Sunday, November 29, 2009

Joined the Cool Kids Club

Since I use a Mac at my new job, it was mandatory that I get an iPhone. That's my story, and I'm sticking to it. Now I just need to convince Erik that I need a Mac Book Pro.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving

We had a lovely Thanksgiving with friends. G out did herself and made an amazing meal. It was nice to celebrate on the actual day, unlike previous years. I am extremely thankful for the overflowing happiness my life contains.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

More Dim Sum

Have you had enough of posts about Dim Sum? Honestly, it is one of our favorite aspects of Hong Kong. It is a nice mix of socializing, ritual, and delicious food. The small portions allow you to try a bunch of different flavors. The Dim Sum restaurant in City Hall is very famous and a popular tourist stop, but we only visited it for the first time a few weeks ago. The hall is massive, maybe 400 seats, and there is always a wait. It is the very traditional style of Dim Sum restaurant where the ladies push carts of the various dishes. Delish!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Tea Time

High tea is very popular in Hong Kong--a residual effect of the former British rule. I went to tea at one of my favorite hotels, The Mandarin Oriental, on Sunday with my good friend M. It was a fun was to spend a Sunday afternoon. Yum--scones, clotted cream, and homemade jam, what could be better?

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Cambodia--Angkor Wat

In Siem Reap, are the famous, ancient temples of Angkor Wat, the main tourist attraction of Cambodia. The temples are approximately 1,000 years old and are a mix of Hindu and Buddhist shrines. It is amazing how many temples there are, and they are quite spread out. For many years, they were hidden by the jungle, and some of temples are intertwined with the jungle trees. The vastness and ornateness is breath-taking. Most recently, Angkor Wat was where the movie Laura Croft Tomb Raider was filmed, and subsequently, Angelina Jolie adopted her Cambodian child.

As an aside, the poverty is pretty severe in Cambodia, and a disproportionate amount of the population are children. Kids are everywhere. Mostly, they are foraging for food, selling souvenirs, or just having fun. They certainly touched my heart.

We felt Cambodia was very easy to navigate, more so than North Viet Nam. I definitely felt safer, and virtually everything was priced in US dollars, so it was easier to gauge the markets. Neither of us got sick, even though we ate salad and fruit.

These girls are fishing in a ditch after school: Erik buys grilled bananas from a street vendor. Note how small the women are. The people seemed to be the smallest in Asia as far as we've seen.Erik and our driver who took us took us to many of the temples--see how small he is.
We had a fabulous time in Cambodia! Our next trip is to Tokyo for Christmas weekend.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Fun With Laura

My cousin, Laura, spent the weekend with me before heading into China on business. It was great fun to hang out and show her the sights. I hope she is able to come again for my sake and for the great work she is doing to help our planet.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Cambodia--Phnom Penh

We started the trip in Phnom Penh, the capital of Cambodia. It is a bustling south east Asia city with many motor bikes, hawkers and markets. The main tourist attraction is the Killing Fields where many of the two million Cambodians were murdered under the Khmer Rouge regime. It was incredibly sad, but I'm glad we visited it. In addition, we went to the Genocide Museum, S21, which was a school turned prison where 20,000 people were tortured and killed.

The Killing Fields: It is a large area consisting of big ditches where the bodies were buried.
The memorial tower at the Killing Fields. The tower is filled with skulls:
S21: Rack where people were hung and their heads dipped in filthy water as a torture devise. Another famous stop in Phnom Penh is the FCC (Foreign Correspondents Club) with a beautiful view of the Tonle Sap river.

We stayed at a very quaint B&B style hotel where we had a private pool, although it was too cold for me to go in all the way. This picture is the main pool.
The B&B didn't have availability for Saturday night, so we splurged on Raffles. It certainly lived up to its reputation.
The Royal Palace looked very similar to the one in Bangkok:
Cooling off with some Angkor beers, "My Country, My Beer":

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

New Job!

I have a new job that I am very excited about. The job search has kept me very busy recently, along with currently working at both my old and new jobs. I will be transitioning until my replacement is hired and up to speed. My new role is as Marketing Communications Manager for a US based toy company. The position is much more creative than my former job. I am looking forward to working in a very fun and creative environment and with people who are focused on cool products. I don't want to be over zealous, but this new job is very close to perfect, at least as far as I can tell at this point. If you want to know the company, email me, because I don't want this post to turn up in a google search.

The Hong Kong job topic is rather an emotional one for me. Before we moved, I met with a HK recruiter and spoke to several locals about my ability to get a job as a foreigner. The responses were less than optimistic. The recruiter didn't give me the time of day and said it was close to impossible to get professional work here unless fluent in English and Chinese. More than one person suggested that the best job I could get was teaching English. I have prided myself in landing a full-time position in my field within 3 months of arriving in Hong Kong. Now, I have my "dream job" and landed it during a recession. A few months ago, I had another offer which I turned down, and recently, I was the number one candidate for a high-level, but not creative, position for which I would have likely received an offer if I hadn't accepted the toy job. I apologize for tooting my own horn, but it is satisfying to reflect on how far I've come from the day I left that recruiter's office being depressed.

I feel like singing, "If I can make it here, I'll make it anywhere!"

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Busy Busy Bee

Wow, I've been really busy. I have lots of blogs to post but can't seem to find the time to get them written and posted. Erik and I just returned from a wonderful, 9-day trip to Cambodia. It is an amazing country with a horrible past. I will post a full trip report soon. In the meantime, here are Erik's flickr pics: