Saturday, May 14, 2011

Miscellaneous HK Moments

Growing up in small-town America I took for granted the fact that you knew just about everyone in town...well, maybe that's a small exaggeration. BUT, my mom really did! :) (Hi Mom!) Then when living in Africa, everyone and their brother (literally) wanted to talk to the oburoni, and it was nice to be in community with people.

In Hong Kong, with a population of over 7 million people, you just don't have that kind of community. In fact, I've been living here for 4 1/2 months and I met my next door neighbor for the first time today...sad, but true. Anyways, we do have one neighbor-- Herman-- who is very friendly and loves to stop and talk as we pass by. I think he's taken it upon himself to introduce us to as much Chinese language and food as possible, so the last 3 weekends, he has rung our doorbell and delivered noodles...and lots of them. Here's what we got today... not picturing the 3rd plate that I had to graciously turn down. :) It's actually really thoughtful and definitely makes it feel more like home to have a neighbor who actually knows our names. (On that note, although he knows our names, he prefers to call us "Teacher"!)I had to take a picture of this man walking around with parakeets on big deal! :)
Earlier this week, Mary and I contemplated moving as our landlord wanted to raise the rent, and as we were apt. shopping, I was able to capture this photo of the area that I live in to give you a picture. The river there is where I run by, and if you follow the river about 3 miles, you'll get to my school! :) And to think Hong Kongers call this the "boondocks"! They've obviously never been to Waupun! (Side note: I have nothing against Waupun, but let's face's kind of the boondocks comparatively speaking!) P.S. We decided not to move and then our landlord decided not to raise the rent.... praise the Lord! :)

Extreme Home Makeover: Living Room Edition

Well, since I'm here for another couple of years, I decided it'd be nice to make our place a bit more home-y, so over the last few weeks, Mary and I have made a few IKEA runs and have had fun doing some redecorating in our living room. We both really like how it turned out and it's so much more enjoyable to be home now. :) Here's the before....
and the after....

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Junk Boat Birthday Celebration

Saturday night I headed out on a junk boat with some friends to celebrate two friends' birthdays. Even after living here for over two years, the harbor still amazes me. I can never have enough harbor pictures! :)
Beth, Abbey, and I
We cruised around the harbor and a bit into the sea for about 4 hours...eating, hanging out, trying not to get seasick :), gazing at the stars which are such a rarity in HK, and just taking in the beautiful night with friends.

Mary, Mel, and I
Mel, me, and the Birthday Queen, Cath :)

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

A "Ritzy" Birthday

I've often claimed I could probably live on sweets and this weekend I had the opportunity to do just that. Did my claim prove true? Read on for the verdict.Over the last two weeks or so, I've had 8 friends who've celebrated birthdays! That's made for lots of fun get togethers to celebrate. On Saturday, some girl friends at I headed to the Ritz Carlton to celebrate my friend Beth's 30th birthday with high tea, which was quite the experience. I was greeted in the lobby and then escorted straight from the 9th floor to the 103rd floor! The Ritz is now the world's tallest hotel (just a little fun fact for ya!). I'm definitely not used to being that "ritzy" (pun intended) but it was fun to act for a few hours! ;)
Maria, Beth (the b-day girl), Renata, Jen, Abbey, me, and Rachel
The "tea" was in the "Chocolate Library"... now, going into this I knew it wasn't going to be cheap, so I purposely didn't eat much that morning since we met at 4. If I was going to pay, I was going to be hungry! :) So, I was a bit surprised to discover that the whole "meal" was chocolate (minus one small item). Please note: surprised does not equal disappointed... just surprised! :)
On top of the 8 desserts and one other bread-appetizer, we got their signature hot chocolate. Wowwwweee! The first 5 sips of so were pure delight, as it was literally like drinking melted dark chocolate, but after 8 other chocolatey desserts, even this addict thought enough was enough!

It was a hazy day, but still a decent view if you got close enough to the window. :)

So...the verdict? Bring on the sugar! However, I do have to admit, I was craving some broccoli afterwards...