Sunday, October 29, 2006

food glorious food

I have some pictures I've been meaning to post (some more recent than others -- thanks for your reminder, Mike!), and they all happen to revolve around food -- what a surprise!!

A flash from the past outside my favorite vegetarian Indian restaurant -- that's Esther, me, and Sal outside of Branto. I think the last time the three of us were together was back in 8th grade! Esther was in HK for most of October doing a medical rotation and staying with her parents who are living here again. I ran into her at church, and somehow wasn't surprised!

Here are Mike and Kai with our paper masala dosa.
A spontaneous dinner with Helen at EXP at Festival Walk last night. We were surprised when we got to bypass the long waiting line and were taken to this nice ice-rink-view table. The only reason we could come up with for our speedy seating was that they mistook us for irrate customers when we asked how long the wait would be.

Our special drinks. I love the juices at EXP!
And this is from today -- lunch with my parents at the Turkish Kitchen, a new restaurant in TST. I recognized one of the cooks from another Turkish restaurant in TST -- Istanbul Express -- and he remembered me too (guess I went there a little too often last year...). He's working at this new restaurant now.

The owner was really nice -- talked to us about Turkey quite a bit and gave us free apple tea and Turkish coffee. I attempted to say "thank you" in Turkish at one point (something forever etched on my brain after last year's trip), but got no response, which means I either said it too quietly, or was utterly unintelligible.

Here's the apple tea.
My dad got Turkish coffee. I passed because I don't like chewing on a mouth-full of grounds at the end of my coffee. To each their own.

Friday, October 27, 2006

LogoThere are:
people with my name
in the U.S.A.

How many have your name?

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

lantau hike with mom and dad

Yesterday my parents and I took a hike in the south of Lantau. We started at the Shek Pik reservoir, walked to the very remote Fan Lau Fort, and then ended up in Tai O. My parents had gone to the fort about 7 years ago, and I'd been wanting to see it for myself since they'd first told me about it.
The trail took us along a road with a water catchment that flows to the reservoir. My mom noticed this interesting bridge with stairs that seem to lead nowhere.

A view of some of the South Lantau beaches.

My parents! I took this from a lookout point that I climbed to for a better view of the beaches. After taking this, I almost fell down the hill. But no worries -- I would have more opportunities to fall later on in the hike...

You can find this sign on a number of trails in HK. I don't think it's ever had the desired "warning" effect on me... it makes a flash flood look like some really cool water-park ride.

My dad enjoying the view.
There's "Chicken Wing" Peninsula (that's a literal translation of one of the Chinese names for this place). The fort is on the very tip, overlooking the Lantau channel, which is a route to the Pearl River. The fort was built to ward off pirates!

Some beach dogs greeting my parents.

An old building (maybe a temple?) by the beach. There's a faint inscription above the door -- any ideas about what it says?

I liked this tree. It looked like something out of a fairy tale.
We saw some very large spiders. Look, this one is almost as big as my dad!

And finally -- we made it to the fort!!
Some information about Fan Lau fort.

The fort entrance.

A couple views of the inside.

And then we came to another beach.

Crab art.

Tide art.

An abandoned beach-front home.
This old man was the only person we saw in Fan Lau village. He was really nice and sold me some much-needed water.
The nice old man and his canine companions.

Looks like people might still live in these buildings.

The Fan Lau village ancestral hall (?)

The inside of the doorway to the ancestral hall.
Soon after taking that last picture, I decided to explore some abandoned houses. While walking back towards the path, I tripped on a step, got my feet tangled in some long grass and, as my hands were occupied with my camera and water bottle, I successfully executed the perfect 10 of face-plants. And only my mom witnessed it. If I could go back in time, I would definitely have her video the fall so that I could embed it here. But alas, all I have to show from it are badly bruised knees and skinned elbows.

Further up the trail we noticed this sign. I was curious...

Here's the much-anticipated water pond. It was a nice way to cool down (though if you look closely, there's a warning about the water being of the "untreated stream" variety).

A dragon fly that I noticed near the pond. On a side note, the white thing is an electrical cord that ran all the way along the path between Fan Lau and a small village near Tai O. Guess it's supplying some remote dwelling with power.
An overgrown shrine that I noticed hidden behind the trees.

This is part of the trail between Fan Lau and Tai O. It was so overgrown! I had just come out of that tall grass when I took this picture, and was so relieved to be out in the open again! Apart from being scratched by the grass and repeatedly hit in the face by branches and twigs, I'd never walked through such thick, tall foliage before, and started feeling a little bit claustrophobic. And it didn't help that I could imagine a snake or other poisonous/dangerous animal falling on my head at any moment. Panic!
Here's some fungus growing on a tree branch. I'm not sure if this stuff is edible, but it reminded me of the fungus I used to eat in China: mu er (literally "wood ear").

Here's a sign that we came to at the end of the especially overgrown section of the trail. I guess my mom noticed a similar sign at the beginning of the trail, which I missed. Anyway, they weren't joking about it being "treacherous" and "seasonally overgrown." But then if we had followed their advice and not proceeded on the trail, we would have had at least a 4 or 5 hour hike back... not an easy decision.

Ginger flowers growing wild. Maybe the ginger (and flowers) were harvested at one time... but not anymore.

Looking for a toilet? Looks like you'd be set going either way.
We made it to Tai O!

There's now a bridge that connects the two sides of Tai O. I think the last time I visited (over 10 years ago) they still used rope to pull a ferry back and forth.

Stilt homes in Tai O.

This beautiful old building is now an HSBC!

Some dried seafood for sale.

A sign in Tai O welcoming mainland tourists down for the National Day holiday (aka "Golden Week"). We had dinner in Tai O and then a 2-hour-2-bus journey back home. What a day!

The end.

Sunday, October 01, 2006


According to the Tozers, there's a new restaurant here in HK called "Robot Kitchen," which is "staffed by a trio of robots." It sounds interesting and I will probably try to go there soon, but then it begs the question: isn't this new dining concept bringing us dangerously close to a world dominated, nay I say, ruled by robots?

Here's a video (to embed or not to embed?) of a duo called Flight of the Conchords singng a song that echoes some of the fears expressed above. It's called "The Humans are Dead" and was apparently written for the "post-apocolyptic robo" market. Thanks again must go to the Tozers for introducing me to FotC.

some feline affection

Yay! I successfully embedded a video!