Friends in Totes: Ben Tse
Friends in Totes continues with our friend Ben Tse!
Ben is multi-talented, and is someone we appreciate for his perspective, geniality and all-around coolness. We had a fun afternoon catching up and walking past his favourite back-alley paths in Kowloon, and are excited to share his thoughts with you!
Q: What is your name and what do you do?
A: Hello! My name is Ben. I do a bunch of jobs at RTHK (TV presenting, radio news-reading, voice-overs, and script sub-editing) and I also teach ESL to adults once or twice a week.
Q: What does a day in your life look like?
Every day is slightly different, but most days involve a lot of walking (I walk to and from work when possible) eating an early lunch at 11am, and just hanging out with my wife outside of work. I try to keep life fairly simple and predictable.
Q: What are the items that follow you on a daily basis, or things you love to bring on your day off?
Wallet, phone, keys, lip balm, Fitbit, Shure RMCE-BT2 earphones for walking, Shure SE215 earphones for work, a light jacket for indoors, foldable umbrella, and a water bottle.
Q: Coffee or tea? What is your go-to order?
Iced black coffee (preferably cold brew) from any coffee shop or Hong Kong-style iced milk tea with no sugar from any cha chaan teng (茶餐廳, local-style diner).
Q: What do you love most about the city you live in?
Despite all its flaws, what I still love most about Hong Kong is simply the fact that I would never feel quite at home anywhere else in the world.
Q: Introduce us to a cause/belief you care about, and why others should too.
The Hong Kong government needs to provide adequate and affordable housing, implement a basic living wage and introduce a universal pension. Something is seriously wrong when an administration has so much wealth in its coffers but somehow can't even meet the basic needs of its people.
Q: If there’s a young person who wants to enter your field of work, what advice would you give them?
Honestly, I happened to be in the right place(s) at the right time. But apart from luck, practise, practise and practise, and always keep trying to improve in a particular skill or craft. I still don't consider myself particularly good at what I do, but I have worked at it long enough to reach a standard which I find acceptable (and sometimes decent too). Also, don't ever let what you do go to your head.
Q: Share with us one way you express yourself creatively?
I occasionally write music and play in a couple of noisy bands, but mainly I just pick up the guitar and improvise, and dance for fun in the comforts of my own home to obscure 70s disco.
Q: If you had a free day all to yourself, and could just pick up your bag and leave, where would you go?
Lion Rock Hill. I try to get up there at least once a week, but I would do it every day if I could. Maybe Needle Hill and Grassy Hill if time allows, but that would take a bit longer.
Q: Share with us an important lesson you learnt over the past few years.
Accept people as they are. Everyone struggles in one way or another.
Q: What is the most attractive quality of a person?
Humility, sincerity, being able to relate to others, and self-awareness. I.e. someone who is basically kind and down to earth.
Q: Where do you get your daily inspirations?
Good weather, good music and good food.
We want to thank Ben for spending his time posing for us and taking us around his daily route. You can catch Ben’s presenting from RTHK’s show The Works, exploring local arts and cultural scenes. Below are links to the bands and music projects Ben is involved with, check them out!
Lovesong - https://lovesong.bandcamp.com/
Hong Kong Soul Radio - https://www.mixcloud.com/hongkongsoulradio/