Monday, January 30, 2006

The isle is full of noises

Yesterday we walked from Robinson Road to Repulse Bay, a journey that entails crossing Hong Kong Island from north to south. It was the first day of Chinese New Year and everywhere Hong Kongers and their families, in accordance with tradition, walked or drove to see each other. On the hiking trail we were following, inappropriately dressed women tripped down the path in heels and we passed one immaculate couple with artfully knotted sweaters who looked as though they were just on the way from the Country Club to their yacht.

Despite the sky high property prices, an unexpectedly large swathe of Hong Kong island is undeveloped - probably undevelopable, consisting as it does of precipitous hillsides swarming with dense greenery. We passed Parkview, a complex of three towers at the top of a steep incline, a place with its own supermarket, home to thousands of wealthy expats and the site of a notorious murder a couple of years ago. It's quite remote, yet gated and exclusive. It's a trite observation, but looking down at its sterile, graceless outline, you could almost see why that place would drive a woman to drug her husband, bludgeon him to death and, with spectacular ineptitude, attempt to hide his body in a carpet in the basement.

I realised how little of Hong Kong I've actually visited in the last few years: a GPS readout would show me circumscribing a very narrow path between the Lippo Centre for work, and SoHo for the gym and the restaurants, and IFC for shopping, with multiple trips to Zara and Lane Crawford, to my eternal, shallow shame.


Andy Hunter said...

you have an interesting quote by Harold Pinter in the corner of your blog. I have never seen it before. I wonder if a third category might be the unknowable. A distinction being that the unknown can be known at a certain point, but some things are simply unknowable. They cannot be the object of knowledge. Some might even say the bulk of things that exist are in this category.

LottieP said...

Yes, but logically the unknowable is still a subcategory of the unknown, so this does not prove Pinter wrong - if he would care: I always thought of this remark as a joke. A clever one, but still a joke.