The amazing “scarefolding” of Hong Kong

By , August 10, 2010 8:30 am

One of the observations I made during the trip to Hong Kong is that it is a city that is very much in transformation as the new replaces the old at a relentless pace. I suppose that this isn’t very different from where we are in Singapore, where very much the same is happening. As is the case with Singapore, this change does sometimes take place at too rapidly for most to realise all too late that old and familiar places have suddenly vanished. What is certainly nice to see in Hong Kong is that there have been some attempts to retain some of the delightful older places, Wing Lee Street in Sheung Wan being one of them. This certainly provides the visitor to Hong Kong with an opportunity to have an experience of the Hong Kong that most don’t know about, a Hong Kong beyond colourful streets, towering skyscrapers, glorious food and limitless opportunities for shopping.

Much of Hong Kong is very much work in progress.

Construction activity is everywhere in Hong Kong.

A reflection of Hong Kong ... a reflection of the older buildings that would be replaced with the new that they are being reflected off.

Amidst all the construction activity, there is actually another bit of old Hong Kong that probably catches the eye … an old practice that is perhaps reminiscent of that in Singapore when I was growing up. It is something that one sees everywhere, being particularly hard to miss on the busy streets … bamboo scaffolding. This very old method of erecting scaffolding is used in much of the construction activity going on around Hong Kong, as well as in maintenance work on the exteriors of buildings and on the signboards that stick out from the buildings. These are also used in the construction of skyscrapers – something that seems unimaginable when observing the somewhat slow and primitive practice of scaffolding erection in which every joint is tied with a piece of twine, that seems out of place next to a modern skyscraper. Looking at how it is done, reminded me of a similar method of erecting scaffolding employed in Singapore when I was growing up. Back then, we used wooden poles which seems a lot sturdier than bamboo somehow, but tied using rattan twine in very much the same way. I distinctly remember how this type of scaffolding went up on the exterior of the block of flats that I lived in (all 20 floors of it) for a fresh coat of paint in the dressing up that was done for the visit of Queen Elizabeth II, having observed the men at work. Being the mischievous boy that I was, I even attempted to climb over from the parapet to the scaffolding on one of the lower floors, losing my nerve as I was about to. I did manage an attempt at climbing up on it from the ground floor though, managing to get up one floor before deciding that it was a little too “scary” for me to attempt getting any higher. I would refer to the scaffolding as “scarefolding” then and I couldn’t see how anyone would want to work on them perched twenty floors up, let alone try to put them up and always thought that the painters and scaffolding workers must have been fearless.

Bamboo poles lying on the streets are a common sight. These are used to erect scaffolding seen at the far end of the stack of poles.

Bamboo scaffolding is used for maintenance and construction everywhere.

A scaffolding worker tying a bamboo pole with twine seen from the Mid Level Escalators.

While the use and erection of bamboo scaffolding is amazing in itself, there is something else that one will definitely not miss that is equally amazing: scaffolding that overhangs over a street, sometimes extending out to lengths seem to defy the laws of physics, and sometimes only barely clearing the tops of vehicles passing on the busy street below them! Most of these I guess would be for erecting and maintaining the many neon signboards jutting out from the buildings above the streets. It must really be a feat putting these up … and, it probably has to take nerves of steel to be perched on one of these extended some seven or eight metres out over a busy street!

One won't miss the amazing sight of scaffolding that seem to defy the laws of physics extending out from the buildings. It must be quite a feat to put these up!

Another example of scaffolding that seem to defy the laws of physics.

These sometimes barely clear the tops of high vehicles passing under them.

香港龙舟嘉年华 270710

By , August 10, 2010 12:55 am

翌日,在办公室时,Alvin 打来,说,如果赢了新加坡部落格大奖,有无兴趣参加龙舟嘉年华的 “浴缸大赛”。同事当前,不假思索,便答应了。总不能让同事们说,我壮硕的体格(虽然比不过 最佳生活资讯得主 健身王 Darren,也自然比不过 “不可思议”的花旗副总 Peter),但总不愿承认自己不过是花瓶……

于是,答应了。

却在看到了报名表格时,呆了!

冷汗直冒,我都好几年没下水游泳了。但,我又怎能放弃一个在众国媒体前一展身手的机会呢? 于是,只好……

老实填啊!总不能说谎。但求一个 Unsure,能混过去,划浴缸!

可惜……

“锐伊,为了你的安全,我们还是决定……不让你下水划浴缸了。”

只好,好好当个 新媒体记者,cover 这项盛会!

不过,正所谓,塞翁失马,焉知非福!怎么个回事,请观看以下视频 —— 那可是锐伊独家版本哦!(也是 Peter 阴谋论所谓的失踪画面……)

[youtube vRwkbAojjDM]

哈哈哈!

未能下水,真的不是坏事。在一旁,我看到了龙舟赛手为此项运动所付出的心血、热汗、热泪(我也在狂流汗,但我的汗,绝对比他们少了几公升……),也想起了 赛龙舟的意义 —— 龙舟赛事纪念的爱国诗人,屈原。

屈原,也为楚国鞠躬尽瘁,付出一切心血、热泪(+热汗),但最后因顷襄王听信谗言而被流放,无奈投河自尽。屈原自尽,并非全因为被流放,而是因为,他已心灰意冷。

唉!

……灵机一动。不。我们“坠河”的两名参赛者,可绝非因为对世态心灰意冷而选择坠河哦!我们可否记得,不可思议的Peter 和 模特儿女王 Priscilla 曾说,为引起媒体注意,要翻船?这有些……巧合哦。

也仔细看一看,Pete 停止划浴缸,“失去平衡”,船翻,Geck Geck 便和他一起坠河。这…………

于是,大家,请别相信 Peter 所谓的密谋翻船一说,那是幌子!哈哈!

好,那你们相信谁呢?Who do you believe? Peter or the Ever TRUTHFUL Elaine?

答案不言而喻,The answer is so obvious.

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