Ben in Hong Kong©

Monday, December 31, 2007

New Years Celebrations

For some reason I started drinking just after 6pm, which explains a great deal about the rest of the evening.

My plans changed multiple times concerning celebration plans. Initially I was going to a big private beach party, with DJ, heaters and bouncers (how do bouncers cope without doors on the beach?)

However, then the party was cancelled for reasons still unknown (perhaps the lack of doors?) So, the friends who were going to the beach then were going to come to mine, have some drinks and head out.

This then changed because some people could not get to my place in time. So it looked like we were going to head out and just meet in town then mill around with the other million strong crowds, preparing to watch the fireworks display.

Just before getting ready though I got a phone call from a really good friend who was having a house party. I could also invite as many friends as I wanted.

This made my day because

1) The flat is huge and the drink is always plenty
2) This view from the flat

It was perfectly positioned for the fireworks, so suddenly I found my plans sorted!

This is some of the crew from the party.

Some people did not quite get to leave the party and hit the clubs though. Drinking games have that result...

The night is very very hazy for most of the evening, some memories are.

  • Finding myself in an African bar and dancing to Bob Marley...
  • Being in a lift with someone who had issues with keeping food in stomach

  • Walking home from Central to Wan Chai

  • Purchasing a kebab

  • Walking through my doors and slipping on a beer bottle

  • Kebab halfway through being eaten landing all over self

  • Befriending a totally random woman in the picture below for at least 2 hours

Not getting into bed till the sun was starting to rise...

All in all, a fantastic New Years!


Sai Kung Birthday Fun

Well my mother was born on the eve of the new year (today) so there is more than one cause for celebration.

Usually, to be honest, the celebration of New Year is often a bit of a disaster for mum. She increasingly has to entertain other members of the family on her birthday and this makes it more hard work than it should be. This year is different though!!!

For her birthday I got two framed photos that we have taken on holiday so far. Below is one of them.

For Christmas I was given a kind of flexible mini camera tripod that can fit into your pocket. This means that skyline photographs are much better now with people standing in front of the view! (normally such pictures are a bit shit)

To celebrate the mother birthday I took the parents to Sai Kung which is in the New Territories. It is not overly advertised as a tourist destination and a little bit off the beaten track which made it nice and relaxed

The weather was perfect

The food fantastic.

Sai Kung is seafood heaven so there was plenty of fresh catching going on!

And lots of scenic photo opportunities!

So now, as the sun sets on Wan Chai I look out of my window and think will this New Year be any different? Then I pour myself another vodka and prepare to get ready for what is going to be the coolest last minute party ever! Photographs to come soon :)
Happy New Year!!!!!!!!!!

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Parents Day 2

Pictures from day two of the parents visit!


Saturday, December 29, 2007

The Parental Units

The parents are now in Hong Kong!!!

They arrived this morning and have checked into their hotel and explored the surrounding area.
This is the surrounding area...

If nothing else, Wan Chai does have an interesting mix of people.

And as you can see, the mix just got weirder :)

Monday, December 24, 2007

Sunday, December 23, 2007


Yesterday I was adopted by a Chinese Family! They invited me to Disneyworld, then I found out it was another friends last day working at Disney. Plus the sun was not out, it was cloudy and cold (at last!)... So I decided it was fate that I go to Disney, again.

This is the crazy family in question, they are mostly from Australia, the childrens Cantonese was about as good as mine I think!!!

Disney had a big Christmas theme going on so there were ice statues and stuff


Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Happy Birthday Robyn!!!

You need to click on the picture to get the full effect.
I hope you have a great Birthday Robyn!!! Miss you loads!
For the record, I am working on a surprise present for birthday and Christmas combined that is taking waaaaay longer than I thought. It is still very cool though!!!

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Day 2

Well it is now day 2 and I am still in bed and still feel totally horrible. I went to the doctors and after he checked me over for 5 minutes, asked me for another few minutes the following questions.

  • Have you been touching birds recently?
  • Have you been touching feathers or feather products recently?

  • Have you been to or visited a farm recently?

  • Have you visited a zoo that has had birds in it?

All of these questions I could safely answer no to. However his last question totally confused me.

  • Do you think you may have been around birds and not been aware of it?

Hang on a minute, let's think about this last question carefully.
If I have been around birds and not known about it, how would I know about it?! I suddenly had this image of me walking down the street and a flock of pigeons bobbing their heads and stalking behind me. Every time I get this feeling I am being watched I quickly turn around and they flutter into the shadows, waiting for that perfect opportune moment to attack.

Anyway, back to the real world. I had to reply 'yes', I suppose it is possible that I may have been around birds and not been aware of it. I then decided I was going to cut to the chase and ask the question burning on my mind.

"Doctor, do you think I have birdflu?" He chuckled a bit and said "No, I think you have tonsillitis".

I don't know if he found it funny getting me worried, or if he just was being a good doctor and going through the motions. Either way, I was in no mood to find out. I took my antibiotics, throat medicine, nausea medicine, painkillers and sicknote and left.

I got a taxi home, hoping to shake off those pesky stalking pigeons.

Good news is that now I am in bed, I have good opportunity to find totally random crap to update you with on this blog. Click here to be taken to an interactive sunset of Hong Kong. All you have to do is move your mouse up and down the screen once it loads!


Monday, December 17, 2007

Sick :(

I know I said I was going to be busy for quite a while with work, and that meant the blog may not be updated as often, but something has happened to free up some time.

Tonsillitis to be precise.

It hurst to move, it hurts to swallow and I am considering sterilising some scissors and trying to remove my tonsills myself. I am also so dosed up on painkillers/allergy pills/Chinese herbal medicie/Chinese healing Ginseng tea/strepsils/listerine/vitamin C/salt water gargle products that I think I may well soon become an interesting scientific case study.
So as I sit here in bed feeling sorry for myself / possibly high on over the counter drugs I thought I would share some pictures I have taken around Hong Kong.
I have been horseracing

With this motley crew

I have been playing with the editing software on my camera this morning

And discovered some cool new tricks

In my drugged up state i'm not sure if I have shared this picture with you before. Either way, look carefully at this classic Hong Kong seafood dining image.

And spot the health hazard.
I hope they are not fattening it up for lunch tomorrow...

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Office Christmas Party

Where better than a beach to have the office Christmas Party???

And yes, I did feel slightly silly as Father Christmas...


Monday, December 10, 2007

What the future holds

The temperature today is hitting 24c but it feels hotter. I am totally confused about how to predict the weather now. I left a cloudy Wan Chai wearing a jumper this morning, then by the time I exited the train to walk to work it was hot, blue and sunny. I have now got both fans on in my office and the airconditioning humming away too, yet still I am uncomfortably warm.

On a totally different note I have done three interviews recently with potential employees for next year who have informed me that they have discovered this blog. It would appear that my hard work to make sure that this blog can't be discovered under the company name has been pointless. This is mainly because my full name is on the interview emails I send out, so people wanting to research me type in my full name and then find the blog. It is no big deal as I have nothing bad to say about the company, it is still a little weird though!

Generally I have been really busy with work recently and shall be even more so up until next weekend. I have just finished a huge 2 month project yesterday so feel really happy, it was one of those things that I never thought I would see the end of! However, I still have my recruitment trip in February to finalise which is a huge task, so expect the next update of the blog to be next weekend!


PS: Parental units, I have just recieved a package from you that I assume is for Christmas. THANKS! XxX (can I open it?)

PPS: The picture above is of a Chinese fortune teller I took in the Night Market.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

False Representation

I nearly spat my green tea from my nose when I opened up HK magazine to see this advert

Before I start ranting, let us look at the main picture in more detail.

People who know what Dusk Till Dawn is like will understand why tea nearly came out of my nose. I will do my best to explain.

Dusk Till Dawn is quite simply the finest example of the underbelly of Wan Chai that ever existed.

It is packed with overly agressive bar staff who will grab you by the elbows and frog march you to the bar should you not have a drink in hand. (Even if a friend is at the bar getting you one)
It has bouncers that are far more agressive than the customers ever get.
It is packed full of prostitutes.
It quite often stinks of deep fried chips.
Last time I was there I was punched for no reason in the kidneys.
It is always overcrowded and violent on a weekend evening

I admit that all this is part of the attraction and character of Dusk Till Dawn. Problem I have is that the image they use to represent the place belongs in some sort of alternate universe.

Where is the blood and vomit I ask you!


Tuesday, December 4, 2007

No Parking

I was quite sad to see loads of local bars and brothels displaying "US NAVY WELCOME HERE" signs whilst walking through Wan Chai the other day.

It meant that for a few days Wan Chai would change and become a totally different animal. I was with a few friends when we spotted the ominous signs and one of them quite rightly said that for the next three days they were not leaving the flat.

Luckily though I have since discovered that China intervened on our behalf.

"Top U.S. Navy officials sharply criticized China on Tuesday for refusing to allow U.S. warships to stop in Hong Kong last week, signaling a potential fracture in American-Chinese relations just a short time after a visit to Beijing by Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates.
On Nov. 20, the Chinese refused to allow two minesweepers, the Patriot and Guardian, to come into Hong Kong to refuel and take refuge from a storm. The next day, the Chinese refused to permit the aircraft carrier Kitty Hawk and its strike group to make a scheduled four-day port call to Hong Kong for the Thanksgiving holiday" (Source)
It is kind of a shame the Americans could not celebrate Thanksgiving. I am giving thanks though that they never got chance to take over Wan Chai.

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Sounds of Wan Chai

Workers were erecting scaffolding on the roof of my building so I decided I should close my windows yesterday.

This decision was not based on privacy. To be honest I think my neighbours probably wish I would display a little more attention to privacy through correct curtain control.

I closed my windows because shards of bamboo (from the workmen) kept on hitting my windows and bouncing into my flat. I also closed them because I think a suspect liquid was dropped from above and made my washing hanging outside require a second wash. I could just leave 'suspect liquid' to your imaginations, but I will go right ahead and say that I think it was pee.

So I closed my windows and went out for the evening to Lang Kwai Fong. (Parents will be pleased to know that I have given my liver a substanial rest for the last month and I only was drinking local beer the entire night.)
Despite this I still rolled back home reasonably sozzled and collapsed into bed at 3am.

But I could not sleep.

I wanted to sleep, but could not do it. The room was not spinning, I did not have any need to visit the toilet on my knees, so why could I not sleep?
Well the reason at the time did not come as quickly to me as it probably has to you. I could not sleep because my room was silent thanks to fantastic double glazing of my closed windows. Even the next door parrot was behaving itself.

For the past 5 months I have always slept with my windows open and the sounds of Wan Chai in my room. Trams hooting, pedestrian crossings beeping and fish sellers wailing, it seems I can no longer sleep well in quiet surroundings.

Not content to just write about it. I decided to take a video!

The quality is not great, but it is the sounds that I want you to listen to. Hear that woman who sounds like she has something to say with a megaphone?

Well not only did I hear her, I hunted the annoying cow down and took pictures.

I dont know if it is possible to convey "I'm going to take these pictures and take them to the local council to complain about noise hooliganism" in one facial expression and angry weilding of a camera. But I gave it a try anyway.