In Hong Kong, as in most big cities, convenience is the most important factor, for most people, when it comes to choosing where to live. Within a 10 minute walking radius, your place should be close to an MTR station (mass transit railway) and one or if not more bus stops, one wet market, at least two supermarkets (preferably one Wellcome and one Park n Shop), a number of 7-11s, a dry cleaner, a daycare, a hairdresser, a photo hut, and, of course, restaurants. The supermarkets deliver your groceries, you can pay all your bills at the 7-11 with your Octopus card, and you never have to go far to get what you need. Amazingly, most apartments in Hong Kong do actually provide these conveniences right outside your doorstep. It really does make life very, very easy.
Life in Mui Wo, however, is not quite so easy. In fact, living here is the most inconvenient location I’ve ever lived in. Village life is not for the faint hearted, the weak legged, or the lazy. In a village with no cars, you have to rely on your bicycle and ride around to get what you need. For example, I ride about 5 minutes to the wet market to buy fresh produce, and then about 10 minutes to the supermarkets, and then pedal back home carrying all my loot, which sometimes can be a good 20lbs or more. Often I carry a lot of stuff in my backpack too. If I’ve got baby with me, then I do all this on foot, with her in the Baby Bjorn, because she isn’t big enough yet for the baby bicycle seat. Going to the market, the bakery and the supermarket on foot can take well over an hour or so, lugging about 30lbs with you.
Nope, when you live in the village, you don’t get wine delivered to your house, and you can’t pop out for two seconds to buy beer from the convenience store and pick up a pizza. Here it takes a bit more work. But you know what I’ve realised? I actually kinda like it. You still can get everything you need — including the pizza — but you have to move a bit more. I have grown to enjoy the routine of going out, and walking along the beach, and taking baby to the swings, and walking all the way home again. It’s good exercise, and it forces you to move your ass, while also forcing you to slow down and take one day at a time. It would not suit a busy accountant who works late nights in the city, but it’s definitely good for a stay-at-home mom, and Mui Wo is a very family friendly place.
Anyhow, here are a few more shots of what daily life in the village looks like:
Kinda looks like a little bit Trinidad, right? Maybe that’s why I like Mui Wo so much……