The welcome from the staff at the Gen Ed team at HKU
Is warm, open, interesting and inspiring
Mok, Elisa, Mandi and me share coffee and try to find the common ground
That will build a set of future projects in China
Portuegese squares, busy shopping streets, ending up at the Instituto Cultura
Eating Buddhist veggie food with Arvind
Talking about community culture and identity
My working community is a powerful network
Today is all about building some future plans in meetings and conversations with friends and new aquaintances. I start by packing up the OMB and taking it in a taxi across the island to Hong Kong Uni where I meet with Chi Chung and am welcomed with open arms by the team at the General Education Unit.
The 24 Hours in a Tower project was a great thing for me and also, I think, for them with resonances that end up with the follow up invitation to be part of their CHANGEMAKERS ConFest later this week. It looks a great event that will consider issues of spatial justice, diy entrepreneurship and radical ways to cope with the changing political status quo. See http://tinyurl.com/lj39bv6. The team are making passes out of wood and preparing for the whole village square that will be made in the campus. This is Tofok who was there for the 24 Hours project and now is working with the team.
The conversation with Chi Chung is brief and practical - we are both pushed for time - yet it also opens up an agenda and some dates for next year. The map is building!
Taxis and MTR takes me north to Kowloon side for a strategy meeting with Mandi and the CCCD team - I wonder where this will lead. There are definitely possibilities and many of them look financially viable and also able to be delivered by more than me - interesting. There is a Dim Sum lunch to bid farewell to a volunteer who is leaving to go to France and then I race back to the island to catch the ferry to Macau. The sky is clear and the sea is a great colour. The hydrofoil moves at speed and I spend time on the computer and looking out at boats, skyscrapers, islands and bridges. It's a strange life!
Wingo is waiting for me on Tapei and we catch the Sands Casino shuttle bus to the other island where we walk on a city hike for 90 minutes and talk and talk and talk.
We first met when he was the production manager on the Long Walk, and then every year we have met in Brazil, Morecambe, HK and Macau. There is a deep and enduring friendship that we both value.
We talk a lot about his future plans - Macau, Beijing, Taiwan. He delivers me to my official meeting with the man from the Arts Ed dept and Arvin - a friend of Mok's. We go for lovely simple food and talk and talk and talk. I discover new aspects of Macau - the real relationship with the Portuguese culture, their view about their cultural identity and the role of government in a casino rich society.
The conversation develops at a local centre with 3 more people - I give a presentation about our work in the UK and we develop draft plans for next years projects.. At 9pm we leave the building and Cola (my stage manager from last years Fringe Festival) picks me up on her scooter to take me across town to meet with Wingo for a beer at the Skybar in the Starworks Casino. We sit and drink beer in the warm wind and develop our conversations from earlier until finally I head back for the 11.30 ferry to Hong Kong.
This is a very extraordinary life.