Monthly Archives: August 2010

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The One With The Foodie Day in Sheung Wan

Dim Sum Square, Jervois Street

Living in Hong Kong comes with many pros and cons… or at least, it depends from the way you look at it. For me, anchoring myself in the western town of Sheung Wan comes with both, but I am rather undecided on one aspect – it’s food culture.

You see, Sheung Wan is brimming with food outlets both good and bad, big and small, east and west. There are so many choices available, you can eat your way through your life here… or at least in theory.

But I did some of the groundwork for you and came out with a compelling food itinerary (as published on Sparklette.net) on how you can spend a day in my “hometown” sampling some of the best food Hong Kong has to offer.

Now while you are it, excuse me while I give my treadmill some loving.

The One With The Surprising Chocolate Cake At Zelo Bar

Indulge me in this.

It was a quiet afternoon, and you were meeting someone new. Someone you do not know much about, and spoken to only once or twice before. You were meeting up because both of you are craving for companionship, and… to be perfectly honest, you were slightly more than intrigued by this new persona who was, at that moment, a blank canvass to you.

What is the socially acceptable (read: not making yourself to be a complete dork in the process) thing to do in such a situation?

Zelo Bar & Restaurant at Pacific Place Mall

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The One With The Sorcerer’s Apprentice (And Why It Kinda Sucked)

Nicolas Cage and Jay Baruchel in The Sorcerers Apprentice

(Photo Credit)

Various thoughts of unrelated randomness popped into mind as I watched the somewhat unglorified Disney latest flick that was The Sorcerer’s Apprentice.

#1 – That sorcerers are humans with the ability to use 90% of the brain instead of 10% like you and I could. That sorcery is part magic, part science. That’s kinda scary because by that definition, Albert Einstein is just a sorcerer and not a genius as we were told. Are we that gullible? What else has history been cheating us on?

#2 – For someone who wants to take over the world by creating an army of the dead, Morgana le Fay was surprisingly easy to kill. You would think they will at least have a showdown of epic proportion. The movie wouldn’t be totally out of place if sequenced as part of “Scary Movie (insert the number of next number here)”. Maybe the show was meant to be dorky instead of scary.

#3 – The hero of the movie, a somewhat reluctant Dave Stutler who rises from zero to hero was somewhat believable (apparently he always had geeky roles?), but the heroine was a total flake. I was known to laugh at the silliest thing but her punch lines invoked less than a giggle from me.

#4 – New York is beautiful, no doubt about it. Empire State Building, Chinatown, Battery Park… I am ashamed that my blog entries on my April trip is still incomplete.

#5 – It is okay to be a total nerd. In fact it is kinda cool. I have always known that, coz I am nerdy in my own way. Now I can start to think I am cool, too.

It troubled me somewhat that I have been spelling “sorcerer” as “soccerer” for years. Perhaps among the various ailments that I have, the inability to spell is one of them. I think that’s called… dyslesix? Dyslecis?

See, I told you.

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The One With 5 Useful Tips For A Great Travel Experience

The Parliament of Hungary

What makes a great holiday? If you are anything like me, you would have taken holiday paths both well-trodden and unknown, and to places near and afar. You would have accumulated quite a few well-shared travel tips and funny anecdotes. All these come together as somewhat like a compass in your heart, to be whipped out with a flourish when you plan for your next holiday.

Here’s my tips for a great holiday experience, as published on Sparklette.net

The One With The Very Bad Dinner

Today I went to an old familiar place for dinner. On previous occasions when I visited, the food was consistently bad. But I went back anyway because it is familiar, and that’s comforting to me. It was either that, or I am a closeted fan of gastronomical version of S&M.

The place never fail to disappoint.

I ordered rice with luncheon meat and eggs. Five minutes later the said plate of food appeared on my table. Exactly what I have ordered – luncheon meat and eggs on top of rice. Drizzled with soya sauce. And nothing else.

I was almost tempted to berate the waiter for adding the said soya sauce which I did not order. But I swallowed my anger and finished that plate of food anyway. It was vile, of course.

On another note, I realised I already have two half boiled eggs at lunch. So I had four eggs today. I will probably keel over from cholesterol overdose any minute now.

The One With The Song & Dance That Was Lunch

Kaya Toast Nasi Lemak

One has many reasons to take an early lunch. Mine was to escape the maddening crowd which besiege all (and I do mean all) eateries around my workplace. So why in the God’s name your outlet was brimmed to the entrance, every counter has a queue rivaling the Great Wall of China? I know you should be happy that business was brisk but God damn it I expected an empty place so that I can order my fried chickens in peace.

And then there was the Overly Efficient Cashier. You know who I meant; the (invariably foreign) behind-the-counter staff who can blast you a greeting, rant off ten specials-of-the-day, take your order and try to upsell your drink for two more bucks all in one breathe under ten seconds. Hold on, miss, you are not in the World Championship for OECs. Your colleague next to you was having a hard time preparing the food order as fast as you were taking them. The amount of sweat dripping from her eyebrows might have clued you in.

What is it about seating plan designs in Hong Kong food outlets? It seems that all these “designers” (if you could call them that) graduated from the same design school which taught the same three design principles; (1) make all pieces of furniture as small as humanly possible, (2) squeeze as many pieces of furniture as possible onto the available floor space, and (3) repeat for your next outlet.

To the group of gawky teenagers staring at me while I was having my well-deserved lunch: it is Not Cool to stare at someone who is eating. Staring at me would not make me eat any faster. If anything, it made me deliberately ignore you and studiously read my book, while flashing you Evil Stare Grade 9 every other minute. If you are that hungry you are welcome to lick my chicken bones but please do so from the comfort zone of your sidewalk.

A word about the photo. The “Singaporean Nasi Lemak” was pretty nice, though the sambal was oddly sweet.

The One With Elevators and Heights

Lift

One day I was in the elevator (It seems like a lot of my daily anecdotes start this way. Apparently I spent my entire life going up and down buildings. I know some folks do that as a hobby, but people, that’s really not the way you should live your life, even if you are clinically insane).

Where was I? Oh. One day I was in the elevator with a friend who is taller than me. We both looked at the sign above, which says we should not stab the buttons with sharp objects.

Guys being guys, the reference to “sharp objects” made us incapable of coherent thoughts as our (thinking) blood rushed involuntary to the only object on us which could do the (warned against) deed.

I jokingly said that that warning doesn’t apply to me, since the highest I could reach would probably be the second floor, or something.

My friend then looked at me pityingly and said, “Oh, that’s sad. I could at least reach a six.”

Parts of me felt very small that day.

The One With Mimi Smartypants

Hoegaarden @ Inn side out

Today I met up with an ex-date for the first time after our break up…. if you can call it that.

(Breaking up, apparently, is only for couples who were actually committed to each other. I don’t know about you, but I do think that breaking up means your heart was broken when you break up with someone. My heart did, so it was a break up. And I think it is a disease that I can’t blog without going to lengthy explanation in parentheses of some terms I used.)

The venue of choice was Inn Side Out, which was already packed with peanut-crunching, beer-guzzling customers by the time I arrived. While waiting for my ex-date to arrive, I spend many happy minutes crunching peanuts, guzzling beer and reading Mimi Smartypants.

Oh, happy times.

Anyway, the ex-date arrived and we caught up with each other’s lives. Maybe I had one beer too many, but I spilled some beer, salad and beef nachos onto my pants. Staring at the stain in dismay, I jokingly said that I am a full meal from the waist down; appetiser, main course and beverage.

That sounded a lot dirtier than I intended it to be.

Anyway, on to the ex-date. It might not be a closure, but it certainly was good knowing that we have moved on to better places.

And if you can separate what is fiction and what is not in this blog post, I would love to know you.

The One With The Day Trip To Mui Wo

Welcome to Mui Wo

Hong Kong outlying islands provide an endless supply of fascinating spots for the newcomers (like yours truly) to visit. This sunny afternoon I decided to sail for Mui Wo, located some 30 minutes by fast ferry from Central Hong Kong Island.

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