Jan 25: Planetary Anthems & Wedding Dances
Click above for the photo gallery of the Voigtians' live performance!
P.S. The photo gallery by Amanda Levin -Artist of the Month, currently exhibiting in BBC (Banyan Bay Café), is also online now! Check it out!
Jan 24: Your Ad on This Page for $333/Month!
Chinese New Year Special Offer:
Lamma-zine is a daily online newspaper for and about the Lamma Island community.
Your ad will reach tens of thousands of people in HK and on Lamma, residents and tourists. For more details, click here.
Full service, all included: We'll photograph, produce and insert the ad for you.
Readers: Over 2,500 subscribers and 3.8 million hits/month (Dec 2006). #1 Lamma website, 4.5 years old.
#1 in Google: Lamma.com.hk is the top search result on Google for "Lamma Island". Your ad will be seen first at top, one click from the top search result.
Free web pages: Like a mini website, linked from your ad, plus free advertorial stories about your business.
Payment: Quarterly. All forms of payment OK, even barter of up to 25%.
Special Offer valid till Chin. New Year, Feb 17, 2007, ONLY!
333/month for an ad on lower left side of this home page (see Island Bar ad), plus all other top level pages (1 year commitment, quarterly payment).
$800/month for your ad on the top of the pages, high or wide format. (1 year commitment, quarterly payment).
For 4-month trial period: $900 for top and $375 for lower left of home page (no free web pages and advertorials).
Jan 23: Protest Against ESF School Rezoning
Monday, Jan 22, 2007, 3:45pm, Yung Shue Wan ferry pier:
Lamma children coming off the 3:15pm ferry from Central, returning from the ESF Kennedy School (plus a few friends), posing for a group photo in protest of the ESF rezoning Lamma Island from Kennedy School to Bradbury School.
The parents are very upset about this and are taking various actions like letter writing and getting their objections publicised in the SCMP and other media, inviting me to take pictures for the Lamma-zine. It wasn't easy to get this unruly flock of children to remain still for more than a few nanoseconds!
These village kids are truly a special breed - happy, vivacious, communicative, outgoing, fun-loving, but well-adjusted and often quite brilliant in school as well. They're growing up in Lamma's green, car-free village community, many of them attending one of the best schools on HK Island: Kennedy School - feeding into the world-famous West Island School. The best of both worlds at home and in school!
Here's a summary of reasons for the objections of the parents to the rezoning plans of the ESF (English Schools Foundation, a govt.-sponsored group of private English-language schools):
There's an active forum about this topic: Changes at ESF that will affect all…
Please sign the anti-rezoning petition at the Green Cottage restaurant!
Jan 22: 'Thanks for Buying Me Books!'
Jan 21: A Celebration of Masculine Carnal Desires?
From the Dec 2006 issue of JUICE magazine, a newly launched, free, monthly print magazine about music.
Pictures by Yours Truly. See more pictures by clicking below:
Jan 20: Mooching Lamma Mates?
This is this week's cover of the English weekly print magazine "HK Magazine", an illustration for their cover story about "Rich Friend, Poor Friend".
Quite a number of proud Lammaites took offense at this cheap shot, which is continuing a long tradition of cheap shots at Lamma's expense in HK Magazine. Actually, Lammaites are quite used to this and we usually take it in our stride. I used to make cheap shots myself when I was living smugly on HK Island. "The very center of HK and why would you ever leave the island anyway!", I used to say. A Lamma Dragonboat lady was working for me back then and she took my silly remarks in her stride with the typical great sense of humour of a true Lammaite. Now the shoe's on the other foot...
This cover incited numerous messages in our forum in a single day and expanded into personal experiences of non-Lammaites finding out where we live. The old clichés like "Hippy Island" don't fit Lamma at all anymore, but we don't really mind them (too much) as Tavis pointed out: "Well, if it keeps the rents down and helps to prevent the overcrowding of paradise by uptight metrosexual riff raff, then I guess I can learn to put up with a little abuse ."
Insomniac's favorite Lamma quote was Michael Shakespeare for BC
Birdface writes: "I went to a Persian carpet store looking around and was shown some very nice Nain and Qum rugs. The merchant asked me where I lived. When I said Lamma, he immediately ushered me to another part of the showroom and said 'We have some very nice cheap ones too!'"
When looking at the Lamma-zine stories of just the last few days, I'm probably doing my very own part of keeping Lamma's reputation as a weird'n'wacky place alive with stories and pictures about hairy scrambles, alien cults, our cute windmill, pinko dragonboaters, shameless photographers, dog eggs, pink oboes and other dubious Lamma achievements... I'm guilty as charged and proud of it, too!
Join in with your own Lamma cliché experiences: Lamma Moochers?
P.S. Why, oh why is HK Magazine not available ANYWHERE on Lamma? Many of us love reading it, myself included, and have to leave our island reluctantly to get it every week. It's a free magazine after all and we Lammaites just love anything free, for example mooching a free lunch! Oops, sorry!
Jan 19: 'A Good Vehicle for Nonprofit Organisations'
It's always nice for the Lamma-zine to be featured on other websites, especially when it's a friendly, positive story like this one I found by searching the web:
Jan 18: The Voigtians – New Cult or Alien Race?
According to the all-mighty, divine oracle Google, a Voigtian is a "Gaussian convolution of Lorentzians". Sounds like something mathemagical, I think...
in this case it refers to disciples of Lamma Celebrity Kevin Voigt, nudist,
Transnoodler, man-about-the-village and Mr. "Doesn't he look like Jesus?"
(see right). He seems to be using his well-deserved local fame to found a
new cult, oh-so-modestly naming it after himself:
I contacted him by v-mail (Voigtian mail, a telepathic, reliable version of our old-fashioned email, not prone to undersea cable breaks):
"Dear Honourable Leader of the Voigtians,
"Please tell me more about your new personal fan club which will make its premier on Saturday, probably in some kind of public worshipping of your enlightened person? My wife is in the Jacky Cheung fan club, but I’m sure your fan club will soon grow much bigger and more famous, probably reaching True Cult Status very soon!"
The Cult's Leader, the Voigtian-in-Chief, replied within a few nanoseconds:
"Really the driving force behind the band is Barney Bruce, the conga-playing member of Nude (despite the name -- both Matt and I learned what we are calling ourselves when we saw the signs hanging up; got a good chuckle over it)."
Hah! A very likely story! Who'd believe it! False modesty is so unbecoming in a Cult Leader! Be proud, be brash, be arrogant!
Anyway, meet the Voigtians in person on Saturday night at The Island Bar. They'll have a recruitment party and might perform some of their otherworldly tunes live to attract new disciples into their cult. I've animated their formerly static banner above, trying to make it a bit more "spacey".
Barney, High Priest of the Voigtians, v-mails:
"I've put the thing together, and will be playing drums/percussion.
"A couple of weeks ago, Matt Steele returned from outer space, accompanied by the Voigtians, who are some aliens he met. This Saturday (20th January) they will be performing together at the Island Bar on Lamma Island, after 9pm.
The music will consist of versions of tunes commonly known on Earth as 'Jazz', and performances of traditional Voigtian music transferred to Earth-based instruments. Listeners' brains will be absorbed."
It sounds like their "Sci-fi Latin Mutant Disco Mashup" will enrapture the audience, enlightening them to enter into joygasmic-ecstatic "Gaussian convolutions of Lorentzians"... Should be great fun!
P.S. After seeing the story above, the High Priest of the Voigtians v-mailed me again:
"Thanks for the front-page splash!
"But I just want to correct some misconceptions:
The Voigtians aren't a cult, but an alien race. The resemblance to Kevin's name is purely coincidental. Here is a picture of a Voigtian:"
Well, do YOU believe him? Sounds like another Alien Conspiracy to me! Bah, humbug!
Jan 17: Who's the Hairiest?
Jan 16: Powerful, Passionate and oh so Pretty!
"The girliest-looking, toughest talking, meanest paddling crew of Ladies will hit the water on January 26-27 for introductory sessions for the new season. Join us on January 21 - Sunday - at 3pm in the Island Bar to learn more and sign up for a season of tough training and brilliant fun.
Lamma Ladies Dragon Boating: less fattening than chocolate, tan lines to die for, and all the pink you could ever imagine."
...and not to be out-done or out-paddled, the men's team is also becoming
hyper-active these days: their
recruitment poster (Feb 3),
Lamma Outrigger Canoes are also back in action; for all Lammaites
for whom Dragonboating is not enough yet, who yearn for even more action:
...and what do we hear about a planned
Dragon Boat Festival on Power Station Beach on June 10th! Woah! It
looks like a fantastic, major event; check out the brand-new website:
Scaly Breasted Munias! Run for Your Lives!
...and the Lamma Outrigger Canoes are also back in action; for all Lammaites for whom Dragonboating is not enough yet, who yearn for even more action:
...and what do we hear about a planned Lamma International Dragon Boat Festival on Power Station Beach on June 10th! Woah! It looks like a fantastic, major event; check out the brand-new website:
Jan 15: Scaly Breasted Munias! Run for Your Lives!
Daniel MomentEye is back in action, after his hibernation since Dec 22. Such a lucky bear, no, a "guy looking like a bear"! In the meantime, this Lamma-zine has been publishing 22 stories on a daily basis, without a single day off! Welcome back, Daniel, we're looking forward to many more HK Copy News animations:
"We've got some big plans for the show so keep watching and keep spreading the word. Thanks!
Our Lamma Artist of the Month of January 2007 is Amanda Levin. With her great sense of humour she describes herself as a semi-shameless-self-promoting local photographer, eager for some publicity for her exhibition. Her photos are hanging on the walls of artist-friendly Banyan Bay Cafe right now and are for sale for the very modest cost of $500-700.
Click on the photo banner above to view her entire photo gallery.
Jan 13: Pink Stickers, Orange Jackets, and a Red Carpet
Why do all these friendly, smiling Lammaites above have pink stickers on their chests? Some of them even know about this website and the Lamma-zine! Quite a few are wearing bright orange jackets, possibly to attract voters' attentions?
Yes, they're all candidates in the Village Representative elections held this afternoon in Yung Shue Wan's "City Hall", meeting and greeting the voters who are trickling in to cast their precious and highly sought-after votes. They've even rolled out the red carpet!
Orderliness and corruption-free-ness of the elections were ensured by the neighbouring, tiny PoliceboxTM , holding a sizable, standing-room-only contingent of our valiant local police force, including Senior Inspector Woooo-Woooo! Breaking news of a (later cancelled) tsunami alarm by the HK Observatory - triggered by a massive earthquake north of Japan - could not dampen their usual, professional enthusiasm and steely determination to provide a safe and secure environment at the Polling Station, which is so close to Yung Shue Wan beach...
Having a closer look at some of the Election Platforms and ages of the candidates posted outside the Polling Station is pretty fascinating and informative (as long as you can read Chinese). Some are very detailed, formatted computer printouts and some are just a few hand-written characters. Here are the 6 candidates for Yung Shue Wan: 3 for Indigenous Rep and 3 for Resident Rep (click to enlarge):
Let's see in a few days who won and publish all their pictures here! So they can be approached by people in their villages to push them to work on realising some of their many election promises and be held accountable!
Pink, orange and red: Doesn't it almost look a bit like still tiny but sprouting seedlings of democracy at work at grassroots level? Are still weak but warming sun rays of hope for the distant-future democratic development of Hong Kong shining on these little seedlings, making them grow into colourful flowers someday?
Let's hope so...
P.S. Election results:
The guy who did the most advertising, Fong Man Sang, got the LEAST votes, only 26. To nobody's surprise, Ms. Yu Lai Fan - Lammadonna - won by a huge margin with 153 votes, renewing her mandate as Resident Village Representative. Congratulations! Ng Tam Hing managed a respectable 82 votes.
Jan 12: 'Serving the Villagers Wholeheartedly'
It's elections time again. The resident and indigenous village representatives will be elected for each village on Lamma Island tomorrow, Sat, Jan 13, noon - 7pm. Some of the villages are so small that nobody is actually standing for election; or only have one candidate who'll be winning by default. Here's a list of all villages and candidates (Word .DOC format) and some really great, extremely detailed maps of all the villages.
The only current non-Chinese village rep on all of Lamma is Baron Van Voorst Tot, the resident village rep for Lo Tik Wan, but he won't stand for this election anymore. There's a baron living on Lamma? He might make an interesting interview subject, about his ending term as a village rep. Does anybody knows how to get in touch with him?
The only hotly contested village seems to be Yung Shue Wan, by far the biggest and most populous village. Lammadonna (Ms. Yu Lai Fan, District Council Member, the only female candidate on all of Lamma) is defending her resident rep title against Fong Man Sang, a retired ship's captain, and Ng Tam Hing, another retiree. No info is available from or about Mr. Ng.
Fong Man Sang, the current indigenous village rep for Yung Shue Wan, is standing for resident rep this time. He's been advertising extensively on posters in the village and on leaflets sent to each household. Almost unheard of in local elections, there's even an English leaflet!
The election for indigenous village rep for Yung Shue Wan is a local, Chinese-only affair between a chef, a securities dealer and a surveyor.
Lammadonna has personally declined to provide any written info in Chinese or English about her election platform to the Lamma-zine, for reasons that were "lost in translation". There seem to be electoral and ICAC guidelines in place that prohibit all candidates strictly from promoting and advertising themselves in any media available outside their villages, which includes this placeblog and website.
But it's OK to publish my own photos of all the available posters (1), flyers (1) and banners (1). There are several big banners (see below) up and lots of posters (see above right). Check out our election forum for more info! The results will be announced in a few days here.
Jan 11: Featured Placeblogger!
This Lamma-zine has just been honoured as the "Featured Placeblog" on the Placeblogger.com website! This is quite an honour as this major feature on their home page is selected from all known placeblog worldwide. Here's the full story, reproduced here for long-time posterity, before I'll be replaced by the next "Featured Placeblogger". In case, you wonder what a Placeblog is, check out our story on Jan 4, one week ago.
Jan 10: Lamma Winds Q & A
Jan 9: The Bliss Clip
Yes, I've finally given in and joined the gazillions of iPod users. A belated birthday present from Lamma-Por, you can spot me now on Main Street or on the ferry listening to my "Bliss Clip" - an iPod shuffle - tapping my feet. The stamp size, low cost and ease of use have finally won me over, after years of mocking the standard iPods as way overpriced, oversized and underpowered, with many better, prettier and cheaper competitors on the market.
I think that with the new iPod shuffle a new level of "making gadgets as small as possible" has been reached, without giving up anything essential. Only 5 buttons and no screen, I was very skeptical. But it's got all you need for listening to music on the go. Who's going to watch photos, TV series or even movies on a tiny regular iPod screen? Tiny, 1GB of memory, enough for 240 songs or 15 complete CDs, auto-filled from your PC or Mac and only HK$650. Wow!
See you on the ferry while I'm in a state of musical bliss, with my mundane life and everyday reality filtered and greatly enhanced with the randomly shuffling soundtrack of my favourite music, fed by a stamp-size clip on my chest. No, I won't tell you what music, but it's an eclectic mix.
But I'm back to being iPod-less today, as Lamma-Por has just grabbed it back - "borrowing only", she called it - and taken it with her to the office...
P.S. Photos from the Apple website.
Jan 8: What Would You Do With HK$1 Billion?
It's been revealed in Apple Daily that Lamma's most famous and richest son - international movie star Chow Yun-Fat - has accumulated a fortune of over HK$1 billion (US$130 million). Not bad for a farmer's son having grown up in sheer poverty in Tung O village on our little island. Quoting Wikipedia:
"Born on the tiny offshore Lamma Island of Hakka origins, Chow grew up in a farming community in a house with no electricity. He woke up at dawn each morning to help his mother sell dimsum and then he went to work in the fields. Chow's family moved to Hong Kong when he was ten. At seventeen, he quit school to help support the family by doing odd jobs - bellboy, postman, camera salesman, taxi driver.
His life started to change when he responded to a newspaper ad and his actor-trainee application was accepted by TVB, the local television station. He signed a three-year contract with the studio and made his acting debut. With his striking good looks and easy-going style, Chow became a heartthrob and a familiar face in soap operas that were exported internationally."
With his vast fortune, worthy of an emperor, it's most fitting that he's actually portraying a Tang dynasty emperor of China in his new movie playing in theatres worldwide right now.
And what is he planning to do with his vast fortune? He's happily married but childless and all his close relatives have been well taken care of - his mother, brother and other relatives are still living on Lamma. Giving it all away to charity, that's what he's planning to do with his HK$1 billion! Following in the footsteps of Bill Gates, Warren Buffet and a few other philanthropic billionaires, he's pledging almost all of it to charity in his will, while already donating huge sums to charity while he's still alive. Lamma's proud of you, Fat-Gor!
What would YOU do with HK$1 billion?
Jan 7: Dog Eggs
The Lamma-zine gets a lot of material submitted on an almost daily basis, photos, events, ideas, even stories, videos and animations. Most of it will end up somewhere on this website, here, in the Events Calendar, the photo galleries, the links list, the forums. But not everything is "suitable" and as the editor and publisher I have to make tough decisions sometimes. The 3 pictures below almost didn't make it as quite a lot of readers will consider them in bad taste.
But they make very valid and important problems about a main problem of living on Lamma: dog poo on the streets. Many irresponsible owners don't clean up after their dogs or let them run free much of the day. Many of us have stepped into those "dog eggs" and they pose a serious hygiene and disease threat to toddlers playing and adults alike. Dog eggs have always been a major topic in our forums and many solutions to the problem have been suggested, for example in the aptly named and very informative topic Is anyone sick of all the dog shit around?
The photos and captions below have been submitted by Insomniac. Click to enlarge them if you dare! Insomniac writes:
"The children just happened to have these toys with them (the dinosaurs) and ok, I did take the farm worker and dog... I had seen something similar on YouTube.com and thought it a good way to highlight the problem, without just having a photo of a pile of ****. No, we did not place the poos, just the toys."
Jan 6: Players of the Lammaesque "Pink Oboe"
The kind of strange and unusual discoveries you can make in the most unexpected places! Prof Red Star submitted this find he came across during his academic online research. As a world-famous "Photojournalist, Rock Idol & Biblical Scholar" he was probably preparing another book about his scientific discoveries, when he checked out the entry for "Lamma Island" on Wikipedia. Wikipedia is the almost-official, global encyclopedia about Life, the Universe and Everything else, used daily by millions of people worldwide. This is what it says about "Lamma Island", besides the usual facts and touristy stuff:
"Lamma provides an alternative to the hectic life in the city. Property values and rental costs are also very cheap compared with those of central Hong Kong. Partly in consequence, there is a significant expatriate community on Lamma Island. The seclusion offered by the limited ferry schedule sees regular expatriate beach parties at night. (Photo from Wikipedia)
"It is also popular with younger people and a haven for artists, cartoonists and musicians, including some very skilled players of the Lammaesque "pink oboe". The different communities live together quite peacefully and successfully."
Pink oboes? On Lamma? Having written over 1,000 stories about Lamma Island for the last 4.5 years, I've never come across any pink oboe players! Till Prof Red Star, a native English speaker, unlike myself, pointed out the true meaning:
"During my extensive research I have found there to be a joker at large
on planet Wikipedia where Lamma is concerned:
There are no prizes for guessing what the "pink oboe" is. Google it or see the Urban Dictionary."
(*BIG BLUSH!*} All the text on Wikipedia is written and edited by the readers themselves, so who's the joker who put this text in there???
Of course, there are really numerous "very skilled players of the 'pink oboe'" living on Lamma and they're most welcome here. But what's the difference between a regular "pink oboe" and a Lammaesque one? Does any reader know?
Jan 5: Buff–Bellied Flowerpecker, Tai Peng
Is it an insult if we call a resident of Tai Peng Village a Buff-Bellied Flowerpecker? It's a cute term and they need a good sense of humour anyway, having to make that arduous trek into the mountainous and remote regions of Lamma every day. Rat snakes, cobras, centipedes and Giant Woodland spiders thrive and propagate happily up there, only occasionally disturbed by some buff-bellied human. These will get their proper rewards immediately for disturbing the true masters and rulers of Tai Peng, a little sting, a quick bite...
But the hardy "Buff-Bellied Flowerpeckers" venture on, managing to survive in the foreboding wilderness of Tai Peng... and we've got the photos to prove it!
Click here for our photo forum of Rarely seen birds of Lamma.
from left to right: Black-Naped Monarch Flycatcher (female) - by Yi Gou
Collared Scops Owl - by lyc
Japanese Paradise Flycatcher - by zep
Eyebrowed Thrush, Pak Kok - by zep
Buff-Bellied Flowerpecker, Tai Peng - by zep, Tai Peng
P.S. The Lamma Wildlife 2007 desktop calendars are now available from these two Main Street shops: Wonderful World and Consignment.
Free calendars for any former Lamma-zine contributor are also still available from me directly. Email me!
Jan 4: I'm a Placeblogger
Do you know the feeling of labouring in near-anonymity and -obscurity on your own little labour of love for years and you don't know anybody else doing the same thing or even what to call what you're doing, making you feel a bit like a little weirdo and outcast? That's how I felt sometimes about this blog and website, not that it ever stopped me from continuing it with dogged determination.
There seemed to be nothing else quite like the Lamma-zine in HK, no community websites and blogs about our own little corner of the world, focusing exclusively on what's going on in one single location. I didn't even know what to call it: was it a personal blog, a group blog, a magazine, an online newspaper, or what?
Finally, it's been named officially and the media is jumping all over the new term already, so you might soon hear it from other sources as well. Thank you, Everton, for bringing this to my attention! So, without further ado, the Internet Word of the Day:
The Lamma-zine is a Placeblog in the original definition of the word and Lamma-Gung is a Placeblogger! There are more like me out there and I'm part of a worldwide community of like-minded people! The definition of a placeblog reads almost like a manifesto for the Lamma-zine, a spot-on mission statement, our raison d'être. Let me quote the definition:
Jan 3: First Chinese Forum Update of 2007
Jan 2: Chinatown – Pick the Party Pics
It was another one of those famous New Year's parties in The Island Bar. Going on till 5:30am. It was themed "Chinatown" with a red, golden and black dress code, which was totally ignored, of course, as the Lamma fashion code stipulates clearly, "Wear whatever you like, wherever and whenever you feel like it, and nobody will care!" Actually, I just made it up, but it captures the spirit and the everyday reality of Lamma's fashion, I think.
The "Chinatown" theme - potentially very un-Politically-Correct! - was avoided by also being ignored, except by a few ladies in amazing cheongsams. But nothing got in the way of simply having a great time ending the old year and starting the new one in the company of good friends and good booze. I'm still quite partial to their wonderful mulled wine! They've managed to go through several tubfuls since Christmas, I'd reckon...
Without further ado - who cares about these words anyway - let's pick the party pics to spot which of your friends where at the party and did they misbehave? All photos and captions submitted by Peter Berry. Click to enlarge:
Jan 1: Dubious Achievement Award
HK Magazine, Fri, Dec 22, 2006, cover story:
Congratulations to Alastair and his valiant, fearless troops for winning this highest honour that HK Magazine bestows upon HK people. Not quite the government's Golden Bauhinia award, but an award that many Lammaites would be proud to call their own! This was a "Dubious Achievement" in the true, glorious Lamma spirit of having an idea, convincing your mates of its greatness, all working together pretty hard on realising it, trying your very best, generating loads of publicity and making big, impressive noises about it.
If sometimes the results might not measure up to some arbitrary high standards, what the heck! Fun was had by all involved and at least they tried their very best, becoming ACTIVE about something like air pollution that bugs everybody! Much better than doing NOTHING about it like the rest of us! The massive publicity generated worldwide about the Lights Out HK campaign was the true success, setting some of the necessary changes in motion already, I think.
Lamma is proud of the Lights Out! guys 'n' gals!