15 June 2010

The Grass Really is Greener On This Side. (at least for now)

Lately with all the fortunate weather we've been having on the weekends, I've been seizing the opportunity to spend as much time as possible adventuring all over the islands, and while on my adventures, I noticed a few things; the most noteworthy being the diversity of people who were also out and about taking advantage of the beautiful weather, not only in the sense of race, but also socially, economically, culturally, age wise, gender wise, - everyone had come together for the same reason. for the love of nature.

Appreciation of nature is one of the few true intergrating points of Hong Kong society and even society as a whole. Love for the earth brings together people who normally wouldn't cross paths ~ old people, young people, Chinese people, Expat people, Klingon people, Filipino people, etc etc and while this may sound almost to be a childish and overtly simplistic observation ~ In this complex self-centered digital village we live in, it is often easy to overlook or forgot or even become apathetic to the more organic things that bind us together, not only as Hongkies, but as humans.

I think on the inside we know that all Hongkies have come to take for granted the beautiful landscape we live on. We are passive drones in our relationship with our environment. We take for granted the financial, social and civic infrastructures our government has set up for us, and we assume and/or expect our government to create the same responsible system for our environment..and yes, while that would be true in an ideal world....we all know like most things in the village, as long as there is no money for the government to make, they are not really going to do shit about it.

Over time, our little village island has blossomed into a land where everything is about value ~ property value, financial value, entertainment value, corporate value, face value, the list is endless. but really, it is our environmental value is of equal and perhaps more consideration. Access to nature is the ultimate 'bang for your buck'. It's fucking FREE. The ability to make full use of nature requires only your body, your imagination, and perhaps your loved ones. Nature can tie together mankind in a way that no religion, politician, video game, song, movie, book, sport or ..well anything really, ever could. Watch a bunch of otters holding hands and feel your cold cynical village heart melt as much as the next person...muahahhahaha!

And to put it bluntly, us villagers are seriously lucky motherfuckers. We live in a city with over 20 outlying beaches, and 100s of hiking trails. In fact, most financial power house cities that are thought of in the same breath as Hong Kong (New York, Milan, London, Mumbai, Shanghai, Tokyo, Dubai, Paris etc..) do not have quite the same access to nature in such a moderate climate. Yes, perhaps their cities are more 'greener' - examples, Central Park or Hyde Park, but New Yorkers and Londoners do not have the same access to hiking trails within 20 mins of their doorstep, as well as fresh seafood available around the door, or a multitude of beaches and outlying islands 30 minutes away...all of that is exclusive to HK.

Our access to nature is what makes Hong Kong so special. Our love of the outdoors stems from our island heritage. It has permeated all parts of our society. It provides us a refuge from all these reflective surfaces and neon lights we are prisoned in day in and day out. Where everything is about buying, selling, being bought and squeezing profit, it is comforting and important to value something that cannot be bought, something that is free for all, something that we can all share, something we all love. And as Hongkies, no matter what divides us, at the end of the day, even us cynics here at libertines, we all love our fragrant harbour, and if we do not take the initiative to protect what we love, well then what can I say really....we're the biggest dumb-ass's of all.


  1. Nice article, MonKey! While most of us only remember our right to access the internet, our right to vote etc., we often neglect our right to the natural right. That is why we need to preserve our environment because we are inherently inseparable from the nature. A degraded nature will only produce degraded humans.

    By the way, are you sure nature can bind us together as much as religions and sports??


  2. Thanks W! :)

    I like that line 'a degraded nature will only produce degraded humans' - so true. can u imagine if we physically evolved to suit computers and work desk rather than the great outdoors?! yuck! and even mentally, nature inspires the mind!

    as for nature binding us MORE so than religion and sports, yes i think so - cause sports and religion both divide. they unite but people are so fanatic when it comes to Their religion or Their sports team, they lose all perspective of the validity of other religions or sport teams/sports. Nature on the other hand, while you may love the mountains more than the beach or vice versa, at the end of the day, you can still appreciate the beauty and grander of the opposite.

    Therefore, nature has an unparalleled ability to unite - unlike anything else on our planet i think because essentially we're all from the earth. this is it. this is what makes us human.

    as William Shakespeare said 'One touch of nature makes the whole world kin' :) :) :)

  3. You are generally right. But what bothers me is that nature might be equally capable of producing fanatics. I have in mind the arguments over aesthetics, even for the same mountain and beach! In ancient Europe, people challenged others duels just because they offended their tastes! I am not quite optimistic about that. Just a thought.

    But I suppose this is an Age of Reason. :P



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