Wandering the streets of Hong Kong is always entertaining, people often describe it as 'like New York, but sped up.'
Between elbowing through crowds (people actually queue up here to walk down the street!) and gazing at the endless array of colours, signs, treats, shopfronts and street sellers - no two trips are ever alike and there's always something to see (or buy!).
I get a thrill out of spotting badly-written English terms (and they're everywhere) - it never fails to make me laugh and I find it quite cute. I papped these poor 'lost in translation' signs, which I always buy as cheap gifts for friends when I can. I think my favourite is:
"You can angry to anyone except boss", or
"You are my love, my angle, please don't treat me like potato".
The signs in my apartment building lift are always good:
"We have noticed the falling of cigarette buts from the upper. Please do not fall the buts and be noticed to stop the said acts. Thank."
These errors are everywhere, as B and I were strolling in our local park a few weeks ago, we noticed a string of identical signs, warning:
You eat sitting on toilet bowls, your food comes out in mini toilets, and you drink out of urinals. Sounds disgusting? Well it's certainly not appetizing... !
To cope with a bit of homesickness, I've been exploring the eating places in Hong Kong (eat, shop, work, party - the key rules to Hong Kong I'm learning) - and while they're not all as mad as Modern Toilet - what comes out of the kitchen is certainly different from Western food, and takes some getting used to... Oh and possibly a toilet nearby for the first few months (hang on - now the Modern Toilet concept is actually making some sense!)
I always thought Chinese food was pretty 'greasy grub' - it's always considered a below average meal in Australia, something you get when there aren't many other options. But how wrong we all were, I've enjoyed finding out how much better 'real' Chinese food tastes, the Hong Kong version is really quite moorish!
Fave dishes so far are the fried rice from Pang's Kitchen and the fried chicken wings from down the road (that place is very local and I was scared to go there at first - nothing is written in English so I don't know the name of it!)
And as the Chinese food here is brilliant, Western food is equally as disappointing... B and I are on the hunt for an Aussie/Canadian style fry-up breakfast, and thought we'd found it on Sunday - until it came out with 1 small piece of toast, enough bacon to feed merely an ant and overcooked eggs.
Aaargh! So for now, it's back to Pang's Kitchen!
But for the record, I'll be avoiding these menu items:
I love this time of year, when the holiday decorations start to appear, the Christmas spirit descends and the shops begin to fill up with happy, excited faces.
I put our tree up today, a wee little silver thing because we live in Hong Kong which means our flat is smaller than the bathroom I had in Australia... but it's Christmassy nonetheless, and a good excuse to play the carols CD I bought in July!
Oh and I realised something today... this will be my first ever cold Christmas! I'm used to 30 degrees C and sweating on a backyard chair whilst the barbeque sizzles and the cold wine is poured. It's also my first ever Christmas away from my family (sad face) so I'm so glad I get to share it with B and the great friends we've already made in Hong Kong.
Please let it snow! Although it won't, but anything less than 25 degrees should do be fine :)
But I've never really had anything to talk about until now, or share.
Who even knows if anyone will read this!
Maybe my family and friends, now that I've moved away.
Which brings me to my next point.
This blog is designed to be about my experiences, challenges, loves and losses living overseas.
I'm an Australian girl, a Sydneysider to be exact, who has lived in the seaside town for the first 3 decades of her life. (Why am I talking in the third person??)
I had a great life in Sydney, a great job, a fantastic family, and adorable friends. The thing was, in one of those annoying 'glass if half whatever' things, it was all never really 'enough' for me. So if not merely because of a desire for freedom, exploration, experience, I decided to follow a man to Hong Kong.
Not just any man.
My boyfriend, who due to his own wishes for privacy, shall be called 'B' here. (But I might post pics of him on here which pretty much kills that whole privacy thing, we'll see).
B and I had been dating for one year when he was offered a work transfer to the Chinese port town, and well - never mind him - it was really an offer I couldn't refuse. He's a worldly sort of a bloke, a Canadian with an Australian passport, who has already lived in multiple cities. When it came to moving abroad for 'a great adventure in places unknown' he'd already been there done that but I never had. And desperately wanted to. Life was far too easy and I wanted hard, hard, hard. So perhaps it was me that pushed him more into accepting the move.
Of course - hang on, no that sounds insulting to my fellow Hong Kong'ers - for whatever reason, Hong Kong really hadn't been on my dream list of places to live. I'd always pictured a Meatpacking District pad in New York, a flat down the road from Travestere in Rome, or a Venice beach house in California. But, as life often decides what we want is not always what we're going to get, a job offer came up in Hong Kong - and so now we are here.