Entry Two: Day 3 to 6

Hong Kong

Bold words point at a picture on this page

During the last days I realized that there is nothing more boring than to read about what some guy (that would be me) did throughout the day. For someone who accesses my homepage, it is far more interesting to hear little stories I heard or places I recommend to visit for some or more reasons. Thus from now on I will stop writing a diary and start putting together a travel guide with a personal touch. My friend Chris Reynolds emailed me that he wants to read about the people I see and meet. In addition, I will also report about good food and where to get it and interesting or cheap shopping opportunities etc. I hope that this will be more attractive to my reader.

This time I want to bring stories and pictures about:

Fung-Shui or geomancy is a 3,000 year old system which seeks to balance the yin (feminine/passive - why is the feminine side passive? I have seen quite a few active women in my life. But never mind...) and yang (masculine/active) aspects of the natural world. A geomancer will be consulted by Hong Kongers when houses are built or in general every time there is a need for balance. The following story involves a need for balance and what the geomancer did to overcome the problem.

When the Bank of China building here in Hong Kong (HK) was finished, the nearby Bank of HK started to lose money. Their profits went down rapidly. So, in good old Chinese tradition they did not ask a consultant but a geomancer (which I object to completely as a future consultant, but, hey, you can't help everyone). The geomancer looked at the Bank of China and concluded that it looked like a sword (which it does) and that's why their profits went down (now I'm always up for a good excuse, but that...).

Anyway, he decided that the Bank of HK had to retaliate and point a stronger weapon at the nearby building. So, they built two guns on top of their skyscraper which pointed in the direction of the opponents building. This whole thing would be ridiculous, unless, yes, you guessed it, the Bank of HK would not have become profitable again. In fact, more profitable than before. Maybe I should take some lessons from a geomancer before I leave?


Here I don't want to lose too many words. Just look at the two pictures on the bottom of this page. A guy transporting two huge pieces of meat in one of the most crowded streets in downtown HK.

Later that day I walked by a butcher who not only presented his goods very openly but also cut it right in front of you on the streetcounter if you decided to buy something. My thought: I haven't heard anything about a lot of meat poisoning in Asia. Maybe the West is just a little over-regulated. But than again, I don't know if I would buy anything from my friend in the picture....


One thing I did not know was that in Asia bamboo is used for construction. But not just for small one-family-houses. As you can see in the pictures, it is utilized for the erection of skyscrapers and small houses alike. When I told my friend Yi, that I was amazed by that, he was surprised. "You did not know that this is used?". And once again in my life I felt ashamed by my ignorance and lack of knowledge.

Roller Coaster:

If you never feared for your life, here is how you can experience it: on Tuesday I went up to the Victoria Peak, a great place to look over HK and Kowloon, the opposite side of the strait. I went up with the Peak Tram. It was a marvelous day and the view was outstanding. Because I wanted to go to Stanley right afterwards, I decided to take the bus down to Central HK from where I would catch another bus to Stanley.

What I did not know is that the ride down from the Peak to Central HK would keep me on the edge of my seat. I was sitting in a double-decker bus on the top floor in the first row. The windows in front of me were open because the bus was not air conditioned (it is still very hot in HK: 32 Celsius). The road down to HK is a long and winding road (to quote the Beatles). That would not be the problem. What makes it a real life roller coaster is that the driver goes down with at least 40 to 50 km/h (or so it seemed) and there are other buses coming up on the same street. I am lacking words to describe the fear and the surprise when we came across another bus and then actually managed to fly by. Even though it was scary, I would recommend to everyone to do it. What was reassuring for me was that I did not see any buses lying around on the side of street. That means the driver knows what he does - he did not convince me, though.

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