Monday, May 28, 2007

The Best Dessert in Hong Kong

This is the best dessert in Hong Kong . . .which puts it very high on the list of best desserts in the world. No, I don't care what you think. And I will fight you if you disagree. So there.

It's Thai Basil (in Pacific Place Mall in Admiralty)'s Stick Banana Pudding with Honeycomb Ice cream. I would gladly stab a man to have these delivered to me at my desk on a daily basis. Both stabbing and delivery on a daily basis.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

By the way

This is a total scam.

We were on Huaihai Lu last week and were approached. And then again on Nanjing Road this weekend.

I mean I knew it, but this was confirmation.

The first bit of good customer service in China

This morning I was at the Bank of China to pick up a replacement Unionpay card for the one I lost (who knows where) and I pressed the number queue thing-y for the normal general public banking line. I had #144 and it was #103, so I figured I'd just plop down, fire up the iPod and watch the numbers tick by.

After about 15 minutes, the security guard/photocopy guy notices I have the pink sheet to pick up the atm card in my hand, grabs a number from a different line (report lost card), changes it with mine . . . I'm now number 903 . . .and the next one to go.

So thanks helpful security dude!

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Dear Collective Sales People of China:

I will be 1000x times more likely to purchase something if you do not hover over my shoulder 2 feet away.

Thank you,


Friday, May 18, 2007

How small is a teeming metropolis of 18 million?

I was out last night for post-dinner drinks at Face . . . and ran into my boss . .. in the bathroom.

This city is too small.

Monday, May 07, 2007

Hong Kong is an expensive city

Or at least has this amazing ability to cause me to spend money. Probably both are true. Aside from eating out and transport and internet access and beverages - this is what I purchased in my 5 days in Hong Kong:

  • 1 80gb video iPod
  • 1 white linen jacket at H&M
  • 2 pairs linen pants at H&M
  • 1 pair Nike Dunkesto casual shoes
  • 6 compact discs
    • Bright Eyes - Cassadaga
    • The Notorious BIG - Greatest Hits
    • Arcade Fire - Neon Bible
    • Kaiser Chiefs - Yours Truly, Angry Mob
    • The Raconteurs - Broken Boy Soldiers
    • Editors - The Back Room
  • Books & Magazines
I'm pretty sure I spent more in the last 5 days than I did in my entire time in Shanghai. Wow.


Lun Jun is Cantonese for 'clumsy' - it's also a pretty apt description of my day yesterday. I stayed with my friend and his wife in a really lovely apartment in Kowloon West (just over the Kowloon MTR station.) Since I was flying from Shenzhen to Hongqiao (Shanghai) airport at 2pm, I had booked an early bus from Price Edward to the Shenzhen airport leaving at 9pm.

I was thinking I'd get there early and buy a couple drinks - so the cab dropped me off at the Metropark Hotel . . . and I'd guess that I've taken about 2000 cabs rides in Hong Kong (almost 7 years of living there plus all the visits) . . .and this was the first time that any cab driver had given me his business card (as I was getting out of the car).

So I get out - and they immediately rush me on the next bus bound for the border - with this new bus changing system at Lok Ma Chau - so I didn't have time to get a drink. I just watched my video iPod all the way up towards Shenzhen (epsiodes of the Office) . . . and when we get to the border, I realize I don't have my little black Eagle Creek case. Luckily I come to my senses and run down the bus driver to get my suitcase off, but I'm still in a load of trouble. Dai Wok, as they say in Cantonese. Seriously - this is what's in that missing little folder:

  1. Passport - United States of America
  2. Passport Contains - Residence permit - People's Republic of China
  3. Hong Kong Identification Card (temporary)
  4. One plane ticket from Shenzhen to Shanghai/Hongqiao departing at 2pm
  5. One plane ticket from Shanghai/Pudong to San Francisco for July for a wedding
  6. Some 570-some RMB (around $60 US)
  7. The following membership cards:
    1. Six Continents Hotels
    2. California Alumni Association
    3. Golden Circle for Shangri-La's Priviliged Guests
    4. REI Membership
    5. Starwood Preferred Guest
    6. Hilton HHonors (Gold VIP)
    7. nwa WorldPerks
    8. Dragonair - The Elite (I believe this is now extinct)
    9. Continental Airlines OnePass
    10. Hyatt Gold Passport
    11. Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards
    12. Cathay Pacific Marco Polo Club

So I would have been in a little bit of trouble. So I grab the business card out of my wallet and start dialing. Voice mail. Voice mail. Voice mail. Voice mail. I get a text message: You have less than $10 HKD remaining on your card (oh crap!). Panic begins to set in - I decide to get on the yellow free bus from Lok Ma Chau border crossing to the bus terminal - and to try to at least get back down to Kowloon/Hong Kong - where I could solve a lot of problems more easily than in the middle of the New Territories. Continue to hit redial. Continue to get voice mail, but catch bus back to Sheung Shui KCR station. Once I get there, I look for a Hutchinson Telecom office, but don't see one - reason that there's undoubtedly one in Shatin, so decide to get on the KCR and head south - and while on the train, fish the business card out of my wallet and *wait a second, I've been dialing the wrong number!*

Awesome. So I call - the cabbie picks up - knows IMMEDIATELY who I am - and arranges to meet me at the Chinese University in the New Territories - and after returning my precious stuff, I tip him $500 HK (about 70US), but oh, my, sooooo lucky he gave me his business card that morning.

Wow. So after that, I get back to Shanghai eventually and go out for dinner with some friends from Cal and Shanghai. As I'm getting out of the cab, I hear my cell phone ring, so I reach for it, it's not in my pocket, and the cab is taking off. Oh crap! You have my cell phone! Cabbie puts on the gas and tears around the corner. I run, see a friend, borrow the cell, call . . .call . . .call . . .after 3 rings. The fricking cab driver turns it off.

Dammit. So all in all, I suppose karmically I was going to lose something yesterday and it might as well have been my cell phone instead of my other thing.

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Hong Kong

You ever know you're in love with a city? I'm down here in Hong Kong during "Golden Week" and I miss and love this city.

Not to disparage my current residence, but I consider this place home. I'm so comfortable here. I've had a huge smile on my face since I arrived on Wednesday.

I'll explain more (with photos!) when I get back to Shanghai