Meeting relatives, meeting Jackie Chan!
We started the day out fairly leisurely. First it was down to IFC in Central to meet up with Color, and then we all headed out to see Mrs D’s Auntie number 1 on Dad’s side. (10 aunts and uncles on that side). We then headed down to the nursing home where Auntie’s husband now stays. The Chinese nursing home seems to be busier than the Canadian ones that I’ve seen. They had the residents moving around, and exercising, singing and generally keeping busy. Auntie #1 visits her husband almost every day. It must be pretty tiring. That’s love and devotion for you. Of course due to the SARS issue and Avian flu, there were some pretty tight restrictions on making sure you weren’t bringing in any illnesses that might kill the residents, so there was serious washing, and you were advised to wear the little surgical masks if you had any respiratory illness symptoms (i.e. coughed).
After some pictures together, we headed out for Dim Sum down in Central. We ate at Luk Yu Teahouse, a famous old restaurant, which Mrs D’s family has eaten at for many years. The restaurant has hosted various celebrities and politicians in their past. It was quite a nice place, and they performed the older style of service, including washing the tea leaves before making the tea. Quite interesting. We were to be joined by Vicki, Simon, Justin, as well as Shirley and Kin yin and their kids whom we had met the other day (Island Shangri La). It seemed to be a revolving lunch, since Auntie #10 and her son showed up on his lunch break, and then Vicki, Simon and Justin. Everybody ordered a bit more food as they came in. Mrs D and I had to go for our “tour orientation” meeting, so we didn’t actually see the others, but apparently lunch went on until about 1500! Luckily Hong Kong people walk everywhere to counter all the food that they eat.
The tour orientation was at the tour company’s office. They have a whole floor of a tower down in Central. Quite the large operation. While waiting, you could have some buns, cake, tea, coffee. After a little while someone came out and explained that there were only going to be 8 of us on the tour, and that we were the only ones that showed up for the orientation. Good news: The tour is on, and being a small group means you can ask your tour guide more stuff. Bad news: it is ONLY in Cantonese, and you can’t get ANY documentation in English. They told us about the very cold dry weather that we were likely to encounter, and that that we shouldn’t drink ANY water from the hotels. Great – I REALLY look forward to getting home and having a cold glass of water from the tap, WITHOUT boiling it first.
After the tour orientation, we headed home, and Mrs D slept for a bit while I typed up the blog entry for a couple of days previous. It’s really hard to keep up! Then the call came! We were going to be able to meet Jackie Chan!!! At 2100 we were going to go meet him on the set of his new movie, “Project BB”. Quick trip to http://www.imdb.com/ to look up recent information and filmography, make sure the camera batteries were charged. All that was left was the waiting. 2100 came, and Color came by to pick us up. She had Kin Yin, Alastair, and Larry in the car already so we squeezed in too! Up we went to the location. I was surprised at how low key the set was, compared to ones in Vancouver that I’ve seen. If you didn’t know something was going on, you might drive right by. When we got there, they were shooting a scene in which the 3 main characters run into a van, and drive away. It’s about 15 seconds long.
Jackie Chan, during a scene from Project BB:
Our contact met us, and explained what was happening, and that we could stay close to the production team if we stayed quiet. It was amazing! I got to shoot pictures from almost right over the shoulder of the camera man. Of course, I had to use 1600 ISO, and no flash, but I still got some cool shots. Jackie came out and said “Hi!” to all of us, and shook hands, then he had to go back to work. It wasn’t much, but it was more than I had expected, so I was pretty happy. Then I found out that he would come back out later for some pictures. Cool! I was busy shooting away with my 100-300mm telephoto lens, and captured a few shots of him between filming:
Then suddenly Mrs D says “He’s coming. Change lenses!!!” Panic lens change, and it’s time to stand up with Jackie for pictures. I hand my camera to Mrs D, and one of Jackie’s assistants takes it from her to take the picture. It was a whirlwind of picture taking. Flash, Click, Flash Click….and he was back to work. Wow!
Group shot with Jackie Chan:
Jackie Chan taking time for some photos:
After the pictures I paused to take a look at the pics on my camera. The assistant had stood too close with my camera, and both Jackie and I ended up with some pretty washed out faces 😦 It looks like Mrs D’s picture worked well,and so did the group shot, of all of us. Apparently one of our group had called his friends to tell them about it, so they were there at the right time as well, so Jackie said “Take a picture of them with me, and email it to them.” Of course when I took the picture with my camera, it worked perfectly 😦 I’m sure the guys will be happy with their shot! We stayed around for a while, and a few more people started showing up. A press photographer even tried to sneak into the set area by sticking with us. He probably got one or two shots before they asked him to leave. We were VIPs!
We watched them shoot a bit more of the scene, but by then it was getting to be 2230, and there was a suggestion that the crowd was beginning to grow too large. We figured we’d oblige, and head off, so they could ask the others to disperse. So…..
Apparently a bit later, Jackie comes off from a shoot, and asks “Where did they go?” He was going to spend more time with us!!! Arrrggghhh! Well, we had no idea. It was too bad, I would have liked to have spent more time actually talking to him. He very much seems like a nice man. I understand that he will autograph a copy of his book for me. Wow! Talk about nice! Amazing.
By the time we got home, we were hungry and tired, so we dug into the fridge for a bit of 2 day old pizza and ribs. We ate them, and washed them down with some Tsing Tao while I poured over my photos and put the best ones up on the photo blog.