Showing posts from September, 2013

Square Street, Hong Kong

I live on a little back street behind Man Mo Temple in Sheung Wan called Square Street. It's only a block long, and it feels calm and withdrawn from the craziness of the city only blocks away. Square Street has a whole lotta hip in its small area. Here's a little walking tour of Square Street:

Little Square Space- currently an art gallery,  always cool stuff going in and out of this place
Square Street- a boutique carrying hand-crafted shoes
Saffron Cafe- great little coffee shop  with dairy and gluten free options
I love spending an afternoon grading in Saffron Cafe- they always have perfect music playing!
There you have it, that's my neighborhood! Not directly on Square Street, but within one or two blocks, there are tons of other cool places like Teakha, Three Monkeys, Classified, Java Java,Blue Butcher, Yardbird, Ooola, Secret Ingredient, etc. I am not lying- these are all within two blocks of my apartment!
I could probably go for months without leaving Sheung Wan and be tota…

Belly Dance is Good For The Soul

Belly dance is good for the soul, and many other things. It's great for your health, your abs, your strength, your confidence, your self image, your teamwork. It's great for feminine bonding, interconnectedness, and motivation. It's great for your spirits and for a boost of inspiration.

I grew up in a world of competitive ballet and jazz. While I did learn hard work, perseverance, cooperation, and stamina, it was a cold dog-eat-dog world. I loved my dance studio growing up, but I am still so happy I made the switch to belly dance when I turned 18.

I've now started my own belly dance group with some of the high school students at the school where I teach, and I feel like I've got some pretty big shoes to fill. My past dance teachers, choreographers, and troupe leaders have all been inspiring, amazing people. I hope to pass on some of that positivity and love of belly dance to my students here in Hong Kong.

I was looking through belly dance videos on youtube tonight …

Super Typhoon Usagi

The super typhoon seems to have left Hong Kong relatively unscathed. It raged on through most of the night, although to be honest it didn't seem worse than my normal windy storm. Sunday morning things seemed to be normal around the city, except for slightly longer lines at the grocery store.

Normal crowd for Sunday brunch at the cafe near my house
The night of the storm was pretty uneventful, except for the sound of shattering glass once. I'm glad school was cancelled today because I would have felt really unsafe walking around with tree branches, trash everywhere, potential live wires, and shattered glass. I'm going to spend my Monday off getting some work done for the upcoming week in the coffee shop below my building.
Police assessing the situation under my building.
It might take a day or two for clean up, but Hong Kong has such strict policies regarding typhoons that the damage is kept to a minimum. Keep it up, Hong Kong!

Friends Visiting

As an expat, it is SO nice to have friends from home visit you in a foreign country. One of my good friends was here this last week, and she stayed in my apartment with her boyfriend. It felt so nice to have familiar faces around. We went to the Avenue of Stars, she taught me how to eat chicken's feet at dim sum, we drank beers on the street in Soho. Both of us are pretty bad at taking photos all the time, but we did capture a couple special moments.

At Gao's, indulging in some fabulous foot and shoulder massages
Foot massages aren't just for the ladies!
Some really tasty hotpot at Megan's Kitchen
Hong Kong really does feel more like home now that I have had friends visit and see my life here. I love sharing my experiences and my home with the people I grew up with, because I don't really get to see them that often now. Love 'em all like we were never apart.
Now that my friend is gone, I'm just hanging around the  house waiting for this bad boy Usagi to hit

Repulse Bay

A really pretty beach on Hong Kong Island is Repulse Bay. From Central, you go to Exchange Square underneath the IFC and catch bus 260. This bus goes to a few different beaches, Deep Water Bay, Repulse Bay, and Stanley. My friend and I intended to go to Stanley but when we passed by Repulse Bay it looked so pretty we jumped off the bus!

The walk on the way down to the beach
The beach wasn't at all crowded, which was surprising for a Sunday. Like the other beaches I have visited, there were showers and changing facilities right on the beach. It was a pretty, clear day, with bright blue skies and perfectly cool water.

Repulse Bay on a Sunday
Pretty views of mountains and islands in the distance

Speaking British in Hong Kong

As an American in Hong Kong, I am a minority. Duh. But even amongst the Westerners here, still a minority. Most of my foreign friends/colleagues/neighbors are British, because for those of you who don't know, Hong Kong was a British colony until 1997. We drive on the left side of the road here, and Microsoft Word tells me I am spelling 'behavior' wrong on my work computer (no, that student did NOT have proper behaviour!)

So I've been learning some new words and phrases while here that I'd like to share.

Trainers- Sneakers. Running shoes. Why trainers?

Trousers- In America, we use this word, but not as commonly. Here, if you say pants, if may mean underwear. Oops.

Fancy Dress- Costume party? Not cocktail attire in England.

Diary- Planner or organizer (no, not an organiser, damn you Microsoft Word!)

Take The Mick Out Of- Make fun of someone. Like I'm taking the mick out of the British right now.

Girlie Bars- This one I kept hearing in relation to the Wan Chai neighborh…

Picture Post: Hiking the Dragon's Back

Last weekend, I did a hike over the Dragon's Back to Shek O Beach. I've been a lump of lazy recently so it felt good to be active again. This hike was really easily accessible, I just took the MTR to the end of the line on the island to the Chai Wan stop, and the hike started from there! I broke the Dragon's Back hike up into 5 parts:

Part 1: Collinson Cemetery

The Dragon's Back trail starts by hiking up a cemetery. It's about 30 minutes straight uphill, and as you get further up, the views of Hong Kong are incredible. No one will be around at all in this part.

Look for this cross at the top of the hill and walk up the stairs towards it
The first stretch of stairs
View from halfway up
Sweating kicks in, hair starts expanding
Those are a lot of stairs
Rainforest views as you hike up through the cemetery
Small pagoda in the cemetery
Collinson Cemetery graves
Oh god, more stairs...
More stairs still...

View from the top of the cemetery! Wow!
Part 2: Paved Road

At the top of the c…