Spreading the Love

Happy Valentine’s Day! You know, I have very mixed feelings about Valentine’s Day. First of all, it’s obviously an over-commercialized event that encourages people to spend more money. It’s one of those days where restaurants can charge $800 instead of $400 because their menu says “Valentine’s Set Menu” instead of “Dinner Set Menu”, and you get a smaller box of heart-shaped chocolates for the same price as the larger box of regular ones. Then, there’s also the fact that you shouldn’t only love someone on a specific day. Love is a verb, an action word, and I think we would all appreciate it if this action were continuous. But the one upside of this commercially-romantic day is that it gives us all a reminder and opportunity to reach out and extend our love to others who are not already in our loved circle. It’s a chance to reconnect with an old friend, or make a new one, just with simple acts of love. That’s why my Valentine’s cards go out every year, and this year we had a wonderful feast with our Lifegroup after Wednesday Service!

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This is somewhat related, but not really – I made red velvet cupcakes from scratch for the first time last week. While red velvet cupcakes are on top of the list of favourite Valentine’s Day treats, these ones were for a birthday. In case you don’t know me, I don’t have much of a talent for cooking, but I’d say I’m okay at baking. My treats don’t always come out perfect the first time, but I have a feel for how I can fix it for next time (and it won’t take me like ten million tries to get it right). I guess I haven’t made an actual cake for too long – I realized that I forgot all the itty bitty things that you need to do right, such as setting the ingredients to room temperature before you start, or alternating the dry and liquid ingredients when you mix. For the first time, I finally understand the power of Supermoist! Seriously, perfect ‘handmade’ cupcakes without having to go through all that trouble. Their red velvet cake mix isn’t bad either, just for the record. So anyway, my cakes came out way more moist than I was hoping for. The icing came out perfectly though, if I may say, but I’ll have to improve on the cake for next time.

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In case you’re wondering about my Valentine’s Day, it was spent with the rest of my co-workers… at our annual company dinner. It was held in the Asia-World Expo (next to the HK International Airport), with over 200 tables of 12 people each. I’m pretty sure they’re on a budget this year, and that’s why they purposely chose a date that lots of people would choose not to attend. That being said, there were still a heck of a lot of people there. I had no idea our company was so big! We got there early to play a bit of Mahjong (I still remember how to play!), and for the most part it was just like any other dinner at a Chinese restaurant. Yes, I spent Valentines with a few thousand other people showing our loyalty to our company.

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Actually, speaking of loyalty, lots of those long service awards were handed out yesterday – the first one given out at 20 years of service. I noticed that most of these people were labourers rather than engineers. There were also a few admin/HR staff, but equipment operators and labouring staff definitely took up the vast majority of these awards. I guess when you have too much potential in a sector that’s currently thriving, it’s hard to hold onto your talented staff. From what I hear though, these phases come and go in Hong Kong. Construction is still huge in Hong Kong right now, and I would it imagine it to continue for the next 5 to 10 years, but Hong Kong is only so big… seriously, they can only fill in so much of the ocean, unless they’re okay with this whole “we don’t need an island” thing.

This is also related to the other reason why I wouldn’t want to work in Hong Kong. The engineering industry in America is so much more innovative, you know? People are willing to dump money into an investment that they’re not sure about. That’s why we have all these great inventions, apps, new technology and other such things coming from America. It’s not always glorious, but when you finish a project, you feel so much more successful. In Hong Kong, it’s all about construction. They’ve built tons of buildings before, the need is still present, and so we’ll stick to what we know. As a result, innovation doesn’t work well here because people aren’t comfortable with taking these kinds of business risks, so there’s never enough investment for it. Frankly, I quite like creativity. If we only stick to what we know, this world would never move forward!

Have a great day everyone! Do something nice for your parents, enjoy some silly moments with a friend, and tell someone that you love them 🙂

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