You are currently browsing the monthly archive for July 2006.

i work at a building called jardine house, named after one of the early hongs here. not so long ago it was the tallest building in central, but now easily dwarfed by the monstrous 2 ifc. the distinctive feature of my building is its round, porthole-like windows. do you think it’s more appropriately compared to swiss cheese, looking out of a fishbowl, or being on a ship?

Tonight after work we came home to do an population census “interview” at home. We had to set the interview as late as possible, inn case we were still at the office. So at 9:30pm we got a call from a young man with a soprano voice asking if it’s ok to come upstairs. (We live on the notoriously “unlucky” – but cheaper – 4th floor of an apartment with no lift.) He started asking us about our jobs, how long we’ve lived in HK, and things like how we get to work everyday.(For details on that, see Rick’s “Move It Move It” blog). In the middle of my interview, Rick stopped our guy to ask some usual legal questions like “who will have access to this information”, etc. No sooner had Rick started his own version of an “interview”, had little beads of sweat started to the form on the brow of our young man. Once he “passed” the test of our queries, he proceed to interview us one at a time, taking copius notes and even laughing at some of our answers.

I must say I have always have a hard time finding the appropriate answer for the “what ethnic group” question in general, particularly when you are filling out a form. Normally the only fitting answer is to mark the “other” category, so when we both answered this question we instinctively answered “other”. Needless to say, this got a laugh, so had to explain ourselves. Overall, a pleasant break from the routine.

a week goes by. well, the excitement tonight was a new cafe we found by the tin hau mtr. it’s called cafe eos, and has a nice long menu of good stuff for us to try. except maybe the nachos. okay, okay, we had a hungering for some cali tasting stuff, and nachos is one of those items that doesn’t pop up very often in hk menus. so alicia ordered, and we got…hong kong nachos! more like doritos with melted cheese, olives, cherry tomatoes and sweet pickles. anyway, it went right up there with corn pizza and other famous asian delicacies. sigh. we definitely need to import some real mexicans over here – my mouth was watering as i read this nytimes article about a search for the perfect taco between la and sf. except for the part about the ojo de vaca. that’s a little weird.

Shortly after the HK hand-over, I recall that the amount of II’s (illegal immigrants) rose significantly. They used to break into our school and steal the money in the piggy bank jars that were meant for poor children or hold up and rob people in the mountains who were on a weekend hike. One time they broke into our school, tied up the guards and broke into our library. Perhaps they thought they’d sell the books??? Anyway, last week we had our first experience with similar intruders.

I came home from work late one night, switched on the lights and found a little pest having a midnight stroll on our wall! As soon as he saw me, he ran behind the side table. Having no desire to be violated by his creepy antennae, I waited for pest control to come home (Rick). With his trusty chinela (flip flop), he whacked the roach so hard he lost a leg. Surprisingly though, the struggle was not over yet. ** The minute we looked away he tried to escape behind our shoe rack. As Rick hunted through the shoes, we found ANOTHER intruder hiding for his (or her) life. Disgusted at this invasion, I kept a steady watch for the original guy while rick flung this new one out the door for a 1×1 combat in the hallway. After tearing apart half of our apartment, we caught the original strategist and got rid of him. We taped up all possible doors of entry (drain pipes, exhaust fans)and thoroughly sprayed everywhere. Thankfully, there have been no further signs of any offenders.

**On Rick’s mission in the Philippines he learned that cockroaches are quite tough physically and tricky to catch. Several techniques used were used to apprehend these kitchen thieves: 1)Sneak attack, 2)Hockey puck, and 3)Glue traps to name a few. I’ll let him expound on these if he wishes on a later blog.

Some effective tools for the above occasion:

nathan hong’s boss came out to hong kong with his family and they did 2 fantastic things:

1. they (as a family of 14, including spouses and kiddies) provided an amazing sacrament meeting with songs and talks; and

2. they (again as a family of 14) gave a fireside of polynesian and native american dancing and song for 3 branches and lots of other visitors from various stakes and districts in the area.

it was a lot of fun, and the “do you know” game produced some surprising results that really tied us all together. all in all it was a great sunday.

pollution in hong kong is becoming more and more of an issue these days. my guess is most of it blows down from the pearl river delta, and is compounded by hong kong traffic, factories and air conditioning. the bottom line is that it is often healthier to exercise indoors with filtered, cleaner air than it is to go outside. regardless of your preference, it seems that every place has a great fitness tool that answers the demand for infomercial greatness.

two of the most visible (query whether this means popular or successful) these days are exemplified in these 8-story tall ads in causeway bay. the one on the left is for something that looks like the bull riding machine in a country bar – the videos are even better. the one on the right you strap around your midsection while you are lounging around the house, reading, or watching tv, and it goes to work for you without much effort by buzzing and jiggling your love handles away.

i guess we’ll have a further report once we’ve had a chance to test these fat-fighting techniques.

we met up with jordan baggs who was stopping through on his way from beijing (via tokyo) to vietnam, where he will be doing some more summer legal work. it was good to catch up and to get some news of the chenns back in utah (whom he had seen more recently than us!).

we shared pizza, swapped stories and chilled at a mini starbucks in lan kwai fong. good times.

it’s hard to capture a feeling, but sometimes it’s nice to think a bit while staring out of my “porthole” (or “portal”, whichever feels more appropriate) over the lights of central. there is usually a slight lull between 7pm and 8pm where i can take a deep breath and figure out what needs to be done so that i can leave the office. this is pretty much what it feels like.

following rick’s format…

race car alarm, shower and dress, kiss sleeping husband, taxi fastest, traffic jam, slow driver, late, croissant and coco, catch-up on emails, market announcements, sales calls, analyst meetings, traders yelling, lunch at toscana, hi rick, bubble tea, fast forward 4 hours, sushi from rei, red cab, phone fedex for dad, pick up rick, wen sha gai, cafe on corner, break sweat on 78 stairs, feet sore, cute curious george (even if bad copy), scrub microbeads, sonicare, stretch out back, type copycat blog, gym tommorrow for sure, memory foam pillow.

warm covers, biting air conditioning, hit snooze with my foot, tepid shower, blackberry buzz, tighten bulb, grey suit, bad news work email, brown shoes, light rain, breakfast later, taxi’s faster, too much traffic, $50, escalator, low on cash, hallowowcome, cinnamon danish warmed up take away, dood the octopus, 29th floor, morning, jou san, welcome password, speaker-message-code-4-1, hi alicia, open mail, morning partner, fast forward 3 hours, time for presentation, free lunch salad, good laugh, fix macbook vlc problem for matt, chat with kai, saltines and antibiotic, several drafts, new pencil, chasing checks, talk about cancer, checking finish time, hi alicia, google translate, amalgamation, partner left, order prawn and salmon and miso, counsel branch member, running out, lift to ground, circle to post office taxi, get a receipt, 78 stairs, fold suit later, curious george (bad copy), nytimes.com, gym in the morning?, time for bed, oops a quick blog entry.

inspiration

"Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking, and don’t settle. As with all matters of the heart, you’ll know when you find it."

~ Steve Jobs

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