Saturday, 20 September 2014

Not again...

When you drop your phone and see the screen shattered for a second time, you ask yourself "is it the phone? Or is it me?".

Dropping your phone and seeing the screen splintered is akin to being fined for parking in the wrong place. Frustrating, avoidable, careless and a waste of money. I was walking out of work (on a weekend) and my hand accidentally caught my headphone cable, dislodging the phone from my hand as I was putting it into my pocket. Is this Karma for all those drunken texts and calls?

Saturday, 13 September 2014


Never one to shy away from food trends and diet fads I have managed to incorporate the 5:2 diet into my lifestyle for three months. In short, this means that 2 days of the week the consumption of food is limited to water, green tea and a dose of Branched-Chained-Amino-Acids (BCAAs). The benefits, are still debatable (and lack credible scientific evidence) however the claims of improved mental focus, lowering IGF-1, weight lose, reduced risk of cancer, heart disease and the promise of longevity were enough to pique my curiosity.

So, how am I after 3 months? Weight lose, well, due to the calorie restrictions it's inevitable that there's a drop in body fat, I feel leaner and there's been noticeable impairment to work or exercise routines. Mental focus, well that's slightly hard to quantify. Things that I have noticed, I am more easily irritated, lack of calories on fast days is noticeable and the urge to lash out is more common. 

Impact on social life, "Can't do dinner, because I'm fasting" is some kind of social taboo, it's worse than saying "I'll come and just have a salad and water". This is by far the most difficult thing about the fast, the sharing of food and drinks is integral to Hong Kong and to remove 48 hours of potential interaction has left me somewhat of a whacky-diet-driven-recluse. On the topic of social interaction, my breath on fast days is ridiculously noisome, to the extent that I have to be more cautious when speaking to people on calorie deficit days. There is a noticeable drop on bodily temperature on fast days, I'm more susceptible to the cold and find myself complaining about how cold the office is.

So what are the positives? Reduced the time spent figuring out what to eat and how to plan my day, given my issue on indecisiveness this can save up to 10-15 minutes a day! The flip side is, breaking fast is a huge deal and I can easily spent 10-15 minutes planning the "five feeding days". After the initial stomach protests and hunger pangs it's easy to suppress and meditate on the hunger and you come to realise that the human body really doesn't need to be eating so frequently or in such volumes. Very keen to see my blood works after 6 months of fasting. Initially when I started, I used to have insane cravings on Fast days, I wanted to EAT EVERYTHING once I broke fast. The cravings have subsided. Stay tuned.

Currently Reading: "A Short History of Nearly Everything"

Thursday, 4 September 2014

Full Circle

When one of the people whose living room you inhabited for 7 months comes to you and asks "Hey, do you mind if I stay on your couch for a while?". The answer is an unequivocal yes! Albert is back in Hong Kong after a long tenure overseas and he's intermittently staying in my living room. I have been fortunate enough to have been able to offer my couch to the people who took me in when I took the chance to live abroad. In London, I stayed in Paddington for a a few weeks on a friend's couch (Again, another Albert) and have managed to return the favour to him here in Hong Kong. Now, I've had the pleasure of taking in my Hong Kong host.

Funny how things come full circle, couldn't be happier: Take out, Australian Sports, Seinfeld, and drunken musings - Just like the old times!

Currently Reading: "The Fault In Our Stars" - Managed to start reading consistently again, stoked!

Sunday, 3 August 2014


Came home from Macao, having accidentally left my Kindle on the Ferry and with a pair of odd-sized thongs. I probably need to make some changes in my life.

Saturday, 5 July 2014

Green fingers: Herbs

1 month old Basil (L) and Chilli (R). Trying to get some Cilantro seeds, but not sure if Hong Kong is the right climate.

Tuesday, 1 July 2014

Natural Infinity Pool

Another mid-week Public Holiday and despite the weather managed to check out Hong Kong's latest attraction, the Tai O Natural Infinity Pool.

Sunday, 25 May 2014


I have been working with local HR and a Fragomen consultant in order to extend my Hong Kong working Visa beyond the current expiry in August. The paperwork has been completed and is scheduled to be processed closer to the date. The extension is something I have been working with and it came as a surprise upon leaving Hong Kong through the E-Channel that the second gate did not open after submitting my thumbprint. The officer came by, looks at my Hong Kong ID, looks at his PDA, looks at me and mutters something in Cantonese, as by default I retort, "huh? sorry?".

"Your Visa has expired". 
"You must be mistaken, it's May and it says in my Passport that my Visa expires in August". 
"Follow me, come this way".

Drama. Long story short, Hong Kong Immigration has in it's database that my Visa had expired a few days ago, the story goes, because I had transferred my Visa to my new company (having been there for one year now) it had reset the duration and I was now allegedly working unauthorised. My protests fell on deaf ears, and the officer would not have a bar of my appeal. Despite the severely of this breach, the penalty was a reasonable ~130 HKD fine.

Again, Singapore was for another friend's 30th Birthday. We would stay with the Birthday Boy in Siglap and the nice thing about the trip was that two friends from Sydney would be making the journey over to Singapore for the weekend too. I'll spare you the details, of a Birthday weekend trip in Asia, in short it was: Fenix, Mink, Late night Buh Kuh Teh and becoming familiar with 'The Inbetweeners'.

The weekend was marred by a typical Singapore experience at the Marina Bay Sands restaurant, Mozzo. Most of the diners had traveled from different places, Singapore, Hong Kong and Singapore and transferring money in between party members would incur transfer fees and overhead, so we requested that we split the bill evenly between each person. Not capable of splitting a bill more than three-ways we had our credit cards thrown at us along with a contract stipulating that we had indeed broken the contract that we had agreed to by dining at the restaurant. The experience epitomised the Singaporean mentality and the culture bound and protected by rules and protocol. I had experienced this working with our Singaporean Office and despite the abrasiveness I convinced myself that I was not at all surprised in how it was handled. To the restaurant's credit, the manager came out and profusely apologised for the manner in which the staff acted and smoothed things over (we ended up paying on one card). Despite this, the weather was amazing and the food delectable; still haven't ruled out a short stint in Singapore.

Fatigued and tired I was once again pulled up by immigration on the way back into Hong Kong. Lining up for with the regular folk, in the regular non-HK-resident line. First thing tomorrow morning, I'm contacting HR and sorting this "expired Visa" situation out!

Currently Reading: "Flash Boys"