HOW DEPRESSION IS CURABLE
WHO REALLY RUNS THE TRANSLANTAU
W in t i ck I l D i vo et c thea s, Abiga oncert tre t ilâ€™s P ic mon ey m kets, a arty nd a n c la s s a t ag e m e n a Enri ch! t
Boarding school not an option? Time to meet the grandparents! Join your community online @ www.arounddb.com
碧如臺 BIJOU HAMLET
Gross: 3100’ Saleable: 2403’ 4 4
Gross: 1801’ Saleable: 1556’
Sensationally renovated garden house with private pool, modern kitchen & high ceiling.
Gross: 1519’ Saleable: 1314’
Stunning garden house with amazing sea views. With golf cart and membership
Spacious layout, terrace with panoramic sea views.
Gross: 1298’ Saleable: 1108’ 3 2
Gross: 890’ Saleable: 631’
Spacious living, equipped with open kitchen and balcony with great sea views.
Large family home, luxury living, terrace and with amazing sea views. A must see!
海堤居 LA COSTA
Spacious living, good condition, walking distance to DB plaza and pier.
Bright renovation stylish duplex, terrace with stunning sea views & fully fitted equipped kitchen.
Very good condition, spacious layout, balcony and concierge service.
Gross: 1500’ Saleable: 1314’ 3 2
Nicely decorated, balcony with panoramic sea views.
Gross: 1350’ Saleable: 1033’ 3
Good sized studio flat, efficient layout, best for couple or single.
Gross: 2055’ Saleable: 1633’ 3
Gross: 1037’ Saleable: 929’ 3
Ideal family home with modern kitchen and in a very good condition.
Gross: 2075’ Saleable: 1995’ 3
Gross: 432’ Saleable: 368’ 0
Gross: 699’ Saleable: 591’ 2 1
Renovated, good condition, balcony with great views, close to DB plaza and pier.
NOW AVAILABLE IN HONG KONG
BRAZIL’S BEST KEPT SECRET FOR SUPER SMOOTH, LUSTROUS HAIR • • • • • •
COMBATS FRIZZ REDUCES VOLUME GIVES EXTRAORDINARY SHINE STRENGTHENS & PROTECTS 0% FORMALDEHYDE* LASTS UP TO 3 MONTHS†
The first hair smoothening treatment to use award‐winning apple stem‐cell technology and all‐natural active ingredients, Discovery is the best‐selling smoothening product on the Brazilian market. * Test Report No. HKHC1308007613HC performed with reference to the European Directive 90/207/EC by SGS Hong Kong Ltd. , member of the SGS Group (SGS SA) † In‐salon smoothing treatment lasts up to 3 months. Continuous At‐Home use will progressively improve the condition of the hair.
WWW.YBERA.COM.HK T: +852 2886 3820
Great brands at
Maxi Cosi PrioriXP Car Seat
$2,490 Aspace Oundle Bunk Bed
Tomy TFV600 Digital Video Monitor
Dream Blankets Kiddylicious Fruit & and Quilts Snacks Vegetable
Mamas & Papas Rialto
$5,999 Silk White or Natural
Mattresses and trundle sold separately
various colours/patterns available from
Bubble Dream Fruit & Kiddyliscious Blankets Vegetable Snacks and Quilts
Mattress sold separately Natural, Ivory or Natural & Ivory
Beaba Babycook Duo
Lascal BuggyBoard Maxi
$199 Various colours and patterns available from $6.50
$11,699 (including canopy)
Mamas & Papas Baby Snug & Tray
BKids Baby Drive'n Push Racer
Mamas & Papas Din Dins Highchair
Mustela Sun Protection Range
from $95 $1,290
Pedder Building Store 5/F Pedder Building,12 Pedder Street, Central T: 2522 7112 Horizon Plaza Store 21/F Horizon Plaza, 2 Lee Wing Street, Ap Lei Chau T: 2552 5000 www.bumpstobabes.com
Young Writers’ Competition
Around DB’s Young Writers’ Competition is now officially open for entries! All secondary school students living and/ or studying on Lantau Island are eligible to enter. So come on teen scribes we want to hear from you! Around DB’s Young Writers’ Competition (YWC) is your chance to prove and improve your writing skills, express your ideas and get published! From the articles submitted our three mentors will each select a winning story and work on improving it with the author. The three finished articles will then be posted on www.arounddb.com and the Around DB Facebook page for an online vote. The deadline for submission to firstname.lastname@example.org is February 14.
• A secondary school student living and/ or studying on Lantau Island
The article is:
• A profile piece about a Lantau resident • A nonfiction account – 600 to 700 words • Authors submit their name, age, year group and school (the judges will be given the age of the writers only)
How it works:
• February 14: Deadline for submission to email@example.com Past winners: Talla Buffery, Sophie Green and Ken Arima • February 15 to 24: Mentors select three winning entries • February 25 to March 11: Each mentor meets with one winning writer to provide advice on improving the article. The writer reworks the piece and resubmits it to his/ her mentor, who checks it and passes it to Around DB for online posting • March 17: Online voting ends at 6pm
What you get:
• The winning article is published in the April issue of Around DB • All three winning writers are profiled in the April issue of Around DB • HK$1,000, HK$500 and HK$400 Dymocks book vouchers for first-, second-, and third-place winners • A copy of I am Malala, by Malala Yousafzai with Christina Lamb, for all three winners • Prize giving at Dymocks DB, the competition sponsor
About the mentors:
Karmel Schreyer and Lauren Gordon are delighted to be reprising their role as YWC mentors, and this year Around DB welcomes Peter Sherwood on board to round out the mentoring team. All three mentors are writers and journalists of long-standing, parents, DB residents and, of course, Around DB contributors.
Be sure to check the YWC guidelines online at www.arounddb.com, or the Around DB Facebook page, and submit your article by February 14 to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Karmel Schreyer, Peter Sherwood and Lauren Gordon
FEBRUARY 2014 FEATURES 26 PROFILE Meet all-star DB girl cricketer Ruchitha Venkatesh 30 IN FOCUS Understanding depression: it is not sadness 36 FAMILY MATTERS Boarding with the grandparents
41 MONEY MATTERS Women on top 48 ESCAPES Take a Malaccan mini-break 54 ACTION Organising the TransLantau 58 LIFESTYLE Outdoor furniture trends 2014
REGULARS 18 COMPETITIONS Win big prizes at www.arounddb.com 44 TALKING POINTS Help for helpers in debt
46 MOMENTS Get set for DC Arts Fest 64 DB FACES Candid community snaps 76 OUT THERE Thoughts on island life
AGENDA 08 IN&AROUND DB Catch up with the latest community news 20 ACROSS LANTAU What’s happening island wide
62 HK HAPPENINGS Hot stuff from across the harbour
66 CLASSIFIEDS Great deals, employment, businesses and more 70 PROPERTY Choice local and overseas homes to buy or rent 73 LOCAL NUMBERS Your ultimate guide in DB and Lantau
S LLY RUN WHO REA ANTAU NSL THE TRA
ORT SUPP STEM
RESSIO HOW DEP E IS CURABL
Readers with a feature story idea, please email email@example.com If you would like to publicise a local event, email firstname.lastname@example.org For general enquiries, email email@example.com AROUND DB, Bay Media Ltd, 7E Glamour Court, Discovery Bay Call 2987 0577 | Fax 2987 0533
For the latest AROUND DB updates, find us on
ON THE COVER
Win Il Divo concer tickets, Abigail’s t Party theatre tickets money manag , and a ement class at Enrich!
t an optio
ool no arding sch
@ ww ity online commun Join your
in DB since
The joys of boarding – with the grandparents! Illustration by Rift Leschinsky
Twitter and www.arounddb.com
YOUR ROUNDUP OF RECENT COMMUNITY EVENTS!
Publisher Corinne Jedwood firstname.lastname@example.org
A trip to Antarctica for a wellknown DB environmentalist! A holistic medicine centre opening in DB North Plaza! And something new (and comic) for Around DB! Talk about a sea change! For more It’s all been event photos happening visit the in DB! photo gallery at
Editor Rachel Ainsley email@example.com Editorial coordinator Hannah Ball firstname.lastname@example.org Digital media coordinator Vicki Yu email@example.com Advertising Lissa Morris firstname.lastname@example.org
Art direction Terry Chow email@example.com Photography Baljit Gidwani www.photosdb.net Nancy Paddison firstname.lastname@example.org Vincent Ypersiel email@example.com Illustration Fred Boot Rift Leschinsky Accounts Rebecca Wong firstname.lastname@example.org Contributors this month Beverly Au Talla Buffery (Intern) Jane Clyde Catharine Nicol Simon Parfitt Karmel Schreyer Peter Sherwood Disclaimer The views expressed in Around DB are not necessarily those of the publisher, editor or contributors. The publisher and editor cannot be held responsible for differences of opinion or statements published in good faith. The publisher, contributors, their employees and partners are not responsible for the results of any actions, errors or omissions taken on the basis of information contained in this publication and expressly disclaim all and any liability for any such action of any person. The mention of specific companies or products in articles or advertisements does not imply that they are endorsed or recommended by this magazine or its publisher in preference to others of a similar nature which are not mentioned or advertised. No part of this magazine may be reproduced in any form without permission.
Photos by Gary Stokes
CLIMATE CHANGE! From December 14 to January 3, City University of Hong Kong sent 23 students on an expedition to Antarctica, accompanied by DB photographer and environmental activist, Gary Stokes. “We visited multiple sites, where the students carried out their experiments, while experiencing the incredible scenery and wildlife,” Gary explains. The expedition saw art and science students working together on 12 projects based around climate change. The scientists collected data sets, and the art students are now creating ways to visualise this data in an artistic form. These will be shown later in the year in an exhibition held at the university. Visit www.garystokesphotography.com to see more of Gary’s amazing photos.
INTEGRATED MEDICINE INSTITUTE
Photos by Around DB and Kevin Fung
celebrates DB opening! On January 6, the Integrated Medicine Institute (IMI), Asia’s largest natural and integrated medicine practice based in Central, opened its doors in Discovery Bay North Plaza. The occasion was marked by parties on January 10 and 11. Run by DB residents Graeme and Carole Bradshaw, IMI offers integrated health solutions through natural medicine. For more information about the clinic, visit www.imi.com.hk/dbclinic.
Enjoy a little LEMONTEA! Last month, DB die-hard Fred Boot offered to provide Around DB with a monthly comic strip, and here’s the first installment! A freelance graphic artist and part-time French teacher at Po Leung Kuk Choi Kai Yau School in Kowloon, (he also taught art as a supply teacher at Discovery Bay International School last year), Fred has lived in DB for three years with wife Nikki, and kids Elvire and Edgar. “Telling stories and drawing have been making me feel well and happy since I was five years old,” he says. “I like to share emotions with my audience. Lemontea Family is a little smile offered to the DB community.” Thanks Fred!
YOUR GUIDE TO UPCOMING COMMUNITY EVENTS
Photo by www.photosdb.net
CHINESE NEW YEAR! Don’t miss the Discovery Bay Recreation Club (DBRC) Chinese New Year celebrations. Not only will there be traditional lion dancing and complimentary Chinese snacks and tea from 10am at the DBRC, and from 11.30am at Club Siena, you can also see in the Year of the Horse with a Fireworks Harbour Cruise and dinner buffet in the evening. Entry to the lion dance is free for members, and dressing in Chinese costume is recommended. For more information, call the DBRC on 2987 7381, or email email@example.com.
Celebrate the Year of the Horse, Valentine’s Day and Spring Lantern Festival! Get into the DC Arts Festival and DBIS Green Week! Shop Handmade Friend us Hong Kong and on Facebook the DB Flea for event Market. It’s all reminders happening this month in DB!
Photo by Vincent Ypersiel
‘til you drop!
Treat yourself to a shopping spree at the Handmade Hong Kong bazaar in DB Plaza from 11am to 6pm. If you’re looking to sell quality handmade goods, you can reserve your place for the May 11 bazaar at www.handmadehongkong.com. Registration opens on February 12 and closes on February 26.
Head to Tai Pak Wan for the annual inter-school touch rugby tournament organised by Discovery Bay International School. Starting at 9am, around 350 Year 5 and 6 students from 16 Hong Kong schools compete for the boys’ and girls’ cup, which was won last year by Discovery College. If you would like to help referee, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Your chance to
GET PUBLISHED! Photo by Around DB
FOR A TASTE OF BRAZIL look out for an authentic churrascaria coming soon to DB North Plaza. For more information, email email@example.com. 10
Are you a secondary school student living and/ or studying on Lantau Island with a way with words? Around DB’s Young Writers’ Competition (YWC) is your chance to improve your writing skills, get advice from expert writers, win great prizes and get published! But hurry – the entry deadline is February 14! Turn to page 5 for more information, check out the YWC guidelines at www.arounddb.com, or call us at 2987 0577.
Email firstname.lastname@example.org if you’d like to be included in this section
VALENTINE’S DAY for DB lovers
You can celebrate Valentine’s Day and Spring Lantern Festival on the same day this year, for the first time in 19 years! Enjoy special menus at DB restaurants, write your names on a Love Lock and attach it to the D’Deck Eternal Love Tree, and enjoy the hundreds of candles lit on Tai Pak Wan. You can also enter the D’Deck Romantic Vacation Lucky Draw to win a getaway with Turkish Airlines, or an overnight stay, lunch or afternoon tea at the Auberge Discovery Bay. For more information, visit www.ddeck.com.hk.
Photo courtesy of www.hkri.com
SIGN WITH YROCK! Budding songwriters and performers won’t want to miss YRock’s four Saturday afternoon workshops on Songwriting and Gig Preparation at Hemingway’s in DB Plaza, starting February 15. Participants, age 13 to 19, are taught by YRock music director Chris Collins, in preparation for a gig on the afternoon of March 9. For more information, visit the YRock POP Facebook page or go to www.yrock.com.hk.
ary 15 s) Feberquuent Saturday ubs
Photo by www.photosdb.net
STOCK UP on all things green at the Plant Market across from Haven Court, 2pm to 4.45pm.
DMR DANCERS take centre stage
DMR School of Ballet celebrates 30 successful years of dance this month! Its dancers are renowned for their showmanship, so don’t miss the celebratory stage production of Ask Alice, based on two well-loved classics, Alice in Wonderland and The Snow Queen. Performances are being held at the Y Theatre, Youth Square, Chai Wan at 7.30pm on February 15, and 2.30pm on February 16. For more information Photo by Bradley Wayburne and ticketing details, call 2987 4338.
DB - Mui Wo
FERRY SERVICE EXTENDED! Great news! Amy Yung, Islands District Council member (Discovery Bay), reports that the licence for the DB - Mui Wo Kaito ferry service has been extended until February 9, 2016. On Saturdays, Sundays and public holidays, the schedule remains the same. But during the week, there’s only going to be one ferry from Mui Wo to DB (departing at 7.20am), and only one from DB to Mui Wo (departing at 3.10pm). Both stop off at Peng Chau. For more information, call the Kaito operator Ken Wong on 6121 4188.
training for helpers
If you are a helper and you need a hand handling your finances, sign up for a workshop with Enrich, the Hong Kong based charity, co-founded by DB resident Myriam Bartu. You’ll learn how to manage your expenses, keep to a budget and reduce your debts. Classes are held at La Petite Enfance in DB North Plaza. For more information, turn to page 44, visit www.enrichhk.org, or check out the Enrich HK Facebook page.
Photo by Ben Loran
Kids at Discovery Bay International School (DBIS) are going green this month! There’ll be competitions to win ‘eco points’, a rubbish-free picnic to attend, and great speeches on various environmental issues. Everyone can enjoy watching the kids’ ‘walking school bus’ on February 21. For more information, visit www.dbis.edu.hk.
3 ry 2 a u r Feb y 23 ar Febru
Photo courtesy of Myriam Bartu
DBN Family Kingdom Get ready to have fun in a colourful world of bouncy castles and artsand-crafts at the DBN Family Kingdom being held in DB North Plaza from 1pm to 6pm.
BUY AND SELL all your lightly used goods at the flea market in DB Plaza from 12 noon until 5pm.
DO YOUR BIT
with Remar Hong Kong
Photo courtesy of www.hkri.com
Remar Association Hong Kong, introduced by DB resident and founder of DB Mothers & Friends Nikki Boot, is a Christian charity that helps rehabilitate drug addicts, alcoholics, the homeless and others in need. At the Remar home in Pat Heung in the New Territories, 20 people are housed, fed, clothed and cared for free of charge. Remar provides a long-term rehabilitation programme and vocational training. For more information or to make a donation, visit www.remarhongkong.com or the DB Mothers & Friends Facebook page.
3 RD - 4 TH, APRIL, 2014
SEE THE ABILITY, NURTURE THE POTENTIAL 3 RD - 4 TH, APRIL, 2014
PARENTS, CAREGIVERS, ASD INDIVIDUALS & PROFESSIONALS WELCOME
SEE THE ABILITY, NURTURE THE POTENTIAL
PILATES AND YOGA IN THE PLAZA
It’s not just another workout.. It’s a lifestyle!
DR. TONY ATTWOOD
M.SC., PH.D., A.F.B.PS.S., M.C.C.PS. CLINICAL PSYCHOLOGIST
DR. ISABELLE HENAULT
QR code generated on http://qrcode.littleidiot.be
• MAT • REFORMER • MVe – CHAIR CLASSES • 50+ MAT & REFORMER • FITBALL • YOGA – HATHA • FLOW & POWER YOGA • YOGA – 3 – 6 YEARS OF AGE
Tel: 6624 8712 Email: email@example.com Website: www.embody.hk
M.A., PH.D. CLINICAL PSYCHOLOGIST CYBERPORT CONFERENCE & EXHIBITION CENTER
REGISTER ONLINE NOW
FOR FURTHER INFO
t. 852 3762 2523
1 March Photo by www.photosdb.net
DC ARTS FESTIVAL Events open to all, during Discovery College (DC) Arts Festival, include the DC Arts Fair, a performance by Australian drumset artist Chris Brien, a comedy night, balloon act and puppet show. DC pupils can expect numerous activities throughout the week, including street dancing, and art (graffiti and Chinese watercolour painting) classes. For more information, visit www.discovery.edu.hk. Tickets for the public shows are on sale at www.ticketingover.com from February 1. For more details turn to page 46.
to stop human trafficking Last year, several DB residents were involved in a sponsored bike ride across Cambodia and Vietnam to raise funds for the Somaly Mam Foundation, a Cambodian charity supporting victims of human trafficking. To get involved in a nine-day ride this November, email Alison Price at firstname.lastname@example.org, or ‘like’ the Cycling to Stop the Traffik Facebook page. Alternatively, you can make a donation at Uncle Russ in DB Plaza.
They want you as a
DB Army Cadets is recruiting teens, age 11 to 17, into its Junior Leaders training programme. Following the syllabus of the British Army Cadet Force, the aim is to develop character and leadership skills. Military-style training sessions are held every Saturday at 10am to 12pm, and everyone meets outside Glamour Court. To find out more, email email@example.com or visit www.fitness-pros-db.com.
Photo courtesy of Discovery College
SUNRISE TO SUNSET Don’t miss the first ever, 12-hour Sunrise to Sunset (S2S) charity relay race at Siena Park, organised by three Year-13 Discovery College students, Sie Rossiter, Shinya Mizuno and Zachary Kilbourne. Aiming to raise funds for the Chungking Mansion Refugee Service Centre (CMSC), teams of six to 24 runners will complete as many laps as they can in 24 hours (8am to 8pm). If you would like to provide sponsorship, or to enrol before February 18, visit www.discovery.edu.hk/s2s.
Discovery Bay Junior Leaders training program follows the syllabus of the British Army Cadet Force. The aim of which is to help teenagers develop their character and leadership skills through military style training. This training will increase the trainees’ sense of responsibility, self-esteem, adaptability, discipline, mental strength, fitness & community service. For serious junior leaders the program also includes training at Hong Kong’s Army and Adventurous Training Camp where cadets can qualify & test their skills against other cadet units. For Ages 11-17 Years (Junior Cadet) & 18 Years + (Adult Potential Instructor) Contact the DB Troop Commander by email on:
Weekly DB Training Day: Saturday Mornings – RV Glamour Court
10:00 – 12:00
For more information see DB Junior Soldiers at:
photo by Bradley Wayburne
Good luck to all participants of this wonderful performance!
15th & 16th February 2014 Youth Square, Hong Kong Shop 112 DB Plaza, Discovery Bay
firstname.lastname@example.org | www.dmr-hk.com
Email email@example.com if you’d like to be included in this section
OUR SERVICES DOG & CAT GROOMING ( BY APPOINTMENT ) PET FOOD & ACCESSORIES SUPPLIES CAT SITTING SERVICE FREE DAILY DELIVERY AD PAge
Ground floor 11B, Discovery Bay Plaza, Discovery Bay (next to Island Vet) Tel: 2987 0428 / Fax : 2914 1313 / E-mail : firstname.lastname@example.org Open from 9:00 am till 7:30 pm (Mon - Sun)
DONATE NOW PAWS Homing Day
Head to My Petshop in DB North Plaza, between 1pm and 6pm, to stop human trafficking to find dogs and cats in need of loving homes. The Hong Kong
Paws year, Foundation also holds adoption days Saturday Last several(PAWS) DB residents were involved ineach a sponsored from 3pm to 6.30pm in DB Plaza. For more information, bike ride across Cambodia? to raise funds for the Somaly email Mam email@example.com. Foundation, a Cambodian? charity supporting victims of human trafficking. y 2involved in a nine-day ride this November, arget ruTo Feb email Alison Price at firstname.lastname@example.org, or like the Cyclingtostopthetraffic? Facebook page. Alternatively, you can make a donation at Uncle Russ in DB Plaza. Join Protection of Animals Lantau South (PALS) for an animal lovers’ party! Pets n’ Pampering, held at My Petshop in DB North Plaza from 12 noon to 4pm, gives pet lovers a chance to ask questions about their pets and even adopt animals in need of a home. To find out more, call Jacqui Green on 2984 1626 or 9197 4371.
PALS’ Pets n’ Pampering
CAKES for dogs! Do you love baking? If the answer is yes, Hong Kong Paws Foundation (PAWS) needs your help. Hoping to raise money for animals in need, the charity is looking for volunteers to bake items to sell at its booth at the Handmade Hong Kong bazaar. For more information, email email@example.com.
ADOPT A DOG!
Protection of Animals Lantau South (PALS) is hosting Adoption in the Plaza from noon to 4pm. You can also consult with experts about animal related issues. For more information, call Jacqui Green on 2984 1626 or 9197 4371.
Swimming for Children Harry Wright International - The Premier Swim School Lessons from Parent & Infant through to competitive training • Club Siena & Discovery Bay Recreation Club • Professional instruction • Structured & progressive program • Indoor heated pool Please call 2575 6279 or email firstname.lastname@example.org Website: www.harrywright.com.hk
Accepting Enrollment for Easter Camp & March - June 2014
Win tickets to see Il Divo
Here’s your chance to win great prizes! Around DB competitions are
Don’t miss Il Divo’s new show incredibly easy to enter (you’ll even find the answers to our A Musical Affair, comprised questions right here). You have until exclusively of hit songs from the February10 to submit your answers. world’s greatest musicals, such as To enter, click on the competitions The Phantom of the Opera, Cats, Les link at www.arounddb.com. Misérables and West Side Story. The Don’t forget to give us your name and telephone number! classical crossover group of four, who has sold over 26 million albums, takes to the stage at Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre, Wanchai for one night only on March 23. You can buy tickets, starting at HK$490, at www.hkticketing.com.
Photos courtesy of Myriam Bartu
When was Enrich founded? How many albums has Il Divo sold?
Photo courtesy of United Events
United Events is offering three readers a pair of B-reserve tickets (worth HK$1,380 per pair) to see A Musical Affair.
Enrich workshop giveaway
Seeking to address domestic helpers’ vulnerability to financial difficulties and abuse since 2007, Hong Kong charity Enrich provides practical training in financial literacy, business development and communications. As well as regular DB workshops, it provides one-on-one advice for migrant workers who have specific concerns about their finances. Find out more by turning to page 44, and visiting www.enrichhk.org or the Enrich HK Facebook page. Enrich is offering six readers a gift voucher (worth HK$280 each) to attend any of its financial workshops.
Enjoy Abigail’s Party Can you name the director of the Hong Kong production?
Photo by Michael Perini
Hong Kong Players is giving away two pairs of tickets (worth HK$560 per pair) to see Abigail’s Party on opening night, February 26.
Don’t miss Hong Kong Players’ production of Mike Leigh’s award-winning 1977 play, Abigail’s Party. Directed by Jodi Gilchrist, it’s showing at the McAulay Studio Theatre, Hong Kong Arts Centre in Wanchai, February 26 to March 1. Join the world’s original ‘Essex girl’ Beverly, in this suburban comedy of errors, as she hosts a party for virtual strangers. For more information on the the Hong Kong Players, visit www.hongkongplayers.com; for tickets go to www.urbtix.hk.
Congratulations to last month’s winners Celia Coene, Adam Wallace and Herman Luk for tickets to see Horrible Histories: Terrible Tudors at KidsFest; Irene Karton and Jennifer Mangel for the Movement Improvement fitness packages; and Leonie Parrot, Yvonne Becher and Cathy Blanc for the holistic sessions at Integrated Medicine Institute. Please contact our office on 2987 0577 to collect your prize.
Photos by Kim Campbell
Ark Eden student project TO SAVE DOLPHINS Some 50 local students put up a united front on January 8, delivering handwritten Postcards to the Assistant Secretary of the Environmental Protection Department, Joyce Young, each requesting that the waters of West Lantau and the Soko Islands be designated as marine parks. This would provide a safe, pollution-free home for the Chinese white dolphins (locally known as pink dolphins) which inhabit these waters and are currently under threat of extinction. The number of dolphins in Hong Kong in 2012 was 61, down from 158 in 2003. The students were supported in this initiative by Ark Eden Foundation, the Mui Wo-based charity which works to preserve Hong Kong’s natural environment. Including the first batch of postcards delivered in June 2013, over 6,000 letters have so far been sent to the Environmental Bureau. For more information about Ark Eden Foundation, visit www.arkedenonlantau.com.
SEE WHAT’S BEEN HAPPENING ACROSS LANTAU!
An Ark Eden-led initiative to save the pink dolphins! And a thought-provoking eco-installation on Mui Wo Beach. It’s For more event photos all been visit the happening photo gallery at in Lantau! www.arounddb.com
BEACH CLEANUP with a difference Working with 10 volunteers, environmental artist Liina Klauss created this stunning installation on Mui Wo Beach on January 15. “I’m an artist who works with waste,” she says. “Someone asked me the other day if I was lab sab po, a trash lady. It made me laugh. But actually this is a serious question and the offensiveness of the term shows our lack of value for waste. Rather than seeing waste as worthless, we have to shift our perception to see the value in waste. And this is what I’m doing. I make waste look beautiful and worth a second look.” If you want to lend a hand, sign up on her blog, liinaklauss.blogspot.com or email Liina at email@example.com.
Photos courtesy of Liina Klauss
THE RED LANTERN Genuine antiques, small pieces of delightful furniture from the late Ching Dynasty.
4 minutes' walk from the ferry in Mui Wo in the direction of the Silvermine Beach Hotel.
Free Delivery to DB Tel: 2987 0099 Fax: 2980 4833 firstname.lastname@example.org
OFFICE 3483 5003
Kelly Merrick Sharon Riley Kendri So Karmen Cheung
9331 8141 9664 4749 3483 5003 9520 8243
(S-365384) (S-415474) (S-301473) (S-417315)
NOW SERVING SOUTH LANTAU AND TUNG CHUNG
Now you can shop online at Bizzie Lizzie Visit http://www.bizzielizzie.wazala.com
10.28M CHEUNG SHA VILLAGE HOUSE 2100’ + 700’ Roof
Beautifully renovated. 4 Beds, 2.5 Bath inc 2 ensuites. Walk In Wardrobe in Master. Maids/laundry room with bath. Great location mins from beach.
PUI O VILLAGE HOUSE 2100’ + 700’ Roof
Spacious renovated home. 4 Beds, 2 Bath inc 1 ensuite. Well equipped open plan kitchen. Large tiled garden perfect for entertaining.
10K/3.4M MUI WO FLAT 381’ Net + 174’ Net Patio
Close to ferry pier. 2 Beds, 1 Bath, separate kitchen with cooker and fridge. Bright and quiet with lovely sea views. Great patio for entertaining.
25K 1/F & 2/F TONG FUK VILLAGE HOUSE 1400’ + 700’ Roof
Newly renovated & well designed home. 4 Beds & 3 Baths inc 1 ensuite. Open plan living/kitchen area. New air cons, lighting & flooring throughout. Great mountain & sea views.
7.8K www.bizzielizziehongkong.com Email: Bizzielizzie.email@example.com Tel: 2984 2227 Tuesday to Saturday 10.30 to 6.30, Sunday 10.30 - 6.00, Monday closed.
G/F HAM TIN VILLAGE HOUSE 350’
Making you feel at home is our business
Beautifully renovated fully furnished flat. 1 Bed, 1 ensuite Bath. Open plan kitchen with cooker, oven & ‘Smeg’ fridge. Big windows allow lots of natural light. Terrace area. Near to beach.
Call us any time at 3483 5003 or Email PROPERTY@HOMESOLUTIONS.HK
ISLAND-WIDE EVENTS FOR YOU TO ENJOY!
Photo courtesy of Garden Plus
CNY FAIR at Garden Plus
Sign up for the Lantau Beer Dash, the TransLantau, or a Valentine’s Raidlight race! Attend a Chinese New Year plant sale, and a yoga event for charity! Friend us It’s all happening on Facebook for event this month reminders in Lantau!
Celebrate the Year of the Horse at Garden Plus’ Chinese New Year Fair, from 11.30am to 4pm on February 1 and 2. You can expect to see plenty of auspicious plants on sale, and there’ll be a wine tasting for adults, and games for the kids. For more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit the Garden Plus Facebook page.
r y 15
Join Lantau Base Camp (LBC) in its Raidlight LBC 14 Valentine’s Day Race on February 15. This 14-kilometre trail run starts at 9.30am at Nam Shan. Each team of two must complete the whole course together. There are six different categories, two male and female, mixed and senior (combined age of 80+), and entry costs HK$500 per team. You can also register now for LBC’s next race, Prodig y Running Skir t Chaser, on March 2 in Mui Wo, supporting Hong Kong Breast Cancer Foundation. To r e g i s t e r f o r e i t h er rac e, o r f o r more information, visit www.lantaubasecamp.com.
Photo courtesy of 9 Dragons Fitness
Yoga FOR A CAUSE! Sign up now for a charity yoga class at 9 Dragons Fitness in Tung Chung on March 1 at 2pm. Any amount you choose to donate for the class will go to Youth Outreach HK, a charity dedicated to helping children and young adults in need. The Central-based yoga store Aumnie is donating a free gift to everyone who participates and after class there’ ll be a trunk sale of its clothing range, with 20 percent off all items. For more information, visit www.9dragonsfitness.com or email email@example.com.
Hong Kong’s First Trail Running Shop Online Shop, Free Events & Trail Races
www.lantaubasecamp.com facebook.com/LantauBaseCamp events.lantaubasecamp.com
FINANCIAL PLANNING ASK THE EXPERT Who am I?
KayeKaye Khemlani (PIBA No. 0032-009006), a native-English speaking insurance advisor, with a strong presence in Discovery Bay and Hong Kong.
I understand we all go through different stages of life and so do our insurance needs. Besides the mandatory insurances required by the HK Government (including domestichelper insurance, house insurance, home-office insurance, automobile coverage and life insurance), there are many optional insurances worth considering. This holiday season, quality travel insurance should be at the top of your list!
You may see this type of cover as unnecessary and expensive but honestly it isn’t! (And depending on your nationality, having travel insurance can be a requirement for getting your visa!) The primary benefit of travel insurance is the knowledge that should something go wrong while you are abroad, you won’t be responsible for finding the money to put it right, at a time when you are already stressed out. Make sure then that your policy covers the following: 1. Emergency medical treatment 2. Emergency medical assistance 3. Medical evacuation 4. Hospital benefit (a small daily amount covering overseas hospital costs) 5. Cancellation, curtailment and trip interruption 6. Missed departure 7. Personal liability (in the event that you injure a third party or damage their property) 8. Legal expenses 9. Personal accident 10. Personal belongings and baggage A standard travel insurance policy contains many different sections of cover, not all of which everyone needs. For most people a standard policy will cover all the unexpected events that can occur away from home. I wish you a happy and safe holiday!
My offer: I can do a comparison shop for you free of charge, to ensure that you have made the right choice and check that you have the right product at the right price.
February 15 2014
Youth Trail Championships
Race 1 26 JAN 2014 TAI TAM FAMILY WALK AGES 5 - 18 Race 2 2 MAR 2014 MUI WO, LANTAU AGES 8 - 18
Race 3 30 MAR 2014 TAI TAM VIOLET HILL AGES 8 - 18
Skirt Chaser March 2nd 2014 In Support of: HK Breast Cancer Foundation
HK Stairmaster Series May 10 & 24 2014
Salomon Lantau Trail 70km
Get on the TRANSLANTAU!
Registration is open for the third edition of the TransLantau on March 14 to 16. This trail-running event, starting and ending on Silvermine Beach in Mui Wo can be tackled solo or as a team of two. You can choose your distance: the Ultra 100km, the Ultra 50km, or the Explorer 15km. For more information, turn to page 54 or visit www.translantau.com.
Photo courtesy of TransLantau
Sign up for THE LANTAU BEER DASH Enrol now for the sixth Lantau Beer Dash, being held this year on March 22. The 5-kilometre fun run, starting at Ma Po Ping Prison and ending in Lower Cheung Sha, sees participants offered a different international beer at each (1-kilometre) check point. Entry is limited to 350 people and costs HK$350 for an individual or HK$1,360 for a team of four. Funds raised go to animal charities in South Lantau. For more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org; to enrol from February 1 go to www.active.com.
Photos by Terry Spring
Quality Meat, Fish, Poultry, BBQ packs and Value-Added Products for the best value-for-money in Hong Kong! Chilled Steaks, Marinated Chickens (Flatties / breasts / wings), Pork, Ribs, Lamb, Sausages, Burgers, Bacon, Cold Cuts, Hams, Salamis & Chorizo, Cheese, Smoked Chicken, Duck & Pork, Boerewors, Fresh & Smoked Salmon and a lot more… For home deliveries to DB and Tung Chung please check: www.foodhub.com.hk
OPENING HOURS: HOME DELIVERIES: Wednesday – Monday 9:30 am – 6:30 pm Available for Tung Chung and Discovery Bay Call Sami at 6504 or 4208 email@example.com email firstname.lastname@example.org | More about us on Closed onFACEBOOK Tuesdays – Chef’s Express www.foodhub.com.hk email
HOW TO GET THERE Chef’s express and patChwork JaCk FROM THE DB BUS STOP IN TUNG CHUNG, WALK UP TO SUNSHINE HOUSE SCHOOL, CROSS THE ROAD AT THE TRAFFIC LIGHTS TOWARDS THE TUNG CHUNG PUBLIC SWIMMING POOL AND NGONG PING BUS PARKING AREA, TURN RIGHT TOWARDS THE TAXI STAND UNDER THE CABLE CAR. WE ARE JUST BEHIND THE TAXI STAND IN THE OPEN AREA.
Fight the winter bugs naturally with homeopathic products Available at Patchwork Jack OPENING HOURS: Monday, Wednesday - Friday 11am - 3.30pm Saturday and Sunday 10.30am to 5pm Closed Tuesdays
Call Jenni 9762 1957
Photos courtesy of R. V. Venkatesh
Discovery Bay teen Ruchitha Venkatesh reveals what the sport of cricket has taught her, both in and out of the oval. Karmel Schreyer reports
Ruchitha with her father after her international cricketing debut in Singapore, October 2010
he’s 17 years old, and has played serious cricket for only four years, but Ruchitha Venkatesh has had more learning experiences packed into that short time than many a pro. Rather incredibly, she is playing in the Asian Cricket Council's (ACC) Women's Premier League 2014 Championships in Bangkok this month. And she has her sights set on representing Hong Kong at the 2014 Asian Games in South Korea in September – a lofty goal that has every possibility of being realised. It is an amazing trajectory for someone who didn’t play serious cricket until she was 13 years old. Still, Ruchitha was not entirely new to the game; her father Venkat played league cricket in India back in the day, and also here in Hong Kong. And Ruchitha played ‘tennisball cricket’ with the Junior Cricket Academy in Discovery Bay when she was 10.
Ruchitha has her sights set on representing Hong Kong at the 2014 Asian Games in South Korea in September – a lofty goal that has every possibility of being realised
HKCC Bowling at
Before we meet Ruchitha the cricketer, let’s find out about Ruchitha the DB teen, who is currently entrenched in the first year of the IB Diploma Programme at Discovery College. There are plans for university in Hong Kong, the UK or Australia – somewhere she can continue to play the game she loves. Venkat quips that “there are no boyfriends that we know of ”, not surprising since Ruchitha has a tough schedule to manage. As well as school, she has cricket training five days a week and then there are league or practice matches on the weekend. Hockey, football and ballet have fallen by the wayside. Still, Tuesday is her only free day after school.
Starting out So how did this passionate dedication to cricket come about? In 2009, Ruchitha decided to take up the opportunity offered for training at the Hong Kong Cricket Club (HKCC). “I was drawn to the spirit behind
Heading to Kuwait the game and the teamwork. Plus of course, it was fun,” she says. And she certainly hit the ground running, almost immediately getting into the Hong Kong Cricket Association (HKCA) Women’s League. That same year, Ruchitha was scouted to train-up for the Hong Kong Women’s National U-19 squad. She made the team, playing one game in the ACC’s U-19 Women's Championships in Singapore in October 2010. “Ruchitha took a wicket in the very first over she bowled in international cricket,”
Venkat says with pride. Not bad for one’s first year in the sport!
Gaining experience In 2012, Ruchitha made the Hong Kong Women's National U-19 team for the ACC U-19 Women's Championships in Kuwait, and she played in all games. That same year, the Hong Kong Women’s National U-21 squad went to Singapore to play in a FourNations Tournament, with the idea of picking the team for the Asia Cup tournament in Guangzhou (a prestigious tournament made up of Test-playing nations such as India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka). But Ruchitha did not make the cut for the U-21 squad, nor for the Asia Cup squad. This was, naturally, a big disappointment especially given that heady start in the sport. But she says in retrospect, “I was 15. It was a good lesson for me. I wasn’t mature. I was nervous. But I got over it. This made me more determined to keep at it and get back on the team.” And the opportunities returned. In January 2013, Ruchitha was on the Hong Kong Senior Women's National squad that travelled to Chiang Mai, Thailand, to play in the ACC Women's Championships. That tournament was also a qualifying tournament for the 2014 Asian Games scheduled to take place this September, where for the first time cricket will be a medal sport. The Hong Kong team reached the semi-finals and qualified for the 2014 Asian Games. Though Ruchitha was a member of the squad, she did not get to play in any of the games, and it would be easy to think this was another disappointment. But in fact her commitment to the team, as well as her genuine love of the game, became February 2014
ever more apparent. “When I didn’t get picked to play, I still worked hard,” she says. “We [the reserve players] have an important role, to support and cheer, and that includes running to give the players drinks during breaks, and to send them crucial strategy from the coaches.”
In her sights This past summer, Ruchitha was one of eight members of the Hong Kong Senior Women’s National squad selected for a high-performance training camp at Melbourne Cricket Ground in Australia. They trained with the Victorian State Women's team, and Ruchitha’s mentor was ‘leg spinner’ Molly Strano. Ruchitha roomed with two senior players on her own squad, and found the experience invaluable.
“Teenagers don’t have many worries – just homework and cleaning up after ourselves,” she says. “At the camp, we had to look out for ourselves and each other. We learned about our strengths and our weaknesses, and about time management. As we trained with the Victorian State Women’s squad we saw how disciplined they are, how they take the game seriously, and how they have amazing fitness and attitude.” Ruchitha, who is a medium pacer, a middle-order batter, and an opening bowler for her club, is discovering more about herself as a player, too. “I need to work on my batting. I need to learn to judge the ball and know what ball to play,” she says. “I’m still not an established player. I need to improve my confidence.” These are honest words, and humble ones too.
Find more local heroes
w w w. s a m s y a s i a . c o m
For a viewing in Discovery Bay, please call 852 92366467
Ruchitha is thankful to Anita and Rodney Miles of the HKCC, who gave her the chance to train with the club, develop her skills and reach where she is today in the game. She is clearly doing her best to serve the sport well, and we can see that the game and the people she has met along the way are serving her well, too.
• Asian Cricket Council, www.asiancricket.org • Discovery Bay Cricket Club ( Junior Cricket Academy), email@example.com • Hong Kong Cricket Association, www.cricket.com.hk • Hong Kong Cricket Club, www.hkcc.org
A DEVASTATING ILLNESS
Photos courtesy of www.wikipaintings.org
It is not sadness, writes 15-year DB resident Peter Sherwood
The Scream by Edvard Munch February 2014
e all feel sad, moody or low from time to time. Some people experience these feelings intensely, for weeks or even years, and sometimes without any apparent reason. Depression is more than just a low mood – it can be a seriously destructive mental illness that has an impact on both physical and mental health. According to the World Health Organisation, depression affects an estimated 350 million people globally. And recent studies reveal that one in five people in Hong Kong will suffer from anxiety and/ or depression during the next 12 months. What happens in the brain to cause depression is not fully understood. Evidence suggests it may be linked to changes in the levels or activity of three main neurochemicals related to mood and motivation.
What you resist will persist Men, take note. A few days ago some DB friends told me nervously that they think their son is depressed, adding: “When you see him please don’t mention it.” His wife was worried and friends shared the same secretive concern. Had he been found clinging by his fingertips to a high-rise balcony there would be open recognition of a crisis. With depression, particularly in men, there is mostly none, yet deep depression can also take us to the abyss, and over the edge. Secrecy is part of the problem. English comedian Stephen Fry, who makes no secret of his own manic depression, has this to say: “If you know someone who’s depressed, please resolve never to ask them why. Depression isn’t a straightforward response to a bad situation; depression just is, like the weather. Try to understand the blackness, lethargy, hopelessness and loneliness… It’s hard to be a friend to someone who’s depressed, but it is
one of the kindest, noblest and best things you will ever do.” Time to dispel some macho myths. Men are strong and we can tough this out; we’re problem solvers who need no help for what we see as an emotional female condition. Likely we have no idea what is happening to us and we have no name for it. Men tend to suffer less from depression than women (and extroverts far less than introverts) but women are more likely to seek help. Either way, nothing happens until we spit it out – to friends, family, doctor or therapist. Only when the problem is articulated can healing begin. Growing rates of depression, unhappiness and loneliness in the western world over the past four decades parallel the rise of wealth and endless frivolous choice. Despite the intense interaction via social media through billions of mobile devices the phenomenon continues.
Brawling with the ‘black dog’ I have struggled with this debilitating condition all my life. And, no, it’s
not sadness. Twenty years ago: icecold sweats, trembling, sleeping around the clock and an inability to eat had pounded me into frightening submission and finally, hospital, having shed almost one-third of my body weight. My doctors knocked me out and I remember nothing for 10 days. Depression has been called a black cloud descending. Churchill named it ‘the black dog’, yet despite its implacable ability to paralyse and grotesquely distort perception, changing a contented outlook into something bleak and physically dank, ‘black’ barely begins to describe it. Two decades later it was back in a rush: all pervasive, as terrifying as the first time, arriving with a brilliant morning in the Spanish Pyrenees, perfect for a long mountain hike. It came at me like a massive thunderstorm. When it struck I was helpless, and with no discernible reason for this attack in an environment I love deeply. In minutes I was shaking with heaving sobs as I sat on a rock, drained and in despair. Earlier I had rarely felt better or more in control of a life beset by the vagaries of a condition that shows no outward sign of any profound psychological distress. A friend put her arm around my shoulder, helping the tears flow more freely as the pain and freezing terror gradually subsided. Strangely, darkness did not engulf. This time it was different. As the English crime writer Agatha Christie [1890-1976] said, “I like living. I have sometimes been wildly, despairingly, acutely miserable, racked with sorrow, but through it all I still know that just to be alive is a grand thing.”
The description is not the described
Portrait of Lunia Czechowska by Amedeo Modigliani
Depression does not normally invite sympathy. The most that sufferers can hope for are well-intended platitudes from people who do not comprehend the internal eruption. But even clichés are in a strange way comforting; at least a response, any February 2014
response, acknowledges one’s place in the world. The Indian spiritual teacher Jiddu Krishnamurti [1895-1986] said, “The description is never the described”, and so it is with depression. It would be disingenuous to say I can’t describe it, even though I have sometimes responded that way. I am able to describe how it feels and what it’s like. The problem is not my description, but the veracity of Krishnamurti’s clarifying aphorism. I can relate how it is. I will tell you how it feels. You might get your mind around it and reach some sort of satisfying conclusion about how I might be feeling. But, no, you will not know how it is and what it is like: depression, like the taste of a strawberry, is experiential. To drag out a well-worn analogy, had I plummeted from that mountain and smashed both legs you would see my agony. Would your insight and understanding help me – or indeed help you to help me? I don’t think so: by definition sufferers remain isolated in their torment. But I will tell you anyway. I’m delusional enough to think it might lighten the gloom when next it strikes – and lead me from the downward spiral that every so often threatens annihilation.
A sudden storm That mountain onslaught was evidence of depression’s ability to strike without warning. Or it can creep up over a period of dark cloudy days with the onset of personal troubles or grief. Some depression is largely dispersed with the sun. (The sun and hard exercise are great for anyone prone to depression.) Darkness plays a role, as we know when waking up unexpectedly in the early hours, a time when resistance is low and troubles are magnified. Feelings of inadequacy, even hopelessness can take hold. At 3am there is little we can do about any of it. That’s one sort of darkness. But what whacked me in Spain was like some alien force thrusting itself into my gut and ripping out my heart
Old Man in Sorrow (On the Threshold of Eternity) by Vincent van Gogh
Men tend to suffer less from depression than women (and extroverts far less than introverts) but women are more likely to seek help. Only when the problem is articulated can healing begin (and soul, if I have one) leaving me empty, humiliated, without purpose or a shred of self-worth. In an instant ‘it’ tore me from myself, shattering my very being and sending the bits spinning off into the ether. I felt finished, wasted, a shell. The world was not black. Darkness had not taken over, yet the ‘thing’ that punched great holes in me was very real. Slowly the weeping abated, calm returned. By early afternoon I was laughing again while thinking back to the insanity of mid-morning, wondering, what the hell was that all about?
Asking for help Hong Kong counsellor and psychotherapist, Dr Sebastian Droesler has this to say: “Being depressed is not about ‘pulling yourself together’, it is about being ill. People can often fall into extreme phases of low mood after facing adversities in life: injury, divorce, death of a close one, being made redundant, a missed promotion or financial loss. Some see their doctor or a psychiatrist. Many seek counselling in order to build up coping skills and to re-define meaning in life, which obviously medication does not provide.
IMI is a trusted and respected natural medicine and wellness clinic. Our new branch in Discovery Bay is now open! We offer Homeopathy, Naturopathy, Herbal Medicine, Osteopathy & CranialSacral, Chiropractic, BodyTalk as well as Psychotherapy & Counselling. Our qualified specialise in:
• Digestion, Nutrition, Allergies & Immunity • Stress, Anxiety & Insomnia • Natural Medicine for Adults and Children • Back and Joint Pain • Sports Therapy • Family and Relationship Counselling Find us in North Plaza Office Block Two. Web: www.imi.com.hk Phone: 2537 1087 Location: G-02, Office Block Two, North Plaza
“Applying cognitive behavioural therapy means reviewing and changing how we think and what we do: clients learn helpful thinking habits, assertiveness and stress management etc,” Sebastian adds. “We look at emotions, in particular their anger turned inwards. All of these measures aim at stress reduction, where stress can stem from bigger adversities, attachment patterns, maladaptive coping styles such as the need for control or for perfectionism, the need to please, personality and lifestyle.”
fatigue; lack of motivation; reduced interest in sex; feeling worthless or hopeless; feeling guilty for no reason; poor concentration and forgetfulness; and suicidal thoughts.
Signs of depression can include: feelings of sadness; persistent low mood/ emotional numbness; losing interest and pleasure in activities; crying for no apparent reason; feelings of irritability; excessive anxiety, agitation or worry; changes in your sleeping or eating patterns; loss of energy, lethargy,
“Medication might also be necessary, but only if the depression or anxiety is severe or hasn't improved with other treatments. Most people using medication report a significant improvement in their condition, and greater capacity to get back to the things they used to enjoy.”
According to Beyondblue, an excellent Australian organisation with online self-help forums, “Your action plan can cover a wide range of options. It can include exercise, stress management, how to improve your sleep and maybe working with a psychologist.
Find more topical local topics
You could start with your local doctor. There is a range of effective treatments, medications and health professionals who can help on the road to recovery – and many things people can do to help themselves and stay well. Finding the right treatment and the right health professional is important.
Find it • Beyondblue, www.beyondblue.org.au • Resource the Counselling Centre, www.resourcecounselling.org • Sebastian Droesler, www.counsellinghongkong.com • St John’s Counselling Service, www.sjcshk.com
The year of the Horse denotes moving or galloping ahead so we at Carey Suen would like to help you move forward ﬁnancially by offering our expert advice on all the areas you may have neglected, but planned to sort in previous years. Our range of services include:
Carey Suen & Associates Limited A member of Professional Insurance Brokers Association (PIBA - 0324)
● Retirement Planning
● Family Protection
● Regular Savings
● Education Funding
● Capital Accumulation
● Capital Investment
● Business Protection
● General Insurance
● Medical Insurance
● QROPS (pension transfer)
Carey Suen Will Services Limited A Member of the Society of Will Writers – HO66050812/12
● Estate Duty Planning including Succession Planning, Asset Protection and Tax Mitigation
Carey Suen Property Limited Estate Agency Company License: C-051536
● Mortgages/ Re-Financing
● International/HK Property
● Hong Kong Purchase/Sale
● Life Insurance to cover Property and Mortgage liabilities
We’ve compared the best rates from some of the biggest insurers in Hong Kong. Our online insurance comparison portal which includes:
● Home Contents ● Travel
● Domestic Helper
Photos courtesy of Cristina Poma and Camille Thoreau
Illustration by Rift Leschinsky
GRANDPARENTS Two Discovery Bay families share how they have chosen to deal with the learning curveball that is secondary education in Hong Kong â€“ by keeping it all in the family. Karmel Schreyer reports February 2014
s parents, our main job is to help our children grow to be the best they can be. And without change there is no growth, or so the saying goes. But change is often not easy to carry out, and decisions about where our children are going to be schooled are a particular hornet’s nest for parents in the Hong Kong enclave. Whether a family's decisions are motivated more by push- or by pullfactors, there can be no denying that the transition to high school and beyond is a testing time. If you want your kids educated in their home country but boarding school isn’t an option, take your lead from these two DB families and call in the help of the grandparents!
Ciao to Cristina When the Poma family moved to China in 2003, they did not know how long they would stay. DB residents since 2004, they were happy with the local education system here. “Kindergarten and primary classes were great and our kids got the opportunity to grow up bilingual, in a multi-cultural and challenging environment with no equal in Italy,” father Pietro says. But as time passed, with eldest daughter Cristina entering Year 10 at Discovery College, Pietro and wife Maria Luisa decided it was time to put a long-standing plan into practice. “Since Day One my wife and I were determined that our kids would return to Italy to get an Italian education, to strengthen ties with our homeland,” Pietro explains. “We are very family-oriented, and sending Cristina to a boarding school was inconceivable,” Pietro adds. “Luckily, my parents are still quite young and just retired. Apart from being very happy about keeping Cristina, my mum was a schoolteacher for 40 years and we knew that would be a help as the education system in Italy is so different from Hong Kong.”
Of course the decision could not have been taken without Cristina’s approval, and the family spoke a lot during the last two years before she gave the OK. “She is our first child and the only one with good memories of Italy. (Giorgio left our hometown when he was just two and Gregorio was born in DB.) Moreover she loves her grandparents and has cousins the same age living there,” Pietro says. Nevertheless, it was a tough decision. When the family left DB in June for the holidays, they were undecided to the point that Cristina did not say anything to friends. The decision was not finalised until August. Now that she is in Turin at age 14, life is much different for all of us,” Pietro says. “Cristina has been facing a totally new environment. For obvious reasons it is much more challenging than before and we, as parents, live every single moment with apprehension and concern. Good news is received as a great achievement, whereas any difficulty she encounters makes us wonder if we made the right decision. Luckily our families are very supportive. Still, we face a deep sadness when thinking about what our life was like just a couple of months ago.” There is a big upside though. “My parents feel excited since they can revive what they lived over
30 years ago, perhaps with more patience, experience and time than they had before,” Pietro says. “Of course we cannot forget about their age, therefore Cristina must be independent and proactive. “Hong Kong and Discovery Bay are great places, but we want all our kids to consider Italy as their homeland, and Italian culture and history as part of their fundamental educational background which is something, we reckon, they can only achieve while still teenagers,” Pietro concludes. “Only time will tell if we are doing right.”
Hello California, Camille Sixteen-year-old Camille Thoreau was born in DB, moved to California when she was seven, and at age 13 moved back to DB, entering Year 9 at Discovery College in April 2010. In October 2012, Camille returned to California, this time without her parents and little sister. She is currently living with her grandparents, finishing high school, cheerleading and learning to drive. Mum Louise says that this move was Camille’s idea, though it was she who made the initial offer. Louise adds that it is very hard to have Camille away, but she can see that her daughter is growing up in so many ways.
Cristina Poma with her grandparents in Turin February 2014
Says Camille, “It definitely took me longer than I expected to settle myself in both mentally and emotionally.” There were some unexpected adjustments; driving in cars is a normal part of life in California and Camille felt particularly housebound after the freedom of being able to walk or use Hong Kong’s topnotch public transportation. “But that is all in the past,” she says, “and I'm doing better in school than ever. This move has boosted my independence and made me ready to take on life after high school. Because it’s harder for my grandparents to take care of me due to their age, I've had to learn and adapt quickly.
This move has boosted my independence and made me ready to take on life after high school “The whole experience itself has and is going to benefit me in the long run,” Camille adds. “My parents really knew what they were doing and truly knew what was best for me and my future. I am truly grateful for the opportunity my parents are giving me and the care my grandparents are giving me. Of course I miss my family back in Hong Kong, but I had to let go one day and I guess I just did it a couple of years sooner than most teenagers.” There is no guidebook for parents to help us help our child become ‘the person they are meant to be’. And, as Grandmother Willow said in the 1995 Disney film Pocahontas, “Sometimes the right path is not the easiest one.” But as these stories show, love holds the key. Calming our fears and strengthening everyone’s resolve, love keeps our families close in our hearts and minds, no matter where we are.
Camille Thoreau getting into her new life in California
in Expert op
In explaining the kind of issues that arise when families choose to divide themselves in this way, clinical psychologist Dr Melanie Bryan stresses that it is important to discuss the option of going to school abroad/ living with grandparents over a long period of time. The expectations of all parties involved must be made known, with opportunities to change views and feelings given. “Once there, the teen should be encouraged to respect the rules of his/ her new home and any consequences for not doing so should be discussed with both parties. Modes of staying in contact should be elaborated and favourite methods identified,” says Dr Bryan. “The teen may have more or less freedom when away than at home and may either miss the freedom or conversely, take too much advantage of it with their grandparents.”
For the siblings, a chance to grow, too Giorgio Poma, age 11, misses his sister Cristina very much, and what’s more he expresses some rather adult concerns for her. “I am worried for her because of the grades she will get. She hasn’t been to an Italian school since she was four years old and she hardly speaks it at home,” he says. “Also now she is gone I don’t have anyone to play with at home every day, except for my brother who always wants to play with cars.” “A departing family member disturbs the equilibrium of a family’s operating system, so it can be expected that each member will have a different reaction to the teen’s absence, from delight to having more time and attention from parents, to resentment and envy,” Dr Bryan advises. “These younger siblings should be encouraged to talk about their feelings and their absent sibling. Parents need to acknowledge that the remaining child/ children may be overindulged to compensate for the loss of the older child.” • Dr Melanie Bryan, www.mindmatters.hk
Find more child-centric stories
Cristina with her extended family
Photos courtesy of www.wallpoper.com
It’s a rich woman’s world!
There’s no denying that more men than women work in the world of money. But don’t let that fool you into thinking it’s the men who hold the purse strings, or that modern women don’t have their finances expertly worked out. Simon Parfitt reports
irls outshine boys at school and are statistically more likely to earn themselves a degree but in the words of Abba lyricist Björn Ulvaeus, “It’s a rich man’s world”. Or is it? Almost half of all American women with children under the age of 18 are the primary or sole source of income in their families, according to a major Pew survey released last year. Back in 1960, the share was just 11 percent representing a huge social shift. As a financial adviser working in Hong Kong, I am happy to report that I meet an increasing number of women
who exercise personal financial decision-making and control. Right here in Discovery Bay, I’ve seen how accomplished women are at turning money management into an art form. Women don’t buckle when faced with a call to action. When the time comes to make an investment decision for a future event, they do so with conviction.
Take a financial health check Uppermost in most women’s minds is the need for a financial plan that will bring them financial security, aka peace of mind. And they are right to be
concerned about the need to put that plan into action, as the biggest potential threat to future financial security is lack of preparation. Careful planning enables women to concentrate on where the financial strains of tomorrow will be in order to iron them out today. A key element of purposeful planning is to monitor the progress of any set strategy at regular intervals – ideally this will be carried out on an annual basis. No established plan can run itself, and as major changes occur, such as a new job, family, location or ambitions, so too will women’s financial requirements. February 2014
Women spend more years in retirement than men, so putting funds aside is essential
Prevention is better than cure Essentially, a plan must identify the primary financial risks generally faced by professional women. An average working woman will break from her career path for as many as 11 years because of family commitments. This illustrates the need for a plan that protects her income. The three vital layers of protection to be researched and considered are life insurance, critical illness and health insurance. These are the three best arrangements that will ensure all is not lost for your family should something happen to you. Prevention is always better than cure. A well thought-through protection strategy delivers peace of mind; and that, in the hour of need, is priceless. For any woman planning a family, private health and medical care cover is particularly important. It’s worth checking today exactly what benefits are included in any such cover you have or are considering. If you’re married, check whether you are included in the medical care cover offered by your partner’s employer. How far does that policy’s list of benefits stretch to include the family or future family? Are maternity care and childbirth costs included?
Draw up a retirement roadmap A financial health check can get you started or re-started drawing up your own bespoke financial roadmap. What needs to be on the list? Certainly, the
protection issues for yourself and your family as described. But also look at any long-term savings you may wish to commit to for future retirement. It is intriguing to note that while 66 percent of women say they expect to carry on their current lifestyle in retirement, over 50 percent admit they do not contribute to either a company or personal pension scheme. And last time we surveyed older women on this subject we discovered that just 20 percent receive an adequate pension to support a retirement lifestyle of their choice. With proper planning, an adequate pensionable income becomes not only plausible but realistic. The structuring and implementation of a long-term savings plan should be given priority. It needs to be both flexible (one that will permit time out when family pressures cannot be ignored) and robust (accommodating and supporting job changes, company switches and location moves). It’s important to note that women have more years in retirement to make provision for than men. This is because, on average, women outlive men by five years – that’s five more years over and above the average retirement term that they must save up for during their working/ earning years. Furthermore, statistics also bear out the fact that
Make the most of being an expat After facing up to those hard facts, here’s some positive news. Career women confirm that they earn a far higher salary overseas than their peers are earning back home. Expatriate employment packages can still cover a number of living expenses over and above the pay grade, generating an increased disposable income some of which can be set aside for the future. A significant further advantage to working nomadically, as expats tend to do, is the opportunity to invest in international cross-border pensions which offer inherent bonuses both within the saving term and when it comes to actual retirement. Plans, such as a Qualifying Recognised Overseas Pension Scheme (QROPS), also allow you to draw all your pension pots, including those that have been frozen, together. Now as you celebrate the start of 2014 and tot up your resolutions for the months ahead, it’s time to put some financial plans in place that will benefit you now and in the future. After all, it’s a rich woman’s world!
Simon Parfitt is CEO of Guardian Life Management, a wealth management company that provides tailored financial advice to the Hong Kong expat community. You can email him at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 6017 4140 to discuss insurance, savings and investments, or retirement solutions.
Find more monetary advice
women are retiring five years earlier than men. Add those two together, and that’s another 10 years of living costs that must be provided for.
Specialist Mortgage, the No.1 provider of Australian property finance to international investors
Australasian Taxation Services, the leading Australian Expat & property tax experts Why pay tax on your Australian Property investment when with legal tax planning it can be eliminated. If you own an Australian Property, you must lodge annual Australian income tax returns. ATS can ensure you remain fully compliant with Australian taxation requirements and can help you to a tax free investment and tax holiday through proper tax planning. Don’t risk high penalties and tax bills.
Making the right decisions on your Australia property
We can: •
Prepare your Australian Tax Return
Ensure tax free Australian property investment
Ensure you pay no tax for a period on your return to Australia
finance can save you money and give you peace of mind for the future. We are fully independent of all lenders and therefore
can professionally guide
Provide full Migration and
you to the best loan
Expat tax planning
for your individual
For a free, no obligation discussion contact: Helen Wong +852 3571 8700 Email: email@example.com
Choose from a range of interest rates in AUD, SGD, USD, HKD & GBP Access to over 30 banks and financial institutions ensuring the best range of loan products for your Australian property The most flexible lending criteria and repayment options Our service is FREE of charge
For a free, no obligation discussion contact: Dwight Stuchbery +852 3571 8700 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Visit Our Website at www.smats.net
Level 24 Onfem Tower, 29 Wyndham Street, Central, Hong Kong Australia | China | Dubai | Hong Kong | Malaysia | Singapore | Indonesia | UK | USA
Australian Credit License Number: 385201
Commercial Law Offshore Company • Memorandum of Understanding • Conﬁdentiality Agreement • International Employment Contract • Shareholder Agreement Immigration Law Immigration Visa • Investment Visa • Foreign Exchange Law • Estate Planning • Citizenship by Investment • Real Estate Investment • Foreign Direct Investment • Emigration Planning
A world of services, across the world.
Family Law Will & Codicil • Guardianship Agreement • Power of Attorney Instrument • Trust Service • Certiﬁed Copy of Document • Notarization Service
An International Canadian Law Firm Registered as a Foreign Law Firm at the Law Society of Hong Kong Registered as a Foreign Law Firm by the Justice Ministry of Vietnam Registered as a Foreign Law Firm by the Justice Ministry of the People’s Republic of China www.harveylawcorporation.com email@example.com +852 2116 1333
Montreal - Hong Kong - Beijing - Ho Chi Minh City - Hanoi - Miami - Paris - Dubai - Istanbul - Bangkok - Manila - Annaba - St. Kitts
PAYBACK TIME Around DB uncovers the debt problems faced by many local helpers, and finds out how they and their employers can take back control
he harsh reality is that almost all foreign domestic workers arrive in Hong Kong with a debt. They are typically charged HK$2030,000 in illegal agency fees to come here. Even when employers are told by the agency that it will be covering the full agency fees, it’s probable that the helper had to sign a loan document before coming to Hong Kong making her liable for loan repayments. Once in Hong Kong many helpers reloan as they can borrow money more cheaply here than in the Philippines or Indonesia. Some will borrow again to pay for emergencies back home or simply because loan companies
bombard them with advertising, giving them easy access to money.
Help for helpers Filipino Migrant Workers Union, Mission for Migrant Workers and Helpers for Domestic Helpers provide support groups but help is also at hand right here in DB. Co-founded in 2007 by DB resident Myriam Bartu, Enrich is a Hong Kong registered charity that aims to empower migrant women to take greater control of their finances. Its workshops focus on equipping helpers with the skills, knowledge and m o t i v at i o n
to calculate their financial situation, make and implement a budget and savings plan and get out of debt. Enrich also offers one-on-one support through a Financial Health Desk, and workshops on entrepreneurship are offered to helpers wanting to set up a business when they return home. “Since it started, Enrich has trained over 3,500 migrant women,” says Myriam. “While about 70 percent are in debt when they join our workshops, 60 percent of these women are able to pay off their debts within two years and 93 percent say they are now more confident in managing their debts. After attending a workshop 78 percent of the women begin saving regularly.”
Photos courtesy of Enrich
Learning how to handle money can set helpers up both now and for the future
Mayan, who attended one of Enrich’s Moneywise Migrants workshops last summer, explains that she gained a lot simply by being asked to monitor how she spent her money. “I realised I was not mindful,” she says. “Now I’ve decided to put aside the maximum savings that I can, and I’ve opened a separate bank account for that purpose alone. I am more determined than ever to prepare for my return to Indonesia, learn more and save for whatever business I want to put up when I go back home.”
Tips for employers While some debts are difficult to avoid, many helpers get into more serious trouble with loans which often affect their employers. This is the case with Christy, a DB helper who has been working in Hong Kong for five years. Recently Christy’s employer started receiving envelopes addressed to Christy with ‘MONEY OWED’ written in big red letters on the back. Then came the calls on their landline and even mobile phones from strangers asking for Christy. It turned out that Christy had pawned her passport to get a loan to pay back a loan that she had taken out for a friend. Christy’s employers found that she had also borrowed money from the helpers of several of their friends. She is in serious debt. “Many employers believe their helper would not do such a thing but the truth is that many helpers find themselves in a similar situation to Christy’s,” Myriam says. “Taking out a loan seems like a short-term solution to the helper. Borrowers are often unable to oversee the long-term financial hardship they are putting themselves in and as a result many are permanently in debt.” Domestic workers face strong pressure to send money home to meet the needs of their extended families, while they struggle with the temptation to spend their limited
An Enrich Moneywise Migrants workshop in DB
Domestic workers face strong pressure to send money home to meet the needs of their extended families, while they struggle with the temptation to spend their limited income in Hong Kong’s consumerist society income in Hong Kong’s consumerist society. Once a helper’s debts have spiralled out of control it is not only extremely difficult for her but it also poses significant challenges for the employer and puts pressure on the employer-helper relationship. If your helper is being pressurised to pay back a loan, you may be willing to take it over. This can save her from getting into more serious trouble with unscrupulous loan sharks and from paying exorbitant interest rates. Myriam advises that you set up a written agreement detailing “the
amount and how she will be paying for it, the length of time/ number of months and how much per month, and if it will be deducted from her salary”. It’s essential to get to know your helper well and ask her about her financial situation; allow her to feel comfortable in talking to you about this – the more she feels she can share with you the less she may need to hide problems as they occur. Should you suspect your helper is facing financial hardship, sit down with her to discuss the situation and possible solutions in a calm and nonintimidating manner.
Find it Enrich’s four-hour Moneywise Migrants workshops, priced at HK$280, are offered around Hong Kong in Filipino, Indonesian, Thai or English. The next DB class is being held on February 23, and Enrich’s Financial Health Desk will run on March 2, both at La Petite Enfance in DB North Plaza. (To win a class, turn to page 18.) • Enrich, www.enrichhk.org, or the Enrich HK Facebook page • Filipino Migrant Workers Union - Hong Kong Facebook page • Helpers for Domestic Helpers, www.hdh-sjc.org • Mission for Migrant Workers, www.migrants.net
Find more topical local topics
FOR THE LOVE OF ART Discovery College (DC) is gearing up for a weeklong celebration of visual and performing arts and music. Hannah Ball finds out what’s in store for students, parents and the wider community
rganised by Discovery College (DC) and its Parent Teacher Association (PTA), the annual DC Arts Fest, running February 28 to March 3, sees a whole host of activities incorporated into the curriculum for DC’s 1,200 plus students. First held in 2009, the festival just keeps getting bigger and better, and there are now several events open to all. “The Arts, in the broadest sense of the term, has always been part of Discovery’s DNA,” explains DC deputy head Peter Lasscock. “I like to think we see creativity as an essential element of being successful in the world today. The Arts is one element of building creativity. It supports developing the confidence to express ourselves in different ways, solving problems, learning new skills and getting in touch with our creative side.”
Photo by photosdb.net
A whole school celebration
The festival opens with a carnival parade, which sees students and teachers dress up as their favourite artist, actor or singer. “The Arts Fest Carnival Parade is my personal favourite – seeing the enthusiasm and effort that so many students put into this quite minor event is uplifting,” comments Peter. Throughout the week, students are involved in everything from workshops run by the Hong Kong School of
Dragon dancing during DC Arts Fest! Capoeira, graffiti art with acclaimed contemporary artist Ceet Fouad; stage fighting with Faust International Youth Theatre and street dance with DMR School of Ballet. Senior students benefit from electives including art gallery and theatre visits, a singing masterclass, app building, and costume design and architecture workshops. This year, there are also classes for primary and secondary students with Kalani Das, a percussion expert from America. “We want our children and the wider community to know that creativity and innovation are more important than prescribing what they need to do or know,” explains DC music and drama teacher Dionne Lashley, this year’s Arts Fest director.
A community festival As in past years, several events are open to the public. The Arts Fair is a community favourite, displaying and offering for sale arts and crafts created by DC students and parents, and artists from around DB. This year, there’s also a performance from one of the school choirs, and dragon
Find more local gossip February 2014
and lion dancing by Year 6 students and the Hong Kong Brothers Dragon, Lion Dance Association. Another must see is the Stand-Up Comedy Night featuring acclaimed comics like Anthony Solimini, Nick Oliver, Tamby Chan and Pete Grella. Other community events include a concert by leading international drumset artist, composer, percussionist and educationalist, Chris Brien, who will perform with his band, Tribe; a show by Andrew the Brilliant Balloon Man, who boasts Tony Blair's family, Rowan Atkinson, Emma Thompson and Sir Paul McCartney among his clients; and some spectacular puppetry put on by Hong Kong’s Wong Fai Puppet Shadow Company. Of course, an event of this size doesn’t happen overnight. “As soon as one Arts Fest is over, there is a debrief, and planning starts for the next one,” explains Dionne. “But, despite the logistical challenge involved in reworking the timetable, and the time it takes to organise an event like this, it’s such a stimulating project that it drives you – there’s never been a dull moment.”
Turned on by its rich past and spicy mix of cultures, Catharine Nicol reveals her addiction to the bustling Malay port of Malacca
on’t come to Malacca if you’re on a diet. This town may be famous for its incredibly rich history, UNESCO World Heritage status and higgledy-piggledy architecture, but you can’t take a step without getting a whiff of something delicious, which makes for slow progress if you’re a foodie. There’s probably a correlation between the number of days you stay and how many kilos you put on, but I’m too busy digesting to do the math.
Photos courtesy of Catharine Nicol
I’m staying at The Majestic Malacca, a glorious 1920s-built former boarding house. The lobby’s tiles and planter chairs, shuttered windows and ceiling fans tell a story of more civilised times when life was lived at a fraction of today’s pace. A perfect beginning.
Colonial past Located near the bottom of the Malay Peninsula, Malacca is a great walking town, and I start out along the river. At the water’s edge, the red-brick path is flanked with old-fashioned lamp posts and lots of palms and potted plants. Views of old buildings that used to be spice warehouses, some covered with colourful graffiti depicting the city’s beginnings, February 2014
reflect in the calm water. The town was just a fishing village when Prince Parameswara, fleeing from Singapura (Singapore), founded the port of Malacca in 1400. Its central location between Arabia and Europe made it a perfect trading hub for spices of course, but also gold and silk, tobacco and opium. It wasn’t long before the Europeans started fighting over it. In 1511 the Portuguese took over, building a huge walled fortress, and it took six months for the Dutch to seize the town in 1641. They ruled for nearly two centuries, before the British moved in, swapping a Sumatran colony for Dutch Malacca in 1826, and ruling until Malaya was given independence in 1957. One of the results is a fascinating mix of European architecture. For example, there’s the 500-year-old Santiago Gate, the only one left from the Portuguese city walls, saved from destruction by Sir Stamford Raffles (founder of Singapore). There’s Red Square, built by the Dutch, where you’ll also find Christ Church, the oldest Protestant church in the country. And you won’t miss Queen
The Malacca River is a great place to start a walking tour February 2014
Victoria’s fountain, obviously a Brit thing, right in the middle.
Peranakan present Malay, Chinese and Indian cultures are visible throughout the city. Go west from Red Square, over the river and find yourself in Old Malacca, where the streets are narrow and the buildings smaller and more charming. Harmony Street (real name Jalan Tokong) strings together the centres of worship of the three main faiths: the Cheng Hoon Teng Chinese temple, the Sri Poyatha Vinayagar Moorthi Hindu temple and the Kampung Kling Islamic mosque. The town is very proud of its Peranakan, also known as Baba (men) and Nyonya (women) heritage. The descendants of the Chinese immigrants
Old-colonial Christ Church
Kampung Kling Mosque
Snacking may well be the national sport here. There are too many little stalls to pick specifics out, but as usual the rule of thumb is, if it’s busy, it’s good who arrived in the area in the 15th and 16th centuries assimilated into the Malay local culture, but also brought their own customs with them – learn more at the Baba and Nyonya Heritage Museum. And the fusion that resulted can especially be seen – and tasted – in the Chinese/ Malay Nyonya cuisine.
Local pursuits Everywhere you go are places to snack. Snacking may well be the national sport here. There are too many little stalls to pick specifics out, but as usual the rule of thumb is, if it’s busy, it’s good. Look out for local specialities like assam pedas (spicy, slightly sour fish curry) and satay celup (skewers of pretty much anything cooked in a boiling vat of soupy satay sauce). Of course the authentic Indian curry is wonderful, and don’t miss out on roti john, a kind of omelette sandwich. The condiment you’ll find all over the place is super-spicy sambal, and there’s always cendol, a coconut milk and jelly noodle concoction, to cool the tongue down again. A food stall on Jalan Kee Ann serving Chinese/ Malay Peranakan cuisine
You’ll find all these at the night market on Jalan Kee Ann, and Jonker
ESCAPES Street is another great place to hang out – day and night. The centre of Chinatown, it used to be all about antique shops but now it’s the place to go for clothing and cultural crafts. Stop by the Orangutan House and Nil Six Studio on Lorong Hang Jebat for contemporary art. The t-shirts they sell are affordable art on the go.
y to sta e r e h W
In all likelihood you’ll have been grazing all day, but make time (and room) to stop at the Calanthe Art Café, recommended to me by a local for its laksa. This deliciously rich and spicy noodle soup seems to epitomise Malaysian cuisine and culture: a spicy fusion of flavours and textures that proves surprisingly addictive.
o get How t
• Casa Del Rio, for riverside peace. www.casadelrio-melaka.com • Jonker Boutique Hotel, great location in an Art Deco building. www.jonkerboutiquehotel.com • The Baba House, a taste of Malacca, medium range. www.thebabahouse.com.my • The Majestic Malacca, the most beautiful hotel in town. www.majesticmalacca.com • The Sterling Melaka by Gloria, for colonial chic. www.gloriahotels.com • Vintage Eleven Guesthouse, modern luxury with a vintage feel. www.vintageeleven.com.my
Malacca is two hours by road from Kuala Lumpur and just under three from Singapore. Regular flights from Hong Kong to Kuala Lumpur or Singapore include Air Asia, Malaysia Airlines, Jetstar, Thai Airways, DragonAir and Cathay Pacific.
Find more exciting holiday destinations
HOW IT’S Photos by Clement Dumont, Michael Ma and Claus Rolf
Competing in the TransLantau endurance run is no walk in the park, but did you ever consider how much of a challenge organising an event of this scale must be? Beverly Au reports
he TransLantau is a trail race on South Lantau, founded by four-year (one year in DB and three years in Mui Wo) Lantau residents Clement and Sabrina Dumont. Now in its third year, it’s creating quite a buzz in both the local and international endurance-running communities. What’s the big deal? Well for starters, let’s take a look at the bald facts. Participants tackle this tough, scenic challenge solo or as a team of two, and can choose between three distances. The Ultra 100km (+5,800-metre elevation) and the Ultra 50km (+2,700-metre elevation) cover two of South Lantau’s country parks, with 90 percent on trails. The Explorer 15km option, meanwhile, includes a 300-metre climb towards Chi Man Wan Country Park via single
Founder and co-organiser of the TransLantau, Sabrina Dumont gets the race started in 2013
tracks, mostly on trails. The event starts and ends on Silvermine Beach in Mui Wo. Race organisers Clement and Sabrina expect close to 2,000 athletes to compete in this year’s TransLantau, March 14-16. Of course the Lantau trail-running community will be out in full force and this year, 30 percent of the athletes enrolled are from overseas. This is quite a result when you consider that in 2011, just 50 DB athletes took part in the race, all of them personal friends of the Dumonts. Recalling that inaugural run, Sabrina mentions how hard she found completing the 50 kilometres. “The day after I discovered I was pregnant, which explains it,” she says with a smile. “Now, we have a lovely two-year-old daughter, Kelia cheering the runners at the finish line.”
The lead up To get a real grasp of the scale of the event, it’s interesting to look at how it is run. “It takes almost a year to organise,” Sabrina says simply. “Firstly we look to the government for support. For TransLantau, six different permits are required from different departments according to location, for instance beach, trail and catchwater, as well as villages and private land.” After dealing with the red tape, the Dumonts have to consider sponsorship, all of which is local. “In exchange for prizes, we have to guarantee great exposure for their brands among the trail-running community,” Sabrina explains. With sponsorship in place, proceeds from the race can go to charity. “As trail runners and nature enthusiasts we know that Nepal is home to some of the most breathtaking trails in the world,” says Clement. “As a result, TransLantau proudly supports the Nepal Youth Foundation. This year, our goal is to
collect at least HK$75,000 to build two early child-development classrooms for kids living in the slum communities of Kathmandu. Runners are invited to share with the children of Nepal by donating any amount on a voluntary basis, while registering for the race.” Interestingly, Sabrina says knowledge of the event has spread throughout the trail-running community by word of mouth. “To attract runners, we do our best to maintain a unique and outstanding course design, and we also respect the mix of cultures represented,” she says. “The event kicks off with a traditional Lion dance performance, and participants are treated to both French and Chinese food.”
Sabrina and Clement Dumont competing in 2013
The logistics In the Dumonts’ case, regular participation in major international endurance races, including the UltraTrail du Mont-Blanc (a 166-kilometre ultra-marathon with a total elevation gain of around 9,600 metres), has set them up for the challenge of organising the TransLantau. The logistics of organising an event like this, when you actually think about them, are enormous. Athletes’ safety is of course paramount, and not only are first-aid posts positioned throughout the course but the organisers have to ensure that evacuation is possible in case of an emergency. Thinking about the medical and safety team alone takes several months of preparation. For the TransLantau, runners are required to be semi self-sufficient, equipped with the mandatory gear and food reserves, but still a lot has to be provided. In the lead-up to the event, the Dumonts must purchase myriad essential items. “These include everything from course markers and drop-bag tents to race bibs,” Sabrina says. “Additionally of course, we have to purchase all the food, water and electrolytes distributed at the refreshment posts and check points.” Fully comprehensive rules and regulations are also provided, primarily to ensure runners’ safety. “Taking part in the TransLantau involves accepting without reservation the current regulations and ethics of the race,” says Clement. “If athletes fail to do so, penalties up to disqualification can be enforced.” Mandatory equipment for runners is specified (everything from water and survival blankets, to whistles and mobile phones), as are numerous raceday rules. For instance, runners must stay on the way-marked paths, even to February 2014
ACTION rest, and there are penalties for littering. Add to this all the ‘little’ details that athletes need to be informed about, like start times, where to shower and in the case of overseas runners, where to stay, and the enormity of the organisational task becomes apparent.
The volunteers By the time race day dawns, Sabrina and Clement have established a partnership with a minimum of 200 volunteers, who assist runners during the event itself. “An event like this couldn't happen without them,” says Sabrina. “We can never thank them enough as their support and effort is priceless.” All volunteers receive a gift and a free entry for the Explorer 15km in 2015. They assist either as course marshals (directing competitors and safety),
water (over 6,000 litres dispatched between 10 check points), and so on.”
Volunteers manning refreshment posts and check points by manning the refreshment posts (giving out water and electrolytes), as sweep teams (following last racers and informing race management), or by registering and assisting participants at the start/ finish. “We try to anticipate every problem,” Sabrina says, “such as the places where there is no mobile coverage, checking the marking as it is often removed by anonymous persons, making sure the check points provide enough food and
Find more clubs and activities
There’s no doubt that organising a race like this is almost as exhausting as actually competing in it, and that the event management generates a similar sense of achievement. “It is also emotionally rewarding to see runners crossing the finish line, smiling or in pain with all their hopes intact,” Sabrina adds. “It is a relief when the last runner crosses the finish line and exciting to see his exhausted smile.”
Find it • Nepal Youth Foundation, www.nepalyouthfoundation. org.hk • TransLantau, www.translantau.com
THE ULTIMATE WORKOUT! Burn up to 800 calories in a 50 minute class Suits all ﬁtness levels No expiry on class credits ‘State-of-the Art’ bikes Certiﬁed, professional & friendly instructors First class is free… no excuses!
Kipkids class on Monday 5:00-6:00pm for ages 7 years and over Limited spaces available Tuesday 6:00-7:00pm for ages 10 and over
25/03/2013 4:13 PM
INSIDE OUTSIDE Photos courtesy of Everything under the Sun, Garden Gallery, Marc James Design and Rimba Rhyme
Outdoor furniture trends for 2014 focus on transforming balconies and terraces into fully fledged alternative living areas. And it’s a cinch to make them just as comfortable and personal as the indoor variety, says Jane Clyde or most of us island dwellers, outdoor living and entertaining is a big factor, whatever the size of our balcony or terrace. But the truth is not many of us do al fresco decorating well. We may have the interior down pat (be the scheme East meets West, modern minimal or contemporary classic), but all too often our outdoor areas let the side down.
What then are the key outdoor decorating trends for 2014, and how can we put them into practice? The trend in recent years has been to bring the outdoors in, but right now it’s all about bringing the indoors out. Having already achieved a breezy freeflowing feel within our homes, the goal for 2014 is to make outdoor living spaces homey and inviting.
“Make it your aim to get away from the boring or dated designs for outdoors which often lag behind interiors,” says Emma Hurlston, creative director at Rimba Rhyme. “Experiment with the idea of bringing the inside out.”
Steal don’t splurge Step one, when bringing the indoor vibe to outside living is, of course, to
LIFESTYLE wood, particularly teak which was originally used on boats, is a good bet. Let it weather to its natural silver grey, and it will last forever. Remember that the new-look outdoor area also requires a little dressing up. The trend is decorative and personal, and again there is no reason why indoor accessories (think ceramics and plastics) cannot be moved outside. It’s clear that in taking this design route, one thing you won’t end up with is a cohesive look. The decor will be eclectic. But that’s all to the good, since a major outdoor decorating trend for 2014 is to mix and match. Following this trend is slightly risky (you don’t get to go to a shop and buy a matching set) but it brings with it plenty of creative freedom. Start simply by, for instance, pairing brandnew aluminium bistro chairs with an old wooden table. You’ll see that the combination of warm wood and cool metal creates an elegant contrast.
Australian fabric brand Warwick at Rimba Rhyme is specifically developed for outdoor use
No matter how thrifty you are feeling this year, you’ll likely want to splash out on a couple of items when redecorating outdoors. “Our customers are looking for durable and fashionable furniture,” says Heather. “Gas heaters in the cooler months and misting fans during
the summer allow you to use your outdoor space all year round. Parasols are becoming popular.” Loud colour clashes, which took the fashion world by storm last year, are a major trend for 2014 (for everything from parasols to upholstery) but less so in Hong Kong than internationally.
Having already achieved a breezy free-flowing feel within our homes, the goal for 2014 is to make outdoor living spaces homey and inviting “Hong Kongers continue to look for neutral colours (rather than stripes, floral and tropical patterns, or ethnic themes),” explains Heather. “Instead, people purchase brightly coloured throw pillows, planters and the like to add a splash of colour to their outdoor settings.” She recommends outdoor Sunbrella fabrics, synthetic materials and the latest 100 percent waterproof soft-touch fabrics. “We aim to give the customer the flexibility to mix-and-match from a range of clashing brights to neutrals,”
furnish outdoor spaces with pieces that are weather resistant but also comfortable and attractive. “Furniture in teak, high-pressure laminate (HPL) and glass are bang on trend,” says Heather Galbraith, general manager at Everything under the Sun. “Look out too for pieces with aluminium and stainless steel frames and accents.” And the good news is that many existing pieces, that have perhaps become redundant inside the home, transfer well to the outdoors. Myriad materials exist just as easily outdoors as in: the spectrum ranges from bamboo and cement, to rattan and wicker. If you like a timeless look,
The ultra-hip Bounce Chair at Everything under the Sun is stylish, and engineered for comfort February 2014
LIFESTYLE Emma confirms. “On the practical side, the fabrics have been developed specifically for purpose and are environmentally friendly (clean manufacturing, dry yarn colouring and biodegradable die); ultra-violet, antimicrobial, mildew and stain resistant; and easy to clean.” At the moment, brightly coloured stools and chairs, modern teakwood furniture and playful, high-quality seating options, hardly distinguishable from their indoor counterparts, are fashionable. Look out too for cutting-edge lamps made specifically for outdoor use that are becoming available in a hip range of colours and styles. Great additions to any al fresco area include rechargeable ‘candles’ for the table top and larger stone- or pebble-shaped lamps for the floor. The trend towards furnishing the terrace or balcony like a second living room is seeing a focus on sofas which, combined with beanbags and poufs, create a genuine lived-in feeling. The more hectic everyday life is, the more we crave cosiness and recreation. This is why all the best modern balconies are big on relaxing. And where can you chill out best? That’s right: on a swing, swinging seat or hammock. Fitted with comfortable upholstery and cushions, they simply invite you to hang out and relax.
Fermob’s fold-up bistro-style tables and chairs at Everything under the Sun
loo Get the
1 BE BANG ON TREND by investing in something to swing on. The Caneline Cave Swing at Everything under the Sun provides the ultimate in relaxation 2 MULTI-PURPOSE PIECES are a good bet for small spaces. The Keter Pacific Cool Bar at Garden Gallery opens to reveal an insulated drinks’ cooler 3 BRING THE INSIDE OUT with a few comfortable pieces. The Beanbag Chair at Marc James Design is big on sophisticated yet homey charm 4 INJECT A SPLASH OF COLOUR with well-placed throw cushions. Warwick fabrics at Rimba Rhyme come in vibrant geometrics and stripes
Find it • Aloha Outdoor Furniture, www.aloha-outdoor.com • Everything under the Sun, www.everythingunderthesun. com.hk • GQ Interiors, www.gqinteriors.com.hk • Garden Gallery, www.gardengallery.com.hk • Marc James Design, www.marcjamesdesign.com • Rimba Rhyme, www.rimbarhyme.com • Okooko, www.okooko.com
2 1 4
Find more on stylish living
www.yaalidesigns.com YOUR ONE STOP DESIGN SHOP IN DISCOVERY BAY
Kung Hei Fat Choy! SALE ON!
Interior Design Custom Made Furniture Home accessories Curtains & Soft Furnishing Clothing ( New)
Tel: 3482 5785 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
10 FUN THINGS TO DO IN HK THIS MONTH!
Chinese New Year FIREWORKS!
ic Editor’s p
Join the thousands that line both sides of Victoria Harbour on the second day of Chinese New Year (February 1) to watch the spectacular firework display from 8pm onwards. And don’t miss the Urban Lunar New Year Lantern Carnival on February 14, 7.30pm to 10.30pm at the Hong Kong Cultural Centre Piazza, Tsim Sha Tsui. For more information, visit www.lcsd.gov.hk.
Here’s to NEVER GROWING UP! Canadian rock sensation Avril Lavigne is set to perform at AsiaWorld-Expo, Chek Lap Kok on February 13. The breakout star of the early noughties has won over countless pop-rock fans with singles like Sk8er Boi, Complicated, Girlfriend and My Happy Ending. A self-taught musician, who plays guitar, piano, and drums, Lavigne is known for her powerhouse voice, high-spirited melodies and straighttalking lyrics. Tickets start from HK$380 at www.hkticketing.com.
Enjoy the Chinese New Year celebrations and a covert Valentine’s Day dinner. Hike some of Hong Kong’s best trails, or run a marathon. Learn to salsa, visit a new museum on Hollywood Road and see Avril Lavigne in concert. Attend Hong Friend us Kong’s annual on Facebook pet show and for event catch some reminders world-class show jumping.
CHINESE LANTERN 1. Fold a coloured piece of rectangular paper in half, making a long, thin rectangle. 2. Make 12 cuts along the fold line. Don't cut all the way to the edge of the paper. 3. Unfold the paper. Glue or staple the two uncut ends together. 4. Glue or staple a strip of paper across one end of the lantern to make the handle.
YEAR OF THE HORSE show jumping Saddle up for the Longines Hong Kong Masters, taking place February 21 to 23 at AsiaWorld-Expo, Chek Lap Kok. Last year, the elite event saw 64 of the world’s top show jumpers attend, along with 18,000 spectators. As well as the show jumping, there’s a chance to meet and greet the famous riders. Ticket prices start at HK$190. For more information, visit www.longineshkmasters.com.
SALSA FESTIVAL This sexy week-long fiesta takes place at various venues throughout Hong Kong from February 17 to 23. Expect live bands, dance performances and street dancing. You can also learn to salsa at workshops given by top international and local instructors. The third World Salsa Championships is being held at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre, Wanchai, February 20 to 23. Find out more at www.hksalsafestival.net.
Email email@example.com if you’d like to be included in this section
HONG KONG MARATHON Over 70,000 runners are taking part in the Standard Chartered Hong Kong Marathon on February 16, Hong Kong's largest participatory annual sporting event. In addition to the full 42-kilometre course, there’s a half marathon and a 10-kilometre race, and this year’s competition also sees two wheelchair races. Prize money on offer totals over HK$2 million. Visit www.hkmarathon.com.
PET SHOW! Don’t miss the Hong Kong Pet Show, now in its ninth year, at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre, Wanchai, February 7 to 9. As well as being an interactive platform for the industry, offering up an incredible range of pet food and supplies, there are seminars, performances and cat and dog shows. For more details, visit www.petshow.com.hk.
t va Grea
BEACHFRONT DINING On Valentine’s Day! Cosy up for a clandestine dinner-for-two this Valentine’s Day at Café Roma on the Park Island beachfront. Grilled asparagus, roasted prawn risotto and a decadent dark chocolate-raspberry mousse cake are on offer amongst other menu options, all for just HK$688 per couple. A perfect way to treat your loved one. To reserve a table, call 3446 1226.
LIANG YI MUSEUM
TOP 5 HIKING TRAILS It’s Chinese New Year, the weather is cooler, and who doesn’t love a good hike? Here are our top five picks: 1 Lion Rock – 10.6 kilometres. This hike up to Lion Rock on the MacLehose Trail starts at Gilwell Campsite and ends at Tai Po Road. Although tough going in places, it is worth it for the spectacular views over the New Territories, Kowloon and Hong Kong Island. 2 Dragon’s Back – 8.5 kilometres. Starting at Shek O Road and ending at Tai Long Wan, you’ll appreciate stunning views from Shek O Peak, and a dip in the sea at the end. 3 The Peak – 7 kilometres. Enjoying stunning views over Hong Kong Island, this hike starts at Lugard Road and finishes at superpicturesque Pokfulam Reservoir. 4 Lamma Island – 6 kilometres. This family-friendly trail starting at Yung Shue Wan Main Street is a great way to escape the crowds. End your hike at Sok Kwu Wan Village with some top-quality seafood. 5 Sai Kung – 5 kilometres. This short hike starting at Sai Wan Road overlooks High Island Reservoir and leads to the beautiful Sheung Luk Stream. You’ll find clean freshwater pools and waterfalls by heading upstream.
After travelling the world to exhibit at Beijing’s Palace Museum, Taiwan’s National Museum of History and Goldsmiths’ Hall in London, one of Hong Kong’s most prestigious antiquities collections now has a permanent home at Liang Yi Museum on Hollywood Road. Be sure to check out the city’s first world-class private museum, showcasing rare and precious antiques that reflect Hong Kong’s East meets West culture. For more information, visit www.liangyimuseum.com. February 2014
Who do you know? Find more familiar faces @ www.arounddb.com
Photos by www.photosdb.net
If you’d like us to consider your photos for DB Faces, email them to firstname.lastname@example.org (subject line: db faces). Around DB accepts no liability relating to the photos sent.
Great prizes from Uncle Russ Coffee!
Congratulations to last month’s winner Lucy Lee! Please contact our office on 2987 0577 to collect your prize.
our challenge, this month, is to identify which of the three photos above is the exact copy of a photograph featured elsewhere in this issue of Around DB. You need to list the page number the photo appears on, as well as which of the three pictures is the exact copy. Contact us online via the competitions link at www.arounddb.com before February 10. This is your chance to win a complimentary coffee from Uncle Russ every day for a week. Don’t forget to include your name and telephone number with your answer. Good luck!
Alcoholics Anonymous If you want to drink, thatâ€™s your business. If you want to stop, we can help. No dues or fees. 24 hour hotline: 9073 6922 DB hotline: 5668 2667 www.aa-hk.org AroundDB_Feb14_op.pdf 1 1/13/2014 10:33:00 AM
View DB property listings @ www.arounddb.com
WORSHIP SERVICE Discovery College Sundays @ 10 am
EYE LEVEL Health & Intelligence Education Centre in the North Plaza is celebrating its 1-year old birthday in January 2014! We are thrilled that we have the support of parents and students in the past year and we are happy that we have helped kids to improve in their math in school.
CONTEMPORARY WORSHIP PRACTICAL BIBLE TEACHING KIDS CHURCH XTREME & RDB TEENS Hermann Chu 9366 0000 email@example.com www.hicentre.biz
Pastor James Buckner Tel: 2987 7061 wwww.dbicc.org
To celebrate this anniversary, we are running a promotion: $100 book coupon will be given to the new student who enroll to our math course in February 2014. Referrer of new student will also get $100 book coupon.
Contact us for enrollment and promotion details.
View DB property listings @ www.arounddb.com employment MATURE HELPER LOOKING FOR EMPLOYMENT Josie is looking for an employer, & is able to start work immediately. With 16 years’ experience with one employer, she is reliable, trustworthy & a good cook. Please call 9245 0019 DOMESTIC HELPER AVAILABLE I have worked in DB for 12 years, 6 years for the same employer. I’m a good cook & love kids & animals. My employer is leaving in February when I’ll be available for work. Call me on 9550 5974 or my employer on 9383 0265 ARE YOU LOOKING FOR A COURIER? Michael, an Indian HK resident living on Lantau, seeks post of delivery person for mail/ documents/ small packages in HK. Full or part time, Call 9145 6731
DB ReAltoR SeeKS ADmIn CleRK
With good spoken & written English & Cantonese (an extra language is an advantage). Mature, outgoing, proactive, hardworking & detail-oriented. Attractive remuneration package. Email your full CV to firstname.lastname@example.org
HeAltH & WellBeInG
DB-BASeD ReAltoR SeeKS eAA-lICenSeD AGentS
HypnoSIS &/ oR SHoRt-teRm tHeRApy
QUAlIty FURnItURe FoR SAle
Must have a good command of spoken & written English & Cantonese, an extra language is an advantage. Strong communication & interpersonal skills, mature outgoing personality, proactive, hardworking & detail oriented. Attractive remuneration package for the right candidates. Email your full CV to email@example.com
FInAnCe & InSURAnCe
Quit smoking quickly. Divorce/ Post-Divorce Coaching. Resolve: • Fear of Flying/ Public Speaking • Overeating • Couples’ Conflicts • Career & Command-Training Stress • Anger Management • Phobias • Nail biting • Insomnia • Exam Strategies Call Dr Melanie Bryan, Psy.D. Clinical Psychologist & Hypnotherapist on 2575 7707, or visit www.mindmatters.hk
AUStRAlIAn tAX RetURnS Need to lodge your Australian tax return? If you are an expat or collect rental from Australian property, you must lodge an annual return. Let us do it for you here in HK. Contact Dwight Stuchbery, Australasian Taxation Services on 3571 8700, firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit www.smats.net
Looking for a place to stay?
Selling trinkets and treasures for girls and boys, made from only the best materials. www.littlemilly.com | email@example.com Also available at Toysland, DB and Bizzie Lizzie, Mui Wo For HK orders please contact Candice at 6596 1817
Home & RepAIRS eXpeRt moVeR
• Packing & moving • Cargo collection • Disposal service • Handyman services • Packing material supplies • Storage, with humidity control Professional quality service at a low rate. Contact 2566 4799, firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit www.expertmover.hk
NEED SPACE / STORAGE!
Humidity controlled, small/ large storage space, short or long term. Competitive rates. Call 2566 4799 or visit www.expertmover.hk
Due to a DB house renovation, we are selling beautiful rosewood, teak, Indian, Burmese items & more. Plus a fridge-freezer & outdoor furniture in very good condition. Call 9040 3899 for details
KIDS eARly ADVentUReS plAyGRoUp
A dedicated playgroup with the emphasis on learning through play. Activities to stimulate all areas of development. Come & look at our facilities. Classes for kids from 20 months to 4 years. Morning & afternoon sessions. Call 9511 2107, or visit www.earlyadventures.net
petS GooD neWS FRom petCoDB
Micro Bubble Bath using Nano technology for pets is now available at PetcoDB. This penetrating clean powers deep into the pores, restoring fur condition, regaining moisture & providing relaxation. No shampoo is used. Recommended for pets with skin allergies, dermatitis & body odour. Call 2914 0382
Raidlight Extreme Light Waterpack - buy now at Lantau Base Camp for only $398 (original price $664). For more details email email@example.com
View DB property listings @ www.arounddb.com
NEED SOMEONE TO TALK TO? Counselling for individuals, couples, families & adolescents Sliding fee scale; affordable options for all clients English, Putonghua, Cantonese, Hindi, Marathi and Marwadi speaking counselors Call 2523 8979 Now for Appointment http://www.resourcecounselling.org Serving the community over 35 years A Member Agency of the Community Chest
HANDMADE COOKIES FOR ALL OCCASIONS Make your next celebration a hit with a selection of beautifully crafted cookies handmade right here in DB. We can customize your order to suit any theme, from baby showers to bachelorette parties and everything in between. We also offer kids cookie decorating sessions, where the kids get to decorate their own cookies, a perfect activity at any children’s birthday party...
firstname.lastname@example.org www.facebook.com/SugarCookieIsland www.sugarcookieisland.weebly.com
View DB property listings @ www.arounddb.com SERVICES NOTARY SERVICES
Now available in DB at affordable rates. For enquiries, 9143 0799, email@example.com
Free over the phone repair, or home/ office visit for a nominal fee! 15 years’ experience & a passion for resolving computer problems. Call 9649 9910
TRAVEL CONCORdE TRAVEL
Leisure Travel and Cruise specialists since 1978. Call 2526 3391 or visit www.concorde-travel.com License No 350343.
TUITION & COURSES
A qualified native teacher with 15 years’ teaching experience offers private Spanish lessons to adults, students & children. Conversation & grammar, plus exam preparation (IB, IGCSE, A-Levels). Contact Eva on 6846 2322, firstname.lastname@example.org
Deadline for March issue Classifieds
TUITION & COURSES GUITAR TUITION
One of Hong Kong’s foremost players offers home tuition in Classical, Blues, Ragtime & Rock. Special rates for morning classes. Contact Graeme on 9627 3043, email@example.com
CLARINET/ SAXOPHONE/ FLUTE TUITION Available in DB from professional musician with 25 years’ teaching experience & graduate of the Royal Northern College of Music, Manchester, UK. For enquiries, call 9413 0498, firstname.lastname@example.org
CHINESE (MANdARIN & CANTONESE), MATHEMATICS & ENGLISH
Personal Professional Tutoring Service. • Curriculum: HSK, IB, GCSE, SAT • ESF & all international schools, Year 1 to 13 • For students & adults (homework/ exams/ business) • Mother-tongue Chinese tutors from the PRC (Levels: Basic, Intermediate, Advanced) • Mathematics tutors (UK B SC) • Native English tutors. (MA in Education, specialising in Early Childhood Stage) Contact 9107 5655, email@example.com, or visit www.chinesemandarinsite.com
A positive, inclusive learning environment. Call 6710 0391 firstname.lastname@example.org www.ecole-discovery.com
Fren ench English Mandarin From K1 to P6 in 2014
Native speaker. DELE examiner. Experienced teacher. IB, IGCSE, A-Levels & HKDSE. Business Spanish, & courses for adults. Flexible schedule & locations. (Special offers to students who live in DB & Tung Chung). Contact Erik R on 9666 9511, email@example.com
MANdARIN CHINESE CLASSROOM
In the Greens. Lessons for adults & children, individually & in small groups. Any level/ time/ purpose. Call 6071 9643, or visit http://tclearning.sinacool.com
Check out short-term rentals @ www.arounddb.com PROPERTY DB
STUNNING FURNISHED FLAT SHORT OR LONG-LEASE Designer 2-bed apartment, 1 minute from DB Plaza. Renovated to the highest standard. Weekly cleaning available. Contact Maeve on 6408 4227, firstname.lastname@example.org
MODERN EXECUTIVE 1-BEDROOM FLAT FOR RENT Spacious open layout. Quiet, high floor. Fully equipped kitchen. Shower. Washer/ dryer. English movies & news, & wi-fi. Just unpack! Competitively priced. Contact 6680 2007, email@example.com
MODERN FLAT FOR SHORT- OR MEDIUM-TERM RENTAL Fully furnished, 1 bed plus study with extra beds & fully equipped kitchen. Sleeps 4. Broadband, wi-fi, DVD, LCD TV & split A/C. Linens & towels. Serviced twice a week. Contact 6475 2035, visit www.dbayhillsuites.com or email firstname.lastname@example.org
FLAT FOR RENT Bright, fully furnished flat, sleeps 4. Fully equipped kitchen, plus wi-fi & broadband. Towels & linens provided. Minimum stay 1 month. Email email@example.com
DELUXE SERVICED APARMENTS For lease. Fully furnished 1-2-bed apartments with beautiful decor, wi-fi & broadband. Well-equipped kitchen, luxurious bedding, weekly cleaning service. Contact Cherry on 2987 2626, firstname.lastname@example.org
STUDIO FOR SHORT-TERM LET Comfortable, nicely decorated studio, close to DB Plaza & pier, with fully equipped kitchen. 37” TV, DVD, wi-fi, linens & towels provided. Contact 9190 7348, email@example.com
GREENBURG COURT RENTAL GREENDALE COURT RENTAL Brand-new, fully furnished, 533’ 1-bed apartment. Deluxe renovation, on a high floor, with mountain view. Call 9108 5525
LUXURY MODERN FLATS TO LET Short- or medium-term rental at Siena 2. 600’ 1-bed flats with sea views, near DB North Plaza, Club Siena & tunnel. Serviced & fully furnished with washer/ dryer, bed linen & kitchenware. Plus wi-fi, broadband, blue-ray & home theatre. Contact 9317 0624, firstname.lastname@example.org
517’ 1-bedroom flat with balcony. Deluxe renovation. Modern & fully furnished with internet, 32” LCD TV & DVD. Contact Sandy on 9654 8862, email@example.com
2-BED APARTMENT FOR RENT At Greenmont Court, nice & fully furnished. Contact 9108 5525
FULLY FURNISHED 1-BED RENTAL Smart apartment on a high floor with sea view. Close to pier & DB Plaza. Available fully furnished. Call Tiareti on 9732 8985
AUSTRALIAN PROPERTY Everything you need to know about buying a property in Australia. Information on property markets, taxation, finance, migration & legal. Free online at www.aussieproperty.com
HOLIDAY RENTAL IN PHUKET
Newly renovated, 2-bed flat with balcony. Luxuriously furnished, with TV, cable & broadband. Panoramic harbour views & short walk to pier. Contact Brian on 9098 6951, firstname.lastname@example.org
Small gated community near Nai Harn beach with pool & gym. Fully fitted 3-bed villa with aircon, TVs & wi-fi. Lots of restaurants nearby. Competitive rates. Contact 9752 9775, email@example.com
Greenland Pest Control Tailored Pest Control Solutions for Rodent, Cockroaches, Fleas, Mosquitoes, Termites, Ants, Ticks etcâ€Ś For info please call Thomas 9871 0771 or May 9774 3554 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
SPECIAL OFFER $250 - FULL STUDIO PORTRAIT SESSION INCLUDING ONE FREE HI-RES PHOTO W : w w w. p h o t o s d b . n e t E: email@example.com T: 9 6 5 9 - 6 0 3 4
B USINESS OF THE MONTH
Tung Chung, of Chef ’s Express in Sami Verho, owner sen apart at sets his delicates explains exactly wh When did you open Chef’s Express and what makes it unique? Chef’s Express opened in April 2013 based on simple principles of quality and value. We provide top-quality products along with great service. Many of our products are specifically made for Chef’s Express and therefore aren’t available anywhere else.
What resources did you need to start up your own business? A little bit of money, guts and lots and lots of hours! The food business is a cut-throat one. You need to be constantly checking for new, innovative food solutions and doing research to keep ahead of the game and also your competition.
Do you enjoy being self-employed? I love every minute of it. You are responsible for your own time and what you put into the business is what you get out of it. But, there’s also a huge amount of responsibility – you only have yourself to blame when things go wrong. Being at the front of any business is hard work, you always have to have your ‘game face’ on.
What has been the most important contribution to your success? Providing the best value-for-money products in Hong Kong. It’s also very important to understand customer needs and be willing to listen. I know my customers by name and I know what they like. It’s not important what I like to sell; it’s all about providing what my customers want to buy.
How do you see your business looking in five years’ time? We pride ourselves on great cuts of beef, fresh salmon and our chicken flatties – these core products will remain the same. We plan to add new lines of produce as we grow and also offer seasonal products on rotation with monthly specials. At the moment, we are taking it one step at a time, but we are planning to open one new store this year and in time, a Chef’s Café and Restaurant – our original idea all along.
Call Chef’s Express on 6504 4208, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or for home deliveries, visit www.foodhub.com.hk.
Join your Lantau community live @ www.arounddb.com
MUI WO FERRY SCHEDULES Mon-Fri (except Public Holidays)
Sat, Sun and Public Holidays
From DB 3.10pm
From Mui Wo
7.15am ＊ 8.45am # 10.45am 11.45am # 1.15pm 3.05pm # 4.15pm 6.15pm 8.05pm
7.45am ＊ 9.15am # 11.15am 12.15pm # 1.45pm 3.35pm # 4.45pm 6.45pm 8.30pm
From Mui Wo 7.20am -
(Above ferry route via Peng Chau)
＊ Operates on Saturday (except Public Holidays) only ＃ Operates on Sunday and Public Holidays only
Your ultimate guide in Tung Chung and South Lantau
CLOTHING & ACCESSORIES
AQ Prettiness Jumping Castles Patchwork Jack Shoesee Foldable
FOOD, RESTAURANTS & BARS
9527 6202 9662 1747 9762 1957 9765 2798 FOOD, RESTAURANTS & BARS
360° Sports Bar & Restaurant Airport Izakaya Andante Asian Taste Chef Express Deli Viet Bistro Delifrance Café Aficionado China Coast Bar & Grill Dragon Inn Erawan Essence Federal Palace Restaurant McDonald’s Delivery Moccato Olea Pizza Hut Regala Café & Dessert Bar Rouge Skycity Bistro Spaghetti House Starz Wine Bar Zentro Garden
2109 4360 2286 6668 3602 8828 2109 4360 6504 4208 2109 0036 2109 4187 2286 6238 2286 6898 2286 6878 3760 6633 3602 8808 2626 0181 2338 2338 3602 8838 3602 8818 3180 0000 2286 6618 2286 6868 2969 2500 2109 1297 2109 0612 2802 8000
HEALTH & WELLBEING
Asian Hairdressers Essential Health Family Clinic Human Health Medical Centre Island Veterinary Services Ltd Pets Central Tung Chung Maternal & Child Health Centre Quality Health Dental Quality Health Medical Raffles Medical
3147 4088 2109 9396 2109 2288 2988 1534 2328 7282 2109 6800 2403 6613 2403 6623 2261 2626
Bahce - Turkish Restaurant Café Bar Bombay Café Casa Brasil Caffe Paradiso (Tom’s Café) China Bear Como Lake Deer Horn Restaurant & Bar High Tide Restaurant La Pizzeria Lantana Italian Bistro Rome Restaurant Sun Fat Restaurant Tak Chai Kee Seafood The China Beach Club The Gallery The Kitchen The Stoep HEALTH & WELLBEING
Dalcroze Impact Fitness Jill Marshall Pilates South Lantau Paddle Club Tony’s Salon
2421 8088 9625 1392 2988 1488 HOTELS
Novotel Citygate Regal Airport Hotel Hong Kong SkyCity Marriott
3602 8888 2890 6060 3969 1888 LEARNING CENTRES
Clement Art School Discovery Mind International Play Centre Greenfield International Kindergarten Kidznjoy Kindermusik Little Academy Salala Kids House Soundwaves English Education Centre Sun Island Education Foundation Sunshine House International Preschool Tung Chung Catholic School (Yat Tung) Tung Yan Day Nursery YMCA of Hong Kong Christian College
5360 0991 2987-8070 2162 5538 6273 7347 6976 8867 3520 3500 2611 9193 6204 7387 2420 1068 2109 3873 2109 4000 3194 5120 2988 8123
SOCIAL, SPORTS & EQUIPMENT
Caribbean Coast Club House Coastal Skyline Club House Impact Fitness Seaview Crescent Club House Smash Cricket Socatots Stepz Studio Tung Chung Crescent Club House
2109 9277 2179 6678 6902 2250 3473 8700 5400 4109 2385 9677 3152 7535 2403 6770
UTILITY, SERVICES & EMERGENCY HOTLINES
Tung Chung Ambulance Depot Tung Chung Fire Station Tung Chung Police Station
2988 8282 2988 1898 3661 1694
6627 4806 6385 0304 9708 0187 6770 1462 2984 0990 HOME & REPAIRS
Findley Leung Group Koon Wah Hardware Lee Wo Construction Engineering Man Shun Construction & Engineering Mantech Electrical Strong Engineering Wah Sing AV Company
2984 8334 2984 8487 2984 1802 2984 9833 2819 6823 9373 0792 2984 0587 HOTELS
Mui Wo Inn Silvermine Beach Resort Tai O Heritage Hotel
HOME & REPAIRS
Akash Removals Mega Power Engineering/Locksmiths Shun Yu Engineering
2984 0222 2984 1847 2984 7471 2984 0498 2984 9720 2984 0009 3484 3095 2980 3002 2984 8933 6331 8974 2984 7982 2984 0418 2984 1265 2983 8931 2980 2582 9160 5986 2980 2699
2984 7225 6810 0111 2985 8383 LEARNING CENTRES
Buddhist Fat Ho College Lantau International Kindergarten Lantau International School Little Lantau Montessori Kindergarten Mui Wo Owls School & Kindergarten
2985 5150 2984 0069 2984 0302 3689 6709 2984 0006
Easy Reach Real Estate Home Solutions Proper Trip Real Estate
2984 0618 3483 5003 2984 1666 RETAIL
Bikes Mui Wo BMX Shop Bizzie Lizzie (childrens clothes and toys) Friendly Bike Shop Red Hall Chinese Antiques Renge House (clothes & accessories) The Red Lantern ZenvarA
2134 1234 2984 2227 2984 2278 2988 1368 2406 8122 2987 0099 9586 3459
SERVICES & OTHERS
Hop Sing Automobile Jumping Castles SPCA Suzanne Goodwin Photography Thai Palin Massage Twig (Design Studio) Zoe Lyle Photography
2984 1410 9662 1747 2984 0060 9025 3949 9062 0148 6351 8923 9834 5498 TRANSPORTATION
Lee Hing Loong Hon Kee Transportation Company Lantau Tours New Lantau Bus Company Sun Rising Moving Company
2984 2268 2984 8494 2984 8255 2984 9848 9036 3132
Your ultimate guide in DB
COMMUNITY & HEALTH Bayside Dental Practice, North Plaza BMSE, North Plaza Catholic Church (Trinity Chapel) DB Alliance Church Community Centre DB International Community Church Discovery Bay Medical Centre Discovery Speech Therapy, North Plaza Health & Care Dental Clinic Herbal Healthcare Island Health Island Veterinary Services The Neighbourhood Advice-Action Council, North Plaza
2987 0855 2259 3422 2988 1515 2987 8136 2987 7061 2987 5633 8120 7835 2666 6183 2834 7276 2987 7575 2987 9003 2259 3422
Dumper Trucks & Daisies A Montessori-based playgroup programme that focuses on the growth and development of the whole child. From 16 months to 4.5 years old Tel: 9667 6921 email@example.com www.dumpertrucksanddaisies.com
L’Ecole Française de Discovery, North Plaza SKH Wei Lun Primary School Sunshine House Int’l Pre-School Sunshine House Kindergarten, North Plaza Treasure House
Apple Travel The Best Travel Agency in DB Tel: 2987 2626 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Future Stars Dance Academy
Dance classes based on the ISTD requirements conducted in a fun, disciplined and safe environment. Tel: 9740 0171 Email: email@example.com
CLOTHING & ACCESSORIES
At Home in DB
HK School of Highland Dance
Information & Services for Residents of DB. Expat Relocation, Newcomer Orientation, Tours, Courses, Networking Tel: 9769 4701 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org www.athomeindb.com
Highland Dance classes now available at MI Studio.Teacher qualified by the SDTA. All ages welcome Tel: 9123 0863 Email: email@example.com
Online Boutique for Newborns & Infants Tel: 5600-7605, firstname.lastname@example.org www.lullabylayette.com
Harvey Law Group
Sunwood by Design International Bodyfit Swimwear Exercise and Yoga Wear Tel: 6626 5470 www.sunwood-by-design.com
In Style Little Whale, North Plaza Nomadic Start-rite shoes
2987 8226 3480 1348 2987 8460 2987 2098
FINANCIAL SERVICES HSBC Travelex Money Exchange, North Plaza Luen Fat Securities Co. Ltd
2233 3000 2682 1210 2987 1851
Good Luck Engineering Hoi Yu Transportation Home Services Engineering Hung Kee Co Interior 18 Japan Home Centre Marc James Design, North Plaza Next Furniture Rapee-living Rich Point Hardware Materials Tai Fat Hardware Store Wing On Department Store Yours Electrical Centre
International Canadian Law Firm in DB North Plaza offering you customised legal services on the many aspects of your personal and professional life Tel: 2416 8618 www.harveylawcorporation.com
Island Dance Freestyle, Jazz, Ballet & Tap Tel: 2987 1571 www.islanddance.com.hk
2987 1313 2987 4488 2987 0061 2987 5087 2987 7803 2987 1041 2765 5700 2987 0222 2987 7082 2987 0789 2987 0789 2987 9268 2987 4428
A fun place for little ones to play and have loads of fun, fun, fun! Tel: 9327 0507 Email: email@example.com
Tues & Wed classes at Discovery College 4 to 12 yrs - 2 fully costumed performances a year Tel: 8122 9475 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org www.actingantics.com
Brightsparks Playgroup Fun, safe and interactive environment for your children. Tel: 9632 4287
British Studio of Art Hong Kong
New art studio in DB for 2 year-olds to adults www.bsoahk.com email@example.com Tel: 9132 5249
Amity Shoe Care My Pet Shop, North Plaza Pets Gallery The Optical House Well Supreme Laundry Services
2987 4538 2987 8873 2987 0428 2987 1368 2987 5151
Lifestyle Boats & Homes
Playtime Kids DB Playgroup run by Montessori-trained teacher. From 18 months to 4 years. Tel: 2623 4099; 9054 0565 firstname.lastname@example.org, www.playtimekidsdb.com
Musical Drama – Acting – Musical Theatre
Grooming & Pet Services Wth Trust, Love & Safe Care For the ones you love Tel: 2914 0382 Email: info@petcoDB.com www.petcoDB.com
French kindergarten open for registrations for school year 2014-2015 from K1 to P6. LG-05, DB North Plaza Tel: 6710 0391 Email: email@example.com www.ecole-discovery.com
8191 0813 2987 8608 2987 0813 2987 8143 2987 4217
Let us take the stress out of homework Homework Club and Private Tutoring, conveniently located. Tel: 9522 3297 firstname.lastname@example.org www.wiseowl.com.hk
Tel: 2914 0888 email@example.com www.lifestylehomes.com.hk Centaline Property Agency Ltd EPS Property Consultants Ltd Headland Homes Hong Kong Boats & Homes Kingsland DB Land Master Property Savills Hong Kong Ltd
2987 8484 2987 2023 2987 2088 6055 0146 2987 2987 2987 6238 2987 1919
RESTAURANTS & HOTELS
Woodentots Woodentots is a Montessori playgroup providing a caring and nurturing environment in the Plaza. Run by a qualified Montessori teacher for children aged 2 1/2 - 5 years. Tel: 6108 9131 firstname.lastname@example.org Bayview House of Children DB International School (Kindergarten) DB International School (Pri / Sec) Discovery College Discovery Mind International Play Centre Discovery Mind Kindergarten Discovery Mind Primary School, North Plaza Discovery Montessori School, North Plaza DMR School of Ballet Early Adventures Learning Centre HK International Learning Academy, North Plaza
6114 2436 2914 2142 2987 7331 3969 1000 2987 8028 2987 8088 2914 2202 2987 1201 2987 4338 9511 2107 2416 3088
% Arabica Coffee Roaster & Farm DB North Plaza Tel: 2885 1323 Email: email@example.com www.arabica.hk 22º North
Auberge Discovery Bay (Hotel), North Plaza
Caramba Mexican Cantina
First Korean Restaurant
Fresh Fruit Juice Paradise
Hemingway’s by the Bay
DB NUMBERS SOCIAL, SPORTS & EQUIPMENT
RESTAURANTS & HOTELS il Bel Paese
Jaspa’s, North Plaza
La Création Bakery
McSorley’s Ale House
Mirch Masala, North Plaza
Paisano’s, North Plaza
Peony Chinese Restaurant
Uncle Russ, DB Plaza
Uncle Russ, North Plaza
Sportsmanship Gymnastics Programs, Health Consultancy, Weight Management & Nutritional Supplements Tel: 2870 3524 www.sportsmanship.usana.com
Sports World All your sporting needs right here in DB Tel: 2914 1323 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Personal Fitness Training (for one to one or small groups) Studio P/S Petra Seeholzer Lang Tel: 6605 2727 Email: email@example.com
Bodypump, Grit Strength, Boxing, Core, TRX, High Intensity Training. Located at North Plaza Tel: 6621 7410 www.thehitroom.com.hk firstname.lastname@example.org
CAISSA Chess Club HK The Club gets together at the DB North Plaza Community Center Tel: 9681 2896 Email: email@example.com www.caissahk.com
A professional sports play program specially designed for children 16 months - 5 years of age. Tel: 34887724 firstname.lastname@example.org www.tinytots.com.hk
Women’s Fitness Centre Club Siena Tel: 2987 0772 email@example.com www.curves.com
Club Siena Discovery Bay Marina Club Discovery Bay Golf Club Discovery Bay Recreation Club
2987 7382 2987 9591 2987 7273 2987 7381
TOYS, ACCESSORIES & KIDS’ PARTIES
DB Party Lovers For all your party needs in DB Tel: 9132 5249 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org www.dbpartylovers.com
Embody Classical Pilates, Yoga and more! Tel: 6624 7812 email@example.com www.embody.hk
Little Milly Trinkets & treasures for girls and boys Tel: 6596 1817 firstname.lastname@example.org www.littlemilly.com
HK Dragons Football Club Bo Bo House Toysland
Spin Works The Ultimate Workout Certified and friendly staff, located in North Plaza Tel: 5145 2776 www.spinworks.com.hk
Body Talk Holistic therapy for illness, stress, sports injury & learning disorders Tel: 6683 5755 email@example.com www.bodytalksystem.com.hk
Child & Family Development Practice Developing potential, exploring possibilities www.childdevelopment.com.hk firstname.lastname@example.org
My Health Coach Lulu Improve your life balance through health and self awareness. I am able to offer a bespoke program just for you. Email: email@example.com www.myhealthcoachlulu.com
M Spa Provides door-to-door treatment service. Conveniently located in the Plaza. Reflexology, massage, pedicure/manicure. Tel: 2987 0614
Nailed It Professional artificial nail services in DB Tel: 2987 2266
2987 4230 2987 7859
Nutrition consultations in DB
Movement Improvement Pilates, Yoga, Spinning, TRX, Zumba, Personal Training The complete solution on your doorstep at DB North Plaza Tel: 2987 5852 www.movementimprovement.com.hk
A Mother’s Touch
Specialists in Pregnancy & Newborn Care Tel: 2851 9654 firstname.lastname@example.org www.amotherstouch.com.hk
Football for 2.5- to 14- year old girls and boys Tel: 2987 4274 www.dragons.hk
3651 2345 2728 8333 2678 2678 2987 4242 2987 7502 2238 3601 2525 6798 2238 3388 2987 4052 2987 6046 2435 4511 2988 2369 2987 6738 2835 1473 2811 0788 2824 5000
The HIT Room
Offering Judo classes for ages 5+ Mon, Wed & Sat classes available Email: email@example.com www.cobrasportshk.com
24-hour Customer Service Hotline China Light & Power Emergency China Light & Power Information Line Discovery Bay Commercial Services Discovery Bay Fire & Ambulance Discovery Bay Management Discovery Bay Medical Services Discovery Bay Office Centre Discovery Bay Police Discovery Bay Post Office Gas Leakage Emergency Hotline Lantau North Report Room San Hing Gas Co Typhoon Signal Enquiries Water Fault Reports Water Supplies Department
SOCIAL, SPORTS & EQUIPMENT
DB COBRAS JUDO CLUB
UTILITIES, SERVICES & EMERGENCY HOTLINES
Improve your diet and achieve your health goals Tel: 9827 8413 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org www.thenutritionclinic.com.hk
Limo service in HK & China • pick up from / to DB Tunnel • direct transfer to SZ / GZ Airport Tel: 5303 3489 / 9654 0899 email@example.com ACCESSDB Rehabus DB Golf Cart Services DB Transit Services DB Transportation Services Hire Car Bookings Passenger Telephone Hotline Wiselink Golf Cart Services
6283 9270 2914 2727 2914 0186 2987 7351 2987 6348 2987 0208 2987 9368
MOW | Grooming & Skin Care A unique retail & treatment space at DBN, that caters to your grooming, skin care & therapeutic requirements Tel: 2499 8826 / 6773 3103 www.mowhk.com firstname.lastname@example.org Afflatus Hair Workshop, North Plaza Maximum Care Salon De Coiffure Sense of Touch Spa Siena
2987 0283 2987 2060 2987 4112 2987 9198 2987 7382
PERFECTLY USELESS “The world is far too serious… it has need of a wise and merry philosophy.” To celebrate another Year of the Horse, Peter Sherwood looks to Lin Yutang to explain the importance of living
nder threat of being water-boarded or exiled to Singapore, I could probably write about Chinese New Year, but what with Christmas chaos and the other New Year my brain is porridge. I don’t feel up to facing intricacies of an ancient culture. Congenital slothfulness will just about take me to the esoteric philosophy of Lin Yutang [1895– 1976] and that’s as good as you’ll get.
Written in English and published in 1937, Lin’s offbeat gem The Importance of Living – an antidote to the fast pace of its day – has survived the ravages of literary fashion. Irresistible are chapter headings such as On Having a Stomach, On Being Wayward and Incalculable, Man the Only Working Animal, On Sitting in Chairs, and The Inhumanity of Western Dress. And good old sensible philosophy like, “If you can spend a perfectly useless afternoon in a perfectly useless manner, you have learned how to live”.
Can’t argue with that On happiness Lin was all practicality: “Happiness for me is largely a matter of digestion. If one’s bowels move, one is happy, and if they don’t move, one is unhappy. That is all there is to it.” Nothing much to add there. Food was never far from Lin’s most serious contemplations: “The Chinese scholar cannot stare coldly and unemotionally at a fish without immediately thinking of how it tastes and wanting to eat it. I don’t trust
No fan of reasonableness, Lin saw man being reasonable as the kiss of death, preferring, like Zorba the Greek, the idea that unreasonable was the key to wringing the best out of life Chinese surgeons; I am afraid that when a Chinese surgeon cuts up my liver in search of a gall-stone, he may forget about the stone and put my liver in a frying pan.” On drinking tea: “There is something in the nature of tea that leads us into a world of quiet contemplation of life”. And Lin was big on bed: “There is a certain proper and luxurious way of lying in bed. Confucius, that great artist of life, never lay straight in bed, like a corpse, but always curled up on one side. I believe one of the greatest pleasures of life is to curl up one’s legs in bed.” Summary: cured leaves of Camellia sinensis and the sack! Is that it? No imported beer, fine Scotch or
Technology equals happiness Fast forward to the certifiable insanity of the 21st century which makes all previous rat races look like the Teddy Bear’s Picnic. In a world where faster is better, and technology equals sublime contentment; where we have bought into the Big Fib that quality time exists, while we pursue the futile struggle to find and preserve it; where every dizzying moment is spent staring desperately into a dumb screen. In that contemporary madhouse, Lin’s whimsical masterpiece is more relevant than ever – and a lot more gently constructed and wittier than this paragraph. No fan of reasonableness, Lin saw man being reasonable as the kiss of death, preferring, like Zorba the Greek, the idea that unreasonable was the key to wringing the best out of life. “I hate completely rational beings… I am always scared and ill at ease when I enter a house in which there are no ashtrays.” Hardly magnificently heroic stuff, but the point is made. Who cannot but like a man who produced an essay entitled The Importance of Loafing? Lin gets the last word: “It is not when man is working in his office but when he is lying idly on the sand that his soul utters, "Life is beautiful”.”
Peter Sherwood has lived in DB for 15 years. The former head of an international public relations firm, Peter is the author of 15 books and he has written around 400 satirical columns for the South China Morning Post.
Find more from Peter
devastating hangovers?! How quaint.