Trouble in Hong Kong…

an outsider's perspective of hong kong

Archive for August 2010

basement hong kong

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i took my husband to basement hong kong for his birthday dinner last saturday. i love gough street. i love all the quaint furniture shops like homeless and carrie chau’s gallery along that stretch.

it was our first time to basement. i have walked past it a few times and i have absolutely fallen in love with the interior. it looks like more an art gallery than a restaurant. i know why now. homeless and basement share the same owner – no wonder the whole place looks like a showroom.

i really like basement. first of all, the service is amazing and the servers are absolutely attentive and good looking ( always an incentive to have appetizer for the eyes) i like that the restaurant is nicely laid out and there is ample space. it is not one of those dining places, whereby you literally could hear the stranger next to you slicing his steak.

we had the rack of lamb and black cod. loved the lamb but the black cod was too fishy.when i complained about the fish, they immediately suggested that i tried something else on the menu. i opted for the crab risotto – which was unbelievable. very very tasty.

as i have told them beforehand that dinner was to celebrate rudi’s birthday – they recommended us to try out the house’s special. it is collection of their best desserts served on a wooden try.they were so sweet to inscribe rudi’s name on the wooden panel. i seriously loved their banana cake and green tea cheese cake ( oh god i love everything green tea, that is like my favorite flavor in the world). unlike a lot of  banana cakes that i have tried, the filling is moist and warm. very well done!

i was so full at the end of the night i was rubbing my tummy – hahaha! can’t wait to bring some people back there especially for the dessert

basement is at 29 gough street, central hong kong


happy birthday my best friend!

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after my dad walked out of my mum’s life, i used to play this game a lot – i pretended that if i closed my eyes hard enough, long enough  everything would go back to the way it was. i was six that year. my youngest brother was two months old. i don’t remember a lot of things. i just remembered my dad stopped coming home at night.

when i was 16 or 17, i made the resolution to make myself as independent and as strong as possible and live life like as though i don’t need anyone but myself. for the longest time, it worked – till i met my husband.

till now, if you asked me honestly, i am not angry at my parents at all. they have instilled that fear in me that life is not necessarily made of roses and fresh air. as a matter of fact, i am grateful for the experience. they gave me a lot of reference to think about; about what i want in my relationships with men.

in 2005, i met my husband. when i met him, his first marriage had just ended. i remember asking myself – how come someone so nice is not appreciated. if only i had a husband like that.

it wasn’t too long before i told him that i liked him. trust me i am not someone who is discreet. i believe that if you want something you have to state your intention. i hate beating around the bush.

i recently told my friend jamie – i think i ran out of luck the day i married my husband – haha! i really think so but it’s okie though.

at the end of the day, i don’t think i married someone or anyone. i married my best friend.

today is my best friend’s birthday – happy birthday darling!!!!!!

Written by smalltroubleinhk

August 29, 2010 at 4:34 am

flipping your mind

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there is a lady who lives in discovery bay and bump into her every now and then whenever i am taking sophie out for a walk. she is one of those people, i avoid like plague.

she has issues with everyone, with everything. every time you meet her, she tells you how the world is stacked up against her. i am sure some of you may know people like that.

at my last brush with her, she was telling me that she has to go back to canada because she has LOST EVERYTHING ( she reemphasized that again and again)

how? she fell off the bus a few months ago and since the fall she has been in a lawsuit with citybus. she is now suing them for indemnity and lost wages as she hasn’t been able to work for months.

these were her exact words as she touched my neck ” you wouldn’t have survived the fall”. she then inspected my five feet less than one inch frame.

i listened intently and i said  ” but you did. you survived the fall”.

she didn’t pay much attention to what i said and continued. as she has now “lost everything”, she has no choice but to move back to canada and live with her parents in a retirement village.

she said with anger, ” what am i going to do in a freaking retirement village?”

whenever i hear stories like that, i feel really sad because more often than not we choose to not see the opportunities that life has presented us with..

first of all, when i said ” but you survived the fall” and she totally ignored what i said. if she had just kept quiet for one brief minute, it doesn’t take a lot of common sense to see that life has presented her with a second chance.

as for living in a retirement village filled with old people. this is my take. have you seen how old people live? there is so much we can do for them to give them a better sense of dignity or help them live better. if i were her, these would be my potential business plans

1.) learn how to do facial/ manicure/pedicure/hair cuts and give old people the chance to look good. everybody wants to look good right.

2.) shopping service for old people – organize planned shopping trips to help old people do their shopping. even something as basic as grocery shopping they may have trouble with.

3.) catering better food for old people

4.) day trips for old people

so many possibilities… the thing ever since i was young, i always believe that sometimes if you have to walk a certain road, no matter how hard it is. just try and look out for exit signs, any signs at all. come out that road as a better person not an angry one.

anger always blinds you. choose your views well.

look for that silver lining. it’s not too hard to find it if you accept the situation then find the solution.

Written by smalltroubleinhk

August 26, 2010 at 9:11 am

big toys for small and big men

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i am married to a man who loves toys.

i am cool with it because at least he doesn’t play with other girls” ( to the best of my knowledge at least but then again, you could never tell- haha)

my husband loves going to mongkok to look at toys. i like going to mongkok to discover new trends. do you know that mongkok and causeway bay are test markets for  new electronic products and consumer goods?

i grew up with boys. while growing up, i had more robots than barbie dolls. so i relate well to guy’s world. when my brother came  to hong kong to visit me. i took him to dundas street in mongkok. the man was so overwhelmed, i think he cried tears of joy. i felt his sense of serenity. it was like as though he found paradise on earth.

see what i mean, on dundas street there is one whole row of shops.. selling only guns like that. i wonder if dick cheney is involved?

these guns look like better guns than what the filipino police are using..

i saw guys that hang out in front of those stores wearing things like that. i love how seriously they take it

dundas street in mongkok is the place to go if you have an obssession for boys’ toys. the street is literally filled with shops that sell air guns and war artilleries. it looks so real. i wanted to ask if i could hold it and touch it  just to feed my curiosity. i just cannot believe that there is a whole community of war game enthusiasts but looking at ” the supply”, i don’t doubt the scale of demand.

all i can say is -for someone to open a shop like this.. he must be a gundam nut.however it is nice to make money out of something you love

i found a shop that sells only gundams. my friend eugene would have gone crazy in there – the shop is called new g and because i love my friend so much, i asked for the business card

the address is ( for all gundam enthusiasts)

shop 1, prosper commercial building no. 9 yin cheong street mongkok. tel: 2397 8588

girls – if you are in hong kong for a holiday, make sure you dump your men at dundas street. you will be able to shop in peace. they will be entertained for at least half a day just on that one street.

Written by smalltroubleinhk

August 25, 2010 at 3:53 am

a nice summer weekend in hong kong

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there is a lot that you can do in hong kong.

there are times i choose not to do much but to hang out with friends – we don’t hang out enough in hong kong. people here are always scurrying around and always keeping to a busy schedule.

i had a good relaxing weekend and i hope you did too.

i love summer weekends like this. blue skies, puffy white clouds resembling dancing marshmallows in the sky.

yesterday karen and i sat outdoor for lunch at isola at ifc. this has to be one of the longest lunches i have had in a long time. it’s just that we haven’t seen each other in so long and we had so much catching up to do. i enjoyed every bit of it. it was such a beautiful summer day overlooking the victoria harbor.

i honestly love living in hong kong. there is something about living close to the sea that comforts me. every time i come to isola for lunch, i honestly don’t remember the food much. i just remember the view but this time however, we ordered the beef carpaccio. it was superb.

i haven’t been to the beach much since summer started. sophie my 6 year old labrador loves the water and a good game of tennis ball. as well, i am in dire need of a nice tan. i don’t look good pale, my skin’s natural tone is kinda sallow and slightly greenish. when i am too fair, i look sick and plus this year because of my bad neck – i didn’t do the dragon boat. i want to get back to it next year hopefully.

whenever sophie catches the sight of a tennis ball, she goes MAD.. do you think that this hereditary trait for labrador retrievers? maybe it says it in the name, retriever. ever since i was young with all my experiences with this particular breed of dog, they are crazy about balls..

goodnight everyone. have a good week ahead. sophie is snoring at my feet.

the curious case of benjamin button – one of the most beautiful films of all time

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watched benjamin button again two nights ago. it  is one of my favorite films of all time after cinema paradiso and forrest gump. it is such a beautiful film and the script was so beautifully crafted. the talent of the people who made this film really astound me beyond words. i bawled like mad all over again. two hours after the movie ended, i was still in tears. i cried and sobbed so hard, i think anyone walking outside my house would have heard me.

and oh my god, is there anything in the world that more beautiful than brad pitt?

best lines of the film lies in the beginning and when caroline found the birthday cards benjamin had left her towards the end.

i hope you have a chance to watch the curious case of benjamin button. it’s splendid.

my favorite lines from the movie

( in reference to the great war)

Mr. Gateau was, from birth, absolutely blind.

When their son was old enough,

he joined the army.

And they prayed God would keep him out of harm's way.

For months,

he did nothing but work on that clock.

One day,a letter came.

And Mr. Gateau, done for the night,

went up, alone, to bed.

And their son came home.

They buried him in the family plot,

where he would be with them

when their time came.

Mr. Cake worked on his clock,

laboring to finish.

It was a morning to remember.

Papa said

there were people everywhere. Even Teddy Roosevelt came.

It's running backwards!

I made it that way  so that perhaps the boys

that we lost in the war

might stand and come home again.

Home to farm,

work,have children.

To live long, full lives.  

Perhaps my own son might come home again.

I'm sorry if I've offended anybody.

I hope you enjoy my clock.

Mr. Cake was never seen again.

when caroline found out that benjamin was her father and saw all the cards he had left her

I left,

before you could ever remember me.

''I left with just the clothes on my back.''

It's for me. 1970. I was two.

''Happy Birthday.

''I wish

I could have kissed you good night.''

They're all for me.  

Five. ''I wish I could have taken you

to your first day of school.''

Six. ''I wish I could have been there

to teach you to play piano.''

1981 , 13.

''I wish I could have told you

not to chase some boy.

''I wish I could have held you

when you had a broken heart.

''I wish I could have been your father.

Nothing I ever did will replace that.''

''For what it's worth, it's never too late,

-''or, in my case, too early...''

-...or, in my case, too early,

to be whoever you want to be.

There's no time limit.

Start whenever you want.  

You can change or stay the same.

There are no rules to this thing.

We can make the best or the worst of it.

And I hope you make the best of it.

I hope you see things that startle you.

I hope you feel things

you never felt before.

I hope you meet people

with a different point of view.

I hope you live a life you're proud of.

And if you find that you're not,

I hope you have the strength

-to start all over again.

-''...start all over again.''

Written by smalltroubleinhk

August 20, 2010 at 8:16 am

the state of shit

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i was talking to a good friend of mine who works as a producer in a production house. as we are in our early 30s, we have been in the job force in the last 8- 10 years. in the last few years throughout many different business industries i have noticed a staggering trend – it has become increasingly difficult to make a healthy margin in business. it is like as though all businesses have become so commoditized that the only way a business could compete is via drastic price wars.

looking at how things are historically, this i must say commoditization of any industry is a normal phenomenon. the only thing abnormal i find right now is how slow we are at creating new industries that would lead to the creation of new types of jobs.

do you understand what i am saying? sometimes i feel that many of us know that we are riding on a dying a horse but we don’t know how to get off that horse or find a better horse.

my friend who does tv ads tell me – margins have become so low that it is impossible to offer any junior staff a good salary. i mean seriously, for years i have used commercial breaks as toilet breaks. why would anyone pay for something that has so little value? don’t we ask ourselves these questions anymore?

i suspect that across many corporate jobs – we have to bear the reality of

1.) losing more jobs because it doesn’t make sense to demand higher pay anymore

2.) drastic cost cutting on company expenses because of the lack of innovative ” block buster products” ( nowadays we are better at following orders more than listening to our gut instincts)

3.) the younger generation will suffer from the lack purpose and highly  unused innate talent.

how the hell did we get stuck in this shit?

have we become too complacent? have we become too afraid to try new things that aren’t tested?

not too long ago, when i was book browsing at page one. i was standing at the biography section staring at bookcovers – the trump story, warren buffett, richard branson…

why have we all been thought to idolize and try to emulate the success of these people? sure, we can learn from them because i am sure successful people have a legitimate reason to be successful but if we think that we could replicate or be the next trump, it is stupid!. the resources available to them is entirely different for you and i.

instead we need to train ourselves to think  – okie now, these are the resources that are available to me. how can i mine it? in hawaii, whenever there is a tsunami, people who are close by the beach are taught to swim out to the sea. ride the wave, don’t ride against it.

and i feel that we are riding against the wave right now. change has taken place but we have become too attached with the old ways. we need to let go.

Written by smalltroubleinhk

August 19, 2010 at 5:16 am

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