Tuesday, November 2, 2010

How are people not fat in Hong Kong?

Dim sum.

Seriously. People are eating at all hours of the day/night here. The above image is from dim sum yesterday. We met up with my mom's brother who lives in Kowloon and my aunt Dennies from San Francisco (she is here on business). This was around 2pm in a giant restaurant in Kowloon. The entire place was packed when we got there at 1.30pm. We stayed til around 3pm and there was a never ending revolution of people coming in and out. Don't anyone have to work in Hong Kong? The joke about Hong Kong is that there is nothing to do but eat and go shopping. Which is so true. There are so many malls in Hong Kong it's not even funny.

I don't know how people can eat congee and noodles for breakfast. I mean, I do. I use to be able to when I was younger. I wouldn't eat American breakfast. Then I went to college and started eating more American breakfast (like I had a choice in Alfred, NY!). Now I can't eat Chinese breakfast anymore.

Typical Hong Kong breakfast- congee and a side of (I don't know what it's called in English).

The breakfast in all the hotels we stayed at in China had food similar to this, but also- fried rice, choy, noodles, etc. HOW IS THIS BREAKFAST? It's too heavy.

Rice noodles with beef and fried fish skin.

We can't get fried fish skin in the states (the plate on the right). I don't think the type of fish they use can be found in the states. It's really good. This is the brunch I had the morning after the day we arrived in Hong Kong.

Macaroni in soup is also a popular breakfast item in HK.

A breakfast combo at a place we just ate at. Main, side, coffee or tea. There were 5 different combos with similar things. I got a....Chinese style steak sandwich. Honestly, I don't know how people aren't fat here eating all this food. It's a lot of food too. I haven't seen any fat people in Hong Kong. Everyone is pretty normal, or skinny.

These types of places are "extremely" cheap too. The above combo costs $22 HKD which comes out to around $3 USD. My steak sandwich/coffee combo was $20 HKD.

Man, people live relaxed lives here.

Monday, November 1, 2010



China was amazing. Spent 6 days traveling in Hunan Provence between the cities of Changsha, Fenghaung and Zhangjaijie. I took +700 plus photos. It's going to take a bit to edit them and post. I would like to host a few slide show parties to show the photos to my friends when I get back so I will not be posting the majority of the photos until after I do that.

Somewhere between Changsha and Fenghuang.

A foot massage place in Zhangjaijie. A literal translation to English gone horribly wrong.

The mountains of Zhangjaijie. The inspiration for the world in the movie Avatar. Spectacular. One of the most amazing things I've seen with my eyes. Expect a lot of photos of this place in the near future.

far away
Zhangjaijie day 1. This is a natural hole in the rock.

close up
Up close, they built a stairway to the top. This is way more massive than the photo shows. Honestly, the scope of this place is hard to imagine unless you are there in person.

skillful dodger
Zhangjaijie day 2. Even more spectacular views this day. There are girls dressed in traditional outfits at certain viewing points that will allow you to take photos of/with them if you pay them 10 yuan. As you can tell, the girls are very perspective of people with cameras. She expertly dodged my shot. I wasn't even that close to her but she knew instinctively when I pressed my shutter. Amazing.

Trip was great. Went with my mom and dad and a group of like 18 of my mom's friends so everyone was happy and joking around. There were only 4 people in our tour group that were strangers to us.

I have so much to say about China- they will be put into words after the slideshows to my friends.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Going Dark

I'm going to China tomorrow for 6 days. I am not bringing my iPhone or laptop. The reason being last month the iPhone 4 was released in China and people have been going apeshit trying to buy it. So much so that many Chinese have resorted to importing from Hong Kong to skip the wait/pay less. So the gov have started to tax all "i" products going into China from Hong Kong (and from some reports, taxing in general).

People on the internet have been saying they have been taxing even iPhones/iPads/MacBooks that look clearly used. Normally it wouldn't be a problem for Americans but since I am flying in from Hong Kong, it's a different matter. And well, it's just not worth the risk/hassle when dealing with China. Yes, (Dapo) there is a difference between Hong Kong and China.

The tax on the iPhone is like $100 or something. I think it's more for a laptop if they choose to tax you. It seems like the customs officials will enforce this law if they feel like it (from what I am understanding). My mom is telling me not to bring anything. So I will be without a phone or laptop for 6 days. Which means I won't have any music or internet connection.

For. Six. Days.

I can't even remember the last time I went 6 days without going on the internet. Might have been never. I'm going to have to do some really creative juggling with my camera memory cards. I don't think I will fill them up in 6 days though. Let's hope.

I'll be back to the civilized world Oct 31/Nov 1st.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Hong Kong Day 2 of Passing out between the 3rd and 4th course


Went to the wedding of a couple I barely know. It was a 6 hour affair. We got there at 5pm. By 7pm I was passing out at my seat because of jetlag. Here are some notable dishes of the evening.

Barbecued whole suckling pig
48 tables at this wedding = 48 baby pigs sacrificed for our eating enjoyment. Pretty sure baby pigs are illegal for consumption in the U.S. (It's tasty!)

Braised shark's fin with assorted seafood in lobster bisque
A waste of perfectly good shark's fin and lobster. Why mess with a perfectly fine shark's fin soup by making it a lobster bisque? The taste of the shark's fin gets drowned out by the lobster bisque. Lobster bisque is also a waste of lobster IMO.

Braised sliced abolone with Chinese mushrooms and vegetables
Pretty good abolone, not too chewy.

Baked mini egg tarts with bird's nest and deep fried sesame dumplings with lotus paste
A waste of bird's nest! Ahhh! This egg tart is very showy but it's a a waste of bird's nest. The tart itself was not very good- I like the crust to be flaky and this one was too hard and compressed. The deep fried sesame dumpling was good. I'm not usually into then enough to order them at dim sum in the states.

-This was a 13 course dinner (3 were dessert). By the 7th or 8th I was already really full (and taking naps between courses)

-The east and west truly do everything opposite. All the wedding activities were done backwards as compared to a typical Chinese wedding in America. What I mean to say is, they did photos on the stage first (for like the first 3 hours!), then they had the sappy slide show of the bride and groom (usually reserved for near the end at most American weddings), then the bridesmaid and best man made there speeches, then the couple came and said a few words. Then we started eating.

-The waitstaff proportion every course at a side table. In America, a big plate would just be put on the table and everyone would serve themselves. (more differences!).

-There was no open bar which made me highly not want to be there about 2 seconds after I found out. Just a lot of low quality red wine, which I drank (but not too much).

-Just realized the majority of my posts in Hong Kong will be about food. Which reminds me, I should go pick up some mango Tic Tacs.

-Sorry for the crappy iPhone photos!

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Hong Kong Day 2


Finally made it. The flight was not bad, at first. But after about 12 hours of sitting, I got restless. Was sitting for way too long. The weather here is low 80s. Totally extending my summer into November!

I'm still jetlagged and couldn't really sleep last night. My parents and I got up and went to a congee shop for breakfast. We went here the last time we visited Hong Kong.


The menus are all in Chinese- no English at all. Not at out of the way places like this. Most of the places in Central Hong Kong will have English.


My bowl of congee. I don't even like congee but I had it anyway. The coffee I got (left) tasted terrible. I had one this morning and knew the taste but couldn't put my finger on it. Then I ordered this iced one and they topped it off with coffee powder and I knew right away- it was Folgers instant coffee. Ugh. No one here brews coffee. I don't know what the rice thing on top is called in English so don't ask me. Yup, this is a typical Chinese breakfast.

Tonight, we're going to a wedding in Tsim Sha Sui, Kowloon. I'm very excited, it better be as traditional as fuck or I'm going to be disappointed. Kowloon is north of Hong Kong island. It is sort of like Hong Kong's Brooklyn (if Hong Kong island was Manhattan). It's more hip and gritty.

Random thoughs:
-Hong Kong itself is pretty boring as a subject to photograph. I'm way more interested in China proper so I'm not even carrying my DSLR around. iPhone photos will be sufficient.

-Buns here are MAD CHEAP. This place I went to this morning was selling any bun for 2 HKD which is equivalent to 25 cents USD.

-We are leaving for China on Tuesday. Staying for 6 days sight seeing. I am trying to refrain from running off to MUJI tomorrow and buying a bunch of crap. I should wait til I come back to Hong Kong from China.

Monday, October 18, 2010

South China moon, I'm coming back to you

Beijing, China, April 2009

I'm going to be in Hong Kong and China for 3 weeks. I will be updating this blog again when I am abroad. Check back for more this weekend when I arrive. Hopefully I'll have a good connection there.

I'm really nervous and excited. I don't know why I'm nervous, I've been to Hong Kong before. I am going to refrain from posting in detail while I am abroad. I can tell you all about it in person when I get back, but expect regular updates while I am there.

In the meantime, fee free to look at the photos from my last trip to Beijing and Hong Kong at my Flickr page.

Friday, May 28, 2010

June 2002

What people say about you makes up who you are. I recently looked at my old high school yearbook and looked at all the things people wrote in it. I can't even remember who more than half of these people are. I can't even read some of their signatures. I'll be posting a selection of them on this blog.

"Dear Adam,

You were totally wrong about me. You'll probably be wrong for much of your life. Haha, that's okay. I will too.