Metallica in Hong Kong

On Friday, January 20th, my wife and I went to AsiaWorld-Arena to see Metallica in concert. It was our first time seeing Metallica in concert, Metallica’s first concert in Hong Kong, and my wife’s first time listening to Metallica. That’s quite a few firsts. I’d like to commend my wife for venturing into unknown musical territory for her dear husband.

To our delight and amusmement, it turned out that there are thousands of Metallica fans in Hong Kong and it seemed to be a sellout crowd. We could be rest assured there would be a great and lively atmosphere.

We got to the arena with enough time to pick up a couple drinks at 7-11, go to the washroom and find our seats with a few minutes to spare. They were selling beers but they weren’t really letting people bring cups of beer inside and it was slightly overpriced anyway.

The concert was supposed to start at 8:00pm but it started a few minutes late. That was fine as a lot of people still hadn’t come in from the lobby yet. Finally, the lights dimmed, and the video screen in the center began playing the final scene from the movie Unforgiven. Immediately following that, Metallica started with their classic song, Unforgiven.

All the band members were on point throughout the whole concert. They certainly put on a brilliant live performance. There were several guitar solos but perhaps the most notable one was by Robert Trujillo. That guy is a true man on fire with his guitar.

They played several of their classic songs, some from their latest album and then back to the classics again. They went off the stage around 10:30 to “end the concert” but came out for an encore after a nonstop round of applause and cheers for more. They played a couple more tunes and finally concluded to a standing ovation. It’s probably the best concert I’ve been to so far and my dear wife enjoyed it too! Come back soon Metallica!

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Infrastructure – Fanling Highway

Infrastructure is one of my interests. I’m fascinated by structures that keep people moving and things working. I appreciate how vital it all is to our modern society.

Hong Kong may seem like an overly developed, overcrowded dystopian metropolis to a lot of people. It certainly looks that way at first glance. Please rest assured though that much of Hong Kong is actually countryside land and furthermore, the urbanized areas where people live and work are loosely connected by railways and freeways. Some of those freeways were built long ago. Sometimes they are merely narrow highways and inadequate for the task of getting a massive amount of people from home to work in the morning and vice versa in the evening.

In the past few years, I’ve been observing some exciting construction going on at Fanling Highway in the central New Territories. Officially, it’s known as the  Tolo and Fanling Highways Widening Project. They’ve substantially widened the major arteries and are also in the process of adding more onramps and offramps. Progress is beautiful!

You may have noticed how remarkable the construction method is for some of these elevated freeway sections. It almost seems magical how some of those t-sections can just remain suspended in midair without being pulled down by the force of gravity into a terrible mess. This highway is part of one of my regular running routes and every single time I see these massive things, I’m in awe of it all. It’s just incredible.

2017 – MSIG Sai Kung 50

On February 18, 2017 I ran the 2017 edition of the MSIG Sai Kung 50. No, I didn’t actually run 50 kilometres, in the countryside, up and down mountains. Maybe someday I will, but not that day. I ran the shorter, 21km route, in the countryside, up and down mountains. This run started super early in the morning. The run was to start at 7:00AM, so I got to Pak Tam Chung Picnic Garden at around 6:00AM. I had plenty of time to mill around, hydrate, warm up, and hand in my things to the friendly baggage collection folks for safe storage.

We got off to a great start at 7 in the morning but it wasn’t too long before we all behaved like lemmings and followed someone in the front who went off the path by accident. There was a hilarious few minutes of all of us trying to reverse direction on a perilously narrow village path.

Once back on course, we all began to spread apart a lot more as we all settled into our own personal grooves. Along the way was some great scenery as well as… a cow.

From then on, it was a mighty hard slog up some steep inclines. We eventually got to a beach village where refreshment stands were setup. Words can’t properly express how much I appreciated water and Nutella sandwiches.

From there, I had a nice little walk along the beach as I munched on my sandwich and drank the water. An important sidenote concerning the water: as I took the bottle from the refreshment stand and started to walk away, the lady at the stand reminded me not to just carelessly leave it somewhere. I assured her I wouldn’t. I didn’t. Once emptied, I crushed it and carried the dang thing up and down mountains until I finally saw the next rubbish bin.

So anyway, that nice walk along the beach was the last easygoing part of the run. From then on, I had a brutal, never ending walk up a mountain that seemed to never end. I swear, several times I just wanted to lay down and sleep. That was a real desire. This is the reason why I encourage people to get into endurance sports though. You get into a mental kind of headspace that is not really easy to get into in other situations. You end up LEARNING more about yourself. I finally did get to the top of that brutal incline and took a couple of nice pictures.

Now a little warning: when you’re completely knackered and sitting on the ground to catch your breath, DO NOT quickly stand up without your sunglasses on if there’s a clear blue sky. It was the strangest thing. It was like there was a little gremlin inside my skull, pinching the rear of both my eyeballs. I wasn’t having any of that so I sat back down for another minute until the weird little mini-migraine went away. Then I put my sunglasses back on, SLOWLY stood up again, and started the descent down the mountain.

Later on, we got off the mountain trail and spent a great deal of time running on pavement. At one point, there were some reinforced embankments that people had scratched various country names into. I made my own contribution.

All in all, I had great time despite finishing with an atrocious run time! Ha ha. I’d like to extend a big congratulations to the event organizers. They put on a great race overall – which even featured great post-race refreshments!

Beautiful Sunset in Mong Kok

This is pretty much just a little photo story. I was walking somewhere in Mong Kok last night, coming down from East Mong Kok MTR Station towards Argyle Street when I noticed a little line of photographers on the pedestrian bridge that I had just entered onto. I looked in the direction of the sunset and saw that the sun was setting right over Argyle Street, between a bunch of skyscrapers. The sun was almost perfectly positioned and it was casting beautiful rays of sunshine towards us.

Always keep your eyes open. You’ll never know when there’s something ridiculously beautiful to see.