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Aug 31 S.O.S Shipped Out & Stranded

Click above for poster gallery

Over the last five years, I've collected quite a number of posters of most public events happening on Lamma. Besides all the public posters for concerts and parties in restaurants, DickStock and Lamma Fun Day, etc. gracing the walls around Yung Shue Wan, the more secretive, email-only beach party posters stand out as some of the most creative and innovative in design. Always new, always different, always colourful, often crazy and even silly. They seem to represent and illustrate some of the free-wheeling Lamma spirit very well where almost anything goes, as long as you don't hurt anybody else. But judge for yourself, see below!

If you've got a beach party poster that's missing in this collection, especially earlier years, please email them to me and I'll add them to this gallery, preserving them for posterity and for poster art aficionados. I'm especially missing the S.O.S posters 1, 5, 6, 9 and later. Free entry to the next beach party for every missing poster that's being emailed to me! Um, err, there's no entry fee, but anyway, email me!

Aug 30 Katie Flowers - Artist of the Month

Our Lamma Artist of the Month of August 2007 is the mother of the youngest artist I've ever featured in the Lamma-zine, 9-year-old Christie Flowers. Katie Flowers' artwork spans an amazing range of media and styles, much of it just absolutely beautiful to look at, but full of layers of obvious and hidden meanings. The ecological message is very powerful in some, while others are just pure aesthetics. But let's hear her own words, as she's composed a few words below on the Lamma-zine's request. She's also submitted a CD-ROM filled to the brim with her artworks and she even stuck to the deadline! A really professional, marketing-savvy artist/teacher and a pleasure to meet and promote with her cheerful, helpful attitude.

Contact me if you are a Lamma-based artist (or know one) who hasn't been featured for free in the Lamma-zine yet. See our Galleries index for all the many former Lamma Artists of the Month.

Katie Flowers - Lamma Artist  (photos by Katie, CG-calligraphy by L-G)

My artwork is inspired by the rhythms of the wonderful natural environment around us and the sacred and secret forces at work in the universe! I don't always plan what will emerge; artworks tend to evolve out of experiments with materials and paint. Sometimes work sprouts forth whilst experimenting at school... I will use absolutely any materials that are handy, and probably over-decorate most of it! I am about to start working on artworks which focus on the wonders of the invisible life forms of the ocean...

Kids on Lamma know me from the Earthkeeper days, weekly journeys out into a little nature detection and wonder. This led me to take up studying an MA Ed in Arts and Ecology in the USA. Still doing it! I write Earth Poetry with Eric and Christie and fiddle with a camera from time to time. Luckily, Hong Kong International School appreciates this direction and I get to develop projects that use art to express natural science as well as ecological and social issues.

Homage to Women

Over the years in HK, I've ended up teaching local students, community and women's groups, refugees, artists and teachers on all sorts of visual arts and theatre projects. I've worked with many schools, orphanages and remand homes through the Youth Arts Festival, Kadoorie farm, RTHK, and the World Wildlife fund. My favorite location in which to teach art is outside!!!

Over the last few years I have managed to work on Earth Art projects with all these groups, getting people fired up about the lovely place that we live in, and a little bit closer to knowing the Earth here in Hong Kong! I get to make art as I teach as well sometimes.

If you would like to know more about my 'Wild at Art' educational projects, please email me on

Click below for an art gallery of my artworks Lamma-Gung has put together:

P.S. Feedback from Katie about seeing her art gallery for the very first time, the most enthusiastic I've ever received from an Artist of the Month, published here with her permission:

WOW !!!!!!!!!!

You are a rock star!!! I feel posh and proud!

Thanks to you and my wee fella for making me actually take photos of this work.
I really appreciate the quality of your intro and your site.

I am prone to hiding lights under bushels, so it's good to have you shine the flashlight under my bushel!!


Curiosity.............. have you come across many poets?? would we have enough (4 or 5) for a poetry reading??

Thanks again, from Katie xxxxxxx

Aug 29 Electricity Brings Hope and Love

Another one of the always informative and often very entertaining press releases from HK Electric just arrived in my constantly overflowing email box:
Touching Stories on importance of electricity.

Frankly, I wouldn't live on Lamma without a reliable power supply for my aircon, Broadband, satellite TV and especially my electric toothbrush, that's how spoilt rotten I am by our "99.999% since 1997"-reliable power supply! Sometimes I'm amazed (and very grateful) about how we can combine the comforts of big city living with all the many lifestyle advantages of our quasi-rural Lamma environment. I always thought that electricity is just part of our village infrastructure, vital for our creature comforts, but kind of, you know, boring, like water, gas and sewage. I was oh-so-wrong and had to change my mind after reading about this writing competition organised by HK Electric, entered by over 23,000 participants:

"Director of Electrical and Mechanical Services, Mr. Ho Kwong-wai said a reliable power supply is vital to livelihood and we should treasure it utmost.

"Some of the touching stories told how electricity helps foster family relations, brings hope and love, and even saves lives. Some liken electricity to an essence of life, like water, oxygen and sunshine.

"Topping the open category was the story of a mother of four who found electricity indispensable in helping her keep close connection with her loved ones in the United States.

"A Form Four student's account of the awakening experience related to street lights and that we should treasure what we have in life, was best in the student category."

Wow! That's all I can say to those stories. Let's all cheer and be cheerful like all the cheery characters at the awards presentation ceremony below!

A short drama brings out the importance of electricity supply at the award presentation ceremony.

A group picture at the award presentation.  (photos and captions by HK Electric)

OK, I'll have to hurry now and pay my monthly bill for the all-important electricity gratefully and on time. This daily placeblog would die immediately if they'd ever switch off my electricity! A news blackout, a cyber-darkness could befall Lamma!

But I'll expect that my sizable $884 tributary offering - a humble sign of my devotion to my one and only provider of electric power - will also "bring love and hope" to me, "foster family relations" and maybe even trigger my "awakening experience" someday. After all, electricity is "an essence of life, like water, oxygen and sunshine", isn't it?

Aug 28 Warning Notice: Dangers of Lamma Island!

Dr. Marcus Schütz - Republished with friendly permission from his blog. This is his little contribution to promoting Lamma as a popular tourist destination:

(Text and photo by Dr. Marcus)

Dear weekend visitor,

Welcome to Lamma Island! Obviously you have heard of this charming little island not far from Hong Kong. Weekend by weekend thousands of visitors make their way over and it might be time to issue a short warning for those who actually do not know about the dangers of the South China Sea.

Actually, besides the exposure to sun you are risking your health and the health of your loved ones by far more than dehydration, biting insects and the permanent danger of a snake attack. Since sharks have been seen this year at Stanley, also swimming in unprotected bays can not be recommended and even inside the shark net a jellyfish can catch you and lead to large allergic reactions.

Be aware that mosquitoes may carry Dengue Fever and Japanese Encephalitis which are known to be most lethal to children. In case of a poisonous snake bite in a remote area, please remember that there is very limited medical and emergency services on the island and that a helicopter rescue is very expensive and might not be covered by your insurance. How will you pay for your mortgage for your cosy flat in the 50th-something floor then? Risking all your dreams, just for one weekend? No, don't do that!

Never mind, there are alternatives. For example, before you step on the ferry pier just stay in the ifc Shopping Mall. This is safe and perhaps you like one of these National Geographic books in the remarkably well-assorted Dymocks bookstore. Or how about a weekend in Hong Kong's Disneyland? Now Mickey invites you to his big summer party. You know that Mickey is actually very sad, that so few of you came to visit him. Yes, I read it in the business pages of the South China Morning Post - it must be true!

For the extra adventure, there are also daily flights to Tokyo where you can dive into the world of Hello Kitty. Isn't that really cute? There's even a "Hello Kitty joins the MTR" display in the ifc Mall these days.

If you have been shopping hiking equipment for the last 6 months to pass the Lamma Family Trail with it, don't think it's wasted. This goes very well with your National Geographic Magazine, even if it stays unused. And when you see it, you will always remember how lucky you were that you did not go to Lamma after all.

Stay alert, stay alive! Say "no" to Outer Island weekend trips!

Aug 27 On the Ferry on a Grey & Rainy Day

Picture this: Lamma-Gung on the ferry to town... grey, rainy day... on the way to Dim Sum with his Chinese in-laws... window seat close to the front, lower deck... watching the ocean waves splashing over the ferry windows... listening to his little Bliss Clip (iPod Shuffle)... playing with his favourite gadget, a Nikon D80, pointing it out of the window, experimenting to get some wave action shots...

These are a few of the results, after just a tiny little bit of Photoshopping by pushing the colour saturation of the photos:

Aug 26 Become a Forum Moderator!

The forums are always looking for more moderators. Take over a dormant forum or start up your own! It's not much of a time commitment, more a kind of supervisor who has a look at the new messages occasionally and starts a new discussion topic in his/her forum occasionally. You'd also be keeping a bit of order if discussions get too heated and (very rarely) degenerate into personal attacks and name calling, by simply moving those messages without comment into the members-only Fight Club forum. Being a moderator is pretty simple and requires no real computer expertise, besides basic knowledge about how to get around on the Internet.

A few words about the optional moderator dress code:

As an official moderator, you'll be allowed to commit the ultimate fashion faux-pas on Lamma: wearing socks & sandals! Senior moderator Alan and I have admitted to it, so we made it a fashion choice for moderators, permitted but not required attire. You can dress any way you like, even nude on High Street is OK on Lamma in general, but as a moderator you're encouraged to wear socks when you wear sandals! That's the sign how we moderators recognise each other on High Street, our own little cliquish sign.

BE PROUD to wear socks & sandals, as it is a sign of being a respected forum moderator, a high honour reserved for those selected few dedicating some of their time to supervise a sometimes unruly forum and answer the questions from Lamma Newbies, helping them to settle into our community!

So watch out, when you see somebody strolling comfortably - socks & sandals are very cozy and comfortable! - down High Street, it might be a moderator of this forum,...

or it could be a naughty impostor! We'll hunt them down, turn them upside down and confiscate their socks or, alternatively, press, eh, promote them into (voluntary, of course) service as new moderators! Beware, you unauthorised socks & sandals wearers out there, we're comin' ta get ya!

(Photos above rom The Daily Transcript's "Sandals with Socks Edition")

Aug 25 School's Out Parties!

Today, the Deli Lamma Lan Kwai Fong has been hosting a School's Out! party by the gazillions of British Council English teachers living on our Island of the Ghost Teachers. A bit late, though, as school's starting again soon...

Saheb, Prafull's son and Lamma Football Club Captain, had his birthday party there as well, turning Sweet 17 tomorrow, Sunday, Aug 26. The proud dad shot a number of photos and entrusted me with his SD memory card, to pick and photo-edit the best photos for the Lamma-zine. Looking at the photos, it's not always easy to differentiate between Saheb's classmates and friends and the teachers.

It certainly looks like the Deli Lamma Lan Kwai Fong has become a really happening meeting and partying place, not just for the young, pretty and successful set, but also people of all ages out for some fun and great times with their friends, colleagues (or classmates). Try them for yourself one of these days for a highly recommended $70 set lunch, group buffet or catering, or book them at tel. 2522 1292 for your next private or company function.

Check out their latest news, full menu and photo galleries.

P.S. Deli Lamma is a fine Lamma-zine advertiser and loyal supporter of this site.

Aug 24 'Layabouts, Ne'er-Do-Wells, and Complete Psychos?'
or 'Mary's Massively Misanthropic Message'

There's a heated debate raging in our forum right now. New member "Mary" launched a massive attack on Lamma Island residents, titled "Welcome' to Lamma! A warning to would-be residents!". She simply copied the rant from an English teacher forum (ESL Cafe) in the hope of provoking controversy. It worked all too well. Here are some quotes pulled from her posted message:

"... a hell-hole of a place to 'live'."
"... peculiar brand of ex-pat Bohemian wannabes."
"... ex-pat population that is clique and closed-shop to an extreme."
"... attacks on humans by rabid hounds are common and dog shit is quite literally everywhere."
"... residents of Lamma are not serious, they are whoring alcoholics."

The title of this Lamma-zine story came from a typically eloquent and detailed response by Spinoza1112, remarking that "Lamma chaps seem for the most part decent sorts."

Mary's massively misanthropic message obviously caused a typhoon of controversy as almost everybody felt insulted or offended in some way. I found it hilarious personally, as the over-the-top rant was so full of simple lies and untruths, ancient clichés, easy-to-disprove mistakes, total distortions and extreme exaggerations.

It was well-written, obviously by a (probably male) English teacher and makes a few interesting points, describing the ancient, pre-Handover clichés of "hippie island" which have been hounding and smearing Lamma's reputation for so long.

Well, "Mary" got the feedback s/he craved by stirring the pot in the forum aggravating us Lammaites with all these accusations. Why else would she have posted this in a Lamma forum instead of the Discovery Bay forum or an HK expat website where it might have been greeted with mirth, sneers and even tacit approval? We should be glad and thankful that she didn't send her rant to HK Magazine instead. They might publish it almost without edits, always being eager to slag off Lamma residents...

Let the discussion continue, we can take silly attacks like that and fight back with facts and good arguments instead of mud-slinging, can we?  Check it out yourself, the most controversial forum topic in quite some time:

Welcome to Lamma! A warning to would-be residents!

Aug 23 Lamma Kids on TVB Jade

Left to right: Mark, Kevin, James, Barbara, Ching-ching,
all in Lamma Northern School Primary 4 class.

School's out for summer!  (all photos courtesy of TVB)

RTHK produced a half-hour show, aired last Tuesday, Aug 21, 7-7:30pm, on TVB Home, exclusively about Lamma children born in 1997, attending the Lamma Northern School's 4th grade.

This great documentary featured their life in and out of school, playing and exploring all over the island. Many of them were interviewed about life on Lamma, their friends, their problems, their hopes and dreams for the future. In Chinese only, but this was definitely one of the best TV shows about Lamma I've ever seen, promoting Lamma as a wonderful place for families with children. Congrats to Radio Television HK, another fine reason to preserve public broadcasting in HK!

See the show for yourself on the RTHK website (Windows Media Player format, Real Player format), read about it & see more photos (click them to enlarge)

Aug 22'Mesmerizing Go-Go Girls Frolicking
in Laser Beam Light'

Toddy: Still a Lamma Newbie, but after this initiation rite night below, I think that she's earned the right to be promoted to Junior Lammaite, a status that usually takes at least one year of living here:

Toddy's First Rave

1.00 am ... It's Saturday night. As a reward for managing to edit two paragraphs of an eighty-page document, I decide to venture down to a local den of iniquity, the Banyan Bay Café, for, oh, just one beer. Upon arrival I am reminded by the town social convener about the PSB rave. I have no plans to attend. I'm not even sure what a rave is. Is it a party where people perm each other's hair? Queen Publican Cath insists she has no interest, and even less time, for such goings-on.

1.30 am … Queen Publican Cath closes her doors. She's been working hard and is going straight home…
"but I'll meet you around the corner at the Waterfront for one drink."

2.15 am … Queen Publican Cath issues orders to Sumyungkiwi about how to pack the beer with ice in plastic bags.

2.20 am … We're on the path to the beach. Sumyungkiwi carries a heavy plastic bag in each hand.

2.30 am … The comrades and I emerge from the nullah path onto the road that fronts the beach. Pack leader Kiwi Mike announces last call for bladder evacuation. Fearing creepy crawlers, Missy Eggfoogoreng squats down dead in the middle of the cable road for a final pee. Fearing the reflection of any ambient light on my ample white ass, I opt for the stix.
We regroup, pass through the wooded hobbitty grove, and head for the industrial bump and grind at the end of the beach.
As we approach ground zero, Kiwi Mike hollers: "You can't show up with a big bloody umbrella like that. They'll take you for a fucking square." Reacting like any trailer park girl with a colonized subconscious, I throw it into the scrub, and plan to pick it up on my way out.

The brave arrive at the rave …

2.31 am … A significant number of the attendees are horizontal. A few are chit-chatting in groups on the periphery. The rest are in rhythmic spasm like Spinoza's avatar techno Tinkerhell. Timid at first, we find our "spot", claim our turf and set up our bag lady mini-bar. A toe inadvertently begins to tap, a head to bob. You feel the jig coming on. Deep from the DJ's nether regions, primordial rhythms emanate to grab your (colonized) core, pulsing for liberation. Cath is a sea nymph dancing in the waves. Sumyungkiwi's rockin' the house. Missies Eggfoogoreng and Dimasumyungpoo are mesmerizing go-go girls frolicking in laser beam light.

An hour later we're drenched in sweat like we just came out of the sea. We've reached a Dionysian crescendo that just won't stop. I think the waves keep it coming. A Guido with a Frenchish accent and a weird hat and a weird friend comes up to me on the dance sand to announce, "Congrajulayshon, we hav decided dat you hav won dee awahd for best dansa of da rave."

"Oh cool! What do I win?" I ask, panting and dripping and reeking.

"Uh … un spleef, and a danse wit mee," replies Jean-Francais.

"But, uh … couldn't you have rigor mortis and win that award? Half the fuckers are passed out."

He offers a geeky smile. I join the go-go girls.

Before long, two jokers dressed as cops show up. Bad idea. Their arrival seriously kills the vibe. Oh, wait a second, they ARE cops. They have a tête-à-tête with the DJ for some time. Gentle as lambs, the ravers drop one by one to the sand and sit obediently, murmuring quietly amongst themselves as if waiting for their next set of instructions. A natural leader finally emerges from the pack, proving that we're not all a bunch of drunken invertebrates. Keren, clad in micro-mini and bikini top, marches up to the DJ, pushes him aside, decks some rockin' hip hop and cranks the volume. RAVE ONNNNNN!!! The cops decide we're a harmless bunch of freak shows and break into a YMCA line dance … NOT! They leave us to it.

I'd been dancing for what seemed like a joyful eternity when my presence was requested to block the view of Missy Dimasumyungpoo's bottom while she urinated behind a log. Or was that Parksy having a nap? As we stumbled back, I spotted a young lad in the sand trying to take pictures of the rave with the power station in the background. By this time I was soaked with sweat from head to toe and my legs were considering going into spasm. I decided I needed a break. I stumbled over and fell onto the sand beside him.

"I'm sorry, this is a national security matter. I can't permit you to photograph our sensitive infrastructure. I'm going to have to confiscate your pictures."

He looked at me with a set of big Aryan eyes and burst out laughing. I think perhaps I may have been slurring my words or crossing my eyes. He described to me, in eurospeak, what an awesome setting the power station was for a rave, out there on a beach in cornhole nowhere, and that he was trying desperately to capture the vibe in pictures. I told him he needed to send them into Lamma-Gung, the jefe of "You gotta be sure and email them to him. He'd love to put them up. He'll give you photo credits and all. Lamma-Gung, ya… he's the guy who runs the website. He's Swiss." I believe I may have inadvertently thrown in a few comments I later realized he took as Germanophobic, probably because they were.

Just then his grinning friend sauntered over and started sprakenzing about whether I spoke Deutsch. No, I didn't. Turns out Hanz and Franz were from Berlin. Hanz had become a little curt at some point. Now I knew why. Unaware that I had just been slagging the Fatherland, friendly Franz sat down and started telling me that I must have some of his drink, whatever it was that was in his Red Bull can, which was not Red Bull. He had really big teeth. He was smiling a lot, a happy lederhosen lad. I made him drink some first, to make sure he wasn't trying to kill me. Then it occurred to me he might be a suicidal German jihadi seeking martyrdom, so I asked him to have Hanz drink some, which he did. They weren't keeling over, and besides, Franz was just such a happy go lucky, with big, shining, happy, white teeth. I chugged the gschlecht in the can. Warm, yuckkky pseudo-fizz, and very strong. Soon Franz and I were giggling and guffawing about absolutely nothing.

Franz: "Ver are yoo frum?"

Toddy: "If I told you, I would have to kill you."

Franz & Toddy: "Bwahahahahaha, chuckle, snort.

Franz: "But do yoo liv here?"

Toddy: "I'm here on assignment. That's all I can tell you. No more questions, plumpen pferde." Snortle, buckle.

Franz: "Hey Hanz, vee shood all go schwimmen. But I haf no schwimmen costumen."

Hanz & Franz & Toddy: "Bwahahahahaha teeheeeheee"

Hanz: "Oh no, I guess vee hav to tek off our cloze und go schwimmen neked."

Franz: "Oooo ya, schwimmen neked in da seee." chuckle, snort, guffaw!

Zeus only knows what the klumpen lads were guffawing about, but in my head was a Monty Pythonesque scene of two young lederhosenheads goofily thinking they were succeeding in talking a woman into skinny dipping with two kids who, apart from being complete strangers, could in fact be … well, her kids. It eventually dawned on them that my laughter was not jubilation at the prospect of being naked with them in the flotsam --- that in fact I was schplittin' a schide at the very thought. In retrospect, I suppose that was a bit of a downer for the rave-going toe heads.

I found myself reunited with my entourage of origin, and eventually, God bless him, Franz and his big white choppers showed up again with another damn Red Bull can of God knows what. By this time I knew he was a good sport, so … I passed the can to the publican. She was still breathing after partaking, so I too had more of the Weltanschauung shooter.

I explained to Franz that you don't ask someone to dance at a rave, you just … dance. It's all about freedom, baby, and expression, now Franz go danz and get your leder groove on. The truth was that I had never been to a rave before and was talking complete horseshit. But I remember the image of Franz hopping like a solo sprocket, silhouetted against smokestacks and kaleidoscope laser beam waves. Like the bodhisattva, he had finally grasped the essence of rave.

5.30 am … For my part, my job was done. The power station was safe, Franz had found his mojo, and a hint of light was sneaking its way into the sky. I retraced my steps to the nullah, never found my sodding umbrella, and quickly hobbled my way home before turning into a bat beside skeeter grave … thus went the tale of Toddy's first rave.

Prof Red Star was also stopping by at the party that night and shot the above photos. They're not quite up to his usual level of photojournalistic professionalism, but they're very artsy ("accidental artistry," the Prof calls it) and expressing the crazy mood and feel of the night very well, I reckon. In his Hong Kong Notebook photoblog, read all about how he doesn't remember taking these photos and what he found on the beach the next morning, making Lamma so special:

"The party was still up and pumping, with DJ Le Libertine riding the decks (see below), a couple of lone dancers, a handful of party animals "relaxing" on the beach or in the water and our very own sound guru keeping an ever-professional eye on the equipment. But, and here's the point, just a few yards away there was a woman fishing, a young couple celebrating Seven Sisters Day, villagers out for a Sunday morning stroll and power cyclists doing their thing in front of the stranded hulk of the SS Everbest (a victim of Typhoon Pabuk)."

Aug 21 'Create Paradise on Earth' -
'Bobsy's Forest' on Star News Asia

This news segment aired last Monday, Aug 21, around 7:20pm, on the regional Star World TV channel and could be seen in much of Asia. It featured the so-called Lamma Forest in the hills above Pak Kok Village, co-founded by the ABLE Charity (A Better Living Environment), chaired by Bobsy, formerly Lamma's most famous hippie, before he moved to Soho on HK Island and made a fine career co-founding and co-running Life Cafe, the organic vegetarian cafe in Soho. But he still considers the Lamma Forest the biggest achievement of his life so far and remains the driving force of further growth and development.

I tagged along during the Lamma Forest filming last Friday, Aug 17 with Associate Producer/Reporter Paschali Malamidis and a Star TV cameraman.

Below are my own best photos of the filming, an interesting guided eco-tour that might someday be on the itinerary of some Lamma visitors? The story has just become available on Star TV's home page. The reporter and producer of the story, Paschali Malamidis, emailed me afterwards:

"By the way, the title was chosen because it was snappy and because Bobsy was depicted in the story so much there had to be a connection to him in the title, otherwise the effect would've been odd. At no time did I intend to give an impression that only one person was responsible for the forest. Anyway in the story itself I was careful to specifically say 'Bobsy and like minded friends' were responsible for the tree planting. I hope no one feels un-acknowledged."

On the way to the Lamma Forest, devastated by a hill fire in the Fall of 1998.

Bobsy is seeking inspiration for the interview. The reporter seems confident.

"Tell us about the forest, Bobsy. What, when, why,..."
The tree branch overhanging the road marks the start of the Lamma Forest.
It is located on the coastal road from Po Wah Yuen, just before reaching the top of the last hill before descending into Pak Kok Village.

Tree-hugger and eco-hero?? -- Through the prospering Lamma Forest -- Finding a bird's nest dropped on the ground and returning it onto a branch.

Meditating on a rock - close to the Stone Circle - with Puppy II.
The Yin & Yang symbol was painted by "Scottish Neil" who committed suicide by hanging himself on Power Station Beach just a few years ago.

Many takes were needed for the short introductory monologue of the reporter.
Media-savvy Bobsy aced his pretty long, unrehearsed monologue in a single take.
The Lammarina, Po Wah Yuen and Yung Shue Wan ferry pier in the background.

The self-made eco-guru and Puppy-II on "Picnic Rock", a favourite picnic spot with one of the best views of Northern Lamma Island.

This way to Pak Kok Village, Aberdeen, Cyberport and HK Island's South side.

There's a lively discussion going on in our forum about this story. Somebody even suggested a "Bobsy Day" on Lamma, inspired by our May pole dances! Maybe it was just in jest, maybe not...

Bobsy on Star World News

P.S. One last little nugget, a feedback on this story from senior moderator Alan:

"Well, that was amazing. To think that before Bobsy started planting trees the island was completely barren.

"And Bobsy said, Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb yielding seed, and the fruit tree yielding fruit after his kind, whose seed is in itself, upon the earth: and it was so.
And the earth brought forth grass, and herb yielding seed after his kind, and the tree yielding fruit, whose seed was in itself, after his kind: and Bobsy saw that it was good.
And Bobsy saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good. And the evening and the morning were the sixth day."

Aug 20 Removed...

Story removed on personal request...

Aug 19 Be My Ghost

Did you notice all the little lanterns hanging outside many businesses on Main Street? Yes, the Chinese Ghost Month has just started. Lamma-Por is advising me to stay indoors after dark, so no ghost can harm me or even drag me into the most unpleasant hell of Chinese beliefs. I even got a protective lantern for free from a friendly shopkeeper on Main Street (see right),

Yesterday, Aug 18, the local Yue Lan Festival has been celebrated all evening and the huge God of Hell statue has been burnt. Prof Red Star was out for the Taoist opening ceremony the day before with his new pocket-digicam and a professional, fancy stereo sound recorder. He documented the procession and the opening ceremony in a photo story in his blog. Watch the slideshow and listen to the music. Great multimedia production values, Prof! More, more!

Aug 18 In Praise of Our Lap Sap Ladies!

Wandering around Yung Shue Wan, do you wonder sometimes who keeps it all so relatively clean? Yes, you've seen them around, the Lap Sap Ladies of the Food and Environmental Hygiene Dept.

These Ladies of all ages in their neat blue uniforms, Wellington rubber boots, (sometimes veiled) Hakka-style straw hats, cute little backpacks, rakes and oversized bamboo brooms can be seen in small groups all over the village almost everyday, cleaning up all the garbage (lap sap) and the minor and major messes we Lammaites leave behind quite thoughtlessly. The Lap Sap Ladies are hard-working and doing a great job but really seem to be under-appreciated by the residents. I had a great little encounter of the close kind with them yesterday and we all came away from it smiling broadly.

I was doing a mid-day photo shoot, following a Star TV crew around doing an interview with ex-Lammaite Bobsy in the Lamma Forest above Pak Kok Village (see above, Bobsy "seeking inspiration" before his interview). More on this later.

On the way to the Forest we encountered a cheerful group of four Lap Sap Ladies. Noticing our film and video cameras, they got very camera-shy immediately, preventing us from getting a picture. We were out for hours in this oppressively humid heat, drinking just a little bottle of water each. After finishing, plus a little photographic side trip into the ruins of the ancient Shek Li sanatorium, I walked back to Yung Shue Wan alone. Quite suddenly, I experienced my first-ever heat exhaustion episode on the way back up to Po Wah Yuen. I had to rest for quite some time, sitting on the roadside, very exhausted, hyperventilating, dizzy, lights flickering before my tired eyes.

The same group of four Lap Sap Ladies who had just cleaned up Dog Beach (Nga Kau Wan) was coming up, also returning to the village. Unlike everybody else who was just passing by without a word, the Ladies stopped. They offered some friendly, comforting words and even left a piece from a burning mosquito coil behind to fight off the hungry mozzies in that area. They continued on their way up to Po Wah Yuen when they saw that I felt better. Soon afterwards, I caught up with them on the two benches on top of Po Wah Yuen and sat down with them, joining their little well-deserved pause.

This group of ever-cheerful colleagues and friends asked me a lot of friendly questions. With my very broken and embarrassingly poor Cantonese, I was lost quickly and even sign language didn't help much in our communication. So I called my Lo Por (wife), Lamma-Por, on my mobile and handed it to a Lap Sap Lady to get their curious questions answered in Cantonese. They really got a good laugh out of this, making a few new acquaintances.

We continued together down the hill into the village, smiling and laughing (Ho Yeah!), me trying to answer even more of their personal questions (beebee?). Learning from me that my Lo Por is Heung Gong Yan (a born and bred Hong Konger), I'm Seui See Yan (Swiss) and where we live in the village they became even friendlier.

So, something very positive came out of my little heat exhaustion episode. Seeing these ladies around for years in the village, I had never spoken with them before. But in the end, even after all these friendly chit-chatting, I was STILL not allowed to take a close-up picture of these charming but camera-shy Ladies. So, just one anonymous, backside picture this time, plus more wonderful Lammemories... Next time you see them, please offer a smile, a greeting or even some friendly words to these fine and very important members of our village community!

P.S. This story generated more positive feedback than any other recent story, for example:

toddy:  "Nice piece about the Hakka ladies. Hopefully, you are fully recovered from your heat exhaustion."

hi-fiber:  "I liked the story about Lamma's women in blue. I remember them as surprisingly cheerful, given their work."

Aug 17 'We do not stop playing...'

Stanley Cheng:

My friend Wesley Chan from L.A., California, recently made a visit to Lamma Island over this summer. He made a video based on Lamma Island.

Wesley is a film producer who graduated from UCSD and his group Wong Fu Productions is very popular among the teenage Asian community across North America (possibly the world... haha...)

Please help me recognize the work of my friend Wesley Chan on your Lamma Island page. The Lamma Island video is one of the three shorts he shot in HK. They are very artistic and unique. This is the Lamma island video.

This is Wong Fu Productions website (there are many shorts and music videos available for viewing).

Aug 16 Dr. Marcus's Valiant (and Ultimately Victorious)
Fight Against the Construction Noise Makers

Dr. Marcus lives close to the drainage channel works behind and besides the Green Cottage restaurant (see Lamma-zine story Mar 22, 2007: Inside the New Drainage Channel). Working and writing at home frequently (University Research, Scientific Publishing and Teaching), he was seriously disturbed by the construction noise at all hours.

So he took action, fighting back with hundreds of letters, emails and phone calls for over 5 months - keeping The Lamma-zine informed throughout - and he finally succeeded! An amazing story of single-person environmental activism and what it can achieve in HK... but only if one is doggedly persistent and almost stubbornly determined. Here's his wrap-up story, sent from his now much more peaceful home.

Congratulations, Dr. Marcus for a truly hard-fought victory! The Lamma-zine salutes you and hopes you can become an example and teacher for other local wannabe activists. We've got too few left on our island, after the dissolution of almost all local environmental activism groups in the last few years.

Channel construction works in progress -
Temporary cover to avoid any locals falling in

The middle section of the channel under construction -
View from the Footbridge to Tai Peng towards the harbour -
Over 2 metres wide and deep  (Photos by Lamma-Gung, click to enlarge)

Dr. Marcus Schuetz - Lammaite and HKUST Lecturer (Math, HK Environmental Law and its enforcement). It all started with an email on March 24:

Thank you for your replay.

Yes, the Yung Shue Long Valley drainage going into the harbor is the one I refer to. We live behind Main Street and are at this stage just a few meters from the excavations.

The site management shows a nice and understanding attitude but unfortunately has either no control or no competence to minimize noise emission effectively. As I can not judge on the necessity of the project and its dimension, I take it as given that this has to happen (even I have some doubts). However, that "everything is done (by the contractor) to protect the environment" during this operation is simply not true and even the (too
high) Hong Kong EPA Emission Levels are exceeded. Furthermore, they are not willing to disclose which works will be done at which time so one has a chance to arrange life around their working plan.

Personally, I have chosen Lamma as a home because of its unique character and natural environment. As I am doing University Research, Scientific Publishing and Teaching I am also dependent on working from home during daytime, which is now completely impossible due to the construction.

It is good to hear that there is an opposition within the residents against this kind of projects. I was wondering what other residents are thinking and had no time so far to approach them personally.

I am a Geoscientist by training (PhD) and have been working in the Mining and Water Industry myself many years ago - also as a Consultant in Public Inquiries and legal cases. I actually know very well what I am talking about. If I can be helpful somewhere to preserve the character and environment of Lamma, please drop me a line.

...and it finally ended happily with this conclusion below that Dr. Marcus wrote exclusively yesterday, Aug 15, for the Lamma-zine:

"Improvement Works"...

...are carried out on Lamma and this means for many residents that they have to bear with noise from construction sites. Whether these works are real improvements and necessary seems a frequent topic of discussion on the island. However, letting this stand aside here and focus on noise pollution only, the engaged parties in the Yung Shue Wan drainage construction were extremely cooperative.

Noise from construction is limited by Hong Kong law to 70 dbA at 10 meters from the source. Over a working day, you will find that this is quite a high limit. Also in comparison with for example German regulations (forgive me my arrogance on that) the noise protection law in Hong Kong is somewhat not competitive.

In case of a complaint, it is not easy at first to understand the different roles. In this case the Drainage Department engages a Civil Engineering Consulting Company which is supervising the Contractor on the Drainage Department's behalf. This means a complaint to the Drainage Department will be forwarded directly to the Consultant, who will first assess whether the operation is within legal boundaries. In this case, it was. Still, over such long periods the Drainage Department advised the Consultant, even within environmental regulations, to minimize the impact on the community. In the given case, this happened and the contractor proved to all parties that he is a suitable partner for the Drainage Department as well as for the community to carry out further works.

The concessions made by he contractor were to maintain equipment, adapt working procedures to minimize noise, set up noise barriers, not to use heavy equipment on Saturdays and even to provide and pay for quiet accommodation during the noisy periods. Noise monitoring and data logging was in place over major periods. The consultant furthermore provided on a weekly bases via e-mail information on the planned activities, so that it was possible to arrange life a bit according to this.

Thinking back, I remember well that after a battle of letters the management representatives of all parties were sitting together in my home over a tea and in a friendly atmosphere finding the best solution possible. Of course, this might have been more a success of the acting people than of the acting institutions - however, impressing. During the storm last week, the new drainage proved how necessary it is to drain the whole valley. So, for the residents around the area it was worth bearing the inconveniences of its construction not to get flooded in the future, I guess.

If anybody needs advice on details or technical support like noise monitoring equipment, etc, you are welcome to contact me via:

Aug 15 'I'm a Man of Wealth and Taste'

Some of us Lammaites are a cultured, well-read and sophisticated lot, despite popular perceptions and clichés to the contrary. When we have an argument with each other we usually don't resort to bashing each other's heads in. Well, sometimes we do, but not too frequently and rarely before midnight...

Case in point, the self-unappointed cheerleader and unofficial mascot of Lamma's ever-growing posse (flock? mob? gang?) of Ghost Teachers (native-English-speaking gwailo/gwaipo teachers), Spinoza1211, having a little heated argument with Lamma Newbie toddy about the departure of Karl Rove, President Bush's brain.

Very maturely, they refrained from getting into a big, ugly brawl on the ferry where they met inadvertently. No hair-pulling, giving wedgies and waterboarding this time. Toddy (below right, looking surprised and amused at Spinoza1211's self-portrait avatar) challenged him to a "shitty political poetry duel!" in our forum! No, I ain't kiddin', dear readers! Two Americans from opposite ends of the political spectrum fighting it out in verse, it was a sight to behold and great fun to read. The US presidential election campaigns really seem to be in full obnoxious swing already, even on Lamma!

Check it out: Lines on the Departure of Karl Rove, Evil Bush Vizier

After some heated exchanges, this argument ended like most arguments on Lamma do, shaking hands, a pat on the back and having a (virtual) beer together. Toddy graciously conceded the fight herself, after being simply drowned out by pages of poetry spewing forth from Lamma's Awesome Poetry Generator who has been accused repeatedly of "verbal diarrhea" by some unkind forum readers.

Let's raise our mugs to Mr. Spinner
It is clear he is the winner.
I bit off more than I could chew
I am too dumb to play with you.
My shit verse does not beguile
The court poet of our isle.
Now I get it, now I see,
I'm threatened by complexity.
A simple commie-baiting sod
Is that stalking wanker Todd.
Even though you've won the fight,
I may still stalk you late at night.
And one day when we're on the ferry,
I'll say hello though your back is hairy.

Spinoza1211 graciously and humbly replied:

Please feel free to introduce yourself
I'm a man of wealth and taste.

New forum member Tally Ho did not agree and posted this rather rude poem:

oh praise to Toddy whose noble battle
tried to slay Spinozaz prattle
but incredibly he emerges
a little bruised but ego surges
quotes from Dylan but thinks Pam Ayres
so many words for which no one cares
pretentious? moi? he condescends
driving all us all around many bends
and on and on pollutes these pages unabated
until the day he is cremated or castrated
then RIP his unending verse and
farewell forever this forum's curse

In typical Lamma free speech style, everybody's opinion is welcome, so make up your own mind by checking out the forum...

Aug 14 Everything Old Is New Again

Are you "delighted" to take the ferry, "excited by Hong Kong's first and only wind power station, standing majestically at Tai Ling" and even "thrilled by the huge 70,000-tonne coal vessel unloading"?

Most Lammaites are getting so familiar, comfortable and even blasé about our island home. We see and experience it almost every day, so it stops being new and exciting. It takes visitors and new arrivals to remind us sometimes what a truly exceptional place we're blessed with living in.

Bon voyage! Captain Wan takes delighted passengers on a special learning cruise (Lamma II).

Case in point, about 200 local teenagers and their parents from the Hong Kong Single Parents Association (HKSPA) were invited to the inaugural voyage of a "Learning Cruise". They used one of HK Electric's regular ferries, the ones that look like our regular white/blue HKKF ferries, but have names like "Lamma II". These private ferries usually transport only power station staff/visitors around Lamma and Hong Kong.

These teenagers on the cruise seemed very excited, most of them rarely having taken a ferry before, unlike the almost daily trip for so many Lammaites. The teenagers viewed Lamma with fresh eyes, often for the very first time in their lives. So few of them had ever been to Lamma before. Quoting from HK Electric's media release, Teenagers on Learning Cruise [26 July 2007]:

Captain Wan introduces Lamma
Winds and renewable energy to
his passengers.

"The journey started from the HK Electric pier in Apleichau and covered Lamma Island, Lantau Island, Tsing Yi, Kwai Chung before entering Victoria Harbour to view its world famous night scene and the spectacular "Symphony of Lights" show. A tour guide introduced major landmarks en route, making the trip fun and educational.

"'Of course, we took the opportunity to introduce our power station and Lamma Winds, teaching them about power generation, renewable energy, energy-saving and environmental protection,' Captain Wan said.

Excited teenagers keenly join the quiz session to show what they
have learnt. (All photos & captions
courtesy of HK Electric)

"As the ferry sailed towards Lamma Winds, passengers were excited by Hong Kong's first and only wind power station, standing majestically at Tai Ling.

"They were equally thrilled by the huge 70,000-tonne coal vessel unloading at Lamma Power Station, eager to find out where the coal came from and how it was used for generating electricity."

So what else is "new and exciting" in HK Electric's Lamma Power Station? According to the just published Interim Result Highlights for 2007 [9 Aug 2007]:

  • Firstly, HK Electric's management  still seem very worried about the outstanding renewal of the govt.'s Scheme of Control next year. It has permitted them a comfortably high rate of return for many years...

  • Group earnings up 7.3% to HK$2,66 billion for the first half year, same in HK as last year, all earnings growth came from their fast-growing international operations only.

  • Local electricity demand grew only 1.5%. Reliability of electricity supply maintained at 99.999%. 1,890 employees.

  • Emission reductions at Lamma Power Station continued with more flue desulphurisation and low nitrogen oxide burner upgrades.

  • Approx. 15% of electricity generated will come from natural gas this year.

  • A site selection study for a 100MW offshore wind farm is underway, maybe southwest of Lamma. An environmental assessment study would be next.

Aug 13 An Expression of Relief, Perhaps Disbelief, Even Joy!

Kevin Bishop - Tai Penguin, co-organiser of 1. Lamma Dragonboat Festival

Mobile Signal in Tai Peng

Thought you'd like to know that for the first time ever in all my years of living in Tai Peng Village I can use my mobile phone at home! Previously there was never enough signal to carry a phone conversation and often not enough for even an sms.

Many was the occasion when someone would send me an sms and perhaps I wouldn't receive it until the next day when I walked down to the village to catch the ferry! Or I'd have to walk down the path and up over the farmer's field to find a strong enough signal to simply send an sms!

Well all that is history, thanks to SmarTone-Vodafone. They have just installed some new aerials up in Tai Peng, which became operational at the beginning of August. I arrived back from Bangkok on Wednesday and went into the first SmarTone-Vodafone shop I could find and signed up for their service. I went on-line last night. Consequently, this morning, I've been like a child with a new toy - sending sms messages and calling my friends from every room in the house. Yes, I have the dubious luxury of being able to sit on the bog and send an sms message!

Over a period of years, I wrote numerous letters complaining to my previous phone company - Orange, or '3', or whatever they call themselves these days, a.k.a. Hutchison Telecom - urging them to improve their service to Tai Peng, but to no avail. I could never understand why I could go to the remotest parts of Mainland China and be able to call anywhere in the world on my mobile, yet couldn't even send an sms from my own home in 'Asia's World City'!

Hats off to a company that's actually delivered!

This note is more an expression of relief, perhaps... disbelief... joy, even!... after so many years without a proper service. I just feel than when a company does something in our favour, and especially without a big song and dance (like 50 sales people clogging up the main street, for example), they deserve a bit of credit. We're always so quick to slag people off these days. And because SmarTone-Vodafone aren't making a big song and dance about it, some people might not realise it's happened. So a mention on the website will get the word around much more quickly, and more people can benefit.

Aug 12 'Please don't kill me, I'm a cute little piggy.'

English Street, the thrice-weekly English newspaper of the Chinese Economic Times (circulation 80,000+, targeted at students), asked me for permission to republish my two Lamma-zine stories and pictures of Keren's two pet pigs, Sumo & Peggy. They rewrote my stories and cutefyied the pictures (angle wings, cute speech bubbles for the piggies, see title of this story!) You can view the good-looking result below, Sumo & Peggy's first-ever cover story!

They credited me and Keren and promised to pay the grand total of HK$200 (Yes, $200, no typo, and it took some negotiation) which I'll split with my friend Keren, of course.

Let's hope that this cover story will further raise awareness about this issue HK-wide and help to save the imminently endangered lives of these two lovely and friendly pet pigs. Click below to read the full story:

Click story above to enlarge. Click here for PDF file.

Plus my favourite shot used in the story above: a still happy family being interviewed by ATV Home:

In the meantime, the Environmental Protection Dept. officers have tracked down the secret hiding spot of Sumo & Peggy! They could pounce any day now to take the pigs away for execution, plus fining Keren an obscene amount. She can't afford a lawyer and is looking for help of any kind, including potential new homes for her beloved pigs.

Call Keren at 9010 7970 if you can assist in any way or would like to visit the pigs before they'll have to leave Lamma soon, if the govt. doesn't change its mind which often seems even more stubborn than a pig's.

Aug 11Deranged, in a Lamma Sort of Way

Lamma visitor Hamish McKenzie has just published a travel article about our island in the Asia Sentinel, titled "Deranged, in a Lamma Sort of Way". He's spent a full month here and the article is pretty insightful into our way of life here. Quote:

"...people speak of its chilled-out vibe, great food, hiking and biking. That's all credit well deserved. To step off the Yung Shue Wan ferry from Central is to be forcibly relaxed. The gentle breezes at the pier carefully brush off the stresses of the city, the waterfront seafood restaurants offer the best and freshest in the SAR and the many accessible trails take walkers and cyclists to quaint villages, pretty beaches, and summits that afford views of vast stretches of ocean and skyscrapers on Hong Kong Island."

The article ends with "I listened, happily, and proceeded to get derangedly drunk." Yup, Hamish seems to have spent much of his one month on Lamma in our famous pubs doing his "writing research".

P.S. Hamish has just emailed me that, contrary to the note in the article, he's still here and continuing his "research", eager to meet fellow "researchers"...

Meanwhile, Prof Red Star has been wondering about the Lamma wall clock stuck permanently on Friday the 39th in his occasional but very interesting blog - updated only once in a Blue Moon, it seems:

It's Friday the 39th every day at the Green Cottage

And last, but surely not least, a new edition of the fabulous HK Copy News by Lamma Celebrity and standup comedian Daniel MomentEye:

"There's great big hoo-ha over stamps, lots of smutty innuendo and a new way for the Hospital Authority to try and kill us.

"Plus with every episode a free Oiwan Lam... whatever that is."

Aug 10Ship Wreck Central?

Lamma-Gung And Lamma-Por have returned to HK from Switzerland safe and sound. We arrived on Wednesday night, just ahead of typhoon Pabuk. It forced us to wait for two hours to get our luggage from the airport carousel due to the severe winds and rain. The next day, Thursday, the typhoon had passed, all typhoon signals lowered.

But on Friday, Pabuk did a U-turn and returned to HK. It stranded me in town for a night because I missed the last ferry when the signal 8 was surprisingly raised in mid-afternoon. I was stuck waiting for about ten minibuses in the longest queue I've ever seen outside Queen Mary Hospital (my checkup only). Almost no taxis around anymore or charging up to $50 exploitative surcharges. I didn't even make it to the ferry pier at all, hearing about the last ferry having left through the hopelessly clogged-up mobile phone connections long before I could have reached the ferry pier at all.

Instead, I spent a pleasurable night with my Chinese step-daughter's family and my half-year-old step-grandson on HK Island, slept till 10am, invited them all for breakfast, went for an early movie and returned home to Lamma refreshed and happy after lunch the next day.

Meanwhile, Prof Red Star, much quicker and savvier than me, managed to get through the MTR crowds (see above, three photos by Prof Red Star), catch the last tumultuous ferry, and joined the traditional typhoon parties on Lamma!

Prof Red Star - extracted from his blog story: Anyone for T?

... As for me, I managed to get the last ferry of the afternoon to Lamma Island (4pm) and spent the journey at the back out on the poop deck of the Sea Supreme, despite the best efforts of the ferrymen, who had roped off the upstairs section (they were forced to relent).

And what a journey it was . . . heavy, dark clouds and vicious waves that sent a spray over the sides of the deck. It was wonderful, great money's worth for HK$16. And , as you can see from the photos below, visitor to the island, Terran Daily (in the green mack above), had the ride of her life. Of course, not everyone was so into the excitement if the occasional scream from inside the cabin was anything to go by as the Supreme lurched and plummeted in the waves.

And you don't need to ask what happened when we finally arrived at Lamma do you? You do? OK, well I'll tell you. When the 8 goes up it's party time. Typhoon parties are a part of the culture here. In my case I popped into the Spicy Island bar on Lamma's Main Street to do typhoon talk with the regulars and its host Amar Singh (pictured above right).

In the meantime, another ship was wrecked on Lamma Island, not on Yung Shue Wan beach but on the other side of the island, at Power Station Beach. So far, six Alert Readers have informed me about this, even submitting photos and a video!

Many thanks to Moderator Alan, Dr Marcus, Brett the Kinesiologist, Tavis, souldealer and Stine Baska! Check out the "Gung Ho sampan on Yung Shue Wan beach" forum for more pictures and details.

Photo by Dr Marcus

Photo by Alan

Photos by Brett the Kinesiologist

This dramatic photo from souldealer shows a helicopter rescue of some of the crew

Click here for a YouTube video from Tavis.

Plus, the very last stranded-ship photo, just in from Stine Baska:

While we're talking about our ever-popular Power Station Beach, here's an urgent and important note that HK Electric asked me to publish:

HK Electric - Main sponsor of the Lamma-zine:

We noticed recently that some youngsters have tried to come ashore on our power station near Tai Wan To Beach and would like to pass on the message below to the local community through your web magazine. Grateful if you could help post this message from HK Electric the soonest possible.

During the last few months there have been a few odd occasions when small groups of youngsters have tried to come ashore on Lamma Power Station near Tai Wan To beach (Power Station Beach). The incidents have taken place during the evenings and on weekends/public holidays. Our CCTV footage shows some teenage boys and girls in swimming costumes running around between the heavy machinery located on our pier facing the beach.

We would like to draw your attention to the potential danger posed to anyone inside the Power Station area, particularly to young people who may not be aware of the risks posed to them by the all-round, general, industrial environment.

You are kindly requested to remind your children, who may well be at home for the long summer holidays, not to go ashore on Lamma Power Station, to prevent any unnecessary mishap from happening. Your assistance is highly appreciated.

Aug 9United Front for the Liberation of the
Wayward Sampan

Suzie Wonton - Lamma Newbie and Lamma-zine "Staph Reporter"

(Photos of the "Gung Ho" sampan by Lamma-Gung. Note:
All unaccredited photos in the Lamma-zine have been shot by Lamma-Gung and are copyrighted, to be used for non-commercial purposes only.)

Two tropical depressions in the region have made for depressing weather since Wednesday evening. Even more depressed is the guy who lost his sampan.

North Lammanese awoke Thursday morning to find a strapping specimen of a sampan washed ashore on the beach at Yung Shue Wan, down near the Bookworm Cafe. Dawn had barely broken before awed and odd residents began emerging to examine the new arrival. One beach dweller was rudely awakened by a sampan-coveting crackpot on a cell phone calling into home base: "Listen, there's been a sampan washed up on the beach in the harbour. I'd like to report that I'm going to claim the sampan if no one comes forward to claim said sampan... Yes, that's right, if nobody claims the sampan that has run aground on Yung She Wan Beach, I would like to claim the orphaned sampan as my own." My sources, who suspect the craft may belong to some sorry sod on Cheung Chau, tell me that wacked-out behaviour of this nature continued sporadically throughout the day.

By the time I arrived on scene in the late afternoon, a veritable folklore had already sprung up surrounding the mysterious vessel. A group of very cute junglee island children, four boys and one girl, were running amok seeking entertainment. Imagine their glee when they stumbled across the run-aground sampan. They climbed over the guard rail and down the rocks to have a closer look. From my secret vantage point, it resembled a scene out of Peter Pan and the Junglee Dwarves. No sooner had they laid eyes on their find than did their unspoiled, youthful imaginations set to spinning grand yarns. "C'mon, let's get on!" exclaimed one of the lads. "We can take it to England!"

"There must be a bucket of money on it!" shouted another. "You know how people who have sampans always have buckets of money?" he explained. "We should get on and find the bucket of money!"

One of the boys told the only girl, who was younger than her male playmates, that there was most certainly a dead man on the boat. Not one to be so easily taken for a sucker, the intrepid creature climbed brazenly aboard, ahead of any of the boys, and denounced the myth-maker's mendacity. "There's no dead man on the sampan! There's no dead man on the sampan!" she shouted triumphantly, while the gangly boys stayed safely on terra firma.

One of the lads called his dad on his cell phone to relay the news: "Dad, there's a sampan washed up on the beach… Ya, a sampan, here, in Yung Shue Wan … It ran aground last night during the storm."

Once the novelty wore off and the diminutive islanders determined there were neither dead people nor buckets of money on the sampan, they moved on in search of other distractions. Not long passed before the afore-mentioned dad, with sideburns, appeared on the scene to see it for himself. We watched him and giggled as he looked at the sampan, shook his head and laughed. After he left, another dad, no doubt alerted to the excitement by Daddy-o Sideburns, showed up with his wee buggers in tow.

All in all, a grand time was had by all with the exception of Sampanless Sam, sitting forlornly somewhere on Cheung Chau or God knows where, ruthlessly robbed of his rowboat by the sampan-sucking cyclone.

P.S. Editor: The "Gung Ho" sampan is rumoured to belong to a local dragon-boater who'll remain anonymous as he surely has been teased and ridiculed mercilessly already by his mates.

July 31 - Aug 8Lamma-zine on Summer Break

Instead of resorting to Silly Season Stories, this Lamma-zine will be taking a break. We'll be flying off to Switzerland from July 29 till Aug 9 for my mum's funeral.

This site will continue to run normally and the moderators will manage the forums. I might have a look at the emails occasionally, or not...

I definitely won't miss the heat and humidity of our HK summer this year...

Read last month's stories...


Lamma-zine Blog started on Sep 1, 2004, and will be updated frequently with anything vaguely related to Lamma Island or its residents, be it news, stories, events or photos.

Contact Lamma-Gung with anything relevant to Lamma that you'd like to see published on this home page!

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