Sunday, 8 November 2009

Not so Happy Valley

So I decided to explore the cemeteries in Happy Valley in advance of zombie film director Andy Edward’s visit (thought I’d show him the real sites). My HK mates thought that was a weird…presumably because I haven’t yet dragged them around any graveyards as I am wont to do with my UK-based friends.
Anyway, I headed to the ironically named Happy Valley to check out their offerings – all of which were pretty different from each other. The Parsee (or Zoroastrian – y’know, like Freddie Mercury) cemetery was amazingly lush and tropical and fittingly, I was listening to Bali Ha’i on my iPod as I wandered through the foliage.

Next up was the military cemetery which was extremely quiet and austere. And featured this rather imposing grave:

Like many HK cemeteries, it is stepped up a hill, and as I climbed, venturing deeper and deeper into the cemetery, I realised that this could become one of those “in space no one can hear you scream” kind of situations because there was no one around. In fact, I’m not sure there was anyone in the place at all (apart from the dead – boom boom).

However, I brushed the paranoia away and reminded myself of how ridiculously safe HK is and carried on. When I reached the back of the graveyard, I ventured down a dark winding path and was rewarded with an unlocked gate. It led to St Michael’s Catholic cemetery and the most amazing steps I have seen in HK. An India Rubber tree had wrapped its roots around the steps – beautiful.

In this graveyard, I saw two warning signs – one which made me laugh (the Triad one) and one which I ignored (the dengue fever one). Of course I should have paid attention to the history of the area and its significance. Many British soldiers in the early 1800s contracted malaria and died there. So yeah – they still have mozzies. And yeah – they got me – again. Although luckily they appear to be disease-free ones. Well, I’m not dead yet in any case…although you now know some spots in HK where you can dispose of my body.

1 comment:

  1. The roots of the rubber tree are hauntingly beautiful.