Saturday Surprise — A Trip to Hong Kong!

I didn’t do a Saturday Surprise post last week, and while I had one started for this week, I simply deflated — lost my motivation.  But, I have it started and you’ll see it sometime soon … I promise!  Meanwhile, though … I dug back through my archives for one of my more popular Saturday Surprise posts and came up with this one that I think you’ll love!  I first posted this in July 2018, so for many of you it will be a first anyway, and the rest of you can pretend you’ve forgotten it and enjoy it again!

A ‘feel-good’ story crossed my path today, and it led me on a journey.  I came back to get you all and take you with me on a journey to … Hong Kong!!!  We are going to Hong Kong to see the Dragon Boat races and to meet one very special team of racers who I think will really impress you!  Don’t worry, you’ll be back in time for whatever is on your Saturday docket.dragon-boat-carnivaldragon-boat-carnival-2.jpgThe Dragon Boat Festival takes place every year on the 5th day of the 5th Lunar month, normally in May or June in our calendar.  This year it was on June 18th. The festival is best known for its colourful Dragon Boat races where teams of paddlers race the long narrow boats accompanied by the beat of the drum down to the finish line.  The drumbeat is to keep members of the team in time.dragon-boat-1.jpgAccording to one popular legend, the Dragon Boat Festival has its origins in the old man Qu Yuan, an official that was so disillusioned with his country’s government that he drowned himself in protest by jumping in the river. The locals rushed to the site, paddling on their boats and banging drums, gongs and everything they could find to scare away anything that might harm Qu Yuan in hopes to find and rescue him but they were not successful. They also brought offerings of rice to calm the old man’s spirit. The pilgrimage with the long boats, the drumming and the rice evolved into massive and colorful events and the dragon boat races and competitions that characterize the festival of today.dragon-boat-2The races last for three days, and every year, thousands compete.  This year, though, was special for there was a new team on the block called the Darkness Fighters. Their mantra is “Challenge the impossible.”  You see, this team is special for they are all blind and most are well beyond retirement age!  For some, it is their first time competing in any organized sport. Darkness Fighters-1.jpg“I’m really happy to be here today because I didn’t think I would be able to do things like this,” said Tsang Jau Rung, 72, who began losing her sight 16 years ago and joined the Fighters this year.

“It is a group effort,” said Annie Wing Chee Lo, 60, who steadily lost her sight over the past 10 years. “It requires our utmost focus and perseverance for us to do well.”Darkness Fighters-2.jpgFor the blind paddlers the race has its own sensory delights: the thrum of the drum, the spray of the water, the crowd’s cheers. By the end of the race, they are sopping wet, exhausted and beaming with pride. They placed fifth out of eight teams.

“We were all on point with our rhythms and didn’t mess one another up,” Mr. Lau said. “That alone is a win for us.”

Now wasn’t that a fun journey with which to start the weekend?  I hope you all enjoyed the trip to the Dragon Boat Festival and enjoyed meeting the Darkness Fighters!  Have a safe and wonderful weekend!dragon-boat-3

12 thoughts on “Saturday Surprise — A Trip to Hong Kong!

      • We went there in 2018 because Cindy’s company was thinking of putting her on a project where she would have had to move there for a year.

        it was an interesting place to visit but I wouldn’t want to live there. It’s very loud, very crowded, and everything is very expensive. An apartment the 4th the size of our house costs around $3000 a month and school for the kids wound have been around $100000 a year if I remember right.

        Their public transportation system called the MTR is very clean and efficient and I’ve never been on as many escalators in my life as I was when we were there.

        Shopping is so popular that malls are attached to the hotels and the buildings are really tall.

        it was a 16 hour direct flight from Dallas to Hong-Kong so it’s an 11 hour difference in the time change which disoriented Cindy for around a month after our returning. She gets disoriented by the time change here for around a week each time.

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        • Well, at least you got the experience! I guess Cindy’s company changed their mind? Wow, I never would have guessed that housing would be so expensive there!

          I’m like Cindy … the time change of just an hour throws me off for a couple of weeks, and it was even worse when I worked! My only trip outside of North America was to Paris when my company sent me there back in the early 1990s and I thoroughly enjoyed it … loved the country, the food, the people … I wanted to stay, but … well, I needed to keep my job, so I came back!


          • well it just didn’t work out, there were some problems with the project and it actually worked out that we didn’t go. That summer, we had to replace our air conditioner and some other things.

            Cindy’s been the Denmark for work and while she was over there, she went across the way to visit Sweden for a day.

            Leah wants to go to France so maybe Cindy will take there as a graduation gift.

            I’d like to visit Norway.

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            • I can only imagine that such a move would have presented some real hurdles for your family! Probably all for the best it didn’t work out, but at least you got a trip of a lifetime!

              France is beautiful and I hope Leah gets the opportunity to visit there! I would love to visit Norway and Sweden, too … they rank highest on the World Happiness Index! I hope you get the chance to someday, my friend!


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