Somehow March is almost over and there are a mere 2 months left of my Hong Kong adventure. But if there is one thing I’ve learned from Buddhism, it is not to dwell in the future and to enjoy the present. Technically I’m not supposed to dwell in the past either, but for the sake of this post I will review some of the things I’ve been up to in the last few weeks.
Sometimes I forget that just beyond the city there are tons of mountains just waiting to be explored. I don’t know any other city where you can take a subway ride for 30 minutes, walk another 10 minutes from the station and just start hiking. A couple weeks ago my friend Jessie and I set out to tackle the 2nd highest mountain in HK, Lantau Peak. Although it is a little further away, Lantau Island is a great place to get outside. The hike is pretty much straight up for 2 hours, and the steps seem like they go on forever. The crazy thing about hiking in HK is that you can look one direction and see giant apartment complexes, and if you turn 180 degrees you get a view like this:
As we reached the top a heavy fog came rolling in and the wind picked up pretty strong, and I almost felt like I was back in New Hampshire.
A few weeks after Lantau Peak, Aanya, Brian and I checked out Devil’s Peak, a mountain across the bay in Kowloon. Devil’s Peak is one of the weirder mountains I’ve explored. There are the remains of several different military structures, used by the British in the past. And on the other side there is a giant traditional Chinese Cemetery:
By far the coolest part of Devil’s peak was the crazy cave/grotto/tunnel that Aanya discovered on the way up to the peak. It’s this little opening in the rock that twists about 30 meters through the side of the mountain, eventually coming out on the other side. It was only about 3 feet high in there so we basically had to crawl. It was pitch black and as I led the way using an iphone as a light source (thanks technology) I was convinced I was going to find a human skeleton or a sleeping cougar. After our tunnel adventure we grabbed food at a 24-hour breakfast joint and had a couple beers before making it back to the dorms.
Then there was Vietnam, which I’ll get to…in another post. The weekend after was the Hong Kong Rugby Sevens, which is an awesome 3-day tournament that brings fans from all over the world. As a member of the HKU rugby team I was lucky enough to get a friday ticket for 100 HKD ($12, they usually cost about $100 for Friday and a lot more for the whole weekend). Sevens was by far one of my favorite things I’ve done in HK. Over 5 hours of rugby with lots of friends and lots of beer. I can’t remember all the different costumes I saw but highlights included: a full-grown man as smurfette, several popes, nuns, and some kind of rasta jesus, pirates, and anything else you can think of. When the U.S was playing (we lost), our chants of USA drew some resent – I’m pretty sure someone threw a few cups at us. It probably didn’t help that my friend insisted on yelling back “You’re just jealous of our democracy!” (I’ll keep them anonymous for their own sake). Overall it was an awesome night. Uncle Ted if you’re reading this, I wish you could’ve been there to enjoy it with me.
I leave again tomorrow for China, further convincing me that this is not real life. Last piece of good news, someone bought one of my photographs through UGallery, an awesome website that sells some of my work.To my anonymous purchaser, THANK YOU! Definitely a cool feeling knowing that someone out there liked my work enough to pay money for it.