^^ On the morning of Xmas Eve, I received a knock from Room Service who again, ignored my “PLEASE DO NOT DISTURB” sign hanging on the knob outside. I told him to go away politely. Then came a second knock and it was Room Service again with some other person who was delivering Xmas cakes to all the hotel guests. It wasn’t that good, but it wasn’t that bad either. However, I thought it was a nice gesture from the hotel.
^^ There are nine districts in Hong Kong that celebrate what is called “Dah Jiu” which is celebrated every ten years by all the villages within a participating district. It is an event where we honor our ancestors by calling on the spirits of our ancestors. Mind you, I need a more accurate story of that from my dad later. Shatin’s Dah Jiu was celebrated last year. It was a larger than Tai Wai which is shown here.
This is an event that lasts for a few days. It starts out with a dragon dance that starts here and visits each village, followed by “Dai Hei” which is an on-stage show where men dress up as warriors and maidens, though I think women take on women’s roles nowadays. There is also firecrackers and confetti exploding and a free massive vegetarian dinner for all the villagers and their guests at a place across from the place above. I missed last year’s Shatin Dah Jiu for the most part, but I did go Bai Saan.
^^ On our way up to the Ten Thousand Monks Monastery, a cat greeted me. Brandon kept asking me if I could bring it home with me, would I, and how cool it would be if I could. Meow [licks paw]… 83
^^ My aunt praying to Lord Buddha inside the nine ‘storey’ pagoda.
^^ If you refer to my 2006 Hong Kong trip, these Goddess of Mercy’s were a different colour. The gold seems so extravagent, but clean.
^^ The Shatin New Town mall. This mall and two other plazas surround the hotel I stayed at. It was very convenient since New Town also had its own railway station that connected with the rest of Hong Kong. KCR or the MTR?
^^ Fooling with my camera, I managed to take this rather nice photo of some houses in my dad’s village Wong Nai Tau in Shatin. This village was the one I stayed at last year and it’s only one mini-bus ride to the hotel too.
^^ Bebe sniffing me. Familiar scent? I believe so. He didn’t yap nearly as much as when he first saw me last year.
^^ While I wandered around by myself in the village, I came across this sign stamped on a drainage thingy. It read “Slope Registration No. 7SE-….” My first thought was, “Slope Registration Number?!?!? A slope needs a registration number?!?!?”
^^ Baak Guung, or my Grandfather’s (on my dad’s side) brother. He is still lively and healthy, but lonely I’m sure, even if his children live right next door. He lost his brother over ten years ago, and his wife later last year. The thing is, I was glad I got to see and greet Baak Poh or his wife in other words, before she passed from this lifetime. A part of meeting Baak Guung again prompted parts of my previous entry.
^^ A very old derelict house at an adjacent village.
^^ Dail lo told me that this is a village by itself. The four buildings is a village but what was even more ridiculous was that the village started out as the front house and I’m guessing the small house which is the Bai Tong or “Protector’s Shrine” which houses the guardian spirit. I asked, “How could one house and a Shrine be considered a village?! I mean, does that mean that the person living there is the Village Mayor/Elder, doctor, keeper, etc, etc all in one?
^^ The view of three villages from way above. There are a total of six villages here. I wonder though, why not just combine them as one? Then I remembered that each village is representative of one family name. Wong Nai Tau as “Cheng”.
^^ I joked with my parents that all the dogs live in the upper villages and all the cats in Wong Nai Tau.
^^ This small cove used to be deep and full of fish and other wildlife, but since the government built a bridge higher up, it was filled with sand and rocks. Dai lo told me when they were children, they used to go swimming and fishing here. Even though it has changed a lot since, I still find this pool to be quite serene and beautiful.
A way down the path, three Fillipino servants were resting and talking amongst themselves. One of them was rather cute. Fillipino servants are a common sight in Hong Kong. My grandmother on my mom’s side has one. My aunt in the village used to have one. Their monthly wages are very low and they are hard workers. They mainly eat with the masters since room is so small.
^^ This Catholic school is right beside Mei Yi’s apartment complex. I took a pic of it because my dad reminded me that there is a Little Flower Academy back in Vancouver as well.
^^ This is an original photo of a plaza near my hotel. The lighting is darkened due to the camera’s settings. It’s supposed to be brighter, but it’s a nice picture neverthless.
^^ More Dah Jiu stuff. Just passing by.
^^ On the MTR to the station near Ah Poh’s house. That’s the Shatin Heritage Museum, a few apartment buildings and the hotel.
^^ Ah Poh and my 28 year old aunt’s youngest daughter.
^^ As mentioned in my previous post about clarity, these two pictures shows a glimpse of what allowed my meditation to ascend higher into my consciousness.
^^ Stitch gloves! Brandon, Christina, their mom, Edmond, Jacelyn and her boyfriend went to Disneyland for the whole day and saw the evening fireworks. I wished I could have been there but my feet needed a good break. I spent an hour and a half at a masseur for a full body rub for roughly $300 HK or $40 Cdn. Brandon and Edmond got me Goofy/Mickey gloves and a Mickey the Wizard bobblehead! Woohoo!
^^ At the cafeteria inside the Seiyu mall/plaza right below the hotel.
^^ A street market near my Poh’s house.
^^ Ed torturing Christina again.
^^ At the front steps of Poh’s house.
^^ This was so cool. The street outside the KCR station is packed with traffic usually, and this night was no exception, except the police cordoned off the street as the Martial Arts group marched with the villagers and guests for a few blocks around Tai Wai with the huge guardian figure. Four lions followed it, giving its blessings and wardings to everyone as it passed by. It was nothing like I’ve experienced before, which made me feel a little regret that I did not attend last year’s for my home region of Shatin which was bigger.
The whole experience also gave me some invisible nostalgic tears of when I was a part of the Tiger Martial Arts Club in 1998, when I played the cymbals and a role as the happy monk that wakens then lion. Good times. Really damn good times.
Anyway, wait for my third and last installment of my Hong Kong 2007 trip coming soon!