23 October 2018

Hiking



The weather has cooled down now and I am so looking forward to more hikes.  We haven't really gotten back to hiking regularly since the super typhoon that hit us a while back.  There were trees that had fallen that were blocking the trails. We had to climb over the felled trees, go around, or try to go under the branches in one of the trails that we did.  That was two weeks ago.  I think by now,  though, most of the trails would have been cleared.

I love it that we don't have to go far to get on a hiking trail.  Right next to where we live is one. Five minutes away from the kids' primary school is one.  A few minutes away from their current school is another.  There are plenty within the city and many more further afield (but still less than an hour away).



Singwa - Wed, 24 Oct 2018
View from The Twins



Singwa -  Wed, 24 Oct 2018



We get gorgeous views from some parts of the trails.  We get some not-so-welcome "companions" sometimes (hello, wild boars!).  Most of the time when we pass other hikers, everybody nods or says a cheery "good morning."  My friend and I chat and catch each other up.  Then we treat ourselves to a nice, refreshing bubble tea (mine without the "pearls") and lunch afterwards.  So looking forward to hiking again (but mostly to the bubble tea!).



16 October 2018

I had been drooling over this recipe for a while now and had been dying to try it.  The kids are on mid-term break this week and I thought it would be a good time to give this a go.  So full of flavor, quite easy to make.  It is a bit heavy on the tummy, though, but... I did do 30 laps in the pool this afternoon.  So.  I indulged.

Singwa - Wed, 17 Oct 2018

Singwa

Go ahead. Check out the recipe.  A word of advice:  Make sure you have plenty of room for these.  It's hard not to eat just one or even just two or even only three!  My son had six!


09 October 2018

w e d n e s d a y



I am so enjoying the cool, crisp weather that we are having now.  It's great hiking weather... sunny days with a brisk, cool breeze.  I think this is my favorite time of the year.

Life has been chugging along.  The kids will be on their mid-term break next week.  They are looking forward to being able to sleep in.  I am also looking forward to sleeping in!  I am looking forward to days with no scheduled activities, days where we can check out new dining places, days when we can perhaps explore a part of Hong Kong we haven't been to yet.  We haven't made any plans.  We'll just see how we feel and roll along...

Singwa - Wed, 10 Oct 2018


02 October 2018

My City



As with any city, there are good things and some not-so-good things. Hong Kong has been home for me now for over 20 years.  In all the time I've lived here, the positives definitely outweigh the negatives.  How the city got through the super typhoon (last week's post) is but one of the reasons.  Here is a one-minute video that gives you a better picture of how quickly the city got back on its  feet.


I love how efficiently things are run. Yes, my knowing how to speak the local language helps, but even if you don't, you can still get things done pretty quickly. Food here is great and (generally) cheap.  There is the convenience of city living, yet the beaches and the mountains are very close by.  

The transportation system here is top-notch - super convenient, super accessible.  Here is another minute-long video to give you an idea. 


There are a lot more things that I love about this city that I call home, but I'll save those for future posts.  Hong Kong is a place that you'll either love or you won't.  Not much middle ground.   You either love it with a passion or you don't.  It can be overwhelming, it can be rather in-your-face. Despite the things I find frustrating here sometimes, though --e.g. the crowds, expensive (and not enough) parking spaces, air pollution, just to name some, --I am happy and proud to call Hong Kong home.

Singwa - Wed, 03 Oct 2018

What do you love about the city where you live now?

25 September 2018

Up and Running



Hong Kong was hit with a super typhoon two Sundays ago (Typhoon Mangkhut).  We knew it was coming and that it was strong.  We've had typhoons with a Signal 10 rating before. We've had typhoons that rattled and shook the huge panes of our windows. The kids had experienced typhoons that closed schools.  They look forward to those!  This is the first one, though, where they actually wished that they're in school instead and not have to be so worried about how much damage the typhoon will wreak.  This is the first typhoon where I was genuinely scared.  The building where we live was swaying (I later learned that it's actually meant to sway with strong winds, on rollers or something to better protect against strong winds and earthquakes).  Facebook and WhatsApp were full of videos and pictures of the damage --windows smashed, (construction) cranes bent, roofs blown off, big trees uprooted, floods, debris all over the place. 

Typhoon 10 was hoisted for 10 hours, after which it went down to T8 for a few more hours, before being downgraded further.  The kids were off school for three days, on account of felled trees blocking the roads, etc.  We took advantage of those days to go to a nearby neighborhood and help clean-up.  

We couldn't help much with the felled trees and the big branches, but we helped where we could. There were so much styrofoam pieces, big and small, that had been blown in from the sea.  From afar, they looked like white pebbles, but it was staggering  how much styrofoam pieces there were.  The kids, together with a few of their fellow Scouts and schoolmates set about gathering all these foam pieces into trash bags.  We came prepared with gloves and tongs.  Over two days (two hours each day), the kids managed to gather close to 15 big trash bags full of foam pieces, plastic bottles, some glass shards, and just general rubbish.


What was great, though, was seeing people pitch in where they could.  When we were there, there were other people doing the same thing. There were people going around offering bottles of water, offering trash bags. Residents passing by expressed their appreciation for the help.  There was great community spirit.


It is this community spirit and Hong Kong's can-do attitude that got the city up and running in no time. Considering the intensity of the typhoon and the devastation that it wrought, the government and the people, in general, plowed on and things are chugging along as best they can. But for some big trees / branches and debris on the roadsides yet to be collected, it's business as usual now.


12 September 2018

Life Is Like a Camera



Nothing of note seems to be going on, but for some reason, I've been busy.  Life has gone back to "normal" mode, I guess.  Kids are back in school, after-school activities have started, Scouts are back in session, errands galore...  Same old, same old.

Singwa - Wed, 12 Sep 2018


04 September 2018

Zoe's Art



Once in a while, Z gets in a mood for drawing.  She has stopped having art lessons for about 2-3 years now, but it's great to see that she hasn't lost interest altogether.  She would sometimes browse through Pinterest and get inspired and out will come her set of pens and she'd set herself down for an hour or so of quietly drawing.






She's the only one among us who is really into drawing. Maybe she gets it from my mom and dad...  In any case, I love her drawings.  She's come a long way from the little stick figures that she would draw when she was little.

28 August 2018

An All-Time Favorite



Yes, my last couple of posts have been about food.  That might have given you an inkling of how much I love food.  I'm usually game to try new places, new food.  This below, though, is  not really new.  We've been to this restaurant over the years and the food is at the top of my family's list of our favorite eats. It's nothing complicated. It's just pasta and mushroom soup, fares which you can get at any respectable Italian restaurant.  But... (finger raised), it's not just any pasta, not just any mushroom soup.  

The pasta is spaghetti with 24-month old parmesan cheese and truffle paste (tossed in a huge wheel of parmesan and cooked/infused with Bacardi rum).

 The soup is wild mushroom soup with generous truffle shavings.

That's truffle heaven!

I am aware of at least two other restaurants that offer the same (they're cheaper, too), but they just don't taste as good as what we get at Palco Ristorante.  They don't scrimp on the good stuff at Palco's. It's so good that every time we go there, all four of us always order the same thing: the pasta and the mushroom soup. Boring, I know, but we all love it so much that we don't want to miss out on them and order other things instead.  What's more is that every single time the yumminess and the satisfaction level is the lick-your-plate-clean kind. A true indulgence.


What's a dish that you've tried that would be at the top of your list of all-time favorite dishes?


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