Life in the Fragrant Harbor

14 Jul

 

Okay, this video is sort of how it’s like to be in Hong Kong, except the heat is way more sweltering, there’s *way* more people on the street, and you’re always smelling something weird. And, you know, I live in Kowloon and not the Island, which features in most of the video.  (A reference for those who might be better acquainted with NYC: Manhattan is to Hong Kong Island, as Queens/Brooklyn is to Kowloon.) But they do show a fair bit of Mong Kok, even what looks like the basketball court that I can hear from my balcony.

I realize this is an ad campaign for an airline, but honestly, they’re better photographers than I am. I think they do a pretty fine job of capturing some of what it’s like to live here.

The Country That Isn’t

7 Jul

We just celebrated “Hong Kong SAR Establishment Day” here in HK. (Really rolls off the tongue, doesn’t it?) It’s a holiday to celebrate the handover of HK as a British colony back to China… with a few caveats. This is less like Australia Day or Independence Day, and more like a cause for protests. I like to think of it as “We’ll take the day off, but don’t expect us to be happy about why”.  And so, the day was basically used as a pro-democracy rally — Beijing’s favorite type of rally. Over 500 protestors were arrested and it’s caused a bit of a to-do. I’ve found that CPG Grey actually has a pretty good explanation of Hong Kong and China.

World Cup Fever

23 Jun

It’s the World Cup. Unfortunately, due to the time differences, I haven’t seen many of the games in whole. (Games are at midnight, 3 am, and 6 am in Hong Kong.) I did manage to watch the brutal England – Uruguay match, though. What I have seen a lot of are Nike ads on the metro. And frankly, this one is hilarious. Especially since the first time I saw it, I was in the silent car so there was no audio and I had to make up my own lines.

I’m pulling for Team USA to make it out of the Group of Debilitating Injuries and move on to the next round. Hey, it’s the World Cup. Anything is possible.

Hong Kong

16 Jun

Well, I’ve been sitting on some rather important news for a little while, mostly because my life has been amazingly busy the past few months. In addition to finally landing a translation job, I also moved to Hong Kong at the beginning of June. So, yeah. That happened.

hong kong cat says maoZoe says hi.

I’m living in a quiet section of Kowloon with an old friend — Mlle. A and her cat Zoe.  I’m really liking it so far. It’s warm and lovely, even if the pollution has been a little bad the past few days. I haven’t been exploring the neighborhood a whole lot in the past two weeks, mostly because I’m usually exhausted from my day job during the week and then from the boatloads of translating that I have to do on the weekends.  I did manage to find a place that does amazing takeaway roast duck three streets over, so at least I’m eating well.  (That is a lie; I am mostly eating PB&J sandwiches and Lucky Charms because I am lazy.)
I will do more exploring as time permits, no worries there.  If there’s anything in particular you think I should go visit, let me know in the comments. Otherwise, on y va!

Of the Night

28 Apr

Life’s been super crazy on my end, y’all. I hope

Indila

24 Mar

Today’s musical offering is another French song that I’ve been singing constantly. “Dernière Danse (Last Dance)” is a wry commentary on being an outsider in France. While Indila was born in Paris, she has Algerian, Cambodian, Egyptian, and Indian ancestry and the life she sings about isn’t rosy.  The song starts off with the line “Oh ma douce souffrance (Oh my sweet suffering)” and just keeps going from there.  It’s a clever play on the patriotic song, “Douce France”.  This song is currently at the top of the charts, it’s catchy as all get out, and it’s fun to sing. What else could you ask for?

Happy St. Patrick’s Day

17 Mar

St. Patrick’s Day is a minor holiday to the rest of the world, but we Americans like to celebrate the heck out of it. Some might say it is due to the large number of Irish immigrants who came to the US, others might say something about how St. Patrick *mumble mumble* snakes in Ireland, but realistically, it is a day to celebrate Guinness, Bailey’s, green beer, and corned beef and colcannon.

I hope you all are having a blast celebrating the death of St. Patrick, a very nice Welsh boy who spent six years as a slave, found God, and brought the Holy Trinity to Ireland with as many green beers as you wish. Also, I think you all will enjoy what I believe to be the definitive rendition of the classic Irish folk song, “Danny Boy”.

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