy a full amazing life back and forth by water and earth (when they can manage both these elements). In HK turtles reeverywhere located for being admired, photographed or bought. They always remind me of one possibility of being a human who is still perfectly anchored to his old past shell and stubbornly carries it along the way despite of life changes. I guess we all have some turtling aspects hidden inside at some points…nd we all handle them in different ways.

Like in a spiritual Disneyland

Despite of the fact that Chinese culture is often associated to the character of the Moon, cold, silverly, sleep lover, calm…everytime i visit a modern temple in HK the sensations revealed are just the opposite: tryumphing in colors, energetic, strong,  hot! You may get even dizzy by literally swimming into a rainbow of colors and attractions just like in an entertainment park!

Welcome to Kwun Yam shrine, a buddhist site situated on a eastside beach in town since the beginning of Seventies. Most of the statues follow the mosaic tecnique and dress themselves with brilliant colors. Look at the golden fish! He is watched out by three fluffy innocent goats that a child would love to ride and climb up on the horns for sure; everthing happens under the benevolent look of a robust  Wise master.

I did not shooted all of the monuments being some of their faces quite terrifying and  weird, therefore i am just offering you a panorama of what really caught my attention while basking into this glorious sunshine on Sunday, half lost with a couple of other friends in the crowd with mainlanders pouring and pouring in from touristic buses.

Of course the main character here is Kwun Yam, the eternal symbol of chastity and purity although poor lady was bestowed with swastika decorations drawn in the opposite way (like the one used by Hitler). She is a real Mother and believed to be the protector from all the dangers far away at the horizon. Is she protecting Hong Kong?

 She is grand, her impressive figure striking against the modern skyscrapers in the back at one of the most chic marine areas.

Her face shaped like a full moon, Purnima.

I was thrilled like when we go to Ocean Park. It s exciting to know that  spirituality has some nuances of  blast within,  like a bursting laugh or an erupting volcano. It is not always carried along pure white wings or zen materials.

Morever this blast is enjoyed by careful silent eyes of colorless statues. I loved the way many lady figures were scattered here and there, simple busts in smooth grey stone with nice hair styles nd cute cheeks too…They are witnessing that plyfulness in spirituality, the absurdity of the game and the beauty of the drama… Sometimes they give you their backshoulders, sometimes they smile, sometimes they seem serious. They all come alive!

 

 

 To conclude  the visit, my favourite matching colors in a classic animal scene on Chinese talavera:

Magic ring over Moscow

We spent our last week with a friends couple coming from Moscow. They are in love with Hong Kong and it is already the fourth time we see them. Lots of laughs, shopping, fooding, sightseeing. They are surprised about the fact that Hong Kong is not commercialized enough in Russia because it can be the ideal vacation to break out of the stress and austerity of the capital. And myself i always think there is no other place more stressful than HK!! But Moscow must be as magic as HK anyway… Just see what you can see on an ordinary day to work:

Asians ripped off by westerners promising enlightenment and improvements in life

fishing

Spiritual teachers, sound shamans, crystal healers, general healers, no idea how much rubbish there is also in Asia. They come from Europe or America  and start estabilishing themselves in China, Thailand, Indonesia…they even succed in opening retreat or healing centers with the sole scope to earn money and live their life. They are very clever and organize lots of workshop using the words: WISDOM – ENERGY – MEDITATION – RELAXING – CREATIVITY – SECRET – CONSCIOUSNESS – SUBTLE – POWER – HEALING- DIVINE SELF – EXPERIENCE TO EVOLVE – MIRACLE – CREATION.

Be careful. And be smart.

Here in Hong Kong they plan saturdays 7 hours workshop for 1.111 HKD and will promise to make you familiar with the keys to success and power, an easy guide to create your own life and improve it in all kinds of aspects.

Be smart and be alert.

They will tell that gratitude is the attitude and that money in this materialistic society is not leading to anything. On the other hand they will charge you a lot of money for a workshop and for 1 hour session (here in HK 800 HKD) of consultation, healing or astrology.

They will come up with some secret code or secret book that will want to teach you about, recalling some master or knowledge from the ancient times. Sometimes they dont live in Hong Kong and travel here in the weekend just to collect the money of their students. But once they go back home their students (are you or have you already been one of them??) are left in a transitive happy mood which will last only for some hours, then it will vanish and again there will be the need to go back to another workshop, and another and another. But the reality of life and the true joy cannot depend upon a workshop or a weekend seminar. It depends only on you.

So be smart and good luck.

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How much childlike is the soul of folks involved in toy industry

Working with toys is one of the most exciting  and creative thing.  Behind each design and project it is moving a vibrant mixture of  all the qualities enclosed into a child himself. Infact toys are directed to children and they are created for their evolution and wellbeing, fun and growth. Nowaday the attention towards children’s positive maturation is becoming  bigger and bigger. All parents and educators want to put their best effort to give a life of great quality to their children. What is great quality? The answer is easy. Like the seven basical musical notes do re mi fa sol la si do create wonderful melodies and songs, at the same way these seven qualities create  a wonderful lifepath. 

And to have them expanding from inside out will enable anybody to develop the best stuff for any child. 

  • innocence
  • creativity
  • dharma
  • love
  • collectivity
  • balance
  • joy

Last year i experienced a couple of seminars in toy exhibitions  directed to foster connections between all kinds of folks involved in making toys at different levels, also from different countries. When listening to their speeches i was wondering how truly childlike is their nature.