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 

Blast of Chinese Outskirts

Daily walks are really popular around here and infact you can see all kinds of people on their way to something. On their way to or from work, back home from a grocery expedition, chilling along with other family members, coming back from school or even on a bike ride since the wide sidewalk is alined to the cycling path; in addition others are waiting or getting off the train on the old railway track in line with the cycling path.

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.

Butterflies

It s my favourite insect, they are beautiful and elegant and royal. Few weeks ago amidst the crazy traffic jam in downton HK while waiting at the traffic light what i see? A woderful, not small at all, black with an orange ribbon butterfliy silently posing thru the hair of a girl in front of me! Just like an authentic hairclip! After few seconds when we all started crossing the street the butterfly flew away. HK, i read it  s the most butterflies-populated  area (considering size an density) in the world. The tropical climate is loved by them and we meet theese beauties really everywhere like also the other one, yellow and black striped which was staring at our window on a 66th floor flat few years go.

Narrow minded character of metropolitan big cities

A very functional & natural way how huge cities work! Big metropolis are always depicted  as intercultural areas where the most open minded brains from different cultures come and join to lift the standards of the city up. At all kinds of level: creative, educational, urban…Hundreds of thousands of projects from all sides are regularly thrown into the big melting pot for being cooked and then digested not only by the resident population but also and especially to inspire who live not in the city. Sometimes i read blogs of people who come to Hong Kong for work only or for holidays and  project an image of freedom and amazing inspiration about the city. A superficial image or better half image. The counterpart is told above in the title. Bliss of the balance. Extreme openness must be in harmony with extreme closure. Very cool.

There will be the most narrow minded people in a highly populated city. It s part of her beauty and it s totally part of her gwrowth. You will be amazed. You need to grasp both parts and make them hugging each other 😉

(photo: adriana pinzon)

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:

China’s Po Po

Po Po is the Grandmother affectionately called just like my Nonna (in italian) or my Babica (in croatian) in Europe. Po Po here in HK i dont have her actually but i kind of meet them everywhere when crossing the street.

 There is a restaurant chain here called Shanghai Po Po, we love their food and their huge childish frames decorations on the walls. I am writing about China PoPo over a phone call to my mom where she was telling about seeing a documentary on Himalaya: up up in the Moutains strong women are lowered deep down into natural wells to fill buckets with pure rose salt; which is lately collected and refined by the men of the village. The entire process is hand made and these women just awsomely carry on such a heavy body work. In China women compromise themselves at the same way  although we have no pink salt. Women work and worked very hard until consuming their mind and their whole life, and that’s their result when you cross that street:

Candy

Candy: the earring collection 3 ~

Feel the taste of my juicy earrings ~

Winter collection 2009 ~

soft playful tasty candies

soft playful tasty women

…when the taste goes beyond

 

[ingredients: silver 925, mother pearls, bamboo coral, crystals, glass, hard stones]

 

Shri Laxmi loves shopping

shop2

She must be one of the most modern goddess, nicely dressed up and enveloped in some loving smell of a flower fragrance. I think Shri Laxmi loves Hong Kong which has already conquered the name of Paradise of shopping worldwide. She makes money circulating, jobs creating and people being blessed by her rapid touch. She has some preferences, being her gusto of a divine type. She keeps testing on folk’s inner energy to see if it is used in the proper dharmic way with balance and immense love, detached. Laxmi is the prettiest of all, She never forgets to wear jewerly and khajal. She acts in the subtle with endless inspirations: today indulging on the creditcard, tomorrow resting in the pink lotus flower busy with new works  for the times to come. Peaceful and tireless. Diwali of course is Her favourite because is when She can truly bestow or confirm powers with the spontaneous meditative style freely accessible to everybody now. Today Laxmi is a reality. Feel your stomach and feed the others.

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:

Cool vegetarian sushi

I like eating almost everything but i do select the food most of the times depending on weather, body conditions, mood, cost, social circumstances. if i have to choose between meat and vegetarian dinner i love to go for vegetarian although i grew up having nice varieties of Mediterranean meals based on fish, meat, pasta, rice, salads, vegetables.

For the first time this week we had vegetarian sushi which was so tasty and very close to real! 🙂 Accompanied by a great array of other dishes.  

Gaia Veggie Shop 
8/F., 502 Hennessy Road, 
Causeway Bay (Tel: 28081386)