me in the piazza

I'm a writer, publishing both as SJ Rozan and, with Carlos Dews, as Sam Cabot. (I'm Sam, he's Cabot.) Here you can find links to my almost-daily blog posts, including the Saturday haiku I've been doing for years. BUT the blog itself has moved to my website. If you go on over there you can subscribe and you'll never miss a post. (Miss a post! A scary thought!) Also, I'll be teaching a writing workshop in Italy this summer -- come join us!
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Hong Kong part 2

(Note: I'm posting as I can, so the dates the posts are written will be different from the dates they're posted.)

Hong Kong, May 7

Got up early -- that jetlag thing -- and went for a walk. First, Kowloon Park, built on the foundations of the razed Walled City. This was not an ancient walled city -- nothing in HK is ancient, the place was home to only a few tiny fishing villages until less than 200 years ago, when the British came -- but was one of the most notoriously criminal and ungovernable areas in HK until it was torn down (we'd say "made the subject of urban renewal") in the '70's. I'd give you the Wikipedia link but I'm a little unsure about going to Wikipedia; I worry this computer might close Journalscape to get there. But check it out. Anyway, now it's a park, and since it was early in the morning, lots of citizens were out getting exercise. You can see this in Chinatown in NYC, too, and other Chinatowns. Kung fu, tai chi, sword dancing, aerobics... people playing badminton without nets, just on a streetcorner. It's a colonization of public space for private use in a way we don't do in the west. No one in NYC would consider getting together with a dozen other people and working out in front of the Apple Store before it opens, just because it has a wide plaza. And if you did, security would shoo you off. But in China, any streetcorner, plaza, park, is territory for individuals to take as long as they can hold it. That's pretty much until the workday starts and streets get crowded, though the street-corner cooks go out then and fry you up some dough.

Kowlooon Park, since I was here last, has put in an aviary. They used to have flamingoes, and now there are ducks and swans, too, and a peacock. Most of them were species I'm not familiar with but I have photos, you know I do. Can't post them until I get home, though. The park's pretty nice; HK seems to be putting a tentative foot in the go-green movement. Exhortations to save water and recyle, an organic framer's market by the Star Ferry (three stalls, but still).

After the park I wandered the streets, and after that back to the Y for breakfast, checking out, leaving my bag and then the Star Ferry across the harbor. More wandering around, up to Hollywood Road to look at antiques, and up and down alleyways. And I mean up and down; very little on that side of the harbor, on HK Island, is flat. Very hot and sunny, very horn-honking noisy. Well-dressed hurrying HKers, many young and cutting-edge stylish. Construction, but not as much as last time I was here; I think the building boom has ebbed, though they're still doing landfill projects, narrowing the harbor. (Have some photos of that, too.) Found, by golly, a veggie organic take-out place, paper boxes and cornstarch forks, to buy some late lunch. Took it back across the harbor, ate looking at the skyline, the ships. Busier than I've seen that harbor -- last time I was here things were pretty quiet. Now takers, cargo ships, cruise liners, yachts, patrol boats, ferries. No more junks or sampans, except a few big junks to take tourists for rides. Sat for awhile taking it all in, then retrieved my bag, took a cab to Kowloon Station, the train to the airport, and found my flight to Shanghai.

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