Bigfoot shall not cross the river ~ nooooo

29 10 2007

HK buses are cool! The transport network is very comprehensive. So far, I’ve wandered from the east side of HK Island to the west, from office to my place in the mid-levels, etc – and always have been able to find a bus service that goes where I want.

The bus has seat-belts! (the black strip on the right-hand seats)

And the signs were pretty funny. Like the elephant in a chinese chess game, you shall not cross the “river”.

i.e. don’t rest your smelly big feet on the opposite seat!


Eating up Hong Kong – part 1

27 10 2007

During S.O.’s stay here, I brought him to a great beef-brisket noodle (“ngau lam min”) place at Gough Steet in the Mid-Levels. There was a short queue so we had to wait awhile and share tables thereafter – but it was worth it. Here’s a pic of the store exterior for those interested to go! Try the curry beef-brisket-and-tendon noodle. Yummy!

It’s the stall with the red sign.

We also spotted a hole-in-the-wall stall opposite the beef brisket place that had a looooong queue. If these folks are willing to wait to eat in such a run-down place, it sure must be good! Shall try it the next time.

Also grew fat snacking on:

Krispy Kreme! The Halloween specials look cool, but we didn’t try them because they looked too sweet.

Hui Lau Shan. Desserts galore!

S.O. obviously looking forward to it 😛

Black pepper beef ball noodles.

Come to HK and I’ll bring you to eat all these goodies! 🙂

Apartment Search

27 10 2007

My stay at the company-paid serviced apartment ends around the middle of November. My plan is to put up at another serviced apartment till mid-Feb (when I go for my overseas training stint); and only sign a long-term lease when I return to HK in mid-Apr. With less than 3 weeks before move-out day – it’s house hunting time!

I like my current apartment. Will enjoy it … while it lasts. It’s nice to have someone clean up after you, and come back to a tidy place after a long day at work!

Bedroom – bed is sooooo comfy!

Living room – small, but functional. The window seat/ledge is a nice touch. Significant Other “choped” that area the moment he stepped into the apartment. Haha. You can see his laptop comfortably parked there.

Study desk (Since S.O. had choped the comfy window ledge, SOMEONE was forced to use the uncomfortable study desk)

Hong Kong is the world’s most expensive city to rent accommodation – which takes most (ALL!!) of the joy out of apartment viewing. Initially, I hoped to be able to rent a small studio or 1-bedroom apartment on Hong Kong Island in the Mid-Levels (which is as close to work as it gets); but that hope went *pouf* after I checked out the rental listings. HK17K for a 500sq foot apartment in a 30-year-old walk-up apartment? HK22K for a similar sized room in a “modern” condo? All waaaaaay above my budget. My friends who came a few months before me paid 20-25% less for their apartments. Bad timing. Sigh. Guess I’ll have to take up a lease on a less conveniently-located apartment 🙂

I was curious on HK home statistics, did some prodding and found that the home ownership rate in HK is around 58%, which means almost half rent their residences. That makes for a huge customer pool – and I don’t think the official statistics include non-residents/expatriates! Being a property agent sure is a lucrative business. The standard commission rate is … 100% of the first month’s lease! Tenant is expected to pay half, the landlord the other half. Plus, tenant and landlord need to bear all fees incurred for the lease agreement, and are “on their own” after the agreement has been sealed (i.e. NO further support/help from the property agent!). I’m in the wrong profession, man!

This explains the proliferation of property agencies. A walk down the road from my apartment revealed more agencies than you can shake a stick at.

These are just those within a 3-min walk from my current apartment!

Anyway … serviced apartment viewing tomorrow morning! Wish me luck! 🙂

Going “local”

23 10 2007

The Significant Other spent a few days with me in Hong Kong. We had a great time playing “tourist” and bumming around. It was a really sad moment when he had to go back to Singapore. Heart-wrenching, actually. But I shan’t go into the gory details.

 The culture here is really different from that back home. Folks work really late and over the weekends, and it’s the norm. Today was my first official day at work. I left around 8pm – and everyone else was still parked there, with no indication that they were going to leave anytime soon. No lunch time to speak of either. Lunch was a pack-and-go, eat-in-office affair. Where do these people get their drive and energy from? Must be all that MSG in the food …. 😛

Determined to try living like a “local”, I took a bus to the supermarket after work to pick up groceries and cooked up a storm @ home – soupy, thin lobster noodles with bok choy and pork sukiyaki. With a donut for dessert and apple juice with aloe vera. Yummy!