Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Chronicles of HK: Food

was told there's a lot of things to eat in Hong Kong that I simply must try. I was also told there is nothing much to eat in Hong Kong. I guess it lies on the eyes of the beholder...
I managed to try a lot of kinds of food. Not all. Just a lot. And I think it's not too bad. Too expensive but not all that bad. Dim sum was really nice. Wan tan mee cannot beat Malaysia's. Coffee not really common there. But food portions are generous. That's my take. =)

Chronicles of HK: Disneyland

Yes Disneyland deserves a whole blogpost for itself.

It's been my childhood dream to go to Disneyland. I'm a big fan. Watched almost all of its cartoons / movies. I'm one of those kids that got caught up in the Disney magic and believed in happily ever afters. As silly as that sound, I'm no different then million of kids (and adults) that throng the streets of Disneyland. Even if it's bilingual. Mickey Mouse was speaking in Cantonese. How weird is that?

But the shows and performances were truly spectacular and magical. I kept thinking about how they did that - trying to figure out the science behind it - which spoils everything. I should be like a kid pretending it's magic. "When you wish upon a star, makes no difference who you are, anything your heart desires will come to you"

I loved it. I could go again. Ran out of camera battery.

Next: Food

Chronicles of HK: Life as I see it

The buildings in HK are towering above us. Reaches to the sky. It brings new meaning to concrete jungle. Some areas you can see only glimpses of the because the towers faded in the clouds. (i'm exaggerating)

With such limited space and a blooming economy there really isn't many places to build but up. My hosts live on the 40th floor and there's still up to go.

There are many flats and apartments (have not seen a landed property yet) in the area that is too small to live in yet fits your grandparents, your parents, single siblings, you and your new wife. I was told some people rotate sleeping hours and work on different time shift just to fit into that kind of lifestyle. Space is a luxury. The ones you see in the movies are larger than normal.

The picture is your regular flats. Yes flats.

On weekends and holidays (which I was caught in), people come out to roam. They don't mind the late nights to avoid going home. The streets are crowded everywhere you turn. Everywhere. For those with crowd phobias, you might need to move in and out very fast! Faster than their average fast. Everyone seems to be in a hurry.

With all the walking people do here. You rarely see any overweight people. Everyone is slim and fit. That solves the general cholesterol problem in the country. (I wouldn't say the same about the anxiety and depression rate though)

Everyone wears flats (with rounded tip), sports shoes or boots. I could count the number of heels I saw in these last few days with my hands. Remember, by now I've probably seen thousands of people. (the pic are hazel's collection of shoes)

Speaking of health... with the not-too-long ago SARS scare and death in hongkong, every sector has taken extreme precautions to sanitize and practice good hygiene. The picture on the left was taken from INSIDE an elevator. And these kind of sign can be found everywhere. You are EXPECTED to practise good hygiene. Smoking is strictly prohibited and punishable.

Hongkong is turning green. With all its civilty, they are encouraging recycling and other forms of enviromental friendly practices. Including not giving you plastic bags. You are encouraged to bring a bag or put everything in one bag. (as seen in the pic) Children and the common people are being educated about the environment and earth.

Ironically the country consumes more energy than (probably) the entire Malaysia. It's a city of lights that shine ever so bright as a beacon and shout-out to the world for attention.

Though we've heard many times that people here can be rude (which is true for the common folk), they do try to be courteous and instill civility. Banking on Confucius' ethical codes for communal living, it is common to see/hear instructions like the picture on the left. Mind the doors please. Hold the handrail. Mind your step. Mind everything! And people do follow. Stand on the right side of the escalator. Let people out of the train first. Line up to take the lift or public toilet.

The picture on the left is the only clubbing scene in HK and its filled with ang mohs. Apparently it's not popular to club or pub here. People practice healthier living and hobbies. Hiking, exercise, movies and shopping. With the stress level HK faces and no personal space, it only make sense to have a better kind of lifestyle to survive here (and not go insane).

Despite their insanely busy lifestyle, general retail shops don't really open till about noon. We were walking about before noon and many shops were not open yet. And we thought Seremban was a sleepy town. Perhaps it's due to the late nights.

However, around every street corner, advertising is on the rise. People are brand conscious, style conscious and every other kind of conscious. Signboards outdo each other in size, caption, style. They are in your face and not afraid to offend. You think salesperson that dog you in the shop is irritating? This will be infuritating. But when you think about it, shopping IS their commerce.

Food and things are generally very expensive here, even after conversion. You need to close one eyes and just accept the regularly accepted pricing. But though food is expensive, the portion is huge. Check on the picture. The unagi is huge while the rice portion is smaller. And the size portion everywhere is that. I guess you WOULD need to eat more with all the walking you're doing.

We also figured the town planner / developer here is a little OCD. Everything is lined up neatly or in boxes. Trees in the middle are also in boxes. Buildings are all square. It's just the little impression we got. It is neat and nice and good and all though.

Oh the bamboo sticks we see in kungfu shows... they really use them here. This thing goes all the way up and is surprisingly very sturdy. I was too afraid to climb it but it didnt budge at all. We see this on every building under construction. No metal bars anywhere. Cool eh?

There's bacon in this burger. Need I say more?

We caught the night show on the island. The Symphony of Lights. The entire city shots out lazer and beams and lights that dance to the music. The show is on everyday at 8pm. Don't miss this. You won't see this anywhere else. I wonder how they coordinated so many buildings across the plane? (and use up so much power)

Next: Disneyland

Monday, October 26, 2009

Chronicles of HK: Noah's Ark and Victoria's Peak

We had to change our schedule a little due to limited space allowed into Noah's Ark. (as we discovered online) So we headed to Noah's Ark on the second day (jus the two of us according to Hazel's written and detailed instructions). And I could not have imagined what I was about to behold. It was not just one boat. It was a whole area.

Inside the ark was not made of wood or was there any animals (as I had hoped). It was a state of the art educational system - to tell people about the flood and what the ark symbolizes. The few people that came together to build the ark was Christian and wanted to share the message of hope that God can give. (verses and Bibles are available at the souvenir shop) There were 4D experiences, digital imagery and things you can't possibly imagine. I can't describe. Photos were not allowed so I can offer no visual aid to this blog. History of the flood, history of the search for the ark, what does it mean to us today, how was the ark build (scientifically explained), different people groups story of the great flood, the line of Noah's children, etc. (like wow)

Pics of outside

After a long day of walking, we hurried back for church service at the Vine, an international multi cultural church. They were in the midst of raising fund for their new building and buzzing with activities.
That night we headed for the Peak - Victoria's Peak. All the way to the top and overlooking Hongkong - the real city of lights. The view was spectacular. We could stand there for hours if not for the crowd. On the other hand, Hong Kong is consuming too much energy! The amount of energy used to generate this kind of electricity to light up an entire city can drain another country! But the sight is still spectacular. Below is one of many pictures taken. Mich took some really good ones on the DSLR she lugged around.

Next: Life as i see it

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Chronicles of HK: Shopping and travelling

We landed safely at HK airport and made our way as per Hazel's written instructions to get to her apartment. Apparently everything is accessible by public transportation, even by such kampung girls as us. And somehow... we did. (after being scolded once by a security lady after being discovered that we lined up on the wrong taxi lane. who knew all the taxi colours meant different things) But we managed to arrive. Safely. Have no fear friends and family!

We arrived at almost midnight at Paul & Hazel's cozy little apartment, while many hongkies still roam the streets below as though it was only 9pm. Crazy people. Real night owls..

Note: Read the rest of this blog in hongkie english slang. with one syllable higher than the next syllable.
We spent our first day in HK shopping, as you can probably guess. They weren't kidding when they say this is a shopping paradise. Hazel brought us first to Mongkok, a place with cheap and decent things to buy. We grabbed the opportunity and I found myself allowing myself not to worry about what I normally worry about. You could say I let go. In a couple of hours we had already spent a few hundred HK$ and had to retrace our steps and count our cost. After all there were people to buy for, and a few more days left in this busy city. But all in all, I gotta say it wasn't too bad. Reignite my drive to shop. But I think I'll visit places like Sg Wang and Terminal One in the future. =P

I was told travelling is extremely convenient here. Everyone depends on the public transportation with their life. Rarely anyone owns a car to call their own. It simply makes sense to use the public transportation. So much so that everyone wears flat because they walk so very much in this country. Even at midnight. I was brought to experience the crazy cabbie, oh-so efficient MTR (train), double deckered bus, old fashioned tram... etc.

p/s: last pic done with ppt on paul's laptop w/o any photo album s/w

Next: Noah's ark

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Chronicles of HK: Preparations

It's one day to my trip. I had decided last year that I should take one trip each year, out of the country (as on my own as possible) to get away from everything. I almost didn't have one this year but finally pulled it off with some persuasion. So here I am.. almost immediately after GLS making all kinds of plans that normally should have been done 2 weeks before hand.

  • pack warm clothings - checked
  • change money - checked
  • inform card - checked
  • something for Eiz - checked
  • work delegated - checked
  • ticket and passport - checked
  • directions, plans and map - itinerary from hazel
  • camera from lynne - checked
Thank you Lord for this trip. I may not feel it now but I'm sure I need this. I want to learn to be grateful beforehand =)

Next: Shopping and Life

Wednesday, October 21, 2009


Not many pictures this time. Thank you to all who worked and practiced so very hard for this event. Many leaders have been blessed and enriched through the Summit experience and speakers. Nothing we ever do is in vain! It is a good kind of tired feeling knowing that whatever role we play, works towards the same objective in this event. No one individual is lifted above another but that GOD gets that final highest glory as He uses us.

Sign up for GLS 2010 in Metro Tabernacle, KL

Friday, October 16, 2009

counting down to GLS

GLS is in 3 days time....
Will update about the preparations later.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

I need to Believe

It was St. Anselm who taught true spirituality when he prayed, "Oh Lord my God, teach my heart where and how to seek Thee, where and how to find Thee. For I do not seek to understand in order to believe, but I believe in order to understand."

I need to believe to understand
Aches I cannot comprehend
Questions I cannot answer
Stories I cannot see

I need to believe
That You are Lord God Almighty
Strong enough to rescue me
You answer when I call
Please don't let me go

I need to believe
That You are sovereign
You hold my tomorrows
Every step You've ordained
Please help me see

I need to believe
That You are near
In my silence and anger
You still hear the words I do not say
Please don't turn away

I need to believe
That You are God of love
Full of mercy and full of grace
Nothing will stop You from loving me
Please don't change

I need to believe
That You are good
You will not treat me unkindly
And You make no mistakes
Please help me trust You

I need to believe
And I do believe….
And I do love You...

Monday, October 05, 2009

Meaning of my name

"What is in a name?"

Juliet (from Shakespeare) decided that a name is just a name, neither hand nor foot, nor any part belonging to a man. It has no part in a man.

But according to old Hebraic understanding, a name is everything. It defines you and destines you.

I did a little search for mine.

Anne means grace, favour.
Alternative in Hebrew is Hannah: A little prayer offered and granted. God showing favour...

I think it DOES define me. I've been shown a lot of grace in my life, a lot of favour. And somehow I think it always will be. God has promised to always look into my every need. And I will lack nothing. He's always gracious towards me.