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Archive for October, 2008

Quick post as I only have news on my footy team here. I’ve pretty much stayed indoors to try and eradicate the cold I have.

On Saturday at 8am in Aberdeen my team played Waterloo. I scored a 15 minute hat-trick (3 goals to all you non-footy speak peeps). I was quite happy. The team was so dirty and cheated any chance they could get. So was glad to have handed them a nice defeat. Although, after been pointed out by my mate Art, I should have done various Napolean impressions after each goal. Dammit! Oh well there’s always the home fixture against them later on in the season

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And if I remember my Irish…ta mise tinn.

Actually it’s only a raspy throat, bit of a cough and a bit of a headache at times.
I’m still going to get up at 6:30am and play football at 8am tomorrow morning! Sweat it out a bit.

But it’s not nice not feeling 100% here. Air conditioning blasting you with cold bullets one minute and humidity and heat hugging you senseless the next minute.
School was weird today as we had something different on and our day ran from 1240-7pm. Ridiculous and confusing.

Anyone got any Halloween costume ideas? So far I’ve had Roman Gladiator thrown at me (no), Dr. House (meh) and a pirate (not a software one a sea-faring one but too bland). I can’t even face looking at the costume stalls in Pottinger Street in Central but may have to go see them again tomorrow.
Talking about streets in Hong Kong. There is a street called Cannon Street and it’s pretty much all Pet Shops. It’s cute but also sad in a way. So you walk to the end of the road going “Awwwwww” and “Hee Hee” and “Pooooooorr thiiiiiiings”. It’s like the Green Mile for cats and dogs I imagine.
God I must take pics more. This is quite the boring post.

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I don’t have anything to say. Really.

Ramblings.

Hong Kong comes to life at night. I’m exhausted in the evenings but if a friend tricks me to go out and meet him, like what happened last night, you get the buzz and the vibe and you just want to walk the streets with the locals. Our apartment looks down on an extremely busy road leading to Times Square, even at midnight the stream of people walking past the little sliver of the street we can see is bustling with people. I don’t know what they’re doing really. No wonder everybody falls asleep on trams and buses here. Long, long days.

But if I stay in like tonight, I feel like a big plank of dead wood. I’m physically incapable of going to bed early though. Just not me. So I’m typing this. Intriguing reading huh?

Oh, it’s Crab season here! Yippee….no wait,it’s horrible! All the little eateries around us have fridges filled with tightly strung live crabs. Poor crabby, crabby crabs. I avert my eyes, it’s all I can do.

Release the claws, release the crabs!

Footy is going well, Hamsap FC has won two games in a row and I scored in both.

We do team photos like we line up. Not too well. We play at 8am on Saturday. It’s just not right.

Halloween is coming up and of course the pressure is on to get dressed up. It’s Sharyn’s birthday, of course, and we are meeting up with a select few for dinner and drinks. I don’t know what to dress up as. Someone suggested House ,which gives me an excuse to be a grumpy, sarcastic asshole even more so than usual.

That’s it, I’m off to fly a Cessna around some air base in Florida. And crashing.

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So last Wednesday I dragged Sharyn along to a flight simulator place called Flight Experience that has just opened up in Megabox, Kowloon Bay.

It was really intense and you basically are thrown in at the deep end with rudder controls, flap positioning and speed. Yeah it was hard and even more harder when you land at the old Hong Kong airport, Kai Tak. Pilots used to have to hold special licenses to fly there so I didn’t feel so bad as I careened across the runway and crashed in to an unsuspecting Singapore Airlines jumbo.

I did manage to land somewhat at the new airport at Hong Kong but it was a bit scrappy..they gave me a video but I’m having trouble converting it.

So I think I’ll practice a little bit more before I go back to them..

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I’ll forgive you if your notions of Hong Kong are skyscrapers, millions of people elbowing each other in the face and the description tiny. You’re still dumb, though.

Nope, Hong Kong is more than just Hong Kong island it also includes Kowloon and New Territories on the ‘main land’, loads of Outlying Islands and Lantau Island were we spent Thursday and Friday camping with 90 Grade 4 and 5 students. It was a success as no child died under our care or lost a limb. They sure don’t appreciate the great outdoors as I would have back in the day. I think they missed their 20 butlers and maids at home.

Lantau, it’s a massive island much much bigger than Hong Kong island with big green grassy peaks and forests. It’s also headquarters of many insects who like to fly, crawl, buzz and slither around and scare little boys and girls. And Sharyn. I quite like them (even the cockroaches) as long as they don’t interfere with my sleeping; that’s when they overstep the line.

Anyway it was nice to see Lantau, wouldn’t mind going back sans children, it really is a different world from Hong Kong island. Quiet, spacious and with very few people to step on your shins.

Here’s a few pics:


This guy was biiiiig. He made a loud thud when he landed on the grass. He flew right on to a boy’s shirt and he freaked out. It was the highlight of the couple of days. Couldn’t stop laughing.


I always think Mantis look like stereotypical female librarians, it looks like they wear those horn-rimmed glasses. Maybe it’s just me…


Sharyn and some tired little hikers.

Cheeeeeeesssseeeeee!
Cheeeeeeeeeeeese! I love Water Buffalo

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Ok, this is gonna be long with plenty of pics and videos. As usual there are more pictures in my Facebook photo albums.

We were in The Philippines from Sat 27th until Thurs 2nd. Of all the days there it rained for half a day and this is why Sharyn and I now resemble zombie reptilian creatures as our skin was burnt and is falling off everywhere. Although we are through the worst of it all. Has to be said it’s a different type of sun around here, it’s like it passes through a magnifying glass before it hits the skin (yes, I know the real reason science people!).

The flights

With Cathay Pacific. Was meant to be an A340 on the way there but sadly it was an old A330. Which kept us on the ground with technical difficulties as long as it could. On way back it was a newer B777. Not the best experiences with Cathay which is strange as it is highly regarded around these parts.

The holiday

We stayed in Plantation Bay in Cebu. More particularly on Mactan Island, Cebu. Mactan island is nothing. There is nothing. You do nothing. You stay in your resort and lounge by the pool, drink and eat and that is perfect.
There are resorts dotted along Mactan Island and they all are little microcosms of life where travelling communities come and go and only see the natives and their dwellings as they speed by them on air conditioned taxis to and from the airport.

The resort

Plantation Bay is big with large pools (which are pretty grimy and nobody uses), a few small pools (which are cleaner). The one and only pool we used was the one with the bar and was clean. There were 4 or so restaurants in which we only frequented one. So you are limited but when the weather is good and the food and drink is flowing then it’s all good.

The pics!


One of the larger pools


The pool with the bar on the right and the restaurant on the left


The handy pool bar


Hawaiian Night at Plantation Bay.

Of course Sharyn got up and danced the Hawaiian 5-0 dance much to my amusement and enjoyment.
Video alert! If you watch anything just watch the last 30 seconds for the general feel of things.

Activities were few and far between.

A little pitching green, where I spent a frustrating 20 minutes

And a firing range where I shot an M-16 and a Colt .38

My years of playing computer games paid off as all my shots were in the “zone”. The instructor was very impressed.

The Day Trip

We took a day trip to Bohol an island slightly south west of Cebu. Long trip but was worth it in the end.

Here be the map of Bohol with our route marked out (click for larger):

We took a boat trip where we had lunch and listened to Kermit the Frog sing Crapenters hits, I mean Carpenters hits.

We then went to see the chocolate hills which are Bohol’s main tourist attractions. They’re pretty impressive but less chocolaty than predicted.


The steps up to the viewing platform


The ‘Hills!

The second most popular tourist attraction in Bohol are the Tarsier monkeys! They are the second smallest primate in the world. They’re pretty cool!


These guys are nocturnal so it’s a bit crappy that they get disturbed all day by silly tourists.


I fed them a fried cricket on a stick! Sorry I had to wake you up to please my own needs buddy!


Uh-huh….

And finally on our Bohol trip a bit of history. Years after Magellan arrived in 1521 to bring Christianity to the islands with the use of death and destruction another dude from Spain (Legazpi) came along to Bohol in 1565. Instead of killing everyone who didn’t agree with him he talked things through with the local chieftan (Katuna) and basically they cut their wrists put their blood into a chalice and drank to new friendship. Lovely.


“The Blood Compact” Katuna on the left with Legazpi next to him “Cheers!”

That’s it!

Until next time. More of Hong Kong life to come soon.

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