Thursday, May 31, 2007

The Chinrish Cafe

English is an excellent point of difference in a confusing chinese marketing, however bad english will deter the tourists...
Not a soul in sight

Text: Dear I Love You Cafe
When she looking you eye. Don't lie please.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Cheung Chau Bun Festival

To our delight the Cheung Chau Bun Festival was on while we were in Hong Kong.

Cheung Chau Island is located south of Lantau island, its known for the beaches, seafood, a pirate cave and the Bun festival.
Locals purchase incense coils, the temple is too small to hold all the
coils so a structure outside is erected to cater for the extra worshipers

We had learnt of the festival from McDull a famous hong kong animation film.

Historically it is based on the locals of the island who were plagued by bad seas and pirates (yes there is a pirate cave on the island) Then they bought a statue of Tin Hau to the island and all the bad stuff disappeared! So to celebrate the end of the oppression they made these buns, stamped with the Chinese character for peace, and hung them on their doors, ate them, offered them to the ghosts and gods for good luck.

According to the knowledge bank of Wiki, historically, young men would race up the tower to get hold of the buns; the higher the bun, the better fortune it was supposed to bring to the holder's family; the race was known as "Bun-snatching", the tradition has been going on and off for many years with modernization ordering the tower to be made of metal, mountain climbing scaffolding, and this year they had plastic buns as rain and buns made stick mess which people could slip on.

So it was a unique event that only happened once a year, and to my amazement none of the Hong Kong family had gone! We were going to go, we're young! eager to examine the old style of village lving. So armed with a few warnings, (take some food, (last year they didn't cater enough - this time they did, be aware of lots of people, yup there were and the bun climbing doesn't start until 11pm and there are only 1,500 tickets for the event)


We made our way over, the heat was amazing, 33 degree heat with a 95% humidity!It was exhausting just getting to the ferry from the MTR train station. But the island! What an event! the buzz there was so much to see and so little time, we admired the idols, the dedicated performers, the floating children ornately dressed, as mythical beings, stars and idols, one pair of kids depicted the current debacle taking place in Hong Kong Politics. According to CCTV.com the children Dressed as Education and Manpower Secretary Arthur Li Kwok Cheung and former permanent secretary for education Fanny Law Fan Chiu-fun - in a suit and tie and green mandarin gown, respectively.

"I'm playing Li Kwok-Cheung, a person who fires people," the boy in focus told reporters.

The two officials are at the center of a month-long inquiry into alleged government interference in the affairs and academic freedom of the Hong Kong Institute of Education.

Despite the amazing costumes and displays, the heat was too oppressive and we had to leave before the end of the festival.


Floating Children Floating ChildrenFloating Children
Pak Tau Temple - the decorations on top of the temple were amazing

Exquisite ornaments on the eves above the temple door

Shenzhen Shopping

Shenzhen - Recommended as a shopping mecca. Yup its a shopping mecca! The prices are amazing, it makes Hong Kong look expensive and Australia a rip off!

We caught a KCR train to Shenzhen, and then caught the Shenzhen Train line to Old Street.

And wow! the have buildings that SPECALISE in goods, we walked past a hair product building, a artwork building, a mens clothing building, a cosmetic surgery building! wow! Its so different from shopping in Australia, where you have to travel half the world to get to the all stores that specalise in the goods your after.

Steph was a bit overwhelmed by the magnitude of shopping, but after a lunch he got right into it! We enjoyed "bucket rice" for lunch, an interesting concept the pickles were delicious.
Steph collected a suit on sale for $200yuan (just over $30) he purchased some more pants for $60 yuan and taking up the pants was only going to cost $3 yuan! (50CENTS!!!) Amazing!

After a few hours our feet were exhausted and we needed to sit down... Why not a foot massage? A very funny event when both Steph and I have ticklish feet! The boys had some wizz bang masculine foot soak while the girls had a Ginger soak (ended up with mashed ginger placed on our shins and covered with hot towels STEAMED CHICKEN!)

Ten dainty toes soaking in rose petals

And later on dinner at Laurel Restuarant. My Aunt Ming and Uncle Wing told us that once upon a time the queues for the restaurant had to wait up to 4 hours! and the food was amazing. We have some photos below. A funny point was the serving of the soup, a deluxe combination of chicken ginseng wine, Japanese string bundles with stuff.

Chicken Wine Soup with Ginseng and Konnakyu

The waitress came over and asked if she should serve the soup out in 3 bowls... eh? There was Auntie, Uncle Steph and Me that makes 4 of us. We asked her why only 3 bowls and she gave Steph a pointed look. (she was standing behind steph) We exclaimed loudly that he would eat it all! Soup was served and I proudly watched him enjoy the soup and go for seconds! He's truly chinese! a steamed custard bun (white on the inside and yellow on the inside) hehehe

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Macau

Dirty. A city with no soul, but I did what I was meant to do....
Old Macau and unhappy Eva with irritating Edmund

New Macau with wet Eva
Other Points:
  • Views from Macau Tower
  • The new Crown Casio, with its almost smoke free environment
  • Beautiful Lim Loc Gardens
  • My Nokia 6280 going for a swim in the Lotus Gardens of Lim Loc
  • Fishing the phone out with the security guard and the local Maccas giving advise
  • Steph smirking at another Eva event
  • Going Home! Goodbye Macau!

Enter the Durian

We had a delightful catch up dinner with Winnie and Micheal, friends from Sydney
And for dessert we confessed a desire to try Durian.

Durian for those who dont know is the famous fruit that has an aroma that some call sewerage others call perfumed. To me i thought it was bad, but then theres stinky tofu. Now thats something nasty...

To me Durian smells like sweet cheesy over ripe brie. Not that bad a smell... but the taste.. well we had our durian warm in a crepe, and the texture, creamy with strands like a mango pith. and the taste was kinda caramel, custard, but not sweet, brie-ish and a slight bitter aftertaste. And i dont think i did the fruit justice.
Durian Crepe

You either love it or hate it. Steph hated it... I hrm... i'll get back to you on that one.

Friday, May 18, 2007

Hong Kong

Yep! We're here, and have been since late Friday night (18/05), but haven't really had time to sit still long enough to blog anything...

We've spent the majority of our time running around shopping, catching up with family, visited Shenzhen, and spent a couple of days in Macau, but the holiday is almost over, but have done everything I've wanted to and a bit more.

I'll post a little more comprehensively once we've returned to Sydney.

Sorry, no photos yet except for this one...


Monday, May 14, 2007

Pink

Lulu, Jen and I went to the Pink Concert last night!

Those who haven't been GO! Oh my god was it a great show!

She is totally entertaining, very endearing and so nice

My photos didn't turn out so well, the Ricoh only has 4.8x optical lens.

I was actually really impressed with the price of merchandise, the posters were only $10 bucks compared to Eric Clapton's $30 for a poster and $100 for a shirt... I'm glad they priced the merchandise reasonably...

However in China town around the corner from the Entertainment centre there was some dodgy Greek selling fake P!nk shirts for those unsuspecting fans. Boo for you!

Fraud Protection?

A helpful piece of spam I received today, spelling mistakes and all...

Interesting in light of all of the email scams that people keep subscribing to.
Dear online-banking user!

Please note that from May the 14th the online-banking service in Australia will be suspended due to a vigorous hacker attack on the websites of the most popular Australian banks (National, Common, Bendigo, BOQ etc.).

Please be extremely carefull with your credit cards and accounts.

To get more information on the situation of the online-banking service of your bank please follow the link below:

http://www.antifraud.com

Best regards,
AntiFraud.com
Not sure if they noticed, it was sent today probably after the 'shutdown'...

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Customer Service...

Received this wonderful email earlier today from a colleague at work and was too good not to share, sorry for not crediting it, not sure of the original source.

It definitely eased the stress for the day.
For all Employees Who Work With Rude Customers.

An award should go to the Virgin Airlines gate attendant in Sydney some weeks ago for being smart and funny, while making her point, when confronted with a passenger who probably deserved to fly as cargo. A crowded Virgin flight was cancelled after Virgin's 767s had been withdrawn from service. A single attendant was re-booking a long line of inconvenienced travellers.

Suddenly an angry passenger pushed his way to the desk. He slapped his ticket down on the counter and said, "I HAVE to be on this flight and it HAS to be FIRST CLASS".

The attendant replied, "I'm sorry, sir. I'll be happy to try to help you, but I've got to help these people first, and I'm sure we'll be able to work something out." The passenger was unimpressed. He asked loudly, so that the passengers behind him could hear, "DO YOU HAVE ANY IDEA WHO I AM?"

Without hesitating, the attendant smiled and grabbed her public address
microphone:

"May I have your attention please, may I have your attention please," she began - her voice heard clearly throughout the terminal. "We have a passenger here at Gate 14 WHO DOES NOT KNOW WHO HE IS. If anyone can help him find his identity, please come to Gate 14."

With the folks behind him in line laughing hysterically, the man glared at the Virgin attendant, gritted his teeth and said, "F... You!"

Without flinching, she smiled and said, "I'm sorry sir, but you'll have to fly QANTAS for that service."

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

A Nice Cabbie...

Wow!

I can't believe it, today I was late for work so I hopped into a cab, and was immediately offered the paper to read while he drove me to work.

then when I sneezed he offered me a tissue!

How Nice!

Next time you get in a Manly Warringah cab, you might be pleasantly surprised :)

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Wheres that ANZAC (biscuit) gone?

Today Noel asked for a Coffee and an Anzac Biscuit… Okay that isn’t so bad I've seen cafes stock Anzac biscuits ill head downstairs…
Chocolate Chip Double Choc Chip, White Choc-Maca… but no ANZAC… fine.
Go across the road, nope, none there. Only Sultana and Cinammon, Choc Chip… Grr!
Next Stop: Art Giotto Cafe - They had a choice of Fig and Pecan or Sticky Date and Ginger!

No ANZAC! OR Florentines for that matter!

What is the world coming to?!? ANZAC biscuits should be staple! Not a seasonal delight!

Half hour later, disgusted I walk back to the office and declaring that it was easier for me to go home and bake some than hunt down a biscuit… And so I did.

ANZAC Biscuits (Source: AWM)
Ingredients
  • 1 cup plain flour
  • 1 cup rolled oats (regular oatmeal) uncooked
  • 1 cup desiccated coconut
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 2 tbsp golden syrup (or honey)
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 2 tbsp boiling water
Method
  • Combine the flour (sifted), oats, coconut and sugar in a bowl.
  • Melt the butter and Golden Syrup (or honey) in a saucepan over a low heat..
  • Mix the bicarbonate of soda with the water and add to the butter and Golden Syrup.
  • Pour the liquids into the dry ingredients and mix well.
  • Spoon dollops of mixture, about the size of a walnut shell, onto a greased tin leaving as much space again between dollops to allow for spreading.
  • Bake in a moderate oven, 180C / 350F, for 15-20 minutes.
  • Cool on a wire rack and seal in airtight lockable containers.
Result:
The first batch was a bit brown due to the fan forced oven and the dark brown sugar i used.
The 2nd batch. Perfecto!