Artistic endeavours

Artistic Endeavours
I’m curled up in bed with an empty teacup beside me watching Lethal Weapon.
The movie could be seen as a cultural touch stone, the first in a good-cop versus bad-drug-dealer franchise featuring slide guitar, gunfire, explosions and 1980s profanity.
Am I drawing a long bow?
The rest of the day is easier to classify.

Culture vultures

We visited the Hong Kong Heritage Museum in Shah Tin today, a more suburban part of Hong Kong in the New Territories, following an itinerary suggested by our local friend Ken.
Ken works for the hotel in a vague, concierge-come-butler capacity.
We see him every morning at breakfast and every evening at drinks.
Each day he asks us about our plans and then improves on them with tips on how to get there and where to eat and shop once we arrive, including directions to the nearest temple.

Thrill seeking

On Ken’s recommendation we caught the bus to Shah Tin, a double-decker thrill ride to rival the Ekka’s best.
From the front seat of the top deck we saw more of the city’s schools and hospitals and playgrounds, more housing towers and commercial blocks and occasional green patches.
Our Ninja bus driver helped us with directions once he realised we were struggling, unable to reconcile our surroundings with the map clutched in our hands.
He let us know when to alight and pointed out the path leading to the Museum.

Path wandering

This riverside path alone proved to be worth the bus fare.
Our fellow pedestrians nodded and smiled, saying hello when we passed and making us feel like locals.
Flying fish leapt from the water and large birds – eagles? – circled and swooped.
Loud music from an open air karaoke stand cut through the oppressive heat, while a man belted a song into a microphone and a group of middle-aged women danced a synchronised routine, swaying their arms and tilting their heads for a line-dancing meets Tai Chi effect.

Opera and Kung Fu

We left the river reluctantly and made our way to the museum, dividing our time between exhibits on Cantonese Opera and Bruce Lee, covering the cultural essentials.
We admired jade scabbards and porcelain teacups decorated in different flowers for each calendar month.
Mine was the Osmanthus, also know as Devilwood.
The Ballerina could claim White Peach.
We drank coffee in the museum cafe, a bright open space with good beans and cool music. I could have sat there all day.

Our daily shop

Alas Ken’s itinerary called for more shopping malls, so we followed his map to the New Town Plaza.
Here we looked at sneakers and ate lunch in the booth of a Vietnamese restaurant on the seventh floor.
A thousand Buddhas beckoned from a nearby temple but we couldn’t face the steep climb.
Instead we took three different trains back to Hong Kong Island, tired but not quite defeated.

An opening

After a quiet G&T in the lounge we wandered up to Wan Chai again, dropping into a local gallery for the opening of an exhibition by Australian artist and Hong Kong resident Anna Gleeson.
The works were interesting but didn’t move me.
The Husband thought we should buy three (he likes sets of things).
Instead we bought a print by another Australian, Damon Kowarsky, which the Ballerina had admired on our first visit.

Playing my part

In a final nod to the arts we created our own masterpiece outside the gallery, using a nearby mural as a backdrop for some night time portraiture.
It’s doubtful these creative efforts will ever command the prices Mel Gibson charges but these words and images are my humble contribution to the artistic landscape.
Angela Bensted Bw 1x1
Angela Bensted is a Brisbane-based freelance writer who likes to listen first and struggle with syntax later. She pitches stories to magazines and helps businesses produce compelling copy for print and online.
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