Friday, March 26, 2010

Bondage chic

People in Hong Kong look good. Really good. The women spend several hours applying their impeccable makeup and assembling their multi-layered designer outfits. The men are wearing their skinny jeans or Prada capris or Gucci suits. And me? I'm wearing dirty pants and an old t-shirt. As such, I've never ever gotten a compliment on anything I wear.

That is, until yesterday. Two different people stopped to comment on my accessory - one calling it "pretty" and one wanting to know where I got it. What was it that finally has me on the fashion A-list? My wrist brace:

Yes, I popped a tendon trying to open a jar of pickles. I'm in excruciating pain, but I've finally made it.

Next week I'm going to poke myself in the eye with a chopstick and rock an eye patch. Look for me in the Fashion & Style pages of the South China Morning Post.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Why I always buy the paper...

In the news this week:

Man, despondent over losing job, dresses as Green Lantern and threatens to jump off bridge. Is talked down.

Pollution levels are so high they cannot be measured by pollution index - 15 times acceptable level. City waits until 3 a.m. to issue warning, then tells people to stop smoking that day to disperse the pollution.

White woman mishears conversation at bar, stumbles home and composes an email to some friends alleging that two Chinese women attempted to abduct a white toddler at an amusement park. Email is eventually circulated all over Hong Kong. No such incident ever occurred, drunk white lady issues apology.

Man, assigned big project at work, goes bald in one week.

Boy, 15, stabs classmate's mother over 100 times because he is afraid she will report his theft of her son's phone. Says he stabbed her so many times because he did not want her to turn into a zombie, as he'd learned from video games.

And so much more...

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Meat and veg. And then more meat. Oh, and some drinks.

Tacos are good. In fact, they could be the perfect food - tasty, savory, portable - but good tacos are hard to come by in Hong Kong (go figure). So I was excited when I read about a relatively new establishment called "Mr. Taco Truck" located in Quarry Bay. Kelly and I headed down there on Friday night to check it out, and we found a tiny corner shop decorated to look like, well, a taco truck:

Here we see my grilled fish and carne asada tacos, and Kelly's veggie burrito.

We also had chips (fresh out of the fryer), salsa (red, green, and a smoky hot-as-hell version), refried beans and rice. This place was by far the best Mexican we've had here. Bonus: the owner is an Actual Mexican! (Or at least, there was some guy speaking Spanish when we were there). We shall definitely return.

Saturday I signed up for a vegan Korean cooking class out in Aberdeen. The class was on the 19th floor of a sketchy industrial building that housed random small businesses and had bare concrete floors and freight elevators. Just the thing to whet the appetite.

We made kimchi (some of which I have fermenting on my kitchen counter at this very moment, much to Kelly's dismay):

We also made scallion pancakes with an excellent dipping sauce:

And miso soup, which I didn't stay around to taste because I was late for....cocktails at the Intercontinental! This is the fancy-schmancy bar:

And our fancy-schmancy cocktails (they look like they're about to take off because they're on fancy-schmancy glowing coasters). Singapore Sling:

Blushing Dragon:


After a hard day of vegetables and alcohol, nothing hits the spot like a steak. We wandered through Tsim Tsa Tsui until we got to Jaspas, where I had the surf and turf, of course.

I tried not to eat the vegetables.

And here are the sorts of things you run across if you're wandering through TST on a Saturday evening:

And finally,

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Eat your vegetables!

On Saturday we had dinner at the fabulous Kan Kee - a vegetarian dai pai dong in Causeway Bay.

This was a huge event, as dai pai dongs are great, but there's rarely anything that Kelly can eat because everything has meat in it (people in Hong Kong use pork the way we use salt - it goes in everything). So we were thrilled to learn about this place (I read about it on the excellent blog Doufu Mafia). I called in the afternoon to pre-order our food and the conversation went something like this:

Her: Wei.
Me: Hi, I'd like to order a meal for four people tonight.
Her: Yes.
Me: Okay, we'd like the sweet & sour "pork"-
Her: No more.
Me: Oh. Okay, then we'd like-
Her: You like curry?
Me: No, we don't really want curry-
Her: Tomato!
Me: ...What?... I...

(And it just went on like this. And yes, we got curry).

So this is what we ended up with -

Fried rice with roasted cashews:

Eggplant in ginger/citrus sauce:

Mushrooms and zucchini stir-fried with XO sauce:


And honey-glazed char siu:

It was all very, very tasty. And, of course, very cheap. Dangerously so, in fact, because we were able to afford way too much beer and ended up singing karaoke at a bar in Sheung Wan.

Because "Africa" by Toto isn't going to sing itself, you know.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Pepto is supposed to make you feel BETTER

You can't tell from the photo, but this billboard is quite large.

And I have to walk by it every day. I think it's the combination of the sickly-sweet pink color and the model's fleshy lips, but it makes me incredibly nauseated. Don't his lips look as if they'd smell like rubber? And the furrowed brow - why? What is going on here? Actually, there's a larger version of this billboard in which you can see the full picture - he's feeding a fish. This explains nothing. But it also makes me wonder what graphic designer possibly thought it was a good idea to crop the photo so all we get is the close-up of this rubber-lipped bald guy who looks as if he's either been punched in the crotch or is in the throes of pink, latex-scented passion.

My only consolation is that this will be taken down after the event. Which just can't happen soon enough.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

The man I love

I've been with my gorgeous and brilliant husband for twelve years, and today is our one-year wedding anniversary. Although we've been together for a long time, he never ceases to surprise and delight me. For example, this is the last conversation we had before leaving the house last night:

Me: Do you have your keys?
Kelly: Yep.

And that is how we ended up calling a locksmith at 2 a.m.

Luckily I was still in a good mood from the bar, where the "molecular mixologist" made me a Panda Colada - a pina colada in gelatin form perched atop pineapples that have been dehydrated then reconstituted with rum.

That drink is the only reason Kelly is still alive this morning.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010


Today I had quite the expat housewife day - lunch with a girlfriend and then the spa. But this was no ordinary spa. This was...Wonderfish! Wonderfish has tanks of tiny fish that want nothing more than to nibble off your dead skin. So I spent 30 minutes letting them feast on my calluses, old scars, and general ashiness.

Here they are swarming around when I first put my feet in. They were so happy.

After about 20 minutes, some got full and went to take a nap on the pool floor. But the fatties kept at it.

As one woman also undergoing the treatment described it, it feels like wearing vibrating socks. Except, you know, you can see hundreds of fish swarming around your feet, and they look eerily like leeches, and you're pretty sure that you're going to have nightmares. But other than that, just like socks.

Oh - and it actually works. My feet are soft and pink now. And covered with fish saliva.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Sweating...I mean, Hiking to Tai O

When it's 95% humidity, clearly the only thing to do is to go on a four hour hike through the mountains of Lantau Island. Taking the ferry over there we missed the flying fish and albino dolphins, but got a great view of the cable cars going up to the Po Lin monsatery.

This being Hong Kong, part of the hiking path was paved, but the last bit was rocks and dirt and awesome. Some photos from the hike:

We ended up at Tai O - a traditional fishing village (the "Venice of Hong Kong") complete with houses on stilts, questionable seafood, and dried fish everywhere.

We had something that I think might be crawfish, but in Canto they're called "peeing prawns" - apparently when you pick them up, they pee on you. According to my friends this is a good thing because you don't want the urine still in their bodies when you eat them. When you think about it like this, it really makes you wish that every animal was a peeing animal....

The waiter showed us how to "massage" them so the meat would relax and they'd be easier to peel. I found it too much work for too little payoff, so I focused on the roast goose and fish head instead. I did not eat the eyeballs this time, as everyone seemed horrified by it.

On the bus ride back I enjoyed a raspberry/passionfruit kit-kat and saw a cow get hit by a taxi.*

* The cow was fine. Unless, of course, it had severe internal bleeding, in which case it's dead by now.