A few days before Christmas, I was lucky enough to slip away from the madness of Manila to one of my favourite cities in the world, Hong Kong! It may no longer be that big of a deal given the accessibility of other nearby countries like Japan, Shanghai or Taipei but to me, a trip to this bustling metropolis never fails to get me excited. It reminds me so much of New York City, another destination close to my heart, finally establishing that I am, indeed, a city mouse. Wandering the streets and navigating the MTR on my own no longer intimidated me and I was doubly blessed to have one of my dearest friends play tour guide. Marah has lived in HK close to a decade now and along with the time spent staying in different areas, she has mastered the art of finding the best, obscure non-touristy places like a true local. More of those finds in another post!
Photos by Anne Bella.
Marah began her life in HK as a dancer in Hong Kong Disneyland. If you remember the show Golden Mickey, she was one of the exuberant back-up dancers accompanying the famous mouse. She also played a bird in Lion King. Marah was always into the arts and has been dancing since she was five years old. When I met her back in 2002, she already had that distinct bohemian artist’s style: flowy dresses and relaxed pants, scarves, knitted tops, cool bags and accessories. She was lithe enough to get away with wearing loose stuff, thanks to her profession. Her body got better and better in time (quite the opposite of getting older–so not fair) and in my opinion, has reached its peak when she started teaching yoga a few years ago. Now it’s just sick! Living in HK and now in her early 30s, she has developed a more sophisticated persona with an enviable wardrobe built from wise purchases of last season designer brands from the outlets. She offered to take me to that secret place but I had to decline, this was not one of those trips! So I was happy to live vicariously through her closet.
Lawrence is one of those people you meet that immediately gives off that Zen vibe, a lot like Buddha incarnated. Soft-spoken and brilliant, he is a musician and avid reader of books that support his craft as an accomplished Yogi. Ask him why he does a certain thing and instead of giving a standard answer he prefers to elaborate, applying his learnings to daily life and giving you a renewed sense of realisation yourself. His wisdom belies his years, he is only 27 and has been teaching yoga since 2007–not very long– yet is already world-renowned and has taught classes in Europe and around Asia. Google his Youtube videos and see just how amazing a teacher he is (Lawrence Pradhan). He proudly states he is “Made in Nepal” and when I met him a few years back, he did look very much the stereotype. I was amused and more than delighted to see how his style has evolved into the fashionista he is now. Imagine the disparity! But I think the city does that to you, it’s futile to resist the urge to be stylish in such a dynamic environment.
What amazes me more though was how they found each other in such a transient place. They are two peas in the same pod, going through life with the calmness, state of mind and wisdom similar to the classes they teach. Enjoy this archive of looks we put together shot by yours truly, just around their charming neighbourhood.