Final Observations of Hong Kong

We’ve seen a few things over the past 6 weeks. The Fragrant Harbour and its inhabitants have been very kind. Of special note, locals Winnie and Veronica and Macy and Daniel, have been extremely generous and welcoming. They joined and steered us to  monuments and markets and restaurants that demanded our attention. They’re just fun to hang out with too.

thank youAdditionally, I’ve run into gallery and street artists and waitresses and cafe owners who just make us smile (The featured photo, atop of this blog, exhibits ink prints by local artist Grand So). And whether they realize it or not, they are helping to create the lasting impression of this city experience.

To be honest, travel blogging is life-affirming. It makes you observant and reflective and grateful. I could learn to really like this occupation.

But back to reality, it’s time to return to what’s familiar. We fly back to Virginia on Sunday to our cat Rejjie who has been keeping a leisure blog while staying with a coddling host, our friend Lynne.

Below are some simple observations of our Asian adventure.
Continue reading Final Observations of Hong Kong

Coffee With the Queen

Cristine Clan at the Fringe
Three young women giggle and shoot video while eating breakfast at a sleepy art cafe where I’m the only other diner.

They braid English and laughter in conversation with their native tongue that I can’t quite place, but I’m focused on writing. The cadence is different from that of the rickety circus barker I’d become accustomed to hearing in Hong Kong. The pursed words sound like a banjo, but not as sing-songy as Thai.

Cristine Reyes Profile I imagine simply they are social media-obsessed college friends on vacation. One of them could be a model if she wanted. Every repeated throwback of her silky hair affirms her knowledge of this fact. Her magnetism could cause any man to pause.
Continue reading Coffee With the Queen

China's Olympic champion and world number one Li Xuerui

Desperately Seeking Red Sox

“Where can I find a sports bar near here?” I played the Google audio translation in simplified Chinese for the housekeeper who was covering the front desk.

LKF-hats

She must have thought I was nuts or an alkie as it was barely 9 in the morning. Or maybe she was fascinated by the Chinese-speaking phone. In any case, a few seconds later she threw back her head with laughter and replied swiftly in Cantonese as if the Google translator was in my head.
Continue reading Desperately Seeking Red Sox

Dog Paper Air

No Dog

The best advice on trying new Chinese cuisine is to make a local friend and have them order dim sum for you.

Winnie Tang @ Pure Veggie House
Winnie Tang @ Pure Veggie House

Winnie and Veronica from CFA (where Jeannie works) were outstanding in this capacity. I never would have tried deep fried spicy tofu, rice paper mushroom dumplings, spicy noodle soup (Tom Yum vegetarian), and red date pudding (a “woman’s” dessert) and liked them all so much.

Deep Fried Tofu, Rice Paper Mushroom Dumpling and Tom Yum Veg Soup w/Noodles
Deep Fried Tofu, Rice Paper Mushroom Dumpling and Tom Yum Veg Soup w/Noodles

Spurred by guide books, we also tried egg puffs (sweet waffle snacks) and fish balls (deep fried fish mush) and loved those too. The latter may not be for everyone, but you have to eat them hot and prepared fresh.

Fish Balls
Fish Ball Variety Pack

We have not seen dog on any menu, as you would expect from a modern metropolis. In fact, the canine seem quite content walking the streets. They’re not looking over their shoulders.

One blogger said eating dog would be analogous to Americans eating roadkill. Continue reading Dog Paper Air

Victoria Peak toward Aberdeen

Chinese Surprises and Phenomenon

The Biggest Surprise
Jeannie says the Biggest Surprise has been the mountains, the topography. “I had heard there were hills. I had seen pictures, but the height and shape of the mountains…are [breathtaking].
A peek from Victoria Peak

“It’s what I liked about walking around Victoria Peak making that my top enjoyable walk here. It’s what I liked about the setting of the big Buddha on Lantau, (with a giant statue jutting out of the jagged greenery). Without the mountains,the city would have less dimension, it would be flat and overwhelming.”

Continue reading Chinese Surprises and Phenomenon

Phablets Are Fab, Music Is Drab

The latest fashion
The latest fashion

Jeannie’s nailed it regarding the prevalence of watches. To be fair, they’re a status symbol in America too. I react the same way during the US Open when Federer and Tiger advertise for Rolex and Omega. I scream at the television – Who’s wearing watches?!

Phablets
So phablets are in vogue. The phone/tablet merger isn’t pretty. Young people hold giant slates to their ears at restaurants. I’m anticipating the 6×7 device to slip into a hot pot, like a calving glacier. Seems the slab rests more comfortably against one’s head than in any sizable pocket. I predict it’ll just be a fleeting fad as the impracticality sets in.
Continue reading Phablets Are Fab, Music Is Drab

Two characters at Avenue of Stars

Watches and Tourists

Guest blogger and lovely lady Jeannie Wallace speaks out on the curiosities of the watch and loud watchers:

fancy-watch
Central Hong Kong is absolutely smothered in high end shopping and megamalls. Like gravy on a biscuit, smothered. Every city block contains at least one haute designer outpost. If I should choose to walk by three different Ferragamo stores, I could do so in a matter of 15 minutes. The obsession with clothes and purses, I can almost understand, but the Hong Kong obsession with watches baffles me. Watches? Really? Continue reading Watches and Tourists