Wednesday, November 10, 2010

My latest role

Please enjoy the latest film - Learn Cantonese, Be a Babe Magnet - from The Happy Jellyfish People's Democratic Language Bureau. I appear (in a non-speaking role this time) at 2:00 and after 3:40. But watch the whole thing, because it ROCKS.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

I am The Greatest Entertainer on Earth

As I've said before, we recently moved out of the city to Tuen Mun, where we're among the very, very few gweilos. As such, we're the object of much fascination (and by "fascination'" I mean "staring"). And if we speak Cantonese the entertainment factor is ratcheted up about five billion notches. So today I was shopping and had a conversation that went something like this (the conversation was in Canto - this is the English translation):

[I'm walking through the mall and I see a shirt hanging in a shop window. I go into the shop.]
Me: Excuse me! How much is this? [I point to the shirt in the window]
Shopgirl: giggle giggle giggle giggle giggle
Me: This one. [pointing again]
Shopgirl: giggle giggle gigglegigglegigglegiggle!
[she takes down the shirt and shows me the price tag. I look it over, decide I want it]
Me: Okay, I want it.
[she rings me up and starts to put the shirt in a bag]
Me: I don't want a bag, thanks.

But it was all worth it, because here is my excellent new shirt (please also note the leg warmers that I got at the same mall):

And yesterday I almost shut down an entire supermarket by walking into a column while texting. This caused uproarious laughter, but it was when I cursed in Cantonese that the situation neared critical hilarity threshold and everyone around me almost completely lost their minds. I could still hear the laughter when I was three aisles away, and I had four kids follow me throughout the market waiting for the gweilo to do something else ridiculous. You know, like talk. Or exist.

I am a rock star.

Thursday, November 4, 2010


The past week has been slightly more insane than usual because Norwegian public television is in town to make a documentary about Cecilie. This entails much drinking, filming, drinking, and drinking, and an epic (and comicotragic) trip to the mainland.

So here are the guys - the excellent NRK crew:

We were in the mainland, in the process of demolishing another great Sichuan meal. Why can't you get food like this in Hong Kong? Every other cuisine in the world is available - Nepalese, Mexican, Italian, Cajun... there's a New York deli and a sushi bar... a west African place and a Pizza Hut... Starbucks and McDonald's and Burger King and Popeye's... and yet, NO good Sichuan food. Why? Luckily Shenzhen is just 45 short minutes away, and on the other side of that crowded and increasingly security-conscious and incredibly irritating border control is a Sichuan wonderland.

But I'm getting ahead of myself. Let me tell you about our two-day trip to Yunfu, approximately 16 hours of which were spent in a tiny van with a perpetually lost driver and one cassette tape of the same six songs.

Cecilie and our driver, Ah-Hong:

Ah-Hong has lovely eyes, enjoys long drives and U-turns, and is looking for someone with a map.

And this is what being squished in a miniature van with four giant Norwegian guys and dawning hysteria is like:

The few hours we spent outside of the car, however, made the trip worth it. Beautiful scenery:

charming villages:

typical signs:

suspicious children:

and an abandoned cement factory where we got tossed out by the security guard, but not before I managed to step in TWO mud puddle/quicksand/unknown animal poop piles.

I threw those shoes away.

And bonus photo - Cecilie and I on set of the newest Happy Jellyfish film:

(I'm the one without the mustache.)

Monday, November 1, 2010

The big move

I haven't posted for a while because we moved from the Mid-Levels to Tuen Mun, and we just got internet hooked up again. Tuen Mun is very, very different. Very few gweilos live out here, and pretty much nobody speaks English, so our Canto will have to improve (of course, that's not helped by people giggling hysterically whenever I try to speak it). But Tuen Mun is quiet and peaceful, and we've got a killer view from our flat. Some photos of our new neighborhood:

Lying on the sofa, watching the boats, not wearing pants:

View from our living room - the pool and the Tuen Mun promenade:

Watching the sun rise:

On the promenade outside our flat:

Dr. Seussian park nearby:

A playground for elderly people to stretch their tai chi muscles:

Reflexology stones - you walk slowly along the stones and they hit pressure points in your feet. I did not notice any benefits of doing this, but my feet hurt like hell the next morning.

So, here's how you move in Hong Kong: the movers show up around 9 a.m., and you leave. You leave your clothes in the closet, your food in the fridge, your pictures on the wall - everything. You go have a leisurely brunch (I had samosas and a salad, thanks) then you go to your new place. The movers show up and unpack everything - they put your food in the fridge, your clothes in the closet, your half-used bar of soap in your new shower... the nice man even picked a panty drawer for me and carefully FOLDED all of my underwear and stashed them away. The whole process took only three hours. This sure as hell beats recruiting all of your friends with promises of beer and pizza, calling that one guy you really don't like to hang out with but hey he's got a pickup truck so maybe you can stand him for one day, struggling with oddly-sized boxes you picked up from the liquor store... So after only three hours and absolutely no effort on your part, you're completely moved to your new place and it looks as if you've lived there forever. God, I love Hong Kong.

My favorite part of the new flat is this lighted cabinet by the door. It's currently displaying my extensive collection of 7-11 toys:

And now, a bonus picture! Sometimes when you're shopping for flowers, you come across a bag of skin.

Yes. A bag of skin.

A bag. Of skin.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Back to nature

Ahh... a lovely October day in Hong Kong. The weather's getting cooler, the sky is clear - what better day for a hike along the lovely beaches of Lantau Island?

Looking for seashells on the pristine beach...

Observing the wildlife....

Admiring the local vegetation....

Communing with nature soothes the soul.

note 1: most photos by Kelly, because he loves taking pictures of junk.
note 2: Lantau really is beautiful, but Kelly was holding the camera this time so these are the only photos we got.

Fusion cuisine

Can't decide between egg rolls and spaghetti for dinner? Why choose just one?

Marco Polo would be proud.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Business as usual

Yesterday I journeyed over to Kowloon - The Dark Side of Hong Kong. Although the Hong Kong government is doing its best to tear down everything built over ten years ago, some vestiges of the chaotic, Chinese, non-shiny city remain.

Including the Lucky Brothel. Apparently the cheapest whore is a mainlander - they go for 200 HKD (I assume by the hour?) - but the prices go all the way up to 500 HKD for a blonde. I'm seriously thinking of bleaching my hair and moving in - I'm too lazy to get a real job.

Also still standing is Hong Kong's oldest housing estate, built sometime in the 50s. Residents were recently forced to move out and the government says it's preserving the building to serve as a museum. But we know how that goes. There'll be a Gucci at ground-level within a year.

The only good thing about all the work being done in the area? The workers. The beautiful, beautiful workers. So all the gweilos who are afraid to leave Central? Fine. More for me.

(Photo by Cecilie Gamst Berg. You should check out her blog - it's way more interesting than mine.)