Monday, August 31, 2009

Hong Kong Restoration

A big criticism of Hong Kong is the lack of appreciation for history. The city gets lots of flack from the media for not preserving historical/old buildings, streets, stores, etc. Many say "old Hong Kong" is what makes it a cool city, and I agree; however, the current trend is to bulldoze everything old in lieu of making sparkling new buildings, streets, shops. There are virtually no thrift or vintage shops in Hong Kong. It is an aspect of the US I miss, rummaging through junk shops to find something unique and funky.

One recent departure from this trend is the renovation of the old Marine Police Headquarters (circa 1881). This building has been wrapped in scaffolding since we moved and is finally complete. It looks very cool with a mix of modern touches. I guess beggars can't be choosers, but I wish the building was being used for something other than luxury boutiques. Hong Kong is turning into one giant store with ridiculously priced merchandise. The Marine Police Headquarters is located near the harbour in Tsim Sha Tsui, very near the other luxury shops I blogged about here. When I was in this area over the weekend, I heard mostly Mandarin being spoken which indicates the shoppers are from mainland China. The well-documented rise of the Chinese middle/upper class is so apparent in this area and everyone is paying cash. The world economy is certainly changing.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Junk Trip III

Another junk trip! This one was for Erik's colleague's birthday. We anchored in Sai Kung, and the water was amazingly clear. Many boats were cruising and anchored in this location. Even though it was a hot day, the sea breeze made it enjoyable. It has been an excellent summer, weather wise. Now, it is extremely hot, but the humidity is semi-manageable remaining under 90%. Will there be more junk trips this summer? There are none planned that I know of, but I'd be happy to join another one.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Good Bye Friends

One of my favorite experiences as an expat is meeting tons of great people. I have so many friends in Hong Kong of varying ages, nationalities, and backgrounds. Moving to a new place forces you to make friends more readily than you would in your home country. In the US, I had only a few close friends, which was fine, but I really enjoy all my peeps in HK. I think living in a compact city makes socializing much easier and results in many more dinners, coffees, pedicures, etc. with friends, developing the relationships more quickly. The negative aspect of expat friendships is people move home. This weekend, I said good bye to two close friends. One was Erik’s colleague who has lived in Hong Kong for 7 years. The other is my dear friend S. I felt very sad when I walked past S’s office today and realized I wouldn’t be meeting her for any more lunches. In addition, I inherited some of S’s lovely belongings which will be a constant reminder of her. You will be missed.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Strange Company

I was very startled by an uninvited guest this week. There was a 4" praying mantis on the dish rack. Reminder: we live on the 67th floor. How the heck did it get in our apartment? I put it out on the balcony. We rarely have insects in our apartment despite the absence of screens. Occasionally, we are visted by silverfish or a cockroach--that's it.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Junk Trip II

We joined another lovely junk cruise to celebrate my friend K's birthday. The boat cruised to some remote areas of Hong Kong, and it was very quiet and peaceful. In one location, there were large schools of jumping fish. They were beautiful but hard to capture in a photo. We also saw a very large jellyfish, maybe 18" in diameter. I love a junk trip!

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Fun Food

The blog and I need a bit of fun. Here are two funny food shots taken recently. The first is of a small octopus that came free with our set lunch at a Japanese restaurant. Erik ate his in one bite, but I passed. He said the sauce was tasty, but the octopus was chewy. Isn’t it always? That’s been my experience. Recently, Erik ate raw, live and still squirming octopus on a business trip to Korea. It's a delicacy.The second picture is a gianormous zucchini that someone gave my parents. They received three this size! One was pawned off to my sister, and the three zucchini fed four people for two weeks.