Sunday, January 18, 2009

Let's Have a Safe Lunar Year

Only one week left in the Year of the Rat. My only regret is that I didn't know it was the Rat year until a few days ago--and I was born in a Rat year. Now I have to wait until 2020 for another Rat. I also saw a rat on the street the other day. It was likely an omen.
I'm fascinated by the lion and dragon dancing and can't wait to see the real thing next week. At the ridiculously huge mall near my flat, they've been hosting lion and dragon costume maker people.
It starts with bamboo strands, bent and tied in the desired shape:

A finished dragon tail:

And finished hand-painted/decorated dragon head:

We went to the good old JUMBO Floating Restaurant in Aberdeen.
This Indonesian guy wanted to take pictures with us gweilos. I tried the only Indonesian phrase I know on him (slahmat mahlahn), but he didn't seem too impressed. Probably because it means 'good morning' and this was after 8:00 at night.

Through the magic and power of the interwebs, I discovered that an old classmate of mine from the Salem Elementary years was going to be in Hong Kong. I hadn't seen Kara Engebrecht in 12 years--and we met up twice during her time in HK.
She's teaching English in Shijiazhuang, a small town of 9 million people about a 2 hour train ride from Beijing. I'd like to try to make it up there sometime before she goes back to the US.
Here we are at the Happy Valley horse race, a fortnightly event, drawing thousands of people, mostly disgruntled gamblers:

I preferred posing with the face of the horse. James preferred the other end. notice the sly nose-pick (of the horse)
More to come later's nice having someone here to "show around" even though I'm not a good tour-guide. Keeps HK fresh...there's more to it than dumplings, Mao propaganda, and being a penguin.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Hot Tea

I have posted a massive amount of pictures because I haven't much time to write anything of substance, wit, insight, or value. A friend from the old days, James, is with me in Hong Kong right now, during his break from teaching chemistry in India. We went to the Hong Kong Science Museum. James may look a bit different:

We went on a hike with a couple of my friends from here and 4 university students from Nanjing. It was my first time to talk to people from mainland China. It was also my first monkey experience:

The hike was to a place with trenches and bunkers used by British troops in WWII:

We refuse to live by the rules:

The group, minus 3:

We went to Macau, the former Portuguese colony. They cut a jerky-type meat from the larger slabs. You are then encouraged to purchase the meat:

This lady makes cookie-ish, waffle-ish delights:

The Macau Tower. 10th tallest free-standing structure IN THE WORLD! :

You can also bungee jump off the tower. It is the longest jump IN THE WORLD! : The group above, sitting on the lips in front of the Chinese New Year decorations (Year of the Ox is coming up): Angel, Vera, James, back: Kara, Joan, me.

I guess they had some sort of Italian festival. Both towers are completely covered in gold/silver pasta:

Everyone is really excited about the New Year (Jan 26-28, this year):

This is Bruce Lee:

And this is James and I at the top of the Peak: