the Newbie - arrived just 4 weeks ago (I love to
hear from new arrivals!)
below has been republished with friendly permission from
Commuting to Hong Kong blog. She writes that
she'd "be delighted to have my post in the Lamma-zine
as well as have my link up there" and that "Lamma
is known for its weed, its artists, its seafood and its
expat hippies. I haven't encountered much of any of that
so far, though I do know one cool artist who lives
links to YOUR blogs to be added to our
Lamma Blogs section.
describes herself in her ABOUT ME page:
starting my second school year in Hong Kong. There have
been lots of changes in my life, but still it's a lot
easier than this time last year.
I'll be living on Lamma Island. Hopefully I'll be
hanging out lots at the beach, on my rooftop and
balcony. Come by for a beer, or a virtual beer."
right kind of attitude she'll fit in here just
Happy welcome to this new member of our island
(Story & pictures by Rachel, click pics to enlarge
I'm still taking a ferry to a bus every day even
though I moved. We get up even earlier and stumble down
the hill to the ferry pier. It's lined with the bicycles
of all the people who converge each morning and evening
for the commute. One of these pictures is of the weather
before the typhoon. The other is after the typhoon
cleared the air - I like typhoons not just for days off
The main difference in the commute this year is that
it's an ugly ferry. Instead of comfortable airline-type
seats we ride on vinyl in a dark box that smells like
goats. The commute should be just as beautiful except
the ferry line never cleans its windows. So there are
many fewer opportunities to take pictures out of the
windows. I get a shot every now and again, though.
The typhoon came on Tuesday last week. During the
night it passed by, rattling the metal awning on my roof
and making me nervous enough that I was glad a child
joined me in bed. But nothing was damaged at our place
and we got a day off school, but barely. The Hong Kong
Observatory predicted it would lower the T8 flag between
6 and 7 a.m. That's the signal that closes schools and
businesses. The timing of it was such that the Education
Board cancelled school for the day rather than letting
kids start the morning trip to school in a T8.
But if the typhoon had passed one hour quicker we
would have had to go to school. I had to take a kid into
the doctor's, so this last picture is the remnants of
the storm we got to travel through on our way to Hong
Kong Island. It's hard for a camera to see the darkness
of menace contrasted with the luminosity of the water
stirred by storm but lit by sunlight.
Many of us Lammaites try our best to recycle some of our waste. Let
me give you an example of my own aluminum recycling. I try to generate as
little waste as possible, but we collect a handful of diet alu drink cans
per week in our tiny 33sqft kitchen. I put them in one of these thin red
garbage bags that are hard to avoid when buying anything from our Main
Street shops, even a pencil.
"No bag, please," is one of the most common phrases when shopping on Lamma,
right after "How much?" I try to shun these red plastic bags by usually
carrying a cloth bag with me. But for wet, refrigerated or frozen produce
plastic bags are
still hard to avoid. But they should be reused.
After putting the alu cans into a red shopping bag I wait for the loud
banging noises from outside our flat on Monday mornings after 9am. I go to
my balcony and look down to find my retired neighbours hammering away to
flatten alu cans they've collected from all over Lamma all week long,
getting them ready to sell to an alu recycling company. This friendly couple
are major local recyclers and earn a little pocket money from collecting
various waste products.
I shout down "jo san!" from my balcony 2-3 times, making them look around
from where that badly pronounced greeting is coming from, till they look
upwards and see me up there on the balcony shouting down at them. I show the
plastic bag by lifting it up and the lady waves to me immediately to throw
it down to them. I swing widely, aiming not to hit them on the head. After
my biweekly target practice I've become quite good at not hitting them. The
cans make a most satisfying Thump! sound hitting the concrete. This elicits
a big, broad smile from the couple and two "doh tsaeh"s before they add
my few cans to their efficient and well-practiced hammering work while
squatting on the pavement.
It actually looks like fun to hammer those cans with a brick and I've been considering
asking them to let me join in. Maybe I should do this myself on my rooftop
and throw the flattened cans down like mini-frisbees? But the damage to
neighbours' windows might be considerable and considerably diminish my
This little, about biweekly donation makes for some good relations with this
neighbour couple and we're greeted with a smile whenever we meet them on the
street or in the village. Lamma-Por often chats with them in Cantonese and
it's all smiles and laughs.
Well, my neighbours have finished their work now and I can hear the noises
of them scooping up the flattened cans with an old cooking pot (also
recycled, obviously) into a small white bag, having reduced their volume
tremendously from the former huge black garbage bag holding the original
cans, ready for delivery to
Fostering good-neighbourly relations through getting rid of your waste,
recycling without even leaving your flat, the man-made sounds of recycling
outside my home office adding to all the natural sounds of birds, dogs,
frogs and insects.
I just love living in this neighbourhood!
Cricket Club -
email, mobile 9422 5907, click on
to read all of the info.
I'd like to invite you to our annual
Ball - our 7th Year!
25th Oct - HK$590 - 7 hours of unlimited
drinks - 3 bands - Century Hotel Buffet - Dress code
Black tie / devilish - Great fun!
Brad at Lamma CC or call 9422 5907 for more info
Click on poster above to view the entire
Cricket Club has joined with Imran Sports Academy to
promote cricket on Lamma Island. Lamma Cricket Club has
now been going for 16 years and needs new blood!! ;-)
Imran Sports Academy will help support
Lamma Cricket Club and the Lamma Community by
teaching Lamma Kids the skills of
We will be looking to train Kids at the
Soccer Pitch on Saturday afternoon.
Can you please send out the attached
poster with a few words of encouragement, and we can
then see if this Academy will work please..
The cost will be about $100 each
session. Lamma Cricket Club will foot the bill for the
first training session. Kids will get shirts, caps,
water - and 3 fully qualified Cricket Coaches. These
coaches are some of the best in HK. In fact, they
currently coach our Women's team who have won the league
4 years running - up against established clubs like Hong
Kong Cricket Club and Kowloon Cricket Club.
Training will be for both boys and
Parents can contact me, Brad (see
above), if their child is interested.
Angela Leary - Media Manager,
Animals Asia Foundation:
(Pictures below by Angela, showing "Dr Baby",
one of the Foundation's Dr Dog volunteers
modeling the World Animal Day Bandana.
This bandana looks like becoming THE fashion
statement for Lamma's dogs (and their owners?) after
this concert. You'll absolutely, most definitely NEED one
to walk your dog on Power Station Beach after the
World Animal Day
Please join Animals Asia on World Animal
Day (Saturday, 4 October) for a day of sun, fun and
music on Power Station Beach. Your canine friends are
Animals Asia founder and CEO, Jill
Robinson, who has been appointed World Animal Day
Ambassador for Asia 2008, will be there to kick off our
celebration of all creatures great and small.
The World Animal Day Concert on Tai Wan
To (Power Station Beach) will start at 4pm with DJ "Top
Ginge", then from 5pm, Transnoodle and two more
Lamma bands, The Spicy Boys and
The Yung Shue
Wankers (The Curs), will play till around 9pm.
Dogs will receive a World Animal Day
Electronic Mistress - Lammaite
that you are regularly announcing Lamma musicians, I am
writing to see whether you would be interested to put up
my event flyer on your website.
The Lamma angle is, that the organisers
and 3 of the DJs of the event are Lammaites. Would you
agree that qualifies for the category of electronic
"Electronic Mistress and DJ Wash
(long-term Lamma residents) and DJ Knack, who has
recently emigrated from a big island down-under, are
taking their favourite Lamma past-time to Central. BBQ-ing
and spinning eclectic beats on turntables!
Join them & friends for the last in
the series of after-work BBQ SESSIONS this Friday, 26th
September at Veto Club & Bar in Central. With BBQ on the
outdoor terrace starting at 7pm and music until 1am.
(Yes, you can party for 5 hours and still make the last
ferry back home! Woohooo!) Entry is free.
Venue address & more information at:
There is full event information on
from the most devastating typhoon #8 in a long time, Hagupit, much more
damaging than #9 Nuri a few weeks ago. Photos above by Grahame Collins,
click here for his great
gallery. Plus some more
very impressive photos from nicole_kam and ricky.cheyng.
Plus a small picture of what happened to my rooftop garden. All my bamboo
screens - tied with very tough plastic construction binders - and climbing
plants ripped down by the wind. This was the first time this has ever happened;
definitely my worst typhoon damage I've seen in several years living on
Ria just emailed me that "Hagupit, in Tagalog (Filipino language) means
"lashing with a whip" or being lashed with a whip. With the really strong
winds we experienced, it sure felt like we got whipped! :-)"
P.S. More photos from Power Station Beach, submitted by the Electronic
Photo gallery in progress...
Lamma Fun Day 2008 - press release:
Annual Lamma Fun Day
Sunday 26th October 2008
Ranging from great live music, a beach volleyball
tournament, stalls selling arts and crafts, freshly
prepared food by Jaspas & Pepperonis to children's games
and a charity auction and much much more, Lamma Fun Day
is a popular family event and all proceeds go directly
to helping children in Nepal. For more information
Second hand goodies -
Start clearing some space in your wardrobe and homes.
Gather all your unwanted second hand books, toys,
gadgets, DVDs and drop them off at our office in
Central. We will sell your second hand items to raise
funds for children in Nepal. We will begin collecting
from 2nd October until 24th October, from 9:30am to 6pm
on Monday through Friday. Our drop off address and
contact details are below. If you are coming with large
items please call us in advance so we can prepare space.
Volunteers – Each
year the continuing success of the LFD relies heavily on
the huge support of all our volunteers – without them it
would not be possible! Please email us if you want to
Stall holders -
Calling all entrepreneurs and freelancers! These booths
are a great way to test out whether your product will be
a hit in the market.
Beach Volleyball teams
- the beach volleyball tournament is becoming a
tradition and no Lamma Fun Day would be complete without
it. Companies and individuals are invited to put a team
of 5 players together and take on the best Hong Kong has
to offer! Corporate teams and non corporate teams
Thank you! Please call us or email us if you have any
questions or if you wish to get involved!
Lamma Fun Day Committee & Child Welfare Scheme
Child Welfare Scheme
Suite 303 St. George's Building
2 Ice House Street, Central, Hong Kong
Tel: 2526 8810; Mobile: 9231 3505; Fax: 3526 0355
As some of you might know, Lamma-Gung has become a regular visitor to the
Lamma Fitness Centre. After a lifetime of shunning all gyms as alien, weird,
smelly places full of disgustingly fit and obnoxiously good-looking people
in designer workout apparel and ever-present water bottles, it came as a
bit of a surprise to this old, fat and ugly couch potato who's actually
enjoying his gym visits nowadays.
I blame my doctors, they made
me do it, pushing me hard to take up regular exercise before and after my weight
loss operation half a year ago. They convinced me that I wouldn't lose
enough weight without regular exercise, keeping my metabolism active to keep
losing weight quicker while maintaining a strict high-protein, low-carb/fat/calories,
no sugar/alcohol/junk-food diet.
Well, it turns out that my doctors were right, despite my initial
skepticism. 111.4 pounds lost so far in the half year since the
operation, still losing 2 pounds/week. Trying very hard to lose another 55
pounds, dropping from the medical terms "Super Morbidly Obese" to merely
"Overweight" in another half a year or so. Wish me luck! The
weight ticker above and at the bottom of this page is being updated weekly
after my weigh-in.
How about dropping a few pounds yourself and getting much fitter, stronger,
faster and healthier in the process? Join the Lamma gym, just $350/month
on 1-year autopay terms! Or try out a single month first at $450 yourself or
give a trial 1-month membership to a loved one (see below)... or to your unfit friends to
tease them and to spur them into action to take charge of their health!
It's a membership-only gym, you'll get a key and can go there almost
anytime. You might be the only one at off-peak hours and will have the
entire small but well-equipped gym for yourself. To pick the best, "not so
busy hours" see these charts below, courtesy of
Solveiga, one of the new managers of the gym. Contact her to learn
In case you wonder about the fractional
people in the charts above
(for example 0.5 people in 2 hours)...
The peak of 1.3 people is probably me not having lost enough weight yet;
and all the 0.5 people in the chart are some who have lost way too much
The Holistic HK website has just published a really fine
article about former
Lamma Artist of the Month Katie Flowers. Some quotes:
"by Catherine Macer
As the evidence amasses against us, it is
easy to fall prey to the doom and gloom about planet earth and
her apparent descent towards ecological demise.
(Reprinted from Positive News Hong Kong)
Impelled to act but overwhelmed by the
enormity of the task ("Is my eco-footprint too big? Should I
never take an airplane again?"), a sense of hopelessness can win
out and invade the way we relate to the earth and the simple,
everyday connections we make to nature.
Teachers have a special need to understand
this psychology as they present the various issues that plague
the environment, or educate our children about their
relationship to nature..."
Read the full
HolisticHK article here or click below to see more about Katie's
wonderfully creative and amazingy multi-faceted artistic endeavours:
Martin Evans-Jones - ex-Lammaite:
Discovery Bay/Yung Shue Wan compared
I sternly condemn the notion of open
hostility between those who struggle for a crust in
Lamma and those of us luxuriating on the
palm-fronded oasis that is Discovery Bay. Why, some
of my best friends are Lamma-ites. But there is,
shall we say, intense antithesis.
To be truthful, my wife and I used
to live in Yung Shue Wan until we saw the light four
years ago, partly the result of getting old enough
to tire of hauling ourselves and our necessities up
the steep inclines leading to Po Wah Yuen.
The real problem – and the main
reason I guess for any lack of simpatico between our
communities – is the fact there's no regular ferry
service between us.
So this contribution to Lamma-Gung
is the equivalent of sleeping with the enemy (heaven
help us) and bringing news from a different galaxy.
Some Lamma residents might even be tempted to switch
to an infinitely less stressful life over here.
Let me list the advantages of DB.
First: just getting here. Our 24-hour ferry from
Central gets us into the DB pier without stress,
without jostling for seats, with the passing scenes
of Tsing Ma Bridge, the Western Harbour approach and
Disneyland to check off the journey.
There's a strict code of no talking
to strangers fiddling on their laptops and
Blackberries as they enjoy the DB ferry's WiFi
connection. All for 27 dollars per adult trip, only
a few depreciating bucks more than an equivalent
journey on Lamma's creaking service (and always
assuming you guys make the "last ferry" back
somewhere around midnight).
On arrival, there's no need to march
amid the columns of the undead returning from work
(as from Yung Shue Wan's pier) to be greeted by the
pitifully decreasing number of shops, restaurants
and bars. Instead, drop into a DB choice of 19
professionally-run restaurants, or travel to one of
five different sports clubs including a marina, or
shop at more than 26 retail outlets.
There are also two DB medical
centres, two health clinics, a dental surgery and a
vet. Two churches serve the religiously inclined. If
it all seems too much of a choice, linger in the DB
Plaza and count the number of flight crews, lawyers,
bankers, journalists, artists, helpers and hordes of
children from places as diverse as Argentina, Osaka
and Burkina Faso. (Okay, there'll be a few less
bankers now that their world has been liquidated.)
A community spirit? As Margaret
Thatcher said, there's no such thing as "society".
In DB, it's all about facilities. You might even
make a friend, but only if you want to.
Happily fulfilled, it's time to go
home. For DB's 20,000 or more residents there's a
huge range of houses, town houses and apartments –
so different from the faux Spanish-style
accommodation that Lamma's residents have to suffer
as you dodge the crazed truckers and bikers up and
down the footpaths in the gathering gloom.
Now, for many Lammaites such
considerations are a mere catalogue of consumerism
coming from sad, deluded captives of DB Management,
our all-seeing, all-knowing über-landlord. Why give
up individuality, firm friends and a small community
for higher rents and a few extra perks, I hear you
Let's cut to the chase. Living in
Hong Kong is all about being connected because,
unless you have the wherewithal to retire, you have
to work. There's no better place than DB for that.
Besides the ferries, there's the road connecting the
airport, and all places via the MTR from Tung Chung
a few minutes by bus through the road tunnel. That
really says it all, unless you want to be a hermit.
As for the rents, hey, it's only
money! These days it becomes less and less
meaningful anyway, given the way inflation is
gobbling it up.
Besides which, DB is truly
international in outlook. I may have less chance to
practice my pathetically limited Cantonese but I'm
really making progress on my Albanian. Overhearing
mobile conversations in French is like catching the
dialogue of a Francois Truffaut movie.
I have to admit to some downsides.
We moved from a (strange but beautiful) 1,400 sq ft
house in Po Wah Yuen to a series of 900 sq ft flats
in DB. We cried ourselves to sleep as we struggled
with hugely inappropriate furniture and three dogs
in our new tiny accommodation. We dreamed of
pottering about in those quaint little shops on Main
Street then diving into the now dearly departed
Spicy Island for a few sundowners. But we got over
The dogs didn't. They never really
recovered their zest for exercise as they had on
Lamma's winding paths. Pooper-scooping has never
been more intensive than in DB, where pets get
precious few rights. Conversely, it's only when you
have a pet that you realise just how many "no pets"
and "no fouling" notices there are surrounding DB's
manicured lawns and flower beds.
Also, our daily shopping in the one
and only DB supermarket has become a nightmare since
its management decided to bring in major renovations
while keeping the operation running. But all that
should be over soon, we're told, similar to the huge
renovation of the Plaza and shops a year ago.
But at least upgrades get done in
DB. In Lamma, what happened to the quay-side
renovation? What happened to the upgrade of the
roads and facilities? Ask your local Legco
Or take a deep breath and make the
switch to DB. If you see me in one of the
restaurants, I'll be available to be a bought a
freddy law. (He lists his occupation as "dream catcher" and his
interests are "teach and learn". See our
Nam Wah Yuen forum for details.)
My photo galleries of former Mid-Autumn Festivals/Carnivals:
Weekend and holiday tourists are a major source of revenue for Lamma
businesses. They're descending in major droves, swarming over our home
island, especially on holidays like the Mid-Autumn Festival this weekend.
But instead of patronising our many fine restaurants many of them come
here to BBQ in several of the public BBQ areas set up specifically by the LCSD,
bringing in almost everything they'll need from town. So
beware of BBQ pitchforks and smelly, dripping marinated meats/seafood on the
incoming ferry during weekends!
looks like great fun when watching these visitors, but the waste they leave
behind is often appalling. It's taxing the patience and endurance of our Lap
Sap Ladies who have to clean up afterwards.
HK Electric has started a new initiative, together with
Green Power, to educate people to reduce their waste while BBQing.
actually venture out, approaching people "in the act" of BBQing and often
making a big mess, trying to give them advice and trying to educate them.
This bravery is admirable and we sure hope none of these Valiant Voluble
Volunteers has suffered any physical violence against their person yet from
any irate visitors who might not take to "education" kindly! See the press
release and photos from HK Electric & Green Power below.
Don't forget to reduce your own BBQ waste in your own garden, balcony, rooftop
or wherever Lammaites like to undertake their own popular BBQ activities.
Otherwise some of these Valiant Voluble Volunteers might knock on your own
door to "re-educate" you in acceptable BBQ Etiquette. No throwing of glowing
coals, pitchforks and beer bottles, please! Inviting the volunteers to join
in the BBQ is strongly encouraged!
- Press release excerpts (see also
Green Festivals website)
(story, pictures & captions by HK Electric & Green
Public Urged to
Reduce Barbecue Waste
A Green Power survey shows that people are paying
more attention to green packaging of moon cakes and will
reuse or recycle moon cake boxes. However, the problem
of discarding excessive moon cakes still needs to be
Carried out before the Mid-Autumn Festival weekend,
the survey interviewed 302 households and projected that
2.7 million moon cakes would be discarded
territory-wide. About 20% of these households said they
would celebrate with barbecues, and 90% of them would
use disposable utensils such as paper plates, paper cups
and plastic forks... About half of the respondents also
indicated they would not classify or recycle waste after
The survey results were released today at the "16th
Clean-up the World in Hong Kong" held in Aberdeen
Country Park, which was attended by Assistant Director
(Nature Conservation & Infrastructure Planning
Division), Environmental Protection Department, Mr.
Vincent Tang; Legislative Councillor Ms. Audrey Eu; HK
Electric's General Manager (Projects), Dr. Tso Che-wah;
and President of Green Power, Prof. Ho Kin-chung...
Dr. Tso said HK Electric, which has supported the
clean-up action for 13 years, is pleased to find
increasing public awareness regarding reducing festival
waste. He called on the use of reusable water bottles in
order to cut down on disposable waste.
More than 40 volunteers from HK Electric joined the
guests for the clean-up and urged people to reduce
barbecue waste. They also handed out containers for
picnic goers to take away leftover food. The volunteers
also made the appeal to holiday-makers in Stanley and
Shek O beaches.
"Clean-up the World in Hong Kong" is an international
activity organised by the United Nations. Green Power
has been the official organiser in Hong Kong since 1993.
It is now held in more than 120 cities around the globe
with more than 35 million people participating. Themed
"Reducing Festival Waste and Enjoying a Green Festival",
this annual campaign aims at encouraging the public to
minimise waste and harm to the environment and the
Earth, while celebrating a greener festival. For
details, please go to
Green Festival website.
The officiating party calls for the public to reduce
barbecue waste and to recycle waste when celebrating
HK Electric volunteers and their family members lend a
hand in cleaning up the Aberdeen Country Park after
The officiating party cleans up the refuse left behind
by citizens after celebrating Mid-Autumn Festival and
calls for the public to reduce waste.
HK Electric volunteers appeal to holiday-makers in
Aberdeen Country Park, Stanley and Shek O beaches to
reduce barbecue waste. They also handed out containers
for them to take away leftover food.
Marcus - Pak Kokian (story by Marcus, pictures by L-G)
- The new Yung Shue Wan-Pak Kok Village-Aberdee
ferry is unsafe and too slow.
- The schedule does not fit (40 mins). The
11:55 off Pak Kok to YSW misses the 12:00
Central connection, because its sits in PK for 5
minutes. The next ferry to Central is an hour
later. That is just crazy.
- HK is a territory of islands that prides
itself on infrastructure. Why should Lamma get a
ferry that was deemed as unfit for mainland
- How come unprofitable bus routes run across
- Don't you think the ICAC would be interested
in how this route was re-tendered, without
consultation, with the same director and hidden
behind the 08/08/08 date to announce it?
- Ride the 'new' ferry if you haven't done so
yet! See for yourself!
- How can the same company come up with a
schedule that does not connect to anything by
adjusting a 30-min route to a 40-min route? Even
though the rust bucket sits for 5 minutes in PK
just to ensure it won't connect.
- How can the Transport Dept. suggest that Pak
Kokians can walk to the Pier (YSW) like those in
Hung Sing Yeh do? HSY does not have a ferry. HSY
is part of YSW.
Can you imagine trying to get the old and infirm
to a ferry in a wheelchair up that hill? We'd
win gold at the next Paralympics :)
- As a SAR island community, HK (itself an
island) has made transport links a priority.
Bridges, tunnels, ferries, helipads, sampans,
gaidos, ports, piers, planes. Why should Pak Kok
be "lucky" to have a service? [See SCMP 7/9/08
- "Safest place on the planet". Not my words.
More like gravity pockets, things that bite you,
hill fires, dangerous cliffs/paths, uprooted
trees, burglary, death by misadventure, bad
electric wiring and fucking dangerous ferries.
The fight continues, next meeting with the Transport Dept. &
other govt. depts.:
"Subject: Aberdeen -
Pak Kok Village - Yung Shue Wan Ferry Service
Date: 3 October 2008 (Friday)
Time: 7.00 p.m.
Venue: Room 4110B, Immigration Tower, Wan Chai, Hong
Our Commissioner and
representative from the Transport and Housing Bureau will join
the discussion. If you are interested to join the meeting,
please let me know by 30 September.
Regards, Polly Chan,
Follow & contribute to the
on-going fight in our
Aberdeen Ferry Updates forum.
- Pak Kokian
(story & pictures by Joyce; see her above @
Barkhor Square, Lhasa)
The first few hours you spend in a place where you have
never been before but are going to live for a while are
always full of expectations and disappointments.
I dreamed of Lamma Island as a little paradise in the
Big City. Hoped Lamma's beaches would be like Koh
Samed's white sand beaches. Moreover, I expected Yung
Shue Wan to be a quaint, little fishermen's village.
First impression: oh my god, is this really where I am
going to live?!
Nevertheless, Lamma is slowly growing on me. I enjoy
early evening walks to Hung Shing Yeh beach. I love the
different culinary tastes Yung Shue Wan has to offer
and, as my husband noticed just yesterday, I do not even
notice the chimneys anymore.
My first hours in our previous home, Lhasa, left a
bigger scar. Confused by the image of prostrating
Tibetan pilgrims and Chinese noodle shops. Overwhelmed
by the vast, rocky landscape, looking for trees (or just
anything green). Being too curious for my own good, I
immediately wanted to explore the Barkhor, but
physically I could barely make it up to our new
apartment on the first floor.
But I fell in love with Tibet, despite daily cold
feet up to my hips that took hours to warm up, friendly
offered yak butter tea I tried to swallow each time but
just would not go down, frequent power cuts, people
defecating on the streets and spitting on your shoes.
Because a Tibetan sky is uniquely blue. Lhasa oozes
spiritual inner peace. The locals are warm and generous.
The expats are drunk and fun. You name it, Lhasa has it!
And so does Lamma. Typhoons (already ‘survived' two),
racing miniature pick-up trucks, snakes falling from
trees, people dangerously moving sand at Hung Shing Yeh
beach with power tools while others are sunbathing (the
question is WHY?) and public aggression about a rundown
boat. I know I am just going to love Lamma.
With a befriended monk
Once I get everything settled. Moving to Lamma, this
has to be said, is excruciat- ing. Full of enthusiasm we
bought our furniture in Hong Kong. Getting it to the
pier is not the biggest issue (depending on your
relocating company I suppose) but then, after a
20-minute ferry ride you realise that you have to carry
everything up hill by hand.
First a few suitcases, then a bed and a sofa; tough
but no worries. A wardrobe; absolute nightmare. A few
days later, we buy a dining table and chairs and luckily
get some help from locals. Finally, thirteen boxes from
Tibet, I then wished we had left behind.
Inside Sera Monastery
Kebab guy around the corner
Prostrating pilgrims in Lhasa
Marcus - ...
(story by Dr Marcus, pictures by Dr Marcus & Mici)
Nick the Bookman - Official Court Music
Reviewer & Official Court Main Street Correspondent
- excerpts from his Beijing 2008 Olympics review
OK, we on?
Right, here are the ground rules. This story is being
constructed on two levels: Mostly real-time chronology
with notes written in hectic haste over a fortnight.
Also, reconstruction after the event where I reserve the
right to surf the timestream, dipping in and out of the
It's being written in several sessions, starting
26-8-08. ("You pretentious git! You're just doing it to
wank around with the Rules of Writing and justify sloppy
research!" "Well, yes, but it's gonna be a wild and fun
ride. Hang ten in there dudes and babes!")
It's four days before the start of the Beijing Olympics
2008 and a glitch has occurred, disturbing the even
serenity of my countdown to entry into The Realm Of The
Couch Potato. The TV and DVD have made some sort of
unholy electro-suicide pact and basically, died. Yes,
the Ghost has left the Machine. The Micro has cashed in
its Chip. They've departed for Silicon Heaven. Bother!
Cue, small rant, but I avoid the temptation to kick them
to pieces so they'll work again. Time to go shopping...
Mission accomplished. Everything works, but no spare
cash to upgrade to digital. So I'm restricted to lo-def
tv reception on ATV World, ATV Home, TVB Pearl and TVB
Jade. Plus some babble on the BBC in the morning.
Research materials comprise the daily Olympics section
in the SCMP and the 2001 Guinness Book of World Records.
I've filled 3 notebooks with semi-incoherent gonzo
scribbles which I'll now try to cobble together in some
sensible manner. I think I know how it will come
out...over a fortnight mashed into the couch and a
Meanwhile, things aren't going too well in the real
world. The American and Russian Presidents are in
Beijing and have already had a brief chat. "Mad Vlad the
Bad Cad" Putin has unveiled his new rad fad to the
future former Most Powerful Man in the World. I think it
went something like this..."Hey Dipshit. We're invading
Georgia tomorrow. FUCK YOU! And your Missile Defence
System"... Putin is quite a piece of work isn't he?
The first week of the Olympics comprises the swimming
and some of the team gymnastics. I've had a soft spot
for the swimmers for a long time. I was on the fringes
of the HK Olympic Swimming Squad in 1968. Trained
alongside some other swimmers who made the Mexico Games.
I wasn't quite good enough. My best time for the 100
metres freestyle was about 64 seconds - about 3 seconds
or so outside the qualifying time. I did swim for HK in
a meet against the Philippines once. Managed not to
drown. When working for ATV (1974-1980) I had the
privilege of interviewing Mark Spitz, the superstar of
the Munich Olympics of 1972. I also interviewed Jim
Montgomery, the American swimmer who set a world record
of 49.99 secs for the 100 metres freestyle in Montreal
1976. Jim was a guest of honour at the soon-to-be-ended
Cross-Harbour Swim from Tsim Sha Tsui to Central. What
golden and innocent days they were. Imagine being able
to swim in the harbour. Now, it's so built-up, you could
probably cross it with a triple jump. Or a pole vault.
Obviously, this is poetic license. You'd most likely
bounce off all the crap in the water...
In 2004, it was the ongoing saga of drug cheats.
Greek athletes were prominent in getting kicked out for
cheating or not attending mandatory tests. Whole
weightlifting teams used to vanish overnight after
testing positive. Same in 2000 when Marian Jones
strutted her funky stuff in a "high" state of
excitement. Denied it for years, got caught in the Balco
scam, confessed, had her 5 medals seized, did six months
slam time for perjury, (released today as I write) and
her records were erased from the books. Her ex-husband, Tim
Montgomery is facing serious jail time for dealing in
Anyway, in 1984 the SovBloc decided to retaliate
against the West's decision to let them win almost
everything in Moscow. They cited security as the reason
for pulling out, but in truth, they couldn't beat the
drug tests. Hell, they probably couldn't pass the gender
tests in most cases. So they stayed home and sulked and
probably created three or four new sexes in the interim.
Black African nations pulled out of Montreal 1976
because New Zealand had sent a rugby union team to tour
South Africa, thus breaking the Cultural/Sports embargo.
Rugby Union wasn't even an Olympic sport anymore. It was
kicked into touch after 1928. Amusingly enough, the
United States are the reigning Olympic Rugby
champs, beating France (check score) in the last final to
date. Then of course, there was Munich 1972...
Goodness me. This has been rather a long and
meandering rant-cum-ramble. Excuse me folks. I seem to
have drifted off in a haze of platitudes and
hyperwaffle from the Opening Orators. It's time to
get down and dirty and dish up the sports factoids
you've all been patiently waiting for. At Beijing 2008,
there are 28 different sports. A total of 302 Gold
Medals will be awarded. Probably 302 Silver and 302
Bronze as well. I'm sure they make more in case there's
a tie on time or points and no sudden death allowed,
Except in Georgia. Apparently a Gold Medal contains 6
grams of gold, Not sure of the equivalent ratios in the
Silver and Bronze Medals. The Equestrian events, which
are being held here in Hong Kong, are the only ones with
a dress code of "white tie and tails" (so to speak).
They're the only events in which men and women compete
Princess Anne is the ONLY competitor in history who
has NEVER been subject to a sex test. Probably because
it might have proved her to be a centaur. Her father
once famously said that she wasn't interested in
anything unless it ate hay or she could ride it. That
didn't dissuade her first husband, Mark "Fog" Phillips
though. Their daughter, Zara, withdrew from this
Olympics at a late stage, due to injury. And that's
about all the Equestrian coverage that I intend to have.
to be cont'd...
the complete first four chapters of Nick's hugest story to
date, his Magnum Opus, see our forum where it'll be published chapter
by chapter. Can a book be far off?
The Olympic Games, Beijing 2008 -
by Nick the Bookman
- Lammaite, named
Confluence King of China in an
SCM Post article a few years ago. This amazing guy has
201 Confluence points in 4 countries by now, all
just for fun and without any financial incentive!
STILL don't know what
Confluencing is -
shame on you!
It was first mentioned in the monthly
Lamma-zine #27 in Dec 2003
(story & pictures by Targ)
33 Confluences in 26
Targ Parsons and
28-Jun-2008 -- After weeks of incessant
rain, with a couple of typhoons thrown in for good
measure, it's a good feeling to be leaving Hong Kong
(香港) for a month of confluencing in more northerly,
hopefully sunnier, latitudes. Knocking off work early on
Friday afternoon, I take the train to Luohu (罗湖) on the
mainland Chinese border. My wife Ah Feng [see
right] is waiting for me on the other side, having just
returned from a couple of weeks visiting her home in
Guangxi (广西). We enjoy some mutongfan (木桶饭, "wooden
bucket rice") for dinner before retiring to the quite
affordable GS Railway Hotel (广深铁路大酒店) for the night.
The next morning, we awake to yet more
rain. By the time we leave for the Shenzhen Airport
(深圳宝安国际机场), the rain is torrential! We make it in time,
but the absolute deluge causes major flooding on the
roads, which proves problematical for
Richard Jones, who is making his way to the
airport separately by taxi. Check-in has already closed
by the time he arrives, and he consequently misses the
flight. Richard is extremely disappointed, to say the
to be continued, click here...
The Confluence Queen of China at 35°N 113°E
GPS photo as proof of visit
Adam West - Theatre Producer & Artistic
and the Whole Shebang
An adult evening of theatre composed of short
(mostly very short) plays with all profits to a
Cambodian orphanage. Some of Hong Kong's finest
acting and directing talent has assembled to
bring myriad stories to life. You'll see a man
in love with a mermaid, a prostitute's harrowing
encounter, a runaway bride, an internal crisis
of confidence after a one-night stand and much
much much more. The show contains violence,
nudity and adult language and is for adults
The project was conceived after a chance
encounter in Lamma's
Bookworm Cafe between artistic director
Adam West and a Cambodian man visiting Hong
All profits from the show are going to a Cambodian orphanage in Siem Rap which is managed
by an Australian foundation. I'm sure Lammaites
would enjoy this night of theatre and the knowledge that
the revenue is going to such a good Asian cause.
Tickets are $250
and are available at
URBTIX. See flier above for details.
People coming on Wednesday or Thursday night or
Saturday matinee will automatically have the
chance to win 2 return flights to Phnom Penh!
(by Carole Lewis)
Introduction: Introduce your self to the group, let us know
what you kind of business you are in and how we can help
Exchange of Business Cards:
Meet new people, make sure they have your
card and you have theirs.
10-minute presentation by Lamma BOG
member, Denis Williamson, on his multi-media
Getting business help on Lamma.
A continuation of last meeting's topic. Find out how/where to:
• Arrange transport on Lamma or in Hong Kong
• Send faxes/print documents on Lamma or in Hong Kong
• Book meeting rooms in Hong Kong
• Get administration help for your business
And ask questions about other issues
freelancers/business owners have to deal with daily.
If you have a subject that you think will
be of interest to the group, please let one of our
Our group is growing but we need people to attend
regularly so that we can build up business networks.
Please invite anyone else who you think might be
Start time will be 8:30am.
Look for our posters
around town, or check on this website.
Just a reminder: We have to pay for the space we meet
in, so we are asking attendees to contribute $25 at the
beginning of each meeting.
Register for the next meeting with:
Learn more about this just announced project for HK$18
million (adding up to almost $50K/parked bicycle!) affecting
all bikers of North Lamma by replacing the current, close &
convenient parking along the "Catwalk to YSW Ferry Pier".
My own suggestion has fallen on deaf ears so far:
"Give me and every Lamma biker half of this $50K each,
save the other half by not building the Parking Area and
I'll happily sign a declaration promising NEVER to ride my
bike dangerously on Lamma anymore!" This simple
suggestion could definitely prevent accidents and even save
lives, especially my own...
Follow the heated arguments, discuss alternatives and
contribute your very own comments and opinions in our active
Bike Park @ Ferry Pier forum.
Om the Amazing
Shrinking Tai Penguin - Lamma Newbie
(Story & pictures by fit & healthy Om.
Note her running shoes avatar on the left.)
the fitness advantage!
If you are a TAI PENGUIN like me -- living up in Tai Peng
Village -- here are some useful facts about our great work-out.
We surely deserve a really good treat for all our efforts! The
following is calculated on a monthly basis.
From the vegi farm at the bottom up to the Lamma map in front
of the benches:
Time: 8-10 minutes
Heart rate: 80-90% of your maximum heart rate = Lactate
threshold (Don't ask me wazzzzzat! I've just figured out that
this is more than the endurance level… I think it's in the
Kcal expenditure according to your weight:
110lbs / 50kg: 88 kcal
132lbs / 60kg: 106 kcal
154lbs / 70kg: 123kcal
176lbs / 80kg: 141kcal
198lbs / 90kg (*crying* I'm still a fat penguin... but
shrinking :-): 158kcal
220lbs / 100kg: 176kcal
242lbs / 110kg: 194kcal
264lbs / 120kg: 211kcal
You do that 5 times per week/month (extremely hard
110lbs / 50kg: 440kcal / 1760kcal
132lbs / 60kg: 530kcal / 2120kcal
154lbs / 70kg: 615kcal / 2460kcal
176lbs / 80kg: 705kcal / 2820kcal
198lbs / 90kg : 790kcal / 3160kcal
220lbs / 100kg: 880kcal / 3520kcal
242lbs / 110kg: 970kcal / 3880kcal
264lbs / 120kg: 1,055kcal / 4220kcal
I can see, on the one hand people are thinking, "Hmmm, and
what is the equivalent potential body weight loss, hey?"
Well, I'll give you another piece of info:
1kg of body fat = 7716kcal… so you can calculate that by
yourself, can't you?
On the other hand, I can imagine some people thinking, "Woaaaaaah,
that's so cool to be a Tai Penguin, because I'll have extra
reasons to drink more beer (or wine, for me.)" This is
considered a vital duty of basic survival; otherwise you'll let
your body die from a lack of calories (compared to non-Tai
Penguins)! So, I tell you, if you wanna survive in this world,
here are the figures:
Tai Penguins have to consume (results in pints of Guinness,
stout), to regain the calories lost in climbing, per month:
110lbs / 50kg: 14.08pints
132lbs / 60kg: 16.96pints
154lbs / 70kg: 19.68pints
176lbs / 80kg: 22.56pints
198lbs / 90kg: 25.28pints
220lbs / 100kg: 28.16pints
242lbs / 110kg: 31.04pints
264lbs / 120kg: 33.76 pints
alcohol in excess can be harmful to your body and mind! It
cannot be endorsed by this august and sober publication, run by
another still shrinking person (L-G, he stopped drinking alcohol
after his weight loss operation.)
All this amazing Einsteinian calculus above was performed just
for fun and scientific/medical education purposes. Really!
The movie that inspired this story
CAREnival for the elderly encourages senior citizens to lead a more active
(All pictures & captions by
The officiating party includes Mr. Matthew Cheung Kin-chung (third from
Miss Christina Ting Yuk-chee (second from left) and Mr. Tso Kai-sum.
Mr. Cheung (right) describes the CAREnival for the Elderly a a "project of
love" and joins in a stretching exercise with participants.
Learning more about electricity charge subsidy and electrical safety
messages through drama performance.
Click here to find out more about this party, launched by HK Electric...
Some more good news for all HK Electric customers, incl. all
See the lady with the fan, above left, being sooo OVERJOYED about these
"Regarding the Government's electricity charge subsidy,
from 1 Sep 2008 onwards, all 450,000
domestic electricity accounts of HK Electric will be credited
a monthly subsidy of $300 for 12 months.
"Any unused subsidy can be carried forward to pay for electricity charges
up to 31 August 2014 or the closure of the account. For the convenience of
customers, this balance, if any, will appear on their electricity bills from
HK Ham - Ex-Lammaite
his blog with friendly permission. After
reading his farewell story below, you're welcome to
your own comments on his blog.)
Soon after moving to Lamma in July
2007, I wrote a story for Asia Sentinel singing the
sleepy little idyll's praises. The following
paragraph from that story sums up the extent of my
delusion at the time:
"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
I've come a long way since then --
all the way to Sham Shui Po, in fact, where I now
live in the middle of urban cacophony, negotiating
slow walkers and construction sites after I
disembark the crowded MTR on my way home. For the
past two months, I have been living in a place that
costs twice as much to rent, is in a building with a
lift, and from which, sitting here comfortably in my
bed, I can hear all grinding gears and heavy
wheezing of the taxis, the buses and trucks bustling
along one of the city's main arteries.
Strange that I should feel such
relief, then, to be free of the careless, carefree,
quiet and cheap Lamma Island.
Lamma to me was like a girlfriend
that was never meant to be. Things were great, as
long as I saw her only on weekends. In those heady
moments, we would nuzzle each other's necks, gently
bite each other's soft flesh, cradle each other to
sleep. We would get riotously drunk together, only
to wake up in the morning and walk off our hangovers
in the hills, overlooking the vast promise of the
expansive blue ocean as the breeze blew soft
whispers in our ears. We would canoodle by the
seaside, cavort on the rocks, splash in the shallows
-- and even play with puppies at the Lamma Animal
But slowly it fell apart. As the
days slipped by and we became too comfortable with
each other, we started to discover sides of each
other we weren't so keen on.
The ferries: How
disheartening is it to end your work day by boarding
a slow boat with sloping-down, hard-plastic seats
that only serves to take you further away from most
of your friends? (Thank goodness for those who
remain that this problem has been partially
rectified with a more sensible ferry timetable that
has cast the hard-seated ferries into oblivion.)
The age difference: Where
were all my young, sprightly counterparts, full of
energy and ready to embrace Lamma's natural wonders?
(And no -- they weren't at the pub either.)
The drinking problem: Why
should it be a matter of course that the same five
men can be found snogging a pint outside the Tinhead
every day after work during the week? Why is it
considered normal to walk past the Spicy Island at
9am to see men drinking Skol at a table while they
watch the morning ferry crowd march off to work? And
shouldn't we at least once question the wisdom of
the pint-plus-one rule for the homeward-bound boat
The rumour mill: How can it
be that in a city of 7 million, there still lives an
enclave of depravity where an elbow touch can turn
into a hug can turn into a kiss can turn into a fuck
can turn into a full-blown affair? I grew up in a
small town where everyone knew everyone and fell
into the same, predictable routines while feeding
off the romantic notion that it's wonderful to know
your neighbour (and even more fun to know about
their dirty laundry). I don't want that for
adulthood. At least, not yet.
It's at this point that Lammaites
can rightfully start slinging shit my way. Many on
the island are still so enamoured with her many
charms -- her relaxed disposition, her free, giving
ways, her natural beauty (despite some fairly ugly,
chimney-esque blemishes), her way with children --
that they're happily oblivious of her unbecoming
side. Fair play to them. As I said, I was in love
with her too, once. She just turned out to be the
girlfriend who was never meant to be -- and I'm
happier to be free of her.
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,
photos, videos, etc.
Contact Lamma-Gung with anything relevant to Lamma
or Lammaites that you'd
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text, photos & graphics by Lamma-Gung, if not otherwise credited.
Click on button on left for Creative Commons license.
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