Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Fun in Shenzhen

The internet is a strange entity. I have been contemplating opening a virtual shop on etsy. For anyone who hasn’t shopped there, it is a wonderful site where artists and crafters sell their handmade items. A few weeks ago, I was searching for etsy sellers in Hong Kong, and I stumbled across an American expat living in Shenzhen. (Shenzhen is in mainland China, just across the border from Hong Kong, and is the city where Erik works most of the time.) Taking a risk, I emailed this etsy, expat gal, and as a result, we became blogger pen pals, as she also is blogging her Asia experience. Her excellent blog can be found here.

The Fab Miss B and I, along with our husbands, met in Shenzhen on Sunday for a day of fun and new friends. Miss B and her husband are lovely free-spirits and have a truly inspiring attitude towards life. They graciously took us around to their favorite spots in Shenzhen, where we shopped for cheap stuff and marveled at some crazy Chinese aesthetics. The day could only have been better if I would have remembered to get a picture of us.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Hair Shampoo

Monday, I had my hair cut and colored at the Aveda salon. I always like having my hair done, but it is extra special here in Hong Kong, because the shampoo experience is over the top. It is literally a 15 minute process. First, you lie down, almost complete flat, on a special chair/bed. The bowl is a special shape and it doesn't hurt your neck. The shampoo guy (most of the people that work at Aveda are men) massages your head the whole time and caresses your neck. It is totally wonderful. I think this is a special Chinese thing. My boss is always talking about getting her hair shampooed, and I am beginning to think she never washes it herself. Who can blame her?

Tuesday, April 22, 2008


On Friday & Saturday, we had a typhoon of level 3. A typhoon is similar to a hurricane, and their occurrence is another indication that we are living in a sub-tropical environment. Level three is medium-severe. The highest level is 8 when most businesses will shut, and the subway stops running. This weekend we had very high winds and heavy rain. We were happy that we could not feel our building moving. Saturday was quite miserable so we only ventured out to our classes and to the local mall for dinner. It feels as if we have earned some kind of “badge of residency” now that we have experienced our first typhoon.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Creating a Dragon

Early in the week we were in the "arty" part of town, and I snapped a picture of a man working late creating the head of a lion/dragon. It will be used for the traditional lion dance costume with many people forming the body of the lion/dragon. You can see the man's feet at the bottom, as he is working inside the head.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Tagged: Unimportant

The Rules:
1. Link back to the person who tagged you.
2. Post these rules on your blog.
3. Share six unimportant things about yourself.
4. Tag six random people at the end of your entry. (I don't know 6 other bloggers)

Unimportant thing #1:
I just finished my lunch of left over pasta salad.

Unimportant thing #2:
I am very eager to get my jewelry business going in HK, and I am excited about the new business that Emily and I may do together.

Unimportant thing #3:
I really love salt, and I salt most everything I eat. No worries, as my blood pressure is normal.

Unimportant thing #4:
My job is unfulfilling, thus the impetus for #2.

Unimportant thing #5:
I want to do more drawing/sketching/doodling.

Unimportant thing #6:
I like not having a home phone.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Stomach Woes

I had the gastroscopy last Friday, which wasn’t too bad since I was under mild sedation. Erik was allowed to watch and enjoyed seeing the inside of my stomach. The only freaky part was before I was sedated, my throat was sprayed with a numbing agent to prevent gagging. The spray was so powerful I wasn’t able to swallow. Fortunately, the doctor warned me of this, but even so, it was a scary feeling, and I had to concentrate not to panic. The test showed I have three small ulcers and severe gastritis which is a general erosion of the stomach lining. Today, I went back for my follow-up appointment. Most likely, these stomach troubles are caused by my frequent Alleve use. I take Alleve frequently for headaches, etc. related to my TMJ. My diagnosis: take drugs to heal my stomach; quit the painkillers; lay off the alcohol and spicy/greasy foods. Within a month, I should be healed.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Beware: Fast Moving Trains

The subway system in Hong Kong is excellent. I heard a rumor that it was rated #2 in the world. For popular stops, trains come every 2-3 minutes, so you never have to wait long for a train. Yesterday, we were heading home after some shopping, and as we were going down the stairs to the train platform, Erik yells, "Hurry up the train is here!" So we both run down the stairs to catch the train, but Erik is going faster than me. When I hit the platform, I see Erik is inside the train and the doors are closing. We both gave each other a puzzled look as he sped away, and I stood there in the station. Just as I was cursing him under my breath, I look up and realize he jumped on the wrong train! I got on the correct train and beat him to our stop.

Thursday, April 10, 2008


Seven signs you live in a humid climate:

1. Everything always feels damp.

2. The salt shaker is constantly clogged even when you refresh the salt and add raw rice.

3. From one shower to the next, your bath towel never dries.

4. If you leave a vitamin on the counter by mistake, it turns to mush in 12 hours.

5. It takes a few days for clothes to dry even when placed outside on the balcony.

6. Crackers and snacks go stale a few days after opening even when sealed in a Ziploc bag.

7. You never have dry skin.

I am sure I will discover others as time passes. Can you tell it has been incredibly humid recently? The temperature wavers between warm (high 70s) and hot (mid 80s) depending on if the sun comes out.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Happy Birthday to Me!

I love that Hong Kong is so accommodating to have a holiday around my birthday, and this year it meant a 3-day weekend. Friday was Ching Ming Festival when families pay respects to their dead relatives by cleaning off their graves. Many people have little picnics at the cemetery. It is a bit creepy that this holiday is near my birthday and is a reminder that I am getting closer to the grave!?! Regardless, it was lovely to have a long weekend especially when the weather was just perfect.

I started my birthday celebrations on Thursday evening with dinner and drinks with my friend Wenny. Friday, we bought a second-hand rug, and I am really happy with how it looks in the space. Also on Friday, we did some shopping and hanging out in the western area of town called SoHo. Dinner Friday night was margaritas and fish tacos made by me. Saturday, I went for a nice run and we both had our Chinese lesson. I skipped my jewelry class since I don’t have a concrete plan for my next project. We had a small picnic happy hour in the garden space of our apartment building, and then we went out for Chinese food for dinner. On my birthday, we went to the Peak and walked the trail. The Peak is the mountain on Hong Kong Island, and it is a popular tourist attraction because the view is amazing. In the evening, we went to a very nice dinner.

Erik spoiled me with flowers, a book, and a very expensive handbag. This bag is by a local designer, and I have never seen anything like it. It is very well made. I love it. Thank you, Erik.

All in all, it was an excellent birthday.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Care to Twitter?

I just joined Twitter, and I hope you will all follow me there. Think of it as mini blogging. The concept is you post little blips about what is happening in your life at any given moment. My hope is that I'll be more witty in 2 lines as opposed to a whole blog post. Follow my twitter here.

Zoot Suit Doctor

"Zoot Suit Doctor" is not the name of my new song, it actually describes my doctor. This was my first experience visiting any healthcare professionals in Hong Kong. I went to Dr. John Simon, because he was Gore’s recommendation. While waiting, I overheard two American women discussing their illnesses, and one of them said Dr. Simon is supposed to be the best in Hong Kong. At this point, I am feeling good about my decision, until I saw him. He is a British man and had on a wide pin striped suit that resembled a zoot suit. To complete his look, his hair was dyed jet black and slicked back. He also had a handle bar mustache. The only thing he lacked was a cigarette in a long holder.

Despite his Halloween costume appearance, he was a very nice doctor. I went to see him, because I think I have a stomach ulcer. According to the internet, I have all the classic symptoms, and the doctor seemed to agree. The next step is to have a camera put down my throat so he can look inside my stomach. This lovely procedure will happen Friday, April 11--would have been better on Friday the 13th.

Funny email

Erik received this email at work today. We both thought it was pretty funny.
Dear Associates,

We are pleased to inform that one chicken leg will be served at today's lunch time ( & Dinner ) for celebration of ShenZhen FAB production team built a new record at March, 2008.

Enjoy yourselves!

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Swamp Home

We arrived back in Hong Kong Saturday evening to unbelievable humidity—a complete swamp. On Sunday, it was over 80° and close to 100% humidity. We had to turn on the air conditioners. Today is it cooler and rainy.

My trip to the US was wonderful; couldn’t have been better. Seeing all my family and friends was great. Easter was nice with all my extended family enjoying good food and drinks. During the trip, I ate lots of yummy food that I have missed. When I arrived at Penn Station, I was starving and got a big slice of New York style pizza—yum! I shopped a ton and should now have enough clothes for summer. Being around my parents’ cats made me realize how much I miss having one, but I know it would not be a smart idea to get one in Hong Kong. Erik was certainly ready to return to Hong Kong since he had been working hard for two weeks and accompanying/entertaining his colleague. Since I was on vacation, I was not ready for it to end. I was not happy to return to work.

Before I left, I wondered if being in the US would make me wish I still lived there and in my Wilmington house. This was not the case. In fact, I felt as if I had two homes. It was/is a wonderfully abundant feeling. Hong Kong definitely feels like my home. I did take a tour of our Wilmington house and was happy to see it is in great shape. It was super weird to see other people’s stuff in it, but the tenant made a good impression.

Fortunately, I did really well with jet lag in both directions. Erik didn’t do as well coming back to Hong Kong.

The next month should go quickly and then we’ll be in Vietnam.