Sunday, August 31, 2008

Pink Haze

A very strange effect when there is a sunset and very bad air pollution, a pink haze over the city.
The sun is somewhere behind this muck.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Fear of Heights

I work on the sixth floor. It never ceases to freak me out when the window washer comes. Without warning, there is a guy in our window wearing nothing but a string. He simply walks on the ledge outside the windows.

Not only do we have our windows cleaned regularly, we have professional phone and computer cleaners. About twice a month, a woman comes to wipe down and disinfect all the phones in the office. A different company sends a man who wipes the computer screen, de-crumbs the keyboard, and swabs the mouse. These cleaning services are not unique to my job but fairly standard in Hong Kong.

Monday, August 25, 2008


You may have heard, typhoon Nuri directly hit Hong Kong on Friday. The typhoon made it to level 9. In a previous post, I said No. 8 was the highest category, but I was wrong. Level 10 is the highest, and the rating is based on wind speeds. Nuri's winds exceeded 80 miles per hour. No. 9 has not been issued in Hong Kong since 2003, and Nuri had the longest sustained No. 9 warning ever. All businesses were closed, as well as, the government and airport. You are not supposed to leave your house during a No. 8 or greater, so we worked from home, hung out, and watched the Olympics. The wind was very strong in the evening and we could feel the building move. The whistling noise was extremely loud.

Erik enjoyed the down time. Note: our balcony plants have been moved inside.
Our great view!?!
The next day: these trees are very close to our house.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Cool Bars

Hong Kong has some really cool bars. They probably shouldn't be called bars but cocktail lounges. Hong Kong has its share of smoky dives where you can get a cheap beer, but I am talking here about sophisticated places with famous decorators and expensive and extensive cocktail menus. Last week, my colleague and I went to one of the newest ones located on top of a building right in Central. It is smack in the middle of all the corporate offices and has a good view. You can look into the neighboring office buildings and feel sorry for those unlucky ones still slaving at their desks. This place also has a restaurant, but the reviews have been lousy. Everyone seems to go just to hang out on the roof deck for some drinks. We both ordered a pint of beer. Our two beers plus service charge came to HK$198 which is over US$25. Well, I guess this level of sophistication comes at a price. Not everything is cheap in China.

Thursday, August 14, 2008


A few weeks ago, Erik went to a business meeting at a resort in Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia. It is a very popular vacation destination. I tried to tag along, but Erik didn't have much notice, and the flights and rooms were just too expensive at the last minute. These are a few of his pictures. I think these were taken near the resort.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Anniversary Party

Soon it will be our one year anniversary in Hong Kong. Since we’ll be in the US on the actual date, we decided to have a small party this past weekend to celebrate. About a dozen of our friends were able to join the fun. As usual, we were both busy entertaining at the beginning of the party to remember to take pictures. These are a few snapshots taken once all of the food had been served and most of it eaten.

Me, Pinky & Monika:
Me & my colleague Sachin:

Me & Wenny:

This picture is a bit freaky, because Erik sat the camera on the sofa with the timer on and then switched the music on the iPod. The exposure was so long that he made it in the picture too.

These pictures would have been good if I had used a tripod, but I like them even though they are blurry. This is the late night crowd playing a Chinese dice game.

Friday, August 8, 2008

Happy Olympics

China is very excited to host the Olympics. Despite all things political, it is good to see the whole world come together in the name of sportsmanship. Hong Kong is co-sponsoring the Olympics with all equestrian events being held here. We heard tickets were a nightmare to obtain, and by the time we even thought about it, they were sold out. In honor of the games, my office closed at 4:00 p.m. today. My friend, The Fab Miss B, is at the games in Beijing, and you can read about her experience on her blog.

The front page of the paper: This countdown sign was installed a year ago in a busy subway station. I walk past it every day to and from work. It always attracts photographers, but today it was crazy.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Typhoon Holiday

Yesterday we had a typhoon #8 and it lasted all day, so I got a nice, unexpected holiday. It was much needed. I have been rather frazzled lately. We are hosting a small party this weekend, and I was able to get ahead on all the party prep. Since shops were closed, I happily wasn’t able to run a bunch of errands. Erik had to go to work since Shenzhen isn’t affected by typhoons. It was nice to have time to putz around the apartment, go to the gym, and do some cooking. I feel totally refreshed as a result.

Now that August has arrived, I realize the past few months have been light on posts. I strive for twice a week or eight per month. Sometimes I struggle with what to post when we are gliding along in the groove of daily living. Also, I feel fairly well adapted to the culture differences, and Chinese life isn’t as surprising as when I first arrived. The in-laws will be visiting in late September, and I am eager to see Hong Kong through their eyes. Their perception will be a gauge of how much we have adapted.

The next few months will be a whirlwind. Preparations are well underway for our trip to the US for Laura’s wedding. Then we have the in-laws’ visit and shortly after are my two craft shows. We are trying to plan a trip at Christmas but are still in limbo. Deep breath in, deep breath out. Enjoy this calm moment and savor the anticipation of great things on the horizon.

Friday, August 1, 2008

Statue Square

I pass this park almost everyday on my lunch break, but I usually don't see it from this vantage point. I like the juxtaposition of green, statue, fountain, and old and new buildings.