Home | Passport testing under construction | Folk Sayings and Proverbs, China Wisdom

The China Adventures Of Arielle Gabriel

Hong Kong: February 2003

As I sit here at a public computer, I think I would go insane without the encouragements my parents and teachers gave me when I was a child. I hear the more recent voice of a friend in Shenzhen who said to me rather ruefully, Shenzhen is a man's town
To escape an X-rating, we'll skip over why Shenzhen is a man's town. 
Yes, so I eagerly seek out Hong Kong only to hear two pudgy balck-suited businessmen discussing a sixteen year old girl with a smug, proprietorial tone as they exit from the Marco Polo Hotel, myself trailing a little too closely behind them.
These are Hong Kong men, suave, modest in outward appearance, lacking South Asia swagger, and yet repellent to me with their assumption that any one is for hire, any women can be bought and sold like a package of sirlion from the local supermarket.
Am I taking a risk now for speaking out my own true thoughts?   A small mad rambling voice can be left alone in Internet time and space to cry out This is wrong, That is right
Last night again, another man wore up all the people at the hotel by singing in the middle of the night, a crude song with the word F-----g all over the lyrics, there was no joy in his music, only hatred of women.
His voice woke us all first, and I thought as I lay frightened in my bed, that it was a Chinese Canadian or Chinese American, because the voice had no accent.
We began getting up,  walking the corridors of the Mirador Mansions, and discovered a soggy middleaged white man with a hook nose, not smelling of alcohol at all, staring in a hazy crazy way at females.   My first thought was some type of pharmaceuticals, some type of crazy drug.
As my mother used to say in praise of Chinese, They keep their problems to themselves.  She clearly thought this was a valuable selling point.
Hong Kong goes own promoting herself as the most beautiful tourist site for thousands of miles around, and I fall into her deceptions and dreams.  The thousands of tourists who find her too crowded, too expensive, are not given much voice, and with such overcrowding there may be no more room for fresh voices anyway.
I arrived here on
It was easy crossing at the border, due to the new border speed-ups, though the hour of bus travel, the forty-five minutes of walking over the border, the KCR and then the subway, this never takes less than a few hours.
I went straight to do computer work, always neglecting Hong Kong friends, both new and old, because of the enormous catch-up time. 
I suffered slow downloading in Hong Kong too, though had a big thrill when my travel photos uploaded into Webshots. 
I was impressed by the quality of air in Hong Kong, and wrote what I love about it:
French perfume
gasoline on the water
air conditioning
ocean breezes
dried fish dried fish and more dried fish
I went to Delifrance for dinner and avoided buying clothes in Wan Chai, which took effort.  At the hotel I met a Czech artist, extraordinarily talented, and with a fascinating job; he restores antique art especially wall paintings in churches and the homes of the wealthy.
He had been visiting his Czech girlfriend, studying Mandarin in Taiwan.  He praised the friendliness of the Chinese, though noted It is not individualistic
He showed me his amazing portfolio including his perfectly rendered paintings, which would have looked like photographs except for the surfaces which seemed to have passed through either a flood or a fire, full of technical competence and some mystery.
I told him how I had hung 300 paper doll dresses on dozens of Montreal clothes lines.  The Montreal Laundry Lines Installation, also done a few years ago in Hong Kong.  He was suitably impressed, and apologized unexpectedly for not being contemporary enough. 
I told him I did paintings on canvas as well, with oils and acrylics.  
He seemed to be shocked as I was on my first visit by the lack of ancient architecture in Hong Kong, since it does tout itself as one of the greatest World Cities to have ever come down the turnpike.
My first trip here I wandered all over Western looking for ancient Chinese houses, like I viewed in story books as a child.  I thought if I walked far and wide enough my path would cross with something more picturesque.  Nothing happened.
In China, I said, some of the cities now don't even have buildings fifty or a hundred years old. 
The prices too, he now turned to the complaint of many travellers.
The city that this artist comes from is Prague, a famous city for art, antiquity and architecture.  He showed me a gallery invitation for Old Bailey street for Thursday night, and we decided to go to meet the Chinese artist, whose painting of a mansion lawn with Chinese and white high society evoked a colonial past.  I wonder what they are paying him, I said, and we discussed the economics of the art world, and then he left to walk around, and I went to sleep.
The next day it was more of the same, computers and Delifrance, and then back to the hotel, where I met a business woman from South Africa.
Depressed, she said of the Hong Kong Chinese.  the Chinese where I live are very lively, always animated and gesticulating and chattering, so I was surprised by her novel perception.
Celebrities arriving here and staying in 5 star hotels, feted by their hosts, flatter the city by calling it lively, vibrant, electric.   If I took taxis everywhere, I'd find more strength; just walking on the streets when you bump into others constantly is tiring.
My first perceptions of the Hong Kong Chinese were not flattering as I saw them as pushy and money-minded.  I then came to like them a great deal, with their urbanity and worn sophistication.
Depressed?  They are self-enclosed and accepting, holding local secrets tightly to their chests, as every now then I will snap awake here, reading in the newspapers that Hong Kong men routinely kill themselves when they fail at business, or hearing a reported from a Hong Kong feminist centre that errant husbands wishing to take second wives may ask the first wife to spare herself of the shame of divorce by killing herself.
Yes, no wonder the Chinese laugh at our stupidity. 
It is the stupidity of lingering White Racism, so insulated that it takes no umbrage at being called a White Devil or Foreign Demon, the gallant magnamosity of the White British  who came here to make pots of money and take a China Doll on the side.
A bright middle-aged French man was captivated by the feisty black businesswoman and her off-the-wall insights, she wore brillaint red which contrasted wonderfully with her halo of black ringlets, and a sarong skirt with a red daisy pattern that I complimented her on.
We discussed Emotions and the various races.  The Chinese favour control, I said, and I think it is bad form to show emotions such as sorrow, anger, and fear.  Emotions?  Without emotions we would be just like the animals, she said. 
I laughed, Maybe the Chinese think The Whites and The Blacks are closer to Animals, because we show too many emotions on the surface!  
The black woman complained too about Hong Kong prices.
Thursday I was tiring of endless website cleansing and editing.
After breakfast at Delifrance, I walked up Nathan Road to The Jade Market, stopping to peruse the computer books at a large bookstore across from Kowloon Park. 
I hit paydirt as a clothes shopper when I found a street stall outside of The Jade Market selling exquisite designer linen and silk garments, hundreds of pieces jammed together.
I bought a seafoam green cotton sweater and strech blue denim shorts 2 clothes for 15 HK, or 10HK per item.  I then passed these to the owners while I burrowed through the carts.  I got a blue cotton sweater I am wearing now; a style I love. 
It looks as  the cotton threads have been hand-knitted together, a raw, bulky, comfortable look, and unlike wool sweaters these tops never pile.
Next I bought black heavy silk shapeless slacks with a half elastic waistband, these are good travel pants, though possibly a little too shapeless.   I bought a dark blue silk T-shirt, also a dull sheenless silk. 
I bought a watermelon linen coat-jacket; this jacket had raglan sleeves, was very loose, and came to just above the knees, not exactly a coat nor a jacket either which is why I think of it as a coat-jacket.
Then I forced myself to bypass a long hooded black knit sweater-coat as it was too bulky to pack and carry, and went into The Jade Market. 
Since my white crystal beads had been lost or stolen, lost possibly as they may have fallen off and down the side of a bunk bed where I was staying at a trusted friend's home, I needed new Spiritual Protection Beads.
I knew I really needed rose quartz, though I wanted the dark red carnelian beads the most, so I bought the carnelian beads.  I had a long talk with the stall owners.
The owners are very helpful to me and I recommend this stall, you enter The Jade Market, and turn left a stall or two at the first main avenue.   The merchants own vast amounts of hanging semi-precious beads in all sizes.
We discussed the Amber Problem in Poland.  Were you aware there was an Amber Problem in Poland?  This is why I love Hong Kong.  The merchants are up on the latest news.
I sat on a little wood stool, full of curiosity, as the owners explained to me the Polish government was closing the Amber Mines.   Still, the thin strand did not look appetizing, as I like a lot of jewels for my dollar, though the light shining through them was impressive.
I expressed interesd in the Black Tourmaline strands to ward off demonic influences still afflicting the Spiritual Journey.  He had two sizes, itsy and jumbo.  The jumbo were affordable.
I ended up leaving with my carnelian necklace, they even put a clasp on for free.  I told them as I left that Carnelian was big in Ancient Egypt, something they did not know themselves.
I weakened as I passed the street stall and bought a short beige linen jacket that I will wear forever, it has a Suzy Parker or Audrey Hepburn look to it, from a Fifties Hollywood movie, when men were men, and women were women, and Hong Kong was still a cheap place to buy Asian antiques and personal freedom.
I was so tired at the end of the day I skipped the Art Show on Old Bailey street, much to my regret. 
And then the viciously angry White Man waking up the hotel in the middle of the night, the air around staining itself with his irrational rage.
Behind me now at the computer room  I hear an Indian businessman, saying, my main market was Japan, and he has a phone hooked up to his computer; I have never seen this before, it is fascinating. 
He is complaining about business conditions.  In 1993 - 1994, it started going down, down, down.....
Two prevailing moods overhang this week; my reunion with my family members in British Columbia, and the impending America - Iraq tensions.
Today as I walked out of the hotel, I passed the news stand and saw that China and Russia opposed the USA about the attack on Iraq.  This situation is still ominous, and the next month will be the real tester.
Again, I try to work with my travel photos.

Lamma Island * Lantau Island * Cheung Chau Island
Hong Kong * Mui Wo * Peng Chau Island
Tung Chung * Shenzhen * Nanning * Hunan Province
Bobcaygeon * Pointe Claire * Montreal
Peterborough * Lake Sturgeon * Ontario
Vancouver * Richmond * British Columbia

Flag Counter

Facebook: Top Personal Page!

Join My Linked In, 25,000 Friends

Facebook @ArielleGabriel555

The International Paper Doll Society

The China Adventures Of Arielle Gabriel

Bobcaygeon, Mui Wo, Lantau, Tung Chung
Big Buddha, Arielle Gabriel, free paper dolls, 
Pui O, Chep Lap Kok, Tai O, Quan Yin5,
Cheung Chau, Lamma, Peng Chau,
Yung Shue Wan, Montreal, Vancouver,
Hong Kong, Shenzhen, China,
caul, veil, born with a caul