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.

The first cherry blossoms in Japan

Twice in one month? Well you know what they say in Trinidad… if it nice, do it twice! And this time, we got to see migrating whales.

Awesome Okinawa

Greetings from the land of shisha dogs, amazingly potent sake, and Spam sushi!

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.

Faster than a speeding bullet – Japan’s shinkansen

Would it sound bad if I said that my first trip on Japan’s famed bullet train was a bit…. meh? I’m not sure what I was expecting… Robots that zoom through the aisles to serve you ice cold beer or something?

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!

Is T&T a good tourist destination?

“Not every country can capture the hearts of all the travelers passing through it,” the Compendium website says. “Travelers, please submit a list of reasons explaining what you hated about visiting ________ .” Boy oh boy were people willing to throw in their two cents about why they hate T&T! 

Whitewashing

Ironically, the white tourists in Thailand are trying their best to get as brown as possible while all the Thais are hiding from the sun.

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…

The Travel Bucket List

We all have a list of things we’d like to see and places we’d like to go before we kick the bucket — what’s yours? Bali? Paris? Kyoto? Kilimanjaro? It all depends, really, on what kind of tourism you are into and what kind of traveller you are. Me, I have a hard on for…

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…

Passports and Pampers – baby gets her first stamp

A few nights ago I slapped my 9-week old daughter right in the face. Now before you accuse me of child abuse, let me say I did it for her own good. See, she was lying there in bed fast asleep, all plump and innocent with her wonderfully soft and powdery baby skin, and a…

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,…

Christmas Tabanca

Christmas is always a tough time to be far away from your family. Regardless of how much of a pain in the ass the process leading up to Christmas day itself is — the endless traffic on the roads, the commesse of people frantically shopping, the long lines in the supermarkets as everyone rushes for…

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,…

20 Signs You’ve Been in Asia Too Long

Without a doubt living abroad changes you. It challenges the things that you thought were the norm and shows you that perhaps there are other ways to do them. You pick up new habits and shed old ones that you realise are not so relevant anymore. And you learn that not everybody on the planet…

Sun Yat Sen Memorial Park

Within walking distance of my shoebox — I mean, apartment — is the lovely Sun Yat Sen Memorial Park. A rare patch of green along the waterfront, where people can actually lie down on the grass and picnic with their families under the shade of the trees. In a place where flat land comes at…

A Sexy Surprise

I found myself wondering the other day whether Chinese people got their groove on a lot. After all, there are a billion of them, right? Imagine what the population would be if it weren’t for the One Child Policy! There is obviously one heck of a lot of sex going on around here. But despite…

Bamboo Boys

How do they do it — cover entire buildings with bamboo scaffolding, like a network of spiders engulfing a forest, with little to no tools other than thin strips of black plastic to hold it all together, and little to no safety equipment? It always makes me whip out the camera to take a shot…

The dark (and dirty) side of Hong Kong

Without a doubt, the worst part about life in Hong Kong is the POLLUTION. It is incredibly depressing when you don’t see a blue sky for days and days at a time, knowing that it’s not because of clouds, but because of industrial and local pollution. Today the sky cleared but I had been counting…

Lions at the Gate

The dragon may be the most powerful, popular and well known animal in Asian culture, but there is another animal that is far, far more common in daily life in China and all over Asia: the Lion. Being a newcomer to Asian culture, sometimes I notice things but don’t understand their significance. For example, a…

Scam City – How to Not Get Ripped Off in China

When you travel, you should always be careful about what you do, who you talk to and what you agree to. After all, you are an outsider in a place you’ve never been before, you don’t know where you’re going, you may only be there for a few days, and there are always a few…

Liming at the Lantern Festival

This weekend had two holidays making it a four day weekend, with the Mid Autumn Festival (sometimes known as the Full Moon Festival) and National Day falling together. And my Trini friend Laura, who has just moved to Hong Kong and still has the enthusiasm of the newly arrived, suggested we go to Victoria Park…

The tallest bar in the world

Want to get high in Hong Kong? I mean real, real high? All it takes is a quick trip in an elevator to the swanky new bar aptly called Ozone, at a whopping 118 floors high, perched on top of the tallest building in Hong Kong, the International Commerce Center. Part of the very glamorous…

Snack attack – Asian style

It is a bit of an understatement to say that the snacks over here are ‘different’. You get all kind of ‘exotic’ products and flavors that you would never find over in the west because it just wouldn’t do well on the market. For example, take a look at these, on sale at my local…

Okinawa — the caribbean side of japan

When you think of Japan, do you think mega cities, crowded trains, teenage kids in freaky costumes, black-suited salarymen, serene temples, sushi restaurants, geishas in kimonos? For the most part, this is all true, this is the Japan that most people know around the world. But I was pleased to find that if you head…

Stupid people and their smart phones

I don’t often bitch about my own personal gripes, since this blog is for the most part related to travel and life abroad, but I feel compelled to have a little rant about stupid people and their endless attachment to their stupid phones. Let me start by saying I do not have a smartphone. I…

Above Average: Why finding bigger sizes in Asia is so damn hard

If you are a woman with some ‘meat on de bone’, as they like to say in Trinidad, then it can be tough to find your size in Asia. In an area of the world where the average person is shorter, smaller and lighter than their ‘big boned’ Anglo counterparts from the West, someone like…

Maid in Hong Kong

If you come to Hong Kong and happen to be here on a Sunday, you will most likely notice there are thousands upon thousands of young women that seem to be camped out all over the city. Every outdoor space, whether it is a park, a promenade, a patch of shade between two buildings or…