Seventeen Thousand Words and More

If there’s something you should know about me, it’s that I take pictures of absolutely everything. There have been too many occasions in the past where I make a mental note of a cool thing that happened, but by the time I get home, I forget all the details without a visual accompaniment. Nowadays, when something interesting pops up, I always snap it first and ask questions later. It comes in handy particularly when I’m staring at a blank new post, and need some inspiration for a writing topic!

So anyway, today I’m looking through my pictures and I’m finding a lot of pictures that are kind of interesting, but there isn’t enough material for me to write up an entire post on just one event. What do you do? Make a photo collaboration!

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This is some collaboration between a super expensive Japanese brand of stationery and Hong Kong’s star ferry. All their products look really nice, especially with the green and white colours, and there’s a very nice vintage feel to them… except that, like I said, they’re super expensive! I couldn’t even bring myself to buy a set of bookmark clips, which were like $90 HKD or something. But these are the kinds of things that capture me – I’m always interested in these brand crossovers.

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I walk from Hong Kong Station to Central Station every day – there’s a path connected underground, but it’s still a somewhat long walk. In the middle of this path is a large open area, and sometimes they fill the space with some random exhibit or something. They just happened to have an exhibit full of pictures of penguins for a few days last month! Usually I walk right past the hall, but this one really caught my attention.

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This is another iconic representative of Hong Kong – their ice cream truck! In my honest opinion, the ice cream that they sell really doesn’t taste that good though. I never grew up with this thing, and so I have a lot more emotion towards our typical Nestle ice cream truck that drive around the neighbourhood while playing ‘The Entertainer’. But I guess just from previous visits, and seeing this thing everywhere (especially in the summer), I know it’s a big deal to people here.

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I don’t remember what bakery this was at, but it’s definitely the longest pineapple bun I’ve ever seen! Pineapple buns are definitely one of my favourite Hong Kong foods, but they aren’t too good for my diet 😦

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After coming back from Japan, you’d expect me to be familiar with all the crazy weird flavours of Pocky and Pretz by now. Little did I expect Hong Kong to have their own special flavours too! I’m someone that really likes to try new things, but I’m done with their varieties of chips and Pocky. If your’e talking about something like ice cream or chocolate, at least they have a very obvious change of ingredients. With these kinds of snacks, it’s just a change of chemically engineered flavouring, and still paired with a lot of MSG and salt. Just eat a few packs of weird flavours, and everything seems to taste the same after a while (you can easily tell with the aftertaste). So while it’s interesting to see and capture, I’m done with the taste tests!

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Here’s a taste of local Hong Kong for you – 大排檔! It’s getting harder and harder to see actual stalls on the side of the streets nowadays though. Even though the food may be similar, a lot of these places have moved into stores or the cooked food levels of the local market. 大排檔 is such a low-level class of dining in Hong Kong, but it’s not as cheap as you might expect! You could easily pay $150 per person, depending on what dishes you get. This was in Ho Man Tin, at Oi Man Estate. I can’t say it was particularly good, but it wasn’t bad either. The type where I wouldn’t complain, but I don’t like enough to go back.

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November is the month of Wine and Dine here in Hong Kong! I’ve been seeing these huge wine bottles all over the place – earlier in Causeway Bay, and this in Wan Chai. My friends attended one of the nights in Central, but I was too tired to go. I heard that both the food and wine is very nice, so I’m hoping I have time to give it a look. There still another half of November left for me to try it out, but time is ticking!

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For everyone wondering where I got my customized wax seal, its on this street in Sheung Wan. It’s a small alleyway also dubbed 圖章街 (Street of Stamps), and every single stall sells some sort of stamps, whether it be ink or wax or those ancient Chinese seals. This wax seal thing is sort of a fad in Hong Kong right now, after it appeared in a TV drama last year. But since I actually write a lot of [hand-written] letters, it’s a nice complement to have.

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Nothing much, just typical Hong Kong street food. Also one of the causes of my sore throat this week.

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There’s this chain of restaurants called Tai Hing here, known for their BBQ pork and other BBQ goodies. I finally tried it last week – their BBQ meats are average, but this milk tea has got to be the coolest thing ever! Some other HK style restaurants would give you your milk tea in a metal cup, because it cools quickly after they put it in the fridge, and they can skip the ice… but that also means it warms quickly once it’s on your table. This keeps the drink cold and the ice out!

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I went to China last week for a big dinner at a Chinese restaurant, and I must say, I don’t remember the last time having such an elaborate meal. Sure, we do large table dinners at Chinese restaurants every so often in Vancouver and even in Hong Kong, but in China it’s like a totally different thing. There’s ten dishes, and a taste of every type of wild animal available. I’m sure we only ate around 60-70% of the food served to our tables. It’s partially because it was a large event that night, but judging by what other people had to say, these dinners are usually more exaggerated in China compared to Hong Kong.

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Health Works is a brand of healthy food and drinks (but mostly drinks), all Chinese style. The type of stuff where they put all sorts of weird ingredients you’ve never heard of in a pot and make a [usually] good-tasting drink out of it. I didn’t know this before last week, but you can also get Chinese herbal medicine there! This stuff is actually quite bitter, but it works. Make sure you ask the staff for a recommendation though, because this is real medicine and not just like vitamin water or something.

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Hong Kong has interesting flavours of everything! I bet you’ve never seen this before….

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And finally, this is a fishing village near where I work in Tung Chung. The view is amazing! You can clearly see the cable cars leading up to the to of Lantau Island (where the giant Buddha statue is), and aside from that, it’s all blue and green. The air still isn’t as fresh as in Vancouver, but in Hong Kong, it’s probably as good as it gets. You get a nice sea breeze blowing against your face. It feels really nice! We drove here for lunch on Saturday (we usually try to get a better lunch in on Saturdays, since having to work is already such a downer), and the restaurants are quite dirty, but the food is cheap and it tastes better than our usual fast food restaurants. All the boats remind me of Lei Yue Mun, but this place is much more worn down and probably cheaper too. Lei Yue Mun is a bit dressed up for tourists.

So there’s photodump #1 for you. I’m sure there’s more to come – it’s the easy way out when I want to blog with an empty mind. Besides, who doesn’t like pictures? Don’t deny it – you know you just skim through these posts for pictures anyway.

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