31 January 2008

It's Effoooing Cold!

The locals pronounce the letter 'F' as 'effoo.' Does the title make sense now?

Last night we walked down to the grocery store and I could actually see my breath! It was crystalizing right before my eyes. Children are wearing tuques and mittens, and some Chinese kids at the school are wearing up to six layers. Most of the Japanese kids are still wearing shorts. The one Canadian kid is walking around in his underwear it's so hot.

Despite what the kids may or may not think, it's freeeeeeeeezing! My wimpy little heater cannot keep up. Our laundry is practically freezing solid on the line, and it takes two days to dry compared to the usual one. Washing your hands is like rinsing with ice water, which is actually beneficial at this time as my hand is still sore from rugby - the ice helps the pain.

Next week is the beginning of Chinese New Year. The year of the rat should be funny when all the gross little creatures come out and go belly up by freezing to death on the street. It's somewhat hard to tell if it is the year of the rat, the mouse, or the year of Mickey Mouse. I'm sure Disney is playing it up to rake in some extra cash. Speaking of Disney, one of my kids skipped class to go to the theme park today, and they just happened to be greeted with the coldest day of the year.

That'll teach her.

Cool Runnings 2

Hong Kong has been chosen as the host city to film the second film based on the highly successful Cool Runnings, originally filmed in Calgary.

Local legislators and officials have chosen the Peak as the primary spot to stage the bobsled run, with the steep decline providing a gravity defying drop to the finish.

26 January 2008

Check, Check, Check, Triple Double Check

This year my rugby team is going to Bangkok for the Bangkok 10s tournament in February, right after Chinese New Year. I have been given the task of designing our jerseys and our social polos and t-shirts.

To start I was happy to do it, after all I usually complain about the teams jerseys for lack of any sort of design at all. So I did up the drafts and sent them onto the company producing them. I wasn't directly talking to them as the tour management from my team as supposed to do all that, but things got out of hand quickly and stupidly.

We've had to check and change so many minute stupid little details that don't matter all because no one in Hong Kong has any common sense. It seems the factory's designer also doesn't know what a .pdf file is or how to view it. He's most likely getting paid a 1/4 of what I do if not less, so I guess I can't complain, but seriously!

I think I've managed to iron out all the details, things like we're not going to Pattya in 2006, and Thai numerals are a really hard font to recognize.

So hopefully the finished product will have at least 3 out of 4 colours I asked for, and the year will say 2008 and we will still be going to Bangkok.

But this is Hong Kong, I shouldn't hope...

24 January 2008

'Tis the Season

Is Christmas over?

It's kind of hard to tell around here. They switch right from all the Westernized Christmas decorations right into the Chinese New Year stuff. It somewhat looks the same, with a lot more red and yellow included.

Also coming up is my 2nd two week PAID holiday within a month.

Next up Easter ( 7 days only holiday)

Next Up Summer (PAID holidays)

Do I ever work? Sometimes...

Eating Healthy is not Healthy for My Wallet.

Eating healthy isn't exaclty hard in Hong Kong. It's just really not that cheap.

Sure there are numerous "fast food" joints that serve wraps, salads etc., but it isn't nearly as cost effective as anywhere else. For an average sized wrap it will cost just as much or more than it will in Canada (before GST that is).

Grocery shopping is a whole other matter. Yesterday I went in to the store with a goal not to buy anything in a can, box, or plastic container. I almost succeeded, but it's virtually impossible. What's also impossible it seems is to find fresh fruit and vegetables without selling my kidneys first. The small oranges were mouldy, and the lettuce is always an orange green tint. Buying packaged salads is a smarter way to go, but they cost about 5 times as much.

Getting fresh meat is really easy here, but sometimes I don't really want to know where it comes from. You can get really nice looing steaks from Japan for about $1000 if you want. I don't mind Chinese Chicken, but I will NOT eat Chinese beef. Anything from Australia or the US or even Canada will run at least double the price. I don't mind paying extra because I know it's imported, but the local meat here just looks terrible. The things people eat here amaze me. Meat isn't exactly prepared the same way as it is back home that's for sure.

Other things that hurt my dollar - fresh bread, milk, juice, yogurt, cheese, strawberries (wholy crap are they expensive here) blueberries, grapes, fish from outside HK waters, decent pasta, Japanese rice, sushi.

So in my quest to eat relatively healthy, I ended up spending 3 times what I would have if I had bought locally 'grown' food.

It might have cost 3 times as much, but at least I won't wake up with a cancerous third eye.

18 January 2008

Banner Changes

I have now finished changing the banners of both my photoblog and 'Lost in Hong Kong.' There are many new images and more variety this time. To see a different banner simply visit another section of the blog or just refresh in your browser. Can you name all 40?

Bi-Weekly Update

This just in - I'm lazy!

Not having my own computer at work is really taking it's tole on my broadband social life. I'm always on the computer at home in the evenings, but it's not as fun to blog when you're not getting paid for it.

Hong Kong is currently stuck in another cold-snap, so illegitimate warnings about the harbour freezing and skating rinks forming are starting to surface. Rumour has it they're going to have an outdoor NHL game here next year.

Rugby News - We lost our oppening match of the season, to Valley. The score was only 26-14, but we played like stuffed turkeys and never really got rolling. This week's clash promises to be much more intense. We have an army of 24 put together for our run-in with Football Club tomorrow. Let me fill you in on how much we like Football Club. Our last pre-game chant >


or quite elegantly during the half "FECK EM!"

We really loathe Football Club. Everyone does. They're a bunch of white towel tossing pomps with too much Jockey Club grass stuffed up their behinds. This game is not so much about winning, as it is shattering their ego and making them shrivle and tremble on their home turf. Referees tend to bow to the pressure of the rich bastards, so we'll be up against it.

Also new this week - Tai Po train museum is still really really boring. We took the K2 classes there today for 2 hours of train filled fun! It was cold and cloudy, and there were creepy old people lurking around. Fun!

03 January 2008

Slow News Day

Q: What do MC Hammer and Winnipeg have in common?

A: They both made the main news on CNN International tonight!

MC Hammer is just a buffoon, enough said.

Actually Winnipeg is always on during the weather, it shows up as one of only 2 cities in Canada on the North America weather map. The other city is Toronto (of course). They usually say nothing about the actual cities, rather just commenting on what region is having rain etc. or snow in this case.

Tonight they were talking about how cold it was everywhere, and they said Winnipeg was #1 with a temperature of -32 C. The mentioned how Miami were being babies turning the heat on at + 11 C. Anyway they continued on to Europe and how rainy and crappy it was in England etc., but before they cut away to other world new, the main anchor again mentioned how it was really ugly everywhere, but he was glad he wasn't in Winnipeg at -32 C. Reminds of an airmiles commercial >

...goin' to Winnipeg...

01 January 2008

Happy 2008 from Hong Kong!

Happy New Year everyone! I went and watched the pyros rocket fireworks off of the tallest buildings in Hong Kong. It was very cool. I was actually alone as Mai is in Japan for family matters. But things are better now I hear.

As for the fireworks they were pretty crazy. They almost blew up IFC with fireworks shooting off the sides of the building! First time they have ever done it.