Saturday, August 25, 2007

A few pics from Causeway Bay & SOHO Dinner

A few snaps taken on the way home in Causeway Bay tonight.

From below a mirrored mall walkway bridge

Saturday Night, but no rest for the street workers

Night time, still Shopping Shopping Shopping, Causeway Bay

Here is my first attempt at B&W portraits...more the editing than anything really. Taken in a dark Japanese skewer restaurant in SOHO.

Mary & Maggie

Victor and I

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Shopping in HK

The weather is milder being outside isn't as sapping.

Though today was spent with an old school mate shopping, after seeing new Bourne movie. Movie was great, highly recommended, looking forward to DVD already!

We went to my tailors and found them knocking out fully tailored high quality Paul Smith non Paul Smith prices....lovely! My mate got two...I am so so tempted....

Its funny, 3 yrs ago I wouldn't have cared let alone known the funny living in London made me more aware of fashion and branding, compared to the days of my quieter suburban life in Sydney.

Stephen and Roslyn at Dinner

The maids in HK have Sundays off and flock to Central to relax and picnic in the shadow of global brand names. The juxtaposition is always interesting to see.

Also at Central MTR station is the countdown clock for the Beijiing Olympics, 355 days to go!

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Some impressions, Hong Kong

The View from our Balcony in Kowloon Tong

Its been a week of jetlagged stupor, enjoying home cooking and a place to open the backpack to breath for a while. I've also organised a flat in Tsuen Wan, out at the western edge of the Subway line.

I've also been out looking for work, and the Interviews have been really tough! My head is still on holiday and its been a real mission to come back to reality of staring down the big barrel of Investment Banking.

Due to weather and energy levels, have not explored too much.

Some things I noticed so far though;

* Its damned HOT and HUMID, days now are averaging 34C and 90% humidity. Which means one must dress lightly. The thick English cotton shirts, with tie worn under Woolen western suits is not the smartest thing to be wearing out.

* Trail walking in the Jungle and hills will have to wait.

* I came in the middle of Typhoon season. These are rated 1-10 and work stops at T8. My first T8 warning came on Friday, so excited, and nothing happened, as the typhoon turned just before hitting HK...lots of rain and a cool breeze was welcome though.

* Everything is dead cheap vs London. I must stop converting to Pounds.

* Having 20 credit cards is a must to take advantage of any joining gifts and discounts available at every point of sale.

* cash is rarely used, for said credit cards above and the excellent Octopus card which is the Subway card, holds credit and you can buy many daily things with it, food, drink, car parking, train, buses etc etc.

* new Australian like plastic bouncy $ notes have been issued.

* Coupons must be held onto and saved up for freebies.

* Freebies are cheap, useless and take up space. But are nice and shiny.

* Freebies come with all large purchases.

* Old people really do tai chi in the early mornings, though some of it seems general waving of arms.

* Birkenstocks are a hit in HK. I feel very "with it"

* smoking in public places, even some parks is no longer allowed.

* all restaurant cutlery must be washed with hot water or tea before use...

* its important to have the newest gadgets.

* being a sissy nancy boy is ok, and in fact normal.

* the most physically economic way is the only way.

MTR (Subway/Underground)
- Boyfriends play Nintendo Gameboys whilst their doting girlfriends look on... and swoon.
- the trains work!
- its airconditioned!
- no one seems to read on them, possibly due to the swiftness of journeys
- i havent found a copy of Metro yet, but I have seen the people handing it out.
- its clean, oh so clean. (Joe I will kiss it soon)
- middle aged women will run from platform to platform to position themselves for a seat.
- longest wait has been 2 min for a train
- its built for short people (YAY)
- people walk really slowly. no one walks up the escalators.
- some scream on their phones...whilst others cover their mouths to the mic or whisper into bluetooth headsets.
- Full reception underground, naturally.

all in all LOVING it so far.

Friday, August 03, 2007

Hello Hong Kong! 3 August

I took Oasis Airlines, cheap cheery and good. The highlight is that they speak Cantonese throughout, as you expect, but also they use the on board cameras in the nose and undercarriage during take off, approach and landing!

It was like all those Flight Simulator games I had played, so cool! So many times you are on a flight but cant see below, but this time, the white dashes of the asphalt runway made way for the green patchwork pastures of England and melted into cloud, then arriving in China with the deep green and crystal flat glass of the South China Sea and glimpses of golden beaches, then the urban sprawl of tower blocks into HK. The Approach to landing shows you the runway sitting in the sea, like an Aircraft Carrier. Watching and experiencing a take off and touchdown was never so cool!

Its the official end of my 8 week holiday. It went so quickly!

Really look forward to making a go of HK. Wish me luck!

Goodbye London! 1 August

Last Day in London yippee!!

Spent lots of time with close friends, at lots of Malaysian food also.

Will miss you all!!!!

The taxi ride from K's flat in Soho to Victoria was quite emotinoal. The cabbie took me past Trafalgar Square, the Mall, Buckingham Palace, the road where I used to play bagpipes...

But it was fulfilling too, it feels right to be leaving, and the anticipation and excitment of a new start fills me with anxiety but also energy. Hong Kong here I come!

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Washinton DC, 26-30 July


We train it from Quebec to Toronto.

Its a quick journey on the Subway from Union Station to Keith's aunt's stop of Finch in the suburbs of Toronto. She is very welcoming and will be having us stay for 3 nights.

If one thing you take from Toronto, it is that there is a great ethnic mix. Predominantly Chinese. It became a large centre of immigration from Hong Kong especially before handover, and many Chinese remain. So much so that many of the suburbs are literally bi-lingual chinese/english.

In fact something that really struck me about Canada was, as Keith showed me, the number of Ethnics on Media. Its something I am definately not used to, coming from Australia. Especially seeing Chinese people in serious non cameo / stereotype roles as newsreaders, interviewers and hosts on TV, as well as in movies and writing in the newspapers as general journalists. I wonder if Australia will ever get like that???

It was only fitting our first meal was Chinese! And it was fantastic, my first Chinese meal in 7 weeks!

Toronto itself reminds me very much of hometown Sydney, the feel of walking in town as so similar, its quite uncanny. There are interesting architectural highlights, as seen in the photos, but otherwise, its a nice place to live I think. Nothing really special or charming about the place for a tourist, just nice!

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