Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Kung Hei Fat Choy

Kung Hei Fat Choy=Happy New Year

This week Hong Kong celebrates it's biggest holiday complete with lights, decorations and lion dances throughout the city. It is a big deal for the Chinese - comparable to if not bigger than Christmas in America. We enjoy a quiet evening with friends while overhearing the booming fireworks in Victoria Harbour. I've been spending much time the past several weeks chilling in nature and just being instead of doing.

Follow the steep road up and up. Lined with thick sloped forest, the road seems endless even though it's end is quite close to the city. The journey is not for the faint of heart, winding around every bend enough to give you major motion sickness. Don't look down if you're vertigo sensitive.

Continuing up you disappear into the cloudy mists, sharing the narrow road with big buses and speeding Ferrari's with a deathwish. Cliffs on your right, now on your left, boasting an amazing view of the colorful Hong Kong city skyline.

So close, yet so far, we like escaping the chaos of the city, yet it's nice to know that the city is right there if we need anything. That's the New Yorker in me coming out (so spoiled, I know). It is surreal to be towering over Hong Kong's towers.

Finally you arrive at the summit. A charming resort-like neighborhood is perched at the top of Hong Kong's mountains called The Peak. Several degrees cooler up here than in the city centre hundreds of feet below, we enjoy several weeks of much needed R&R here. The wonderfully crisp Autumn weather is a refreshing change from tropical Singapore.

It is often so misty up here that you can barely see 10 meters in front of you. Mahesh grew up in Hong Kong and as a child they nicknamed parts of The Peak, "Ghost Town", because of it's thick fog and eerie quiet.

We enjoy waking up to birds singing, long breakfasts and tranquil walks through the numerous hiking trails where you forget you're in one of the busiest cities in the world. The wind carries the faint smell of a cozy firewood burning somewhere while eagles soar and swoop overhead.

Come take a stroll with me.
So many wildflowers line the trails and my camera seems to fancy them. I spy...

...white silky petals with a brilliant yellow center...

...perfect rubyred round berries...

...and some cute little purple fuzzy ones. I know, I horticulture vocabulary is quite advanced.

These little ones seem to flirt with me...

...while these bits of perfection remind me of a walk through a vineyard.

I happen upon some happy lavender flowers...

...and a tree trunk with thorns.

These red Chinese lanterns that seem to say "Kung Hei Fat Choy", also look like bells blowing in the wind and ringing in the New Year. This is also the time of year when everyone passes out little envelopes the same color as these flowers by the dozen. And inside...yup, cash.

I have a soft spot for things that grow on tree trunks.

These purple trumpets boast a star in their delicate petals.

These delicate little buds appear to pop like corn kernals...

...while yellow daisies enjoy the sunshine as much as I do.

We end our day watching the sun take a dip into the South China Sea. Then the wind begins to howl and we retreat inside where we cuddle up under a warm blanket next to a crackling fireplace, roasting marshmallows and watching movies. Ahhh, so beautifully simple. And with all the work we've been doing the past several months and coping with the uncertainty of our life right now as we're in limbo, we rest and try to just be. Why can't every day be like this?


Here, There, Elsewhere... and more said...

Lucky, lucky you..!
Do enjoy every second of this fabulous experience - your photos are stunning, thanks for sharing..:)

mimi said...

Sheriann, you have such a gift of gab! Your linguistic constructions are laden with honey! You have a true talent!

How did you guys find yourself in Hong Kong? Are you working? Obviously you are enjoying yourselves! :) I'm so happy for you... It's so exotic and enlivening! I'm so happy to see you are living it to the fullest.

Chandan said...

Love the post S. I am glad you are enjoying HK. Kung Hei Fat choy to you too!

Shireena said...

Dear HTE,
Thank you - I will try to enjoy the journey.

Lovely Mimi,
You are so kind - missing you much. Thanks for your kind words. Will send you an email giving you the full updates!

Dear Chandan, (or shall I say neighbor!) You have a lovely and charming city -we're enjoying exploring of some of the more local areas. Oh-and thanks for the spellcheck on Kung Hei Fat Choy! Ooops! I thought my version looked wrong.

Take care!

Angel.Pearls said...

Thanks for visiting! Just being instead of doing is something I have to learn! Thanks for charing your nice photos -Take care//Eva

John and Brieanne Dabney said...

Sooooooooooo jealous!

west by south said...

I just discovered your wonderful blog...and absolutely love it! I use to live in Hong of the most defining times in my life...and your posts and photos have brought back such wonderful memories and is so inspiring...thank you!

Chandan said...

Hey S,
You've been tagged. Check out girlabouthme.