Sunday, 14 December 2014

A&W

It's definitely the season for weddings, and this time the destination of choice is Koh Samui. It has been almost ten years since I last traveled to this part of the world and other than the upgrade in accommodation, the island of Koh Samui still has all the charm from the last visit. Cheap street food, suit peddlers, massage stores and the constant Muay Thai advertising.





The weather threatened all weekend and despite being the wettest wedding that I've attended it did little to dampen the festivities. 

Tuesday, 2 December 2014

'Sometimes'

The bubble has burst - My impression of Hong Kong being filled with debaucherous marrow where true love only exists between the hours of midnight and 6 am has finally been repudiated. Sure, I know married couples in Hong Kong, but, like the yeti or big foot finding true love IN HONG KONG is something that I have not witnessed. Call it sardonic, but up until now I have been unconvinced. In any case, I've been invited to my first Hong Kong wedding! The disclaimer being that the couple are both from Australia, but the real flesh of the story is that they met in Levels (one of Hong Kong's most popular nightclubs).

Funnily enough, I met the bride out one night and have honestly only seen her between the hours of midnight and 6 am. To say that I was surprised (and honoured) to be invited to their special day would be an understatement. My biggest concern? Which table I would be seated on? I could count the number of people I knew on one hand so the real excitement would be whether I ended up on random "Chinese Uncles" table or "Random LKF dude" table. The answer, I would soon find out would be "Table 27". A table consisting of Alcoholic Anonymous members and the very epitome of wonton, reckless abandon; affectionately known to the bride as "the fun table".



Despite my initial apprehension it turns out there were quite a few familiar faces. On table 27 was Tinder Girl. The MC of the event was an old Engineering classmate from USYD. In attendance was my parent's friend's daughter from Sydney. Plus a slew of random Australians and LKF-denizens. The world is sometimes a very small place.

Sunday, 30 November 2014

Still the man of the house

Dad has been in Hong Kong twice over the last month, I've missed him both times due to travel. Still is nice to see these hand written messages.

#emsandedwed

In terms of friendly and infectious, the couple of Emily and Edmond are definitely up there. Introduced to me separately in both Melbourne and Sydney this couple featured heavily in the London Chapter. If I were to have a crush on a couple it would be these two. Until you meet their friends, an army of gregarious, humour-inducing friends which makes you understand why these two people are always so full of energy and brimming with life. Received a nice little welcome bag from the bride and groom, containing the essentials (see below).


Such a relaxing trip, beach, pool, food. Excellent speeches at a lovely destination. Currently reading "The Narrow Road to the Deep North".




Monday, 24 November 2014

Sydney

Lately, there has been a proclivity to blame things on senescence; old age and noticing things that just quite aren't how they used to be. The latest faculty deterioration, although not completely new is my inability to sleep on planes. There used to be a time when I would be able to catch the overnight flight to Sydney: watch a movie, have a meal, fall asleep, wake up, eat breakfast and touchdown. That in essence, would be my typical flight, throw in the odd crying baby and TV series but most flights would play out with sleep featuring quite heavily. The last few times back to Sydney, this has not been the case, despite the self-induced torpor I have found it quite challenging trying to incorporate sleep into the routine. Alas, I still manage to reach the final destination, Sydney.



Sydney has slowly become the anti-Hong Kong (at least in my eyes). It's everything Hong Kong isn't: Good air quality, fresh produce, family, mortgages and an utterly dire transport system. Purpose of this month's trip is for my cousin Jennifer's wedding and of course mom's birthday. I'm not sure where my license has disappeared but not being able to drive in Sydney is kind of like being a Chinese in China that can't speak Chinese; super frustrating.



My itinerary for the following nine days: Saturday, drinks at the Glenmore with London folk. Sunday, fish markets with the family. Monday, renew my license, dad arrives, family dinner. Tuesday, dinner with the USYD group. Wednesday, Tea Ceremony. Thursday, hang out with High school group. Friday, drinks with after-work-crowd. Saturday, Wedding. Sunday, grocery shopping, mom's Birthday dinner and depart.



So my observations are as follows: Sydney is lovely, I miss this place. The Sydney Property market is KER-RAZY! I love Coles Broadway. Fresh donuts are still the best. I feel so unhealthy. Get me back to Hong Kong.



Sunday, 9 November 2014

Stealth Taipei

It's weird celebrating 30th birthdays - In my case, this weirdness derives from the fact that I'm older than thirty and I represent a demographic known as "the old guy" of this particular group. The upside is that I still look relatively young and can inveigle most into thinking that I'm still in my "late twenties" (not sure if that's any consolation).

The birthday boy, who also happens to be leaving Hong Kong after seven glorious years proposed a sub-24-hour trip over to Taipei to celebrate his big 3-0. The script plays out like most other Taipei trips. Dragon Air flight booked on points, Corporate rate at The W, table service at some bar, 5 am room service, flight back to Hong Kong and sleep. It's like we never left...


In other news, all bars should have shots of mouth wash.

Wednesday, 5 November 2014

Singapore

First opportunity to travel with my current work to Singapore of all places. Now as I sit going through the receipts accumulated over the 4 day trip, I wonder if it was actually necessary to be eating 6 times a day. The breakdown of my expenses are as follows: Taxi, breakfast, brunch, lunch, tea, taxi, dinner, supper and so forth. Not too sure what the Finance department will say when they see my 11 pm order of Nasi Goreng and a Milo Dinosaur.



Actually, the purpose of the trip other than to justify the new campus was to promote the brand of the separate departments. Highlights include, Client Management winning the trade fair, me being selected to stage a 'question' for the APAC CEO and the campus buffet.