March 17, 2013

Stop and smell the (osmanthus) flowers

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I've been back in Hong Kong for almost 6 months now, and thanks to the generosity of Tigger's family, I've been holed up in the boonies while I took my sweet ol' time thinking about what to do about my housing situation.  Because I work in Central and still spend lots of time on the Island and all, I don't end up spending all that much time in my 'hood… and when I'm here I'm usually holed up in the apartment.

After a quick lunch today, I decided to take a stroll and speed up the digestion a little.  There is a park whose entrance is about 100 meters from my building, and in all the months that I've been here, I've never bothered to see what it's like.

Once through the entrance, I can see that the park has a collection of sporting facilities, such as a full football (soccer for Americans) pitch, tennis courts, hard courts for football/basket ball…etc.  There is also a jogging trail and some equipment for the elderly to do some exercise.  Scattered throughout the area are flowerbeds, shrubs and trees, which one would expect to see in a park.

As I strolled through the space, I became amazed at the diversity of the flora within the park.  The Leisure and Cultural Services Department had clearly put some effort into making sure that there were different species of shrubs, trees…etc planted within this space.  There was ficus, juniper, the ubiquitous bauhinia (it being Hong Kong's "national" flower and all)… There were also lots of shrubs that I'd never seen before, such as this red poofy thing that the butterfly decided to perch on...

Morning glories were in bloom, as were impatiens and hibiscus.  Osmanthus has been in bloom for the last few months around this area, perking me up with their lovely fragrance every time I walk past.

Thanks to the diversity of the flora, I found different species of butterflies and birds around the park, which was a pretty nice change from the normal slog in our vast concrete jungle.  All this within 100 meters of where I live.

I'm sure there are a number of similar parks around Hong Kong, and there's bound to be one near you.  We (OK, I know I did) often take these parks for granted, and don't think much about what's in them.  If you just take some time out of your busy routine, and peek around the corner, perhaps you, too, will find that there's beauty just around the corner.

I guess Hong Kong's not so bad after all.

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