6. Nature Boy

Run down an isolated path through pristine jungle to reach a sheltered beach to find…oh…it’s covered in washed-up plastic crap and bulging bin bags of household rubbish. Strangely, for someone with such a pronounced selfish streak, I find the realisation that humanity is quickly choking itself to death less disturbing than the sickening thought that this stuff is likely to outlast the species by hundreds/thousands of years. Am I becoming a real hippy after all my years of pretending? Why should I care about the planet we leave behind? If I had to take a wild guess I’d say it’s because, for the first time in my life, I’m surrounded by nature.

Hint: this wasn’t the beach I ran to

Hint: this wasn’t the beach I ran to

I tell a friend about my encounter with oblivion later in the pub. This is the same islander with whom I marvelled at the praying mantis (‘Monty’) who gusted onto my rooftop the first night I spent here. By this point I am wearing flares made of jungle palm and smoking a conch shell pipe. “You should have cleaned it up yourself,” he tells me. He has a point. Twelve months down the line, Nature Boy may respond to such instincts; although knowing him (i.e. me) he will have already moved on to the next fleeting obsession in his contrary existence. Fortunately for him, you and me there are several ongoing beach clean-up campaigns in Hong Kong that remind volunteers when and where to take action, providing a special boot up the fronds to those who would rather moan (albeit in an extremely eloquent way) than get on with it…

The Naked Islands Project

Hong Kong Cleanup



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