Monday, October 29, 2007

29 October 2007: Tidbits

Tidbits: Music. Sport. Film. Book.

I heart The Black Eyed Peas. I heart The Black Eyed Peas even more in concert. I heart The Black Eyed Peas even more from THE FRONT ROW in concert. !!!!!!

They performed this past Saturday at the Venetian Macao. It’s sort of surreal because this Venetian looks nearly identical to the Venetian in Vegas…fake canals and gaudy grandeur and all. Apparently it’s the second largest building in the entire world (though the person who told me this has a penchant for compulsively white-lying for the sake of entertainment, so don’t quote me on that statistic). It was my first time in Macao, a Vegas-like Chinese territory that’s considered separate from China in the way that Hong Kong is. It’s a one-hour fast ferry ride from Hong Kong, but if you count the transportation to and from the ferry terminals, it can be a good six-hour round trip. Yikes.

The Black Eyed Peas were totally worth it, though. I’ve always liked them, but they are one of those groups that blow your mind when you see them live. Their energy was absolutely explosive. Each of the Peas has that magnetic, undefinable quality that makes you think that they are just about the coolest people on the planet. Fergie is gorgeous, funky, has an amazing, amazing voice, AND did one-handed cartwheels while singing. Every single person on the stage had mad rhythm and spirit and love…as did all of their songs. They just make you want to mooooove! When they performed “Where is the Love”, the entire arena was up on their feet; I’ve posted a couple photographs where all you see are the lights of mobile phones (isn’t it funny how we’ve evolved from holding up lighters in concerts to holding up our PDAs??). It was a really beautiful and powerful moment. I had chills.

And for all my Filipino friends…you would have loved their performance of "Bebot". “Filipino!! Filipino!! Filipino!!” flashed on the big screens throughout the song, and it seemed even the Chinese had love for Filipinos. Awesome. ;)


I also attended my first ever Cricket game. It was pretty fun. Cricket is quite a big deal on this side of the world, and this weekend was a big tournament, with teams from South Africa, Bangladesh, India, the UK, etc, and an all-star team with some of the world’s Cricket greats. The rules of the game are reminiscent of baseball, but the terminology is different, with the bat being called the wicket and the pitcher being called the bowler…

…and that’s the extent of my limited knowledge of Cricket. :P


If you haven’t seen it yet, you must must must watch “City of God”, a Brazilian film about the slums of Rio de Janeiro. It’s a jarring dose of the reality of the world outside the blessed and protected (read: sheltered) life most of us have. It’s particularly powerful because it is based on a true story and most of the actors in the film had never acted before.


Finally, I highly recommend that you read The Prophet by Kahlil Gibran. Especially if you like The Alchemist (and if you haven’t yet read The Alchemist, read it immediately!). The Prophet is a collection of philosophical, poetic essays. In its simplicity you will find potent truths about life and existence. Some of you have been (facetiously) asking me if I’ve yet discovered the meaning of life and/or the secret to the universe…read The Prophet…I promise it will inspire you and enlighten you and bring you closer to whatever it is you are seeking.

From one seeker to another…peace love truth.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

23 October 2007

Hello hello hello!

Or should I say Sawadeeka!! as I’ve just returned from Phuket, Thailand. Just uploaded a heap of photos.

You can also cruise new Hong Kong photos.



Monday, October 1, 2007

1 October 2007: back in Hong Kong

Over the past 2 months, I have taken 10 flights, stayed in 7 different flats/hotels, used 6 varieties of currency, had 5 mobile phone numbers, and lived out of 2-3 suitcases. Yes, my luggage grew, eventually summing nearly 50 kg by the time I left Seoul (and PS the luggage limit to fly within Asia is 20 kg). So much for my friend’s overly kind guess that I’d be traveling with nothing but a few bags, a mat, and a zafu. ;) I haven’t bought (too many) unnecessary things…what’s heavy is the organic shampoo, etc my mum brought me back from the States (there’s no Whole Foods or anything with such abundant offerings out here), and the organic brown rice products from my aunt and uncle’s farm in Korea, and the 6 books I’ve been traveling with (even though admittedly, I’ve been reading the same one (Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance) for the past month), and yeah, my mat’s in there too, and ok fine, I did buy a couple pairs of new yoga pants and a couple light cardigans because Hong Kong is too hot for any of the sweaters I brought and a couple sundresses and…

…yeah…I have too much stuff. It’s mind-bottling (“Blades of Glory”, anyone?) to think that I’ve been carrying around luggage that weighs just about as much as I do. “Learn to travel lightly” is going on my list of things to do in life.

For the time being, though, I will be keeping both feet on the ground. I’m back in Hong Kong, and am looking forward to chillin’ out. I feel like I’ve been in the yang/ha-/heat-building/masculine portion of my practice ever since I left Cali (PS I read somewhere that REAL Californians don’t ever say “Cali”…but I’m just about as Californian as they get, and don’t you remember that “I’m going-going, back-back, to Cali-Cali” rap song from the 90s or something?), and now my butt’s finally on the mat, and I’m easing into the yin/-tha/cooling/feminine portion of my practice. *insert big exhale here.

No pressure to sightsee, no rush to try to do as much as possible, no familial obligations. Just me and Hong Kong, continuing to get better acquainted. What a delightful discovery it’s been, to connect so easily and surprisingly with this fantastic place. As I was flying in on Friday afternoon, I looked out the plane window (I always choose window seat…you?), amazed at Hong Kong’s countless islands dotting the waters below. Sometimes the islands looked like shapes and symbols, like clouds do (remember my photo of the paddling Nala in the Cambodian clouds?). I’d never seen anything like it before. It was quite stunning.

It’s the end of the 3-day holiday weekend here, and I spent the entire weekend out on the water. Really, really nice. I’m loving the beach/boat culture here.

I know I didn’t catch you up on my time in Seoul or Tokyo, but I did put up a ton of photos, most with descriptive captions, which I think will offer an enjoyable visual story. Suffice it to say that I feel very blessed to have been able to spend time with my family and to explore new parts of the world.

I probably won’t be blogging very frequently as I expect life to continue tempering from here on out, but know that I am happy, healthy, and safe. Always available via email and good vibrations…often thinking of you at home as I look up at our shared sky. Peace peace love love....Leah.