Sayonara, Hong Kong

When you live somewhere long enough – even if you don’t like it when you first arrive – time has a way of forcing you to allow that place to grow on you. The things that used to drive you mad eventually no longer fill your heart with rage. The surroundings that you thought you’d…

Tai Yuan Market – Toy Street

Once in a while I leave the refuge of Lantau and venture into the city. This time it was to go to the famous ‘Toy Street’ (proper name in Cantonese, Tai Yuan Market) to take a look around and see if I could find some cheap, fake Lego. Toy Street was, to my surprise, chock…

What pollution looks like in Hong Kong

Pollution in Beijing has been a hot topic in the mainstream media for the last week or so, but air pollution is something that affects us here in Hong Kong too, even though we’re quite far away from China’s capital city. The fact is, China remains the world’s producer of damn near everything, including the…

Mums & Maids – A Few Thoughts

There is a great video going around online titled ‘Mums and Maids’, and it really struck and chord with me because although the video was filmed in Singapore, it is the same situation in Hong Kong. The issue of mums and maids and child rearing is something I’ve been avoiding writing about, because it is…

Why didn’t I take my camera?

It was one of those spur of the moment things, and I ran out of the house with only two things in hand: keys, and child. But why oh why didn’t I take my camera? I missed out on the chance to capture one of those rare moments when you find yourself looking around and…

Date night in Hong Kong

Happy birthday to me! And what better way to celebrate turning 34 than drinking cold beer and gorging on dumplings? I had originally planned on going to a fancy restaurant with a view of the harbour, but changed my mind. We did in fact get the harbour view, but without paying a pound and a crown for it…

Kung Hei Fat Choi!

Kung Hei Fat Choi! It’s been a long weekend in this part of the planet as families gather for the biggest event of the year. Forget Christmas, forget New Years Eve… the big party is Chinese New Year. Even here in this small village there’s been night after night of festivities. People have done major house…

Things That Make Me Happy

It doesn’t take much to make me happy. I’m a very simple person. A boat ride on a sunny day with a cold beer will usually do the trick. But today I had a lot to be happy about.

Kwun Yam Temple, Hong Kong

Visitors to Hong Kong are often surprised at how modern and somewhat westernised the city seems, and how much it doesn’t really ‘look’ or ‘feel’ like China. Perhaps they are expecting it to be a bit more like the movie scenes from Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon…

Hiking the Olympic Trail

When the first week of January presents you with 22’C and a perfect blue sky, there’s no way you can spend your day indoors. So we grabbed our Bush Baby (that’s the name of the baby carrier, not our nickname for the kid), filled up some water bottles, strapped on running shoes, and headed out…

A Very Expat Christmas

Just because you’re a million miles from home with no family around, there’s no need to feel lonely on Christmas day. You simply assemble all the other eager expats and celebrate with your friends, of course!

I guess I need to go buy a tree after all

It’s been about eight years since I’ve ‘done’ Christmas. But now that I have a kid, I might have to shed the Scrooge McDuck disguise and put on a Santa hat instead. Tis the season to be merry, right?

Share a Coke with Chan Jao-Yiu

There’s been a lot of fuss recently about the Coca-Cola cans that have people’s names on them. The can craze has finally reached Hong Kong, but with a twist.

Stranger Danger

A few days ago in the Chinese media there was a news article about a foreigner fainting on the subway in Shanghai, and instead of someone coming to help him, or at least going to get help, every single person in the train disappeared like a fart in the wind, leaving the man laying on the floor.

Basket cases

The saying goes that necessity is the mother of all invention. If that is the case, then there are a lot of very inventive people living in Mui Wo, judging from the weird and wonderful bicycle baskets that I’ve been seeing around.

Addicted to hash(ing)

Something must be wrong with me! Addicted to alcohol… drugs… shoplifting… porn…. all of these are common addictions… but addicted to exploring the bush? Yup, I think I have a problem.

Rolling in the deep

Yesterday I did something that I swore I would never do — I swam in Hong Kong. But before you go accusing me of being a snob, I have good reason for wanting to avoid dipping in the salt in the South China Sea….

Ten Tips for Travelling with Babies

Tiny Winy is 16 months old and has a whopping 12 trips under her belt — proof that just because you have a baby, your travelling days are not over. Here are some tips on how to successfully plan for a good flight with your child.

Well this sucks

99% of the time, I love living in the lush green villages of Mui Wo. But when it’s been raining for ten days straight, and I mean without stopping, I want to stab myself in the face repeatedly with blunt chopsticks from the kitchen.

Happy Birthday to Me

It was my birthday recently, and my darling husband gave me the best gift that anyone can give to a woman with a one-year-old child: some time off from mothering. Which could only mean one thing — I was going downtown.

Let’s go get lost

True trails can be hard to find while hiking in Hong Kong. More and more trails are being paved and manicured to make them ‘safer’ or ‘more accessible’ to hikers, which just goes to show how many government officials actually like hiking.

The best squid in town

It’s dirty. It’s noisy. The floors are wet and the chairs are plastic. You can barely hear yourself talk over the roar of a gigantic wok on the fire nearby. But it’s got some of the best food in Mui Wo, and it’s dirt cheap, so why complain?

The third tower

Finally, after many attempts, the third tower on Butterfly Hill has been conquered. Oh, and my husband peed on it too.

Along the watchtowers

There are three ancient watchtowers in Mui Wo, built by the local villagers and used for defenses against pirates back in the days when Lantau was a wild, inaccessible island. Today we attempted to hike around all three.

Baby on Board

Now that the Little One is almost a year old and is nice and big and fat and strong, I finally got her a baby seat for the bike so we can go zooming around.

Buffalo soldiers

The feral cows and buffalo that roam around in Mui Wo have it made. They are free range cattle — no farms, no milking, no ploughing the fields, no nothing, and all the fresh grass you can eat!

The Amazing Octopus Card

Buy beer, pay your water bill, and take the bus, all using the same card. May I present to you one of the best things about life in Hong Kong — the Octopus card. Don’t leave home without it!

The town on two wheels

Village life is not for the faint hearted, the weak legged, or the lazy. In a village with no cars, you have to rely on your bicycle and ride around to get what you need. Time to flex those muscles!

Running Free with the South Lantau Hashers

Never been on a Hash before? Not to worry — just get on your running shoes, grab a beer, and head out on a trail with absolutely no idea where you are going. On On!

Mystery Meat in Hong Kong

In the few years that I’ve been in Hong Kong there have been many a food scandal coming out of China. Fake eggs, fake meat, fake baby milk (which, tragically, resulted in the deaths of a number of babies) are just but a few examples. Then there was the weird case of exploding watermelons. And…

Arty farty

A lot of interesting things have been floating around Victoria Harbour these days, other than the usual mish-mash of trash. First it was a huge inflatable poo at the Kowloon waterfront: Then it was a giant rubber ducky: Poo and ducks are both things that float in a tub… I wonder what’s next? Both were part…

Feeling Feral

So what’s with all the wild cows on Lantau island? Who do they belong to? And how did they end up just moseying around Mui Wo as if they own the place? The wild herd of cows that inhabit Mui Wo village, or at least the herb that I see regulatory, seem to number about…

Money to Burn

A few days ago while walking around I noticed there was a lot of paper floating around, caught up in the grass on the side of the road. I grabbed one and realised what it was — death money. It was then that I saw at a nearby neighborhood temple that there was a funeral…

Picture of the Day

So, a few random shots of daily life around here. Because sometimes I’m too lazy to actually write something insightful. Only in Hong Kong is it necessary to put up this sign in a kids playground!  The ‘no gambling’ and ‘no laundry’ are my favourites. Also found this quite amusing… Heh, heh. Beware of the…

Village people – goodbye downtown, hello countryside

So my mother is finally coming all the way from Trinidad to Hong Kong to visit The Child — and yes, that is with a capital T and a capital C. It is a long, long trip that takes over a day each way, and causes terrible jet lag. I’m hoping she will enjoy the…

Save the Sharks – a look at the fin trade in Hong Kong

I’ve eaten a lot of sharks in my lifetime. As a kid in the twin islands of T&T, Sundays at Maracas Bay meant a big, juicy shark and bake, and shark meat was plentiful on the supermarket shelves. All that started changing a few years ago. The fishermen weren’t catching enough sharks, and if they…

So You Think You’ve Got It Bad?

Ever since having a baby my little apartment of 500 square feet has suddenly become even littler. Before the kid arrived this place was juuuust big enough for two adults, one of whom travels frequently for work and the other who, prior to giving birth, was at the office for more than 12 hours a…

The Ugliest Hotel In Hong Kong

If you should ever find yourself staying at the Best Western Harbour View Hotel in Hong Kong, beware — you may need to brandish sunglasses at all times. Gold plated from floor to ceiling, with the absolute tackiest, cheapest looking furniture and chandeliers one can find, this bizarre hotel is without a doubt the UGLIEST,…

What the (・_・?)

Walk like an Egyptian. Do as the Romans. How about text like the Asians? Emoticons — the use of punctuation marks to make shapes and facial expressions — used to be simple. The original was just a sideways smiley face, which we all know:   🙂 But in Asia, which has infinitely more complicated keyboards,…