Wednesday, June 28, 2006

She's back!

Miss Peanut, 24, arrived at Hong Kong International Airport yesterday evening on a flight from Bangkok. Miss Peanut, dressed in jeans, denim jacket, light blue top and gold strapped shoes from Marks & Spencers, is visitting the Big Lychee for 3 weeks.
Arriving at the Airport she declared that she was very happy to be back in Hong Kong " I have heard that the shops are having sales at the moment"
After freshening up at the author's apartment, she decided she wanted to eat at the Bulldog Bar in LKF. Arriving there she ordered the grilled fish with rice, took two mouthfuls and declared she was too tired to eat!

ps to Spike, she got another 30 day visa this time without any problems.

Friday, June 23, 2006

Long weekend

I wont be blogging for a few days, as I am off to the City of Angels for a long weekend.......

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Fine and clear

It was a really clear day in Hong Kong, today. Unfortunately I didn't have my camera with me, but I took these shots with my mobile phone from the safety floor above my office. Enjoy!

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

High Society Banking Corporation

Having been here a while, I decided to apply for a credit card with my local bank. I picked up the form and carefully filled in all the boxes, including the fact that I was male. I took it to the bank, and went back to make photocopies of all the other bits of paper they wanted, well almost. They wanted a copy of my employment contract, but I didn't feel like standing over the photo copier and copying all 60 odd pages that says nothing unless you are a lawyer, so I just photocopied the schedule which has the length of my contract, my salary, and all the important stuff on it, and explained this to the lady at the branch, who intimated that they would probably want the whole document.

Sure, enough I got the letter today asking for a copy of my contract, but instead of addressing me by name, or dear sir, they used "Dear Sir/Madam". Either they don't know the diffference, they think I am half way through a sex change operation or they can't be bothered to read the form I filled in, which would give them an indication of the correct form of address.

Such sloppiness in their approach does not give me confidence in their ability to provide me with a good credit card, so when I saw the sentence advising me that if they do not receive the required document within 14 days they will assume that I don't want to continue with my application, I was pleased as Punch. They are right I don't want to!

Monday, June 19, 2006

Here is the World Cup news in briefs!

Sponsorship can be a wonderful thing, it can help provide dearly needed money to clubs (and countries) struggling financially. However, it can have its drawbacks ..... for example. Up to 1,000 Netherlands fans had to watch Saturday's World Cup win over Cote d'Ivoire in their underpants(?) Why? Because of a sponsorship row! A FIFA spokesman confirmed that the fans arrived at the stadium wearing trousers in their team's traditional orange and branded with the name of a Dutch brewery. But the fans were denied entry, because the American company which makes Budweiser beer had bought the exclusive rights to promote their brand in the stadium. The fans duly removed their trousers and watched the match in their underpants I hope they got some free beer, and luckily it was quite hot in the stadium.

Saturday, June 17, 2006

Well, it's art, Jim, but not as we know it!

The Royal Academy of Art put a block of slate on display, topped by a small piece of wood, in its summer exhibition in London, believing it to be a work of art. However, the slate was actually a plinth and the stick was designed to prop up a sculpture. The sculpture itself, of a human head, was nowhere to be seen. The work's artist, David Hensel, told the BBC, "I think the things got separated in the selection process and the selectors presented the plinth as a complete sculpture." The academy explained the error by saying the plinth and the head were sent to the exhibitors separately. "Given their separate submission, the two parts were judged independently," it said in a statement. The head was rejected, but the base was thought to have merit and accepted. The head has been safely stored ready to be collected by the artist. A spokesperson for The Royal Academy said, "It is accepted that works may not be displayed in the way that the artist might have intended." So, let's get this straight, the 'selectors' actually get paid for this job of putting a bit of wood on a piece of slate? It might have been better if the 'art' had been entitled, "The amazing straight Boomerang." (aka ... A Stick!)

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Learning Mandarin


Well, I've finally etracted my digit, and booked a course of Mandarin lessons. Mandarin? I hear you ask, surely they speak Cantonese in Hong Kong? That's like being posted to Germany and learning French! Well, the truth of it is that my company will pay for me to learn Mandarin and not Cantonese. Also my work colleagues are either expat or from the mainland, and I visit Dalien and Shanghai quite regularly, so its quite reasonable.

I had my first two hour private lesson and I reckon it went quite well :- numbers, dates, days of the week, etc. Not only am I learning to speak and understand Mandarin, but read and write it as well. This is going to be a challenge!

The biggest test will be tomorrow in the office, when I try out my newly learnt words on my colleagues!


Tuesday, June 13, 2006


I woke this morning at 3:30. There is a wonderful thunderstorm outside, and the rain is falling so hard I can't see the Bank of China building. The claps of thunder are coming almost immediately after the lightning flashes. Hmm should I be using the internet in a thunderstorm? Who knows?

Hmm, I have just checked the Hong Kong Observatory website and they have issued an amber warning. Amber, is that all? How pathetic to let my sleep be disturbed by a piffling amber rainstorm. Tina Turner sung that she couldn't stand the rain against her window, but, on the contrary, I love it.

I have been really lazy, recently about updating this blog - in fact I have just been really lazy lately. I have a stack of ironing to do, housework has been left undone. There is no reason for this procrastination, I just can't be bothered! I need to get a grip on this quickly or it will spread to the work place.

I have been out a couple of times in the last few nights, but with the World Cup and the USS Ronald Reagan being on a port visit, the places I normally go re just too busy. I was in Carneggies early yesterday evening and there were quite a few american navy types in there. They were really well behaved, and a credit to their ship. I remember the days when the US Navy on shore leave was a nightmare with drunken street fights and general bad behaviour through to rape and manslaughter. Not nowadays, it seems, they are under such tight control. It makes a pleasant change.

Well the rain is easing off now so I am going to try and get a couple more hours sleep before I have to get up to work.

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

They say the only difference between a good haircut and a bad one is two weeks! I needed a haircut and I had no idea where to go. There seems to be a whole range of places from simple shacks that will cut your hair for a few dollars or fancy saloons that will charge you more than a thousand bucks.

So I settled on middle of that range and booked a stylist at Toni & Guy on Wyndham Street. I booked it for 5.30, reckoning I could walk from my office to there in time, but forgetting I would arrive all hot and sweaty. Anyway I sit down and my stylist comes over and introduces herself, and asks what we are doing today, so I told her: "Short back and sides, slightly longer on top, please". She seemed happy with the clear instructions, and called some bloke over to wash my hair.

Soon I was back in the chair and she was snipping away with great gusto. I had the opportunity to check out the place and its really a bit scruffy, with peeling paint and damp patches and poor lighting. Actually the lighting is too bright. I mentioned it to the stylist and she said they had been having problems with it for years, especially when doing highlights and tints.

I have been to Toni and Guys in the UK, and they have the uniform of black or white, but one day each month they are allowed to wear whatever colour clothing they like. This is not the case in Hong Kong, and my stylist was going to tell her bosses. OOPS hope I don't start a walk out by HK stylists demanding the right to wear different colours.

It also seems that staff at T&G have to have their hair done there, albeit free of charge, but by their friends. Hmm seems a bit restrictive to me, and what if you are having your free hair do and your friend actually doesn't like you - could be fatal.

Anyway an hour later, I walked out looking like a new man, and my wallet was 400 bucks lighter, so I had to walk round to Lang Kwai Fung to get some benefit from happy hour and restore the balance.

Sunday, June 04, 2006

She's gone!

She's Gone
Think I'll spend eternity in the city
let the carbon and monoxide choke my thoughts away
and pretty bodies help dissolve the memories
but they can never be what she was to me
She's Gone

Hall & Oates

Well it's not really that bad; she's just gone back to Thailand to renew her passport & see her family, and hopefully will be back at the end of June.

I was a little bit down, as I took the airport express back from seeing her off at the airport, but I kept myself busy sorting out my wardrobes, and doing domestic chores.

Went out to Wanchai, last night, and watched England beat Jamaica 6-0, but that didn't really cheer me up, so I phoned her up. She had got home safely and was relaxing before going out to a party with her friends. She seemed to be so happy to be back in Thailand, is it right that I bring her to Hong Kong?

Friday, June 02, 2006

What a bleeting song!

There is yet another England World Cup song, it’s not quite 3 Lions on your shirt . in fact the song has been recorded by a flock of singing sheep. Yes sheep. The Baa--rmy Sheep have released their own very distinctive version of Land of Hope and Glory and the single is free and available from the Cumbria Tourist Board website there is also an accompanying video. The sheep were recorded baaing in the fields of the Lake District by local musician Charley Darbeyshire A spokesperson for the Cumbria Tourist Board, said, "We hope this sheep single and video puts a much-needed smile on the face of football fans and the England team." Featured in the video is a look-a-like of ref Pierluigi Collina, struggling to control a game between herds of sheep as a football is pursued over mountains and streets. Perhaps this single will be better received that the official song from Embrace, however Tony Christie’s re-jigged, ‘Is this the Way to Amarillo’ seems to be getting the terrace vote at the moment. I hope the sheep got the correct musicians union rate for their recording, I’d hate them to get fleeced!

Chi Lin Nunnery

Wenesday was a holiday, so instead of getting into the madness of Dragon Boat Racing, I agreed to take Peanut and her friend to Chi Lin Nunnery at Diamond Hill. This complex is an oasis of calm in the middle of the mayhem of Kowloon. The gardens are beautifully tended, and the wooden halls containing the Buddhas are pure art work, not a single nail was used in the construction, only a few screws for the door hinges.
After that we went to Hollywood Plaza where there is an amusement arcade. Peanut was keen to play the machines, so I changed a hundred dollars, and we sat down at a machine where you slide the counters in and try and make the counters at the front drop off the shelf. We were doing great and a stream of yellow tickets was pooring out of the front of the machine. I had to change another hundred dollars and by the end we had stacks of tickets. Over to the prize counter and the tickets were counted: 2966. I let Peanut chose the prize and the best she could do was a towel - damned expensive towel but it was fun.
Had a look around the shops and had some food, then headed for the Avenue of the Stars. Took the obligatory photos.

Then it was back to Wanchai on the Star ferry. Peanut wanted to go to the market, with Oh, so I said I would wait for her at Carneggies, where I could get a beer. Normally when I walk down Lockhard Road with Peanut I am ignored by all the gogo bar touts, but this time it was like an obstacle course. I reached Carneggies safely and had a couple of beers; Peanut turns up with loads of shopping and I have a couple more beers, which meant we had to stay for Crazy Hour. Bought some dodgy DVDs and went back to the apartment.