Museums + Temples…what real tourists do.

Today, a group of us had a class field trip to the famous Museum of History and some three temples dispersed around Hong Kong. I don’t have much to say, so I’ll let the pictures do the talking.

ImageThese were the steps right outside the Museum. I think they’re pretty cool, kind of 3D-like.

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The Chi Lin Buddhist Temple was my personal favorite. It was extremely beautiful and serene. I felt so calm and at peace and I honestly didn’t want to leave! It was so relaxing listening to the birds chirping, the water flowing in the ponds, and the dull recording chanting Buddhist verses. We all felt like we were in some isolated area far from civilisation when in fact, we were smack in the middle of the city with surrounding skyscrapers. There were so many beautiful large gold statues of Buddha all over the temple (that I wasn’t allowed to take photos of) and it was interesting seeing how much detail was put into the design and building of the temple.

One of the things our professor/tour guide mentioned was that the buildings in the Temple were all built with wood and without the use of any iron nails. Well, guess what we found…

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Posted in Buddhism, Extracurriculars, History, Hong Kong, Museums +Archaeology | 2 Comments

Sunday Rice

I don’t know if it’s a ‘thing” in Nigeria, or just my home, but ever since I can remember, rice has been a fixed dish on our Sunday lunch menu. White rice with stew or curry sauce, fried rice, jollof rice, and coconut rice have always been Sunday favorites.  I decided to make some fried rice today. I spent a lot on groceries, but it was so worth it! I just had to share…

ImageMy crazy stove almost ruined my food, and for a second I thought I had burnt my rice (who burns rice?!) But I’m glad it all came out great! 😀 

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Crossroads Foundation

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Yesterday, a small group of us in my study abroad program volunteered at a non-profit organisation, Crossroads Foundation. I was completely blown away by what this organization does and what it stands for. Below is their mission statement:

“Crossroads Foundation is a Hong Kong based, non-profit organisation serving global need. We believe that, in a broken world that sees too much suffering, we should do all we can to link those who are in need with those who can provide help. So we provide an intersection, literally a crossroads, to bring both together.”

Basically, they accept donations of clothing, furniture, electronics, books and more, figure out where the need for these items lies across the globe, and ship them to the people or organizations in need. They also run a fairtrade store that makes sure the crafters and manufacturers of the items on sale receive living wages.

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All the 70 international workers at Crossroads receive no salary, and are there by choice. Being on-site and in their warehouse alone made me feel like I wasn’t doing anything with my life with the privileges I have. It made me want to do so much more for people in need. I feel like everything there is somehow helping the environment or is helping people all over the world. Even in the restrooms, all the toilets were twinned!

My job was to help organize donated items in the Incoming Office warehouse. We boxed up china and the donated books, and helped arrange donated computers and accessories in shelves. This took just about two hours, but time went by a bit too quickly!

Shop the (Crossroads) Global Handicrafts Fairtrade store here.

Shop the Eden Ministry store here.

“Every day you have the opportunity to learn and experience some-thing and some-one new. Seize the opportunity. Learn and experience everything you can, and use it to change the world.” – Rodney Williams

 
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Martial Arts! Btw, I apologize for the crappy photo in advance.

So I woke up still drunk this morning (my first time ever, never again) after a crazy night and completely forgot I had signed up for a martial arts class today. Luckily enough, I didn’t think to wear sandals or flats or even worse/impossible, heels, and my FEED TOMS served me well. I was still dressed inappropriately for the session though, but luckily again, I wasn’t wearing a dress or a skirt which would have been a not-so-fun debacle. The girl next to me in the photo, Alma, is clad in the ideal attire for this sort of thing. But it was so much fun and I Iearnt a few new moves. Watch out, midnight pilferers and rapists!

Because I Ieft home a bit discombobulated, I forgot my camera and had to rely on my phone again for the photo-taking. Needless to say, my phone’s camera is simply not holding up. Someone tell RIM to sell to Samsung or Apple! I was only able to have one photo taken, at the beginning of the class. The rest of it was pretty intense and I couldn’t exactly stop our dear instructor, William mid-kick to ask a wandering loiterer to take photos of our amazing awesomeness.

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I can still hear us shouting, “HEI! HA!”

It had also rained about an hour before the class, so we were all mercilessly attacked by mosquitoes. I just thought I’d add that bit.

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Kitchen Dangers + First Cooked Meal

Until last night, I hadn’t cooked a proper meal in the kitchen in my apartment. Not counting instant noodles or eggs, of course. I’d been eating out most dinners and I decided it was time to quit the laziness, go out and buy groceries, and have some intimate bonding time with my kitchen. I didn’t make a hefty or complex meal, but I’m glad I was finally able to cook something substantial (and REALLY yummy!)

One of my roommates had told me how basically, the stove here is on some crazy steroids. It heats up really quickly and frying food for example, becomes 10 times more dangerous. Hot oil had just splattered on her face while frying eggs, and she had a nasty burn mark on the spot. You can imagine how geared up and ready I was with my apron and gloves on, especially because I had to fry some onions to make my tomato sauce. I had to keep turning the stove on and off (reducing the heat made no difference) to make sure my sauce didn’t get too hot and splash on me/all over the place. At the end of the day, I still ended up with some battle scars but luckily, nothing serious. 

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Pasta and shrimp marinara 🙂 

It had also been a while since I had done that many dishes! 

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Temple Street!

ImageA bunch of us went to the busy Temple street tonight. We walked through the street markets and were lured by traders to look through the wide variety of items in their stalls. This place reminded me so much of the markets at home, so I got a bit excited/happy and nostalgic at the same time. The markets were generally cheap, and we were able to haggle prices down like true pros! 

ImageMaybe I should have stopped by Stephen Shum’s stall to find out my fortune, or perhaps ordered a plate of the chicken leg dish at the street restaurant we ate at. I honestly need a new wallet so maybe next time I’ll pick up one of those knock off Tory Burch wallets. So many things to do on Temple Street, so many reasons to return.

ImageI ended up ordering a dish of fried noodles with shredded chicken. Not the best I’ve tasted, but yummy and satisfying still. Oh, and I used my chopsticks today! 😀 Before eating, we stopped by a woman’s stall where she sold handmade jewelry. We all wanted our names on our customized bracelets so we asked her to weave our names into ours. We picked our colors, and she told us to return in about 30 minutes. I don’t know how she got all of them done in time, but after dinner, she was patiently awaiting our return with 4 beautiful bracelets resting daintily on her display table. Here’s what mine looks like. I am sufficiently pleased!

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Harbour City

After frolicking around in way-too-expensive stores, my roommate and I did some sightseeing and touristy stuff in the famous Tsim Sha Tsui (TST). Right outside Harbour City mall were loads of statues of some popular Japanese character that I had never heard of. I still don’t know what it is/what it’s called. We had of a great view of the harbour, and just a fraction of the HK skyline.

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We ended the day with lunch/dinner (lunner?) in some underground food court. I had some chicken and eggy fried rice thing that wasn’t worth the HK$62 I paid. It wasn’t terrible, and I guess the green vegetables in the small bowl made it a bit better. I didn’t try the soup because it smelled gross. But all in all, I had a great time. I had too much fun for a weekday. I ended up too tired to even think of going out at night.

ImageNotice the chopsticks shoved behind my plate. I promise to learn how to use them soon! Just not with rice.

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FNO Hong Kong!

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I was SO pleased to attend Fashion’s Night Out, HK yesterday. Although I wasn’t able to stay to meet all the celebrities whom I may or may not have been able to identify, (Darn you, classes!) I had an amazing time at the two Lane Crawford stores I visited. The drinks and food kept coming, and I can confidently say they sure know how to throw a party! The stores were both beautifully decorated, and the designer displays were très magnifique! I’m not sure if I was allowed to take photos of the items and displays, but I was able to get away with that, thank goodness. I bought one of the charity shirts, and had a fun time customizing it.

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I think I did a great job, if I must say so myself. I won another T-shirt because I bought something in the store, so I don’t feel as bad for how much I paid for the first. Along with the fact that the money is going to charity.

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One of the beautiful displays. Alexander McQueen, I believe. Someone needs to get me a job/internship in the fashion world!

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Kwai Fong

Last night I did some shopping in Kwai Fong with some friends. We walked out of the KF (Can I call it KF?) station and right in front of us were two large malls: a high-class expensive mall with all the designer stores, and a MUCH cheaper shopping complex with smaller boutiques and ladies beckoning you to enter their stores. What was fascinating was that the two malls are connected by a tunnel, so we could easily switch between malls if we wanted. We decided to start off with the cheaper mall and funny enough, never actually got to the more glam one. Most times, when I see really cheap stuff, clothes and accessories particularly, I immediately think low quality. But there were so many things I saw that kept me gaping at the discounted prices. This isn’t to say that there weren’t any knock-off and designer-imitation items…

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Those mannequins are kind of freaky, aren’t they?

I bought a few sheer tops (just what I need for this unbearable heat) and some jewelry. We all agreed that we’d be visiting Kwai Fong again, but that we’d budget a little more time, maybe a weekend. But I’m really excited to go to those really cheap tailors I keep hearing about. I’ve got so many things I want to get made before I leave here! Hopefully, I’ll be putting up a post about that soon.

P.S. I apologize for the poor quality photos. My camera is a bit too bulky to take to class with me everyday so my phone’s been doing a lot of picture-taking recently.

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DISCLAIMER: THIS HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH HONG KONG!  Well, at least not directly.

I’m not going to pretend like I’m a Politics fanatic, I’m not even close. But this was a great speech. Very descriptive, well written, and I was able to catch up on a lot of the goings-on in the American economy and government. I’m not even an American citizen, but I want the US to progress, and for that to happen, it needs Mr. Barack for 4 more years. God bless America!

CNN Political Ticker

(CNN) — In his remarks at the Democratic National Convention on Wednesday, former President Bill Clinton offered a spirited defense of President Barack Obama and officially entered his name into nomination for reelection.

“In Tampa, the Republican argument against the President’s re-election was pretty simple: we left him a total mess, he hasn’t cleaned it up fast enough, so fire him and put us back in,” Clinton said.

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