Friday, February 27, 2009

home away from home...

under the south tower, looking towards the north tower

north tower-dorms

view from south tower-19th floor balcony

“A tree trunk the size of a man grows from a blade as thin as a hair. A tower nine stories high is built from a small heap of earth.”
Lao Tzu

Tuesday, February 24, 2009


I took these pictures on my way to pick up my student Octopus card for riding the MTR. Students get every single fare for half the price, which really adds up, and we have picture identified cards. I don’t mind if anybody knows I went from Kowloon Tong to Tsim Sha Tsui, but it's interesting how much data in general could be tracked. Seeing the MTR headquarters (which was a different occasion) made me think about IT on the planet Camazotz. A Wrinkle in Time sure was a great book. Hehe, food for thought.

It has been really hazy here the last few days..and it sure is getting humid!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

The case of the yuanxiao dumpling

Not too much new to report here...I was a little lethargic last weekend due to feeling a bit sick and a book that sucked up my attention. It all started after eating a sesame filled dumpling in red bean soup--called a yuanxiao dumpling or 粽子. We had a floor party celebrating a holiday for the mainland students, and this was the traditional snack served.

Basically, we’re talking black sesame powder inside of sticky rice flour, all floating in a bowl of red bean soup. Here is a photo I found online...looks appetizing, huh?

Here is the recipe if you actually think so:
(sorry, dear reader, I tried and failed to insert the link properly)

Thankfully, both the nausea and the book are history..hahaha. So maybe this weekend will yield greater returns. Oh no, that phrase made me think of accounting--midterms in 2 weeks!

Well, there are two new photos to share:

Inside Kowloon City Plaza

I know I already posted a pic from my room, but the sky was purple!

Sunday, February 8, 2009


With the weather still being cool, and a free day to make plans, Liana and I decided to take the one-hour ferry to Macau and see what we could see. Technically speaking, we left Hong Kong (passport stamping involved). Upon arrival we found a tourist information center and picked up a few pamphlets to browse though and plan our day. I’m pretty sure half of Liana’s info ended up being in Portuguese, which was humorous.

We decided on 5 spots that looked interesting, and got on bus 28C. This one looked like it would go near the Templo Kun Iam, which was the first place on our list. Here is the thing about the buses. Even if you know where you want off, it’s basically impossible to know the number off stops the bus will make first, and when is the right time to ring the buzzer and get off in the desired location. Only the main stops are listed, and there are tons of little stations everywhere. We basically just guessed and got off. After lunch at an unnamed restaurant franchise that is the epitome of globalization, we found some street signs and navigated our way to the temple. I was surprised to walk under the incense coils and see that they were actually burning on the ends.

We decided not to brave the bus again, and walked to the next destination, Jandim Lou Lim Ioc. This was a lovely garden in the city, and certainly a haven for those who live in the hustle and bustle every day. I saw several people meditating and making the most of the atmosphere. This was my favorite stop of the day!

Next, we walked to the Guia fortress, near the center of the city. The view was spectacular from the top. We sat down for a minute to look at the map and decided that the next stop looked a bit far away, and that some of the streets were not labeled. We decided a taxi ride would be nice, and I proceeded to hail a taxi for the first time ever. The map I had was nifty because I could point to the destination in English, and the Cantonese version was right next to it. The driver took us to the Ruin’s of St. Pauls Cathedral. This was an interesting stop, and there was a room underneath called the Museum of sacred art that struck my fancy.

View from the ruin's of St. Paul's

Liana and I were able to continue on the walking journey, and we arrived at Senado Square, a very popular tourist attraction! I bought a tea (no idea what it was called) and it tasted like rose water, which surprised me…I think I liked it? A group of kids asked if they could interview me for a class project, and we had a little chat about the Chinese New Year festivities. Will I celebrate the New Year back home?? Well yes, but I doubt I will get any red packets…

The light was fading and the twinkle lights over Senado square where pretty grand. I have always been a fan of twinkling ambience. We stayed for a while and then decided that we were ready to find our way back to the East side of Macau for the ferry terminal. This meant another bus ride, but we picked the right one and our location was really easy to spot, so everything went fine. A very enjoyable day!

Kung Hei Fat Choi!

As an addition to make this post even looonger, I enjoyed going to Bro. Rodney and Sis. Grace Ralee’s house for church last Sunday. My friend Wendy (from HK and currently living in Ohio) knew them and gave me the contact info. Hong Kong is surprisingly safe, and I knew I would be just fine on a Sunday morning with angels by my side, but it still took me a while before I felt comfortable enough to travel there alone. I rode the MTR and then took a minibus to get there. Bro. Rodney told me in his email where to get off, and I searched online to see exactly what stops I would be skipping (a bit easier in HK), and the approx. time of the drive. You can never be too prepared, right?

We sang Amazing Grace and a few other songs, and Sister Grace played the piano beautifully. The Ralee’s 6 year old son sat in the front and changed the power point words while singing with enthusiasm, and his 7 year old sister sat beside him and kept looking over at me. It was cute. During the sermon, Brother Sam stood off to the side and translated into Cantonese.

After church everyone was sweet and hospitable and they said typically they serve lunch, but the kids had a Tae Kwon Do performance that afternoon. After fellowshipping for a while, Bro. Ralee walked me back to the bus stop and waited till I was safely on my way, which is always a good thing. The Ralee's are currently out of town for two weeks, but now that I know how to get there, I want to go back!