RELATED BLOG ENTRIES: HONG KONG 2007, HONG KONG 2008

 

HONG KONG
Jul 11 - Life's a Beach

I'm back in Hong Kong for the weekend before I head into the rest of Asia. Another 3 months working in Asia, pretty cool and intimidating at the same time.

I heard about the beaches and hikes in Hong Kong but never got around to it while I was here. But this weekend, my friend Sam took me out to the beach which was surprisingly...like a beach. Thinking about Hong Kong, I just think big buildings and lots of people, but just 30 minutes on the other side of the island and you're somewhere different.

The water is a bit murky, but the beach has good sand, there's some nice shade under the trees (where I now hide since my burning in Phuket), and it wasn't busy at all. I guess the Hong Kong people aren't big beach goers because the weather was beautiful and the skies were clear. I didn't see skies this clear the entire time I was in Hong Kong last year. You could see across the water even. Sweet!

As an added surprise later in the weekend, Gord, a friend of mine who works as a flight attendent was able to get a layover during the weekend and surprised me at the bar. I was very close to just having a quiet evening in, but luckily I decided to go out for a drink. Someone grabbed me from behind and when I turned around, the first thing I said in shock was "fuck you!!". (As a side note, I've decided that I need to start reducing my swearing).

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NUMBERS 10.07.11 HONG KONG
bus, Exchange Sq. to Repulse Bay: $11
cab, Repulse Bay to South Bay: $20
sand mat from beach vendor: $15
mango margarita: $70

HONG KONG
Sep 1 - Day 365 One Year Away

Coming back to Hong Kong, after the initial excitement wore off I actually felt a tinge of sadness. Because it was one year ago that I left Toronto and started this journey. I landed in Hong Kong a year ago anticipating the start of a year of change and growth. Of knowledge. Of connections. Of revelations. Of fun!

And now I look at myself and I feel like I'm the exact same person I was a year ago. Did I squander this opportunity of a lifetime?

I think I expected too much when I started the trip. I thought I would speak fluent Cantonese and Spanish--my Spanish is much better but far from fluent, and I can almost speak to a 5 year old with my Cantonese. I thought I would have some great new friends--but I didn't think they would all be temporary and casual. I've felt so sad inside after leaving the ones I felt a deep connection with. I thought I would figure out what I wanted in life, but I'm still as much in the dark as I was when I started this trip. I was expecting big changes but they've only been incremental. It makes me think of the song the Boxer "Isn't it strange after changes upon changes, we are more or less the same?".

And it makes me realize how quickly time goes by. Tempus fugit. I had a full year. 365 friggin days. Wow, it sounds like a long time. But it's gone in a wink. And there's almost no permanence in anything I did. In fact, maybe just this blog! haha. But when the year is up it's ironically kind of depressing. I feel like it's the end of summer camp and I have to go back home--I don't wanna go!

But in more encouraging news, Farley and John agreed to look after Mccoy for another few months. Yay! So I am now set to finish my time off at the end of February. Maybe I should rename this blog "Turning 547".

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HONG KONG
Sep 5 - It's a Small World After All

I met some people this weekend that made me think how small the world can be sometimes. There are so many ways that we can have connections to people, it took Facebook to make these connections more obvious but they've always been there.

I was at a bar, and I starting chatting to a guy, and of course the "where are you from?" questions comes up. After a while of talking, we found out that we were actually in the same university, same faculty, same year. As well he was on an exchange program from Glasgow that I actually got accepted to, but changed my mind. We probably would have met way back then if I had done the exchange. But instead we meet decades later in a bar in Hong Kong.

Another guy I talked to has lived and worked in the exact places where I chose to stay during this year off. Buenos Aires, Hong Kong, Toronto, and Mexico City. During our conversation, he was naming them off like he's read my itinerary....hmm maybe he has. hmm..maybe they ALL have....hmm....

And facebook helps too. I just noticed one of my old friends is now working in Mumbai--my next stop. And I just got a facebook intro to a sister of a friend in Mumbai. Who knew I could find so many acquaintances on the other side of the world?

Anyways, I like to believe that there's a force (other than facebook) leading us to the ones we're meant to meet, and to the things that we're supposed to do--to help guide us to learn and grow.

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NUMBERS 10.07.11 HONG KONG
Harbour Grand, 1 night: C$160
WIFI Hotel, 1 night: C$100

REVIEW: HARBOUR GRAND HK
I picked this hotel because it's a block over from my old apartment. So it was great to be close to all the places I know. The hotel is beautiful with huge crystal chandeliers in the lobby. A harpist plays there every night. The rooms are nicely furnished with a rain shower in the glass-walled bathroom--the first one I've seen that even doesn't hide you taking a dump. The gym and pool have a nice view of the Kowloon skyline. I did seem to have a lot of problems with the service though--I would have to call every morning to get an iron in the room, and had to call back 3 times once. The elevators are so slow because they're split into two banks even though they're side by side. It was annoying when I had to wait 10 minutes to get an elevator. The hotel is in a good location right beside the Fortress Hill MTR station only a few stations away from the hubbub. I'd rather stay here than to be smack dab in the middle of crazy hectic crowds!

HONG KONG
Sep 8 - Horrible Chinese Laundry Accident

I just lost all my whites in a horrible Chinese laundry accident. If only I had known how to say "separate the darks" in Cantonese. Well, there goes half my clothes...I guess it's time to go shopping. I hate shopping.

 

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REVIEW: WIFI HOTEL
I changed hotels partway through to get a cheaper rate and closer to my client. I wasn't sure about this hotel because I saw mixed reviews. But it's quite nice. The rooms are small, clean and efficient. There's a ipod dock. Strangely enough, their WIFI is spotty and it's hard for me to get a consistent signal, which makes it super frustrating to use the internet. The location is good, but there's no gym. I'm getting fat.

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