Monday, May 25, 2009

Tea Time

Since being blocked from I haven't felt inspired to revisit since it's such a process to login to my free proxy that has tons of pop up advertising and slows down my system. But alas, here I am..

BIG THANKS to my great friend Jen Lee for making some adjustments to my layout. Now it's more photo friendly.

So, China..

Slowly slowly my knowledge of what is going on around me is increasing. I knew it would eventually get easier but the 'when' was the question. Thanks to some great people for help along the way, Mike C. in particular. Thanks to you I've got my ass on the bus and toured around town. I've found mostly all the food I prefer to eat, restaurants are constantly being added to the list, massage parlours, hair salons, bars.

I spent the weekend in Shenzhen and was surprised to find a Walmart. Naturally I wanted to visit and in the end I bought only one thing, potting soil for my soon to be herb planter garden. It convinced me that with all that I could get at Walmart, I didn't need anything.. which was a settling feeling for me.

My neighbor and friend Cassandra has a little 15 mth old boy with blond curls. He attracts tons of attention and thanks to Joshua she was approached by a woman who leads a foreign women's club who meets once a twice a month for lunch and discussion and twice a month for an activity.
The club consists of only 8-10 women at the moment but all with a story to share, and, very useful information!

On my very first meeting we visited a tea shop and had my first tea ceremony. I won't go into details since the girl who was speaking had everything translated and it was a bit hard to follow. I am waiting on the email that will soon be sent to all of us summarizing the day.

Click it to see it large size.

Also thanks to the meeting I discovered JUSCO!! It's great to find food that I actually like to eat! Great finds of the week: avocados, mozzarella cheese and pears.

I should mention that I found an English printed Chinese cookbook. So I also invested in some soy sauce, rice vinigar and sesame oil. Soon, photos of my attempts at Chinese food! Stay tuned.


Sunday, May 17, 2009

They've found me...

Who? I'm not really sure.

When I arrived in China my blog was free for me to access without any restrictions online. NOW as of today, is BLOCKED.
So, I've been writing about China and mysteriously I am no longer allowed to access it... sounds fishy to me.
Reveal yourselves! Please don't show up at my door....

Thursday, May 14, 2009


I had the pleasure of attending a Chinese club on a typical Saturday night..
Now I'm not one who has a lot of clubbin' experience under my belt, having never been inside a Richmond St club. Although, I have been to a few in Italy and I'd say the club on Carnival got pretty rowdy during spring break so I was pretty sure I knew what to expect.

We went out with friends and arrived at the club around 11 and it was pretty full. Tables all around, wait staff serving food, snacks, fruit platters... fruit platter?

The table is rented for a small price and you can host as many friends as you think you can fit. It's standing room only. The drinks are sold by the bottle (as I understood), I'm assuming you can get a single drink, but they're so cheap I think it's more cost efficient to just buy the whole bottle!!
I looked around and noticed nobody was moving. Nobody was dancing, or even tapping. BORING. A few club hitz would play and then a singer would emerge and do his thang. Check below for photographs!
Also check the dancers. Synchronized on-stage dancing.

I learned the local dice (drinking) game that all the peeps play using hand signals to communicate over the loud music. Not a good idea to try and learn how to play while the music is playing. I ended up learning the following weekend while out at a quieter bar. Can't tell you how it feels to be laughed at for not understanding the easiest game on Earth while trying to be taught how to play in a loud club environment. Sheesh. I mean, what did they expect? jerks.

Sunday, May 10, 2009


A week has passed since my trip to Hong Kong. I didn't want to force an entry out so I allowed some time to pass so I could really think about what to write. Well, I still haven't decided!

Here are a few of my favorite pics/highlights from the week.

The people, the lights, those signs!! I don't think it's very safe for all those signs overhanging peoples' heads. Apparently there are so many signs that there is a full team of people who have to watch for stores that go out of business and the sign has to be removed. I haven't revealed the pics yet on facebook of the sign that almost fell. The main street of Kowloon, Nathan Street, was closed down because one of those signs began to fall. All the scaffolding was removed and two cranes were brought in to hold the big monstrous metal killer while the workers dismantled everything safely. Oh the horror had it fallen.

I found the buildings particularly interesting. Portable airconditioners dotted the outer walls accompanied by hanging laundry. I'm curious to know if the clothes become completely clean with all the rising pollution and exhaust from the streets below.
Upon first arrival I thought out loud that it was a city I could live in, but by the end of 5 days I'd changed my mind because my throat was clogged with phlegm - assuming those face masks actually work (filtering out somewhere near 90% of particles) it's definitely not making a fashion statement.

Since I'm a bit of a scaredy cat when it comes to unknown foods, I have to admit I was a little apprehensive to try different things since being in China. It would be really helpful if there was someone to teach me a few things but in time, that will come..
So with that aside.. we sat at the sweetest outdoor restaurant in Kowloon. Nothing to look at, we sat at picnic style tables, plastic stools, plastic cups and bowls. The convincing factor was the seafood that was alive and on display outside the restaurant. We felt comfortable knowing that it was fresh. To the right of that top photo were the shrimp and crabs swimming around in water.

It just so happened that the weekend we visited was a long weekend for Labor Day and Buddha's Birthday. So many many people were in the temples praying. We visited several temples with a few pics to share.

Chi Lin Nunnery.
Click this one to see it large size. To give an idea or the huge size of it. This photo does not describe anything.

Po Lin Monastery

Tin Hau Temple

Giant Buddha on Lantau Island which is only accessible by the 25 minute cable car ride from the last stop on the Tung Chung line 40 mins outside of Hong Kong..

Great trip. A lot of activity crammed into 4 days.