We’ve been in Hong Kong a month already. Everyday walking with thousands of people, stepping into the continuous stream of people walking the subways, onto trains, up escalators, down escalators, onto minibuses, endless endless people, keeping rhythmic pace, shoulder to shoulder. We have never done that before, been part of the workforce, everyday. We resisted for ages, trying to find a time with less people in transit, but it seems the work day starts and ends at any hour of the day, or does leisure just merge into work, whatever, the system is chokkers all the time and it is seamless and perfect and continuously in flow.
The school has been great. Yew Chung Secondary school in Kowloon Tong. Its leaders are visionary and poetic in their endeavors to find their mission in Education and somehow we have slipped into a system that we never thought would fit us. But here we are everyday doing our art work, undistracted by life, as the only thing to do when coming into the school is to do our art. We each have a project of an artwork to beautify the school and to allow the older students to come and talk with us if they want to learn something from us or to advise them on their art. Michael is starting a large mural in mosaic and I have started a ‘Harvest’ sculpture to be cast in bronze. We also will do a lecture in a couple of weeks to interested students and parents on the inspiration of art in life. It sounds wonderful and is wonderful, yet every night, after a full day of intense concentration, of doing our artwork and being part of the huge energy of Hong Kong, finds us almost pathetically bleating and limp with exhaustion. We love it.
We are staying out in Sai Kung in the New Territories. We were a little sorrowful at first, wanting to live in the mad mayhem of Mongkok or Kowloon or Jordon to get the true feel of Hong Kong, but now we are grateful for the space and to be in nature. We are on the sea with its myriad of little hilly islands and sampans and fishing boats. Sai Kung itself has a colourful waterfront, well touristed, with lots of fish restaurants featuring their catches in the big water tanks, awful really, (we are seriously vegetarian now), those poor old gropers, some of them 60 years or more old, stuck in tanks a little more than the size of their giant bodies waiting for the end to their misery. Last Saturday, we meandered through the old streets out the back of Sai Kung and found a bounty of interesting little hardware shops and massage places and small eateries that satisfied our yen for local life. The waterfront was packed
with local people too, buying fish directly from the fishermen in the boats below the pier, and on the promenade, people with their weird dogs decorated in ridiculous tutus and strange hairdos were being showcased with all their pretty little tricks for an avid audience. We have yet to discover the lovely beaches here and the great walks up into the hills surrounding the town and the boat trips out to the islands. So far, we have been busy! Hong Kong is very, very busy! We are always doing something, meeting someone for lunch or dinner or an exhibition opening. And everyone we have met is open and giving. No one is threatened by the newcomer, everyone wants your name and your card in case you are the opportunity they are looking for. Its an amazing place. It feels like the place of new beginnings, where everything is a possibility and anything can happen.
Every now and again, word comes to us from our friends in Bagni di Lucca that the whispers of spring are bringing glorious days and new growth and our hearts yearn for the colour and the richness of texture and age and art and eternal glorious vistas. We miss it enormously sometimes, but how lucky are we to have such a life, to be here in all this abundant energy and yet to also have Italy, and to come from Australia, the epitome of freedom. We have it all.