29 November 2006


Finally! It's been quite the process, but all the steps to me becoming a Hong Kong resident are almost complete! Today I got my bankcard! Woohoo! I feel like a normal person now. I signed up for my account last week on Monday, but it was a 7 day waiting period to get my card. They don't give temp cards at HSBC for some assinine reason. So I was left without access to my money in the account (which I used to open it with) for about a week, unless I wanted to wait in crazy long lineups at the teller to do it manually (gah manually). I had a nice little chat with one Chinese teller who didn't realize I had just opened the account, and she was trying to charge me money for withdrawing funds. With my account, everything is free service, except going to the teller. But I had no card to do it at the machine! It took awhile to explain all this, but eventually the fee was waived. No worry, I now have my bankcard, it's nice and silver.

You may have noticed I said all steps are 'almost' done. Pretty much everything I need to get around here, is now done. I have a cellphone, picked that up about 1 week ago as well. It's a nice Nokia with pretty much no features, but I figured out how to download a program and hack into my phone so I can program the MP3 rings. (It doesn't have an audio player, but plays MP3's for ringtones) Figure that one out. A cell/mobile is a must here. Even if you're only here for 1 week I 'd recommend it. It baffles me how I managed almost 3 months without one. So back to the almost. I still need/should get a credit card. There a few things/bills that would be easier with a card, plus I get a free gift like an Ipod shuffle so it's worth it. Also the HSBC internet banking siter is pretty awesome. I'd say it's even better than TD's, and it's pretty good Canada wise.

28 November 2006

Cheesefest 2006

Ah Christmas. Still 1 month away, yet everything/one seems to be preparing well in advance. Statue square in Central has been transformed into a marvellous amount of cheese, topped with the most ridiculously over-dressed Christmas tree I've ever seen. I only caught a glimpse of it during the day, so I'm waiting to see how it's lit up at night. Hong Kong is quite famous for it's lights you know.

Also across the harbor in TST pretty much every building is decked out in a few gazillion lights. I guess for Hong Kong it seems somewhat normal now, but anywhere else it would be crazy. Take Calgary, a pretty decent skyline, yet only one building (Telus) puts up lights. And all it usually is, is a basic xmas-tree with a few green and red lights. So ya, Hong Kong puts Calgary to shaaaaame.

Even though there are lots of decorations up, the house to house decor isn't quite the same as in Canada. Every apartment has not littered their balcony with strings of white lights etc. only to leave them up until June. It might be because no one really has a balcony here, but people still have windows. I might go buy a string and put them up in the window. That's if Mai lets me.

The malls are popping mad busy. Even more-so than usual. Last night as I was taking the bus home I couldn't believe how many people were out and about shopping, and it's 4 weeks away! I'm sort of glad I'm doing my shopping earlier this year (As to have time to mail back to Canada) Last night I got a notice in the mail of another parcel, so I think my older sis must have mailed me something. I'm picking it up today at the post office.

Not much new to report other than the usual. Work has been pretty casually normal, nothing major happening. We're having some sort of party on Thursday. Once again I don't have a clue what it is, but at least I know it's happening this time. I'll prolly take some photos of the festivities around school leading up to Christmas as well.

As for photos, yes I have been slacking. I think I only took my camera out twice this month. Terrible. I do have some photos of the Japan/Korea rugby test for World Cup entry to post. Japan won, they absolutely slaughtered Korea 54-0. So Japan is off to the World Cup. I don't think it was ever in doubt. But in regards to my camera, I have decided to get a news lens for myself. It's the Canon 70-200mm L USM Lens. It's pretty awesome. Bill had this lens and I quite liked it. The price in HK is quite a bit less that Canada as well. Almost $300CDN less. I opted not to go for the IS because of a) money and b) it's not as sharp from what I hear. So maybe once I get this super new lens I'll take some more paparazzi style photos...

26 November 2006

Wow what a baaaad game

Alright, I'm tired so this will be a short post.

The Typhoons played the Macau team today, and wow we played like crap. Fortunately for us, we are good enough that we won even playing like crap. I for one, need to learn how to throw the ball, and as a team we need to play better position and with more energy.

We won 9-6! hahahaha what a thrilling game. Actually it was pretty awful playing conditions, the field was almost all sand, and it was raining. We showed very little energy but somehow our marvellous kicker rallied to kick 3 penalty kicks for the win. Each being 3 points.


Also on the way home I found the following funny. I was relatively comotose due to the alcohol consumption of the day, but in a bus full of 60 people up top, I managed to hear the 2 people up front speaking English. haha. It was also funny because it was North American English. But they were both Chinese. Had I been more sober I might have asked them where they were from. They both came to my building, so maybe I'm not the only Canadian here???

23 November 2006

Christmas in November

Ah the season is near. To my surprise, people are in full swing celebrating Christmas already. There are decorations beginning to fill all the malls, apartments, windows? etc., and it makes no sense! It is still in the low +20's, so it doesn't feel remotely like 'Winter,' which I believe is a prerequisite for Christmas. I highly doubt there will be any snow this year, but I'm holding out hope for some white stuff to set some record and make people go crazy. Unlikely, but not impossible.

Even though it doesn't look like Christmas, I guess people are somewhat in the mood. I received a parcel in the post from my parents and little sister the other day. After finding the post office, I managed to get the package home and open it for some goodies. My mom is quite funny, she made me some Christmas brownies even! Thinking back I can't remember a holiday without them actually. So that made me happy. There's still a few left, hehe.

Many of the buildings have put up extavagent lights, in addition to the normal ones as well. I'll take some pictures as it gets closer to Christmas, but they have a big santa snow flakes etc. etc. In neon lights! haha.

And the other thing that makes it feel like 'Winter'??? I'm sick! Again!/Still/As Always since being here.... I'm really getting pissed off at the pollution here. I'm quite positive it is the only reason I am sick. I've started taking allergy pills again, so it's not the cat bothering me anymore. Everytime I go outside it's like I have a coughing fit. Not in all areas, but anytime I go near a road, or anywhere relatively close to Kowloon - cough it up I do. I've sort of always had a light case of Asthma, but it never really mattered back home. I can't remember when I had trouble breathing due to the air. Usually I had to run a tonne, and even that doesn't bother me much anymore. Hong Kong does! They aren't totally visible, but the tiny little particles of crap in the air start to feel visible when your skin is always dirty and your lungs are always coughing up crap. Grrrrrr. Clean the ____ up HK! (That means you Mr. Donald Tsang)

Merry Christmas in November.........

21 November 2006

Creepy Dolls

Mai took me to this creepy doll exhibition somewhere in Kowloon on Sunday. The name of these bride-of-chucky-esque dolls is Blythe. Mai told me they were originally designed by an American. It ended up I took more pictures, but only because they were creepy creepy creepy.

At least we did better than Hong Kong

The past weekend didn't exaclty go so well for our rugby team. Despite we lost to the same team about 60-0 last year, there was optimism this year for a win. If we had our best team, I suppose we could have managed to compete and probably win. But that is why we lost. Lack of a strong team in many areas. We were missing almost every large forward, or the ones that were there were put into different positions than used to due to low numbers. I for instance, played the position of prop, usually reserved for 250 lb blokes. Needless to say, I couldn't really muster up as much push as the opposition in the scrum. We went to uncontested srums, which meant bad news as their forwards didn't tire out. Oh well, despite that we were missing our scrum half(s) due to moving or injury, and our best kicker was notthere as well. In the end we didn't do too badly, the score was 28-5 I believe.

After our game was the Hong Kong vs. Japan international World Cup qualifier for the Asia region. Japan was predicted to kill them, and kill them they did. The final was 52-3 Japan winning. Japan also missed about 8-9 conversions, so it should have been around 70-3. Also in the 2nd half I think Japan toned it down a bit. The game was fun nonetheless. The stadium was packed to capacity, around 4000 people according to HKrugby.com It was good to see a professional game in person as it made me aware of a few things you don't normally see on the tv. Too bad for Hong Kong though, as I highly doubt they're going to even come close to making it to the World Cup. Very unlikely. Canada also lost on the weekend, darn, to Wales though, as they were expected to. They did play a very good game against a more powerful team. Only lost 52-26, which was good for them apparantly. Canada is 13th in the world, while Wales is 9th. Shows you how much distance is between the rankings world-wide. Japan is 19th and Hong Kong 29th I believe.

Here once again, is a very amusing summary of our game from the FCC president, Mr. Chris Roberts.

"There are a few positives we can take away from the Sequins game. Dan/Smally wasn't playing, Jamie is now married so can smash himself up as prop and the old boys can still make muster and turn out for a run. We had numbers on paper but we were waiting on the French to add some Gallic flare in the front row and bite some ears. The cooler week and rain had turned a bit warmer and humid, the grass had been cut well and we were set to give Club a few lessons in nuisance value and turning up to fight whatever happens. Big Ass Zurcher came back to help us out and add some ass with class to the forwards, didn't see it myself. His big ass was in the way. Smally couldn't make the field with a sniffle and man flu, so we had decent scrum half's.

Sequins turned up with a selection of chunkers and old boys, we were sporting our mobile pack. We weren't to shabby against their back line as well. Early on we had a lot of pressure down in the 22, with all the weight of pie eating and rich living being trundled at the fit bodies of our forwards (A hideous lie but bear with me). We held out for a while eventually conceding a try which was converted. The flame haired Jason O had turned up to play half back and distribute ball. He looked like a toy Garfield stuck on a back window trying to tackle their number 8. Out from the wilderness Marty Grey turned up to prop and sweat off a hangover. More pressure in the 22 and we let in another in the first 20 minutes, this was converted again. We were pinned down in our own half for a lot of the time. We held our own in the line outs and had some good passages of pick and drive getting through several phases without mishap. After a lot of hard work the ball went wide for some good interplay and a crash through from our resident goal hanger, number 8 and now sometime centre Mr Gent. Still working hard we went into the break 14 - 5 behind. Wispy Waz and Jon K talked tactics and we set for the second half.

The second half saw more of Claudios Latino anger being expressed at misdemeanours committed by years of cynical old boy play. Coming in on the side, lying on top and using hands on the floor, not a problem for Sequins. There was among some South American revolution at one point. Shane had a moment as centre getting in a hand off with instant sore throat dispensed before being brought down. Peter Clemmow replaced Jason at No.9, good to see him back. It has to be said Sequins were using our own tactic of rolling subs and lots of them. Saturday they just had more subs with no games being on in the higher leagues, funny that. We ground away, eventually letting in 2 more tries which were converted. The Mystery French prop didn't show up, no doubt taking his time finishing a meal with a fine wine and winking at lot at ladies. There weren't too many comedy moments, it was just hard work. We looked good and gave Club a hard game they won't forget. On another day we could have had them, there's still time. A big thanks to Matt Adams turning up from Nomads to help out in the front row. New boy Kevin T made an appearance with more of that shocking orangy hair.

Final score Typhoons 5 - Sequins 28

Man of the match - Aymeric
Honourable mentions - Jeff and Brenton "

17 November 2006

Rugby Rugby Rugby

Oh mercy this weekend should be a great weekend for rugby.

First off, the Typhoons (the team I play for) are taking on the Sequins (what the ___ kind of name is Sequins?) for a temporary tie of first place in the 3rd devision in Hong Kong Rugby. It still feels kind of funny playing in the 3rd devision of the entire country. If that was true for say, hockey, in Canada, I would be almost a pro! Unfortunately, Hong Kong isn't that big, but I still think it's cool, and our team is playing really well at the moment. My big body guards up front are away for this game, so hopefully I will survive. These body guards are called props, they basically protect me during the scrum in rugby games. One is out with a torn knee, and the other is off protecting Gucci somewhere in Asia. (He's the head of security for Gucci in all of Asia, yes he's HUGE) Wish me luck!

After our game, is the International World Cup of Rugby Asia qualifier, on the same pitch! Yes! That's right, we're playing right before a WORLD CUP qualifier game. International super-stars will be playing almost right after us. Pretty awesome eh? Now, not to get too excited, the Asian rugby teams are pretty much the bottom feeders of International Rugby, but still. Both games are at the Hong Kong Football Club in Happy Valley. If anyone from Hong Kong reads this, you should come, and it's free! Comment if you want directions.

The final Rugby dealings are on Sunday, when Wales plays Canada in an international match, but I'm not sure what it's for. Anyway, I've never seen Canada play, despite living in CANADA! (stupid hockey mad country) so I'm sort of excited to watch it.

I will update on Monday saying we are now in first place*

Happy Hour

I wonder if the counter attendant for the gym even knew what this said? If he did, it makes this wristband even funnier. This is what they gave me for a wristband at the gym last night. Mai got one too. Everytime you go to the gym at the clubhouse where I live, you have to pay, so they give you a wristband to make sure they know who has paid the fee. It's really cheap, but I think we should have gotten 2 for 1 with these things.

14 November 2006

Oh what a marvelously confusing day!

Today when I woke up I really didn't want to go in to school to 'work' today. Man am I glad I did! Today was possibly the coolest/funniest/weirdest/confusing/strange day I've ever had.

Phew... I'm still trying to figure out what happened today. Where to start?......

Ok, so I wake up and go to school like I normally do on Tuesdays, take the mini-bus to MTR and walk up the hill to the kindergarten. What is so strange about this you ask? Well when I arrived at school, the doors were all closed up and everyone was leaving or had already left. ??? Whuha? I asked, it's only 8:45am. Luckily for me, one of the teachers was still inside, and let me in. I asked in Honglish 'what the hell is going on??!?!' haha. She told me in broken English, that "Oh, today is play day" at least I think that's what she called it. I was like "oooooo...k. So where is everyone?" I found out eventually that everyone has gotten onto like 20 buses and loaded up to go to the New Territories for some 'field day' type activity thing where the parents all came along. So there approximately 1000 people on buses going to the New Territories. This is all fine and dandy, but WHY DIDN'T ANYONE TELL ME THIS WAS HAPPENING TODAY!?!??!?! Rushing around, the headmistress found me and told 'Oh sorry, I forgot to tell you about the play day today."

It's a good thing I was actually on time for a change.

So I loaded onto a bus, with very small seats I might add, and was off to some foreign land in Hong Kong, known as middle of ____ ____ nowhere. I had been to parts of the New Territories before, but this place was really really out in the country. On the way there I saw the large bridge going to Lantau Island, and the hugantic large shipping docks on Kowloon side. They are very cool, but it is lost on me how the heck they organize it all. It was about 45 minutes by bus to where we went (I seriously have no idea where we were). The driving skills of bus drivers here continue to amaze me. I didn't think I'd ever see the day 15 large buses almost fell off a gravel road into a drainage ditch. Luckily we didn't. Oh the other funny thing I was aksed was if I wanted a puke bag on the bus. Um? Is it going to fly? Later on I could sort of see why they asked.

We arrived at this desolate looking place called somethingerater country club. Hooray! There might be a golf course, ha, no. By country club I think the HKers mean big open field with somewhat natural grass. What ended up happening was all the kids and parents got into groups by age in the field and played games and scavenger type stuff all day. There was also a huge covered area so we could hide from the nuclear fallout from North Korea (haha, that's what I'm blaming the smog on)

I really wasn't asked to do anything all day, other than wander around, and take the occassional photo with some students. A couple parents who spoke very good English talked to me for awhile, but mostly I did nothing. Which is exactly what I wanted to do all day anyway so I was happy. The consession dude ripped me off I think, because the ice cream I bought cost waaaaay too much. He claimed to not speak English. Ah well. The rest of the day I wandered around some more in this 'field' till about noon, when the teachers attempted to gather everyone back into one group to head back to the buses. We left around 12:45 I think. The journey home was the same rollercoater ride, but in reverse.

Alrighty, we were almost back at the school, and I still really didn't know what was going on the rest of the day. No one even told me what the place was called we had just spent 4 hours at. I may never know. The head-mistress said something about Lunch earlier, but really didn't make it clear what she meant and where or how I was getting where I think I was supposed to be. Turns out me and 5 other teachers were going out for Lunch with the principal in Hong Kong Island! haha, I didn't really expect this. And we got our own bus to go there. Super duper!

We arrived in Wan Chai around 2pm, and met our Principal at some decent looking Seafood place. I have no idea why, but they all talked for about 5 minutes, and then it was decided the 6 of us were going to go somewhere else. Ok, do I have to pay? Is all I cared about. We walked down to the main level, and someone lead the way to a Chinese restaurant directly above the place we had just come from. I was aksed if I like dimsum, which I said yes to, and off we were. The restaurant was very large inside.

I can't remember most of what we ate (because I dont know what it's called) but it was very yummy. I had jellyfish, squid, pork, veggie things, and Chinese chips and pineapple sauce! mmmmm. Also I got to entertain all the teachers as they laughed at my English. Umm, hello? My English is ENGLISH! They find the language funny I guess. I also talked with the computer tech, the only other male teacher at my school. His English isn't too great, but we understood each other for the most part. One memorable moment was when he thought I wake-boarded instead of rugby. I don't quite know how he mixed up that one.

So the verdict is.... I didnt have to pay! Woohoo!

What a weird day. I hop on a bus to an unknown destination early in the morning with about 1000 people. I go to some field in the middle of nowhere. I get ripped off by the ice cream guy. I go for Chinese dimsum with the teachers and it's all paid for. My job is so hard huh?

13 November 2006


Awhile back, October 26th actually, I went to Repulse Bay. Nice little beach, it's actually quite large for Hong Kong. Decent sand, nice water, and very very sunny. The architechture is pretty cool too.

Broadband! WOOHOO!

Hooray! I'm living in the future I feel like now! haha. I recently 'upgraded' our internet and cable tv to full broadband. I now have the fastest internet in Hong Kong, as well as ESPN and HBO on tv, hehe. As a result, I spend too much time watching TV, and I will now be updating my photoblog hopefully a little more frequently.

Gai Who?

Final Score: Phoons 28 vs. GaiWu 12

Yes! We won again! And no-one got their leg smashed this game. Physically and mentally this was probably one the harder games we've had this season, despite the fact we lost a game earlier on in the year to the Police. I'd say this game was tougher, and we won. We kept our energy long enough to hold on in the end. Up until about 6 minutes left it was really close. I think we were only winning by a few points. The final minutes saw us score a few tries to make it convincing enough for comfort. Also one of our star players Jensen (who is leaving for England for a couple years) scored a last minute tri which made everyone happy. All the best Jensen.

As for myself, I played the whole match once again. My fitness is improving. The opposing hooker was quite tough, he knocked the wind outta me as I attemped to tackle him. I still haven't quite got my timing back for tackles. In the scrums it was a tough battle all day. I only managed to steal one put-in away from the GaiWu side. I don't think I gave away the ball at all, so that was a highlight.

Lineouts improved a tonne this game. Not only did I actually manage to throw the ball straight, our jumpers were jumping as well. One tri came almost directly off the lineout and a couple other good runs as a result of good technique on the lineout.

After the game we all went down the street to a local pub, and I think the owner was dancing in the back, because we were his only customers, and from what I could see, I think we almost drank the place empty. They had to go buy the food we ordered down the street, which was funny, as we should have just got it ourselves. Also another high/lowlight was singing Karaoke to Backstreet Boys for about 10 minutes. Nothing funnier than seeing Gareth (the largest member of the team) busting out the boyband lyrics. hahaha. Other tunes were heard from Madonna and Britney, as well as a Canto-Beatles song (very funny). Karaoke here is a lot different than back home. The videos are all of locals singing the songs on a huge stage with lights and everything with very bad backup dancers. So when you watch the TV screen, you're singing Karaoke of a cover basically. Except a few North American videos, which usually show the original artist's video.

We got the win, wuuuu hoo. I forgot to mention that Gai Wu is an all Japanese team. They are small, but wholy crap did they hit hard. Unlike the big fat white guy teams, these guys hit with very pinpoint percision, so it hurt a lot in one small spot. As oposed to the 'larger' guys who sort of hit you with a more absorbing blow. Oh well, No blood on me this game so I'm happy. The team is now 4-1, and constantly improving.

06 November 2006


That's right. The Bombers suck THAT MUCH.....

After watching the bombers play like their usual selves, I'm not sure I relly care who wins the Grey Cup, again, but at least I can watch it live on Broadband CFL. I feel so close to home, until I look outside and see palm trees.

04 November 2006

'No' for Nomads

The Typhoons (Us) played the somethinerather Nomads this past weekend. I thought a fellow from the club did a very nice email write up, so I've decided to post it rather than try and come up with my own wit. Here it is >>>

Saturday was ladies day and some women turned up to watch. Judging by the quiz questions raised by master mind Humphrey's, several didn't appear to have been watching at all. I'll get back to the quiz master later, but they were chatting, eating, drinking, eating some more and taking very little notice of the fine display of manhood and rugby on display. There was no singing or streaking despite subsidising the drinks all day as well. It also saw the inaugural opening of the TCC, or the Typhoon Cripples Club. The Club within a club is open to all, you just have to injure yourself badly enough so you can't play for weeks. Flesh wounds, wimps and poor quality injuries need not apply.

Another fine day, we were receiving and boffed about a bit in the first few minutes. We had a bit of pressure down in our own half/22, but we managed to break out. The backs made fine yardage getting it out to FMHK, who incidentally has an extra vertebrae in his back which is why he's so tall. But having a clear run and showing off he knocked it on like a turkey. More pressure back in our half and another breakout, this time FMHK wasn't combing his hair and he scored in the corner. Unfortunately he inflicted an injury on himself and has asked to join the TCC. We will consider if thumb breakage and pulling off the tendon qualifies. We had a try go the other way, this they converted. My memory gets dim at this point, I made it Jon K, Chris J getting two more tires. We had a penalty kick against us as well. Conversions were a shocker throughout the game. Des kept his sheets clean and Jon K also had an unblemished record. We were ahead by half time and poised to race away. The forwards looked good in the scrum, mauling and rucking also looked good. The ref stopped any funny business and the game ticked along. The first half also saw Guy dislocate his little pinky, but it went back in so should be OK for nose excavations in no time. The line out was frail however and we lost yards while they kicked for position and stole our ball.

Half time and some old chat. A few changes and we kept fresh legs joining the fray for some carpet burns and sweating. We had a slow start then began scoring from wide. Des complained his Cuban heals and the scores out wide were causing him to miss. He was sacked in shame for his excuses. Jon K was little better, even Jensen was a pile of pony. The second half saw the opening of the Ott's legs, seldom seen in Hong Kong but he made several runs. Most memorable was trying to catch their winger. There was a good forwards try shoving over for a try from 10 yards out after a good drive. I think this was Christophe, but I'd need to take advice from the sideline experts on French mens @rses and lots of bodies in a heap. We had a try go the other way, as above it was Christians fault for running and not tying his shoe laces. A big hello to Thomas Toit and Kevin, welcome back. Towards the end new scrum half Small got one in and took over the kicking duties in disgust. Luckily he scored rather than join the other kicking has beens. We looked comfortable in the game, despite the hard work. Trys came from all over the park showing we can score from anywhere.

Final score Typhoons 42 Nomads 15"