Hong Kong? Phooey!

18 May

I’m thinking of starting a competition to provide movie and song titles for my blog posts. After Jonny’s contribution of ‘Hanoi Rocks’ and Stokie’s reference that inspired todays – what’s next?

I guess you might be interested in the plan then…Hong Kong, Macau, Shanghai, Beijing, then Lhasa in Tibet, Kathmandu in Nepal and finally Varanasi, Delhi and Mumbai in India. With perhaps some stops inbetween.

Anyway, back to the plot. Why did I want to stay in Kowloon near the harbour? Because they do Tai Chi courses every morning, that’s why… with this wonderful little chap, a little collection of locals and some interested tourists gather on the Avenue of the Stars three times a week, and I wanted to learn some more.

(I woke in my isolated and dark cell convinced it was 2am – once I had turned my watch the right way up I realised I had around 30 minutes to get to the harbour.)

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Anyway after some breathing exercises, we work through a series of moves taken from a standard tai chi series. Our instructor (what’s the chinese for ‘sensei’) struggles with his battery operated amplifier but it’s a great class. You wouldn’t maybe guess from watching the flowing form, but tai chi is as much a martial art as aikido or karate, and when performed at full speed is seriously scary. Our instructor explains a few of the applications, and as I practice my martial arts background helps me sense exactly how this might get used. Tai chi, like aikido, is designed to disable rather than to kill (unlike karate, which is definitely designed to be terminal if applied forcefully). So we’ve ‘grasped a bird’s tail’ and gone through ‘white crane flapping’ and ‘needle at sea bottom’ and I feel wonderfully energized

Time then for a wander around Kowloon. I’ll go over to the island later (to dance – yippee) so time to explore the mainland side. The view of the island is stunning, with skyscrapers shrouded in mist against a background painted the dark swirling grey of an ominous sky.

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I do spend some time wandering the malls, enjoying exploring the luxury goods shops. It’s food for thought for my new workshop series and speaking series, and there are lots of thoughts and insights that arrive as I become clearer about how I am going to teach some of this stuff when I get back. There’s certainly a huge amount of passion building about it inside me. (I told you it was a teaser campaign, didn’t I!)

I love city energy though. Some of my new age friends tell me I should be getting out into the country, away from the buzz of technology and the rush of the city. They tell me, too, that I should be listening to Gregorian chants and soothing meditation music. Well, that’s a bit unfortunate. I’m writing this listening to Good Charlotte, and I love the energy and the bustle, the people, the energy, the sheer rush of the city. Sure, it’s good to get out into the country, and I have a dream of a beautiful place by the river, or by the sea.. but somewhere, deep inside is the energy of a city boy. And someone who knows, far more now, who he is, and what my uniqueness is.

And back to the hotel, pick up my laundry – I’m off dancing at Hong Kong Ceroc tonight. Yep, there really is one.

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