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!

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.

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.

2017 China Coast Marathon

A month ago I took part in the 2017 China Coast Marathon, sponsored by Gammon. It’s a wonderful event that features a scenic full marathon and half marathon on a very challenging course of mostly incline and decline.

First I had to get up in the early morning hours to catch a minibus from my home to a shuttle bus stationed at Tai Po Market. That bus was due to leave at 6:00am and arrive at the race site at close to 7:00am.

Everything went smoothly and I arrived at Po Leung Kuk Holiday Camp with enough time to get my things ready, go to the washroom and properly warm up for the race.

There were already a lot of people milling about, trying to warm up. I was freezing. I immediately regretted not bringing a heavier jacket. I had thought a simple athletic wind breaker would suffice. I was mistaken.


Leading up to race time, I had to battle with my nerves to keep my digestive system at bay but I lost that battle. I had to go to the toilet shortly after getting off the bus, and then about a half hour later. By then the line was too long so I just hoped there would be some sort of toilet during the run.

At 8am we were off at the starting line and I felt GREAT, despite having to go number 1 and 2 at the nearest porta potty.

 

The run basically consisted of 2 rounds of the circuit shown on the map posted below. It was fairly challenging as most of the run was either at an incline or decline.

I was somewhere around 25% done when my left ankle began to act up as it sometimes does. I kind of expect it. I had sprained it a few times through the years and it healed a bit less every time. It’s not a big deal most of the time. From then on, I was forced to give up on my target pace of 6km an hour and had to alternate between walking, limping/running, and running. It’s funny how pain kind of comes and goes when you’re running.

I ultimately crossed the finish line and the feeling was amazing. This was my first countryside marathon and I had a lot of fun despite the poor performance. I hope I do better next time!