Saturday, 26 September 2009

Salt or sugar?

As a lifeguard one of my positions to 'guard' is the bottom of the flumes, aka a very boring, hot and humid half hour. Today however I am there in my usual slumped pose, eyeing up a couple of girls with a poke chips. It was then I realised they have just started to pour two sachets of sugar on their chips. Did they know it wasn't salt?! It was just like the Starburst experiment we conducted yesterday - seeing whether we can answer the question of what flavour is each sweet correctly without seeing the colour of packet. So did they they realise?! No. 2 sachets of sugar and a poke of chips later (which they enjoyed just usually as the average child) the girls went back to get more 'salt' when they finally realised the mistake they had made. It wasn't the taste that told them the answer, it was the packaging. When do we cross the line from what we see and other senses taking over? The packet did say suagr, not salt. Like signs should be, it just wasn't completely universially obvious. Because their brains believed it was salt, and it looked like salt, it took over other senses, taste on this occasion, and they truely believed it was. Crazy as it seems, I can't help asking myself the same question, would I notice something so 'obvious'?

Wednesday, 23 September 2009

Jupiter Artland

Jupiter Artland. Bonnington House near Edinburgh. Simply a backyard. Not so much. Here hidden in and around the woods are works by such contemporary artists and desingers including Charles Jencks, Andy Goldswothy, Anthony Gormly and Marc Quin.

 Journeying along a pathway unveiling magnificant pieces of art, some large and others hidden amongst the trees. A fantastic place to dream, imagine and contemplate as you wander in and out, through and around the masterpieces.

Friday, 18 September 2009

Hong de la Kong

3 seats, 3 pancakes and 13 hours sleep and I arrive in the steamy City of China - Hong Kong. The cosmopolitan city is thriving with culture, captivating architecture and not to forget 'New Yorks 5th Avenue x2!'. 

After making my way from the new airport to the City, which is the Westernized main business and shopping outlet of Hong Kong, I meet with Nora, my university friend, and we take the Fast Ferry to her island (not exactly hers, but I'd say a fair share). Cheung Chou is an island 6 miles from main Hong Kong - a naturally beautiful space roming with true Chinese dedicated to fishing and farming. Such a contrast to the high-rise blocks and businessmen that fill the streets and markets just 30minutes away. This is what Hong Kong is about - it has everything. The culture, the contemporary ideas, the city, the shopping, the scenery, the beaches...but most of all the food.                                                

Never before had I experienced such delicate, exceptionally tasting food. Yes I have grown up a vegetarian but coming here was something out of the ordinary. To you average Westerner that is! Birds saliva, ducks tongue and chicken feet were all top of the menus at your average 'diner'. Even at home every evening we experienced culinary delights from choosing your favourite crab for scranning an hour later to trying to master the art of chopsticks (I am now a master let me say). This is an average dinner in the Chou residence, presentation of bright colours, perfected cuttings of meat and vegetables and textures created a meal 24/7. The Chinese take such pride in their food and presentation it put me to sham mouthwatering e, even after 2 weeks without bread, on the plane home all I wanted was rice!

To me, the other most important and memorable part of Hong Kong is the architecture and scenery. Never have I been somewhere that has everything, you could argue it's to do with them having money, being ruled by Britain, but whatever it is, they have it. The combination of sky scrapers, such as the Lippo Building with kuala bears climbing up the sides, and The Hong Kong bank, juxtoposing against the traditional Chinese markets snuggled between them up skinny streets, locking in that cultural atmosphere that is unforgettable. This is where the old men and woman survive selling dried fish they have spent all day laying, and in the rooms above the last existing 'factories', more like rooms, where egg noodles are made daily. You would never guess a two minute walk around the corner and you would be facing Dior's best window display.