Wednesday, 27 January 2010

The Asian Rattan Adventure - part two

Before moving on to the rattan processing, a little more about Hong Kong - because it is such an interesting place!

Having visited Vancouver more than three decades ago and enjoyed the friendly multi cultural society and wonderful harbourside scenery there, I felt very much at home in Hong Kong. The large open spaces and urban concrete commercial sprawl works so well. The parks are terrific, an oasis in an otherwise noisy environment, sanctuary in fact.

It is noticeable that change is on the way for this place. Every available bit of land is being developed to its full capacity, it is an area of optimism - a breath of fresh air in an otherwise pessimistic World. It is possible to leave goods on the side of the street for collection later, no-one is likely to steal or damage them. We saw bamboo scaffolding being dismantled and left at the roadside, the poles were still there when we left a week later, office supplies, fish and vegetables were commonly left outside closed premises for hours on end until opening time - no-one helped themselves to these "abandoned goods". In most other countries of the world if something is left on the street it is likely to be considered "ownerless", it seems in Hong Kong people see such things as "awaiting collection by their owners", a whole different viewpoint.

Baskets are used for everything, from collecting rubbish, to moving rubble and storing food. Most that we saw were made from split bamboo, very few rattan, although the woven rattan baskets we did see were exquisite.

We are finally beginning to recover from our travels, having managed to get a few jobs done, this week, yet more danish cord work chair seats and I've started a cane medallion back. I think it's good to be home...?

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