home!

Our plane arrived at sunset yesterday. Mike had window seat and we marveled at the blazing clouds and city lights as we landed. It was such a gift. What a wonderful conclusion to our amazing trip! :D

I will be uploading more trip photos to Flickr this week, will keep you posted!

Also, my shop has reopened! :D Order before Dec.6 (ready-to-ship plush) or Dec.4 (custom order plush) for Christmas delivery!

Have a wonderful week! :D

last day…

Today is our last day in Hong Kong. Time flew by so quickly. It seems like only yesterday that we were busy packing to leave for the trip. Today we’re busy packing again to return home.

In the past week we tried to squeeze in as many sights as we could. We went to the Hong Kong museum of history on free Wednesday. There were tons to see, and even on regular days the admission is only $10 HKD. I was most fascinated by the exhibit about the boat-dwellers.

This teahouse look strangely familiar

After the museum my sister took us to a 13-story mall, where we scrambled down some ramp along with Peppermint Patty and the gang.

The next day we went to the Kowloon Walled City Park. It was a place we really wanted to visited because we heard a lot about the Walled City from a friend who used to work with the people living there before it was demolished and converted into a park. Zumi took some pictures of the parts that were preserved, like the bureaucrat’s office…

… and remnants of the south gate.

The Walled City looks nothing like the way it was, when people used to live there. There was a bronze sculpture in the park capturing the state of the area moments before it was demolished.

I’ve actually never seen the Walled City in person while growing up in Hong Kong. I would never be able to fully comprehend what it was like to have only 3 running taps and 3 elevators serving thousands of people living in small quarters. It feels a bit ironic to walk through artfully designed courtyards with mini waterfalls and artificial ponds while thinking about the struggles of the people who once walked these grounds.  Thought I do believe that the park is definitely a positive transformation. I wondered what the former residents think about the park and whether their lives were a bit easier now.

Yesterday we visited my uncle’s fish farm, which could only be reached by boat. My lack of swimming abilities and poor sense of balance made the boat ride and even time on the fish farm a bit nerve-wrecking (as you can see, there’s no railing or rope or anything to hang on to while walking on those planks! : S), but we had good fun nonetheless.

Underneath the planks were nets inside which the fish live. It feels a bit surreal, just because it was quiet and not a high-rise in view — it’s hard to believe such a place exists within the city!

After the fish farm we went to the local fish market, where people where selling seafood and such from their boats off the pier.

From one of these boats I bought some succulent dried cuttlefish floss :D

This lady was selling some starfish. Not for eating, I hope. For aquariums, perhaps? While walking around the pier I overheard that someone bought hundreds of dollars worth of live fish and other sea life to set them free.

And so that was pretty much the end of our adventure. We’re now getting ready for another 15-hour plane ride home, where real life awaits. While feeling sad, I’m reminded of a Calvin & Hobbes comic strip Mike once gave me, in which Calvin laments the end of fall and playing in the leaves and Hobbes said, if special things last forever then they wouldn’t be special anymore.

I wish I could find that comic strip online and post it here because it’s so fitting. The 20°C Hong Kong autumn is indeed ending for us and we’re about to return to that sub-zero Canadian winter. But if I were to stay living in Hong Kong I probably wouldn’t appreciate it as much as I do now. Life is always more fun as a tourist. Real life in Hong Kong is definitely not peachy keen all the time, and snow can be fun some of the time. If only the TTC can be half as efficient as the MTR. Seriously, I’ve taken the MTR dozens of times while here and haven’t experienced one single delay, where I run into at least one delay per day while taking the TTC. Sheesh.

Anyway. I digress. Will write again when I’m on Canadian soil! Take care!

impressions of Malaysia

Greetings! It’s been a while! My family and I joined a bus tour to Malaysia, so I’ve been away from the internet for a while, which was a rather refreshing experience, actually! I didn’t miss the computer one bit throughout the trip because our schedule was packed with so many places to go and so many things to see! Here’s Malaysia, viewed from the giant metal bird!

But of course, with a bus tour we only went to touristy places and I wish I had experience more of the culture… but here are some memorable moments from our short trip!

Impression #1: food!

We ate three square meals everyday of delicious Chinese/Malaysian food, with various local food-tasting tours in between. This is our first meal in Malaysia. The orange plate with the banana leaf in the top left is grilled stingray :S and in the beer mugs are lime and sour plum drinks.

Another day we had a tropical fruit and dessert buffet at the zoo.

Impression #2: beautiful architecture!

In the city…

… and on the river.

Many buildings we went in had beautiful floor tiles!

Impression #3: lovely beaches!

Here’s Jorge, having a Kodak moment at the beach while I went beach-combing.

There were lots of buried treasure to be found at the beach! Though I was worried that I couldn’t carry corals onto the plane, so I had to leave them. But I took many pictures of them and picked up lots of lovely, colourful rocks! Will have to show you those later.

Zumi took this amazing picture of a beautiful piece of coral.

Impression #4: tropical plants!

I was particularly drawn to these fuzzy red ones…

… and these pink flowers that grow on trees.

Our tour also included half a day in Singapore. It was at the end of the tour and at that point I was too tired to properly appreciate it (plus we had to get up at 5am to cross the border from Malaysia). And so I really didn’t see much of Singapore, but I’m rather pleased with Zumi’s picture of the Singapore landmark/symbol, the Merlion.

Actually, the highlight of Singapore for me was finding the giant Peeps in Sentosa!

It was sitting in front of a giant candy store, where I also found the marshmallow peep bunny plush! It’s so fluffy I’m gonna die!!!

So I brought it home :D

Last but not least, I want to show you this video I took of a sea turtle swimming at a zoo we visited in Malaysia. Though I’d rather see him swimming in the sea, he looked rather content behind the glass. Happy, even. And so very graceful.

That’s it for Malaysia! Would love the opportunity to visit it again, and Singapore as well! And final week in Hong Kong! I think I’m going to miss it when I leave.

Until then, more sightseeing! Will keep you posted!

Hope you are well!

greetings from the beach!

Gone swimming with my grandparents a couple of days ago. They go swimming in the ocean every morning at 6am! Jorge and I were too busy collecting and watching the sunrise and forgot to take a picture of Jorge at the beach, but here he is with our bounty of treasure!

And behold, the sunrise!

There was an overwhelming amount of sea glass (note that they’re real sea glass, not beach glass from the lake!), I could hardly contain myself. This appears to be a bottom piece of a bottle, but not yet finished tumbling, so I put it back, but not before taking a photo of it :D

I even found a piece of ceramic with blue patterns on it (look for it in the picture with Jorge!). The shells I found were bigger than I expected. When I visited 9 years ago the shells were the size of my fingernails, if any. But this time they were at least an inch wide. I do hope that it means pollution’s been reduced a bit in recent years.

Rocky shore! (The sand was smooth in most parts of the beach though.)

 

Amongst the rocks we found barnacles! They looked striking on the red stone.

 

Algae dressed the rocks with threads of emerald green.

 

Grandpa caught 2 crabs underwater and brought them out to show us. I took a video of them shuffling away. A lady walked by and started watching them with us, saying “Run! Run! Run!” in Chinese near the end of the video clip.

I’m a bit sad that I might not get a chance to go back to the beach during this trip. But I know that I will think of this place whenever I go near the ocean, with the barnacle-covered rocks and the salty ocean air.

Will be traveling to Malaysia and a bit of Singapore for the next 5 days! Not bringing my computer, so you won’t hear from me for a while… but there will be many pictures when I return!

Until then, take care, friends! :D

dragonfruits!

While shopping at the supermarket with my grandparents the other day, saw mount of dragonfruits! 4 for $9.90 HKD. That’s like 4 for around $1.30 CAD!!

Me: WHOA! You know in Canada they’re like $4 each? *stuffs dragonfruits in grocery bag*

Grandma: Oh. That’s expensive.

Me: I mean $4 Canadian, that’s like $28 here!

Grandma: WHAT?! Then we should buy 4 more! *stuffs dragonfruits in grocery bag*

 

So we’ve been eating lots of dragonfruits in the past few days. We still have one left I think. They’re delicious! Delicately sweet with a consistency similar to that of strawberries. “Like strawberries with a bunch of kiwi seeds thrown in,” reports Mike.

My grandparents have a large banana tree and numerous papaya trees in their yard, plus a mango tree and a starfruit tree. Yay tropical fruits! :D

greetings from Ocean Park!

Hello! Jorge here, taking the cable car across Ocean Park.

 

And here we are, at the aquarium, with all kinds of sea creatures swimming around serenely.


Zumi took this photo of the aquarium, with splashing colours!


Highlight of the trip was the jelly fish exhibition! Here I am surrounded by jelly fish, or “sea jellies” as they were called at Ocean Park. I also took some videos of the jelly fish with Zumi, will be posting it next!

 

greetings from the village

This is one of the playgrounds inside my elementary school; I’ve played hopscotch there countless times. The school is just outside the village where we used to live. It’s been closed for several years now. They kind of just left it there, empty. I could still see kids’ artwork in the window. It was gated so I could only stick my camera between the metal bars to take pictures. It really reminds me of the show Life After People. I’m quite saddened to see it abandoned like this.

This picture was taken with Zumi. When I first got Zumi in the mail I worried that it might be a waste of money, but now I’m so glad I bought it! I’m totally in love with the pictures it takes — the colours and texture are just amazing, especially scenes in the city.

When I tell people that I used to live in a village in Hong Kong, people often seem kind of confused. Isn’t Hong Kong a city? It surely is. But there are also villages in a few outskirt areas. I’ll share more pictures of my village soon!

 

Favourite things of the week!

My favourite craft projects are the resourceful ones involving clever incorporation of things one can easily find around the house. Like this lone mitten squirrel I saw via Craftzine!

Mittens (or technically gloves?) that have holes in the fingertips also make excellent squirrel material! I’m hoping I can find a lone white mitten so I can make a white squirrel

And while browsing on Dollar Store Craft (a goldmine of thrifty craft ideas!) yesterday I came across these lovely skate ornaments from Not Quite Vintage, cleverly fitted with paper clips!

The post was from almost 3 years ago so you may have seen it already, but I just thought it’s brilliant and felt compelled to post it!

And my own thrifty project of the week was to make travel tags. The airline website suggested tying “unique” tags to our luggage for “easy identification”. I don’t own any travel tags and I thought the ones that the airline gives out at the airport aren’t very good for “easy identification”. So I scoured the house for materials and this is what I ended up with…

I found some vinyl material from packaging and bright colourful pictures from magazines. I then stacked them together and taped them to death with packing tape, scraping out as many bubbles as possible with a plastic card. I’m particularly pleased with the rubber ducky one.

My mom also suggested tying thick ribbons onto the luggage so we’ll be doing that as well.

Will be reporting from far, far away land of Hong Kong in a few days! (hopefully… depending on internet access) See you soon! :D

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