Dec 9, 2010

life heh!

       Okay so it's been a while since my last blog but I'm happy to say that's because I've been a pretty busy girl (with a few lazy periods hahaha). So first off all the goings on...I got a new job that starts Jan. 4th and is just part time and sporadic until the first week of May but it will be 40 lessons with form 5 students (like grade 10) teaching them business English and it pays about $425 HKD an hour so about $125 more than my current job and its pretty easy as the company prepares all the lessons I just have to go in and do it! It's for a pretty sweet company too, Typhoon club, they make an English teen magazine her in Hong Kong. So I'll start that after Christmas.
      Also Christmas, yay yay yay, I'm going home to see my family and of course my precious little niece...ooohhhh I can't wait to see her!!! I'll only be home for a short time but hopefully I can get everything in there that I want and need to do. I have to get a criminal records check while I'm there...eeek! and go to the Greek Embassy to get an official stamp on my birth Certificate which hopefully will be coming in the mail to my sisters house any day now...grrrrrr governments and taking their sweet ass time!
       As for next summer once my contract here is over I have been working on that as well. I will be flying to Zakynthos, Greece to work at a sea turtle conservation center for the month of August, then in September I will go to Macedonia for two weeks to go on an historical archaeological dig, who knows maybe I took the wrong major in uni, from there I will have two weeks to shower, tour around Europe a bit and then fly to Nepal where i will be working in an Orphanage with Children with HIV/ AIDS for 12 weeks that will finish Dec 24th so we'll see what will happen after that.
   I also am meeting with a lady next week to do some volunteer work here while I'm in Hong Kong. I will be working with kids 2-5 from refugee families who have escaped to Hong Kong every Tuesday morning for an hour or so. So that should be cool.
    Now on to what I've been doing here, most recently I went to Macau for a few days just to get away from the screaming children that are my students and although I love them all sometimes you just need a break. Macau was beautiful, the weather was amazing and I spend a day and a half just lounging by the pool suntanning and drinking lime margaritas! Awesome. The first day I met my mom there and we hung out at the Hard Rock pool avec margaritas and calamari....mmmmmmmm! Then we hung out until about 10 pm when she had to leave to go get the ferry as she had to work the next day. It was probably the best day my mom and I have had together in a while. WE laughed almost the whole time, i guess this is what happens when your tanning by a beautiful pool and embracing the beautiful sunshine while everyone else back home is bundled up against the coldness of the snow. WE had an absolute blast I was sorry she couldn't call in sick the next day so could continue our madness. lol Anyways that was Sunday, Monday I again sat out by the pool with no one there all day! Just me and this huge beautiful pool. Awesometime!!! After the pool time I showered etc and went to some casinos and walked around and then I went to Fernandos. Oh Fernandos how I love thee, this is probably one of the best restaurants I have ever been to. This restaurant makes me want to move to Portugal just so I can eat this delicious food all the time, in fact as I am sitting here writing about Fernandos I wish I could go there. I ordered my food and there was just so much of it I couldn't eat it all but it was so great, unfortunately beside me I had some mainland Chinese and their idea of eating etiquette is somewhat different than mine. Chew with your mouth closed-my table, chew so everyone can see exactly what your eating- their table, don't talk with your mouth full- my table, eat and talk simultaneously and try to get some food bits on the person sitting across from you by talking as loud and animated as possible- their table. Ewwwww but it was like a bad car accident i couldn't look away I just had to see how many different types of food these people were going to walk out with on their clothes. Also I have often wondered where these mainland Chinese get their phone plans from because they are ALWAYS on their phones, and if they're not screaming into their phones, the phone is in their hand waiting for someone to call them. Once I saw a girl and she didn't have her phone in her hand and she wasn't talking on one so I thought I might be wrong but then I think she just realized that her phone was missing and she furiously starting ripping through her purse and clothing until she found it and after breathing a sigh of relief over not losing her security blanket ie. phone, she just stood there and looked at it for a minute then decided she had to call someone.
   Getting to Macau was quite interesting as well, I had to wait in a stand by line as my ferry ticket was for 2:30 but it was 1:15 and I wanted to get to Macau as soon as possible so I went and waited in the 1:45 standby line as the 130 was already quite full. I was standing behind this cute little Chinese lady and she had to go to the washroom so she asked me if I would save her place while she went, being the kind person i am I said of course and off she went. She came back and thanked me very much as if I had just done something amazing for her. A bit later on we realized that the 145 sailing was only for premium class ferry tickets and we only had normal class ferry tickets-boooooooo. So we all left the line, some faster than others, like everyone but me and as I looked around confused on where to go this lady comes running up to me out of nowhere and says, "Missy Missy come this way." grabs my ticket and gives it to her husband and gets me a seat on the 130 ferry. SCORE! See it pays to be nice to people sometimes. That right there was an extra hour of sunshine with my mom at the pool! When I got to where I was going to be staying though it was a bit of a letdown compared to the Hard Rock Hotel. We had booked the Best Western in Taipa, and what a crap hotel. The bed was like a board with a sheet on it, I pretty much never saw anyone working there, and they had this mysterious shuttle that was supposed to go to the Venetian and then to the Ferry but had always "just left" it didn't matter what time it was the shuttle had just left. oh the shuttle leaves at 9:30 OK I'll go down for 9:15 and wait out there for it. 9:35 and the shuttle is still not there so I go in and ask and finally after tracking someone down to ask they tell me oh the shuttle must have just left. hahahahaha No it didn't anyways whatever i had a great time on the day i left I decided to walk after "just missing the shuttle bus" and I got to see a lot of parts of Macau that i had never seen before so it was pretty cool. I walked all the way to the Venetian and got their shuttle bus to the ferry because theirs always runs and I never just miss it.
sea turtle conservation center
nepalese orphanage

macau centro


The Venetian
Macedonian dig
   I'll also try to post another blog before I leave for Canada but it's going to be busy here the next two weeks with all the Christmas stuff and getting ready to leave so if I don't I'll write one when i get to Canada, I'm sure I'll have plenty to say about my flight. LOL Anyways i better get out there and finish my Christmas shopping before I have to leave. Oh Christmas so much fun and leaves you broke especially when I've just spent all my money on registration fees for my fun next summer. Oh well it will all be worth it in the end!

Nov 23, 2010

Nan Lian Gardens and Chi Lin Nunnery

"Get thee to a nunnery!" haha anyways I did go to a nunnery in Hong Kong, more precisely Diamond Hill. First I went to the Nan Lian Gardens, there were amazing trees, flowers, rocks, waterfalls, etc. It was awesome! There was just so much stuff there to look at. The Coy fish were so huge and fat, obviously very well fed! lol! The gardens connect onto the Nunnery by way of a lotus pond terrace that you climb many stairs up to. Once you get into the nunnery they have the stupid no photos rule once again. I did however manage to sneak a few here and there, but unfortunately not the massive golden structures at the very end. They were huge and amazing!!! Anyways I did get photos and then I listened to a cute little old lady that wanted to explain all the facets of Buddhism to me. She was very sweet and then she gave me a bracelet that is supposed to bring me good luck, good fortune, and a nice man! I am never taking this bracelet off!!!! lol. Anyways that was my awesome day. Then I met my mum and we got manicures and pedicures at this wonderful little Filipino shop. After the mani/pedi we went out for dinner at Marouche which is a cool little Lebanese Restaurant, it was tasteeeeee!
And now......the photos!

Nov 9, 2010

Shau Kei Wan aka 4 temples,1 museum,and a church

 Shau Kei Wan which means pail bay used to be a haven for ships and a typhoon shelter, it has a lot of temples dedicated to deities for fishermen for this reason.  Ok, so I went to Shau Kei Wan and as you can tell from the title I was stoked! One area with all these things equals grand excitement. However, I was not so excited when I got to the first temple -Shing Wong Temple- and found out that I cannot take photos...its illegal! Yeah that's right the temple is protected under the Chinese Government Temple society blah blah blah. So I took some photos of the outside and went on my way to the next temple- Tin Hau Temple (tin hau is the goddess of the sea)- yeah I got there and again no photos! Pfffft I turned my flash off and went into stealth mode. I think I got three and then got in trouble, apparently my stealth mode needs improvement. So next I went to the Tsung Tsin Church, this church was built by the Hakkas with the help of Swiss Basel Priests and during the Japanese invasion served as a military headquarters. Got there and it was closed so took some photos of the outside and then continued on to the next temple- Yuk Wong Temple (yuk wong is the protector from floods and saver of peoples lives). This one was a bit more difficult to find and a bit not worth the trek, haha. Although later i learned its more of a shrine than a temple which made more sense, and yes there was a no photo sign but I got the outside and inside anyway. Next on my trek was the museum of coastal defence, I was not so excited about this one as its about war and stuff and I don't really like war but it was awesome! So much history and cool exhibits and its up on the top of a mountain. It used to be a real fort used by the British to protect Hong Kong so theres a little historical trail that you can walk down to get a more vivid picture of what happened there. It covers the history of Hong Kong from the Ming dynasty to present day (1300's-now). They have all the uniforms worn from the 1300's on by the military, weapons, replicas of boats, and recordings of people who had fought in the wars. I listens to one by a man in the Royal Winnipeg Battalion talking about his capture by the Japanese. Very interesting and very sad, but at least he lived to tell his story and maybe we can learn from that and become better. They also had a replica of the Treaty of Nanking, the whole treaty half english and half chinese, amazing part of history. I was running out of time before I had to get to work so the historical trail was very rushed and I missed the torpedo station which I thought was going to be super cool, guess I'll just have to go back. Next I rushed to the last temple- Tam Kung temple (a patron god of fishermen and only known to Hong Kong)- There was a no photo sign again and I didn't really have time to go in anyways so I took some photos of the outside and then one from the door of the inside and ran to the train, barely making it to work on time. After work I went to the Wanch for an 80's quiz and failed remarkably at it (last place) but to be fair I wasn't there for the first 3 rounds and we did much better on the last three, although I did call my brother a few times for help.
Shing wong temple
little black turtle in tin hau

a replica of a war scene 

inside tin hau temple
more inside tin hau temple
tin hau temple
Tsung Tsin Church
Yuk Wong Temple

that one tent-y looking thing is the museum the big stone structure
 is where you take the elevator up

Nov 8, 2010

Day 11 Fanling, Tai Wo, Tai Po Market

Fanling has the biggest Taoist Temple in Hong Kong, it was built in 1929 when devotees of Taoism fled from the Anti-Superstition Campaign in Guangzhou. It was HUGE! there was building after building after building to go into. There were so many burial buildings as well and also there is a wall with the entire Taoist scripture inscribed in it, its called the Tao Te Ching and it's kinda short actually. They also have a Vegetarian restaurant there that I might go back and try because the Vegetarian Restaurant at the Sitting Buddha on Lantau is awesome!!!
After that I went to Tai Wo And the first place I intended to go to was Fu shin Street to the market street which was first laid out in 1892. However, I got lost almost immediately because I went the wrong way. To be fair there were no signs to tell me where to go in the exit I went out of. This was of course a good thing though because I got to see more of Tai Wo and saw these cool shacky looking houses. Some of them were barely tall enough for someone to stand up in. Once I finally got to the market, the long way, I saw a lot of fruits, roots, vegetables, raw meat, live fish, toads, and some clothes. After the market street I went to the Man Mo Temple. A very cool temple but very small and very very very full of smoke from 5 different kinds of incense sticks and coils. Behind the temple is the town Earthgod shrine and finally I went to the Railway Museum. I'm not particularly into trains or the railway but the museum was there and so was I so I went on in. I'm pretty sure though that the only cool part of the museum was the entrance way. strangely though after being at the museum I did want to go ride a train on the railroad tracks. And now some photos of my day! Hoorah!!!!!

Nov 3, 2010

Day 10 Kam Tsin Walled City

Today i called called into work but then when I showed up someone else was already there to teach the class! So instead I went to explore a walled city. I went far into the New Territories in Hong Kong and walked for a very long time to find this walled village and was unfortunately a bit disappointed. it was pretty small and not as impressive as I had envisioned but it was pretty cool to walk through it and think this used to all be walls and closed off and it's super old. I had walls that were hundreds of years old around me. I also got to see a papaya tree and a banana palm which was pretty sweet. The people around there also seemed like there was not a lot of Westerners that ventured out there as everyone was looking at me with dropped mouths and big eyes. One guy even almost went out into traffic cuz he was staring so hard at me and not looking at the road.

I also saw a super funny sign in the MTR station the other day so I thought I would post it now for your amusement.

Day 9 Greeks, dentists, and Philipino Americans...

So Monday was really busy! I went to the Greek Consulate in Hong kong to try to figure out how and if I could get a Greek Passport (which means EU passport) After much sorting through papers and reading and researching Irene let me know that it would be possible but I have to do a few things first in Canada so even though my trip is really short I will have to find some time to get my butt into the greek Consulate in Vancouver, and down to a police station as well for a Criminal Records Check. After this I went to the Dentist for a cleaning. I now feel as though i know why the Chinese have such bad teeth, my cleaning was quite literally 5-7 mins long. I was a bit disappointed as I love that fresh clean mouth feeling and the smoothness of your teeth when you first leave the dentists office and I did not get that this time! Boooo! After that I met up with my friend Emily to go for some Egyptian food at a place called Habibi, I would highly recommend it! Fantastic food and great service (mostly, we had a small problem with the bill) then we met up with another travel buddy named Brian who was born in New York but lives in Cebu sometimes and sometimes he lives in Las Vegas. He also just recently broke the Guiness World record for the most fireworks rocket lit at the same time or something, which was pretty cool. We had a lot of fun despite his "I'm super hot and rich" attitude. I'm pretty sure he told us about 8 or 9 times how he could get hot chicks anytime he wanted and how he has no problems picking up women. Hahahahahaha i love it when guys do that! I wonder if they realize it makes them look worse. anyways it was good fun and a long day.

Day 8 Starcrossed Halloween!

So the day started off pretty slow and relaxed, I read in my bed and didn't even consider leaving my bed until like 2:30 in the afternoon. Once I finally got motivated to get going my mom and I left at about 3 ish and went to Tequila Jacks for some fantastic mexican food! My brother also met us there so it was like a little family meal out. Afterwards we went to Starcrossed Tattoo in Hung Hom to join their halloween party fun. They had a coloring contest which took forever for me to complete (I still don't know who won but considering the artistic talent in that place I'm guessing it wasn't me! lol) and they were giving away free halloween tattoos. My mom got a little purple and pink ghost on her shoulder and I got a little nightmare before Christmas face on my shoulder. Danny got a toilet paper roll on his leg, hahaha!

Day 7 Halloween

Oh Halloween! What fun Halloween is; free candy, you get to dress up and be silly and its a reason to have a party and gather all your friends. For halloween I dressed up as Little Red Riding hood, I made the costume myself instead of buying from a store as I had no desire to look like a skank which is what the costumes look like nowadays. Well I didn't exactly make it ALL by myself, my mom had to help me haha! How pathetic am i? My mom and I also made her costume, she was a cake! It was awesome and my brother even helped us out with that one. For halloween I had a very busy night. My friend Nicole and I went to Tessa's house for a halloween party, then we went to the Fringe to the rooftop party to meet up with my mum, my brother, Monica and a bunch of other friends, then we went to Wanchai and went to Amazonia to finish the night off with a bit of a boogey! lol! All in all a very fun and eventful night!

Day 6 Hong Kong Pub Crawl

So after work I met up with a lovely Australian Bloke named Simon who was traveling alone in Hong Kong. I belong to this website called where people can meet up with other people traveling to the same country or who already live in the country they are traveling to so that they can have help in getting around a new city. After Simon and I met up in TST we took the Star Ferry over to Central to meet up with some other friends in Bassment Bar in Soho. One of them is the organizer for Hong Kong Pub Crawl and so I thought I'd show up. We went from Bassment to V16 to Baby Buddha to Otto to Tavis  and then called it a night. It was super fun and we got to meet new people, some that live here and some that are just traveling through.

oops laziness set 5

Okay so day 5 of fun was a weds. I went to the Heritage Museum which I haven't been to in a really long time so it was mostly new and very interesting. I spent most of the day before work there. They had some exhibits that I wasn't allowed to take photos in, ironically one of them was a photo exhibit...haha but it was really interesting and gave me some ideas of some cool things i might be able to do with my own camera. They had a Chinese opera exhibit as well and you could superimpose your face on that of a chinese opera singer which was really fun, even the security guard came over to help me choose which characters I should be, we had quite a bit of fun.

We also went to a play from the revised shakespeare company doing the Entire Bible in 90 mins. It was very funny and the three guys were very talented. After the play I got the guy's autographs as they were standing there with markers in their hands. Then we went into Wanchai for ladies night as they have free drinks for ladies. I also saw a friend I hadn't seen out for a while so I stayed out for a bit with Steph and we had a great time despite me getting home a bit later than intended. lol!

Oct 25, 2010

day 3 and 4 Haunted Halloween Disneyland and Ping Shan Heritage Walk

Day 3
Yeah yeah yeah Disneyland!!!! First of you need to understand that Disneyland is my favorite place on earth. I prefer the one in California cuz it's bigger and way more awesome than the one in Hong Kong but still I love it! This time it was a Halloween version of Disneyland. There were haunted houses, a tribal burial ground in Adventureland where zombies and the like come out of nowhere to scare the crap out of you, a halloween parade, and fireworks. We had so much fun and got scared really good about three or four times. We got there about 12 noon and didn't leave until 11pm so a good 11 hours of the happiest place on earth!!! And now some photos....Hooray!

Day 4 
So I decided to try something new and go to a part of Hong Kong that I have never even knew existed and what better part of Hong Kong to explore than the New Territories. So I took the new purple line all the way to the end (almost) and went a walking to find the Ping Shan Heritage trail. Of course I immediately got lost and went a walking the wrong way, I discovered a bog and acquired quite a few bug bites. I ended up walking through this small little village and accidentally found Ching Shu Hin which is a huge temple for the Tang Dynasty emperor and some of his descendants still live in this small poor village that smells distinctly like stale water and a sewer. Anyways after finding this temple I also found a trail map that showed me where all the other buildings were. the buildings i saw were the Tsui Shing Lau Pagoda, Sheung Cheung Wai, a Shrine of the Earth God, Yeung Hau Temple, an Old Well, Kun Ting Study Hall, Hung Shing Temple, Tang Ancestral Hall, Hall of Shut Hing Study Hall, and the Ping Shan Tang Clan Gallery. Although the last one is closed on Mondays. 
This place was pretty sweet cuz i literally felt like I had just gone to a different country, it might have smelled a bit and it was very odd that these super old and crumbling buildings had people living in them. Some of these people had no doors on their homes just a little curtain for a door, and there were these little shops with just the bare minimum of supplies no grocery shops. I may have felt a little out of place since these people have literally never or rarely seen anyone white enter into their little villages. I may or may not have also seen a little triad drug deal or something going down as they all looked a little mean, okay a lot mean, and were staring at me like i had just walked into someplace I shouldn't. I just discretely slipped my camera into my bag and calmly kept walking straight ahead. lol Anyways fun times and here are a few pics...

Oct 22, 2010

Day 2 Wong Tai Sin Temple

So today was the temple in Wong Tai Sin, it is massive and has all sorts of other buildings and gardens and stuff. There's a 9 dragon wall and a wishing garden and loads of temple buildings that I can't really remember the names of right now. I walked all through all the buildings and saw some cute little turtles and koy fish and it was beautiful and peaceful and they played some buddhist music all through the grounds. Then I went to a soothsayer, also known as a fortune teller or as the secretary at my work says an oracle. so having some Greek blood in me and feeling extremely sac-religious I am going to go with oracle, it sounds better to me. So here is what he said to me:
The oracle told me that i will find true love in the summer of 2011 and it will be a strong love he will love me very very much but I must remember to tell him when he makes me happy. I also should not tell him when I am unhappy. We will have two children, one girl and one boy and they will be very successful and get amazing jobs as long as I love them with my heart and not only my head. (I'm not sure what that means), continuing on I am very sleepless at night so i should drink some warm milk and have a biscuit at night and then go read a book so I will have a good and peaceful deep sleep. My job is ok but it makes me tired and sport is hard for me because I have weak ankles so I should be more careful. I should also eat more vegetables. So there you have it folks my life in a nutshell.
The adventures will have to continue on Monday as sat I work all day and then sunday I might be going to Haunted Hong Kong Disney.....oooooooohhhhhhhhh! Scary
And now some pictures.....

Oct 21, 2010

Day 1- Hong Kong Zoo

So I got up early today and went down to the Hong Kong Zoo. I took kind of a longer round about way to get to Central so I could take the Star Ferry and the topless bus to the peak tram, they're kind of two of my favorite things to take in HK. The zoo was pretty cool but kind of depressing at the same time because of all of the cages, although I wouldn't want to see some of those animals without some metal bars between us. The zoo was fun and I enjoyed walking around Hong Kong the park happens to be close to Soho so I went there and went to this wonderful Lebanese Restaurant for some food. mmmmmmmmm love that stuff! And now here are some pics...