Monthly Archives: December 2010

Accommodation in HK / 我在香港的房间

Here’s a video I made of my room here in HK. This is definitely the smallest hostel room I’ve ever had, and one of the most expensive. I think a place I stayed in London a few years ago was probably more expensive on a square foot basis. This place I’ve got is 6′ X 8′ and has no windows. It’s just like a jail cell except that I’m paying for the privilege of staying here, and I cane come and go as I please. In any case, it’s clean, convenient, and has hot water & wifi. The only problem is that I can’t get any cell phone reception in my room.



Christmas Eve in HK / 中国香港的圣诞节前夕

Christmas Eve was my first full day of touring around in Hong Kong.
Seems like nothing closes here at Christmas. I took the famous Star
Ferry from Kowloon across to Hong Kong Island. On my way to Victoria
Mountain, I passed by the Legislative Council, St. John’s Church, the
Court of Final Appeal and the headquarters of the HK Special
Administrative Region (SAR). Tourists weren’t allowed into any of these
sights. Sounds like I covered a lot of ground, but in fact, they’re all
very close together. I rode the Peak Tram up to the top of Victoria
Mountain, and found there are two shopping centres at the top!

I also saw something I’ll never see in the rest of China: a protest. It
seems people are upset with the executives at Standard Chartered Bank,
but beyond that I have no idea what it was about. There was also a small
protest going on outside the SAR offices, but I’m not sure if it was
related or not.

In the evening a friend and former colleague, Bernard, invited me to
dinner with his family. That was a real pleasure. It’s not much fun
being alone at Christmas, but I was warmly welcomed by his family and in
typical Christmas tradition, I ate way too much.

It seems Christmas is a party here almost as big as New Year’s. Many
streets in Kowloon and on HK Island were blocked off in the evening.
There were police everywhere and a very organized system of managing the
enormous crowds. I went down to one of the nightlife districts to see
what it was all about. Unfortunately it was so busy that I couldn’t get
into any of the bars, and spent the “countdown” in one of the crowd
control lineups. Yes, there is a Christmas countdown here. I’m not sure
what it’s about but everyone let out a big cheer at midnight.


Streets of Kowloon / 在九龙走一走

I did a bit of shopping today. I had to get a decent shirt for going out
so I don’t look like a travelling hippie all the time. Didn’t have much
luck finding what I was looking for. These are some pictures I took
wandering the streets near my hostel.



In the evening I met up with a friend. We went for dinner with some of
his friends and then to see a HK movie. It was an amusing but odd movie.
According to my friends, some relationships in HK really are like this.
Check out the trailer.


Dancing in the Square / 在大庆铁人广场跳舞

When I was in Daqing at the end of September, I participated in something very typical in China: line-dancing in the public square. People do everything outside in China, and in the square you can often find people dancing, doing Tai Chi, gambling, rollerblading or singing. One of the line dances was particularly hard, so the leaders of the group decided to teach me how to do it. They stopped everything, dragged me up to the front, and taught me the whole dance, while everyone looked on.

Here is one video of me learning, and then another video of me dancing. I let you judge whether I learned anything. I keep hoping this won’t make me the next Star Wars Kid. However, as you can see at the end of the first video, someone else took the liberty of recording the Canadian learning to dance, so maybe I’m already a Chinese internet legend.