30 June 2008

Oh no Canada!

While thinking about Canada (it's almost Canada Day) I came up with a bunch of reasons why I don't feel the need to move back in any rush. Today I was reminded of one major reason...

Rogers sucks!

Well, maybe that's unfair to point out just one company... THEY ALL SUCK! (cellular providers in Canada that is).

One look at their price structure for the new iPhone (i standing for 'i am a piece of crap') made my eyes roll more than once. The cheapest plan is $60 CDN! And all you get is 150 minutes! Are you joking!? It's a phone! And it doesn't even do things that many other phones already can. What exactly is so special about this magical device? Pretty much every phone manufacturer in Asia already has a phone that does what the iPhone does plus more. They also cost a heck of a lot less.

There's so much BS about how Canada is too small a market so everyone has to pay more for everything. I thought we were one of the richest countries in the world? Where's all that money going?

Anyone who buys an iPhone (thus signing up for a 3 year contract) is a fool.

p.s. Did I mention I get 1400 minutes for the equivalent of about $10CDN per month? In Hong Kong, that's a ripoff.

29 June 2008

Lamma Island

Last weekend I went to Lamma Island with a few co-workers. The plan for the day was to be lazy and sit in the sun. The +33 sun. Fun! We rented an umbrella on the main beach to keep from melting. Other than sitting on the main beach, which is hardly worth mentioning as a beach as it is ridiculously filthy, there are a few other things to do on Lamma.The main ''attraction" would have to be the big wind turbine. You can walk right up to it and feel it vibrate as it spins wildy out of control. Actually it stops when the wind is too strong. Also from the top of the hill where the turbine sits is a good view of the rear-side of HK Island. Please note the blue sky, it does not happen often. (usually only after 2 weeks of solid rain)Here is a list of things you can't do on Lamma. About all you're permitted to do is sit on your ass and be quiet. Oh feel free to clean up after all the dirty hippies though. (Lamma is known as Hippie Town by some HKers)Walking up the path to the turbine we saw this funny leaf which looked like it was floating/dancing in the air. Turns out it was caught in a huge spider web spun by one of the many gigantic spiders that inhabit this part of the island.

25 June 2008

Storm? Did somebody sneeze?

My first signal 8 storm has come and gone. I couldn't be less impressed. It was barely windy outside, there was less rain than almost everyday the last two weeks, and nothing flew past my window! There weren't even any downed trees in my area. The only things that fell over in Hong Kong were badly planted trees or poorly erected scaffolding. BIG surprise.

I ended up having to go into work for the afternoon. It was pretty relaxed as most people strolled in at different times and there weren't any children.

I don't mind getting a day of for the weather, but I would much rather get a day off for when I really need it. Like when I'm sick. Even if say, the day before, I was hacking and coughing and practically dieing at work, I would still need to hobble down the hill outside for 20 minutes and go wait to see a doctor on my day off to prove I was sick. Within this 20 minute walk who knows how many people one could infect with their cold. How many other sick people would I run into and make my infection worse!

If anything, Hong Kong will be wiped off the map by a fast spreading virus, not a wimpy typhoon. Everyone in HK has a crap immune system because of the pollution, and half the people I see are constantly sick in some way. I have yet to make it through a day without one of my students coughing on another student.

Gotta love HK...

p.s. Fengshen you sucked.


***UPDATE - ***
Fengshen, you are such a snooze. I slept very well last night, and didn't even hear the wind. Signal 8 is still in force, so no work today! Can't see any branches on the ground out my window. Only 2 drops of water inside, no major leaks.

Fengshen is now only a few hours away! And it's been upped to a T8! Woohoo! Now it just has to hang around for awhile and make all the hard workers of Hong Kong happy. Notice how it's making a direct turn towards HK! Yes!

'Typhoon' Fengshen has now been down-graded to a wimpy tropical storm, but it is still possible to raise a Typhoon 8 signal, which would mean I don't have to go to work tomorrow! I'm hoping for a nice strong Eastern wind to push it back on target for HK. The weather remains less than impressive in HK, only a little rain until now, pah!

12 June 2008

Macau Rugby 10's - The Mud Bowl

All Chickens Must Die!

It seems all chickens are slated for death after a recent outbreak of bird-flu in Hong Kong. The funny thing is you don't hear anyone complaining about gas prices in Hong Kong, they are complaining about pork and chicken prices.

The whole bird flu thing isn't really a surprise considering you can still buy live chickens at market. I will continue to buy all my meat from an indoor air conditioned supermarket and cook the crap out of it when I get home.

08 June 2008

Lots of Rain

"In Hong Kong, the average rainfall for June is 376mm.

This year that much rain fell in just one day: about eight hours in a non-stop downpour. The city ground to a halt as flooding swamped streets and landslides brought down mud and rocks.

Two people were killed when a 20-tonne section of retaining wall gave way onto a hillside hut in which they were sleeping. More than 420mm of rain fell on Tung Chung and 300mm on Mui Wo on Lantau Island, while Sheung Wan on Hong Kong Island received 320mm. Sha Tin was hit with 200mm in the same period.

The North Lantau Highway was blocked by waterfalls, and more than 400 flights were delayed, with 14 cancelled.

The Hong Kong Observatory said the deluge set a new record for hourly rainfall (since records began in 1884): 145.5 mm between 8am and 9am. The previous mark was 115.1mm in July 2006."

"The water was waist-deep in low-lying Wing Lok Street, Sheung Wan - a flooding black spot. Water cascaded into dried-seafood shops.
Firemen rescued people trapped aboard minibuses that broke down in 70cm deep water in Wan Chai, and carried people through a river of water coursing down Tai Hang Road.
In Pok Fu Lam village, 38 people were evacuated when their homes flooded. Boys ... and a ... woman needed hospital treatment for scratches and bruising after rocks and mud washed into their house.
A newspaper vendor in Wong Chuk Hang Road, Aberdeen, said the area suddenly flooded at 6.30am. "The water came very fast. It was flooded within five minutes. There was thigh-deep water.
On Hill Road in Western, a flight of steps turned into a waterfall as rain cascaded down it. A tram was derailed when sand and gravel was washed onto the tracks in Des Voeux Road West."

text from > -bigwhiteguy.com

01 June 2008

Hong Kong International Art Fair 08

HK's biggest art event of the year took place a couple of weeks ago. It was a mass gathering of over 100 galleries from something like 20 countries. The work for sale ranged in variety, with prices anywhere from $7K - $250million HKD. This wasn't your average art sale.

We saw many familiar works, as well as a lot of new things coming out of China I had never looked at. This was my first actual 'art fair' and I have to say I don't think it's the best way to sell art that's for sure. It was fun to look, but the quantity and variety would turn off most first time art buyers. I suppose that's what the private VIP opening was for, the people with real money.

Culture Club Gallery

Friday night I discovered this nice-relaxed atmosphere club in Soho. My co-workers had been there before, and had always said how cool it was. The place is quite unique in Hong Kong. Not many bars are very chilled out and quiet, and they are usually all crammed. We were the only ones inside for about 3 hours. The music is interesting, but not so loud you need to shout at anyone to communicate.

The other neat thing about this place is that it functions as a small art gallery as well. There were black and white prints lining the walls. All in all a great place, great atmosphere, and it's not too expensive either.

...and the wine kept coming.