2006/06/30

The Legend of Tagimoucia

Long ago, in the high rain forests of Fiji's "Garden Island" of Taveuni, a volcanic crater became dormant and over the eons filled with the water of plentiful rains to become what is known today as Lake Tagimoucia (tahng-ee-mo-thee-ya).

It lies along the spine of mountains than run the length of the island and reach a height of 1241 meters (4072 ft) at Uluigalau peak. Its size is difficult to determine with certitude because of the marshlands that surround it as well as the vegetation that floats on its quiet surface, but it is perhaps 500 meters (1640 ft) long and half as wide. Smaller ponds are nearby to the south. From the lake at 823 meters (2699 ft.) above sea level, the almost daily rainwaters pour in lacey streams and veils of waterfalls into the Pacific on either side of the island.

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Location of the lake circled on this Space Shuttle view of Taveuni

To reach the lake one faces a serious hike of some three or four hours depending on the condition of both trail and hiker, up streams and steep muddy trails. Pandabonium has yet to try it. In Fiji's warm, humid climate, the air can feel heavy and somehow makes one's feet feel the same. The rain forests of Taveuni are protected from logging and other development and are home to many interesting endemic species of plants and animals. One gets the feeling of being in another world.

Another world? Ironically, this is the world the way it was before industrial culture defiled it. This is the true planet earth. The process of destruction has only taken a few hundred years using the energy of ancient sunlight stored for hundreds of millions of years in the earth as coal and gas and oil, the power of which most people, even as they use them, do not even come close to grasping. Perhaps they will very soon as the search for alternatives begins in earnest. It will be unsettling. That much is certain.

It is here, in this mist shrouded, primeval setting and nowhere else on earth that the beautiful flower that shares the name Tagimoucia is found.

Rare though it is, the Tagimoucia flower, scientific name medinilla waterhousei, is a member of the seventh largest family of flowering plants in the world - melastomataceae. The national flower of Fiji, it has been featured on several postage stamps.

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Like many things in nature that are unique to a certain area, there is a local legend about this flower's origins. Pacific Island cultures had no written languages so knowledge and history were handed down over milenia - often with surprising accuracy - through the oral traditions of story telling and chanting.

I have heard two versions of this legend, the key points of which are the same. In modern times, local legends are sometimes told in a fasihon that the story teller thinks will be best received rather than the way it was told in the past. I have seen this happen with some Hawaiian stories. It is then retold that way many times making it difficult to discern the original story. I suspect that has happened with the legend of Tagimoucia.

One story is that a young girl was playing when she was supposed to be doing her chores. Her mother kept reminding her of what needed to be done, but the girl ignored her. The mother became so annoyed that she grabbed a bundle of sasas (mid ribs of coconut fronds), which she had been using as a broom, and spanked the girl with them telling her to get out of their bure (house) and never come back.

The girl was so upset that she ran away. She ran and ran with tears in her eyes. She could not see where she was going and after a long while she encountered a flowerless vine hanging from a tree and became entangled in it. She could not free herself and lay down and fell asleep crying. Her tears turned from salt water to blood and fell on the vine where they turned into beautiful red flowers.

When she awoke she was able to free herself from the vine and ran home. She discovered that her mother had forgotten all about their quarrel and so they lived happily from then on.

The other version I heard was a romantic one and goes like this: Once upon a time, a princess was about to be forced by her father to marry her predestined husband.

However, she was in love with another man and, in desperation, she fled from the village into the mountains and, completely exhausted, she fell asleep on the banks of the lake. While she was sleeping, she cried and in her dream tears trickled down over her cheeks and turned into beautiful red flowers. ... And the red flowers engendered the Tagimaucia plant.

Tagimaucia means, "to cry in your sleep". Tagi=cry, moce=sleep.

I don't know which, if either, is the original local tale. Which do you like best? Which do you think is the "original"?

In preparing this post, a funny, serendipitous kind of thing happened. I was having difficulty finding pictures to share and started searching on line. There isn't much there either. I never did find a picture of the lake mainly because it is in the jungle and covered with vegetation. (Well, I found one, but I would have had to pay for it.) Also, most of the few flower photos I found were of the wrong flower! Finally, I found this picture of a Tagimoucia blossom.


What is so funny is that I happen to know the person who took it. Her name is Dr. Angela Kay Kepler. Kay (along with her husband, Cameron) has done decades of research and written many guide books about the botany and ornithology of Pacific islands, particularly the Hawaiian archepelago. Originally from New Zealand, she has lived on Maui off and on for many years. How do I know her? She is a clarinetist and we played together in the Maui Symphony Orchestra. Big ocean - small world.

Update:
Wendy of Peceli and Wendy's Blog Babasiga found a brochure that she had saved about this flower and posted it on their blog. It has a really nice picture of the blossoms. Vina'a Wendy!

2006/06/29

The Band I Left Behind

The year before I left Maui, a group of musicians, including yours truly, started a new community concert band. As we had done when we started the Maui Symphony Orchestra some twenty odd years before, we encouraged all Maui musicians to join. We had high school students, music teachers, adults like me who played music as a hobby, and professional musicians. I did get to play a Christmas concert with them and continued rehearsing before moving to Japan.

Instrumental (pun intended) in organizing the Maui Community Concert Band, was its director, Lisa Owen. Lisa, who hails from Sweden (hej!), used to play tuba for the San Fransisco Symphony Orchestra, but has been teaching music at Seabury Hall, a private college prep academy on Maui, for many years now.


I looked through my files and managed to find the above picture of Lisa which was taken at a big band jazz concert we played several years back. From left to right - Gabe Baltazar (saxophonist), Lisa Owen (tuba and trombone), Howard Johnson (tuba and baritone sax), and vocalist Louise Lambert.

Of course I can't pass up an opportunity to post my own picture.
Pandabonium playing at the 2003 Christmas concert.

In the last couple of years the concert band has grown and had several performances.

They are performing again TOMORROW night (Thursday in Hawaii) at the Westin Hotel in Kaanapali, Maui in the Aloha Pavillion by the beach and again Friday night (June 30th) at the MACC (Maui Arts and Cultural Center).

The Maui Community Concert Band is being joined in this week's concerts by the Nassau-Suffolk Band of Oceanside, New York. The combined band will have 58 musicians and should offer a quite a wonderful sound.

The program is the same for both concerts:

Fanfare for a Festival by Carl Strommen
Toccata for Band by Frank Erickson
Highlights from Cats by Andrew Lloyd Webber, Arranged by Johnnie Vinson
Second Suite in F by Gustav Holst
Gerswin! Arranged by Warren Barker
Stars & Stripes Forever by John Philip Sousa
Kawaipunahele by Keali'i Reichel, Arranged by Siuai Laufou

I am thrilled to see they are performing the Second Suite in F by Gustav Holst (who is most well remembered perhaps for "The Planets"). It has been a favorite of mine ever since my college days when I got to rehearse it with an army regimental band in London, England. I donated the sheet music to the Maui band, but this is the first time they will perform it. Sorry I won't be there to hear it play in it. I also missed out on the potluck after the rehearsal the other night. I heard the food was "ono".

Click below for one minute clip from the Holst Suite (by the Calgary Concert Band of Alberta, Canada)



I know this post is short notice, but if you are reading this on Maui, don't miss this concert. Call the Westin or MACC for details. For everyone else, I hope to have an update to post next week and let you know how things went.

2006/06/28

Major al-Quesa Arrest Announced

Last July, Pacific Islander brought you news of the al-gebra arrest involving weapons of math instruction.

Now, there is more breaking news in the war on The Bill of Rights terror. Ronald McDonald has been apprehended today by Federal Marshals acting on a tip from an al-Quesa member held in Guantanimo. McDonald is being detained for questioning about his connections to the al-Quesa network in which he is said to play a pivotal role. He is accused of being the mastermind behind a decades-long scheme that is global in scope. The unnamed al-Quesa informant repeatedly referred to McDonald as "the Big Cheese" of the organization.


While details of the conspiracy are still a bit sketchy at this point, it is known that McDonald and other al-Quesa operatives have been engaging in a campaign to contaminate the food supply of the industrial and developing world with huge amounts of substances linked to hypertension, coronary heart disease, type-2 diabetes, osteoarthritis, cancers, and stroke. Their activities have already resulted in large numbers of premature deaths and billions dollars in unnecessary medical costs and lost productivity. In addition, the plot diverts grain from hungry people the world over causing even more suffering. Other charges relate to increased green house gas emissions from animals, contamination of ground water, sabotage of solid waste management systems, and additional destruction of rainforests by al-Quesa linked ranchers.

The eccentric billionaire, who most people mistakenly believe to be a fictional marketing character, is known for dressing up as a clown and luring children away from healthy sports activities in public parks by offering them sweets and toys.

Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff told this reporter, “Al-Quesa is a much larger and more organized group than al-Qaeda and is considered far more dangerous due to the super size of its activities and the fact that its members are accepted by the unsuspecting public as ordinary, even friendly, business people.”

Happy 100th Harry!


A tip of the had to Peceli and Wendy's blog Babasiga for this story from Fiji.

Yee Fong Gau, who goes by Harry Yee, is Fiji's oldest citizen of Chinese descent. Mr. Yee immegrated to Fiji in 1927 from the Kwangtung (Guangdong) province to help his uncle who was running a vegetable farm. He later opened a shop in Labasa (Peceli's home town), which he still gets up early to open.

He celebrated his 100th birthday on June 27th at a restaurant in Suva where 200 people from the Chinese community showed up including three of his four children and officials from the Embassy of China.

Happy Birthday Harry.

2006/06/26

Koizumi - Not Another Shrine Visit!

Well, yes and no, but China and the rest of Asia can relax. This time Japan's Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi is going to a shrine other than Yasukuni.

Japan is pulling its army out of Iraq next month and Junichi-chan (my nickname for him) is stepping down soon. He will make his last official trip as PM to the USA this week and see his master good buddy, Dubbyah. As a reward for being a good lap dog staunch ally in the coalition of the willing, Dubbah may take Junichiro on a ride in Air Force One. Japan's Air Self Defense Force has two 747's for his use, but the PM must share them with other officials as well as the royal family and besides, they aren't as "pimped out" as Air Force One. So it will be a thrill for him. I'm sure Dubbya will let him play with all the toys on board, except for the atomic "football" which even Dubbyah isn't allowed to get near without Uncle Dick's permission.

But the truly exciting part is where they will be going. I already mentioned that it is a shrine (of sorts). This one is located in Memphis, Tennessee. Yup, as Paul Simon's song goes, "Poorboys and Pilgrims with families, And we are going to Graceland". OK, they're not poor and the families are divorced, separated and dysfunctional, but who cares, "WE'RE GOIN' TO GRACELAND!"


Junichi-chan is a big fan of Elvis. In 2001 he put out a charity fund raiser album titled "My Favorite Elvis Songs". At a dinner in Australia in May of last year, performers started to play ''I Can't Help Falling In Love With You,'' and Koizumi began singing along, and was joined by Australian Foreign Minister Alexander Downer, who was sitting next to him.


Who knows, after he steps down, maybe there is a career waiting for him as a Japanese Elvis impersonator. I wonder if Air Force One has a karaoke player?

"Dreams come true, in blue Hawaii..."


I just hope something doesn't come up to spoil their fun, like a North Korean missile launch or a catagory 5 hurricane? nah! That wouldn't stop these two.

2006/06/23

Keep Watching the Skies!

That title comes from the ending line of an old science fiction movie "The Day the Earth Stood Still" (one of the great ones). Even without flying saucers, I enjoy watching the skies.

It is rainy season in Japan and last the few days have brought morning fog and afternoon clouds, sometimes with rain. It is warm and humid. I like it.

This afternoon there was a high overcast of strato-cumulus clouds with an angry looking sun trying to burn through it. It had a surreal look to it and I wanted to take a picture, but it was way too bright for my camera. Then I came up with an idea. I took this picture by placing one of the lenses of my sun glasses over the camera lens.

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Of course Japan is the land of the rising sun. In the Shinto religion, the sun goddess, Amaterasu, is the highest of the gods (kami). She doesn't look very happy in this picture.

2006/06/18

Translate This! Babel Fish

I have added the "Babel Fish" translator to the blog. If you want to see the blog in one of eight different languages other than English, click on a flag. I have no idea how well it works but in any case there are two things it most assuredly will NOT do:

1) Make sense of my writing.
2) Translate the following new words.....

A tip of the hat to my uncle C who sent this to my sister S who sent it to me. (email spreads information kind of like the bird flu).

The Washington Post's Style Invitational asked readers to take any word from the dictionary, alter it by adding, subtracting, or changing one letter, and supply a new definition.

Here are this year's winners:

1. Bozone (n.): The substance surrounding stupid people that stops bright ideas from penetrating. The bozone layer, unfortunately, shows little sign of breaking down in the near future.

2. Foreploy (v): Any misrepresentation about yourself for the purpose of getting laid.

3. Cashtration (n.): The act of buying a house, which renders the subject financially impotent for an indefinite period.

4. Giraffiti (n): Vandalism spray-painted very, very high.

5. Sarchasm (n): The gulf between the author of sarcastic wit and the person who doesn't get it.

6. Inoculatte (v): To take coffee intravenously when you are running late.

7. Hipatitis (n): Terminal coolness.

8. Osteopornosis (n): A degenerate disease. (This one got extra credit.)

9. Karmageddon (n): It's like, when everybody is sending off all these really bad vibes, right? And then, like, the Earth explodes and it's like, a serious bummer.

10. Decafalon (n.): The grueling event of getting through the day consuming only things that are good for you.

11. Glibido (v): All talk and no action .

12. Dopeler effect (n): The tendency of stupid ideas to seem smarter when they come at you rapidly.

13. Arachnoleptic fit (n.): The frantic dance performed just after you've accidentally walked through a spider web.

14. Beelzebug (n.): Satan in the form of a mosquito that gets into your bedroom at three in the morning and cannot be cast out.

15. Caterpallor (n.): The color you turn after finding half a grub in the fruit you're eating.

And the pick of the literature:

16. Ignoranus (n): A person who's both stupid and an asshole

Other neologisms:
1. Coffee (n.), the person upon whom one coughs.

2. Flabbergasted (adj.), appalled over how much weight you have gained.

3. Abdicate (v.), to give up all hope of ever having a flat stomach.

4. Esplanade (v.), to attempt an explanation while drunk.

5. Willy-nilly (adj.), impotent.

6. Negligent (adj.), describes a condition in which you absentmindedly answer
the door in your nightgown.

7. Lymph (v.), to walk with a lisp.

8. Gargoyle (n.), olive-flavored mouthwash.

9. Flatulence (n.) emergency vehicle that picks you up after you are run over
by a steamroller.

10. Balderdash (n.), a rapidly receding hairline.

11. Testicle (n.), a humorous question on an exam.

12. Rectitude (n.), the formal, dignified bearing adopted by proctologists.

13. Pokemon (n), a Rastafarian proctologist.

14. Oyster (n.), a person who sprinkles his conversation with Yiddishisms.

15. Frisbeetarianism (n.), (back by popular demand): The belief that, when you die, your soul flies up onto the roof and gets stuck there.

16. Circumvent (n.), an opening in the front of boxer shorts worn by Jewish men.

2006/06/14

Momo's "Wild Kingdom"

Sometimes Pandabonium lets me off the tether and gives me free reign of the yard. I like to wander around and see what's new, then find a spot by a bush, dig a shallow hole in the shade and lay down to watch the world go by. I am always surprised at how much there is to see if I pay attention.

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Exploring my world.

Today I was admiring the yellow daisies. They look so bright and cheerful. We have three big clumps of them in the front yard. I thought maybe I'd lay down in them. As I got closer, I realized there was much more to see than just the flowers themselves.

The first thing I saw (and heard) were honeybees. They seemed to like the pollen and there were quite a few of them on the daisies. Did you know that one pollen granule contains from one hundred thousand to five million pollen spores? No wonder that the Moody Minstrel gets hayfever! Anyway, it's a good thing I didn't lay on the flowers, I might have been stung.
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Two bees or not two bees...

Then I saw a green beetle with white spots. It looked like it was eating the flower as it had its head buried in it.
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Before long a spotted butterfly called "Kitateha" showed up, flitting around and sometimes landing on a flower.
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Butterflies in general are called "chou" in Japan. This one landed on a flower next to the beetle. They didn't seem pay any attention to one another. In fact the beetle was so busy, I don't think it even knew the butterfly was there.

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The kitateha left, but before long another "chou" came by called "Monshirochou". It was white with grey and black parts. It moved around a lot more than the kitateha.
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I moved around to the other side of the bush and saw something pretty scary. It was a dead bee laying on a flower. Also on the flower was a brown spider called "gazami-gumo". He was ugly and scary looking, especially since he had just killed a bee! He hung the bee off the side of the flower using web. I guess so other bees might still come to the flower, which he could also catch. He sat on one side of the flower with his front four legs together in pairs and the other under his body. It made him look like a piece of dead flower.
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I saw another bee collecting pollen and wondered if that one would be foolish enough to go to the spider's flower.

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I decided I'd seen enough and went looking for Pandabonium to see if he would play with me or scratch my belly for a while.

-Momo the Wonder Dog

2006/06/11

Pond - ering

I like to change the look of my computer "desktop" from time to time to reflect my moods and interests. I took this one recently of a lily pond on a cloudy day in nearby Sarawa. I find it calming to look at while "pond"ering life's mysteries.

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Lily Pond - Sawara, Japan

2006/06/07

Shine On Harvest Moon

My mother is from Kansas and grew up on a wheat farm (I can sense the Wizard of Oz jokes coming already). In June or July the people with machines called combines (which now days weigh 25 tons, have enclosed air conditioned control cabs, GPS navigation, and cut a 12 meter wide swath through a field) make their rounds of the smaller farms that don't have their own combine and harvest the wheat.

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A wheat farmer "outstanding in his field". (har har) Big combines make quick work of the harvest.

When someone mentions a grain harvest in Japan, most people natually think of rice. So, when a few acres of land just around the corner from us started growing what I eventually recognized as wheat I was quite surprised. Japan does grow wheat of course, but only a tenth as much as the State of Kansas and at over ten times the price.

In the USA, one thinks of "amber waves of grain" stretching from horizon to horizon as in the song "America the Beautiful". Here, in that part of Kashima City the locals call Naka, things are quite a bit scaled down. The wheat field of Naka is only a few acres in size. Otherwise things are done pretty much the same way, just on a smaller scale. The other day while on one of Momo's walks I noticed that a combine was harvesting the wheat. Like the wheat field, the combine was a diminutive one. It had been brought in on a flatbed truck. I have no idea how much grain they got from this little field, but it was interesting to watch it being harvested.
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The "mini" harvester working on the small patch of wheat here in Naka.


Speaking of big farms vs small farms, I am reminded of the story of the Texas rancher who visited Maui and saw some cattle up in the small farm community of Kula on the slopes of Mt. Haleakala (house of the sun).

A paniolo (Hawaiian cowboy) was riding his horse along the fence and the Texan pulled up in his rental car and asked, "is this your cattle ranch?".

Moke (mow-keh) answered, "Aloha, cousin. Yeah, dis my ranch".

Texan: I happen ta own a little ol' cattle ranch down in Texas. If you don't mind me askin', how big is your ranch?

Moke: See dat Jacaranda tree owah dere - wid the blue flowers? From dere up to da barn, den way ovah to dat yella house and back down to da road. Dats my ranch.

The Texan smiled and said, "Why son, on my ranch back in Texas I can get up at dawn, drive my car all day long until the sun goes down and still not reach the other side of the ranch."

Moke laughed and replied, "Yeah? I had one car li' dat."

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K playing "paniolo" on the slopes of Haleakala.

2006/06/04

Momo's Picnic

It was Sunday, and a day off at last. The weather was great, so Pandabonium and K decided to go on a picnic - and take me with them! I've never been anywhere in the car before. Where they wanted to picnic was too far for me to walk, and there is no way I can fit in the bicycle basket, so the car was the only option.

Pandabonium cooked bento lunches for them, bottled up some water and juice, packed it all up along with something to sit on. Then he put my old wicker basket bed in the back seat of the car along with my water dish and, well, ahem, poopy kit. I could hardly believe it when he picked me up and put me in the car with him. I was really going. Cool.

I was nervous though. I hadn't ridden in a car since my previous owners abandoned me over a year ago. I was hoping that wasn't happening all over again. We went down a big hill and through rice fields and then over a big bridge that was over a kilometer long and went right across Lake Kitaura. At first I rode in my old bed, but when I could no longer recognize anything, I got scared and Pandabonium let me sit on his lap. By the time we got to the bridge I had relaxed a bit. The air was nice and it was fun to see the scenery going by so fast.
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Fishing on Lake Kitaura


K parked the car under the bridge and we got out. I was really excited to be somewhere new and sniff around. Pandabonium kept me on a double length leash so I wouldn't get lost, yet could still explore some. I made a mistake and poked my face into a big weed to sniff and when I pulled away from it I was covered with parts of the weed.

We walked along the lakeside levy until we got to a small marina full of fishing boats. Then we went down the bank of grass covered earth and concrete to the flat area by the water's edge. They put down a plastic mat and a beach towel for me to sit on and I let them share it with me. Pandabonium set up my water bowl, which has a bottle attached to it to keep it fresh.

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Old Fishing Boats

It was nice there. The water was sloshing around in the lake and there was a nice breeze. Some other people were going by in fishing boats and occassionally a bird would fly by. We had a nice view of the bridge, the lake of course, and the eastern shore and the bluffs near our house. The weather was warm and the sky had high wispy cirrus coulds.

After we got settled, they brought out lunch. A big bento lunch of rice and veggies and cheese omlette for each of them, with apple, banana and coconut cookies for desert. Hey, wait a minute. Where was mine? Can you believe it? They didn't bring anything for me! Good grief.

K tried to offer me a slice of apple, but it tasted weird to me. Then Pandabonium gave me a piece of raw carrot. Eww. K thought I'd eat some banana - NOT. Finally, after much persuasion on my part, K gave me a couple of coconut cookies and Pandabonium let me eat some rice out of his hand. I tried the apple a few more times, but never ate any. True, I usually just get breakfast and dinner so I wasn't really hungry, but these guys were eating right in front of me. Kinda rude. Anyway, the cookies and rice were good. Next time, I'll remind them to bring some pig ears or chicken strips for me.

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Momo's Picnic

An older couple came by with their dog - some kind of miniature collie I think - and we said hello and such. Why do people always ask if I'm a boy or a girl? The lady said that the other dog was a boy and had been neutered. I really didn't need to know that! It was their first time to come down there together too. I wanted to run up and play, but wasn't allowed to. K and Pandabonium sat and watched the fishermen and the view and played with me a lot. We had a good time.

Then it was time to go. Riding home I hardly looked out the window. I was tired. When we got close to home, Pandabonium sat me up and I kind of got excited as we entered our neighborhood, especially when we pulled into the driveway.

All in all it was fun time. Pandabonium and K were impressed at how well behaived I was, so I'm hoping they'll take me on another outing in the car sometime.

Momo, The Wonder Dog

2006/06/01

Piece of Cake

Our friend Agus has been posting some airplane pics recently on his blog " About Life". Coincidently another friend emailed some pictures of airplanes flying into the airport in Hong Kong called Kai Tak (now closed). Though you may have already seen them yourself, I thought I'd post them in case you haven't and add my own comments.

Some friends of mine who ran a flight school on Maui were quite familiar with this airport. Wendy is from the Philippines and is a CFII (certified flight instructor, instrument) and I did some flying with her when I was working on my instrument ticket. Her husband Len, is a Kiwi who flew in the NZ Air Force, then had a commercial aviation career from which he retired as a 747 captain for Cathay Pacific. They've since moved the flight school to Auckland.

Anyway, during his career with Cathay Pacific, Len did a lot flying in and out of Hong Kong's Kai Tak. The runway was long enough - 11,122 feet - but it is surrounded by hills, buildings, and water, making it a sometimes challenging airport for large aircraft. Len would laugh at that and say "piece of cake". Have a look at the photos and make up your own mind.

The first two photos were taken from the balconies of tall buildings. I don't know about where you live, but I don't often look out my window to see a 747 sailing by.
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When the weather was at minimums (ie the worst allowable) the planes would come out of the clouds next to the hills where a radio beacon and a big red and white checkerboard pattern were located. The first one on the flight deck to see it would call "checkerboard in sight". I don't know what they said if no one saw it - a four letter word probably.
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The plane would then make a hard right turn at only 1000 feet of altitude toward the airport just two miles away.
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Hopefully, one wasn't too high at this point.
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Crosswinds were common so crabbing into the wind was necessary.
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I have to use body english when I look at this one....come on, get over there...
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Over-shoot, and you're in the drink, kick it out of the crab too soon, and you're blown back off the runway, wait too long, and that crunching sound you hear is the # 4 engine
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Over do it and it will be the #1 engine that hits the ground.
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At Kai Tak, a firm landing was a good thing. Get down, get stopped.
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Apartment for let....uh, no thanks.
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"Welcome to Hong Kong. On behalf of the captain and and crew I would like to thank you for flying China Airlines today. In appreciation, the captain has decided to give you a complementary tour of Kowloon Bay."
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Piece of cake?