One of those Week-Ends


One of those week-ends

Even though half of the week-end had passed, I dreaded the next half. All day it was all over the media about the two brothers allegedly responsible for the planting of explosives that killed three people including a young boy. Hundreds of millions world- wide were glued to their Apps and Iphones getting the latest. The two brothers are supposed to be ethnic Chechen who arrived in America aged about 7 and 12.They grew up in America. Some years later they plant bombs! What happened in between? One could ask the same about the man responsible for the massacre at Sandy Hook; what happened? They used to be lovely little boys not long ago. I suppose Klara thought the same of her little boy, Adolf.

I decided to (resolutely) to try and shake my gloom by taking a walk with my wife and our incorrigible Jack Russell ‘Milo’ to our little river at the back of our complex of eight town-houses. I call them ‘units’ but some also refer to them with the rather more grandiose name of ‘villas’! Coming from Europe, I hesitate to call them villas seeing they don’t resemble anything one would find facing the sea at Monaco or the waterfront French Riviera with 50 metres of swimming pools and helipads with Portuguese maids dressed in white uniforms serving Dom Perignon in tall stemmed glasses.

Years ago soon after arrival in Sydney and aged 15 I was desperate to investigate a Sydney suburb named ‘Palm Beach’. Having grown up in Holland and seen the occasional movie with waving palms and people lounging in hammocks while sipping from a coconut with skimpily dressed Hawaiian girls swanning about I was desperate to soak up and make real my vision of waving palms. I thought the hoola girls can come later as a concession to a possible disappointment. (Even then there were already creeping in shadows of doubt or negativity about my possible unrealistically enlarged projections of fantasized distant futures, dreams or visions.)

I was right to be skeptical; not one fucking palm. I walked along and noticed a garden facing the sea. It had a profusion of white peace lilies (Spathiphyllum) which I knew in Holland to be tropical indoor plants. I can still see my dad bending over them with a small watering can. I thought, well, at least something tropical at last. But…here my skepticism and previous negativity came to the rescue once more; on touching them, leaning over the white picket fence, ( just like dad bending over his indoor plants) they turned out to be plastic. Can you believe people spending time to plant plastic greenery? What sort of country had my dad migrated to with locals having the hide to call their suburb Palm Beach with no Palms and gilding the Lily as well? I have found out that the English speaking world is somewhat over-generous with naming things that are only just skirting along the edges of ‘truth’. They sell fresh-cream apple pies with the cream oozing out being a grainy mock cream and the apple probably plastic grown at someone’s Palm Beach garden. They advertise ‘free gifts’. Electrical shops are named “Good Guys”!

The walk along our little river or bubbling brook is always a restorative event. Milo goes berserk sniffing out the ducks while nervously cocking his hind legs alternatively every few metres. He is clearly eternally optimistic in breaking loose and murdering a nice duck, no matter how strong the leash is, he jumps around and is  enjoying jumping and bucking about. I don’t allow him his duck but as a concession to murder, I will let him loose at the church yard where he  chases the occasional wild rabbit and even killed one. Rabbits are in plague proportions, so…

Good boy Milo.., Good boy.

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3 Responses to “One of those Week-Ends”

  1. Andrew Says:

    It has been a very depressing week with Boston, Texas, Sichuan, and a host of smaller glitches for mankind. I read today that a few more people I know, long term HK residents are getting out because they are fed up with the air quality here. Only when HK has become a microcosm of the mainland, complete with pollution, corruption and censorship will the transition be complete. Perhaps everybody goes through the same process as they age but I am becoming less and less enamoured with real life. It has advantages of course. I can sit here and listen to the Allman Brothers for free whilst blogging but that is poor compensation for the rest of the mounting garbage. We live in a so-called villa or townhouse. No swimming pool. No helipad, no Dom P. We do have a helper but that is about it. We have a sea view so I guess that qualifies. Places in HK are amusing too. We have Beverly Hills, Bel Air (pardon me whilst I cough), Diamond Hill, Sorrento, Palm Springs and so on. I have yet to find anywhere called Over-priced, under-sized concrete monstrosity but they are visible all over the place. You pay extra for plastic flowers.


  2. gerard oosterman Says:

    Yes, perhaps those names are a remnant of the British staying in Hong Kong. We too have a Beverley Hills, a Sorrento and lots of Palm this and Palm that. Gold coast, Sunshine coast, Emerald Coast. In reality most of it dreary suburbia with gigantic houses surrounded by colour-bond fences and gardens filled with pebble crete and immaculate lawns. One never actually sees any people there. They are either missing or sleeping, I just don’t know.
    At least, I imagine Hong Kong has lots of people about.
    Anyway, keep it up Andrew! I love your photography and descriptions.


    • Andrew Says:

      Thank you Gerard. And yes, we have approximately 7 million people in HK, most of them to be found on Nathan Road, queueing outside the Hermes or LV shop.


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