All entries for September 2006
September 25, 2006
Spotted in Hong Kong:
September 22, 2006
Greetings from sunny China!
And sunny it is, though surprisingly hazy. Hong Kong is hot, though not unbearably so, and humid. What makes the heat easy to take is that every building – quite literally – is air conditioned, though I still can’t get used to the fact that when I go outdoors, it’s warmer than indoors…
It’s really hard to say what’s been going on without sounding really boring. Most interesting things to have happened so far: we’ve been severely screwed up by jet lag, I’ve been sick in a nice restaurant (in the toilets, thankfully!) and I’m getting a dress tailor-made for about what I’d pay for a Monsoon dress in the UK. It’s been hard adjusting to things like the time difference, the heat and the food, but we’re into day three now and I think we’re pretty much sorted. Dreading how long it’ll take me to get back to UK time, but at least I’ll know that I can eat pieces of meat knowing that they won’t still be on the bone! Having said that, food’s dead cheap if you know where to look: we had a nice Chinese today for lunch that cost a fiver. For two of us. That’s 2.50 each. Bargainacious!
We’ve done some of the sightseeing bit – we’ve taken the Star Ferry across the harbour and seen all the major skyscrapers, and generally seen most of the place. Still to do: taking the tram to the top of Victoria Peak to see the view over the city, and seeing the Big Buddha, which is on the island we’re staying on. We’ve agreed to give Hong Kong Disneyland a miss. Other than that, we’ve mainly spent the time shopping, as things like electronics and clothes are surprisingly cheap. Customer service out here is amazing, almost too amazing in fact: shop assistants will happily run around the shop for you (literaly) to find the perfect pair of jeans, but they won’t accept that you might want to leave the shop without buying a pair; it’s almost like they think they’ve failed you. I felt so bad today handing a pair back to the lady because they just didn’t fit right – she just looked so disappointed. People here are really polite, and they really do take the phrase, “Happy to help” to a new level.
Other things that we’ve seen: Jackie Chan everywhere, including advertising his own gym, and the lightshow on the waterfront, where all the big buildings light up in time to music, which was really impressive. And we’ve managed to get by without using any Cantonese, as most people speak English to an extent. And friendly people keep stopping in the street and giving us directions when we’ve been lost, which is very handy!
Haven’t had chance to explore the island where we’re staying yet, though it does have the Big Buddha on, and our hotel’s right on the beach. It’s not a bad place to stay either, bar having to take the ferry over each morning – not great if you’re prone to seasickness, or if you’re feeling decidedly dodgy, like I was the other morning.
All in all, am having a really good time. It’s great to have the chance to experience a culture that’s so different from our own, particularly now I’ve had the chance to settle into it and have found somewhere where I can get a proper cup of tea. Will hopefully return to the UK with some great photos and a few tacky souvenirs as well as a few bargains.
I’ll update again if we manage to do anything else interesting, but for now, I’ll leave you all to your lunch :)
September 17, 2006
Yeah, it really has been a while, hasn’t it? I’d like to excuse myself by saying I’ve been rather busy this summer, but I’ve realised that quite a lot of that busyness has involved me a) going out to town with friends, or b) going the pub. But that’s not to say that I’ve not done loads of stuff. I’ve been to see Snow Patrol, I’ve been camping down in Somerset at Soul Survivor, I’ve been to the Leeds Festival and seen the Kaiser Chiefs (who were really good) and Franz Ferdinand (who were amazing!), I’ve been to London to the Prom in the Park, I’ve been to Delamere Forest, I’ve been boating on the river in Chester, I’ve shown a couple of people (namely Geoff and Kel) the sights of Liverpool (well, kind of)... and have basically spent the rest of the time catching up with loads of people I’ve not seen for ages and who I probably now won’t see for a while. That, and teaching myself some new songs on the guitar, I’m getting reasonably good now! And I’m getting guitarists’ fingers to boot. Oh well.
As for work done, it’s perhaps best not to mention it. I’m hoping to get more of War and Peace read (yep, still halfway through it) on the stupidly long flight I’ve got coming up, and have been trying to read some Shakespeare, but still, I have the awful feeling that I’m going to be behind before term even starts.
And as some of you know, over the summer I purchased this thing of great beauty:
I proudly present to you my new tenor sax. Isn’t it pretty? Sounds pretty good too, though not necessarily when I play it. Also managed to get myself a piccolo as exchange for my old tenor, which isn’t as pretty and doesn’t sound as good, but which will do the job. Wind Orch, you have been warned.
There’s a part of me that’s not looking forward to getting back (sacrilege, I know!) because I’ve really enjoyed my time back home and I’m not looking forward to missing everyone again and losing touch with them. But for the most part I am looking forward to it, and I know I’ll be fine once I’m all moved in and settled. Have printed out loads of photos and stuck them in frames and have also bought furniture for my room – am looking forward to prettifying it, arranging it all and making the space my own. And of course I’ll be living in the House of Hogg, which will definitely be something to look forward to. And as soon as I get back I’m going to the Bengal for curry, which will most definitely be something to look forward to!
Will be back in Liverpool the weekend of the 13th October because – drum roll, please – it’s my 21st birthday! That’s Saturday 14th October, for those not in the know – less than a month to go now! Am rather excited about that. Will soon be able to do loads of things that I couldn’t do when I was 20, such as… erm, accompany learner drivers out on their own. Hmm. Still, I guess it’s still a milestone. I’ll also be back up here on the 15th November, although that’s yet to be confirmed, when I’ll be getting, erm, confirmed in Liverpool Cathedral. Rather pleased about being able to be confirmed anyway, but I’m very, very happy that it’s going to be in the Cathedral – how lucky am I? The Cathedral’s huge, and it’s lovely inside. It’s an honour to know that that’s where the service will take place. Hopefully…
And the big news: I’m flying to Hong Kong tomorrow! There’s no real reason for going, I’m just going for a holiday as I’ve always wanted to go to the Far East and as yet have never been. I’m going with Pete, my friend from sixth form (though technically not from sixth form, as we weren’t there at the same time), and we’ll be out there for a week, though the trip takes about 10 days total because of the length and times of the flights. I’m really not ready to go – am only just starting to think about packing – but still, really looking forward to it. Quite glad that they speak English out there, though, as my Mandarin is non-existent. Will try and blog or do something on Facebook while I’m out there, but if anyone has any (small!) requests for things they’d like me to bring back, or would like a postcard, drop me a line and I’ll see what I can do.
That’s about it, folks. Apologies that I’ve condensed two months’ worth of summer into a single blog, it would’ve been mammoth otherwise. I’ll be back in Coventry from 30th September; I guess I shall see you all then :)
Apart from those who read this who don’t go to Warwick, that is…