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Showing posts with label Hong Kong. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Hong Kong. Show all posts

Monday, July 9, 2018

A Hong Kong Mural: Donald Trump and Barack Obama Still at a Noodle Cart

Early last year I came across the Cart Noodle Expert (車仔麵專家) — a restaurant in Sheung Wan, Hong Kong — and noticed the mural on its side. Remarkably, its depiction of a line of people waiting for noodles cooked at a cart included both Donald Trump and Barack Obama.

So a few weeks ago I was curious to check up on the restaurant. Much had changed in the world since my previous visit, but I found the mural appeared to be exactly the same.

Cart Noodle Expert (車仔麵專家) restaurant in Sheung Wan, Hong Kong


See the earlier post for close up photos of the mural. Obama is smiling while he waits in line. Trump isn't in line and is making a familiar definitely-not-smiling expression. I had eaten just prior to passing the restaurant, so I am still not able to offer any opinion on the noodles. But it seems that if there's a line, nobody gets to cut in front.

Friday, July 6, 2018

A Dinosaur Dining on Bus Passengers in Hong Kong

The "Meet The T. Rex" tram wasn't the only example of dinosaur-themed vehicular advertising I recently saw in Hong Kong. In the other case, the vehicle was a double-decker bus instead of a double-decker tram.

Jurassic World movie ad on a Hong Kong bus


Similar to the trams, Hong Kong's double-decker buses are commonly covered with a single advertisement. In the above advertisement for the movie Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom, the special setting offered the opportunity to make it look like some of the passengers are about to become a snack. Most Hong Kong buses are safer than this.

For those wondering how I photographed the bus from this angle, I must admit it required a quick reaction, especially since I was heading the opposite direction. And of course I was sitting on the second level of a tram. Unfortunately (fortunately?), it had no dinosaurs on it.

Thursday, July 5, 2018

Surrounding the Dolphin Sculptures in Jiangmen and Hong Kong

Next to the Jiangmen River in Jiangmen, Guangdong, earlier this year I saw a sculpture of dolphins.

sculpture of dolphins next to the Jiangmen River in Jiangmen


More recently at Tsuen Wan Park in Tsuen Wan, Hong Kong, I saw another sculpture of dolphins.

sculpture of dolphins in Tsuen Wan Park in Hong Kong


In both cases I couldn't find anything indicating the name of the sculpture or the artist. Notably, they are both partially surrounded by structures. But the structures are rather different in style.

And that's as deep as I'll go with these dolphins.

sculpture of dolphins bordered by classical columns in Jiangmen

Wednesday, July 4, 2018

A Flower Ice Cream and Giant Hummingbird Mural in Hong Kong

Happy Fourth of July to the U.S. folk. Remember, fireworks don't work without fire. And rose-shaped ice cream attracts giant hummingbirds. Goodness can result from both of these things. But nothing is totally safe, so please take care and have a joyous day. Those giant hummingbirds are enchanting yet ravenous.

mural of a girl eating flower-shaped ice cream next to a large hummingbird
Alongside Shelley Street in Central, Hong Kong

Monday, July 2, 2018

Looking Across Victoria Harbour from a High Place

Posting has been intermittent lately, but I plan to return to a more regular schedule soon. For now, here is a view from Hysan Place in Causeway Bay, Hong Kong, looking northward across Victoria Harbour:

view from Hysan Place in Hong Kong looking northward across Victoria Harbour


More later . . .

Monday, June 25, 2018

A "Meet The T. Rex" Tram in Hong Kong

Hong Kong's population is greater than 7.4 million people. According to a careful examination of my web traffic statistics, most of them didn't read my post about the Tyrannosaurus rex currently on display at the IFC mall. So fortunately there are other ways for Hongkongers to discover they have an rare opportunity to see a South Dakotan dinosaur for free. The other day while I was across the street from an historic building in Wan Chai, Hong Kong, a tram rolled by with a "Meet the T. Rex" advertisement.

Hong Kong tram with a "Meet The T. Rex" ad going by The Pawn in Wan Chai, Hong Kong


I have long been intrigued by some of the implications of advertising on trams and previously shared many examples in 2011 and in 2012. None of those included dinosaurs though.

Saturday, June 23, 2018

A South Dakotan Dinosaur at the IFC Mall in Hong Kong

While you can now hear occasional loud roars at a mall in Kwun Tong, Hong Kong, showing live World Cup football matches late into the night, you probably won't hear any roars at the IFC Mall in Central, Hong Kong. Given what is currently on display there, that is probably a good thing.

compllete Tyrannosaurus rex skeleton on display at the IFC in Hong Kong




According to a sign, the complete adult Tyrannosaurus rex skeleton is 12 meters long and was found in South Dakota, U.S.A. The IFC Mall's website indicates the skeleton is 30% fossil bone and 70% polyurethanes fossil cast (see the blog Dinosaurpalaeo for some motivations for using either fossil bones or casts).

If the dinosaur were to somehow magically turn into its former living self, according to recent research there is at least one thing people no longer need to worry about. The Tyrannosaurus rex wouldn't be sticking out its tongue at people:
Dinosaurs couldn't stick out their tongues like lizards. Instead, their tongues were probably rooted to the bottoms of their mouths in a manner akin to alligators.

Researchers from The University of Texas at Austin and the Chinese Academy of Sciences made the discovery by comparing the hyoid bones—the bones that support and ground the tongue—of modern birds and crocodiles with those of their extinct dinosaur relatives. In addition to challenging depictions of dino tongues, the research proposes a connection on the origin of flight and an increase in tongue diversity and mobility.
To catch the T. Rex at the IFC Mall (and to imagine it catching you despite its tongue limitations) visit the mall no later than June 27. It is a rare opportunity to see a Hong Kong mall featuring something from South Dakota.

Thursday, June 21, 2018

A Hong Kong Trickle of Xiangqi

A game of xiangqi next to the 30-year-old Lek Yuen Bridge (瀝源橋) in Sha Tin, Hong Kong:

two men playing xiangqi in Sha Tin, Hong Kong


people watching a game of xiangqi next to Lek Yuen Bridge


Lek Yuen Bridge (瀝源橋) in Sha Tin, Hong Kong

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

A Large Crowd at a Hong Kong Mall Watches Japan Defeat Colombia in an Historic World Cup Match

This evening at the apm shopping mall in Kwun Tong, Hong Kong, I heard a loud roar. Important context: loud roars aren't the norm at shopping malls in Hong Kong. I soon went out into the central area of the mall and saw that a large crowd had gathered.

crowd watching soccer match at the apm shopping mall in Hong Kong


Their main objective wasn't to roar but instead to watch a FIFA World Cup football ("soccer" for some of us) match between Colombia and Japan. When I arrived Japan was up by one goal. Presumably the one score in the game is what led to the magnificent roar I had heard.

crowd watching 2018 FIFA World Cup football match at the apm shopping mall in Hong Kong


The football-related festivities also included an area where people could play a football video game. The machines were hidden away, but based on the controls I think they were PlayStations.

playing soccer video game at apm Hong Kong


Nearby, though I don't think formally part of the apm promotion, people could play football on an Xbox as well.

playing soccer on XBOX at apm Hong Kong


And if that wasn't enough, there were signed jerseys of famous past football players on display.

Signed Pele and Maradona jerseys


I hadn't planned to spend much of my night at the mall, but after I saw Colombia tie the game I decided to stick around longer. Japan scored one more goal and held out for a remarkable win:
This scoreline was particularly unexpected in light of the fact that Japan had changed coaches shortly before the tournament, and because no Asian team had ever previously defeated a South American side in 17 World Cup meetings.

Japan celebrating live on video at apm Hong Kong


The event at apm was also remarkable to me since I have seen and experienced plenty of anti-Japanese sentiment in mainland China. But based on reactions, shirts, and flags, the Hong Kong crowd included supporters for both teams. I think Japan even enjoyed a solid edge in support.

More games are ahead. The immediate slate occur each day at 8 p.m., 11 p.m., and 2 a.m. local time. Staff at the mall insisted Apm will be open to show them all. This isn't extremely surprising since Apm is already known for its late night hours. I left the mall shortly after Japan won. So I can only imagine how many will watch Russia face Egypt there at 2 a.m. tonight.

Monday, June 18, 2018

Sha Tin Moon

I will delay the return to more down to Earth matters by unexpectedly continuing the Moon over Hong Kong theme. Tonight in Sha Tin:

Moon over Sha Tin, Hong Kong


Enjoying the weather. More later . . .

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Assorted Links: Hong Kong Seeks Innovation, Too Much Trump in Trumpchi?, Blaming China for Job Losses, and Panama Cuts Ties with Taiwan

It has been a while since I have done the "assorted links" thing. Time to get back to it with excerpts from four pieces worth a full reading:

1. Natasha Khan's and Enda Curran's piece about a proposed technology park on the border between Hong Kong and Shenzhen could inspire debate on a variety of topics such as Hong Kong's integration with mainland China, environmental preservation in China, and strategies for fostering innovation. It also raises the issue that Shenzhen's now sees less advantage to partnering with its neighbor to the south after recent rapid developments:
Shenzhen forged ahead, clearing out most of its old, labor-intensive factories and building high-tech giants like Huawei Technologies Co. and ZTE Corp. The city’s Nanshan district is a cradle for more than 8,000 technology firms, centered around the vast Shenzhen Hi-Tech Industrial Park, known as SHIP. Entrepreneurs have come from across the world, leading some to question why Guangdong needs to collaborate with Hong Kong on innovation.

“That ship has sailed,’’ said Felix Chung, chairman of Hong Kong’s pro-business Liberal Party. “The plan could have been good 10 years ago but have you seen Shenzhen lately? It has the ability to do so much on its own.”

2. My April Fool's post last year, "Donald Trump to Bring His Chinese Car Brand to the U.S." took advantage of the similarity between Trump's name and the Chinese automaker GAC Motor 's brand Trumpchi. Now that Trump is president, GAC has some very real concerns about the similarity:
Executives at the firm and its parent Guangzhou Automobile Group (601238.SS) say they may now change the Trumpchi brand - which was meant to sound like its Chinese name Chuanqi, which is a play on the word "legendary" and means passing good fortune - after it drew some ridicule at the Detroit auto show in January.

"We saw people were laughing at this and took pictures looking only at this detail, and also put on Facebook or other websites," GAC Motor Design Director Zhang Fan told Reuters. "When we read all that feedback, we realized it might not be very positive promotion for the brand."
I don't know if this blog is one of the "other websites", but I do thank GAC for providing such excellent material. The April Fool's post has received a notable amount of traffic during the past year.

3. William H. Overholt argues that both of the major political parties in the U.S. unfairly blame China when it comes to jobs:
[Politicians of both parties] find it convenient to blame China [for "job declines caused mainly by technology"].

Why? Because interest groups dominate the Washington conversation and both parties are beholden to constituencies with an interest in the post-factual illusion. Democrats depend on unions that see protection of current jobs, not helping workers prepare for the future, as their task. They see every gain for workers in poor countries as a loss for U.S. workers. Preparing the workforce for a changing future could threaten union leaders’ power. . . .

Republicans reject reality for different reasons. If you acknowledge the inexorable disappearance of manufacturing jobs, and the fact (documented by MIT Professor David Autor) that, without government help, whole communities stagnate, then you must authorize the government to analyze the areas of loss and gain, and follow through by spending money to retrain workers and help them move. However, to avoid taxation, wealthy Republican constituents will denounce expanded government authority and expenditures as socialism.
4. No excerpt for the final link since the China Digital Times piece is itself a collection of excerpts with links: "Panama Severs Ties With Taiwan, Pledges Allegiance to China".

Monday, March 6, 2017

Two Creative Year of the Rooster Promotions in Hong Kong

As in Jieyang, Zhuhai, Zhongshan, and Macau, I saw many artistic depictions of chickens in Hong Kong to welcome in the Year of the Rooster. I will share two of the more creative examples I saw there.

The first was one of several sculptures in a Lunar New Year promotion involving the local designer Eric So and MT masking tape at the iSquare shopping mall in Tsim Sha Tsui.

rooster with happy children faces designed by Eric So


I am going to take the liberty of naming it "Fowl Happiness".

The other chickens were in an advertisement for Apple I saw in Causeway Bay. It featured a piece of art made with the iPad Pro and Apple Pencil. As I noted before, it isn't clear in many cases whether the chicken depicted is specifically a rooster or a hen. In this case, I think there is one of each, though the rooster is more prominent.

Apple Year of the Rooster advertisement in Hong Kong featuring a piece by Victo Ngai


No witty (or less than witty) name is coming to mind, but fortunately the artist Victo Ngai provided a namer of her own: Apple Lucky Rooster. Follow the link for some details about the creative process behind the piece and photos of some other locations where it appeared.

Sunday, March 5, 2017

Dramatic Signs Don't Stop People from Walking on Escalators in Hong Kong

As I mentioned when discussing China's new desire for people to stand still on escalators, the place I most associate with people regularly standing on one side of an escalator and walking on the other side is Hong Kong. During my recent time there, nothing seemed to have changed in people's behavior. Admittedly, I walked up or down my share of escalators.

I even noticed a sign on an escalator for an elevated walkway in Wan Chai indicating the "stand on right" rule.

'Stand on right — Hold the handrail' sign on an escalator in Hong Kong


It may just be a leftover from an older time though.

On escalators for MRT (Mass Transit Railway) stations, notices indicate to "always hold the handrail", which doesn't necessarily preclude people from walking.

'Always hold the hand rail' and 'Anti-bacterial coating applied to handrail with addition disinfection regularly carried out' signs on an MTR escalator in Hong Kong


Although I didn't see any "standing only" messages in similar locations, on one occasion I noticed an announcement requesting people to stand still.

And in at least some MTR stations there are a few relevant but easy to miss informational posters mixed in with the many advertisements and other similarly posted signs common in stations.

a hold the handrail MTR sign with a man perilously standing on a high rock


The main message above is that is dangerous to not hold the escalator handrails. Additionally, the message to "stand firm" appears in small print at the bottom of the sign. The bottom half of the image reminds me of an incredibly perilous and since-closed path I once faced at the Stone Forest in Shilin, Yunnan. My self-preservation skills kicked in then, and I will take my chances walking on an escalator over that any day.

This certainly isn't the first MTR sign I have seen with a dramatic message. And it isn't the only MTR escalator safety sign which, um, escalates the sense of danger. Another sign warns against bringing baby strollers onto escalators.

MTR 'No Strollers on Escalators' sign with a teddy bear falling from a great height


Based on my informal observations, baby strollers are far more often used for babies than teddy bears. I am guessing the MTR has its limits for drama though. Baby strollers also can block people from walking on escalators, but that is probably a point the MTR wants to avoid.

There is even a related 2016 MTR escalator safety video. Like the signs, it is pretty intense.



The smashed tomato really makes it. While the "stand firm on escalators" message is expressed, the most relevant part of the video focuses more on "stay alert" and "hold the handrail", which could apply to stairs as well. On that note, according to a MTR safety report for 2015 there weren't any fatalities due to escalators but there was one caused by a misstep on stairs. It doesn't give numbers on accidents due to walking on escalators or stairs, which would be useful for evaluating the relative risks. Whatever the case, it is hard to argue with the "stay alert" message. Particularly in a busy environment, it is relevant whether you are walking on flat ground, stairs, or even an escalator.

Monday, February 27, 2017

Hong Kong to Guangzhou in Double-Decker Train Style

When I was ready to depart Hong Kong and head to my next destination, Guangzhou, I knew exactly how I wanted to make the trip this time. Not only did I know I wanted to take the Guangzhou-Kowloon Through Train, but I also knew which type of train I wanted to take. The line makes use of both Ktt trains and the 25T new train set, and I wanted to ride the Ktt. The Ktt locomotives are purchased from Switzerland and the coaches imported from Japan. Furthermore, the Ktt is managed from the Hong Kong side. The 25T is manufactured in mainland China and managed from the Guangzhou side. But what mattered to me was that only the Ktt is a double-decker train.

double-decker Ktt train at Hung Hom Station in Hong Kong


Of course I sat on the upper deck.

The train left Hung Hom Station in Hong Kong right on schedule. Two hours later the train arrived on time at the Guangzhou East Station in a downtown area of Guangzhou.

The biggest negative of the trip was the mobile devices symphony which regularly erupted, an issue not particular to double-decker trains. I am still wondering what made the irregular beeping noises reminiscent of the stopwatch on a digital watch from the 1980s. Regardless, the overall experience was positive. I appreciated the less obstructed view from the upper deck. And I found the immigration processes which occur both in Hong Kong and Guangzhou due to the border between Hong Kong and mainland China faster and less draining that those required when taking a bus or using the metro to cross the border.

Someday a new high-speed line will finally be completed (a story of itself) and offer a faster connection between Hong Kong and Guangzhou. But while the trip will be quicker and the immigration process even easier assuming everything is handled with a joint checkpoint on the Hong Kong side, which raises its own issues, the train will go to Guangzhou South Station — far less convenient if your destination is in downtown Guangzhou.

If you wish to take the Guangzhou-Kowloon Through Train and want a double decker experience, the schedule posted by the Hong Kong MTR indicates which trips use the Ktt train. At least at the main ticketing area at Hung Hom Station, requesting a seat specifically on the upper deck next to a window is a breeze assuming seats are available.

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

The Tin Hau Temple Tiger in Stanley, Hong Kong

At the Tin Hau Temple in Stanley, Hong Kong, I didn't witness any temple cleansings. But I did see something I didn't expect to find.

tiger skin at Tin Hau Temple in Stanley, Hong Kong


informational sign about the tiger skin at Tin Hau Temple in Stanley, Hong Kong


Accord to Geoffrey Charles Emerson in his book covering a part of the Japanese occupation of Hong Kong, "Hong Kong Internment, 1942-1945: Life in the Japanese Civilian Camp at Stanley":
In May 1942 one of the most unusual events of the internment years occurred. Although hardly an event of great importance, it is of great interest. For weeks there had been rumours in the Camp that a tiger was roaming around at night. As rumours were always prevalent, most internees refused to believe such a "preposterous" tale. Therefore, it came as great surprise when a male tiger weighing more than 200 pounds was killed just outside the Camp by a part of Japanese gendarmes, Chinese and Indian guards. The Hongkong News of 21 May 1942 reported that the tiger weighed about 240 pounds, was three feet high and six feet long with a nineteen-inch tail. Some of the Indian guards reported that they had also seen the tiger's mate and two cubs, but these were never found.

One of the internees, who had been a butcher with the Dairy Farm Company in Hong Kong before the war, was taken out of the Camp to skin the tiger. After being stuffed, it was put on exhibition in the city and attracted many viewers. The meat was not wasted, either, as The Hongkong News reported on 27 June that "thanks to the generosity of a Nipponese officer, some officials of the Hong Kong Race Club were recently given the rare treat of having a feast of tiger meat. The meat, which was as tender and delicious as beef, was from the tiger shot at Stanley.
No live tigers approached me in the area, though there were a few domestic cats. So I just had a salad by the beach.

Monday, February 20, 2017

Two Cleansings at a Hong Kong Temple

Like other Man Mo Temples in Hong Kong, the Man Mo Temple in Tai Po is dedicated to the God of Literature (Man) and the God of War (Mo). During my brief visit to the spiritual location I had the luck to witness two acts of cleansing.

cat cleaning itself in front of the Man Mo Temple in Tai To, Hong Kong



woman spraying water with a hose to clean the Man Mo Temple in Tai Po, Hong Kong


I don't know how often these cleansings occur, but some tranquility contrasting with the lively market on the street should be easy to find.

Friday, February 17, 2017

Disappearances and Closed Doors: A Return to Causeway Bay Books in Hong Kong

In Hong Kong on Monday, I noticed the front-page news about a missing billionaire in Hong Kong. Since then, there has been more news:
At least 30 employees of a Hong Kong billionaire who was whisked to China about two weeks ago have been stopped from leaving the mainland, with many more probably unable to travel, two people familiar with the matter said Monday.

It has become increasingly apparent that Beijing’s dragnet extends far beyond the billionaire, Xiao Jianhua, and is now closing in on dozens, if not hundreds, of his employees in one of the most far-reaching crackdowns on a private Chinese conglomerate in the nearly four decades since the country began to embrace free markets.
The case is reminiscent of the five staff of Causeway Bay Books who disappeared in 2015 and ended up in mainland China under similarly mysterious circumstances.

Since I visited the closed Causeway Bay Books store just over a year ago, one of the more remarkable related events was Lam Wing-kee's account of his abduction from Hong Kong and detention in mainland China. He could share his story only after returning to Hong Kong and ignoring the demands placed on him. In his full written account, Lam answered a question the media hadn't asked him but he felt was important:
Why did these people sell the bookshop but leave it empty? . . . Everyone knew that these people were rich. Yet they wouldn’t waste their money on nothing, would they? I am going to quote my own words — “when I was in Shaoguan, Shi told me that I had to continue working in the bookshop after I came back to Hong Kong. He would be in contact so I could report what was happening, through text or photographs. They wanted to understand what was going on in Hong Kong, especially those who were buying books about political theories.” Don’t you understand? The purpose of those people buying off the store was to have it serve as a convenient point of surveillance, from which they could spy upon Hongkongers.
This past Sunday I revisited the bookstore's location. The blue and white Causeway Bay Books sign still hangs prominently over Lockhart Road.

Causeway Bay Books sign above Lockhart Road in Hong Kong


After walking up one flight of stairs, I found the store's familiar closed doors, now without the notes of support I had seen before. Some written messages on the store's directional sign were visible though.

closed door of Causeway Bay Books


Contrasting in several ways, immediately next door SisterHood Lady Products was open for business.

entrance to SisterHood lady products in Causeway Bay, Hong Kong


While taking photos I noticed a man was watching me from partway down the stairway. After I started to leave he gave me a thumbs up. As we continued to walk down together he said in English, "Communist Party is bad." When I asked if he was from Hong Kong, he told me he was from "Peking" — the name for Beijing formerly used in English.

I was curious to learn more about the man, but I doubted I could confidently answer the questions now in my mind. I simply wished him well and headed down the street unsure of when I would next return to the bookstore. The man remained at the building's entrance for several minutes busy with his mobile phone.

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Donald Trump Needs to Line Up for Noodles in Hong Kong

A few months ago in Shanghai I suspected there was something China wouldn't let me forget. And this past weekend, I was reminded of it yet again by a mural on the side of the Cart Noodle Expert (車仔麵專家) restaurant in Sheung Wan, Hong Kong.

mural on the side of the Cart Noodle Expert (車仔麵專家) restaurant in Sheung Wan, Hong Kong


Here is a closer view of the section with yet another artistic interpretation of an iconic Donald Trump expression.

mural of a noodle cart line with a man offering assistance to Donald Trump


The sign next to Trump says "Please line up here". It looks like the man next to him is trying to help him.

If Trump does get in line, he might recognize somebody.

mural with a line of people including Barack Obama

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Swatching and Listening to Valentine's Day in Hong Kong

Performance for promotion at Swatch's store in Causeway Bay, Hong Kong
Promotion two days ago at the Kai Chiu Road Swatch store in Causeway Bay, Hong Kong

Billionaire News at a 7-Eleven in Hong Kong

Today at a 7-Eleven in Kennedy Town, Hong Kong, I noticed a New York Times front page with a piece titled "Video adds to mystery of vanished billionaire".

front page of New York Times magazine with piece title "Video adds to mystery of vanished billionaire" at a 7-Eleven in Hong Kong


It was a bit relevant to the local surroundings:
Xiao Jianhua, one of China’s wealthiest and most politically connected financiers, whose disappearance last month sent a chill through Hong Kong and the political class in Beijing, does not appear to be fine.

In the early hours of Jan. 27, he was taken out of the Four Seasons Hotel in Hong Kong in a wheelchair, his head covered by a sheet or a blanket, according to people who have seen or been briefed on video footage captured by security cameras in the hotel.

Mr. Xiao, 45, who was not known to use a wheelchair, was accompanied by about half a dozen unidentified men who were also pushing a large suitcase on rollers. He is believed to have been transported by boat from Hong Kong, eluding border controls, and is now in police custody in mainland China, according to two people familiar with the investigation into his whereabouts.
More details from the piece here.

I will share a followup to a post about a somewhat similar case in Hong Kong later.