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 Jan 23/Dec 29

It's a looooooong day ...

I promised myself that I will to be lazy. So I slept for almost 9 hours. I wake up feeling guilty and worse of all, to a thundering stomach. Hey, how about some poisonous (in terms of cholesterol level) BBQ meat rice? Crunchy skin, thin layer of fat, and juicy meat. I only allow myself to think of it during holidays because it's embarrassing to drool in front of my clients.

 


BBQ food is almost a must for New Year. BBQ pork, duck, chicken ... etc. attract a big line up in front of this famous BBQ shop.


BBQ meat rice dish from heaven. 

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People, people and People...
After lunch, I stroll to a nearby flower market. Don't think Hong Kong is a huge nut house if you see lots of people walking on the streets with flowers. Flower is must for New Year.

More people, people and people ...

One of the "New Year's Eve Flower Market". If I tell you this big place will be packed with one human being/sqr foot, you would tell me to get out of here.  Well, let's watch on...

A booth selling peach blossom [luck with opposite sex or good development in business]. Not a pot-size flower they are.

"Hey, get some Golden Fruit or you will regret" (that's only Kam speaking

Other things you can see being sold at the flower market. 

More things to be sold ... some really irrelevant things not showed here are sowing machines, crazy glue, books etc. The flower market might as well be called the "New Year's Eve Flee Market".
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The government organizes "New Year's Eve Flower Markets" in all areas of Hong Kong. Booths in the markets are auctioned off in public. A 7-day booth ending in the early morning of New Year's Day could cost between a few hundred dollars to US$25,000 (snack booth usually). The most popular flower market gets a traffic of 400,000 people on New Year's Eve alone. Yes, 400,000 hundred-pound creatures, not electronic page hits on eBay. 
  
 
Time to see some nice things. Flower names below are translated from their Chinese common name (some are even unknown to me). It will take another 100 years of studying before I can label them with names like "Paeonia". No complain please.
You have seen this many, many times on Kam's eBay paintings. Now you can see the real thing. Peony, the flower of  wealthiness. Temperature is warm this year and the blossom is well over it's peak before New Year. 

Chrysanthemum KING. They are the size of a couple of fists. Chrysanthemum is not a lucky flower though. I guess we just want it for it's bright and delightful color during New Year.

Lily

La la la ... Ok, I don't know the name of this one ... although it looks familiar ...

Some mutant Chrysanthemum ... 

More mutant Chrysanthemum ... 

Bees...
ok, Tulip too.

Even more mutant Chrysanthemum ... 

Daffodil

Chains of Gold - anything with silver or gold is a lucky charm

Come on Kam, Chrysanthemum again!?

La la la ...

Orchid?

Another species of Peony

More wealth, more Peony ...

I found only one booth selling plum blossom. Why? Plum sounds like "mould" in Chinese. The spirit of PB is good but who wants to get mouldy in a new year?

A small pot of orchid that carries a price tag of $300. I can spend that much on Chinese paintings easily but for flowers ...  

Silver Willow. People like these 5 feet branches because the look like strands of silver.

Ok, don't hit me. This could be another species of Chrysanthemum.

Close-up of peach blossom. It has what it takes to be the popular New Year flower. 

How to deal with a peach tree? 1) Pay $200 for a 6-feet tree; 2)strap the tree on top on your car; 3) go home as quickly as you can;

4) display it as illustrated.

More peach blossom

Loose Skin Orange [luckiness]. 

The bigger the tree is, the better the luck. The oranges are not as beautiful as other flowers we have seen and they are rarely eaten. Chinese want them just for a sign of luckiness. They will be thrown out after New Year. How environmental unfriendly. 
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After a good day's walk, it's time to have gathering dinner with my parents and my sister (who is working in Macau now and can only come home a day per week). No one wants to do the dishes so we dinned out.

Sad to say, the food was so-so but we have a nice chat over the food. After all, that is all that matters with a year end gathering dinner. 


There are plenty of people who don't like doing dishes. Thus the restaurant is very full.

Someone at the restaurant is really hungry. Note: it's a piece of Tofu in between the chopsticks, not a broken tongue.

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On New Year's Eve, the action happens around mid-night. At the turn of the new year, Chinese (or maybe just Chinese in HK) like to stay on the street because walking around sounds like getting lucky in Chinese. But you can't just walk around without a destination, so every one heads for the flower market. Imagine some 1.5 million people trying to get lucky on the street ...
It's 15 minutes to mid-night and the road is busier than busy.

People in front ...

People at my back ... hey, hey, you are touching my behind!

People everywhere...
It's near mid-night. I tried to get lucky and make it to the nearby flower again. At about one mile away from the flower market, I run into the crowd - the big crowd. Cops are all out blocking the streets. The crowd can now only move in one direction towards the flower market. It takes me 25 minutes to move some 200 feet. I am smelling the shoulder of the guy in front. And I can feel something touching my behind. Gee, I cross my fingers that it's not the hand of a man. 

After 1.5 hours of struggling, I am still a few hundred feet from the entrance. I think I have "gotten lucky" enough, plus I figure it will take me another 3 hours to make it out of the flower market, I call it a day. Oh, it's already the Year of the Snake. Kung Hei Fat Choi & happy New Year!

Back home, I put together a few web pages and auctions before the Year of the Dragon officially ends. Sweet dreams.

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