Digital scrapbooking

I’m trying to think of blogging as a virtual scrapbook. I always loved scrapbooking and hated keeping a journal…

But sometimes when scrapbooking, you get overwhelmed with too many pictures. And if you’re like me, you put it in a drawer and pretend you’ll do it later.

I had that problem after our family trip to Thailand this summer. Yes, I know it’s December. I’m proud to say I’ve finally sorted through it all. OK, most of it.

We went to Bangkok in June to celebrate Khun Yai’s 100th birthday.

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It was Kyle’s first time to Thailand, so of course we took him to see the Grand Palace. And B never had a chance to see it earlier.

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It’s huge. And easy to get lost!

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I think the Emerald Buddha was closed for a wardrobe change (it has outfits for the different seasons). But there are treasures everywhere you look.

Then it was off to Wat Pho, home of the Reclining Buddha.
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The Big 3-0

Confession: I backdated this post. It has actually been almost two months since I last blogged.

But since this is, after all, a birthday post… I’ll do what I want!

B is still working in Singapore. So that’s where I went to spend my 30th.

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He’s lucky I love Singapore. And it was a fitting to place to spend my milestone birthday. Sometimes I forget I was born there!

We also went to an island in Malaysia called Rawa for a weekend. It’s a convenient 3 hour drive and 30 minute boat ride from Singapore.

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Know before you go: it’s a family-friendly resort. Luckily, the large water-slide attracts all the hyperactive children to one end of the beach.

Of course, B couldn’t resist either.

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Also be warned that the resort food is terrible. But who cares when it looks like this:

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Then it was back to Singapore for my birthday treat of ballet and black-pepper crab.

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I figured at the age of 30 I should finally try chili crab. So we got both. Now I can say with certainty that black-pepper is best. It may look like a mud-coated crustacean, but it’s glorious!

Cowabunga!

B was back in HK this weekend. He still has a few more weeks of work in Singapore. The time together went too fast. We enjoyed every minute, and lucked out with perfect beach weather on Sunday to cap it all off.

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That’s Cheung Sha beach. We told you about it one of our first blog posts. But we didn’t share one of its secrets.

You see, cows come out at sunset.

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Now for a double dose of irony:

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That’s right, no dogs allowed on the beach thankyouverymuch. But cows? OK.
And the restaurant that brown cow is crashing… happens to be South African barbeque. Yes, steak is on the menu!

A taste of Singapore

B has been working in Singapore for the last three weeks. We aren’t sure how much longer he’ll be out there.

I took a few days off last week and went for a visit. I didn’t realize the flight was a full four hours. But it is worth it for the fresh air and good food. And to see B, of course!

His office is near the Lau Pa Sat hawker center. I love being able to eat outside.

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The satay was disappointing but the mee goreng made up for it.

The best hawker food we had was at Newton. Stall 36 makes an incredible BBQ stingray. It is grilled in a banana leaf and smothered in chili sauce. You’ll have to imagine it because we couldn’t stop eating to take a picture!

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I had laksa at the food court in Ion mall. It was a pleasant surprise, pricey but tasty. They now ask whether you want cockles. Apparently people started watching their cholesterol. But it probably won’t save B from a heart attack. He has developed a love for oyster omlettes.

Chicken rice is a much healthier addiction, though I forgot to ask for no skin/no bones. We went to Boon Tong Kee on River Valley Road, near my family’s old place. The chili sauce still has the perfect amount of ginger in it.

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Last but not least: black pepper crab! It’s a dish you can only eat with people you love… Because it is such a disgusting mess to eat!

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One day, I will finally try chili crab instead. Maybe.

T10

For the first time since 1999, Hong Kong lifted its T10 typhoon signal. That means the eye of Vicente probably passed right over us.

It didn’t feel like a mega-storm. But it certainly was windy!

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Many trees tipped over. Some snapped.

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Countless umbrellas perished. (No people died.) And our new Starbucks lost its sign.

We are now down to a T3 which means things are going back to normal.

Crowds and clouds

B left for a business trip this morning. Since he was waking up before 6 for his flight, I decided to get up for the solar eclipse.

But the sun chose to remain unseen.

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The Astronomical Society organized a viewing party at the Avenue of Stars. I was surprised by how many people turned out.

They handed out souvenir postcard versions of that eclipse poster. You can get the back stamped to show you were there. The next annular eclipse viewable from HK is in 2320 (though the better one will be in 2685).

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And here’s a better shot of the suitably named Solar Star ferry. Plus, proof I really did wake up early!

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While I saw nothing but crowds and clouds, my co-worker Jonathan had better luck up on the Peak.

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Long distance togetherness Pt. 2

I watched my little sister get her Master’s degree last week.

Unfortunately, the feed was glitchy and I didn’t get to hear her name!

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Don’t get me wrong, I’m grateful for Skype and streaming video feeds. But sometimes I wish we had teleportation already!

Beach break: South Bay

This weekend was supposed to be ugly. A huge letdown after a gorgeous week wasted indoors at work.

Luckily, after a short storm the sun came out on Saturday. So we hopped in a cab and headed to South Bay beach.

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Usually it’s pretty packed here. I don’t know if people were scared off by the rain or if they’re mad the beach bar closed. Most beaches have few good food options and South Bay was the one exception. But there’s a legal battle over their land now… so bye-bye burgers!

This guy seemed to enjoy the quiet. Or is he working on a weird tan?

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My friend, Heather, snapped this on the taxi ride home. We were stuck in traffic on the bridge over Tai Tam reservoir.

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Woken by dragons

OK, one dragon and a few lions. Last Saturday was Buddha’s Birthday (I’m a little late posting).

The drumming and cymbals started around 8:30 in the morning!

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I think this celebration usually happens at the temple around the corner.

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When you see this truck, you know there’s more to come!

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The dragon chases that golden ball. Sometimes the lions do crazy acrobatics but these just kind of pranced around.

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Then the whole crew, including the altar, parade around the neighborhood and wake everyone up.

First junk of the season

There are few things as glorious as spending the day at sea. Or in this case, Millionaire’s Bay.

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Junk boats are part of what we call the Hong Kong high life. You get a group of friends together, fill up a boat, eat and drink as much as possible (emphasis on drink).

In addition to swimming and soaking up the sun, the day is not complete without a diving contest.

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Above photos by my co-workers, Nicol and Sarah.

Note the “no diving” sign, haha.

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Another by Sarah below. (Yes I’m cheating but she has a waterproof camera!)

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After a day of beers on the beach, we pull up anchor and head back to reality. From white sand to glass skyscrapers in an hour.

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