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Archive for July, 2008

So after a few hectic days of doing stuff we had to do we decided to just stay at home and only venture out to the corner restaurant for dinner. It was needed.
We took about 30 bus trips on Tuesday and Wednesday combined. Getting Hong Kong IDs and getting medical done. And then going to school to get Sharyn a laptop. God it really is annoying not having our own place yet but Monday is the day we move and it couldn’t come any sooner.
I will say, though, I really enjoy the bus trips around the city as I love all the buildings and the various street scenes. I have forgotten my camera a lot recently as actually doing stuff was on my mind but I am trying to take it with me wherever I go now as I have missed quite a few nice shots.


These buildings are near our school, the ones on the right are all empty; I really would like to know what the story is with them. The ones on the left are one of the most expensive apartments on the island; Bel-Air. But you’re in the middle of nowhere with little amenities beside you so I wouldn’t like to live there, although it would be a five minute walk to school. The holes? A place for residents to chill and a Feng Shui hole for dragons to fly through and drink from the sea. I am not joking.

One of the buildings I love is IFC2. If you have seen The Dark Knight you will recognise it. It is around the 13th tallest building in the world and it stands out from all the other buildings; one because it’s out on it’s own reclaimed little patch of land and two because it’s sleek and silver and fantastically tall. I love it and will take different angles of it at any oppurtunity.


It’s the one on the left

So what else? We went to an outlet mall out on Tung Chung on Lantau Island, I think I was more successful than Sharyn strangely enough. I got a pair of Nike Total90 footy shoes (dimples not studs) size 9 for 15 euros!! Couldn’t quite believe it. Other tops/shirts and trousers were ok priced but nothing compared to that bargain.

So what’s next? Nothing crazy planned. tomorrow we will hunt around for a charger for Sharyn’s Nokia. Exciting! If we are successful then we will go get her a  SIM card and probably one for me too as my mate Ian is actually coming back to work another year and he will prob want his SIM card back that I am using!
I will take my camera.

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A tale of two photos

This photo shows Sharyn enjoying herself immensely on the beach at Deep Water Bay:

This photo shows the agony that Colin is enduring now:

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Sizzling? You bloody got it!
I’m burnt from spending a day at Deep Water Bay today. I had lotion on but that was just a Clevelander recommended oil meant to make you a walking lobster or if you’re of a better skin disposition a more lovelier teak colour.
Lovely couple of hours spent there though, nice little beach with very few people.

There is a luxurious golf course across the road from the beach which I would have to break into and dress up as a rich person with a top hat and tails. Membership fees are astronomical so I hear.
There is a less salubrious Thai food shack on the beach in which I had a bowl of chicken skin (it only said chicken on the menu) in curry and potatoes and rice. Was edible and I am still alive hours later.
Sharyn had slim pickings and had to order Veggie Spring rolls, so she wanted two servings of 4. So she said she wanted 8. She got 4 chopped in half.

More of the same weather tomorrow, we will take a bus to Central and get the MTR to Lantau Island (Tung Chung). I will play a bit of footy there from 3 to 6 while Sharyn browses the outlet mall there. I say a bit of footy because I doubt I will play anywhere near past a running pace.

We both go into school on Monday to talk about what is required from us this school year. Should be fun!

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So we have signed the papers on an apartment in Causeway Bay. It’s in the heart of shopping, shopping and more shopping. It really is very convenient to everything. 1 minute walk to Causeway Bay underground metro stop and walkable to Wan Chai bar and restaurant area.
There are a good few restaurants around our area and a few bars that partake in happy hours every day so that is all good. Really looking forward to being in the city as Ian’s apartment just is not convenient for going out or even for buying food.
Only downside is that we have to wait to move in on August 4th as the landlords who are moving out go by the Feng Shui of moving out on the 3rd as that is good for….I don’t know what, everlasting peace and happiness, maybe. Hope it sprinkles on to us a little bit then.

I’m gonna play football in the heat on Sunday and from this side of the island I will have to leave probably an hour and a half before kick off. Will be less of a hassle when I move.

We’ve also been invited to dinner tonight with the school director and 16 other newbies. Her apartment must be bloody huge. Which is some feat in this city. Will be interesting to see what other characters are starting out too. Hoping for some fun peeps who are up for a few laughs and beers! Yeahhhhh…

Everything a-ok with my bank now, even internet banking. Just got to get Sharyn through that all now.
We both also have appointments next Tuesday to get the application process a-started for our Hong Kong identity cards, which is important!

Oh and 4 Olympic soccer teams are playing a little mini tournament here in two weekends time so will be buying a few tickets to see USA v Cameroon and Holland v Ivory Coast. Should be fun enough. A few well known youngsters playing for each team.

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My money from Germany account got into my Hong Kong account! Yay!

Sharyn arrives today! Yay!

Hong Kong bar scene is better than Duesseldorf’s! Yay!

Although a tad more expensive for drinks! Boo!

Sunshine forecast for next few days! Yay!

That’s all of my nonsense for now! Yay!

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Hello again father, it’s been 3 days since my last confession…ooops sorry, wrong sort of confessional.

Anyway, I’m writing this when I should be finishing my assignment but I’m 8 hours ahead of the UK so I have more time. Hahaha the fools!

Anyhue I don’t have any more photos because I have been stressed out too much to hold a camera. I’m in between estate agents and bank people and I don’t know whats going on. First the bank says there’s something missing from my account and the money I transferred from Germany won’t be allowed but true to their word they rang me today and said it’s all ok now and now you can transfer money from Germany. So now I have to wait and see if my first attempt failed and the money goes back into Germany or will it come here. Arrghhh!
So now it’s time for estate agents to look for money and deposits and contracts. Whatever. I like to sing or hum nonsensically at times like this.

Sooo the Notes From a Small Island Part!

Wildlife of Honkers:
Ooooh ooooh i have a photo I took a few days after I arrived, I heard a little cleunnk on the window and saw this little guy! Reminded me of The Mist! Isn’t he cool, like a flying leaf!
Don’t worry Shaz he’s one of the few insects i have seen funnily enough, but they’re out there Jerry and they’re looooving every minute of it!

On the subject of the local wildlife, there are fantastic butterflies here, haven’t managed to take a shot of them but they are great and really big. Oooohh and I saw a couple of Cockatoos flying around, so great seeing these beautiful birds flying around when I’m used to seeing them in cages.
Also, there are eagles hovering overhead everywhere you go, even in the city. You think you’re seeing an airplane in the corner of your eye but it’s one of these fantastic massive eagles. They fly pretty close to the windows here in Ian’s apartment and you can see them doing little corrections to their tail aerilons (forgive me Chris if that is the wrong terminology!).
Cockroach count = 1 and that was in a dodgy enough area of town ( I think it was called Roach Alley). He was minding his own business.

People of Honkers:
Nice! Coming from a nation of starers (take a bow Germany) I was expecting the same here as we stand out like a big white sore thumb. I have looked up in numerous bus situations, a bit aware of my ghost like form,  and nobody gives a flying feck about me and I’ve been the only white guy on most of the busses! It’s great they don’t care, they’re used to us all by now! Long live Honkers peoples’ apathy towards me! Shop people have been courteous aswell, never far from a smile. The thing is they know we don’t speak Cantonese, it’s there for all to see, it wasn’t like that in Germany you could hide from the truth. So at least you know where you stand from the off. When two old women sat down on a bench next to me in a park it was all toothless smiles and then when I got up to go, I said a cheery bye bye and they responded in kind. Lovely. Off I trotted into a lampost. Not really.

Weather in Honkers:
After a week of rain and dark clouds sunny spells are back and with that unbelievable heat and humidity and it looks like it will stay that way. I walk close to shop doors on the pavements to get the icy blast of air conditioners for a split second. But guess what? Honkers people can’t stand the heat either! I’ve seen people more sweaty than I am and using an umbrella for shade. I laugh at umbrella! Then I faint from heatstroke.

So I’m sure I will have more notes in the near future. I have a few plans for the weekend and it’s all through geoexpat.com. I will meet up with a few complete strangers in a billiards bar tomorrow evening to shoot some pool and start a bar fight. Then sunday at 1pm there is a footy game arranged somewhere on Lantau Island. So all depending on how successful Saturday is I will do the footy or I won’t. In this heat the prospect is daunting to say the least.

Laterz

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Yeahhh it’s my first Amber Rain alert and add onto that like a cherry on top of a crap sundae a Thunderstorm alert too!

And sitting inside it’s a joy to behold.
Loud loud thunder with blinding flashes of lightening and the rain is a wall.

So I’ve finished my assignment but I have another for the 17th oh well.

I gotta get outta this apartment tomorrow, weather permitting, to do some exploring. Try to get some sort of bearings in the city as I walked around in a circle a few nights ago; which was a strange experience.

My wallet at this stage is getting to George Costanza-esque proportions with the addition of the estate agent’s business cards.
They don’t shake hands they produce their card like the lost treasure of Atlantis in two hands which you, to be polite, accept with two hands also. It’s kinda cool, I should have made up a card to give to them; Shady Pete – Professional Swindler of Estate Agents.

Cantonese for Beginners: What I have needed so far

hi/lo hau/hello = Hello. What else.

m goi = Thank You : There are two ways of saying Thank You but you as the customer mostly would say m goi, the worker thanks you for your custom will say Doh Je, which is the other Thank You. Confused? You don’t have to be, you’re not here!!

hah goh tsam m goi = Next Stop Thank you! = You need this on Mini Buses which you invariably use in Hong Kong. There are no little bells to ring: you say the line, the driver holds out his arm to the left to signify he heard you (or else none of the buses’ indicators I have been on have been working), and off you hop. Lovely.

Bye Bye = Bye Bye

I haven’t learned anything else but will probably need to learn “No I just walk like this because my wallet is stuffed with business cards”

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