Attitude is Everything

My aim has always been to write at least once a week on this blog, and on average I’ve been able to achieve that goal. After all, this would be my 63rd article over the past eight months, and there are only 52 weeks in a year. But eight days have elapsed since this post and the previous one! In some sense, I still feel like I failed a bit.

I’ve been pretty busy these days, but I also feel like I’ve been staying away because I don’t really have anything meaningful to say. Of course, as I say time and time again: life is an adventure. There’s always something to talk about if you have the heart and mind for it. Attitude is everything.

So, let’s start with an observation: there is barely any difference between the hot and cold water tap at home here in Hong Kong. I thought I was the only one that noticed this to be weird, until I had a chat with a friend also from Vancouver. Of course, the reason is obvious once you think about it. My home in Vancouver has a huge boiler room that contains a reservoir of super hot water, maintained at a certain temperature. The cold water pipes are also naturally a bit chilly, so you feel the water come out as quite refreshing.

On the other hand, Hong Kong doesn’t have that abundance of space to include a boiler room in your average apartment. Hot water is simply run through a water heater, which is usually that small box you see in the bathroom. There’s a bit of storage space, but not much, and households often turn off the power to conserve energy anyway. As a result, you don’t often immediately get scalding hot water out of your hot water tap. With cold water tap, the harsh sunlight and heat warms up the water pipes so that cold water also comes out a bit warmer than usual. You definitely won’t get the chill that you feel in Vancouver! Maybe this topic isn’t so amusing to people who are used the phenomena, but these are the kinds of things that this Vancouverite finds interesting.

Last week, I went to visit a museum that exhibited the entire process of building the current HKG International Airport at Lantau Island. One of the major pieces of works was the Tsing Ma Bridge, which is an amazing suspension bridge, and it brought back many memories of CIV102. “As hangs a flexible cable so inverted stands an arch”. Yes, that’s the first thing an engineer thinks of when they see a suspension bridge. Of course, solving for forces on paper is a lot easier than putting the project into action. I had a great time learning about how this beautiful structure was created in practice.

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Just a fun fact: I had no idea that the Tsing Ma Bridge actually has a lower level! I do know that the MTR I take every morning runs below the upper level of cars, but I never noticed that there are two more lanes for cars on either side of the train tracks. Apparently it’s used when there are strong winds or weather warnings out (such as typhoon signals), but then again, I wouldn’t have to go to work on a day with serious adverse weather anyway.

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I haven’t been here in a while, but I made an effort to head back to Lab Made on Monday. I could not believe how many people were lining up on a Monday night! No wonder they can maintain their high prices. But anyway, I’m a sucker for weird things, so I got a purple yam-flavoured ice cream. It was good! (And sorry to burst your bubble, but I was there on the last day before they changed their menu… so these flavours are now all gone).

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This day last year, I believe I was flying home to Vancouver from Toronto after my final exams. I was still unaware of what was ahead of me in Osaka, and then Hong Kong. And look where I am now! So people… don’t worry, be happy.

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One response to “Attitude is Everything

  1. i never got the chance to go back to labmade and try their icecream while i was in hk :(. My hk family are all suckers for hagen daaz so it’s hard to convince them to go to other ice cream places. It’s either hagen daaz or some other chinese dessert place.
    BTW i’m craving the napolean we had on xmas eve! SO GOOD.

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