Hong Kong Philosopher’s Walk
May 25, 2012 § 1 Comment
The wind is balmy and smells odorous. All around us, people in funny clothes are flailing their arms about and rocking their bodies to and fro. Some strike motionless poses that slowly slowly transform into a slow-mo kung fu move. It’s dark and the lights are golden and reflecting in the swaying sea. We smile into the breeze, happy to be in company as we walk along the promenade.
Last week Mike lost his wallet. We were in a taxi that was from the Kowloon side and the taxi driver got a bit lost taking us to one of the art venues we were attending but he was lovely and enthusiastic. In the muddle of getting out of the taxi Mike must have had his wallet on his lap and it fell to the floor. The taxi driver didn’t take any more passengers after us – heading for home on the other side. We find out at the end of our evening that Mike has lost his wallet and immediately we get onto all the banks to cancel his cards, somewhat deflated and definitely finalizing the night for any more partying. Two days ago we received a call from a police station in Mongkok telling us that Mike’s wallet was handed in on the night of the loss with everything still intact. Amazing. Every night we walk along the waterfront, that would in any other city, be a perilous place to be, but instead there are fishermen leaning out over the balustrades, old people meandering and exercising or clustered together on the seats yakking away contentedly. We feel so safe at any time of night. It is a city that perhaps because of the sheer numbers, polices itself, but to me even more, it is a city mostly of well being, even though the people work really hard.
This evening we walked along the promenade as usual. It is our place to loosen off the day. An old friend put a pathway in her garden that she called the philosopher’s walk. She thought it was important that it was flat and unobstructed so that the only thing you did as you walked along was think. We have taken this on and found our troubles unburdened along these pathways in the world, leaving our minds free and clear and open, ready to create from the next great idea. We attribute them to much of our success and achievement of our dreams. In Lucca we have one along the walls of the city. It is a 4 kilometre circular promenade overlooking this beautiful medieval city under the shade of the old plane trees with its little resting stops along the way with old men playing cards or families picnicking on the lawns. Here in Hong Kong we have two. One is on Bowen Rd in the mid levels of Hong Kong Island. It skirts around the middle of the hills over the city leaving Central and on over to Causeway Bay. Up here on this pathway suspended over the tree tops, a sci fi city sparkles and glistens and flashes over a busy harbour. It invites inspirational thought because Hong Kong gives you the feeling that anything you want can happen. Down on the seaboard is our other magical walk. It is slightly obstructed in length by the big old noisy Macau ferry terminal, but once you push past this, you have an engaging walk from Sai Ying Pun to the Convention Centre in Wanchai. All along this walking journey, barges, ferries, sampans, tug boats and crane boats pass you by in the narrow passage between Central and Kowloon. In the distance, islands blur against one another in the ethereal light and big ships lie out there waiting for their unloading to begin.
Tonight we stopped at the ‘Beer Bay’ outside the Discovery bay terminal, pier number 3. It is just a little shed with beer, wine and soft drinks for sale and each night people stop here on their way home from work before catching the ferry. There’s something about joining in the quiet camaraderie, your beer perched on the railing as you peer down into the green murky sea, flotsam and jelly fish spiralling against the jetty walls. You continue to smile in the feel good atmosphere and when you finally leave this human friendly stopover, you wander slowly home, arm in arm, and you think you have created the next perfect day.