Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Two More of Mongkok

May 15, 2006 - Funky pastel coloured buildings lining a street market. I haven't figured out if Hong Kong refers only to the island of Hong Kong, or if it includes the greater Hong Kong area, including part of the Asian continent that borders mainland China. Mongkok is on that bit of land, which immediatly across from Hong Kong is called Kowloon. Don't quote me on that, though.

Pedestrian footbridge that covers an extensive part of street in Mongkok. Very useful for getting perspective.

iTunes soundtrack:
1. I Hope You're Happy Now (Elvis Costello & the Attractions)
2. Just Like U Said It Would B (Sinead O'Connor)
3. For You Blue (The Beatles)
4. 4:37 A.M. (Arabs With Knives & West German Skies) (Roger Waters)
5. Take the Long Way Home (live) (Supertramp)
6. Pasibutbut (David Darling & the Wulu Bunun)
7. Bigtime Sensuality (Bjork)
8. Breakthru (Queen)
9. You Know What I Mean (Phil Collins)
10. Stratford-On-Guy (Liz Phair)

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Two of Mongkok

Gah, so where was I? Oh yea, trip to Hong Kong.

May 15, 2006 - One of the main drags in the Mongkok section of Hong Kong, the one with all the camera shops. I was hoping to score a new digital, but without knowing the language, and not quite sure what the haggling expectations are, either in Hong Kong or Taiwan, I'm scared of paying too much for a camera. I don't want to pay the asking price and find out that haggling could have gotten me a better price, and some camera store clerk smirked me a sucker for paying the asking price. I don't want to be punk'd. Who does?

Anyway, the model I'm looking for, which isn't normally sold in the U.S. (it's not in B&H or J&R), is available through some online sites in the U.S. for surprisingly far less than either Hong Kong or Taiwan, so I'm going to wait till I visit the U.S. in August and hope those online prices remain and aren't a fluke.

A Mongkok intersection.

iTunes soundtrack:
1. Skimbleshanks ("Cats")
2. Macilumah (David Darling & the Wulu Bunun)
3. Here Comes the Flood (Peter Gabriel)
4. Maori Chant (The Neville Brothers)
5. Bea (Throwing Muses)
6. Black Coffee In Bed (Squeeze)
7. Drivin' on 9 (The Breeders)
8. John-G (Yuko Hara)
9. Pictures At An Exhibition, Prom.-Il Vecchio Castello (Mussorgsky)
10. Bernadette (The Kinks)

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Hong Kong Visa Run

May 15, 2006 - Not sure what's going on here. Stepped out of the train station in Hong Kong and decided to shoot whatever was there? Looks like it.

The famous hills of Hong Kong? Is Hong Kong famous for its hills? I think the hills keep Hong Kong cramped up against the northern coast of the island. If so, Hong Kong is even smaller than what it looks like on the map. I do remember a Hong Kong film called "Life is Cheap, Toilet Paper is Expensive", which has a nauseating 10 minute foot chase seen, shot from the point of view of the chaser. It started up in the hills, came down to the urban area, down into the subway system, and then back up again to about street level (not sure if it was supposed to be metaphor). I had to watch the last few minutes of the chase out of the corner of my eye to keep from throwing up. Great movie, wish I could find it somewhere to rent.

Making my way to the visa office using internet downloaded maps. I love learning the layout of somewhere using a map, and then seeing it as it really is. It's always pleasantly disappointing. Buildings, people, traffic, but alive, long in existence before I got there, long after I leave.

It's not officially a visa office. I think it's actually called a travel agency because China doesn't recognize Taiwan, and China now owns Hong Kong. And they don't actually issue the visa in the Hong Kong office, maybe for the same reason. You get a little slip of paper that you take back to Taiwan, like a claim ticket, and at the airport, you go to one last counter and they issue the visa there on Taiwanese soil. Weird.

iTunes soundtrack:
1. Little Earthquakes (live) (Tori Amos)
2. Man In a Suitcase (live) (The Police)
3. Prettiest Star (David Bowie)
4. Runaways (XTC)
5. The Weight of My Words (Four Tet Instrumental Remix)
6. Cheapskate (Supergrass)
7. Homeopathy (Rainer Maria)
8. Flute Concerto in G Major (Vivaldi)
9. Angels Rush In (Versus)
10. Cosmic Rays (Helium)

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Train to Hong Kong

Bah! My internet at home is down again. That means I have to go to the public library again for my internet fix. This is unacceptable, right? Tell me that I should definitely leave at the end of my lease at the end of August and move to a place that has reliable internet.

May 15, 2006 - First lomo frame on the ground in Hong Kong, taking the express airport train to Hong Kong proper. It was beautiful landing in Hong Kong. The airport is kinda out there, and to get to Hong Kong forces you to travel through stunning tropical island landscape, lots of water and mountainous islands. Seeing it from a train window, I'm sure, doesn't do it justice.

Unfortunately, this was my first time in Hong Kong, I can't even remember a single word of Cantonese from any of the Hong Kong films I've seen, I was only going for a day to get a student visa back to Taiwan, and I was sleep deprived, having stayed overnight at the Taipei airport so that I could make sure I got there on time for the first flight out. That was brutal. And I had only done rudimentary research on what to do for the 4-5 hours I'd be waiting to get my visa.

I notice an aberrant peak in visits to this quiet site. Feel free to say "hi!", ya'll.

iTunes soundtrack:
1. Polka Dots and Moonbeams (Wes Montgomery)
2. Das Neue Japanische Elekronische Volkslied (Ryuichi Sakamoto)
3. Sweet Virginia (The Rolling Stones)
4. Stay Up Late (Talking Heads)
5. Liquid Fire (Nokko)
6. Blown a Wish (My Bloody Valentine)
7. David Watts (live) (The Kinks)
8. Gotta Stay High (New Radicals)
9. That's All (Genesis)
10. Ain't Got No (reprise) ("Hair")

Friday, July 07, 2006

View above the clouds

May 15, 2006 - Even in lomospeak, this is the universal shot meaning flying off to a new destination. In this case, I was flying to Hong Kong on an infamous "visa run". Flight schedules allow it so that from Taiwan, people can fly in, get their passports stamped, and head right back to Taiwan at most in a couple hours.

I, however, actually had to go to Hong Kong to get a student visa in my U.S. passport, since I entered Taiwan on my Taiwanese visa. The Taiwanese passport is virtually useless. It basically amounts to a 3 month visa with the threat of being drafted into military service if I by accident stay for over 4 months. Taiwanese passport doesn't mean Taiwanese citizenship. Doesn't mean you can stay here. Me, Taiwanese? No, yo hablo espanol.

iTunes soundtrack:
1. Get Back (The Beatles)
2. Speed of Life (live) (David Bowie)
3. Company ("Company" - Sondheim)
4. Farewell and Goodnight (Smashing Pumpkins)
5. One On One (Hall & Oates)
6. Home Again (Carole King)
7. Dhadkne Saansein Jawane ("Beta" - bollywood)
8. Love Struck Baby (Stevie Ray Vaughan & Double Trouble)
9. Chamber Symphony in C Minor, I. Largo (Shostakovich)
10. Mad Dog God Dam (Elastica)

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

May 1, 2006 - I vaguely remember this being one of the few sunny days after days and days of relentless rain. And even after the rain is gone, the umbrellas come out for the sun. Including while riding a bike! This is on Heping East Road. My apartment is on the left and Daan Park is on the right. I think I went to my bank that morning and was riding to school at this point...oh, May 1, I did go to my bank to get money, and was riding to my landlord's bank, on the way to school, to deposit rent money.

In more recent news, since these photos are now two months behind. The constant rain has stopped and appears to have been replaced by what appears to be monsoon rains, much more bearable. That just means every late afternoon there's a downpour. Also, my bike is on extended loan to a stranger. Apparently, I left my bike unlocked in front of my apartment, intending to go out again on it, but then left it like that overnight. So the P.O.S. Enterprise is no more. Yay! Seriously, that was no loss. Just a little inconvenient no that I have to learn the bus lines.

iTunes soundtrack:
1. Welcome Back (Tara Jane O'Neil)
2. The Sun Has Got His Hat On ("Me and My Girl")
3. Avenue (Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan)
4. Ain't Talkin' 'Bout Love (Van Halen)
5. Here Comes the Flood (Peter Gabriel)
6. You Wanna Bet ("Sweet Charity")
7. Snowball In Hell (They Might Be Giants)
8. #41 (Dave Matthews Band)
9. Let Me Go Home (Camera Obscura)
10. Everything is All (Echobelly)