Smart book shelf

I just moved to a new place from the vast New Territory to Kowloon. My new room, in an apartment I share with some other girls, is extraordinarily tiny. I almost only sleep in the room as small as the bathroom of the apartment I used to live with my parents, for the rest of the time, I was either staying in the office or the library, luckily, I work in a library, or just loafing around the streets being by myself in a place I don’t know, surrounded by people I don’t recognize and to whom I mean nothing.

However, today I was suddenly reminded of an old hobby – calligraphy. I bought writing brush and ink slab in a store I saw the other day during a random walk. When I got back home, I realized doing calligraphy was such luxury for the tiny room I rent. The mini desk the landlord provided was piled with some of my books, a laptop, some documents and flyers from the Legislative Council candidates. I was never a tidy person and tend to leave all the insignificant stuff with me, such like chocolate wrapper, envelops with promotion ads sent from the credit card company among others.

Actually I had suggested the landlord help me get a book shelf on the wall so that I could save more space for the desk. Though happily having said no problem, for more than half a month, he did not act like there was no problem. I guess I was really annoying with calls and Emails, he finally said that I should find a book shelf myself and he would pay for it. But still, a book shelf for such a narrow wall was indeed hard to find.

When cornered with no option, I have to make a bookshelf myself with the shoeboxes I didn’t bother to throw away.

Here is how I did it:

Step one:  Measure the space and see the length you want the paper shelf to fit in, then cut the right paper.

Step two: Enhance the  folded part with more paper.

Step three: Fit into the space, oh, I also had brad nail on the wall to fix the shelf.

Step four: Not too many books, it may crash! Now I get some space for my calligraphy practice! 

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East end of the island

BY ALICE ZHAO

HONG KONG – Lying at the east end of the urban area of Hong Kong Island next to Shau Kei Wan, Chai Wan (Chinese: 柴灣) is mosaic of industrial and residential concretes. I took my first walk in this area with a friend last Saturday in this place. I arrived in a torrent of rains, the sky was clad in grey, the area features the old, tore warehouses still in its function, with trucks, boxes patching up along the street.

First look of Chai Wan outside the MTR station overlooking the bus station. (Photo: Alice Zhao)

Old and new (Photo: Alice Zhao)

Boxes piling up at the corner of a street. (Photo: Alice Zhao)

Prominent is the Farrari. (Photo: Alice Zhao)

Wasted paper and hardware collection. (Photo: Alice Zhao)

A dazed isolation. (Photo: Alice Zhao)

Time of calculation. (Photo: Alice Zhao) 

 

One of the most frequent scenes in Hong Kong. (Photo: Alice Zhao)

Residential area hide behind the warehouses.(Photo: Alice Zhao)

Uniform. (Photo: Alice Zhao)

A factory makes bullet-proof glass for the banks and other clients. (Photo: Alice Zhao)

An outdoor restaurant in the alley. (Photo: Alice Zhao)

passer-by. (Photo: Alice Zhao)

Hong Concrete. (Photo: Alice Zhao)

Right across the bowl we dash, see the bubbles emanate.(Photo: Alice Zhao)

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Power sees growth

BY ALICE ZHAO

HONG KONG – Power Assets Holdings Ltd.(0006.HK) posts another record interim results with net profit rising 6.8 percent to HK$4.333 billion, mainly driven by overseas operations.
HK business net slid 1.5 percent to HK$1.75 billion, while the rest surged 13.4 percent to HK$2.579 billion. Earnings outside Hong Kong represents 60 percent of the company’s total profit.
The electricity supplier pays 62 HK cents of interim dividend, same as last year.
Revenue rose 4.67 percent to HK$4.90 billion from HK$4.68 billion
Hong Kong electric unit sales were 3.4 percent higher to 5.20 billion kWh, with commercial sector accounting for 74.2 percent of the units sold, residential sector 22.8 percent and industrial sector 3 percent.
Apart from Hong Kong, the utility and infrastructure company controlled by tycoon Li Ka-shing has interests in electricity distribution in the UK, Australia, New Zealand, power generation facilities in mainland China, UK, Thailand and Canada, and a gas distribution network in the UK.
It’s peer in Hong Kong, CLP Holdings Ltd. (0002.HK),  warned that its financial result in 2012 will be adversely impacted by lost generating capacity and the cost of maintenance work earlier this month.
Power Asset supplies power to Hong Kong island, while CLP Holdings., Hong Kong’s biggest power provider, supplies Kowloon and the New Territories.
Shares of Power Asset rose by 1.18 percent, closing at HK$60 yesterday. CLP was also up 1.14 percent at HK$66.
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Mainland students remember Tiananmen in HK

BY ALICE ZHAO

Candlelight vigil in Victoria Park. (Photo: Alice Zhao)

HONG KONG – For the first time in his life, Alex Wu, a mainland student studying in Hong Kong, joined a public event to mourn the bloodshed in Tiananmen Square 23 years ago, together with 180,000 others in China’s last Mecca for freedom of speech in Victoria Park’s candlelight vigil Monday night.

According to organizer Hong Kong Alliance, a record turnout of 180,000 attended the vigil. The crowds occupied six soccer fields, basketball courts and grass areas, waving candles as the speeches and songs from the stage going on. Thousands more stood outside the off-roped park.

Fang Zheng, activist survived the crackdown in 1989 but lost his legs as the tank crushed over, appeared in wheelchair. Fang said he was so glad Hong Kong citizen are striving for freedom while the central government adopted the high-pressure policy in the mainland.

Student leader Wang Dan in 1989’s demonstration told the audience from a recorded message that she believes Hong Kong people’s insistence will one day pay off as the Burmese democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi has been freed after years of struggle.

There was also voice from the Tiananmen Mothers Group sending gratitude for Hong Kong’s efforts to speak for the murdered, poisoned and expelled.

China doesn’t allow mainland events to commemorate the crackdown, even words like “1989“, “candlelight” remain taboo on the Internet for the particular time.

Wu went to Victoria Park with seven of his mainland friends, arriving early to secure the first row near the stage. They sat, stood, and clapped as they mourned, sang and shout for democracy for China.

Wu accumulated his “limited knowledge” over the Tiananmen crackdown by talking with friends, and sometimes breaking off the Great Fire Wall browsing information he may not access otherwise.

“I know such a thing happened, and the government hid a lot of facts,” Wu said that is all he knows about the June Fourth Incident, as it is sometimes whispered referred in the mainland.

Wu said the crackdown might help to gain the stability for the government at a particular time, but it nearly destroyed the hope of citizen society in China. “After that mainland Chinese just joined the silent majority with a sense of cynicism, indifferent to politics,” said Wu.

“I was profoundly touched. I’m sure they already knew most of the background stuff, but they actually bothered to join in still to get the ‘feel’,” said Hong Kong journalist and politician Claudia Bowring. Bowring witnessed the bloodshed in Tiananmen Square as the Beijing correspondent for Agence France-Presse in 1989.

A former reporter with a Chinese stated-owned newspaper at site when the crackdown happened, now a lecturer in a Hong Kong university, suggested students from the mainland to grasp the chance of living in Hong Kong to read more about different descriptions of the incident.

“It was such a complicated incident, students should read comprehensively, think critically, and observe by themselves to understand the incident,” said the lecturer. He listed memoirs by Li Peng(who used his authority as Premier to declare martial law after students demonstration in 1989), Zhao Ziyang( President of China in 1989 , who later was purged politically and placed under house arrest for the next 15 years), as wells as the books by expelled students leaders and activists.

Coming back from the vigil, Wu tried to share the Hong Kong spirit with friends in the mainland through Sina Weibo, a popular social network in China similar to Twitter. A picture with a T-shirt printing “Not willing to remember, not daring to forget” was soon blocked by the system.

“Sina Weibo and Renren has a severe restriction about ‘Tiananmen incident’ this year, even if I told the fact that I was born in 1989, 23 years old,” said Wu.

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Images of the fresh market

As a paradise for shopping, Hong Kong never disappoints any customers. As new malls spring up and gush out in the most heated plazas, the old-fashioned fresh markets never fade away, though it sometimes stinks, smells, but it appears in every community of Hong Kong, making this city diversified, tolerant, and alive.

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A farewell to Hong Kong’s Hot Dog Buses

BY ALICE ZHAO

Hot Dog bus will retire by May, 9th, 2012. (Photo: Willy Ho)

HONG KONG – Hot Dog, nickname for “non air-conditioned buses” in Hong Kong, will disappear from the city forever as the last series of the old buses of Kowloon Motor Bus (KMB) will retire this Wednesday.

No. 5A, 16, 93K, 98A, the last batch of “hot dogs” (S3V), will reach the 17-year legal age limit of franchised bus in Hong Kong and  are required to stop revenue-earning service by law, marking an end to the iconic Hong Kong Hot Dogs.

Until KMB received their first air-conditioned double decker bus (Leyland Olympian 11m, fleet number AL1) in 1988, all franchised buses running in Hong Kong were non air-conditioned.

As the trial of the first air-con bus in the Colony was deemed successful, KMB started ordering air-con buses in a larger scale.

Last decades have witnessed the hot debate over global warming, which accelerated the change for Hong Kong buses. Being the typical monsoon-influenced humid subtropical climate, Hong Kong has an average temperature of 25℃ in summer, the maximum goes beyond 35℃. High temperature with still air flow inside the Hot Dogs triggered heat stroke of several bus divers every year.

After the arrival of 30 Volvo Olympian non air-con buses (S3V) in 1995, KMB ceased purchasing non air-con buses.

After the long service in the Asian world city, the Hot Dog’s received massive melancholy of farewell from Hong Kong citizen. Online forums are flooding with passenger’s nostalgia. You may be interested to have a glimpse of the buses once running in the bustle, which soon become history.

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A day in Gage Street

Thirty years of small business for Mr. Chan is rotated around the Gage Street: the fish, the seafood, the hustle and bustle, yet a day presents them all.

Mr. Chan came to the business 30 years ago and stayed with it ever since. Being a local entrepreneur, in the age of powerful megacorporations and corporate-backed governments, Mr Chan made Central diversified from the suited crowd, the glass-steeled buildings with a sense of busy without hurry, a rotation without mundane.

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