November 20, 2004


After I returned from the supermarket and shoe store, the festival stage had much more interesting things going on, like a Tai Chi demonstration and traditional Chinese singing. Which admittedly, wouldn't be up most people's alleys as the singing is very shrill, loud drums get banged and no dancing or fancy costumes but I thought it was pretty cool regardless.

I bought a nice pair of Coleman hiking boots for only $26 USD! My friend tells me to bargain down but I bought this at a local shop and besides it feels strange to get these boots that would run at least $100 USD for even cheaper. I have 7 days to exchange the shoes if I don't like them. It seems lots of shops in HK have a liberal exchange policy.

I've been looking into checking out Cantonese opera. There are free tickets for some performances, not by the best opera troupes of course, but already the tickets have been available for a week so hopefully I am not too late to score one. If not, it seems like even the best tickets for the best troupes are only like $50 USD, but I have to wait until January for the performances. I've never been to an opera and Cantonese opera is very intriguing from what I have researched so far. Maybe it is better I have to wait, by then I will know more of the language. But really, I am going to see the costumes and hairstyles. I'm sure the stories are interesting but truthfully I care much more about visual aesthetics. I can come up with neat stories in my mind, I mean, I live my life as one epic adventure, at least in my mind. Like I've told myself with this opportunity to live in HK, unseen mystical forces sent me here, not that this is a fruit from my life and work in Chicago for the past two years. But I need inspiration to see beauty for myself and this is where my interest in the arts lie.
I also tend to entertain myself, enjoy life so I don't do things to escape but to learn. It's just how I am wired and it's taken too much energy to try and change that so I'll just accept how I am and work with it.

I also want to attend some symphony performances while I am here. I just started to get into classical music in Chicago and I love it. I got to see a performance before I left for Chicago and it was grand. You can really feel the music and to see how the musicians channel the music, become one with the instrument, quite awe inspiring and emotionally touching.

I also plan to go to the movies while I am here. The American movies showing are Dodgeball, Fahernheit 9/11 and Supersize Me. I think I'd rather see a Cantonese movie, especially a martial arts one. Though I am tempted to see F 9/11 here to see how the audience reacts to it, if they applaud and make comments throughout like the crowd in Chicago did. Going to the movies is more affordable here. They have matinees which run about $3 USD and I think peak times are like $7 USD. From the outside, it looks like they have snazzy theaters.

Tsingtao makes a dark beer and it is good. Not in a Guiness league of course but still tasty. It also has a higher alcohol content of 6.0%.

My 30th birthday is in 10 days and I am thinking about what fun things I can do that weekend. I do feel a bit melancholy that I am not in Toronto for that milestone birthday, but I am in HK so I will appreciate that and the fact that my life is in such good shape at this point. Ten to fifteen years ago, I really thought I'd be dead by this point but instead my life continues to improve with each passing year and that alone is reason to celebrate :-)

I miss riding my bicycle but I know she is in good hands. I gave her to an older homeless lady I met after voting absentee, in person while still in Chicago, several days before I took off for HK. Bicycling here seems close to impossible. I've seen some older men on bikes but they are rare and far between and it looks like they make deliveries on the bikes, not using it to commute. Vehicles here have right of way it seems, though I don't think the law is on their side technically but the law doesn't matter if you get run over and killed. No SUVs but lots of luxury vehicles, double decker buses, commuter vans and taxis. They drive very fast and do not yield to pedestrians at all. It makes me want to go to a parking lot to key the cars but I don't dare as I'm sure there is closed circuit TV security. The parks have CCTV security. People in HK have 'smart card' identity cards which they are expected to carry all the time. I'm not sure if I will get one when my work visa paperwork is completed. I don't care for the lack of privacy here but it's getting that way in the states too and at least here it is safe.

Anyway, back to my vehicles rant. Where I live and work, there is little space on the streets for bicycles. Sure, the mass transit system is very efficient and affordable but still I miss biking. The best way I can describe biking here is for Chicago people... imaging having to bike on Sheridan Rd from Foster to Loyola with only several inches between the traffic you are riding with and the curb. Meanwhile the traffic is driving as if it is the autobahn, like Sheridan north of Loyola or even like Lake Shore Drive, they go that fast. I don't have to skill to even attempt biking like that.

Posted by Christine at November 20, 2004 06:58 PM

Hey. I am going to start studing Tai Chi myself. I need to because well my new running program is based off it and I need the strength tai chi gives me. I never really seen it in person I would love to see it in action once.

Posted by: Todd at November 22, 2004 06:58 AM

Hey...I thought we'd all be dead at 30...I guess we were looking from a teen perspective in high 30 doesn't look bad compared to our mom's at almost 60! It's all relative plus.... you look like a kid still. WELCOME TO THE 30 CLUB...IT'S NOT SO BAD.... :) XOXO

Posted by: Liz at November 26, 2004 12:33 AM