Trouble in Hong Kong…

an outsider's perspective of hong kong

Archive for February 2011

mixing it well

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i absolutely hate mixing drinks because i am terrible at it. i always get it wrong. sometimes it’s too much juice, sometimes it’s too much alcohol. out of the 10 times i try mixing drinks, i’d say the chances of me getting it right is about 2 or 3.  but no worries, i have found the perfect solution in vnc cocktail.

you can buy them from all major supermarkets in hong kong like fusion, city super and sogo. i sampled a few different flavors but finally went along with the pomegranate cosmopolitan. it’s good to drink it on its own or add some other stuff. i added some sprite and that was GOOOOOD!!! before i know it, i was fast asleep on the couch.

i love vnc!! i think i am going to try the mojito next and i’ll pass on the banana daiquiri. alcoholic banana is just way too weird for my taste buds!

Written by smalltroubleinhk

February 24, 2011 at 5:07 am

for some reasons

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today i want to dedicate a post about how lucky i am to be alive today and where i am today!

1.) when i was younger, i dated a french boy. as much as there was a lot of hype about all things french, i must say i did not understand a lot things that are fundamentally french. i didn’t understand why french people work so little, i didn’t understand why the french people rely so much on the government to solve problems for them and i didn’t understand the concept of social welfare and enjoying life like as though there was no tomorrow. 300 years ago, the world was europe, 200 years ago it was the british empire, 50 years ago, it was america but today to be asian and to be witnessing the miracle of the asian economic transformation and being multi lingual – it is the best gift in the world.

2.) our access to information. just 20 years ago, if you want to do a thesis paper on anything, you would be spending hours in the archive and library but today information is at our finger tips. if i forget anything now, i’ll just google it or facebook my friends. that saves you so much time!

3.) i was at the gym yesterday and my friend came over and said – i am still so upset about the manila tragedy where hk tourists were killed in the tour bus. she said – do you think if they were locals, the government would have reacted the same way?

i said probably even worse because there was no foreign interventions and watch dogs. i made the right decision 5 years ago to pack up my belongings and moved to hk. it is easy for us to overlook what we have but i come from a country where corruption is rampant and people get bullied all the time.

i remember once my best friend and i were in the car and we made an illegal u- turn. a policeman stopped us and asked us if we had wanted to settle it there or via a fine. fresh out of food shopping, we only had rm17 in our wallets and we gave it to him. at that moment, i was angry with the policeman but after a while, my anger was transferred to the system that we have to live with.

my brother always says change will come. they will take the current government out. my question is… then what? someone in the opposition raises to the occasion? this is when i think if only history was better taught in school. whatever we are going through in the middle east was france in 1789, russia in 1905 and china in 1911. a period of anarchy would ensue. before you know it, you are an old person. your life has slipped you by. do you still want to fight? i’d rather move to a country where the least i am guaranteed are opportunities and peace – i don’t need anything else. yes change will come but at what cost?

that is why when i came to hk, i was so grateful. people here have so much freedom and women are well educated.  it was a nightmare in the beginning to leave behind my family and friends but pain never lasts. you will always find a way to overcome it.

Written by smalltroubleinhk

February 22, 2011 at 10:30 am

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the last of the jacksons

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you never listen to music like how you used to listen to music when you were a kid. fascination, adulation, obsession are some of the spectrum of emotions i feel whenever i try and think about some of my childhood music idols – madonna, michael jackson, kylie minogue, janet jackson and mariah carey.

when michael jackson passed away, i was devastated. it was like a confirmation that my childhood had ended and i had to say goodbye to a good chapter of my life. michael was the reason. his songs offered me so much more than entertainment. he had sparked my imagination. he made me want to dance like him. he made me want to attempt crazy gravity defying moves. when i was a child, i did not understand racial implications. michael jackson to me was just one of the most special people in the world.

when we found out hong kong was one of the selected cities for janet jackson’s number 1s world tour – there was no way i was going to miss that. it is rather possible that i will not see another jackson perform. even if someday – paris, blanket or prince michael become stars in their own right, i would have been too old to enjoy it. so ” this is it” it really was.

i didn’t dare have too much expectation of janet because she is already 45 years old and throughout the years – her weight had roller -coasted and personal issues i am sure had worn her down.

the concert had some “moments” especially when she performed her earlier hits like miss you much, rhythm nation, if, someone to call my lover, together again. that relived so many good memories i had of her songs. i didn’t think it was possible but i remembered most of the lyrics to her songs – i suppose it was always in my subconscious waiting for a trigger to come along.

perhaps this was no fault of janet’s but i was pretty disappointed with the way the organizer handled her costume breaks. at one point, they had like close to a 10 minute montage of the films she had done. it was so unnecessary and disjointed. the flow of the concert was overall bad.

and this is the issue with international artists that come to asia. i am not sure if it is because we have such substandard concert venues but it doesn’t look as though they try hard enough. again, i suppose right now everybody looks at asia as the money tree but think we that we are still relatively unsophisticated and passive. it’s very frustrating because ticket prices are very expensive in asia. whatever we seem to paying for isn’t reflected in whatever we get.

after all said and done, i am glad to have seen one of my favorite artists alive!! well i hope lady gaga would come soon. can’t think of many great entertainers currently and gaga’s one of the rare ones.

thank you agi for letting me use your photos!!

Written by smalltroubleinhk

February 20, 2011 at 11:04 am

what a wonderful island

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we had a few good days of sunshine over the chinese new year holiday ( speaking which i really miss it now because the weather this past week had been so horrible, wet and cold!!!) and we headed out to the beautiful po toi island. it is most southern island in hong kong, a nature lover’s paradiso.

thanks to my gym buddies who organized this trip, i was so happy to be invited to tag along to see yet another facet of hong kong which i find very intriguing. there is absolutely nothing on po toi island. there are only about 10 -20 odd people who live permanently on the island. most of the natives had left the island and moved into the city. they sometimes come back during the weekend to enjoy this deserted island.

while i do not have immediate plans to move there i am glad that there are still places in hong kong to retreat to when life gets a bit too crazy. you know it’s very funny when i tell people actually there are still so many places in hong kong worth discovering besides new shops at causeway bay or tsim sha tsui. when i told my hairstylist, i went to po toi island over the holiday, she thought it was close to hainan island. geography i suppose isn’t one of her fortes.

sophie loves ” being the centre of attention”. look at her eavesdropping on our conversation


every time i come to places like this - there is a soundtrack in my head " i think to myself what a wonderful world"

the famous palm clift - try putting your palm next to it

sophie enjoying her dip after a long walk

my shadow and i

our billion dollar lunch spot ( sophie closing in with long sad faces..please feed me)

if you look hard enough, you could actually see sea urchins growing by the boulders

if you say jump, we will say - HOW HIGH????

to go to po toi island – get to either stanley or aberdeen. the ferry service are infrequent so plan in advance. if you are that unlucky to miss the last boat out, there is a lady that sells snacks and drinks close to the pier. she knows where you can rent a place for the night.

i left my heart in kaikoura

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there are only about 3500 people living in kaikoura new zealand and that explains its captivating unspoiled beauty. it is so beautiful, i have no words to describe it. being close to the sea is one of my sources of happiness and kaikoura has that kind of effect on me.

i have not seen a seaside town like quite like kaikoura. known for its whale watching/ swimming with the dolphins tours, many people come to this town to witness for themselves, the miracles of man’s last unconquered frontier – the ocean.

we stayed at brook house a bed and breakfast i picked out from the b&b guide book. i must say throughout the whole trip, brook house was the best place we had stayed at. the guide book  reads – judy and louis( the poodle) welcome you to their home. and also their two cats, bruce willis and i forgot the other cat’s name because he was hardly around.

as it turned out, judy the host works for the whaling company and when she found out that we hadn’t made any bookings. she immediately called the company and put us on the waiting list ( note: people who come here for whale watching sometimes book years in advance especially europeans)

there are seven rooms at the brook house. judy had bought the property shortly after her divorce because she wanted to share her home with people from all over the world. her sons are working in japan and london and because her father had loved kaikoura so much, they came here a lot during the summer when she was a child. coming back to kaikoura had been a sentimental choice. well, i am glad judy had done so. one would be blind to not see the amount of careful thought and consideration, she had put into making brook house a pleasant stay.

if you stay at the brook house, remember to have some of judy's home baked chocolate muffins. they will be the reason why i go back there again and also to see louis the sweet black poodle

the garden view - overlooking mount fyffe. we should have hiked up mount fyffe, it doesnt take that long!

the view was just splendid!! note - we didn't take a picture when we checked in, this was taken when we were about to leave and hence the messy bed

thanks to judy we managed to do the whale watch. right before we had boarded the boat out the authorities had put on a sea-sickness notice but i thought hell, i have come all the way and i am not going back without seeing a whale.

the national geographic moment. to be this close and see a whale with your naked eyes - it is a miracle in itself!!

according to our guide - they have been friends with this particular whale for 20 years. the whale knows them very well by now.

apparently the same last year this rock was just filled with seals - the la nina phenomenon sweeping across the globe has some terrifying effects on every living being

dolphins are my favorite sea animals. these are dusky dolphins - swimming along with the bed trying like as though they are trying to tease us into a game of hide and seek

the seal colony - i can't believe this place

nothing beats a nice fish & chips by the sea

this is how close you can get to a seal ( if it is sleeping, not a good idea otherwise)

if you like nice romantic dinners like i do and watch the sunset

i love this photo!!

i think i left my heart in kaikoura and i know you will too.

if you want to visit judy and louis at the brook house and if you want more information about kaikoura

Written by smalltroubleinhk

February 17, 2011 at 4:39 am

my girl victoria

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i am a huge fan of victoria beckham. you know at the back of every person’s mind- there is an image of someone you want to be and mine is victoria beckham. i know that she uses david beckham and i know she is extremely manipulative and savvy but who cares in life to be successful – there is a combination to it. this is a woman is who is by many’s standard quite average but why is it that whenever she walks out – she has such vroom vrrrooom vrrrooom?

she is fierce and scary. she should fierce posh spice and not just posh. i want a body like victoria. i want hair like victoria. i want her practical intelligence!!! and tell me doesn’t she look beautiful on the cover of vogue this month? i haven’t seen her so natural in a long time. sometimes i forget how delicate her face really is.. beautiful!!

victoria beckham is in my mind one of the few women who so damn good in pants. i never really like her in dresses except really tight shift dresses. there is androgynous element to her style that makes her so different from so many other style icons.

Written by smalltroubleinhk

February 16, 2011 at 2:46 am

heaven i am in heaven……

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one day not too long ago in the car, my mother said to my brother and i with so much sadness in her voice – ” you guys really need to know where your great grand parents were buried because when people of my generation die, there will be no one to tend their graves”.

it then i realized something, we waste far too much time over the course of our lifetime on somewhat preserving a legacy. the fact of the matter is that, seriously for most of us – after four generations, the most visible part of you is perhaps your tombstone. can anyone tell a story of you? i highly doubt so.

there was never a day that went by that i think-  oh god does not exist. honestly. the way i see it, all the miracles i see everyday that to me is prove that there is something divine that had created all of it. there is god almighty – that much i believe.

whenever people find out that i come from a broken home religious people especially always like to come after me and try to convert me. believe me, i think i have listened to a lot of ” religious propositions”. the sales pitch is almost always about eternity.

i remember asking this person – okie, eternity, living forever. before you think i am mocking anyone or any religion can we just think about this with an open mind for one minute? after all if you want a sale from me, you better find a way to overcome my objection.

the concept of heaven and eternity. i go there when i die and i live there forever. what do you do forever?r? you look at me and i look at you, let’s eat some fruits together. i mean really like, come on – even vampires get tired of living forever. i am sure after about 4000 years of living, you will be like absolutely sick of living. don’t you think?

but i think as humans in general, it is almost unfathomable for us to accept that we are a passing phase in the bigger scheme of things. but we are. if you could go on living forever, there is no meaning to living. i don’t think god put any of us here and wait for our time in heaven to start. so my choice is, i want to make the best of my time here.

my ex boss whom honestly i think is the best and kindest person in the world, i often think about her when the subject of the after life comes into play. i think throughout her entire life, she practices a lot of restraint and patience. i have seen people try to push her around, treat her terribly but still she keeps her stride. i hope there is heaven for her sake but if there isn’t, i hope she doesn’t think f*** i wished i had punched that assh*** in the nose when he said that about me.

Written by smalltroubleinhk

February 9, 2011 at 1:24 am

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