Nov 14, 2011

My grreat band week!!

Sunday night I got to go and see one of the best bands ever! Two Gallants, they had an awesome show and played alot of their new songs as well which was pretty sweet. I also got to hear some of my favorites and the drummer was just awesome and a really nice guy as well. He definitely was one of the best drummers I've seen in ages though. Also playing that night was Noughts and exes which is a pretty great band that I will be seeing again this coming Saturday.

This also was my first time at Hidden Agenda which was a pretty sweet warehouse venue that the gov is threatening to shut down for some unknown weird reason. The venue was nice and big and great for live band shows. So many awesome bands have come to play at this venue so I'm glad I finally made it out there to see it. Especially since it might not be around that much longer...unless all those petitions actually do something.

Also earlier in the week on Weds. I got to go to a charity function at The Pawn, which is a historical heritage building. I think if I owned a bar I would want it to be sort of like this one, but without the ridiculous pricing. The first three bands were older gentlemen but still pretty good cover bands but the real treat of the night was Poubelle International. Such a great band!!
so i had a very band filled week of great music and great times with some pretty cool people.

Nov 8, 2011

Long time no see/write...

So my last blog was quite some time ago and I'm sorry that i have been so lazy! I came back from such a great summer and went back to work the next day. Bummer!!!! It was so hard to get back into the swing of things and to get back to reality. Anyways when I got to the school i had no idea what i was doing. Luckily I got to spend the first week just doing an intro powerpoint of myself so that took some pressure off. Now I hav all my lessons planned till Christmas at least so that's a bit better than the panic mode that I was in. My school is a really nice school too since the students level of English is quite good and usually they are relatively hard working.
Other than school my cousin Shawna and her friend Kim came to visit from Korea and we went to Beerfest which was pretty fun. Although i no longer can drink beer since it has gluten and I am on a strict gluten free diet.

It was really nice to see my cousin and spend some time with her since it's felt like ages since we have seen each other.

Halloween was kind of a pass this year. i went to my friend Karen's wedding on the Saturday night which was so amazing and beautiful. The ceremony was at St. Stephens Church in Stanley and the reception was at the Peak Restaurant. The Bride kept introducing me as the brave girl who came all by herself but I thought it was very funny and everyone was very nice as well so that made it quite ok.

So that is just a short and quick update on what has been going on lately. I hopefully will try to update more frequently.

Aug 24, 2011

Aug.19th to 24th

In the last few days I have had a brilliant time. I got to do an excavation of a nest which was really really cool and I got to see my very firts hatchling which I helped to the sea. An excavation happens about 10 days after the first hatching date. WE dig up the nest ad count the eggs to see how many hatched and what other things might have happened in the nest. Sometimes it can be very brutal. There were two public excavations that day so Angie and I did one and Benji and Abbey did the other. The nest I did had no dead hatchlings and maybe only about 20 or so at various development stages, and of course the one live one that I helped to the sea. Abbey and Benji's nest was not so easy they had 5 dead hatchlings about 30 at late development no live ones and about 6 pipped (when the hatchling is half out of the shell but didn't quite make it out.) It smells pretty bad and when you get a brutal one like that you just have to keep reminding yourself that its in the name of science.On Sunday we had a huge camp dinner that we went out to eat for and had a really great time together as half our camp was leaving today. Last night we had a big going away party for them and then a few of us went swimming in the sea at night which was really nice as it was a good temperature and calm for once. Matala is very windy so the sea usually has huge waves. Today was obviously not such a great day because of the people leaving, it was really sad to see everyone leaving and now I'm left on camp wondering what I'm going to do. It's weird how quickly you become attached to people but we did spend everyday and every minute together for the last month so I guess you get to know someone really well in a very short amount of time. Tonite I have slideshow at Delfinias on Kalimaki beach which is always a fun place to go and do the slideshow but it will be weird to do it without Benji since he was the only one I've ever done the slideshow with.
Ionly have 4 days left here at Camp Matala and I will be very sad to be leaving but excited for my next adventure. My computer charger cord broke on camp so updateing and such is a bit more difficult since I can't use my computer right now with no charge in it. When I go to Iraklion on Sunday I'll have to see if I can find one although i do kind of doubt it since Greece is not the most technologically advanced country. Anyways I'll try to update again before I leave....

Aug 18, 2011

Aug. 9~18th

Aug. 9~16
Well alot has happened in the last few days...i had another morning survey which just about killed me, the combination of early morning, trudging through sinking sand, the sun and heat, and the fact that its 10 kms just wrecks me. The survey was really quite uneventful, we saw a few female adult turtle tracks which were unsuccesful attempts to lay, some hatchling tracks and all to the sea no disorientation, and then i stayed behind to replace some parts of a nest shade while everyone else went ahead to the last beach. On the last beach they found a new nest but unfortunately it was in a bad place so we were going have to relocate it. So after morning survey we went back to relax a bit and get ready for slide show and the relocation. The relocation was very intense and very cool. You have to dig down and then one by one you have to dig around the eggs, being very careful not to knock the eggs about as any movement inside the egg could cause the embryo to detach. It was actually a very intense procedure as in this particular nest there were 141 eggs that we have to dig around and mark and then carefully place in the crate and then transfer to the other nest. We have to dig a new nest but can only do this after we get all the eggs out of the old nest and measure it out for width length and depth. So after 2 1/2 hrs we finally finished but we were supposed to be at a restaurant to give a slide show presentation to the public about Archelon and what we are doing here. It was already 9:10 and we were supposed to be there at 9 luckily there was a nice Greek family there that were watching the relocation and offered us a ride to our car in the back of their truck. We had no time to change and ran from our car straight to Delfinias for the slide show. So dirty and covered insand and sweat and sea water we gave ourpresentation and did pretty well. The next night we spent making nest shades. nest shades are used beach mats that ppl donate to us once they're finished with them instead of chucking them out. We then take them and cut them in half, wire some bamboo to them and putthem up around nests in danger. A nestin danger could be from human interaction like too close to a bar,tavern, or restaurant. From animals like dogs, cats, and even falcons (which we have on oneof the beaches we walk). Or in danger from the sun if the turtles dont have enough shade they will dry out and die.
Two nights later i gave my first slide show presentation for the first time. I got a little tongue tied a few times but i think i did ok for the most part. On all the other days its been a lot of kiosk shifts where we just inform the public and sell certain items like necklaces, key rings, books etc....
I have gotten addicted to greek frappees they are so good. Ive also had to stay off the beach until my foot heals and have to wear socks and shoes which was a very weird sensation after living in flip flops for so long.
The people here have been so awesome and so much fun. Sarah, Abbey, and Hayley are three girls from Leeds University and I have had such a great time getting to know them and hanging out with them. Lucia is a girl from Argentina and makes mr laugh so hard, some days I try to practice a bit of Spanish with her which is pretty fun. Benji and Daniel are brothers from England but can speak fluent German and French as well and are just amazing guys they are so sweet. Angie is from Australia and is the project leader and even though she is runningthe whole camp all by herself she still finds time to be in true aussie form and a little bit of crazy party time. Irini is from Athens and is so funny and very patient with me when i was trying to practice my Greek. Lawrence is a guy from England and is the funniest guy ever but seriously lazy and crazy. Its also been a lot of fun meeting the people that work here. Alex is our pool boy and takes care of us at the pool. Kostas is the barman at Marineros and he is the cutest little guy ever and also is currently having a holiday romance with Sarah. Sifi is the hot barman at Hakuna Matata and he helps me perfect my greek and teaches me new words. Dimitri also works at Hakuna but he's very weird and creepy. Theres a lovely lady that works at a restaurant on the beach and is quite possibly the sweetest thing ever.

Aug 9, 2011

Updatingthe last few days...

August 4
Today was my first morning survey, Its a 10 km walk in the sand. We walk 5 kms down the beach from komos to kalimaki beach and we check the nests that have already been found and make sure they havent been tampered with. We look for turtle tracks of hatchlings to see if they made it to the sea and how many hatched and if there were any predators or human interference. The morning was actually pretty difficult for me, that walk in the deep sand just wrecked me and the heat made me into a melted mess. I am hoping that after a couple more times it will get easier. Im getting much better in the kiosk and talking to people. I actually feel like i have enough info to be able to talk about it with some sort of intelligence. So today was very long as i had to do two jobs almost back to back. After my kiosk shift we went down to watch the volleyball game again, had some coffee and just chilled until dinner.
August 5 to 8
Been really tired and my computer wasnt charging so i fell behind which is why i am doing the 5th to the 8th all together. In the last few days i went out with some of the girls visiting from the chania camp and rethymno camp, which was very interesting as i got to hear about whats going on in the other nesting beaches and what they've been doing. One of the girls spent some time working in the Athens rescue center last year and that seemed really interesting as well. I might come back next year and do that. Other than that its been slide shows, kiosk shifts, and a whole lotta beach and pool time.

Aug 4, 2011


August 1
So i arrived in matala today at about 2 pm and rocked up to the archelon campsite. Its pretty small and very sandy its really hard to walk up the hill cuz i keep sliding backwards in the sand. Everyone here seems really nice, there are about 10 other people here so its a nice small group. I hung out for a bit and met everyone and then went down to the beach for a swim to cool off as its very very hot here. The sea is gorgeous and its right by these ancient caves that you can climb up to explore. The camp is right on the mediteranean sea so thats pretty sweet. After the swim i went back to camp for dinner and then got a brief overview of what im on the schedule for over the next few days. Then went down the road to a bar for a pool party which was pretty fun and then from there we went to another place called hakuna matada where you can go upstairs and have this amazing view of the water and the caves that are lit up at night. After a bit of dancing we went back to camp for some much needed rest.

August 2
Aargh, woke up early due to my tent being a sauna, it was so gross and so hot! Couldnt even deal just got up and went straight to the showers. Went into town for some breakfast and then some swimming. The waves were so big today I spent a bit of time trying to swim against the waves that was quite the workout. Then just hung out at camp for a bit and wrote some postcards, while i waited for my shift in the kiosk to start. I have the later shift from 5~830 then back to camp for some vegetarian dinner. I guess august will be a vegetarian month which is probably okay since i had like 5 kebabs in like three days in athens. So the shift at the kiosk was good it was really slow and no one wanted to talk to us but then in the last half hour we slod like 9 pendants and a t shirt and some donations. It was a bit slow going trying to araise public awareness and trying to remember what to say. Im sure it will get easier though. Tomorrow i think i have to go watch the slideshow that we give for the public cuz i think i'll be doing that next week.

August 3
Worst day ever first i made an attempt to run from the coffee shop where we were watching the volleyball tournament and i burnt the bottom of my toes. So now i have three blisters on the bottom of three toes on each foot. Then when i got back to camp i found my tent had been shattered from the wind and one of the poles was broken in half. My brother is going to kill me. After that i had cooking duty and i sliced two of my fingers while cutting the vegetables. That also means i didnt have time to fix my tent before dark. So now i have six blistered toes and two hurting fingers and no tent and i have my first morning survey tomorrow at 530 am. So all in all not super great but alas tomorrow is a new day and hopefully it will be much better. I will hopefully see some hatchlings tomorrow, fix my tent, watch men as volleyball doubles, and just generally feel better about everything tomorrow.
so after walking 3 kms I found out I was at the wrong bus stop and would have to walk another 6 kms to get to the right one but the trip was all sold out so I could only get the bus tomorrow sooo since it was already about 7 I decided to get a room in heraklion and deal with the bus in the morning. So I checked into the El Greco Hotel and then showered all the gross sweat away and walked around the city center. I went to see the old venetian wall,and just walked around the village and explored before going back to the hotel for my long day tomorrow.

Jul 31, 2011

So today I got up really early and changed my ferry ticket, checked out of my hotel, and checked into the fivos hostel. The hostel room is very small but its clean and somehow I got a private bathroom for the same price that everyone who shares the floor bathroom has to pay so thats a bonus. The room is however on the fifth floor and there is no elevator so lots of excercise for me going up and down those stairs. I had to do it three times in like an hour trying to rearrange the ferry and get info. Plus my legs are killing me from the nine hours of walking I did yesterday, kind of more like hiking in flip flops to get to some of those places, lol. Another bonus of the hostel is free breakfast which I got this morning and I will get tomorrow morning so I guess even though its a bit more expensive than any other hostel 40€, but cheaper than crete) its kind of worth the money for all those little things. Anyways after I got comfortable I went out to buy some deoderant which took forever there were like no stores around with that kind of stuff. There was every other kind of store but that one. Then I went back and had to buy a card to get on the internet as there is no wifi at the new hostel. After that Nikolas came to pick me up and take me to the archeological museum. We took the metro there and got a tiropita on the way. When we got to the museum it was closing. Unfortunately everything seems to close early on saturday. So instead we went to thissos and had a cafe on the third floor balcony which has this amazing view of all the temples and ruins. After that we went to go pick up his car and drove by the seaside, and saw what Nikolas explained to be skiliathika bouzukia which means doggy night clubs (skilia is a dog and bouzuki is a greek musical instrument that gives greek music its distinctive sound) they call them this cause the singers are never very good and usually sound like whining dogs, then we got a souvlaki with fries in it (mmmmmmmmm) and then went to see the greek dancing open air show. The show was so cool and Im sure I took a million photos. They showcase different dances, costumes, and music from all over Greece. It was amazing and I was so glad we went. After the show we went to a local restaurant hidden away in athens where they serve your food on a piece of wax paper, not plates. We had tzatiki, kebabs, fries, and tomatoe and cucumber salad, Along with some house wine. After this went back to the seaside and Nikolas drove around the pier to point out important spots to me like the walls of Themisticles and where I would be going to get the ferry tomorrow. Which was very thoughtful and nice. Then went to a bar and sat on the third floor terrace overlooking the water and you could see the stadium, the acropolis all lit up, and the houses buikt on the hill, and just basically all the lights of athens. It was beautiful we hung out and talked and laughed and before we knew it, it was 4 am and I had to get uo early to get my ferry. So So back we drove to my hostel and said our goodbyes and I went to sleep pretty much as soon as my head hit the pillow. It was sad to think I might never see Nikolas again but maybe when I come back in September.
Got up early this morning to repack my bag, check out and be on my way to get on a ferry to Crete. Took the metro to Pireaus station and then gad to walj for like 20 mins to a Starbucks to get a delicious caramel espresso frappuccino and then continue on for 5 more minutes to what has to be the biggest boat I have ever seen. Yesterday when Nikolas said the boat is huge I didnt imagine this huge. Although i did sleep for most of the ride I did manage to explore a bit. And go outside to take some pictures. I went to find the bus stop to get to Matala in Massara and after walking about 3kms

Jul 29, 2011

Second day and it was so amazing!!!

So today I met up with Nikolas and had the most amazing day! We went around Plakas and I saw the ancient agora,the temple of hephastios,the acropolis, the acropolis museum, temple of zeus, the roman ampitheatre, another ampitheatre, the olympic stadium, temple od dionysius, the greek parliament, the changing of the guards, and had some delicious amazing food. Also Nikolas usedto be part of the greek presidential guard and knew everything about all the places and he gave me so much info about everything. It truly was an epically amazing day, and definitely will be something I will remember forever.
Its only my second day in Greece but it still seems so unbelieveable that Im here. Its suchan amazing historical place and the beginning of democracy and political thought and civilization it seems weird that it should be in the economic ruin that its in. Tomorrow I was thinking of going to crete but I might stay in athens one more day and see the archeological museum tomorrow and go thw the sea side and visit some other districts in athens. It makes me a bit sad to see all these people speaki.g Greek and dancing and having this amazing sense of history and culture and realizing exactly what I missed out on by not having my father there. He didnt just break our family but he also took that part of him with him when he left. Everytime someone sees my name they say, "oh you are hellenas baby? Why you dont speak the langusge?" And I just say that I havent really used it for a while. But it seems embarassing that I didnt try harder to keep it now that Im here. Anyways its very late and I have to get up very early to figure out ferry tix and a new place to stay.

Getting there and the first day.

3am Hong Kong time:
So the trip started off a little shaky. I had a momentary lapse of "what on earth am I doing?" But then I was okay. Its a bit nerve racking going to a place all by yourself and not even knowing if or where you'll be staying. Qatar airlines was absolutely amazing though, checking in the guy got me bulkhead seating for the first flight and emergency exit for the second flight from Doha to Athens. I did manage to think ahead and write down directions for a hostel that I think might have room, so that might be ok. There are a lot of children on this flight as well, I dont think i've ever seen this many but it is an overnight flight so maybe i'll get lucky and they'll just sleep.
1130am in Greece:
Arriving in Doha i didnt have a window seat but I could see from where I was sitting this beautiful orange and red and yellow sunrise. It was the kind of sunrises you only see in the movies and you can just imagine the desert that goes for miles. I unfortunately wasnt able to take a photo so you'll just have to take my word for it. In the airport it was very small and there were a ridiculous amount of children screaming,crying,throwing fits,throwing things...after three hours in that airport I thought I might go insane. Perfect anti sex campaign there. Now I am on the plane again and about an hour and a half from Athens, currently over Tripoli. We also flew over Damascus and Beirut.
4pm athens:
So I finally booked into a hotel. I really wanted to find a hostel but everything was booked. The hotel Im staying in is the Attalos Hotel. Its not great but its also not very bad,although it is a bit more than I was expecting to pay. I probably would have spent more time looking but I almost got robbed and that pretty much called it a day for me. This Greek boy probably had seen me walking around for a really long time looking for a place to stay and thought I made a good victim, plus with nearly no sleep and almost 30 hrs of no sleep I probably looked like a zombie. He ran by me and ripped my bag off my body, but somehow I got my foot out to trip him and I lunged forward and ripped my bag out of his hands. He stumbled a bit but didnt fall, and kept running down the street, he must have gotten half way down before he even realized he didnt have it anymore. Im very surprised at how fast I was on this particular day as Im usually not very quick especially without sleep and after walking around in the scorching sun for 2 hrs with a huge backpack. Obviously God was watching over me yesterday.
Anyways got into the hotel and showered and changed and then did some walking around. I saw Hadrians Library and I had some food. Mmmmm greek salad and saganaki. Then I just walked through all the shops. My cousins Yannis, Marios, and Yanni's girlfriend Angeliki came to pick me up at 9 and we had some traditional greek kebab and some greek Mythos beers, and then we walked around and saw the old Greek market place and the old Roman marketplace and Marios told me stories of hidden catacombs under the Greek parliament and secret passageways under ruins. It was very cool and made me feel so much better about my crappy start to my trip. We also talked about the ferry strike and the situation that Greece is in and all those interesting political conversations that I enjoy so much. I was a bit nervous to meet them but we had a really great time and they want to go out again tomorrow night so thats pretty cool. Marios is so much like my brother its crazy, he loves star wars (he has the storm trooper phone cover that I wanted to get my brother), he gas loads of tattoos and loves art, and hes a singer in a band and loves music. Tomorrow Im also meeting up with Nikolos who is just a friend not a relative and hopefully go see the acropolis and the temple of Zeus. I'll let you know...

Jul 26, 2011

And I'm off!

So this is my last day in Hong Kong, last night there was a little farewell get together at Red Bar in the IFC tower and then in Central. Twas a great night with some great friends and I was really surprised by the amount of people that did make it and who made it. At times like that you can really see who cares and who you might be friends with even after you leave a place. So today will be filled with me trying to put my mind at ease by unpacking and repacking my bag, going over the flight and details.  I also have to get some Euros to make sure i have some money with me when I arrive in Athens. I'm really nervous that i won't find a place to stay as it is a very busy season and most of the hostels I've looked at have been full up, but I guess we'll see how it goes. I'm very excited to see the acropolis and all the cool touristy things.

My flight is at 2 am on Thursday morning but I'm going to be at the airport tonite to check in and such. My flight will be in total about 14 hours, it's 8 hours and 45 mins to Doha and then another 4 hours and 40 minutes to Athens. 

So just to is now 6pm and spent a lot of my day waiting and walking and looking. I had to go to the bank because I couldn't get the travel insurance online. So I get a number and I wait in line. The guy comes over to see why I'm there and says, "oh but you can do it through the ATM machine, no need to wait in line." So I go to the ATM machine and there is no option for my to buy insurance even though there is a huge sign right in front of me that says I should be able to. So back to the bank I go, the guy doesn't believe me so he goes to the aTM with me and confirms that I am not a useless moron. So we both go back to the bank but while I was gone my number has already been called so wait wait wait. Anyways 2 hours and 995HKD later I have travel insurance. Next I had to get Euros I asked the man at the bank what was their exchange rate and he says 11.3 I said ok and went to TST to get a better exchange rate as i had been told to not exchange my money at the bank. OMG I SHOULD HAVE EXCHANGED MY MONEY AT THE BANK!!!!! Everywhere was a lot worse but by the time I figured this out the bank was closed and I was going to wait until the airport to exchange it there but then thought what if it's even worse there? or worse closed by the time I get there? So I found the cheapest one at 11.63 and exchanged it there except they only had 100 Euro bills so that sucks. Anyways it took me like 4 hours to accomplish two things, but now I am home and almost all ready to go. i got some pretty cool stuff for my trip though so that I might not have to check it (fingers crossed).
towelette shampoo and conditioner and laundry soap

this is what I will be living out of for the next two months.

Jul 24, 2011

Wow what a week!

Well my last few days in Hong Kong have been pretty chaotic! I have been out and about almost every single day since last Thursday. Trying to see everyone before I leave and o so many things before I go, not that I'm not coming back here. I'll start from the beginning. I moved to Tung Chung on the 10th for 10 days to see if I liked it and wanted to move there when I came back to HK. So for the first few days I went out quite often to meet the people that live in Tung Chung and I met some very nice people.Then of course there was the Thursday night pub crawl which is always a great time. Saturday night I went out with my friend Sophie before she went to Australia. Lots of other outing and then came back here on weds and have been packing and sorting and outing ever since. Friday night was spent in Tai Wai, Saturday night was with Tess and her boys... And Sunday (today) was sleep and pack my backpack but the back pack part didn't really happen. hahaha. So now all the fun begins as I race against time to try to pack it all in and get ready. Tomorrow pick up new visa and either go to immigration and do something or to Macau to validate it. Also have to make sure I have everything for the trip and pack up my room and actually think about what I should bring in one back pack for two months for essentially three different trips.
So my trip will go something like this:
 fly to Athens on the 28th of July and then try to find a place to stay then also find a way to get to Rethmynos on Crete for the 1st of August. Once I'm in Rethmynos I will work there for the month on a sea turtle conservation project until the 28th of August and then on the 29th I fly from Crete to Athens and Athens to Skiathos at which time I will take a boat over to Skopelos and visit with my family in Greece that I haven't seen for like 25 years. After that I will find a way to get to Thessaloniki and the people from the Macedonia project will come and pick me up. I will be working in Macedonia on an archeological dig from the 4th of September until the 18th of Sept and then make my way back to Athens to fly out on the 20th of September and then back to Hong Kong.
While I'm away I will hopefully be updating my blog more frequently to tell you all about what's a happening during my trip so check back here. Once I get settled in I'll know how frequently I'll have access to the internet so I can tell you more then. hopefully I'll squeeze in one more blog before I leave to tell you just how well all the packing went. lol

Jun 8, 2011

Umm April, May and June where has the time gone???

Well yeah i've been slacking on my blog I know but I just haven't been feeling the writing mojo lately and so therefore no blogging. However, i am back and will be a bit more attentive from now on....hmmmm but where to start.... I guess I shall start in April after my last posting. So since the last post I did in fact go to Bob Dylan which was truly amazing! I have no idea how he could make it through a concert at his age with such charisma. His voice is still golden and I had a blast at the show.
So after Bob Dylan was just a lot more work, I was working at three schools with Typhoon Club and still working in the afternoons at Macmillan as well as doing the promotion for Warren on Weds nights so things have been pretty full. Ah but then Easter came and that was awesome! I went to Koh Samui for 10 days and got horribly burned but had an absolutely amazing time! My mom came with me for the first half and we had beach days and beach nights, chilled out and relaxed and did some shopping from the hawkers on the beach. We also went to some pretty fantastic restaurants. We went to one called the treehouse and it was literally up in the trees and had a phenomenal view, another night went to a restaurant called the Farmer and it was in a rice paddy field. My rice came wrapped in banana leaves and  each one was a different color, red, blue, green, and yellow. We also went to a place called the Cloud which has a great view of the main street in Samui and the most delicious food I have ever had. Plus the owner was super nice. the last half of my trip I spent with friends I had made online or in Samui itself. I spent most of my time with a girl from the UK named Anna but she was clearly on the prowl for a muscle bound Israeli man and by the looks of it she preferred he be bald as well. That was ok though I also met a girl from Russia, some guys from Ireland and the UK and a guy that i think was also Irish but lives in Oman. It was super fun and nice that I did some it on my own and still had fun. It's always a bit scary to be on your own with the possibility that you won't meet anyone to have a good time or talk with. I also me a lovely couple by the pool who are British but live in HK as well. 

We also went to the tiger show and the bird show which was pretty cool but still made me feel a bit sad for these animals, especially the tigers, they seemed like they were afraid of the trainers and it made me feel a bit sick in the pit of my stomach. There were quite a few other animals there too though.
he was one of my faves!! He's so cute!

a sea lion show!

a lot of exotic birds on me!

Most of May was taken up with working and with looking for a new job, both here and abroad. A lot of  resumes were sent out and very few interviews set in place. All the places in Europe want only EU citizens so that pretty much discounts me thanks to the magical workings of my wonderful father who just didn't think it important to register his children in Greece. So now it is an impossible pursuit to get my EU passport, I may try to take my stuff with me when I go to Greece and see if the consulate there can help me. Anyways after searching and interviewing I got a job offer at my mom's school in Kwun Tong, so that should be interesting next year. It does mean another year in Hong Kong but maybe I need it to figure things out I guess. I'd much rather be somewhere working with refugees or with the UN but I guess everything comes in time....I just hate waiting.

So now it is June and in the first week a lot has happened. I met this epically amazing man who left me after three days to continue his journey through China and Russia and back to the UK where he lives so that is pretty much that then! haha I have the knack!!! grrr i also just got this email from a company in Greece that might be willing to get me a Greek working Visa to work with their company but this comes on the same day that I have to sign the contract with the School in Hong Kong so I guess that also is a no go and my three times lucky curse is that I got an email from my Father saying that he won't be coming to Athens to see me and if I want to see him I will have to go to Skopelos except I will have neither the time nor the money to do so, so once again a no dice deal. I am on a roll here! I guess I didn't expect to be so disappointed but with that being the third crappy thing in a week I find my spirits to be rather in the dumps and that i am super emotional, even as I write this I feel like I could cry (I'm not though) So for the next 7 weeks it will just be saving money and working as much as possible to be able to do something and be able to live when I go away. I looked up tix to Skopelos from Athens (well Skiathos as there is no airport on Skopelos and it's about 221 Euros. A bit too pricey for me but I haven't quite decided what to do, i would like to see my Giagia in Greece before she passes and probably my father too as his health is really not so good so I will leave it for a few days and try to communicate with any family I have in Greece and see what I can come up with but I'm not sure there's no point if he doesn't even really want to see me. Anyways, major downer!!! haha 
I did just spend a couple days in Macau soaking up the sunshine and am hoping to do a lot more of that on my days off here in the future. It's super hot so I might as well take advantage of it and go to the beaches and do outdoor things. I also bought these cool cd's to help me learn Greek. The program is called Earworms and you learn basic phrases and words through music so we'll see how that goes. 
pool at the hard rock hotel in Macau!

Apr 5, 2011

Life goes on....

So yeah not much has been going on lately, went to the MGMT
after party in Wanchai but it was way too busy to stay for long. Work has been pretty good, I'm working in two schools plus the tutoring center and help Warren with promotions on weds nights. All in all it's been pretty busy that way. I've also just paid for my ticket to Europe so from here on out no more spending money or doing anything as I have to save save save! My flight is from Hong Kong to Athens and back because the other ones were far too expensive. So far my trip will be ending on the 20th of September but I'm really hoping to book something else that will let me stay longer. Also coming up very soon is Bob Dylan, which should be pretty incredible.

Today is also a holiday for everyone because it's the Ching Mun Festival, this is a chance for everyone to go and sweep the graves of their lost ones. It's also a nice beautiful day outside for us to go to Zane's birthday BBQ. The BBQ was super fun, tons of people I haven't seen for ages and some great laughs and great food on a beautiful rooftop terrace. Zane got two birthday cakes, one was a blueberry cheesecake and the other was this extraordinary chocolate mousse professionally done by Monica herself.
Tomorrow is back to work and just going to try and take it easy until Bob Dylan.

Mar 14, 2011

Philippines adventure

Feb. 3,2011- The adventure begins....

We had left Hong Kong and were ready for a wonderful relaxing holiday in the Philippines in Palawan. So after flying into Manila for Hong Kong, we waited in the worst airport ever for our flight to Puerto Princesa, Palawan. Finally at about 6 pm we flew into Puerto Princesa, we were here and relaxing could begin. We waited for our bags and then went to the counter to find transport to our hotel in Coron. The guy looked at us very confused and told us our hotel was in Coron, we said we knew so how do we get there. He said you can't, not from here. There are only two flights that go to Coron and they leave on Tuesday and Sunday but today is Thursday. There are no boats, vans,cars, tricycles anything that can get us to our hotel. So we were going to have to stay in Puerto Princesa for the night and try again in the morning because everything at the airport was closing. Being Chinese New Year of course, everything was booked.  The tourist center guy was nice enough to call around and try to find us a hotel. He found us the Circon hotel. The air conditioner fell apart so I had to help the guy who worked there try to fix it because he couldn't. (good thing I was there) then he was trying to show me how to get hot water for the shower but instead he just looked at me and said, "Oh well, not working tonite, but maybe tomorrow." Haha alrighty then! The roof was caving in and the paint was peeling off the doors and walls, there was no phone and no fridge, or well anything really for that matter but there was a bed and that's all we needed to get us through until the next morning at 6 am when we would be back at the airport trying to get a flight out of here to our proper destination. Everything is sold out as far as they know but we will try. We're going to have to get a flight back to Manila and then fly to Basuanga and then forfeit out tickets back that we already had. If we can't get a flight we're going to try to book a hotel in Narra but only tomorrow will tell.

Feb. 4,2011- Leaving our dodgy hotel to continue the adventure
So today did not start off too well. We hadn't gotten much sleep due to a power failure in the middle of the night so we had no air-con in a boiling hot room, so it was more like a sweat box than a room. Also the thought of not knowing if we would have a place to stay the next night was weighing heavily on our minds. We checked out of our hotel and got on a tricycle to the airport at about 6:30 am. However, the tricycle that we happened to acquire on this fine morning didn't work very well and kept stalling on the way there. We did make it to the airport at 6:45 am despite the constant task of our poor driver having to start his bike every 5 mins. The airport doesn't open until 7:30 though so a 45min wait for us. The problem was that I had not been feeling very well so I took some very strong drugs to try to fight the infection but I took them on an empty stomach so my waiting time consisted of my puking up my green pills for about 10 or 15mins. NICE!!! My mom went off to try to find something open at this stupid hour in the morning as I sat by my green and blue vomit hoping that it would stop. 
At last the airport opened and we both ran to different airline kiosks to get a flight my mom went to Air Cebu and I went to Air Philippines, both had flights but mine was cheaper at a whopping $11,000.00 PHP. So we booked them and then found out that they only take cash, so I stayed as collateral and my mom went all over Puerto Princesa with a very nice tricycle driver. She ha to go into five different banks before she found one that would take her Hong Kong card. The tricycle driver had started coming in with her for the last three as I think he thought she was doing something wrong or something. He'd squish himself inside the tiny little kiosk with her and tell her which buttons to push. haha! When she got back, 20 mins before we were supposed to board we paid the tix which with tax came to $11952.00 php and the guy looked at it and said, "Oh I don't have change" to which my mom calmly replied, "just keep it" The flight to Manila was very nice, brand new plane (from Canada) and was very short with a lovely cabin crew. I sat beside this little old lady who clutched her rosary with both hands for the entire 1 hr flight. The second flight was not as nice it was only about 50 mins but the plane was smaller and older and you could feel every bump of turbulence in the air. after landing in Basuanga we had to find a form of transport to get to Coron. So with fingers crossed we attempted to find a van or something to take us. We found one right away and were packed into a van with 10 other people and their luggage for $150 php each. Slowly the van emptied out as people were dropped off at their hotels. Finally it was our turn, so the driver drove towards the water which I would consider a good sign. Sweet hotel on the water but then he stopped and looked back at us and said, "oh boats not here yet." okay bad sign! WE need a boat to get to our hotel? Where the heck are we staying? So he went to drop off the rest of the people in the van and come back to us later. We went back to the pier and still no boat. We were beginning to wonder if our trip to our hotel was ever going to end. The van driver called our hotel and they said they would send a boat for us. So the boat finally came and after a 2 day journey we were finally here! We got to Uson Island where our hotel was and found that this island is probably only named because it has one small resort on it and nothing else. Our room was okay but one of the first things we noticed was that there was no tv. they gave us some welcome drinks which were some coconuts with straws, I love those ones. The resort has a pool and free sea kayaks and wifi although neither of us brought a computer to access this free wifi with. After unpacking and getting settled we decided to go into town for dinner and drinks. So we got a boat back to town (which is about 10-15mins away) and then walked around and had dinner. It gets very dark very fast here as there are no street lights or anything but you get a wonderful view of the starry night sky. While we waited for our boat to come back to pick us up there was a tiny little boat that came in full of vegetables and such. First it was just a few little guys unloading this boat but slowly more and more people just came down to help out. It was really dark though so I couldn't really get a great pic though, but it was very cool. We got back to our resort and had some margaritas that would burn your insides out and then went to our room to play some cards games, read our books and go to bed. Also feel as though I should add there is no power here between 9am and 6pm in order to conserve the generators. 

Feb. 5th -The day to work it all out so we can enjoy the rest of our trip!!
We got up and went for our free breakfast which was a very lovely American breakfast with loads of fruit. We also met the manager of the resort, Jo, Jo had heard about our flight delays and problems and wanted to come over and offer her help. She spent all afternoon on the phone while we swan and sunbathed by the pool. Once she made some progress she came over to tell us she had found us some flights out of Busuanga and to Manila but she couldn't get a flight to HK as no one dealt with out of country flights in the town and we would probably have to book them online or when we got to Manila. So we said no problem and went into Coron town to pay for our flights. The lady at the counter was the worst cow ever and told us we had no booking and basically to get lost. Finally after great urging to keep checking I told her I was going to phone Jo and her boss and miraculously our reservation was found! TADA! So we got our tix and went a walking around town. It didn't really take very long and there was really anything to do but we did find this amazing little village all on stilts. I'm pretty sure that every town in Asia has one though since they don't really seem all that rare to me anymore. I did take pictures of it of course though. then back to resort for dinner drinks and games.
 Feb.6- Pool day
Not much happened swam, got burned, had some drinks and food and booked an island hopping trip for tomorrow.

Feb. 7- The day I was supposed to go back to work but didn't/ island hopping

So an early start today for island hopping. We had our breakfast and arranged our lunch and off we went in our little boat with the two best tour guides ever. Our guide from the resort was Jimson which was awesome cuz he's totally my fave from the resort, and our driver was a guy names Solomon who was the nicest guy ever, not super English but super nice and beautiful. (too bad he's married) The first place we went to was the twin lagoon, which has an indigenous tribe that you can see there. We had to get off the boat and right into the water and then swim through a cave into this gorgeous lagoon. It had mountains all around and amazing coral underneath. It's also one of the cleanest lakes in the world and is 20% fresh water and 80% salt water. Unfortunately our camera died here. Next we went to Kayangan Lake, you have to climb up 150 steps and you can go into this amazing cave and see this amazing view of the water below. and then go down 150 steps to get to this gorgeous little lake with Crystal clear water. Here the mixture of water is 30% salt water and 70% fresh water so it's easier to dive under and look at the fish and coral. There was a cave that you could swim into although it was a pretty tight squeeze to get into so if you're claustrophobic probably not a good plan. Then back up the 150 steps and down 150 to get to our boat. Onto the last island Banol Beach which was amazing because you could go snorkeling an see so many different kinds of fish. It was amazing and fantastic i wish I could have just held my breath and stayed under water for way longer it was a whole other world. 

That night we also convinced our tour guides, Jimson and Solomon, to come and do video Karaoke with us which was very fun and lasted for hours.