Saturday, August 1, 2009
My last days in Hong Kong have been quite relaxed. I had a leaving dinner at the Spring Deer Restaurant but most of my friends were still down with Swine Flu. I phoned them up the previous day and they were all saying that they were feeling fine but would stop mid conversation and start coughing. I sent a message to them all saying that unless they were feeling 100% then they should not come as I did not want to get sick whilst I was staying in a hostel during my travels.
There have been a few "last" things I wanted to do before leaving. I went to the Avenue of Stars, to the Bridge, I had sushi and I took some photos of Johnston Road. Mainly I have just been enjoying having a flat that I could call my own for a couple of weeks before living in hostels and guesthouses for 6 months. Today my post Swine Flu infected friends stopped coughing and went to Shek O Beach where the water was unusually clear. Nikki has a new underwater camera which we were playing with for a while. For dinner we all went to a really nice Thai restaurant and then took the bus through the mountains back to the north side of the island.
Now I am watching an old film called cocoon with Adrian, Kristy, Hannah and Nik. Tomorrow I fly to Malaysia. I have packed my bags and am ready to go. I don't fully realise i'm leaving yet though.
at 7:03 AM
Wednesday, July 29, 2009
I found myself at 3.30 pm today sitting before a doctor and explaining my travel plans. I was leaving this visit quite late and did not really want to be there. What prompted me to seek advice about vaccinations was a news programme I watched on Saturday about a new drug resistant strain of Malaria that has been found in Cambodia. My initial thought was that if there is drug resistant Malaria then there was not much point getting any immunisation for it. Then I thought about it a little more and realised that the sensible thing to do would be to go get lots of needles stuck in my arm and pay lots of money for protection against diseases with long exotic names.
The doctor went through a list of things I could catch whilst travelling which I viewed as similar to the over-the-top warning notes you see on packets of paracetamol. Then he showed me a map with areas of high risk in bright red. Everywhere I am travelling is bright red! So he listed the four injections I need and also prescribed Malaria pills called Doxycycline. I am very familiar with this medication because it's the exact same stuff I used to take for acne. He began reading out the rules for taking it and I finished his speech " No dairy products, no direct exposure to sun without high factor sun cream and beware of iron intake". "Are you a medical student?" he asked. "No, just spotty", I replied.
More impressive though was the cost of all this. Four injections and Malaria tablets for the duration of my trip costs under 50 pounds. For a country that does not have free healthcare that's really cheap!
at 8:53 AM
Sunday, July 26, 2009
I currently have more friends with Swine Flu than without. It spread through the group last weekend and it's a small miracle I don't have it. I went to the beach on Wednesday with Adrian when he was infected and the previous Saturday night I was around five people with the virus and still never caught it!
This meant that everyone was in self imposed quarantine for seven days so Nikki and I decided to calm down the drinking this weekend mostly because we had less people to go out with!
We still went out though. Some people we know just started a new band and here is a picture of them.
They were really good and I would probably say better than any band I have seen in Hong Kong so far. One of their songs was in Korean which was pretty impressive and catchy. I asked afterwards what the song was about and was told that they were basically singing "Don't eat dog", over and over again. Less impressed once I knew that.
For the two pictures in larger size click here and here
We went to Lamma Island and Shek O beach for the weekend. We have been quite lucky with the weather this past week so i'm trying to get brown so I don't look like an albino when I start backpacking.
at 7:12 PM
Friday, July 24, 2009
Thursday, July 23, 2009
I am currently sitting in Cafe O drinking a Mango Mania because we are without internet in the Nikki Fowler residence. We are without internet because Richard has just moved out of the flat and taken the internet box with him. I don't think I would have helped him move if I had known I was assisting in causing myself such inconvenience.
Nikki also has recently had two other guests leave and Richard usually always has his girlfriend over. This means we have gone from a small three bedroom flat with 6 people to a three bedroom flat with two people... which is a welcome change! I now have Richards old room as a 'packing room', where I'm basically storing all my crap for travelling.
I have booked my flights and hostels in Malaysia now for the next two weeks. I was putting this off partly because booking them means accepting I am leaving Hong Kong. I know I will be back but it's still my excuse for delaying things till now. I also find myself busy getting other things ready too. I need China Visas, Russian Visas and a Typhoid jab (parents, please advise about the typhoid, was I jabbed with this as a child??) I also need to go to peoples leaving parties as many people are departing Hong Kong as well as organize my own party. Anyway, i'm jabbering and my battery is running out on the laptop. I leave you with some photos.
Jack, me and Jen (who I am travelling with for 6 months) at the Spring Deer Restaraunt.
Food at the amazing Spring Deer.
Jack realizing his true size.
at 1:20 AM
Tuesday, July 21, 2009
Sunday, July 19, 2009
It's been a typhoon level 9 warning last night but this did not deter us from going out and getting quite drunk to celebrate a friends birthday. The wind is never that much of an issue in the city because we are surrounded by buildings but the rain still soaks you to the bone. I got home about 5am and was woken up by Nikki and two other friends at 7am eating kebabs and chatting on my bed! I admit that I am currently staying on the sofa but that is besides the point.
at 4:31 AM
Saturday, July 18, 2009
Tuesday, July 14, 2009
I'm moving out of my flat this morning after two years of living here. Moving out has been quite a good way of getting rid of some of the crap I have accumulated over the past two years. Things like books and kitchen items I am leaving for friends or with the company to give to employees next year, everything else I am throwing away.
The problem I am having is that the items I am throwing away are not staying that way for very long. My neighbours are going through all my rubbish bags looking for things that are useful that they can keep. They are not even hiding the fact that they are doing it, two ladies were waiting in the stairwell for my rubbish bags yesterday as I was throwing things away.
I had a little bit of fun yesterday night when I found my halloween costume from last year. I placed the fake fingers and other bloody limbs in my rubbish bag and left it in my stairwell. I did not stick around for the reaction.
at 5:17 PM
Sunday, July 12, 2009
Saturday, July 11, 2009
Friday, July 10, 2009
Kayaking was great fun till Jack spotted a crab in the water. He chased it and then in the space of 5 minutes the following happened.
- Jack stood on a piece of coral and cut his foot
- He grabbed the crab but it also grabbed him and made him bleed
- He took his good sunglasses off and I used them to open the crabs claws
- I put the sunglasses on Jacks kayak and he then got in the kayak
- He fell out of the kayak and the sunglasses fell into the sea
- He looked for the sunglasses and stabbed his hand on a sea urchin
Surprisingly he was in quite a good mood about it all!
at 3:45 AM
Thursday, July 9, 2009
Today (Friday) we are having Dim Sum and then going kayaking in Sai Kung.
at 8:29 PM
Wednesday, July 8, 2009
Sunday, July 5, 2009
A good friend of mine called Mariel has recently left Hong Kong to go to law school. She has a Chinese boyfriend and if you want to see Mariel and Chinese boyfriend posing and pouting then click here.
As Mariel packed her bags and cleaned her flat we all sat watching her and wondered what it will be like to pack our own bags and leave Hong Kong. We asked various questions, one of which was what the final dinner was like with the Chinese boyfriends family.
"Well it was really nice", she replied. "There was no weird shit on the table this time and everyone was really friendly. His mum gave me a cashmere shawl as a gift and I gave her some dried scallops to say thanks".
That's right, in Hong Kong the best gift you can get someone to say thanks are dried scallops.
at 3:06 AM
Thursday, July 2, 2009
Wednesday, July 1, 2009
Tuesday night seemed like a good evening to collect our travel documents and board a boat to Macau which is basically a very extravagant country sized gambling den.
After spending the whole night gambling, Nikki and I returned to Hong Kong at 6am and this is what Kowloon looks like at 6am from the ferry port.
I decided very early on in the evening that I was not feeling lucky, so I did not gamble more than 200HKD the whole evening.
at 6:01 AM
Monday, June 29, 2009
I have a new doorman in my building who is from Pakistan and he has a very thick English accent. Today was the first evening where I found myself waiting for a lift, which gave my doorman a good excuse to start a conversation with me.
Sometimes when I don't understand exactly what someone is saying I tend to just guess the general theme or subject and agree with whatever the person is saying. This approach has got me into trouble in the past. On one occasion I was the deciding vote to change a company policy and earlier this year I accepted to manage a project and then had to establish what exactly that project was.
So I found myself waiting for my lift and I was sure the subject of discussion was films and movies. My doorman asked if I like Chinese, Russian or Indonesian movies and I nodded, agreed and replied that I liked them all. Finally my lift arrived and I escaped to the tenth floor.
When I returned to my building later on that same evening I was again met by my doorman. He handed me a list of numbers and names on a piece of paper and also gave me a handful of name cards with colour photographs. The name cards were advertising prostitutes and the paper seemed to be direct lines to brothels.
It was at that point that I realized that perhaps the previous subject of conversation was not films but prostitutes. I returned the information and tried to explain how the mistake had occurred.
I'm not sure if my doorman understood my explanation, I might wake up tomorrow and find he has arranged a leather clad midget with a whip standing outside my flat.
P.S in my doormans defence I do live close to the red light district and have run into prostitutes in unusual situations before.
at 7:01 AM
Wednesday, June 24, 2009
Last year I was convinced that part of the Batman movie was being filmed on my street in Hong Kong. I took a few pictures and you can see them by clicking here.
It turned out that it was not Batman that i saw being filmed on my street but a Hollywood film called "Push". And the actor that I kind of recognized is called Chris Evans.
Look at the pictures I took then look at this clip from the film and the mystery is solved.
at 11:50 PM
Saturday, June 20, 2009
This past week or so has been quite busy. Last weekend I visited the Hong Kong Science Museum and it was pretty cool. It made me realize two things.
- I have forgotten lots since my science class days
- Hong Kong people receive a far better science education than people in the UK. I know this because my friend from Hong Kong could explain how all the exhibits worked when I looked confused.
This past week has also seen a junk boat trip during the daytime. I have taken enough photos of junk boat trips over the past few years, so here is a picture of the whole group at the end of the day.
In other news Nikki has just purchased a shockproof, waterproof and freezeproof camera in an attempt to see if she can own technology that can withstand her general disaster prone nature. We are going to the Bird market, flower market and goldfish market to test it out today.
at 4:33 PM