Our first day in Hong Kong was also the first of the two-day Clockenflap music festival. This year, the free festival, now going on its 4th year, set-up at the West Kowloon Waterfront Promenade and included a line-up dedicated mainly to local bands mixed in with international artists like Santigold, Bombay Bicycle Club, and Pains of Being Pure at Heart.
After the band’s soundcheck, I met up with Pains of Being Pure at Heart’s Kip Berman and Peggy Wang at the Clockenflap grounds. Since it was both our first time in Hong Kong, we had to experience what the city does best… FOOD. So we headed for lunch at the legendary 24-hour Tsui Wah Restaurant. Tsui Wah is a popular late-night joint for those post-boozing and partying with its signature dishes being the crispy bun with sweet condensed milk, spicy seafood and lemongrass noodle soup (my fave), and sizzling fried noodles with king prawns. We had all that plus about five more dishes with drinks like “Creamy Corn,” which Kip ordered and actually really loved.
While stuffing our faces, we talked about life since the release of their second album, Belong, which came out earlier in the year, and our first jet-lagged impressions of Hong Kong. Since I grew up in an area where Asians were the minority and with a family that’s not typical Chinese (my parents are neither Cantonese or Mandarin but rather Hakka from India), I never really connected deeply to popular Chinese culture and was hoping this trip would help me to better understand that side of my identity. It was interesting to also hear Peggy’s perspective on growing up in a predominantly white neighbourhood and what it was like growing up Asian(watch the video at the bottom to see our interview).
After our feast at Tsui Wah, we walked over to Tung Choi Street, better known as Ladies’ Market, in Mong Kok (an area notorious for being a sneaker haven) to shop for some really rad cheap deals. The entire market is about 1km long with hundreds of stalls selling everything from watches, purses, clothes, and trinkets on each side. It's like Canal Street on acid. We found a small stall selling funny custom tees and I got to use my smooth bargaining skills.
Pains of Being Pure at Heart was leaving the next day so it was awesome that we got to hang before their Clockenflap set and get introduced to the best of the city together - eating and shopping, two things that Hong Kong kicks most cities' asses at.
"I PEEPED YOU ON THE PHONE AND EVERYBODY WANNA COME BACK TO THAT BODY"
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