I NEED YOUR HELP!

Hello bloggers and internet users out there! I haven’t blogged in a while, mostly because I’m no longer in Hong Kong, 😦 so this sort of feels weird. I miss it though.

Anywho, the point of this post is to literally BEG for your votes! 

I entered a TOMS contest to win a chance to go on a Giving Trip (please vote here), and I would really appreciate your vote and any other form of support (Facebook posts, Tweets, articles, etc) so I can get into the top 50.

TOMS gives shoes year round with their Giving Partners (humanitarian organizations). And several times throughout the year, they take employees and community members along on Giving Trips. During these trips, they help their Giving Partners place new shoes on the feet of kids. The trips also give everyone an opportunity to see firsthand the work that their Giving Partners do 12 months a year, integrating TOMS Shoes into larger programs to improve education and health. If I am chosen, I get to go on one of these Giving Trips and put free shoes on the feet of kids who NEED them.

I have put the link to vote for my entry below. It takes SECONDS to vote. Please help me share this. It would mean a lot if I actually got chosen. Anyone can vote and you do not need a TOMS account to do so. People can vote multiple times using their TOMS, GMail, Facebook and Twitter accounts. THANK YOU SO MUCH!

Vote for me here – http://www.toms.com/ticket-to-give/flags/5979Image

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Posted in Class, Food, Hong Kong, Nigeria, Service, Social Media, Travel, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Ching Cheung Chau Llama Lamma Lala Mama

I’m hoping that by the end of this post, you understand the reasoning behind the title of this post, but chances are you probably won’t. At least not fully. I’m sorry I make these silly things up.

I’ve spent part of these past two weekends exploring two different Hong Kong islands. With my days left in Hong Kong numbered, (I can actually count them using my fingers 😥 ) I’m trying to cram everything I haven’t done into these last few days. Last week I visited Lamma Island, and the week before that I biked around Cheung Chau Island. It was a bit shocking seeing how different the two islands are from the Hong Kong I’ve grown so used to. For starters, except for the occasional police car or ambulance, no cars are driven on either island and as such, people walk or bike to get around.

People over there live much simpler lives and I couldn’t help but invite the calm atmosphere into me and embrace the serenity while biking up and down the steep hills in Cheung Chau, and walking along the family trail at Lamma Island. Sometimes it’s just great to escape the hustle and bustle in the city and experience a few hours of calm, and Cheung Chau and Lamma Islands are two great places to do just that. (I would also recommend visiting the Chi Lin Nunnery at Diamond Hill, it’s amazing what that place does to you and your peace of mind). Here are my photos though:

ImageAll the bikes right outside the ferry pier at Lamma Island. It was the same scene (just with a lot more bikes) at Cheung Chau Island.

ImageBy the pier at Cheung Chau Island

ImagePeople work so hard here, up until they physically can’t anymore. I felt so bad for her back :s

ImageSome houses in Cheung Chau

ImageWe had to carry our bikes up the steep climb along the “Little Great Wall.” One thing I won’t recommend (the bike-carrying) and will never do again.

ImageWe went to this vegetarian restaurant on Lamma Island called Bookworm Cafe and I loved the quotes strewn all over the room. The food was amazing and it was a very cozy space!

ImageI saw all this happy graffiti along the family trail at Lamma Island. I decided to put them together 🙂

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ImageMy recent obsession. “The flower itself symbolizes complete purity and perfection because it rises beautiful and without blemish from the mud.”

ImageA local dessert. Pumpkin mochi? 

I notice I upload a lot more photos in my posts now. Not so sure if that’s a good or bad thing. Anyways, to explain a little bit (at least) of this blog title, here’s the last one:

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Posted in Extracurriculars, Food, Fun, History, Hong Kong, Travel, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Christmas in Hong Kong

I guess the Christmas season is big everywhere, but I’ve been really impressed by the Christmas decorations I’ve come across all over Hong Kong. Detail is key, and they’ve certainly not missed out on any with their Christmas displays. Christmas is my favorite time of the year, especially because recently, it’s the one time of the year I get to spend at HOME with my family and friends. Also, my mum is a Christmas day baby so we always have double the celebration (and cake! ^_^ ) I have a lot of photos so I won’t write much. Enjoy!

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ImageYou know, just the typical Swarovski crystal-decorated Christmas tree.

ImageThe car I’m going to win. Did I ever mention how one in four private cars on the roads of Hong Kong is a Mercedes? I completely just made this statistic up, but from my observation, that’s what it seems like.

ImageMore crystals. This display was still under construction. I should probably go back soon to see what it looks like now.

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ImageI had to get to the top!

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ImageIt was so cool watching the egg open up and close shut.

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And of course, my favorite. Thank you, Ted Baker store at Pacific Place!

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Funny Food

I guess I’m even a worse blogger when I don’t have classes. My last day of classes for the semester was sometime two weeks ago, and I had exams all through that week. I began interning at a company in Admiralty afterwards and I pretty much laze about and pass out right after work. I had to put in my calendar “Put up blog post” today just so I didn’t forget to do so.

Anyways, this post isn’t about my internship (maybe that will come later), but it’s about some of the weird/unusual stuff I’ve eaten during my stay here in Hong Kong. If you know me even the slightest bit, you should at least know that I am one of the pickiest and weirdest of eaters, starting with the facts that  I don’t eat cheese except on pizzas, and I don’t drink milk unless in cereal. Naturally, I’m not one to try new foods, and I usually stick with the same orders, flavours, textures, and toppings. This is also because I have a very high gag reflex, but this is leaning towards too much information. Recently, I’ve been a lot more open to trying new things. I mean, I AM in CHINA and would be missing out on  a lot if I didn’t. By the way, did I mention how I don’t drink tea, but decided to study abroad in the one place where tea is so widely served and abundant it’s used to clean/sterilize eating utensils?! I have to pay to get a glass of cold water but tea is FREE. Okay, I’ m going off point again.

Here are the few photos of some of the funny/weird things I’ve eaten during my stay here. I wish I had taken more pictures earlier!

 ImagePig’s Blood. It tastes a lot like liver, but isn’t as dense. At first I thought the soupy liquid was the blood, and that the chunks were liver or some other inner body part. But the blood (also called blood tofu) is left to congeal, cut into cubes, and then cooked. It wasn’t bad at all, I’m just not sure if I’d eat it again :s

ImageSome sort of Bird’s Nest creamy milk. This is a sweet dessert I had in a Dim Sum resto, and although I dislike milk, I decided to try this. It had a not-so-smooth texture and I concluded that I would love it if I liked milk and Greek/chunky yogurt.

ImageOx Tongue. This was a tricky one. It was seasoned to perfection but I couldn’t get over the fact that I was eating an ox’s tongue! It also didn’t help matters that one of my co-workers said to me, “You know you like it, it’s just like french-kissing a yummy ox.” Like french-kissing oxen is a normal thing. I don’t know, it tasted (texture-wise) like what you’d think a tongue would taste/feel like.

Well, that’s all for now. I’m going to try more new things and keep this post updated!

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Sometimes You Just Need To Chill

So I haven’t blogged in a while because I’ve had Final written exams, a Cantonese oral exam, Final Presentations, and four Final papers to write these past two weeks. I cannot tell you how relieved I am that all that is OVER! *Pops bottle of…water.* I was super stressed all week, and although I’m great at hiding my worries and fears, I had a minor breakdown at the beginning of the week. Nothing serious, and I was able to calm myself down by doing what I always do. Breathing. And continually saying to myself, “It’ll be fine, you’ll ace these exams and get these papers done before their deadline.” I did not sleep for over 4 hours each night this past week, so it’s a wonder how I’m functioning still. 

Anywho, by Thursday morning I was done with my presentations and written/oral exams and I had to complete two rather lengthy papers. My study abroad group had been planning a yacht trip for Friday and I had earlier expressed my interest in attending. I had over seven thousand words worth of papers to write, but I also just wanted to relax. I decided I would make my decision by the end of the night. I was somehow able to complete the paper I had started earlier in the week at the end of the day, but still had 4000 words of another paper to start working on…

I went for the boat trip.

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ImageWe were really close to the famous Hong Kong amusement park that I still haven’t been to yet – Ocean Park.

ImageThis is one of my favorite photos from the day. If you stare at it long enough, you can almost see the clouds progressing.

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Great sunset.

It turned out to be a beautiful day with great weather, and an excellent decision. I didn’t swim, or do any of the banana boating or wakeboarding activities that everyone else did. I just sat on the boat, danced, ate, drank, slept, and CHILLED. Best decision.

As for my paper that’s due in like five hours, I woke up at 2am on Saturday and somehow got it done before 5pm. God is great, I tell you.

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Struggle Macaroons

So on Thursday night, a friend and I went for a macaroon-making session at a studio in Causeway Bay. We found a good deal on Groupon and bought our vouchers as soon as we could. Best. Decision. Ever. Okay, maybe not EVER, but you know what I mean.

Let me just say that right from the beginning, my macaroons were destined for failure.

ImageThe very first step. The egg white and sugar mixture was meant to be foamy/fluffy after a few minutes of whisking. I still don’t know if I messed up, or if my electric whisk wasn’t functioning properly. Needless to say, I had to trash that mess and start all over again.

ImageThis should have been the red flag warning. I was trying to be creative by making new designs and some I saw other people doing/designs the instructor had shown me, but of course mine came out blehh. Maybe if I had just stuck with the normal circle-shaped macaroons I actually see in bakeries but noooo. Although to be fair, I think they would have still come out the same way, texture-wise at least.

ImageFirst batch out of the toaster oven. Hahahahaha. 

ImageAt this point, I really didn’t care what they looked like anymore. It was just a bit depressing looking across the table and seeing these glorious macaroons making mine look like dog poop.

But at the end of the day, although mine didn’t look like the perfect macaroons you see at Ladurée, they tasted REALLY good and left me wanting more when they were gone.

If you’re in Hong Kong and you want to learn how to make some interesting and yummy macaroons, here’s the place to do it. Did I mention the unlimited snacks and drinks that came with our session? I’ll leave you with a photo of a pleasant-looking macaroon of mine. 

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New Recipe

I feel like I haven’t blogged about food in a while, so here goes!

On Sunday morning, I woke up convinced that I had to cook myself a balanced and healthy dinner that night. On my way home from church, I stopped by the Hung Hom local market and bought a variety of groceries – cabbage, peppers, carrots, a cucumber, and spring onions. I had no idea what I was going to make so I decided to go with the flow of whatever my fingers picked. I always cook with shrimp and chicken so I decided to try something different, I got myself a nice (but relatively expensive) filet of salmon.  On reaching my apartment building, I got the sudden urge to buy potatoes so I ran back to the market to buy a few. I hadn’t eaten boiled potatoes since summer! I forgot I had signed up to cheer for a track meet, so that took up most of my afternoon. Our group ended up having (free) dinner together afterwards at a nearby Chinese restaurant with amazing dishes so that discarded my plans to cook that night.

So on Monday I was determined. I found a simple recipe for grilled or pan-seared salmon on allrecipes.com and decided to make that with some boiled potatoes and stir-fried vegetables with sesame oil. I had most of the needed ingredients and those I didn’t have, I borrowed from some friends. I forgot to take pictures of my salmon marinating in the soy sauce and sugar marinade, but here are a few photos of the finished and semi-finished dish. 🙂

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I don’t mean to brag, but this meal was perfect! That was the juiciest piece of salmon I had ever had and I’m sure I wouldn’t have found that in any restaurant here. Try the recipe out, it’s really easy to make and promises a tasty piece of fish! I didn’t have brown sugar, so I used normal granulated sugar with a chili soy sauce and corn oil. Yummm!

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“Click-Boom”

No, this blog post has nothing to do with ticking bombs. If for even a second you thought it did, you must be as paranoid as I am. 

Yesterday I went on a field trip with my History class and we visited some temples, markets, and  museums in the New Territories. At the Tai Po Railway Museum, there were a bunch of school kids on a field trip as well. Apart from the fact that seeing them play around so care-freely made me miss my childhood and feel old, I picked up on something majority of the kids seemed to possess. Cameras. More than half of them had cameras. And not the lousy/cheap kinds either. At first this seemed normal but I remembered being that age and not being able to handle even disposable cameras without supervision. Taking pictures was always something the adults did, and the kids would almost certainly wreck the cameras.

It just goes to show how Technology is everyday becoming more and more a part of our lives, starting from younger ages. It’s getting easier to use and is becoming more accessible to the public. These kids were zooming in and taking pictures from different angles! It also made me wonder if the children here are maybe more responsible than the children I know and am used to? More creative? More eager and interested in technology/photography? I don’t know. I’m sure in like a 100 years new-born babies will be able to use some sort of tech platform/gadget too. :/

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I figured that 1) It’s weird that I even went around taking photos of little kids and that 2) the least I could do was hide their identities in the best and easiest possible way. If I were a six year old, I’m sure my parents wouldn’t want my face on some college student’s blog.

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City University of Hong Kong – SU Abroad

Some weeks ago, my dad suggested I blog about the school I’m studying in and the program that’s making it happen. I’ve been a student at City University of Hong Kong these past 7 weeks, and I have been taking a mix of Political Science, History, Business, and Language courses. The program I am on is hosted by Syracuse University, New York and as a result, I am living with a good number of SU students (Funny how my school, Villanova University and SU are supposed basketball rivals). The thing about my program (at least the option I chose) is that I do not take classes with the local students at City University. We have our own classes in smaller groups taught by some exquisite professors and real world big-timers. So in actual fact, I’m not a full-time student at City U. I just have partial access to its campus and many amenities. I haven’t been able to take many flattering photos of the beautiful campus yet, but here are a few random pictures I happen to have taken during my stay here thus far. More and better photos coming soon!

ImageThis is the first thing I see once I get out of the train station on my way to class

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ImageWhere all the magic happens i.e. where majority of my classes take place

ImageThis is the small computer room in the building that I have most of my classes. I’m usually here between classes wasting time on the internet studying for my next class, replying emails and printing out handouts and PowerPoints for classes.

I’ve been enjoying my stay here, and time seems to be flying by. I’ve got finals in like 3 weeks! Wish me luck!

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Sai Wan: Isn’t Nature Beautiful?

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I feel like I haven’t blogged in so long! I’ve had midterm exams and papers to write these past two weeks, but I’m finally a lot freer, so I can get back on track with this. Today a large group of us went hiking in Sai Wan and further down to the Sheung Luk stream/waterfall. The hike was SO steep and rough, but thank God we all made it there and back safely. The views were beautiful and the water felt great, and we all had a great time. I had never done anything like this before – the combination of the long, steep and scary hike and rock climbing, culminated with the great swim and watching my friends cliff-dive (I’m neither the bravest nor the best swimmer out here). Here are some of the photos I was able to take before getting into the water. 

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SO beautiful! Getting to the waterfall was so dangerous and scary though. There were (of course) no lifeguards or stream watchers (lol) to save anyone if they fell or were drowning. There was also no safety rock climbing equipment, which I guess gave us all some sort of weird thrill. 😐

Posted in Extracurriculars, Fun, Hong Kong | Tagged , , | 3 Comments