Friday 26 June 2009

Out of the frying pan, into the fire

AKA, leaving the T3 in Hong Kong, and flying to the severe heat warning in Beijing.

So there's a T1 right now, anticipated to be upgraded to a T3 this afternoon (no days off work till we reach T8). We're flying to Beijing tonight, where the heat will be quite extreme.

It's been quite a quiet week, unpacking and repacking. New photos on Flickr of Langkawi, which should also be showing on the slide show at the top of the blog.

Friday 12 June 2009

Going going gone.

Welcome to our 100th blog post. Takeaway from CPK has just arrived, we've packed and we fly to Langkawi (via KL) tomorrow for a week sailing. Fingers crossed that they let us back in a week from now...

ps, HK visas renewed, and China visas collected, yay!

Thursday 11 June 2009

Breaking News

All primary schools, kindergartens closed for two weeks

Chief Executive Donald Tsang Yam-kuen has announced that all primary and
lower-level schools will close for a fortnight.

The decision for the two-week closure, effective from tomorrow, was made
after a cluster of influenza-like cases at St Paul's Convent School was found to
be swine flu infections.

The school is about 1/2 km away from the office.

Wednesday 10 June 2009

Friday 5 June 2009

Snot Frappuccino

Went to Starb's with Jacqui at lunchtime, to check out the new summer menu. Today's Specials - snot in your coffee. Actually, jelly in your coffee, but it's pretty snot-like! It's much nicer than it sounds. Combining textures is a big thing here, so sago balls in your tea, snot jelly in your coffee and gristle in your noodle soup are all local faves.

Also, here's a classic food picture, just for Jo. Aubergine bake.

And another one to sum up our Dragon Boating experience the other day. The weather was a little inclement.

Thursday 4 June 2009

June 4th

There's a 64 hour hunger strike going on downstairs at Times Square - doesn't take a genius to figure out that this is to do with Tianenmen. When I came past everyone was feasting on big bowls of noodle soup - preparing I guess. More later.

Tuesday 2 June 2009


It's been a long time since I posted any photos - the blog's looking a little text-heavy to be honest. So here's a few from Romain's visit to keep you amused.

Photos are always on Flickr - hope the link works.

Monday 1 June 2009

Everlasting Love

Bit of culture for the weekend – I dragged Ross to an HK Dance Company performance called “Everlasting Love” – a reimagining of tradition Chinese folklore love stories. The theme revolves around a central character, of indeterminate era, who is struck by how these traditional stories are still relevant and have continued to evolve – after all, love stories are pretty universal. I think Ross was right to be skeptical about it. The dance was immaculately performed (or at least looked it, to my untrained eye), the costumes were by turns beautiful or ragged, and the music was, well, Chinese. Somehow the “story” felt rather incoherent. Each love story, with a theme such as “Encounter” was presented in a series of vignettes, some of which were faaaar too long. Towards the end the music, costumes and the number of dancers on stage at once conspired to make it all a bit “Les Miserables”. I don’t think that was what they were aiming for.

The really astonishing thing is the late comers. It’s no secret that everyone is always late in HK (sweeping generalizations, moi?!) but this takes the biscuit. 5 minutes into the performance, at what they call an appropriate break, the house lights come up, and another 30 or 40 people come in. They chat a bit, rustle some stuff and settle in, before the performance starts again. I’d say this has happened at about 60% of the dance performances I’ve been to. It’s a tad distracting.

We’ve seen a few performances here now – of the contemporary ones, the two that I’ve enjoyed most are The White Body by Ea Sola, and an Outdoor Dance Gala by Helen Lai, performed by the City Contemporary Dance Company.

The White Body was very moving, and affecting, because somehow the message was clear enough for me to see and understand, but not patronizingly obvious. It was also extremely well performed, with music which perfectly reflected what was happening. The combination of high energy dance and music is pretty hard to resist!

I enjoyed The Outdoor Dance Gala partly because there’s not a lot of outdoor art here, so it was good to see that it is possible, and partly because it was hard to watch. The dancers were performing on the piazza outside the Cultural Centre in TST; it’s just a paved area near the harbor front. It was a very physical performance, with lots of flying bodies, hard impacts and noise. The risks and potential injuries kind of challenge what you expect from dance. In fact, the actual injuries do too. Being so close to the performers, you can see the grazes and scrapes gathered along the way.