Wednesday, May 8, 2013

The Rubberduck Hype

I believe many of you have already been spammed with a wave of similar photos, be it on your facebook news feed, via whatsapp or via word of mouth such as "HAVE YOU ALREADY SEEN THIS?!?" *smashes phone screen onto your face* ...

Some people are already annoyed to the max by this yellow monster duck, while nevertheless, some people are still amazed and very excited about this yellow cute duckie which has already been travelling around the world.  


No matter if you find it cute or amazing, over-hyped, ugly or boring, I think it's worth greeting it once personally. However, be aware that you might encounter a war in front of it. In Hong Kong, the first Saturday after it has arrived counted over 300.000 visitors... and I happened to be there on THAT day... 


"Bow in front of me, you pathetic humans!"
It's really unbelievable how everyone is going crazy for just seeing or taking a photo with this rubber duck.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Packed

Sorry for my little hiatus, but there was too much that I had to settle in my first two weeks in Hong Kong. In Hong Kong, everything is accumulating, everything is simply complicatedly packed - physically, mentally and timely.

Physically

Everyone knows that people living in Hong Kong are squeezed into little spaces. At the moment you open your eyes to start off your day, you already notice the lack of space (if you are not super rich) as it takes you one step (or maybe not even one) from the edge of your bed to the living room (if you have one at all). Don't even think of doing the splits next to your bed, you will hit your closet or the wall before you could finish half of the split.

The physical burden continues as you are being squeezed while taking the lift, especially if you live in a building with many floors and only a few number of lifts and everyone needs to rush to work at once (luckily, I don't face such scenarios where I live). Be aware that a similar scenario repeats when you have to take the lift up your office building, happy squeezing.

The feeling of being the ham of a very thick sandwich reaches its maximum in the MTR, once around 8am and once around 7pm when most people fight their way from home to work, and vice versa. However, Hong Kong people know to queue for getting onto trains and buses, something which deserves to be positively emphasized as it makes the packed scenarios a bit more pleasant. I'm lucky to live at the end station of a line, so I often can get a seat to watch people being happily squeezed, muahahaha. Some people who are at the station before the end station take the train to the end station and then stay in the train until it departs again for the other direction just in order to get a seat (a little local trick ;D).


During rush hour in Causeway Bay - This is how it looks when I have just left my office and am on my way to the MTR station. Walking speed equals ant speed.

Mentally

When I just arrived here, I really felt confused and a bit lost. There was so much that I had to get done and I didn't know where to begin, where to look at, whom to look for, where to go to, how to get it done, etc. Hong Kong is not completely new to me, but living here creates and requires me to take a totally different perspective. It's not about enjoying a carefree holiday and happy non-stop shopping anymore, it's more about surviving.

Luckily, relatives and friends here have been very supportive, so I somehow managed to get everything work. Although the crowds and hectic environment seem to be very overwhelming, I now feel very comfortable here. After all, I've found a very nice and convenient place to live (my building is directly linked to/above a shopping mall and the MTR station) and even have a very easy-going, nice, caring and cooking-skilled housemate. My work colleagues are nice too, and so far, stress level at work is not as horrible as I expected (at least not yet, haha).

Many friends of mine that came back to Hong Kong from overseas complained about the crowded streets, limited space and hectic environment. However, I feel quite comfortable here. Even the overcrowded streets do not really disturb me :) hehe.

Timely

The biggest challenge is to balance life in a day that has only 24 hours. First, I'm at work for around 10hrs (incl. the time I'm going home or to work) and I need sufficient sleep (8hrs). When I come home after work, do grocery shopping, cook, wash dishes, shower and do my skincare routine, it's already time to sleep in order to still have my 8hrs sleep. The art is now to still squeeze out enough time for visiting relatives, being social and meeting up with friends, spending time with boyfriend, catching up with own hobbies and some entertainment activities, or simply for having a good rest. For example, I still haven't found time yet to do a little photo trip in Hong Kong =(

Nevertheless, I'm not complaining. I've always complained about the boring and monotonous life in Germany, so now I feel quite fulfilled and enriched with such a busy life. Eventually, I will get tired, because I'm still human, but after all, I think I will still enjoy life here :))

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Dessert Love

Say hi to my friend who loves food - and especially desserts - to the max. After we finished our main dishes (loved the grilled eel rice), she couldn't hold back those glowing eyes from the many choices in the colorful dessert menu from 風月堂 Orchard Garden Cafe & Restaurant in Causeway Bay. Every dessert seemed to be smiling at her as she kept mumbling "Which dessert should we order?". Her expression was already priceless enough, but then she slipped in the follow up question "AND HOW MANY SHOULD WE ORDER?!" leaving my other friend and me with quite speechless faces like: =____='''' errrr...

Apple Banana Pancake
Mango Parfait
To be honest, I am not a very big fan of sweet desserts, and I was already too full to really enjoy our desserts. In my opinion, it was not bad, but nothing extraordinary either. The restaurant cafe had a very nice setting though with its clean, decent white design and westernized style, and was very comfortable to dine at :)

It's actually hard for me to judge which tastes good and which doesn't since I do not have a lot of comparisons yet. I might eat through Hong Kong for a while, and then I can tell more about different food places and discover my favourites, hihi.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Birthday Present

FUJIFILM INSTAX 210 INSTANT PHOTO CAMERA. I was quite surprised when I was visiting my boyfriend's parents and then they told me: "W. has sent you a quite heavy package!". I didn't expect to get any big present for birthday this year - I'm happy now :D !

I haven't got the chance to try out this camera yet, but my first impression of it is: big, chunky and heavy. However, after checking up some reviews online, it's supposed to be a really good instant cam. In general, I always wanted to create one of those colorful polaroid walls with creative photos, precious moments and memorable events with family and friends. I think it would make an awesome room decor :) Besides, I love how polaroid photos have that retro style (and it doesn't always have to be created by Instagram :P).

At the moment, I don't dare to make random snapshots, because I don't want to waste any of the expensive film. I rather wait for some meaningful photo opportunity or some special event or hangout with friends to give my new instant cam its premiere, making sure that every photo is top. Let me later tell you more about my experience of using the instant cam or show you the instant pictures I take ;D

Friday, March 15, 2013

Spicy and Sour Noodles 傷心酸辣粉

My first lunch in Hong Kong: Spicy and Sour Noodles 傷心酸辣粉. It's a restaurant chain that is recently expanding to many places in Hong Kong with their 15th store just opened this month. My friend brought me to the one in Mong Kok.

If you like sour and spicy food, this is the perfect place for you. I personally enjoy spicy food a lot, although I can't eat too spicy things. However, here you can choose between different levels of spiciness, so you can adjust to your personal preference.

The price is also quite affordable (~HKD $25 for the noodle soup). If you are student, there are even lunch menus for ~HKD $35 including a side dish and a drink.

So all in all, it's a good place for a casual and affordable lunch or dinner in between :) I would go again, but then I will try a different location to see if there are quality differences between their stores.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Week Rewind: Birthday, Farewell, Hong Kong

I've just landed in Hong Kong and directly starting off with a busy week, so the week rewind of my last week in Germany comes now a bit delayed, sorry!

The older I get, the less I feel like celebrating my BIRTHDAY by any special manner. I spent this birthday having a simple dimsum dinner with my parents in Maastricht which is the only place around my area in Germany where you can get delicious dimsum. Do you recognize the dishes in here? Which is your favorite?

There we jump from the birthday dinner right to my FAREWELL DINNER, but this time with my both cousins. First we went to some bar, but it was so packed and the music was so loud inside that we left right after we made our first foot step into the restaurant bars. It's funny how we now enjoy calm and decent places instead of the weekend party atmosphere, like grandpas and grandmas. Have we really become so old already?


Have you ever PACKED FOR AN ENTIRE YEAR? I already find it difficult to pack for a holiday, so packing for the entire year was pretty close to mission impossible. Well, maybe packing itself was not a mission impossible, but packing for the year AND having everything you want fitting into the luggage. I also didn't want to spend too much money on things I have stocks of at home, e.g. my skincare products, on the other side, the bottles of liquid and creams add on a lot of weight, sigh. However, as you can see, I managed it somehow to finish "the bomb".

Usually, the grey weather is a good reason to be happy about when you leave it for a sunny location. On my RAINY DEPARTURE though, the gloomy weather created the blue curtain which was rather emotionally draining as it effectively covered a lot that I wanted to see, but made those even more visible that I didn't hope to see and feel.  


More enlightenment when I arrived AT THE AIRPORT. I brought some little friend with me from my room in Germany, so it wouldn't become too unfamiliar in my new home in Hong Kong later. Have I ever mentioned how I love to be surrounded by cute plush animals in my room, so that it feels more like home? haha, childish, I know xP

ARRIVED IN HONG KONG after 10 hours of flight, pretty fast actually. I was lucky to sit at the aisle and next to a around 15 years old girl who was quite calm and nice, so I had a quite comfortable flight although the plane was totally full which I had not expected for this season.

Love the weather in Hong Kong at the moment. It's sunny and warm, but not too hot and humid, quite perfect actually :) This is how you would love to spend most time outside. However, I always feel like going out in Hong Kong, even if it is just for walking around somewhere, and even if I have to squeeze between the floods of people. Maybe I really like the busy life and busy streets, so I don't feel overwhelmed by the crowds (yet?) while my friends have been complaining a lot about the many people.

My week in Hong Kong has just begun, so I haven't been doing so much except of visiting family and meeting up friends. However, I can't wait to explore many great places, snap around for nice photos, and show you more of Hong Kong :)

Stay tuned for more in my next blog post :D

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Maastricht


The water has not always been deep blue tinted by the clear, bright, cloud-free sky, and the MAAS RIVERSIDE has not always been blessed with a golden shine. I still see myself running over the bridge over there, rushing to uni classes, be it on a sunny, windy, rainy or snowy day. Bridging over the past 4 years of student life in this city took me indeed through some stormy instances and lifeless phases as well, but all in all, it has amounted to a lovely, satisfying picture.

Some familiar stops on my routine path to uni...

Never realized that the MOSAE FORUM can look so pretty in the sunset.

The statue you see in here is called "THE TRAVELLER" - and it's non-stop on fire.

THE MARKET. I'm not very happy with this photo, because I was not prepared for this shot at all. First, I simply wanted to make a shot of the building only, but then the crowd of birds suddenly flew by and I found it even prettier to have them in the photo. However, it happened so fast that I couldn't take enough care of everything in the photo, and it now looks as if it's cut at the bottom =/ Too bad they didn't fly by like this a second time either... seems that photography needs some luck too...
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