Tuesday, March 21, 2006

I'm BACK!

I've switched to a new blog site. As much as i love live journal, i am switching so i can include some photos too. Will include all details of the last few months shortly.... xx Below are my writings from livejournal.com



November 17th, 2005
02:35 pm

One year ago, i left for asiaIt was a wednesday nite, and i boarded a plane in Vancouver at 2am, and left for Hong Kong. I can't believe how much has happened in just one year. If i think about it too much, i'll get emotional! Tonite i'm sitting in the living room with Carlo. We are watching tv, and also have laptops going. We finally set up our wireless connection in the house, and since work has been so busy i have had very little personal time to devote to emails and writing. I have been wrapped up in my harry potter book, the order of the phoenix. It's really really exciting to read, i haven't read much fictional material this year, but it's been such a pleasurable read, but i have not felt nurtured by it, and i feel how the city can strip away my energy and fails to replenish it. I look at my reflection and i can see it. I have lots on my mind, most of it i bring on myself, i have stopped breathing, reflecting, meditating, and even praying. I have to get back into my good books, soul food. If i start with God first, everything flows so much better. Today i ate sushi and miso soup for lunch at a place called Itsu, next to the Vogue House in Hanover Square where Anna Winter works. my lunch was beautiful, i loved it so much, and it gave me so much energy to get me through the busy afternoon. I have some leads on the go that look very promising and i'm hoping to close another two deals tomorrow. I spoke with my contacts in the Philipines, and we've scheduled a conference call on monday to discuss bringing their 30 person call center on board selling dubai for me. Now that could be very very cool.This weekend, i'm going to see Starsailor at Brixton academy. Then we're gonna check out Harry Potter in the theatre. In between all of that i am soaking in some sleep. Waking up has been extra hard this week, with the temperatures dropping to frosty levels. Today was the first day the roads have been salted at the trainstations. And there have been train delays due to icy conditions. I'm so glad to have my winter gear here. The weather has been brilliantly sunny and crispy cold. It's my favorite type of fall. I adore it like this and wouldn't dare trade it for ten degrees warmer and pouring rain. Today was the perfect fall day.I'm winding down now, and it's about time to tuck into bed. I'm so happy to have my computer running again.

Current Music: heartbeats- jose gonzales


November 7th, 2005
03:03 pm

The Seventh DayIt is November already, and in between the last entry to now, Carlo and I moved into a house closer to London. We now live in South Croydon, in a two bedroom ground floor of a house. It is much bigger than our first place, and it was such a chore to move into it, but we're almost settled and I'll feel better when the house smells like us. Right now, it smells like air-freshner, and i don't like that smell.October brought me to Birmingham, in the middle of England, close to the Wales border. I drove up with Shehzad and it was 18C outside, we had the sunroof open, blasted the new 50 Cent cd, and passed thru Warwickshire, where apparently Shakespeare was born. There's not much to see up there except for alot of green pastures and fluffy sheep. Birmingham is a bleak and dark type of place, we worked our butts off and i looked forward to going home. My hotel room smelled like airfreshener over smoke. Gross. Not only that, but my bedsheet had a cig burn in it, and so did the drapes. I was too exhausted really to care, and i forgot all about it when i called Carlo to chat until nearly passing out. The show was not unsuccesful however, I did meet an investor who i'm driving up to meet again tomorrow. My country manager and I are looking to close a £2 million deal. It would be my biggest deal if we close it. So, i'm really anxious for Wednesday to come and go back to Birmingham. Work wise, it's been stressful. October was a disaster for sales, i only sold one apartment. On the last day, i closed a second one, but then the guy pulled out last minute, sabotaging his deposit even. I was so gutted. I did get another sale the next day though, so i wasn't down for long.There are plenty of developments on the go, i've been busy trying to recruit more agents and it's coming along really well. I have a telemarketing agency in the Philipines that has a sales force of 30 people. Already we are talking about the possibility of me flying to Cebu to train them. Oh my, a return to Asia would be GORGEOUS!!!!With working and moving, my body has taken the stress deep into my muscle tissue and i have found myself so weary by about 3pm everyday. I could drop and sleep for days it feels like. I dont' have a restful sleep, i often wake up with my mind already stressed about what i have to do that day. Carlo and i have been fine, although i have felt frustrated about getting things done, we are a pretty good team and help each other. He's often calmed me right down when i felt like it was all too much. This weekend, we went back to the coast to visit his parents in Poole. It was lovely, two days on the coast was the most much needed therapy we both desperately needed. I felt so much better coming back home. I also tried roast pork dinner on Sunday. I've had almost all roasts now: pork, lamb, beef, and turkey. Mmmmm, all delicious.There were many events this month: the neighbour at our old flat gave birth to her baby in the toilet. It was totally by accident, she thought she had to do a #2 and the baby popped out!!! I couldn't believe it, but it's true. Steve had a baby in LA. His wife took really ill with pnemonia and was in intensive care for a few weeks. The baby delivered premature by a couple weeks and Steve had a baby girl. She was perfectly healthy and the whole family is doing very well. They named the baby, Catalina. I can only imagine him changing diapers. It paints me an endearing picture of him that makes me feel very happy for him.I found out that Roman Abramovich owns a company on the top floor of the building i work in. He aparently popped over here last month and ate in Cipriani's before heading over to the Sunseeker office and purchasing another super yacht. Sheesh, billionaires on lunch! The weather has been reasonably good for autumn. We have had more sunny days than rainy days, and the weather has been pretty warm. It stays around 13-16C almost everyday, and i have yet to pull out the super woolly sweaters and heavy coats. My skin is terrible though, i swear i feel so ugly some days with the condition of my skin. I always battle it when i'm stressed. Still i'm glad i'm working. It's better to be stressed at work than to be stressfully unemployed! I'm just at the office now and am heading into a meeting. I will write more again soon. Our new place will have wireless broadband hopefully by the end of the week!!!



September 25th, 2005
01:49 am

The Fury of SeptemberFall is here. The leaves are starting to change colour, and the wind is starting to blow a little more, and it's time to turn the heat on in the mornings and at nite in the flat. The city sparkles best in Autumn. The weather is perfectly suited to the fashion here, the scarves and luxurious cashmeres on pale skin. There is a beauty in the grey day, there is a peace in hearing the rain fall and it can make home really cozy.The past month has not slowed down much, and there is no release till probably the new year. After Amsterdam, we had one week in the office before heading to the coast to visit Carlo's folks. We had not seen them in 2 months and so it was such a nice weekend to hang out with them. We went hunting for a suit for Carlo in Bournemouth. He had to buy one for his friend's wedding. Next to the suit shop, i found a chinese shoe shop and they had some crazy clearance and i bought two pairs of shoes for £5! I was stoked. We met up with the gang from Criminal Clothing, and found success in a perfect fitting Botang suit. Week two, Carlo went back to Amsterdam to work the IBC media exhibition. He was gone a week, and i had the flat to myself, so i spent time actually unpacking from our Vancouver trip and touching the four corners of our dusty house to return it to standard. At work, i sold my first 2 bedroom apartment in Ocean Heights, and work introduced two new sales people to our team, Paul and Ali. Nick came home and told me that our landlord is selling our flat and moving to France. So, now we had to look for another flat.When Carlo got back, i caught a 48 hour cold, just in time for the weekend. I was so bummed, i must have caught some germ on the train or bus from someone. That's the only thing i dont' like about public transportation, but Carlo wanted to go back down the coast to look at property. We have been discussing buying a rental investment in Bournemouth because they are revamping the area alot and there was rumour of the first european artificial surf reef being built there. So, with a huge roll of tisues and a bunch of tylenol, we packed a bag and headed back to look at about 10 different places. Then we found "the one". 5 minutes by foot to the beach, it's a converted loft with hardwood and brick. It's 2 bedrooms and gorgeous. We spent the Saturday nite at his parent's place, and the next day, we headed to the docks for the French market. It happens once a year, and it was fabulous. The day was hot, it was about 23C and we were in tshirts and sunglasses. There were various sausages, cheeses, crepes, olives, produce, sweets and crafts. One particular booth was selling only shallots and garlic. It was really busy, full of personalities and fragrances. I loved it.Week three- The train schedule has changed, which means i can catch a better train in the morning with no connections. I've not been as diligent with my reading. Too much on my mind. Monday afternoon, Carlo told me he put an offer in for the flat in Bournemouth. The first offer was rejected, but after some compromise, the seller accepted our offer. So, now we were busy with process of buying, and the process of finding a new flat to rent. Each day after work, we have either met with a mortgage broker, or rental agent showing us a flat. What an experience. Work has been dead for calls. No sales for anyone this week, we're practically devestated. I've been told that the first half of September is slow, but we're slingshooting into the property exhibition season, and i know it's going to get manic again. Carlo and I finally found a flat to move into, but the landlord wants us to move in immediately cuz it's been empty for a couple months and he has a mortgage to pay. But with the property exhibitions, i am gone practically every weekend in October. I have no idea when we are going to have time to move. Carlo's going to Monaco, i'm going to Scotland, so time management skills have never been so critical. We have agreed that we can move the 3rd week of October. It's going to be a miracle, but we're determined to pull it off.Carlo is in Rhode Island this weekend for his friend's wedding. And yesterday (saturday), i slept in till 2pm. I rarely ever sleep in that late, but i needed it. The weekends are the only time i can do domestic duties. It is also the time in my life i have never been so broke and because London is a rip off for anything, i'm keeping busy doing things at home. I had to laugh at the irony of walking to the office in my prada shoes with 75 pents in my bank account!! Basically, other than the money for my travel card, being this broke eliminates most every simple indulgence i'm accustomed to. I have never been so excited for payday!! I'm still recovering from the Vancouver flight nitemare, and by the end of next week, i'll be able to breath again. I can ride it out. There's a silver lining in everything, and there are always lessons if you pay attention and remember to be thankful for what you do have.In addition to all of that, my recent lesson has been in practicing peace and compassion. In the bustle of events, there are times i've felt frustrated, where the seeds of violence inside seem to surface. Whether it be something in my immediate day, or images from my past, i have felt really aweful about certain people or events in my history. When i have had time alone, it comes up and i've had to deal with it. Being sentimental has it's curse. Just as i remember and hold onto the good times and memories, i also hold onto hurtful ones. I am fully aware that this is not healthy for me, and this is my weakness. In particular i have been meditating in prayer for strength in overcoming this and reminding myself that every person and event has it's purpose just the way it should be. Our past faults and mistakes do not define our character and who we are today. We are constantly evolving, and it is who we decide to be today that defines us. We have the power to transform into what we envision ourselves to become. We must simply believe. Then why does something so simple seem so hard? I believe that without Faith we are dead in our tracks.

When you try your best but you don't succeed
When you get what you want but not what you need
When you feel so tired but you can't sleep
Stuck in reverse
When the tears come streaming down your face
When you lose something you can't replace
When you love someone but it goes to waste could it be worse?
Lights will guide you home and ignite your bones
And I will try to fix you

High up above or down below when you're too in love to let it go
If you never try you'll never know
Just what your worth
Lights will guide you home and ignite your bones
And I will try to fix you

Tears stream down your face
When you lose something you cannot replace
Tears streaming down your face and I
Tears stream down your face I promise you I will learn from my mistakes
Tears stream down your face and I

Lights will guide you home And ignite your bones And I will try to fix you

-Fix you (by Coldplay)

Last night I listened to this song for the first time in real detail. It almost sounds like a church song, with the organs, piano and the chorus at the end. I've had so many moments in church listening to songs about pain, surrendering, letting go, healing, how touching God is a place of unconditional love, light, and renewal. And every once in a while, a band like Coldplay will come along and strum that same frequency in the human spirit that resonates in absolute perfect brilliance. It makes me want to do two things: raise my arms high in the air, or bow my head and curl up in a ball. It's so beautiful, so incredibly powerful and precious that i can't help but feel tears stream down my face. Our hardships teach us what faith is.

Current Music: Fix You- Coldplay


September 7th, 2005
05:57 pm

New BooksI've retired my harry potter book back to the shelf. I'm in the mood for non-fiction, so in the last week, i read the book mom gave me when i left, By Dr. Wayne Dyer, it's called the 10 steps to Success and Inner Peace. It was wonderful. Alot of what i read from that one and the Emoto water book say the same things about vibrations in our cells, and how our thoughts change our bodies either positively or negatively. And by bringing our awareness to that, we can be in control and create more positive things in our life and well being. Inner Peace, it seems like an on-going battle. With all the clutter in a modern world, with all the stress, how does one find it? I work in a sales environment where there are always targets to meet, people to close and lets not forget financial stress. The only thing that keeps me in a better place is to consciously wake up and feel love and gratitude. I wake up about an hour and a half before Carlo does. By the time i'm showered and dressed, he's still bundled up in a cocoon under his duvet, sleeping peacefully. It is one of the things i take great pleasure in, watching him in peace. Before i leave for the office, i lean over and kiss his forehead, and focus my thoughts and emotions on how much i love him, and how thankful i am to have him in my life. And, as i walk up the street to the train station, i feel happy. Sometimes that feeling is postponed if i'm slightly late leaving the house and end up sprinting for the train!!


August 31st, 2005
02:34 pm

Speeding thru to the AutumnVancouver was an incredible time, all too quick, not nearly enough time for rest. We had the flights from hell the way over and back. I ended up spending about $4000 cnd on just flights in the end because of all the delays, cancellations, and miscommunications. Brutal. Thankfully, i have Carlo, who was there to help me calm down thru the stress, and we breathed thru the situation and got home safely and on time. Seeing mom and dad felt so good. I love that house and being home. It felt great to wake up the first morning there and see my brother, and have some tea and breakfast with my dog near me. Dantius really took to Carlo, she cuddled around his feet whenever he was around. Really cute. Mom and dad and Carlo all got along great, i'm so relieved because it felt pretty natural to have him around my family. We went to Whistler with my brother and folks and rented a big Envoy SUV. It was a gorgeous drive, and we went for some lunch, and a picnic by the lake. Carlo, Damian and I took the gondolla and ski lift all the way to the top of Whistler mountain, about 7000 ft above sea level. It was breathtaking and we took loads of photos. The weather was hot and sunny and a great start to our holiday. Alex and Karen from London ended up in Vancouver for two days and stayed at the hotel Vancouver. It worked out perfect with our schedules and we were able to go for a bike ride around the city, play some pitch and putt golf in Stanley Park, as well as visit the Aquarium and see the baluga whales and other sea creatures. We got to see Dan, and he took us around. We got to see my old neighbour Andy who hooked us up at the Aquarium. And we all went to dinner at Hapa Izakaya and had Kobe beef sashimi and other assorted yummy dishes in the company of Samuel L Jackson!!! Yes, the jedi knight dined at the table across from ours. It was such a great couple of days. We took the little ferry boat over to Granville Island and got some green tea, some beer and wings and bumped into Sean Coggins at the Cat's Meow. I'm so glad i got to see the few friends i did see. We went to Flamenco in the evening at Kino Cafe and Senka met with us and brought her new boyfriend David. It was fun to hang out with her too, i miss her vibrant energy. We caught a great house group called Torchered Soul at Ginger 62, and grabbed drinks and eats at Subi's, Lucy Mae Brown, and again at the Cat's Meow. We didn't make it to any clubs, although i wish i got to see Garrett's new nite at Plush.I went thru a little bit of a funk when i was in Vancouver, it was a mourning process of realising that the amazing times that i have had there from last year, the lifestyle i had when i was with MINI and hanging out with the Fongs and Senka etc....those days are gone. As we are all growing up and moving into new things, it's all great and exciting and it reminds me to really appreciate the present. I know i mentioned this before, but it's really about enjoying the times that are happening NOW. Life is good, and it's what you make of it. Carlo and I stayed at the penthouse for a couple days at Robert's, but i was missing home and wanted to take advantage of being near mom and dad while we were there. So, i packed up my things and moved them over to the house with the help of Carlo and mom. I will not forget the look on Carlo's face when he saw how much stuff i have.....he said " the words, i have nothing to wear, should never cross your lips!!!" Yet a woman can never have enough pairs of shoes.The family bbq was huge. It took over an hour to say hello to everyone and introduce them to Carlo. And even then i barely got time with my relatives. Michelle invited Nick Louie to the picnic and he suprised me by bringing Amanda, Alan, and Zion. I was so shocked that he came, and so happy. It was incredible to see him and have a nice visit. This was one of the better bbq's yet. There were about 85 people there, and about 8 picnic tables lined in a row completely covered in food, all my indonesian favorites, including tons of Satay. I realised that i barely drank any liquid during the entire afternoon and my throat hurt at the end of it and was raspy from talking straight thru! I wouldn't exchange it for the world. Carlo and i had rented a convertible PT Cruiser, which is such a contrast from the MINI, but it was a humourous ride and gave us a bit of a tan as we drove from place to place. We ended up taking some time out in White Rock and Cresent Beach, and went for some walks along there and enjoyed some quiet time. But the majority of the visit was go go go. I was up normally around 7am and in bed around 2-3am every nite. We did go to Deep Cove with my brother, met up with Nick at NLA and he treated us to a gorgeous lunch at The Cannery. In the evening we also hooked up with Mark Gestrin for some eats and drinks in White Rock. The last nite, the family got together for dinner at The Pearl and Lisa came out also. Our last nite i was so exhausted and almost fell asleep at the dinner table. When we got home, i crawled into bed and Carlo stayed up with mom till 2am making sausage rolls!!! At the airport on the way back to London, my flight left without me and i had to buy another one, yet again more flight hickups. But at least Carlo and I got on the same flight back. It was another big nitemare, totally distressing. When we got back to Gatwick, Carlo had a cab waiting for us to take our bags and it was smooth sailing back to Chipstead. When we got back to the flat, we dropped the bags right away and got to tidying up. It was pretty dusty and there was no food in the house, or paper towels or even one roll of toilet paper. So, we dashed to the store before it shut, and then came back and unpacked. By about 4pm, Carlo was snoozing on the couch. And by the time i was unpacked, i changed the bed sheets, crawled in, and was lights out for a few hours myself. We were exhausted. At about 8pm, we woke up to have a light dinner and caught some tv. I called home and talked to mom and told her we got in alright. She was emotional on the phone and i guess it's because we didnt' really get a proper goodbye. We were literally running to the gate because of the problems with my ticket back. So, our goodbye was short and sweet and then in a blink, we were gone. In a way, i'm glad because i hate goodbyes. I'm horrible with them and they make me cry too.Back in London this past week, i fought tough jet lag and had to be at the office first thing Monday morning. It was tough because i went straight into training with the sales trainer from Dubai. We were out of the office all week, and then the last day i was in the office catching up on the last 3 wks i've been gone. Not that there was a lot to do, it's been pretty quiet since i've been away. But Natalie closed 20 deals for the month, Alex did 18, and Shehzad closed 8 apartments in one day! So, my turn must be next. I really want it, and the new campaign starts next week so the phones will get busy once again.This past weekend we went to Amsterdam. I was able to see Jolanda and Frank, Michael and Angelique. It was a fantastic trip. The hotel Ambassade was beautiful and clean. The service was top quality and the location was perfect; right on the canal. We had the top floor room facing the canal and it had high open beam ceilings, lots of light, and all the furniture was dutch antique. It was very comfortable and the perfect cozy size. We checked in early in the morning as our flight was at 7am, so we were up at 4:30, in Amsterdam by 9, and after checking in we went for a stroll thru the city over to the Ouit Markt, which is the festival that launches the cultural season. It was pretty cool, there was a Bob Ross tent where people could grab an easle and paint watching him on the plasma screen. There were some bands performing, some classical, the amsterdam philharmonic, and some theatre clubs as well. They had little food stands and sold crepes and croquettes. And we pigged out on some treats before meeting up with Jolanda. It was the first time i'd seen her in 5 yrs. She brought Floris and her new daughter Juna. It felt like yesterday seeing her, i was smiling and so happy to hang out after all that time. We headed to the Esprit Cafe and had some sandwiches and bagels, and then headed to the canal nearby to meet up with her brother, Frank and Casper. We hopped in the boat and took a tour thru the canals all around Amsterdam. It was fabulous. After the tour it started to get cold, so we all docked and said our goodbyes and then parted. Carlo and i made our way to a little cafe for some tea and warmed up before heading back to the hotel for a snooze before dinner. For dinner we went to this place called The Luddon, which had incredible food, especially this tomato garlic butter spread for bread. Mmmmm. We met up with Roger, Carlo's friend who he met when they travelled Australia. Roger met us at this place called The Prins where we had some beers and then took a walk thru the red light district. Wow, pornography in your face! It was pretty wild, and in a way sad too. But it's very much an industry there, and it seems to run itself like a proper business. The place was packed this particular night....alot of drunk men about....i held on tight to Carlo's arm and we continued on, back toward the hotel. Sunday we met up with Michael and Angelique after we had a big pancake breakfast. The shopping high street was packed, so we dodged the people and found a spot for a drink in the Leidis Plein....not sure how to spell it. Anyway, we had a good laugh swapping stories and catching up. I really love hanging out with Michael. I think if we lived in the same city we'd be alot closer friends. We ended up buying shoes...even i got a pair, i couldn't resist, they were only 10 euro. And then we went walking around the town and saw the Anne Frank House near the West Church and after dropping off our shopping bags at the hotel, we went for a drink and croquettes and bitterballers at a cafe along the canal, and then dinner at this great little indonesian restaurant. The food was really good but we were so stuffed. After dinner, we headed back to the hotel and parted with Mike and Angelique. Then we met up with some friends of Carlo's at the Heineken Plien for a couple drinks before calling it a nite. I was falling asleep at the table by this point, my stomach was so full of food, beer, drinks, etc etc from the day, and after all the walking we did i was about to drop. Thankfully we got a cab back to the hotel, and before i hit the pillow i was already sprinkled in sandman's dust and fast asleep.Monday we packed up our things for check out and hunted for a waffle place for breakfast. For the rest of the afternoon we cruised around and took some photos, picked up some cheeze and sat at another cafe just before we had to leave for the airport. I enjoyed my first trip to mainland Europe. Holland is the cutest little country, and Amsterdam is completely romantic and picturesque. The people are very nice, all tall and in good shape, even the very old people still ride their bikes around town. I loved watching women who would ride on the back of a bike with their legs crossed to one side. So sweet. We flew back and on the flight i was able to see France, Belgium and Holland from the plane. I can't believe how close everything is here. It's only 40 minutes on the plane, a hop skip and jump back to London. When we got back to the apartment, we dropped off our bags and went to visit Carlo's Aunt, Uncle and Nanny Joan for a quick visit and a bite of dinner. We picked up Nick and headed back home to prepare for the short work week this week. I can't believe it's already wednesday, this week is flying by. I have so much to organise with my flight insurance and complaint letters. I still have to call visa and find out if i can get any coverage for the flight delay and cancellations.It's good to be back in London and i'm happy to be back in the rhythm. I have had a great week being back in Europe and i'm feeling charged to do well this fall. Who knows what's around the corner?
Current Music: Amsterdam- Coldplay


August 5th, 2005
02:20 pm

Oompa Loompa, One Sleep Left.....Would you believe i'm feeling anxious about home? It feels good to be coming back. I know alot is the same, but it's also going to be different. Sometimes i wish i could taste a day way back when, when i was in LA, HK, and even BC. It's not about the place, it's about the people. But it's those memories that teach me to be in the present moment and to really appreciate the now. Because you don't get it back, life moves forward, and it changes for everyone. My crew of friends in HK are all doing new things now, the bachelor boy band has found love and the partying has come to a simmer. My crew in Vancouver has dispersed to different areas of the world, couples are settling down, and now i've almost completely lost touch with my friends in LA. My friend and mentor Nick, has steered my focus around the philosophy of being in the present, and living mindfully in the moment. Time away and being in different areas of the world have helped me comprehend what that means. So many things are temporary. And being sentimental is good, but it should not hold you back from moving forward. I think that has been a huge battle for me in the past. Sometimes I think I hold onto memories a little too much. But I am definitely getting much better. Today i had lunch with Jim, who has a short layover in London before flying back to HK. What was interesting about our lunch conversation was that he misses the times of HK, and he's going back knowing that it will never be the way it was when we were all over there. But now the exciting thing for him is that there is no expectations, and he gets a clean slate. Who knows what's around the corner. He could bump into one person that could take his life around a brand new corner. Isn't that the best way though? I am thrilled to come home, but anxious about the flight and going thru customs. One thing that bugs me is going thru borders. It makes my stomach clench to the point of extreme nausea. I have the united states gov't border crossing to thank for that. Ironically, walking into communist china or vietnam was a breeze in comparison to crossing into the "land of the free". I have to get organized tonite and pack it all up. After work i'm heading over to the grocery store to purchase some little bits to bring to vancouver. And then it's just clothes. I dont' think i'll bring much, i have plenty waiting for me at home. And i'll just buy new stuff if i need to. But, I have too much back home and i don't know what i'm going to do with that. I'm all for simplifying.Today the server has been down all day at the office, which means that we have no Oracle, email or outlook. It's crippled our day sales wise, and it amazes me how much we are reliant on technology to get things done. AT least we have internet access. I just started a new book. After finishing Dan Brown's "Deception Point", I am reading my very first Harry Potter book. The one i got is called The Order of the Phoenix. I'm only 4 chapters in and it's already SO GOOD!! I'm happy that i got into it before flying. Starting a book on a flight is one of the hardest things. But i've retired the ipod for books, and now that i'm in the habit of reading to and from work, i really look forward to it. It's hard to get up and going, kinda like exercise, and then you get addicted to the routine. This week we went to see Willy Wonka. It was wierd, kinda like Johnny Depp's impression of Michael Jackson. Slightly creepy. The movie was completely tailored for a very young audience. The brilliance of movies like Pixar's always incorporate a kids show with an intellectual level for adults too. I kinda dosed just for a couple minutes during Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. I think the kid that plays Charlie is amazing though, the next child actor to win an oscar in the very near future.It's a half hour away from closing time. The windows are open and there's a nice breeze. The weather was shit this morning, and now it's clearing up. Robbie Williams came by Cipriani's again today. And i saw Chef Cipriani this morning in his kitchen clogs peering out the restaurant talking to the window washer. I found out that Madonna owns a flat above us, and one of her assistants drives her electric blue mini cooper s and parks it just outside. Maybe one of these days i'll catch a candid glimpse of her. Ah, London...... Well, i'm ready for a dose of the West Coast. Canada...here i come!


July 30th, 2005
09:03 am

Robbie's Rolls Royce, my first flats sold, and the countdown to canada,Tuesday was a very exciting day. By afternoon, I sold my first two flats. I had been dealing with two clients over the phone for a week, they were cousins. One was an investor, the other, not so much but wanted to get into Dubai and make some money. Both had slightly frustrated me all week, and i was unsure if they would actually buy or not, but in the end, they decided to go for it. And i had my first sales, two in one day. Hooray! I finally made it to the next process, and was able to understand the administrative end and the paper trail. I think that the current system is inefficient, but i know we'll be making some improvements along the way. We had a sales meeting this week and it went really well. I am enjoying all the people i work with, and it's nice to have some new friends. The bombers were arrested this week in notting hill. Interesting that they've been catching them in all areas of london. Who would've guessed they would have arrested two people outside my house even! Yesterday they arrested a man and a woman and dragged them down the street. It was really strange. I think the bombings are over now. At least from the muslim end of things. I think i want to pick up the Koran and figure out what Muslims are all about. If i'm going to their country, i should at least try and understand their religion so i don't have prejudice inside. At the moment, i must admit that my outlook is not too positive.Yesterday, Robbie Williams drove up to the Cipriani's restaurant next to our offices. I saw his huge black Rolls Royce out front the restaurant. His driver had a really big blinging watch on, just waiting for him, chillin. The licence plate said ROBB11E. I then found out that Madonna was in the neighbourhood the day before, jumping out of the car and dashing past the papparazzi as she ran into Gordon Ramsey's restarant....which is also across the street from my office. I have yet to see these stars yet. The best i can say for my celebrity star search is Bob Geldof, Sporty Spice and Ginger Spice. Oh well, just another RR on the block. They all have them here. RR or Bentley. I'd love to see Madonna rocking thru London. Today i baked some muffins and cookies for the week. I want to bring some to the office and have some around for tea time and breakfast. Carlo and i went to the driving range and hit some balls. We did a little bit of grocery shopping, and now it's reading time. We have devoted some time outs for reading, since he's feeling like he doesn't have as much time as me. I read everyday on the way to and from work. it's the only way i can get any reading done. So when he's got reading time, i can write out the week. It works out well. Tonite, i'm not sure what we'll be upto. A few people are going to Brighton for the evening, but it's a bit far, and we're both really tired. We're trying to conserve our energy for our big week ahead. It's the countdown to Canada, only 7 days left and then we're off!I'm so excited to see home. I know not alot will have changed. That's the nice part. It's good to be home and visit and see everyone. I hope some people will be about. This week i was feeling slightly insecure about my trip. I was thinking if it would be weird to bump into old boyfriend's with Carlo beside me. But, he and i talked about that this week and we understand each other. More than anything, i want to honor my relationship with him. I am so looking forward to going home, and so excited to show him my life there. It'll be sweet. i'm going to have a nap. I have been very tired this week. It's from the amount i am learning all the time. Gotta keep up! What i am enjoying today- cheese and crackers :)


July 25th, 2005
01:55 pm

One more little step....Today, i got a bank account with HSBC. I'm so happy, it's pretty hard to get set up here with a bank account, there's so much fraud and money laundering that they put everyone thru the ringer. This also makes the bank staff treat you in a very unfriendly tone. When i walked into the bank, the girl who i had to sign in with instantly assumed i was american, and then when i clarified that i was canadian, she brought out a huge long list of things i needed to have with me in order for them to help me get a bank account set up. The reason that i never set it up earlier was because i was getting so much run around with banks and no one wanted to service me. Nitemare. But then, with the help of Francis the Damac Accountant, he supplied me with some key numbers and sort codes for Damac, which has an account with HSBC. This helped me alot and i was able to get my account within an hour or so. I decided to do an experiment today with the bank girl who set me up. She was an indian girl, short and very skinny. Her hair was tied back in a ponytail and her name was Sobian. She was not very friendly during my first attempt meeting her. She was very aloof and wouldn't even introduce herself until i prompted her to and stuck out my hand as a gesture. Instantly, i could tell this girl hated her job, didn't want to be there, and hated me and all foreigners who need a bank account. Yikes. Stress, Hustle, Time Pressure, and then this chick starts feeding me attitude. Great. The first instinct would be to be a bitch back. But, i slowed my voice, and spoke calmly, faintly annoyed, but controlled. I asked her exactly what i was missing, and then i went back to Damac to pick it up. Thankfully it was just down the street so i didn't have to make any lengthy journey. Once i had all my papers, i headed back to the bank, and this time i didn't have to wait, she was free to take me right away. When i sat down, the first thing i did was smile in relief. Then i told her how i was slightly stressed because i needed to attain a bank account so that Damac could pay me. The way my checks are sent are thru an overseas transfer, as i am paid from Dubai. They denied my initial request to transfer into my canadian bank account, so i had to hustle to get this one set up. I could tell she was still treating me like a number. Then all the lessons about compassion and kindness started to kick in. I asked her two questions: "How long have you worked here? Do you enjoy it? " She then paused and i found out that she had only been working there for 3 wks. She also told me she liked the other branch she was transferred from better than this branch. Then she told me she was out late last nite and felt very hung over. She then appologised for seeming a little low. She told me normally she's bubbly and had more energy ( that was hard for me to imagine, but okay.) I realised that she was lonely, not happy to be where she worked, and obviously was reacting in an irresponsible manner by getting drunk on a work nite and being hung over the next day to escape from her shitty job. After all that, i couldn't really blame her. I know i've been in the same boat before. There wer moments towards the end of MINI that i resented my boss, hated coming to the office, and would show up feeling tired from a late nite the nite before. So, how was i any better? Thru the application process, the girl began opening up to me, asking me more personal questions, like where i've travelled, why london, how did i get my job etc etc. And at the end of my application, i walked away with a couple acheivements. I know she will remember me if i ever come by. And if i do, she will be nice to me again, when i really need the assistance. I also acheived the ever so hard to attain bank account. And, i walked out of that bank without resenting her, without any bitterness in my heart. Maybe it was just something little. But for women, i think it's especially hard. Young women especially, are very hard on each other. Her customer service actually kicked in towards the end, and i could see the switch in her eyes and the way she looked at me. I saw her differently too. She extended her hand as we both stood up, and she gestured to shake my hand as i left. We found resonance and that felt excellent. Now if i could only apply the same principles when i'm driving thru traffic. I am not nearly as forgiving.This weekend was fairly mellow. On "date nite friday", Carlo and I went to see Batman Begins. It was the BEST!!! I didn't want it to end. I was gutted when the credits came up. It was absolutely awesome, and a way better movie than the previous batmans. Saturday we played a round of golf at The Oaks. After 2 solid weeks of incredible hot and sunny weather, the one day we decide to golf and the rainclouds moved in. Literally on the 6th tee, it started to pour. We hid under a tree to wait it out. But, luckily it didn't last too long, and there wasn't any wind so it wasn't chilly. We each parred a couple holes, and it felt good to get out the clubs again. It's so different from going to the driving range. I love that game!Carlo and I grabbed a couple drinks at the Greyhound before heading home. Then we made some pizza and watched Meet Joe Black. I couldn't make it to the end of the movie and passed out around midnite. Good movie though, i'd seen it before. Sunday we made bacon and egg muffins, and after some house chores we headed for Blue Water Mall. The weather was really gross and rainy, so we decided to browse the shops and get a bite to eat. Bluewater is massive, and everything was on sale, 70% off, which is still a near rip off compared to Hong Kong. Since i am flat broke till my paycheck comes, i didnt' buy a thing. I think Asia has ruined me from the thrill of shopping. At the moment, walking in a mall does nothing for me. My favorite store there was the Discovery Channel Store. They had globes, binoculars and some other various scientific gear. Solar powered gadgets and eco friendly toys for children. I love that stuff. Other than that, I saw some dope shoes, but like i need another pair of those! In the evening, I introduced Carlo to one of my favorite movies, Finding Neverland. If someone feels down and needs a movie of inspiration, this would be the movie. It's beautiful, one of the nicest movies i have ever seen. The little boy that plays Peter is now playing Charlie in Willy Wonka, and i think this kid deserves an oscar. He is truely gifted.Harry Potter is back with a new book. Rowling made a million pounds per hour the first day of the book release. This has also been evident as on my way to work i see almost everyone reading either Harry Potter or Dan Brown. Brown is the new Black they say. Puleeez, that's so last year. haha. Carlo is sitting on the couch next to me right now, reading the Davinci Code. He's been reading it over the past year. He tells me that he doesnt want it to end so he reads it slow. I should read it again. I bought harry potter, but i've been hooked on non-fiction lately.....vibrational, magnetic resonance within the human body and all energy. I find it fascinating and it consumes my thoughts. I love it. Kelsey Grammar of Frasier was being interviewed on a show i watched yesterday. He was confessing that he is a Christian, but not in the fundamental traditional sense. After listening to him speak, i can understand where he's coming from. I believe in God, and i believe that in my lifetime, alot of the mysteries of our spirituality will become truths for us thru science. I think this will be an age where spirituality and science meet in magnificent splendor. And i think that new and radical ideas will begin a mainstream of thought and awareness. It's already started. But i think there will be more proof to come. I only wish i had more years in my lifetime to fully appreciate it, and to fully embrace and understand it to a higher degree. We have finite thinking, finite brains. We can't even begin to wrap our minds around God. He will be a never ending journey, and the most fascinating and exciting one.In the candles and classical music, i lay on the couch with my laptop, sipping my detox tea and feeling very thankful. The house smells like blueberry muffins that i've baked for tomorrow morning breakfast. I like it when the house smells like baking. Smells of baking smells like love to me.The highest and most powerful vibrations within living things are Love and Gratitude. It is my focus this year to meditate on those two things. To wake up, to love, and to be grateful. And whether it is raining or sunny, with those thoughts in mind, i can always wake up smiling.Tonite- i am very excited to come home.


July 21st, 2005
10:28 am

The Second Bomb Attack on LondonI don't understand what is accomplished by blowing up a bunch of tube stations and a bus except pissing off the londoners who end up having to interrupt their work day, have to evacuate their buildings and walk to the edge of the city to catch an overground train home. It's shit. The only positive thing i can say is that it happened on sunny days of summer. Had this been winter, the faces would be looking even more grim. The weather was absolutely gorgeous today, bright blue skies, sunshine, and blooming hanging baskets along the city streets. London is so picturesque, there are areas that breath romance. It's out of a novel. But today, after the second set of bombs, the streets became very quiet again.....it was eerie. You could hear a pin drop on some streets that would normally be bustling. I work in the heart of it all. For the first two hours after it happened, everyone stayed indoors, waiting to hear more on the radios and tv. Then, around 3:30-4pm, people started to flood the streets, trying to catch any bus that would stop (there were none, they were all overflowing with people), or taxi (every single one was already taken). So, i decided that the worst thing to do would be to worry. I thought, i'll eventually get home, i'm safe so far, so i'm going to take it one step at a time. We packed up at the office a couple hours early. I left at 4, there was no point in staying, and i thought it might be a horrible journey home, so i paced myself and walked thru Green Park, past Buckingham Palace, and all the way to Victoria train station. I was remembering to walk mindfully, thinking good thoughts, and being thankful for being safe. It was only a half hour walk to the station, and then i caught a train that was hot and sweaty. But i got home in one piece. And now that i'm home, it feels very good to be in silence. Carlo is on his way home too now, and i'm so thankful he works outside the city. I'm also glad he commutes by car. I haven't taken the tube more than once since the first attack. It makes my heart race and i don't like that part. Too many crammed people pushing and shoving, with no air and no escape if something were to happen. I can't handle thinking about that. So, i avoid it completely. So far, taking the bus is the greatest release. And, i get to read my book.I have always been interested in natural health. After reading this book by Dr. Emoto, i am fascinated by Hado. I would like to take a course on it and become certified. I have fallen in love with this form of healing. It makes so much sense to me already.Today my allergies have affected me...infact it's been affecting me all week. Even with anti-histamines, i still have dry eyes, itchy skin, mild hives, sneezing and stomach upset. I feel so tired, foggy in my mind, even with my vitamins, and lots of water, i still battle it. I go to bed at 10pm, wake up at 6:30am, and still feel drained. grrrrLast nite we watched a really funny movie called The Guru. It was a bollywood style hollywood movie, made me laugh my head off. But i barely made it to the end, i was already fading fast away on the couch. Today, once again i got close to my first sale. Looks like it may be a multiple unit one too. We'll see, some people are all talk.I better get the rice started. Carlo's coming home with bits to make thai green chicken curry. I need to chef it up!!! Tonite is Thursday nite TV, which means...RAMSEY'S Kitchen Nitemares! whoo hoo!I miss - feeling sharp, and full of energy. I feel tense in my shoulders and neck. When you feel your freedom is threatened, it makes you sublixated. I could use a good crack at Dr. Hoy's office. That will be one of many stops in Vancouver!
Current Mood: exhausted
Current Music: Head Kandi


July 18th, 2005
06:04 pm

End of Monday MondayToday has been a busy day, despite my 3 cancellations. Actually, it's more like reschedule. It works out for the best though, i'm exhausted today. I didn't feel a dose of energy until a couple hours after i ate lunch. I read a bunch of my new book, The True Power of Water, but Dr. Emoto Masuru. It is absolutely fascinating. Dr. Emoto did experiments which show evidence that water absorbs information and is reacts to thoughts and emotions. The more positive the thoughts, the more pure the water quality becomes. The negative thoughts prove to damage the waters quality and prevent it from crystalizing under freezing temperatures. This made me think about baptisms and christenings and even when people pray at the dinner table over their food. If our thoughts really affect water, then when we bless the food or drink, when we bless each other and pray, even in baptism, the water absorbs positive thought and indeed becomes better for our bodies. "Love and Gratitude" proved to bring the biggest and most beautiful reaction from water. It really made my day to think about that. I also thought about the three monkeys; hear no evil, speak no evil, see no evil. As adults, humans are composed 70% of water, and if exposed to these negative things, they actually affect our health and quality. God is Science and Science reveals God. And when you get a glimpse, you instantly start thinking a differnt way about everything. Today, although in my daily existence it was a pretty average work day, thru my readings i had an enlightening.Today i am craving macaroni and cheese. I think i'm going to make some. That means i need CHEEZE!!! time to leave th office!



July 16th, 2005
11:24 pm
OASIS, the pickpocket incident, the paradigm

It's been so busy i haven't had time to do my laundry or iron. The last couple weeks have been full on, and completely excellent. It's sunday morning, not even 7:30am, it's another gorgeous day outside, and i'm looking forward to enjoying it. Carlo bought me flowers a few days ago, and the whole flat smells like white lilies, my favorite. He'll be sleeping in till at least 10, and after early morning wake up calls to trek over an hour to work, i feel the same way, but today i dont' feel tired anymore. We may go golfing in a little while with a few of his friends, and i'm not sure if i want to go because the last few weeks my swing has been horrible. I don't know what happened. I lost the sauce.......temporarily.The last week or so has been full of fun little events. Since the bombing, taking the tube has put me waaaay off. I rode it in on the monday after the attack, and during rush hour it's rammed full of people. The temperature was hot, even in light summer gear, you felt disgusting being squished in with everyone else, but this is the daily routine here. As i looked around everyone was reading the paper, all articles about the bombings. I had to really focus on my breathing and being calm, as i felt a slight panic and what i believe to be a clausterphobic attack brewing. Luckily i only had to travel 3 stops. Since I started my job, i've been experimenting taking different routes to gauge which one's the fastest. And, it would be by taking the train to Victoria station, and from there a bus to Mayfair. Now, i don't take the underground at all. I am overground at all times....and loving it.I did have an incident last tuesday though. I was on my way to work and at victoria station. It was time to use my travel pass to put thru the gate and when i opened up my card holder, i realised that someone had pickpocketed me, stole my weekly travelpass, and swapped it with a one way child's ticket to Brighton. I couldn't believe it. I had been pickpocketed! And just to rub it in, the thief thought it would be funny to replace it with a child's card. The card had been dated for that day as well. I couldn't believe it. Fortunately, i had all my important belongings double zipped with a lock over flap in my carry case. The mongrel who took my £40 card ($100 cnd a week travel pass) got it because i had it in a side pocket with no clasp or zip. I only had it in there because i needed it so frequently. So, when i got to work, i was pretty bummed, but then also thankful that they didn't get my wallet etc.Last Saturday, we hired a big van and all piled in. Carlo's friends and i went to see Oasis in Milton Keynes. It's a journey to get up there, just under two hours. We had to park in an industrial area and walk to the outdoor bowl. 65'000 people went to the concert, and as we entered, we walked thru a parking lot that had literally hundreds of big greyhound buses. People come from everywhere to see Oasis. They are one of the biggest bands in the UK, if not the world. They are notorious for their arrogance, but they know rock and roll. We hit the beer garden, which was at the top of the bowl, the ring all around. There were about 4 stations total to service so many people, the cue up to it was massive, people pushing, almost violent actually. Walking around the circle felt uncomfortable, the crowds were crushing in some areas. Once the boys had their drinks, we walked to the bowl. When you get to the rim and look in, it was truely awesome. The stage looked like a tiny square, and leading up to it and all around, was a sea of people. I didn't want to be at the front necessarily, these crowds tend to be a big savage, but we wanted to be close, so we did head down the bowl, and found a nice patch of grass in front of their lighting tripods, just next to their camera tents. It was the perfect location. They came out and the crowd went bananas. And nearly every song you heard 65000 voices singing along to their songs. I had goosebumps the whole time, it was so powerful. Oasis played a good mix of their new album and their old hits. We didn't stop smiling. It was one of the best concerts i'd ever seen. Infact, i have to admit all my favorite concerts have been bands from the UK: U2, Radiohead, Coldplay, Oasis. All solid bands. But when you go to a rock show in the UK, you have to look out for flying bottles and flying plastic cups. What looks like beer isn't. When you are that close to the stage, the thought of pushing thru a mass of people to find a massive line up for a portapotty isn't exactly ideal. But sculling your beer, and pissing in it where you stand, tends to be what happens instead. But, if you're feeling a little rowdy and drunk, the last thing you'd do is put that cup or bottle down on the ground. No no no, you chuck it way up in the sky across the crowd, and those golden showers rain down while you chuckle. Gross. We got sprayed a few times, and i wasn't sure if it was beer or piss, but just the thought made me feel totally filthy. I never thought i'd experience something like that, and although it was disgusting, it didn't ruin the show. But when we got home, around 2am, i coulnd't wait to wash up and disinfect from head to toe. I had the best sleep after that. It was a long beautiful day roadtrippin, sunny and warm, with good friends and good music and a good memory. Work this week has shifted. The first week was basically a write off, i was only really there for 3 days. My bosses who were training me left to go to Ireland and then with the bombs going off, we had the rest of the week off. So, week two got alot more interesting. I have been getting much more confident in speaking about the developments. And i get plenty of pracice over the phone. The company gave me a stack of old registration forms for me to follow up with. It was the best form of training they could give me. And by wednesday, a big transition just clicked. I shadowed a couple meetings with my collegues, and all my past training from BMW started to kick in. Since then, i was able to book 3 appointments for next week, i hired two agents from manchester to work for me, and i have 2 other clients that i believe i can sell to over the phone. Next week we will see what i have sold. I'm loving my work, it's fascinating and really exciting. The office had a massive week of sales and we're two people short. Summer also trends to be the slowest months on the books, but i think we are going to be very successful. I told Charlie, we're going to be the number one office in Damac. And there are 15 offices around the world that we'd be competing with. But i know we will be, we have the right ingredients. I was saying to Carlo how happy it makes me to be digging my teeth into working again. It feels so good, i don't mind waking up early, and i enjoy even the little tasks. This weekend i received a package in the mail, it was a present from Leonard. I opened it up and it was a book that i really wanted and couldn't find.....The power of Water, by Dr. Emoto Masuru!!!! Leonard wrote that he picked up the book only minutes after we had been on the phone talking about it. He randomly saw it as he was walking thru whistler. Can you believe it as coincidence? Even he believes it wasn't random. So cool!!! I have some excellent reading for the train into work now. Harry Potter will have to wait!On Thursday nite, Andrea was in town laying over on her way back to Vancouver. We took a stroll thru Selfridges and they had a huge sale. I went directly for the shoes, but i still didnt' buy anything. Andrea found some great accessories and she even bought me some bamboo bangle bracelets. We both have a pair and whenever i wear them i will always think of her. It was great to sit and chat with her. I think she'll move to Croatia. I can see the adventure in her eyes, she craves it too. But it does take a big leap of faith, and i know she battles that just like i did. Limitations are self imposed, you can honestly do what you really desire if you set your mind to it. It may not happen overnite, but it will happen because everything you create and bring into your world builds you up and brings you tools to making those desires and dreams happen. But, you have to believe. We walked thru Mayfair and i showed her the neighbourhood and my office. Walking down the street were a lineup of cars. Just across from Ramsey's restaurant was a DB9 Aston, Carrera S, a Bentley, two RRoyces, MB SL, and a brand new Jag. This is typically what you would see in Mayfair daily. After a while, it doesn't seem to wow you anymore. If you see 5 rolles royces in a day, it becomes same same. London has obcene wealth though, it's hard to fathom sometimes. When Andrea and I got to Green Park Station, we parted and hugged. It felt really good to hang out with her, and especially a friend from home. I don't have that with any girls here. Good friendships are hard to find. Our visit was definitely too short. When i got on the train i was feeling sentimental. I get so emotional with goodbyes.This weekend we went out with some of Carlo's friends for a few drinks. It was nice to meet people he's been close with since highschool and first job. He met up with mates he used to work with at Ikea, and i enjoyed hanging out with them alot. You can still sense the brotherhood, it's funny how corperations like Gap or Ikea or BMW do that to you. From my experience, you never lose the brotherhood. I still have my gap family, my bwm family, and now my new damac family. One of Carlo's friends is a guy name Bill. He and his girlfriend just got back from Cancun. His girlfriend met up with us later in the evening at a thai restaurant in Wallington. They had continually been putting off their vacation because she kept getting leukemia. When she arrived at the restaurant, she sat down with us. Her voice was soothing, and she was really beautiful, not just on the outside, but especially the inside. She is tiny, around five feet, with short curly dark brown hair, and you'd never think she had leukemia, she looked really healthy. She's one of those beautiful people who have alot of sparkle. Both her and Bill have sparkle. It's an appreciation for life and each day. And i love being around people like that. She told me about her trip to Cancun, and how incredible it was to swim with dolphins there. She said her eyes well up just thinking about it, it moved her that much. I gave her a big hug before i left, and felt really blessed just to sit at a table with her. I told Carlo i hope to hang out with them more. I think God has his angels looking over her.Yesterday we went to the Rubbing House, which is in Epsom Downs at the horse track. It's a great little pub with a really huge patio. Everyone brings their dogs and it's a fabulous spot which overlooks the downs and the track. It's one of my favorite spots in England actually. As far as pubs go, it's the best one i've ever been to. We had a drink with Rob and Neal, and then headed over to Angelina and Dan's house to meet up with their mom. Carlo's mom is great, i like being around her. We all had a bbq together and then played scrabble on the new board that Ang and Dan bought for my birthday. It was super fun, even though we lost. Jared and Dan won, with Ang and Janet coming in second. Carlo and i had the worst tiles the whole game. What can you do when all you have is vowels? Oh well, we did get creative in our word placement, but no Q's, Z's, J's or X's came our way. There's always a next time. And believe me, i want the chance! We got to see the photo scans of the last ultrasound. They found out it's a baby girl, and they are naming her Jasmine. The scans are incredible these days. You can see so much and how much has developed. The human body is fascinating.Today, we may go golfing with some friends down the road. I'm feeling insecure with my swing though, it's been out of synch since Carlo's trip to Africa. With the work schedule, finding time to go practice is even hard. It takes me just under 2 hrs to get home from work, and by that time, i'm thinking of dinner, chores and bed. What is happening to me?!?!?! I sound like a grownup. I've had only 5 minutes with my cello since i got it. I need more hours in the day now. But i don't mind too much. I honestly love working again.I've been thinking of my trip home, and i'm getting even more excited as the time leads up to our departure. Carlo's tickets came in the mail yesterday. Mine should come soon too. I got word from my friend Andy who works at the Vancouver Aquarium. He's gonna hook us up with a tour when we come to visit. Sweet!!I am going to make more effort to blog this week. I have had no time, or the timing is always to noisy or there are too many distractions. I wonder what discoveries life will bring this week....
Current Mood: energeticCurrent
Music: What's the story morning glory- OASIS


July 8th, 2005
06:26 am
The day after...

Yesterday was such a bizarre day. I thought that hundreds died, but it's actually in the 20's at the moment. Hundreds were hurt, and on the radio they were talking about how people had to go thru amputations because of the severity of their injuries. I cringed, it could have been me. Except for the buses that were hit, there was very little damage to see, it was all underground. Londoners are pretty conservative compared to north americans, and with the bombings yesterday, you'd think you'd see panic in the streets or mass hysteria, but there was none of that. Other than the sirens, London has never been so quiet, it was very very weird. I was at the office till about 3:30pm. I was surfing online to find out what trains and buses were running in the suburbs because i had no idea how i was going to get home, or get to Carlo out in Wimbledon. I touched base with all my london mates and to my relief everyone i knew was okay. I also touched base with my contact at MINI Park Lane, and the manager there, Hamid, turned out to be another one of my guardian angels. He wrote me and told me to come by the dealership (only 4 blocks away from my work), and that he could arrange me a ride out to Wimbledon. Incredible. So, I packed up my things and said goodbye to Alex (my collegue), and realised i had not eaten much since my bowl of cereal at breakfast. 3:30 and i needed some lunch, so i walked up to Oxford Street to see if anything was open. Nothing was. All the shops along Oxford were closed, it was very surreal. To my fortune, the weather cleared up and was sunny. I called Leonard to tell him i was okay, and after that Senka called. It felt so good to hear their voices, and even though i was fine, it brought me alot of comfort. Looking down the street, there were no cars, buses or taxis in sight. But along the sidewalk were the somber masses of people on foot, literally walking home out of the city. It was such a strange vibe, and i took a couple photos and they will be on my site shortly. I cant' imagine how long it must have taken them to get home. Taxis would have been very expensive ( appx $5usd/minute), and they were few and far between if you could find one. Most people who work in london take the tubes and trains in, and that can be about an hour + journey time. So for people to get into the suburbs, it's a long walk, and even then, there was limited public transportation service. The only place i could find that had food and was open was the gas station next to the BMW store. The line up for water and snacks was huge, as everyone was buying beverages to keep them hydrated on the long journey. I was thankful to have one of those take away boxed sandwiches and a bottled juice. When i reached MINI, i felt my blood sugar level return to normal and i sat in the dealership until one of the sales associates was ready to leave. I met with Hamid, and he told me he had been keen on hiring me but obviously there had been some miscommunication higher up as i had never been contacted. He was sad to hear that, and assured me that if i was ever unhappy i was always welcome with MINI. What was also really cool was the fact that he's interested in dubai property, so i may even have a client out of this. Really funny how that works out sometimes.....I was very fortunate to get a ride home, and in style, my favorite...the MINI! Carlo found me in Wimbledon and then we drove home. The first thing i wanted to do was shower. I just wanted to wash the day away. We turned on the tv, watched the latest on the day, and then went to Galacia, this wonderful spanish tapas restaurant. We feasted on dinner and a nice bottle of wine, it as a beautiful birthday dinner. By the time i had finished the tirimisu, i was about to pass out at the table, i was so tired, it was the wine. By 10pm, we were home, and i crawled into bed. I was already half conscious on the ride home, talking in my sleep. According to Carlo it was pretty amusing. I know that red wine is a powerful sedative for me. If i'm looking to have a good nite out, i should stick to champagne or something like that.This morning, i felt like a tonne of bricks, but i was happy to have a few more hours to sleep in. I have the day off because the office is only a half block away from the USA Consolate. The military taped off most of our neighbourhood and there was really no point in us working, especially when half of our team is up in Dublin for an exhibition. So, today, i'm baking some banana bread, getting laundry done, and a general tidy up. Tonite we're meeting up with Dan and Angelina for dinner and then catching War of the Worlds. Should be good, and also very fitting.Rosanna, Jolanda and Steve all wrote me today to touch base and see that i was okay. I called up Rosanna and caught her just before bed. It was so lovely to talk with her. I miss her so much. I found out that Jolanda had another baby, this time a girl named Juna. She sent me photos too, and their family is so beautiful, Juna is absolutely gorgeous. They move back to Amsterdam in the fall and i'm totally excited because i'll be there at the end of August. So hopefully i'll get to see her and the family. It'll be nearly 5 yrs since i've seen them!The house is beginning to smell like banana bread. I have it in the oven right now, and my baking skills are slowly coming back. It's late afternoon and i'm still in my house clothes though. I have been on the computer and phone nearly all day. The weather has turned yucky, so i don't really feel like going to the range. I do however crave a nice cup of tea.I think everything will slowly return to normal after this weekend, and i'm sure some sort of plan will be put into motion against these "acts of violence". Part of me wonders if certain leaders within G8 knew about the attack and had something to do with it. It would divert attention from the summit, and delay any changes to the issues which recently have gained so much public attention. It crippled London for the whole day, yet very few were killed in comparison to most other terrorist attacks. I am interested to see what resolutions are made at the G8 summit after all the commotion. But i definitely smell a conspiracy.


July 7th, 2005
12:24 pm
The week to remember. Live 8, G8, Starting my new job, The 2010 London Olympics confirmed and then the bombs....

Carlo and I woke up early this morning. Together we drove to his office and i took the tube from Southfields to work. He spoiled me this morning with a trip to Holland and tickets to Oasis. It was the most wonderful wake up. I am becomming more accustomed to the early rising now. It's Day 4 and I like working at Damac. The people here are wonderful and i couldn't ask for anything more. When i got on the tube this morning, i went into a meditative state. It is really the only thing to keep you in peace during London morning rush hour. I prayed my daily prayer:Dear God,Please be my counsel and guide. Help me to be of good intention and to make decisions in their right place. Help me to practice love and compassion so that through me, others can see you. Please have your angels watching over me and my family. Thank you for being in my life and for this day.Amen.Three minutes later, i had passed South Kennsington Station, and i just missed the explosion there. London was hit with 3 bus bombings and numerous explosions along the tube lines. People are still stuck underground, and parts of london are being evacuated. Police and authorities are not releasing much information but hundreds have died and even more have been injured. It is extremely unsettling in the office, and although all of us made it in safely this morning, we have been contacting our friends and family here to ensure they are all okay. There aren't alot of details on the internet or news yet. What a week, so full of big events. Yesterday, i thought that my birthday would pass by as an ordinary day at the office, but this is a birthday i will never forget. Right now, all public transportation other than taxis have completely shut down. If they aren't back up and running till evening, i'm not sure how i'm going to get home. Today, my prayers were answered. Angels were looking out for me and i was spared.


July 1st, 2005
05:18 am

Happy Canada Day! Live 8 is happening this weekend in Hyde Park, and it's the perfect time for me to be getting out of the city again. Am i getting old to not want to go to such a massive concert??? Dunno, the coast sounds so much nicer. There are always parties to go to. I'm looking forward to getting back to Poole. I love it down there. Today i'm packing up some bits to bring down, including a giant leg of lamb. It's for the sunday roast, and Carlo's mom makes this really good mint sauce to go with it. You'd never think mint sauce for lamb, but it's my FAVORITE!!! I'm going to attempt to pack less this time, because on the way back, we will be packing Oscar Lemoncello with us, and i dont' want to crush it with all our bags. So, let's see how tiny i can roll up my knickers!!The weather is strange today. It's not cold really but there are some dark spots in the sky and then little pieces of sun that peep out every 15 minutes or so. I think the sun is desperately trying to burn it off, but you just never know with the weather. It's always best to layer.I booked my flights from Vancouver to London. So, now that this is sorted, I feel much better, i just ache at the prices of plane tickets in the middle of August. It's truely unfair that the prices double when the kids are out of school. But, i'm really looking forward to going home. I'm hoping to find a good deal on a car rental when i'm down there, and hopefully i can find something nice to drive :)Last nite, we got some chinese take out and watched our thursday nite television. Ramsey's was awesome, and in Ladette to Lady they had the final episode. The east london girl won it and got to drive away in a really nice sports car. She truely did go thru such a transformation. In Wife Swap, it got really contreversial....one wife was a lesbian, and the other wife was a millionaire from texas who was very strict and devout christian. It got nasty, and it was interesting to see the views of people and how they freak out when they are out of their comfort zone. I bought some jewelry bits to make earrings and i'm going to attempt to make some this weekend. I would like to make peacock earrings. They are really pretty and different. I am gonna check out the art shop in Poole to get the feathers and then get crafty!The muffins turned out much better the second batch around. The domestic skillz are starting to come back.chop chop.
Current Mood: headache from pollen allergies
Current Music: Me or the Papes- Jeru the Damaja


June 30th, 2005
03:31 am

If you want to kiss the sky, better learn how to kneel. A beautiful love song to God is what i found today. Last nite Carlo and I watched a little special on U2. Bono talked about how he wrote the song Sometimes You Can't Make It On Your Own, for his father, who past away of cancer. The presenter who interviewed him asked him if it must be emotionally draining to sing that song or if he switches it off to continue with the performance. Bono replied that he's not professionally trained as a singer, and in order for him to hit some of the notes in the song, he has to go into that emotion place. I then went into my music library today and listened to that track, and i started to read the lyrics to other songs that he's written. I have been a fan of U2 for a long time, but i don't think i have really ever spent time listening to the words. I enjoy their music, but now i have a brand new appreciation and feel totally inspired. Deep down, we are all searching. And i think in his incredible life, he continued to look for God. I wonder if we will forever search. I look at one of the biggest bands in the world, how they have maintained success over 27 yrs, had the same manager, same band members, same wives, and kept solid, I wonder what their secret is.

"I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For"

I have climbed highest mountain
I have run through the fields
Only to be with you
Only to be with you
I have run I have crawled
I have scaled these city walls, these city walls
Only to be with you
But I still haven't found what I'm looking for
But I still haven't found what I'm looking for

I have kissed honey lips
Felt the healing in her fingertips
It burned like fire
This burning desire
I have spoke with the tongue of angels
I have held the hand of a devil
It was warm in the night
I was cold as a stone
But I still haven't found what I'm looking for
But I still haven't found what I'm looking for

I believe in the kingdom come
Then all the colors will bleed into oneBleed into one
Well yes I'm still running
You broke the bonds and you
Loosed the chains
Carried the cross
Of my shame
Of my shame
You know I believed it
But I still haven't found what I'm looking for
But I still haven't found what I'm looking for
But I still haven't found what I'm looking for
But I still haven't found what I'm looking for...

Current Mood: sad
Current Music: Sometimes you can't make it on your own- U2


June 29th, 2005
01:50 am
Hailstones, heaven's subwoofer on full, and the return of Carlo!!

Carlo got home last nite. I was so happy to see him i rushed down the steps when i saw his car pull out front. I checkedo ut the window every time i could hear a car drive by, and finally after 2 hours of anxiety, he was home at last! I dont' know how he does it, he flew a red eye from Johanesburg to Heathrow, stepped off the plane and went straight to the office to work a full day. They didn't even fly him business class. Now that's dedication. We went to a sweet little italian restaurant and had some great wine and dinner. It was another day of wierd weather. The whole day was hot and sunny, i was in flipflops, skirt and tank top till about 4, when the weather shifted, and by the time we were on the road, the windsheild wipers could not wipe fast enough. The streets were flooding, the thunder was booming, lightning was low, and i was silently praying for parking near the restaurant door. But, we scored rockstar parking, and it was quite romantic to eat indoors by candlelight while watching the furious powerpour on the other side of the glass. This morning i woke up at 4am, just as dawn approached, and i could not get back to sleep. I tossed and turned and it took ages, and then i was inbetween sleep and awake till about 7. I hate that. This morning i feel like my mind is catching up with my body, one second behind. Time for some vitamins, hopefully that will get me going. I am almost positive now that i'm allergic to red wine. It makes me so tired, it gives me a wicked stomach ache, and i feel slothy the next day. Even just one glass. Today i think i want to head into the city, and to a craft store. I want to pick up some supplies and make some earrings. Been really interested in getting crafty. I made cookies and muffins this week. The cookies were good, but then i forgot about the muffins and overbaked them rock hard. whoops. It's time to give it a go at some jewelry. I like making things. Ann in Poole has a great big industrial sewing machine, and i'm going to ask her how to do some skirts. I love skirts and i have some ideas, but i need some technical advice. I would like to ask Nick if he'll paint on them for me. I talked to my mom and Damian yesterday, it was cool to catch up with them. I realised this weekend that i missed father's day. The hours difference really sucks with london and vancouver. It was so much better to keep in touch when i was in HK, and less expensive as well. Yesterday i spent alot of time thinking about my dad. I realise as i get older that i have alot of similarities from him, and i like to recognise that because then i feel he's with me. The more i am away from home, the more i realise how important family is to me. You don't really understand it if you've always had them there. But I really miss sunday's when i would come over for lunch and hang out with them and talk about the week and just chill. I bought the new dan brown book and it's okay. Nothing touches the davinci code. His other books are all the same formula. And if you've read one, you recognize his style and after a while, it's a bit boring. I'm gonna crack open Harry Potter and see if it's any better.K, it's time for those vitamins.
Current Mood: creative
Current Music: If i could fall in love again- Lenny Kravitz


June 27th, 2005
02:11 am
Introducing Oscar Lemoncello

It's monday morning, and I'm safely back in Chipstead. The train ride home was pretty smooth, it went faster than i expected, i had little time between connections. Nan and Carlo's mom dropped me off at the train station and waved goodbye from the platform as we pulled away. I had such a good time down there. It felt really good to spend some quality time with them, getting to know one another. We shared some really great conversations.I ended up getting the cello. On Friday, i headed for the hair salon, and went to a place called Marc Young. It was another hot day out, so i strolled over in my flip flops and chino skirt. To my luck, one of the senior stylists had a cancellation, so i ended up getting one of the better stylists in the place. Sweet. During my cut, lots of hair hit the ground, but i felt pretty calm. The weather started to change, and out of no where another huge storm blasted thru. In about 15 minutes, it clouded over, lightning streaked the sky, then loud loud thunder, then massive rain and hail. But by the time i left, it was completely calm again. I had to take the long route home because there were so many flooded puddles everywhere. So, i was lucky two times- my haircut turned out good, and i didn't have to dodge raindrops on the way home after having it all nicely styled :) Tony got home around 2, and after a quick snack we headed for Corfe Mullen, about 10 minutes away by car. We had to hit a cash stop on the way, but the power was out in half the town and we had to make a few stops before we found one that worked. I ended up buying the cello from a nice older couple who had decided to buy one to try after seeing a cellist live who made it look so easy. It's far from easy and 6 months later, the cello sat collecting dust. So, i was very very glad to take it off their hands. When we got home, i headed into the town center with Tony to buy some rosin and sheet music. When we got home, i stared at it fondly and named it Oscar Lemoncello. The DeCianti's went out to a wedding reception, and after a bowl of coos coos, i practiced till my fingertips were sore from pressing so hard on the strings. I'm going to have to review how to read the alto clef though, the sheet music i bought isn't in bass clef and i have no idea what notes i'm reading.I decided to extend my stay in Poole an extra day, and so Saturday Carlo's mom (Janet), and her aunt Ann took me to Brownsea Island. It's a protected conservancy island, property of the National Trust. It's the island that was originally owned by the founder of the Boy Scouts. The boy scouts are still active there, and the island is known for it's little feathery and furry friends. There were peacocks and phesants around, as well as roosters and chickens. We saw a little red squirrel, which has little tufts around the ears. It's also an endangered species of squirrel. They are pretty cute. There are only about 200 of them on the island. The island was almost overrun by Rhododendrens, and the island went thru a nasty fire in 1934, burning 90% of the vegetation. But, you would never know it. We walked the whole island in about 3 hrs, and it was very lush and full of pine trees, ferns and rhodos. Apparently, there's a golden phesant on the island, but we didn't see it this trip around. The ferry ride was smooth and only 10 minutes from Poole harbour. The weather was a good temperature, and we weren't sure if the cloud cover would dump rain on us, but we were once again lucky. On the way back, we went to Poole Pottery, then to the grocery store. I checked my lottery ticket, happy to be on my lucky roll. But to my big disappointment, i didn't win the 34 million euro jackpot. Infact, i didnt' even win a pound. Gutted. Ann talked me into getting another ticket, so i did, and i havne't checked it yet, but maybe i'll get lucky next time around. So far, i have nothing to complain about. Alot of prayers have been answered, as well as little desires like having a cello. It's been a great month. Next weekend we're going to Poole again, and I'm really looking forward to it. I love it down there. My cello is waiting for me in the closet. I would have taken it with me but i was already overloaded with luggage. Anyone who has seen the way i pack would know.Today i'm spending a little bit of time tidying up the flat. Then i'm going out. I don't really have a destination, but i want to get out of the house. Carlo comes home tomorrow, and i'm so excited to see him. Distance does make the heart grow fonder.
Current Music: Don't say it's over- Six Pence None the Richer


June 24th, 2005
10:49 am
A Return to Poole

The last couple days, i've been on the coast in Poole staying with Carlo's parents. It's been lovely hanging out by the beach with the intense heat and sunshine. Now that i can relax and not worry about a job, i can rest easy and enjoy my last bit of free time and really lounge out. The weather has been so nice, so i have been going on bike rides and trying to gain color. I don't think i've moved even half a shade darker yet, but at least i'm making an effort. Yesterday i went for a very long bike ride, read my new Dan Brown book ( Deception Point) in the sand, and it turned out to be a lucky day..... a bird shit on my hat. Luckily it was a small bit, but the people who were sitting at the nearby tables were snickering under their breath, and i'm sure i would have been doing the same thing had i been in their shoes. Thank goodness i was wearing a hat, i didn't get hit anywhere else that would have grossed me out even more. On the way back, the tide was out, and there were loads of people clam digging. The nice thing about the sandbanks is that the sea breeze is cooler so it's easier to stay outside longer there. I enjoyed my afternoon and headed back to the house around dinner time. Tony was sitting outside on the patio looking in the buy/sell trade magazine. I looked thru one and found a cello for £70!!! Last week i saw some in Abbey Mills for about £2000, so i'm stoked to find one so inexpensive. It's a full size beginner's one, and i called the lady and told her i'd swing by today to have a look at it. So, i'm really excited and hope it's a nice one. It comes with a bow and bag too. Next would be a piano, and i saw one in there for £80 but i wouldn't know how to get that to London. Anyway, one step at a time, i'm so happy to be getting a cello, it's been my desire for a while and a prayer answered!Today, i'm hunting for a hair dresser. I need a new look, i feel as though i resemble a cocker spaniel when i look in the mirror, not exactly what i'm trying to acheive, so i think a few little layers are in order and a fresh snip along the bottom. Last nite, we went for dinner along the quay, and I saw the most amazing spectacle of an electric storm. The whole sky in every direction was full of lightening, and it continued for about 4 hours straight, bolts lit up the sky with seconds inbetween. You could not even count to 20 without one lighting up the horizon or bolting across the clouds. It was incredible. We got in the car and went to the lookout point in Poole so we could see the show. It was better than the best fireworks i've seen. The eerie thing about the storm was that it was dead still, not even the faintest breeze, and still warm, about 25C. But then around 1am, the rain came, and the fragrant smell of ozone filled the air. It was fantastic., the rain was so heavy and loud, yet there still wasn't any wind. How strange. The thunder was booming, and that part made me cringe a bit. I love lightning, it's the thunder that gets me. Carlo's parents refer to it as God's rearranging his furniture in heaven. I like that, it made me feel better :)Last couple days have been sweet. I really feel better being by the coast, there is something healing about being near the water. The sunseeker factory have a yacht outside that is all black, it looks something out of james bond, unlike any of their other styles. I shot a photos of it on regular film. My digicam is broken and Carlo brought his to Africa. I heard from him and he's going to Capetown for the weekend. Sounds fabulous. He's been doing research and getting the scoop from the locals on when the best time to go down is, the best places to safari, and how to get the best deal etc. We are thinking of a trip next year!!!Canadians don't travel enough, the way their work is structured, it doesn't allow them to go away enough. I have this programed in me, and i keep thinking of conserving as much holiday time as possible, but in europe, you get around 20 paid days for vacation time. So that's about a month. If you took 2 two week holidays a year, you could be out and about every 6 months or so. This seems like such a luxury to me. I love that part about europe.It's time to shower and get over to town. I love Poole and being around Carlo's family. They have a very good quality of life. We are adaptable creatures, and it's amazing how fast I can plug into the city life and forget how much i need to be by the ocean. When i come here, i find that balance and feel re-energized. The ocean is my home.
Current Music: Californication- The Red Hot Chilli Peppers


June 20th, 2005
06:56 am
Wimbledon and Home Alone!!

It's monday morning and Carlo left for the office with a big suitcase. He's off to Johannesburg tonite and will be gone for a week. I'll be holding the fort and perhaps taking a little time to wander around. I'm thinking of going to his parent's place in Poole to hang out by the beach and do some reading etc. I have two weeks till i start working so now i can relax with that worry off my shoulders and concentrate on enjoying the last of my free time.Wimbledon is on right now, and the world's top tennis pros are only a short train ride away from me. Of course, it's madness getting in, and i think the tickets are pretty expensive too but i might show up just to experience it. You never know. I've been lucky before. I'm watching it on tv and Federer just won his match, the crowd is screaming. I don't know anything about tennis, what does Love mean? Why did they call it "Love"?The weekend was super duper hot. On saturday it got to 30˚C and yesterday it got up to 35˚C. This morning there was thunder and wind, but it's shaped up nicely again this afternoon. I'm hiding indoors at the moment, i got a heat rash on my chest and arm from the sun. With my indonesian blood, you'd think i'd get more colour in the summer. But my skin is increasingly sensitive to the sun, and although i don't burn, i tan very slowly and get rashes if i don't moderate my exposure.The house feels so quiet without Carlo. I really look forward to him coming home at the end of the day. And today, i think i'll be on my own. This is the first time since i've moved here that we've been apart. I know a week's not that long, but i'm still going to miss him. If i dont' go to Poole, i have some other friends in London that i can hang out with, and Jodie is coming over this weekend, so i'll get to hang out with her. Head Kandi is playing in Brighton this weekend, and i'm contemplating it. I have felt a little under the weather today, i think i have mild sun stroke from being out too much yesterday. My head feels heavy and i've had a nap today already. I have to go grocery shopping today but other than that, i have a pretty open schedule.Yesterday was lovely. Carlo and I woke up and had a great big brunch with smoked salmon, toast, eggs and champagne. We celebrated my new job and his first trip to Africa. We went to Pete's and walked to the park to lay out a big throw half under a willow tree and next to a pond with big swans and ducks cruising thru. It was really refreshing. I read some of my book aloud and we chatted and enjoyed the fresh air and outdoors. Poor Carlo had a bit of a time with his allergies this weekend and doubled up on his anti-histamines. On Saturday, we went to the driving range and then to this really cool pub that used to be a mill a long time ago. It was in the middle of nowhere, and very hidden. He turned off the highway onto a dirt road and drove along for a half minute or so. There were a lot of high trees and it was shaded and i thought, "are we going the right way?" When we got to the mill, it looked quiet and dark. Then along the right side were steps the led up to an upper patio, but the shrubbery in the way prohibited me from seeing it until we reached the last few steps. At the patio, there were tons of people, and the deck overlooked a slough with waterskiers zooming past. It was super cool. We got a nice table and shared some summer coctails. The house adjacent from the mill/pub had a chopper parked in their back yard, next to their small dock and boat. Now that's what i'm talkin about! After we headed over to Neil's parent's place for a birthday BBQ. Neil and his dad have birthday's that are a couple days apart, so they threw a big bbq bash in their backyard and it was sooooo nice! Neil turned 26.And actually, Neil just called. We're going guitar shopping!!! Gotta shower and out the door we go!
Current Music: Chicane- No ordinary Morning


June 17th, 2005
04:55 am
[Link]
10 Busy Days that Bear Fruit for Charlie's newest Angel.Ahhhhh, it is a very relaxing friday for me. I'm very happy to have the day to myself, these days are now numbered I am relieved to announce. But I must back it up to the beginning of mid last week. It was a wednesday and i went to the Damac offices to meet up with the country manager, Charlie King, and regional manger, Mandy Newlove. I just love their names. The office is close to Selfridges, just off Oxford St near one of the biggest and busiest shopping high streets in London. The offices were clean and bright and my meeting went sweet. The interview took about an hour and i felt pretty comfortable talking about my background and future ambitions. I left the office thrilled and slightly overheating. The weather is moody in London, you can dress with a jacket but where a tank top underneath incase it becomes a split second summer day. This happened and with the breeze blowing, i was on a moon. Tick tock though, you never ever know. Thursday was a day at home. I took a few hours to blog and then my computer froze and i lost my entire entry before posting it. I was gutted because i was in a writing mode and everything just flows some times more than others. I got an email from Steve which was pretty cool. He told me about Megan graduating and seeing the whole Bagoyo family in San Diego at her ceremony. Those girls were all little when i knew them, and now they are graduating highschool and university. Incredible how the time flies. It's been 5 yrs since i've seen them, i doubt i'd even recognize them anymore. The other news was the sale of the house in Lanai. I can't help it but i felt a little sad about that. There are a lot of great memories in Lanai, and now everyone has left and sold their properties. There was a small piece of time where that community was magic and I felt a pang missing the tropics. But life moves along, continues and changes bringing lovely new and beautiful things. The last year has been a fantastic whirlwind full of adventure, i can't imagine how the next half year will go! The last piece of news was that he and Gina are expecting a baby girl. I know how much he wanted to have a family of his own, and now this dream has come true for him. It is always good to hear he is happy and healthy. Thursday nites have been alloted to TV Night. Carlo and I make a nice dinner and watch our three favorite shows:Wife Swap- this is a reality tv show where you take two families of opposite lifestyles and swap wives for 2 wks. For the first week, the wives do everything as the families would normally do, filling in for the role the wife would normally play. The second week is where the rules change, and the wives now enforce their rules on how the household should be run. It makes for some very confronting situations, and thru the conflict it is so fascinating to see the reactions and the long term effects. After the second week, the wives are reunited with their families and they seem to appreciate each other more than before. Ladette to Lady- an english reality show about the most notorious tomboy-tarts who drink themselves under the table and have no manners and bad speech. Call it a modern day My Fair Lady. Take a dozen girls, put them in an etiquette school, and each week face elimination. Each week someone gets booted, and let me say, this show is hilarious. These girls are also super brave as some of the things they are asked to do I think i'd flunk.Ramsey's Kitchen Nightmares- Reality show staring world renowned chef Gordon Ramsey. He visits restaurants in the UK that are struggling as a business and disects their entire operation in hopes to help them survive. The thing about Ramsey is that he tells them how he really feels, which makes for delightful entertainment. It is also fascinating for anyone who has ever thought about running a little lounge, cafe or restaurant. There's alot to making a place successful.Friday Jim was in town, and i met up with him for lunch in Covent Garden. It was great to see him after a month, and although we are still the same same, it's cool to be in europe catching up half way around the world. We talked about our memories of Hong Kong and the differences between there and London. Asia is definitely a trip, and i think he'll end up going back before i will. On the way to meet Carlo, i picked up a couple Krispy Kreme donuts as they are pretty new here and all the rage....plus, Carlo had never heard of them or had one before. While driving home from work, i pulled them out of the bag and said, "try this", so he says, "just a bite". But the second it hit his tongue, his eyes lit up. We were pretty amazed at how much this company is killing it with these donuts. 90p a donut, it probably takes 5p to make one. I wish they sold franchises. If i had the cash i'd buy one in a heartbeat. At nite, Carlo and I went to see the movie Sin City. If you were to ask me what the movie is about, i'm not sure i could tell you, but it's very stylish and violent. Saturday was a lay in day. Carlo and i bummed around in our pj's for the day, had a late brunch and then went to the driving range to redeem ourselves for being in so long. After that, we caught the train to meet up with Jim for a drink, and at Victoria Station we bumped into Caroline and Rob. We had a quick drink with them at the station and then popped on the tube to covent garden to meet Alex and Karen and Jim. We took them to the Maple Leaf pub for a taste of canadiana and some french canadian Poutine!!! You should have seen their faces, they were in heaven. Beer, wings, and poutine, the perfect comfort meal. After troughing out, we headed back to Purley and caught a cab home. I wasn't sure where Jim was, but we'd lost him half way thru the nite. Although, Jim always finds the party or makes the party, so i knew he was all good.Sunday we went to Kingston, and strolled along the riverbank and tried on some sunglasses and peeped the big mall there. Inside, we found the LEGO store, which is unbelievable. They had all this starwars stuff and i really wanted to buy some, but i thought that's kind embarrassing since i'm almost 28 yrs old. I had to compose myself, so my smooth move was to purchase a happy meal from mcdonalds. Yes, a cheeseburger happy meal. I did share it with Carlo, but i was craving just a taste! Inside the mall there was a Krispy Kreme's kiosk, with a cue a half hour long. People go wild for them donuts, but i refuse to wait in line. Call me a prima donna, but i do not wait in line for donuts okay. After returning from Kingston, we came home so i could prepare some Rendang for dinner, then while it was simmering, we met up at the Mint for a drink with Ali, Sam, Ben, Pete and Claire. I like the mint on sundays. It was good to see everyone for a quick drink. By the time we got home, the rendang was perfect and we had a nice thai/indo meal and an early nite.Monday I got that bug that makes you want to rearrange all the furniture in your home. So, i made my project the living room, and with the music playing, i had a pretty constructive afternoon. In the middle of my vaccuuming, the phone rang, and it was a suprising call from Dubai. I ended up talking with an associate at Damac in the Emirates for 10 mins. After the call, i got another call from the country manager, with some very positive news. He said that once the Dubai office had a copy of my passport and visa, they would call him to confirm if i could work for them. Charlie let me know that he'd give me confirmation as soon as he got their call. Sweet. Tuesday i went to another interview at Honda, this time i met with their staff and also took a personality test. That was pretty cool. I like the team over there, they are a really nice group. I'm still waiting to see if i get an offer from them. After my meeting, i went to hunt down a really nice roman greco dress at HM and then met up with Carlo in Leicester Square to catch the final showing of What the Bleep Do We Know. A movie in the west end costs $25 cnd each. I still wrote 5 more pages of notes on stuff i hadn't written on before and after the show, Carlo was pretty quiet while digesting everything he saw. I was stoked to see how it affected him. I think it's a movie everyone should see. We had some marginal vietnemese food after and then tubed back to Southfields and walked back to his office where the car was parked. By the time we got home, i was exhausted and immediately crashed.Wednesday was my BIG appointment at the Jobcentre Plus Office, where i applied for my National Insurance Number, similar to the social insurance number we have in canada. As all govt types of offices, you wait forever and hope you don't get a grumpy data entry guy taking down the same quesitons a zillion times a day. Lucky for me, i got this old jamaican woman, who at first was grumpy. But i put myself in her shoes and started asking her about her job and soon we were in lovely discussion about her background and where she's travelled, how many kids she has etc. I unearthed a volume of history from this woman in a matter of 10 mins!! She waved to me good bye when i left the office, and what i thought was going to be a total nitemare experience was actually pretty smooth and enjoyable. The jobcentre office is located in Tooting, which is much like Delta, BC on scott rd. there are alot of east indian shops and restaurants, and i popped in them to see what kinds of silks, shoes and jewelry were around. Still expensive. But i did find a cool shop called Primark where nearly all the clothes cost £3. I bought a bunch of cool summer stuff and headed to Abby Mills to meet Carlo after work to shop for golf shoes. I wore my new sundress that day. It's green with big giraffes all over it and has alot of flowy material below the bustline. It was so windy and when i was walking down the sidewalk the wind blew it up around my face. Cars driving by gave off little honks and i was so incredibly embarrased. Thank God i was wearing full brief underwear this day!!! I had to clutch my dress while walking 3 blocks and must have looked entirely ridiculous. This past week, I've become a little more domestic. I went and bought a mixer and some baking sheets etc and yesterday i made cookies. Neil Ohagan got back from HK and came over for dinner yesterday and watched Thursday nite tv with us. It was so cool to have company and hang out with him again. I think he's going straight back to HK if he can swing it. He misses Asia already and he's only been home 2 days!!! My last bit of luggage arrived yesterday and i finally unpacked all my books and rest of my clothes and shoes. I am suprised i could fit it into the space in this flat. I'm wondering how i'm going to get the rest of it over here from Vancouver, or if i should have a trunk sale or something. Today is Friday and Friday nite is movie nite. The theatre we go to is next to Ikea and Nando's chicken. Carlo LOVES nando's, so we're heading over there and going to see Mr. and Mrs. Smith. Luscious Angelina on the big screen once again. I hope this movie is good. We would be interested in seeing Batman Begins, but since it's opening night, the cues will be massive and we're not that keen. We can wait one week. The biggest and best news of all came on Wednesday. Charlie called me to confirm a job offer. I have an offer being mailed to me and should everything look good, I will come on board with Damac Properties starting July 4th. I cant' believe it!!! A cool company, working for two cool managers, and in a very cool neighbourhood of London. I'm stoked. Unlike the rest of the automotive or real estate industries, this position is full time mon-fri only, no weekends! Perfect. Now i just gotta learn how to sell flats! In September i will go to Dubai for training with the sales team, and then return to London and should be up and running by October i figure. After the 7 month dry spell, Raquel is getting suited up again. Now the only pressing matter is sorting my flight back to London. Flights are running out fast, Carlo's already got some problems booking. Today i must take care of it.I cant' wait to see my family and Dantius!!
Current Mood: stoked!!Current Music: Unplayed Piano- Damien Rice
(Leave a comment)
June 8th, 2005
02:25 am
[Link]
Portabello Road, and Chillin at Lady Diana's houseYesterday was a fun day. I got a call from James to meet up for lunch, so we met in Notting Hill and he took me to a cute little italian restaurant where we had veal and cod. It was cool to hear James talk about his arrival to England, and what it was like to start out in London. I have been feeling optimistic, but still facing the transition of being in a new place. I expressed how at times i feel impatient and anxious about settling into this city ( ie: having my own job, dentist, doctor, hairdresser, friends, favourite restaurants, etc.) I think it will take me a while to figure out where to get things and that is indeed part of the fun, but there are times when not having a job yet can mess up your self esteem. Realising this, I am still in good spirits. James and I walked down Portabello Road and he showed me where the market sets up on the weekend. This area has a real mix of energy. You will see the "well-to-do", the market shop owners, travellers, and dodgy drug dealers, all on the same block. After a stroll there, James wanted to go to High Street Kennsington to pick up some new cd's at Virgin, so we drove over and i got to see High St Kenn for the first time. The shops are very similar, Top Shop, Next, Zara, Miss Sixty etc, all the brands, and then Virgin. There was a huge display for the new Coldplay album, and James grabbed a copy of that and something else. I picked up some Mozart Oboe/Bassoon/Clarinet Concertos. Been listening to some classical lately when i'm home alone. Feels good.After we went to meet up with Tim, Jame's flatmate, who was in the Kennsington Park, which is the front yard of Kennsington Palace, aka the home of the late Lady Diana. The sun was out and we laid in the grass to soak in some rays. Tim was reading a book about how to heal your body thru your mind. Excellent. So we talked about What the Bleep, and they told me that they write nice messages on all their water bottles now. Why didn't i think of doing that after i saw the film? Duh. The time flew and before you knew it it was nearing 5, so we said our farewells and I hopped on the tube to meet Carlo at Southfields, the tube nearest his work. Carlo and I headed home for a quick bite and change, then met up with his friend James and we all played 9 holes at twighlight. The temp went from 23C-12C in about 2 hours. We played under time pressure and the cues of people waiting for us and us waiting for people ahead of us. But in the end, due to shitty putts i was 4 strokes over my last score while Carlo tied his last score. We are HOOKED!!!! Today we're going to the driving range after work :) This is the day that I go to my meeting with the property development group Damac. www.damacproperties.com They are based out of Dubai and have a few dozen properties there that make me drool. I would love to sell them, and being in a company like that will teach me loads. So, I'm leaving in a couple hours, headed for Mayfair, which is near Bond Street. In other areas, Maria Grachvogel got a Londoner for her PA, and I have another interview with Honda this week. Still no word from MINI Park Lane, but BMW takes their time, that is something i am very familiar to. Each day I am creeping closer. I don't feel very well rounded lately in conversation. My thoughts revolve around finding a job, or golf. It consumes me and I almost want to kick myself when i open my mouth. I need to recharge on some enlightening things and start educating myself again. I feel the best when I am in conversation about what's happening NOW rather than what's happened to me in the past. It is one of my worst faults, talking about things that have happened long ago. I need to wire into London and i feel myself referring to Hong Kong all the time. It happened to me when i left my job and when i left Vancouver, it happened when i left LA and Hawaii. I'm not there anymore. Detachment is my greatest struggle.
Current Mood: hopefulCurrent Music: Incarnate- The Watchmen
(Leave a comment)
June 6th, 2005
03:35 am
[Link]
Episode III, The Derby, Golf, and the mysteries of White Noise.Friday I had a fantastic day of meetings. After a second and good interview with BMW Croydon, i headed into the city to meet with a property development recruiter named Andrew. After a good chat, i think i will have a few interviews lined up for this week in real estate. I applied for a position with a company that sells off shore property in Dubai, UAE. Hopefully this company will agree to meet with me. After meeting with Andrew, i headed over to Honda for a great position as Corperate Sales Manager. This position would require me to set up from scratch, a business to business relationship with local businesses in south london. I would sell fleet units of hondas to their companies. I like this idea, and the rest of the package is beautiful. It's good money, mon-fri, with car, fuel and medical benifits. Perfect. I should have a second interview this week on that as well. And i'm still waiting to hear back from MINI Park Lane. So, there are a few things on the go, and i'm stoked that this will be the week. I also got a great phone call from Robert my flat mate in Vancouver, who is helping me with my trip back to the UK. He is one of my guardian angels. I'm so excited to visit Vancouver. I can't wait to see my mom and dad, and home.Friday nite, Carlo and I went to see Star Wars Episode III, Return of the Sith. I won't blow the story, but we really enjoyed it, and it set up the story for the original star wars movies. Ewan Macgreggor is in London at the moment starring on stage in the musical Guys and Dolls. Pretty different from obi one. Saturday was the day of the Derby (pronounced Darby.) It is a huge horse race day that happens near where i live. Everyone comes in for it, absolutely every type and genre of people. The queen has her own sets of bandstands, and then in the regular bandstands, you have the London elite who wear top hats and old british suits, women in big hats and conservative fashions. There were about 15 helicopters in the sky at one time, constantly landing and dropping off people in the field. In the middle, there were buses and caravans in the multitudes. The gypsies have a rides fair and marketplace, and I cannot really tell how many people came out but it had to be arounde 100'000+ no problem. The weather was like something out of Alberta, hot and then cold, wind, flash rainfall, and then beautiful again. I needed a tank top with a puffercoat overtop to accomodate these conditions, but with my thin jacket over 3 layers, i managed to stay warm enough. We bet on the horses, but i didn't win. Although, we met up with Carlo's sister and Dan's family, and i think they won a few pounds. After the main race, we headed back to Chipstead with Pete and Claire to warm up to a cup of tea and some soup. And then Carlo and I headed to the driving range to meet up with Sam. Later in the evening, we watched a few videos. One was Layer Cake- very very very good, especially if you like drug movies or guy richie. Super cool. After that we watched a scary movie called White Noise, which wasn't very good, but had some interesting bits. White Noise was about EVP (Electronic Voice Phenomena), which was originally discovered by Marconi and Thomas Edison. They found that within the white noise on certain frequencies, you could hear the dead speaking. K weird, but i google searched it to see what kind of real science was behind any of it. After reading a little, it's one of those phenomenas alright. Completely unexplained. And there are a lot of people getting into it. To me, i think it's not safe to dabble with things you do not understand, especially when dealing with spirits and the paranormal. So, I'm not interested. However, it is quite intriguing. And i'm sure that quantum science will reveal the explainations in time. To read more on EVP go to www.anomalist.com/features/evp.htmlSunday, Carlo and I slept in and were woken by Alex, who was keen to hit 9 holes before work. So, we got into our golf threads and headed to Ben's to pick up an extra golf bag, and then to the course. It was a good day for golf, perfect weather, just enough of a breeze so you didn't overheat. I shot alright for my first game of the season. Carlo and I tied in scores, and Alex had to leave early to get to work. But, it was fun. We experimented making poutine for lunch, and it turned out pretty good, and then we met up with Sam and Ali for a couple drinks around the bend at the Rambler's Rest pub. By 8pm we were home, and i was so exhausted i didn't even eat dinner and hit the pillow by 9pm.Today is monday and i'm setting up my appointments for the week. I have a return interview with Honda, and i'm really really hoping to get that. But if not, the other one should be with MINI, and the last couple will hopefully be with some property development companies. I am continuing to keep open to things, but interviewing is becoming exhausting. This has been a humbling time for me, full of bouts of depression, rejection, and having to believe in myself. It has also been a very good challenge to be in the "real world". But there is a place for me on this planet, and i know i'll find it. I've been downloading classical music this morning, and i feel nourished by listening to it. I miss playing piano. It's raining outside and it's the perfect day to break out a little chopin. I don't think i'll be out doing much today. I need to post some mail and other than that, it's a day of chores and chilling. I like being home, it feels good actually. I need to get crafty though and make something. Maybe cookies?
Current Music: Untitled- Sigur Ros
(Leave a comment)
June 2nd, 2005
02:17 am
[Link]
The trip to Poole, Bournemouth, Stonehenge. Meeting the parents, and job treks cont'It's thursday morning and i can't believe that the weekend is almost here again!! It's a short 4 day week after bank holiday weekend. I had such a good time. Friday i met with Hamid at MINI Park Lane. The interview was 2 hours long, and in the end, he tested my sales skills by an impromptu role play. I had to sell him the calculator sitting on his desk. The day was scorching hot, and I was in a suit, so my body temperature was already high. With no air conditioning, and little time to prep, i gave it my all and actually came out okay. I'm a little rusty on my selling skills, but it comes back quick, and in the end, he scored me with good marks, so i was relieved. I have one more interview with his collegues, and then they will make a decision. From there i headed to Oxford Circus to cash my temp check, and I arrived 5 mins past closing time. I got super annoyed because there were customers still in the store and they hadn't cashed out yet, but because the doors were locked the bank manager wouldn't let anyone else in. I really wanted to cash it so i'd have some money for the weekend, but she stood firm. So, wilted and overheating, I rushed to get on the tube so that I could finish my packing for the trip. Then, to make things even more stressful, the train stopped in the middle of the tracks overground. The sun was beaming thru the glass and the whole cart started to get even more hot than it already was. No AC. Rush hour. Smelly people. 15 minutes we were stuck. I thought i was going to faint, but in the nick of time, the train started up again. It turned out there was an accident with another train near the next stop. Grrrr. By the time i got home, we were already running a half hour behind schedule. The plan was to visit Stonehenge at sunset, and it was already almost 7! I had a rushed shower and threw on some light clothing. After a manic fast pack, we loaded up the car.....Carlo responded, " My God, we're so bad, look at how many bags????!!!" I think we brought like 3 bags each, just for 3 days. At that moment, i realised i hadn't eaten since breakfast and zapped left overs in the micro to eat on the way. I think it brought my sugar levels back down to normal and that freak out feeling went away. Stress lowered, Itrip on full stop, top down on the convertible, and my handsome love beside me. Ahhhh, much better. We made it to Stonehenge in good time, but right at the junction, only 1 minute away from the site, we hit a bottlenose of traffic. There were swarms of weird bugs all over the place, big ones that looked like half wasp and half dragon fly. There were literally thousands of them and they were swarming over all the cars, especially the black ones. We had to rush to close the convertible, i thought we might get attacked or something. We sat there for 20 mins, and only got about 5 mins of dusk light left by the time we pulled up to the ancient site. I was in wonder staring at it. It's bigger than i thought it would be. But i thought it was by the coast, and it's not. It's in a field, in the middle of no where. you have to drive like an hour from any real civilization if you want to see it. Why that spot was chosen, no one knows. It's about 3500-5000 years old, and the rocks come from the north. They were dragged to that particular spot, and then built to form the circle. What's wierd is that apparently the sun lines up with it during the solstices. Oh the mystery!! I love that stuff. After Stonehenge, it was another hour drive to Carlo's folks place. When we pulled up, everyone was sitting outside on the patio as it was still very warm out. What a friday! Angolina, Dan, and Nick were there with Janet and Tony, their parents. I fell in love with his parents instantly, and after exchanging hugs and dropping our bags, they treated us to a nice feast of spaghetti, meatballs, and wine. Then after some good conversation in their beautiful cozy home, we turned in for bed and i fell into a deep slumber. Saturday- morning was busy, there were about 6 of us in the house and after showers, tea and a breakfast feast, we got ready for a nice walk around Poole. Ang, Dan, Nick, Carlo and I, headed to the shopping area of town, walked thru some of the old part of the town down to the marina front. Poole is home to the Sunseeker factory, which manufacuture yachts, real big ones. The wind had kicked up and it was blowing my hair all over the place. Although the sun was out, it was still a little chilly. We had a couple beers, and then walked to meet up with Carlo's mom and nan. Together we continued our stroll until we got to the supermarket. Outside there was a little booth set up for the wildlife foundation. They were trying to gather donations and had 3 owls on display. My eyes lit up and I was able to get some photos of them. My favorite was the little barn owl, she was so adorable, i wanted to take her home. I saw a lot of cool animals that day, including a really big english bull terrier named Donkey, after the character in Shrek. They are really different looking dogs, but i really like them.In the afternoon, Carlo and I went with Ang and Dan to Sandbanks for another walk along the sand. It was amazing out that way, beautiful beaches and big beach houses. The wind was still blowing strong and i was bundled up for dessert storm in my camo gear and scarf. I looked completely ridiculous, but i'd discard vanity for warmth any day. There were a few hours to kill before dinner when we got back to the house, so Carlo and I had some tea and chilled out. When everyone was ready we walked back to the marinaside to a really cute little italian restaurant called Davinci's. They were packed, and when they finally fit us in, we feasted and toasted to Nick's 32nd birthday!! We were all pretty full and walked home after. I had a cup of tea and didn't last past midnite. I hit the sheets shortly before everyone else and was fast asleep.Sunday- morning called for a big breakfast, of eggs, beans, toast, sausages, bacon etc. We all ate outside and it was lovely. I taught Carlo "Go Fish", my favorite kids card game. He beat me 5 times. We got ready for the trip to Corfe Castle, which was built in 1066 by William the Conqueror. We parked in Corfe Village, where some of the buildings were as old as the 1200's. It was fantastic to see all the thatch roofs and stone houses that had these little 5 ft doors. People wer hobbits once apon a time. We hiked up the hill to the Castle ruins, and took a peek around. It was my first castle visit and very cool. The castle had stood many generations and passed thru the hands of many kings and queens, and served as the place of prison and death, to a lavish and regal home. In 1646 during the civil war, parliament ordered the castle to be blown up. The fallen stone was used to build the villiage of Corfe Castle below. What a cool story. Carlo and I stood in the middle of the castle, in the grass, and imagined Queen Elizabeth strolling the hallways. Wild.After the Castle, we headed to the coast to Old Harry's Rocks. Much like the white cliffs of Dover, these cliffs are of white limestone, and rise tall above the shore below. I could see the drop off in the ocean and the visibility was great. The kelp forest starts close to the shore line, and there were two divers in the water. I cant' imagine how cold it must have been, but i can imagine the diving would be incredible. Nick, Carlo and I took some cool shots and then walked back. After a drink we headed home and got stuck in really bad traffic. To make matters worse, i had to go to the bathroom. We were stressed to get home for 7pm as there was a big roast dinner and the family waiting for us! When we got back, everyone was there, including Aunty Annie, Uncle Neal, and Nan. There were 10 of us at dinner, and i tried roast lamb with mint sauce. It was incredible. And besides my basic cooking, this was also my first gourmet home cooked meal in over a half year. I got to have yorkshire puddings again, and beautiful roast potatos. Nothing beats a home cooked meal. The conversations were wonderful and it was cool to be around family again. It made me miss mine alot. I'm really looking forward to August and seeing everyone.After dinner we watched Episode II starwars. I had not seen it yet because i thought Episode I was aweful. But the second one was good and now i'm geared up for the final.Monday- Carlo and I had some sausage sandwiches for breakfast and then headed to the driving range to hit some balls. Since we got our clubs, he's been motivated to go, and i'm so thrilled he has a passion for it like me. I think by next week we'll be ready for a real game. We had next to no cash on us and they didnt' take cards, and i completely emptied my wallet out down to the last penny for a bucket of balls. It was too funny. After we met up with Carlo's mom and went for a walk along the coast near Bournemouth. It was still a little windy, but i could wear a tank top and felt pretty comfortable. It was cool to hang with just the three of us. I could see that Carlo appreciates family time and quality time with his mom. The day was very mellow. We took a drive by the coast back to the house and packed up our things before dinner. After a light bite and gorgeous minestrone soup, we watched Shrek 2, said bye to nan, and by 9pm were back on the long 2 hr journey home to Chipstead. We made good time and got in before 11. I loved going to the coast. We both know that living along the coast is our destiny. I miss living by the ocean, there is something so soothing about it. I feel a giant weight off my shoulders when i visit the sea. It's such a humbling place to be.Now that it's already Thursday, the last few days have been spent following up on job leads. When the schedules permit, I'll meet with MINI Park Lane again. Other than that, i have two interviews tomorrow and one today. I spoke with James and he's amped to see "what the bleep" on saturday. I think that would be the perfect day to go. Carlo's working the london exhibition this week, and I've spent most of the time at home. Next door to our flat, construction at the wine store is still going heavy, and every morning, they are still sawing and hammering and banging away. In HK, i saw a place come together in one week. These dudes are going on about 3 now. Today- my hair is bugging me and I have got to cut back on sugar. I pray for a good job soon.
Current Mood: humbleCurrent Music: Wish I- Jem
(Leave a comment)
May 26th, 2005
06:36 am
[Link]
Maria Grachvogel, the thing about fashion, Alexandria's Pub and a whole lotta rowdy blokes...The week flies by here too, maybe not quite as fast as HK. I've never seen a pace of life like there, but things move pretty quickly here too. For instance: I met with a recruitment company who was fronting me for an interview with Gucci on Sloan Street. Sloan is like Rodeo Drive but not cheezy like Rodeo Drive. It's classy and every hot established designer under the european union has a flagship looking shop there. I went to pick up my dosier of goodies from the recruitment office, and the next morning they called me saying that i had another 3 interviews on Sloan St to add to my day: Gucci, then Maria Grachvogel, and Giorgio Armani. Oooooh Ahhhhh, the island of fashionistas. I put on my black suit, gucci belt, prada loafers and head out the door. First stop was Jaguar, out in the burbs, and after riding the train for almost two hours, i found the place! A good meeting, but not quite a match. Old money clients, old men working there, and a car that just doesn't suit me. I thought i'd meet with them anyway cuz you just never know. Second stop, Gucci. I met with the assistant manager there, Vinnie. For some reason i was under the impression i'd get an interview, but he said the manager wasn't in and that he'd put in a good word for me. I was like "huh?" Whatever. Then it was off to Maria Grachvogel. She's a UK designer, very exclusive and known to all the London folks for her stunning evening wear. I was quite suprised for this type of opportunity and also a bit off guard as i had no time to prepare for her or research her company in advance. All the A-list celebrities come to her, she's dressed all the classiest ladies in the world and is currently looking for a PA. So, i met with her and her current PA, and we had a nice little chat. It was lovely meeting her, she's been sewing since she was 12. I think designers have a certain presence, and she certainly did. I liked that. The meeting went well, and i'm sure there will be feedback arriving shortly from my recruiters who will be talking with her later today. The position sounds vague, all over the place, and an a good opportunity as for networking the London hobnob scene; i'd be dressing her favorite clients Victoria Beckham, Emma Thompson and Kate Moss. I did ask myself, Is This ME???? Could I be a part of the pedigree princess posse?? Maria and her assistand Ola, told me i'd have to get caught up on the who's who of London and become a diligent reader of Heat, Hello and OK magazines. Basically your celebrity tabloids. Seriously, if there's someone who'd be perfect for this job, it'd be Jimbo, but he's not a girl and they want a girl. (" BUDDY!!!!") It sounds like it could be pretty cool, and i felt the meeting went great, but you never know with interviews. So we'll see...After wrapping up with Maria, I went to Giorgio Armani and met with Valentina. She's no doubt very Italian, dark haired and thick accent in her high heels and black suit. Again, there must have been a miscommunication as she let me tour the store about 15 mins and then when she came back to me she handed me their application form and told me to drop it off on Friday with a photo so that she could forward it along. I was pretty disgusted that after my recruiters booked me interviews I didn't even get proper ones from Gucci or Armani. SUPER UNPROFESSIONAL!!! I called my recruiters to find out why i travelled all the way to get brushed off. I was proper annoyed. With the day coming to a close, it was almost 7pm and I had to get back on the tube to Clapham Common. I was meeting up with Carlo and the boys at Alexandria Pub to watch the epic match between AC Milan and Liverpool. Exhausted and warm, I fell into his arms and was so glad to unwind with some football. The pub was rammed with people, you could barely see the screens. The match was intense, AC Milan scored in the first minute and then they were up 3-0. By half time, about a 3rd of the pub cleared out. A few minutes into the next half and within 3 minutes, Liverpool came back and tied the game 3-3! It was incredible and the pub was going wild. People were singing, standing on chairs, men hugging and shouting, it was complete hysteria till the very end. The game ended up with penalty shots, and Liverpool won the game. It was incredible, and a very long. I couldn't wait to get out of there, it was entirely smokey and my body was aching from being on my feet so long. All i wanted was to sit and eat some dinner and relax in my weary state. Ahhhh, at last, next door we got some thai food. And all was gravy after that.The weather has changed on a dime. I didn't have to wear a scarf yesterday nor did i need to layer. I was actually sweating. I think it was the first time i felt like that in London yet! Exciting. Today the sun has been shining and there is a constant smooth breeze thru Chipstead. I have the windows open and am airing out the flat. This is a quiet day for me, one of phone calls, emails, and follow ups with contacts. I find that one day i'm in, and the following day i'm out. This afternoon i plan to pop into Croydon for some bits. I need a couple ingredients for dinner and then i'm all set. Tomorrow i meet with Park Lane MINI again, and after Carlo is done work, we are taking a sunset drive to the coast to meet his folks and stay with them for the weekend. I'm so excited to go. We are driving to Stonehenge on the way over, and it'll be magnificent to see it at sunset when the lighting is my favorite. Tonite is a quiet nite. Carlo and I are preparing our bags and just taking a breather. I'm going to see if we can hit some more balls at the driving range before dark though. I feel like my life is becoming more responsible and mature. And, i'm finding myself really content with simple creature comforts and look forward to them instead of big party binges. Gosh i hope this doesn't mean i sound boring? I just love quality time, me time, us time. I'm focusing more on my future than my past, and this has been such an issue for me. Whatever it is, I'm changing again, maybe i'm growing up. It's a good feeling regardless. My past have helped me create some blueprints. And now I'm on the brink of construction.Today- I am craving chocolate chip banana bread. My hair is bugging me and I am thinking about changing my hairstyle. And in the last two or three days, I see my father's reflection in me.
Current Mood: peacefulCurrent Music: Simple kind of life- No doubt
(Leave a comment)
May 23rd, 2005
02:02 am
[Link]
Abby Road, Camden Market, The Maple Leaf, and the whole loadI'm back.....The last couple weeks have been devoted to the ever pressing job search and thus the hiatus from the blog. Joe was right about not keeping up. You can forget alot of stuff that happens, inside and outside. Perspective of London changes the longer i stay here. Things that were a new wonder i've now adapted to. The more i keep changing up my environment, i seem to be adapting a little faster. This is good. The only thing about this place is it's COLD, and i've not quite adapted to that yet! It gets to about 8C at nite, and in the day it's about 15C but the wind chill is CHILLY, coming from the frozen north of Scotland!!!I miss the convenience of HK. I like being able to walk 5 paces outside my house and have everything under the sun available to me, even a piano shop. Here in London it's different, alot like home in Vancouver. And i'm slowly getting used to that way of life again. It doesn't take long really. It's a very different city from anything i've ever seen. Vancouver is the city of glass, sparkly and beautiful, with water and mountains all around. It's a truely gorgeous city. Then you have HK. The skyline is incredible, tall hills and tall buildings....like really really tall buildings. When you see it for the first time, you're overcome with awe at the size of it, how tall and concentrated everything. But when you walk the streets, it's not exactly picturesque. It's more of a culture shock than anything, lots of people, different odd smells, laundry hanging out the windows, and a consciousness of poor air quality. I don't think i ever breathed properly when i lived there, i was too scared to take in deep breaths. I miss the markets and shopping there, as it's dirt cheap and they have everything under the sun. England is picturesque, marvelously old and beautifully green, but it is expensive. I have been to a couple market places and it's all about 10 times as much if not more. It's good to see the value of things in different areas of the world though. I'm enjoying the education in this. I know it'll come in handy one day soon.Some cool highlights have been in the last couple weeks. Carlo and I went to the driving range and smacked a few balls. We bought clubs a couple days ago and hope to be brushed up and ready for his friends in the next few weeks. I'm excited. I also hung out with Jill Sutherland in Covent Garden and had lunch. She's been here for 3 months and just went back to Vancouver to pack up her stuff so she can come back out here. It was rad to catch up.Jodie Smith and Kirsty came out for the hockey game ( canada vs czech) at the Maple Leaf Pub in Covent Garden. It was fantastic to see her. They got to meet Carlo too and that made me happy. Carlo and I also checked out Portsmouth on the coast on the weekend and had some tapas by the sea. It was chilly but sunny and really fabulous. I enjoy spending day trips with him. We enjoy the same kinds of things and it makes for some great dates!I did one day of temp work doing secretarial things. It was with a property company and my first backstage peep at the industry. It's dry and boring and the people were nice but it wasn't the type of things i could see myself doing. They deal with old buildings that have leaky this and that's, and it looks like a lot of legal jumbo with angry landlords and tenants. Yikes! I was fine with the work load, although when it came to audio typing i was screwed. I couldn't figure out the accents over the tapes and it thru a wrench into my day. Still, it was a fabulous little learning day with the brits.I met up with Simon the adventurer (friend of Robert Wilson's), who is an incredible person, very soulful and wonderful. He travels the world with charity groups and runs expeditions, arranging the long hauls for scientists and researchers to go out and do these amazing treks to all the corners of the world for humanitarian causes. If he wasn't so busy, i'd hope to hang out with him more. My little coffee meeting with him in Kennsington was full of colourful conversation. He reminded me so much of Leonard, and I think they would really hit it off if they met. I hope we could all be in the same room one day!It was Dan's birthday yesterday, and i called him and he was at Leonard's house in Whistler with the whole gang bbq'ing up a feast. I remember being up there last year and how amazing that was. I miss my friends from home alot. Vancouver is a precious place to me.I've seen a few dozen recruitment agencies in the UK now. Some of them are very professional and wonderfully helpful. Some of them are totally shit too. I didn't have the best experiences last week, but I'm starting to turn some leaves over and finding some goodies. I have a couple interviews with BMW this week, different dealerships around greater london. I am hoping to get a job that will allow me to have some weekends off though. I really do not wish to work weekends when Carlo is off. We'll figure it out, i'm sure. My secret fear is driving on the opposite side of the road. And driving stick with my left hand!! hmmmmmYesterday Carlo took me to Camden Rd Market, which is no mongkok but it was still fun. Alot of reconstructed clothing, goth wear, and tons of fake designer bags etc...the same ol stuff you'd see at any market i guess. I did buy a pair of earrings made of peacock feathers though. The assortment of foods was good, lots of different curries and sweets. All kinds of cultural tastes, I loved the smell. The funny part were the random people walking by offering us "skunk/weed" and other things. They whisper it under their breath as they walk past you, and i dont know why they kept targetting Carlo and me. What was cool was driving thru London and seeing all the places from above ground. We drove past Abbey Road, where the Beetles recorded one of their records. We drove past the crosswalk that the four of them walked across and used the photo for their album cover. That was kinda surreal. I found out that "pudding" here means dessert. I always think of jell-o pudding, but anyway, i'm slowly converting to the speech here. I'm sure my folks and friends will make fun of the different phrases that i've adapted to my own from living here and also in Hong Kong. People just refer to things a little differently and after a while, you communicate with them the same, and adapt much the same lingo. I can't fake the accent and I sound totally ridiculous if i try. But, Carlo's friends have been easy with me on my foreign accent and how i say things like bucking-ham, or oxford-shire. I still find myself asking Carlo to repeat himself on some phrases, but it's mainly when i'm tired and am not concentrating as much.We went to see Kingdom of Heaven the other nite, and it made me ponder religion and spirituality. Man has made religion ridiculous. Everything it was meant to be has been tarnished and tainted. It makes me angry because there has been so much blood and war and death because of religion and power throughout time. Where is the purity in just feeling God? It is the most amazing and wonderful feeling in the world, feeling the presence of God. If more people concentrated on that instead of traditional religious procedure, maybe we'd actually make some progress in acheiving peace in this world. I read up on some Einstein the next day and felt really inspired by him. It pulled me out of my funk.This weekend, the boys came over to our flat and we watched Arsenal play Man United in the finals. Arsenal won, and i was glad. I still havne't picked a regional team and am keeping my vote for team England. There is such civil rivalry in the football community here, it's absolutely out of hand. Football is not a sport here, it is gladiator war. I am keeping my favorite as #7 Beckham. I think i'm in the clear.....whew! I made coconut rice and thai curry and it turned out okay. I was relieved. I haven't cooked for a crew of people in years, so it felt good that i still have some skills in my blood. With the combo of Vansomeren's and Lehwald's blood, i better have a knack!London is a pretty place, and enjoying checking out different places. The nitelife has a different vibe from HK. We went to Clapham last weekend for one of Carlo's collegues parties. It was fun; we went to a place called the White House, and popped the champagne toasts to Pat, who got a great promotion with Sky News. The next day we went to Tom's house, Neil's brother. I finally got to meet him and we had a big bbq with some of his mates. They live on the river Thames on the Isle of Dog. Tom showed us photos of his trip to south africa, where he went on this huge safari thru Kenya. I was in AWE, and i have to go there one day. Carlo and I are already making plans. After the bbq, we all walked thru a tunnel that went under the river to Greenwich. I could see the Observatory where the Greenwich line is, but we didn't go all the way up that way. I did get up close to the Cutty Sark, which was a legendary ship known as one of the fastest clippers of its time. I love old mast ships. They take my breath away. We went to a cool hippy pub nearby there called the Gypsy Moth, had a couple drinks with friends and talked about the Da Vinci Code. Alot of people out here are reading this book. I wonder if they take it all in as fact, or if they disect the fact from folklore. That's the tricky thing about that book. But regardless it's fascinating."What the Bleep do we Know" has just been released in London, and I'm excited to take Carlo and Nick ( his brother) to see it. It shapes the way you see the world the moment after you walk out and forever after. I have to buy some quantum reference books that i saw off the site. There are a few there that i'm really curious to read. Plus, I have to get some reading in, i've not made any priority time for it and i'm thirsty.Today is Monday, and it's half eleven, which means i need to get my ass in gear. I have devoted today to blog writing and emails i have yet to reply to. This afternoon i have a hair appointment and then tonite i'm going to an awards gala with Carlo. It is a news media event and there will be a lot of people from CNN BBC Sky etc. He's wearing his tux, and I am wearing the pink dress Nick Louie gave me. I love that dress, but it looks best with straight hair, so i'm going down the road to the hairdressers for a little tlc. We're all meeting in Southfields near Wimbledon, and then taking a taxi to the Park Lane Hilton. I have never been to a gala dinner with tuxes and dresses before, so i'm really looking forward to this.Today- I miss my friends from home, Dan, Leonard, Senka and Amanda. I miss the way Senka makes me laugh my head off. I miss Ezugiku's gyoza's and fried rice. I miss my mom and dad and brother. And more than anything, i wish they could be here hanging out with me, exploring this fantastic world.
Current Mood: contemplativeCurrent Music: The Aloof- one nite stand
(Leave a comment)
May 10th, 2005
01:20 am
[Link]
Tuesday at Chateau ChipsteadIt's almost half 9am here. I've just finished my Alpen cereal and some ginger lemon tea. I'm getting into a healthier groove these days and i'm starting to feel better. Travelling always does a number on my body, especially my skin. When i got here it looked like a bomb exploded on my face and my skin was very dry. It happened when i moved to Hong Kong too. Thankfully i have Guerlain products from mom to sort me out. Finally after a week here, i think things are under control.I'm settling more into London town. Today i'm going to drop off a couple resume's and meet with a friend of Robert Wilson's. His name is Simon, and from my conversation with him on the phone, he sounds lovely. He works with the British Charity Group and does really cool expeditions and research all over the world. I'm meeting him for coffee this afternoon and am so excited to meet him. Tonite if the weather cooperates, we're going to the driving range and i can swing the clubs around. It's been eons since i've done this, and on the weekend we bought some gloves. I ripped up my hand the last time i went out without one. Ode to Foot Joy!This past weekend, we kept it very mellow. We met up with some of Carlo's friends at the Greyhound Pub one nite, and another nite we hung out with an old family friend named Darren. On Sunday, Carlo took me over to his aunt and uncles house where i met his Nan, his cousins and aunt and uncle. They are all characters and I fell in love with them all. One of his younger cousins is playing in a band tomorrow nite so i'll see them again then. Sometimes meeting a large portion of family in one go could seem daunting, but i felt completely comfortable around them, they were so warm and beautiful. It must be the DeCianti sparkle.My UPS box arrived yesterday and with it all the hangers for my clothes rail. I'm so happy to have everything in it's right place now, the room looks organized and tidy now, and i feel alot more at home having everything unpacked out of my cases. All i need now is a job and i've successfully made the transition into London. Yesterday i spent the majority of the day contacting recruitment companies and contacts i know here. The week is shaping up to be very busy with meetings now, and it makes me feel good to have things on the go.I spoke to mom on mother's day, was glad to get a hold of her at my Aunty Peggy's. She got the package from HK so i'm stoked. Sounds like she digs the gear and wants some more LV. LV to the rescue, if you could sum up Hong Kong in one name, it'd be Louis Vuitton. Funny enough,i haven't seen much LV around here yet.....the fashion is all about gypsy skirts, flip flops and big chunky necklaces with chandelier earrings and BIG belts, either woven or studded circles. This is the rage that 8 out of 10 girls would be wearing on the street. I made it into Selfridges the other day and it was like walking into heaven for a shopaholic. Bring a load a dough though, this place isn't Shenzhen! I tried on a wig that was £170 and it fit me perfectly, it looked like my real hair. I wore it for 15 minutes and actually contemplated purchasing it....but then i snapped myself out of my vanity attack and got the hell out without buyers remorse!! London style is pretty hip though, I definitely love the accessories and shoes. People love to step it up here.Chris Toth and Tara were in town, and although i didn't get to meet up with them, it was good to hear his voice on the phone. The world is so small, I seem to bump into him everywhere! I think London will be a city that i'll bump into alot of people like i did in Hong Kong. I think it's so exciting to see your friends from home on the other side of the globe.It's time to get ready for my day out. I'm sure I'll have some stories to report after today. I have a feeling....
Current Mood: cheerfulCurrent Music: The State I Am In- Belle and Sebastian
(Leave a comment)
May 6th, 2005
01:53 am
[Link]
The Blair is Back!!It's Friday morning and Carlo has left for work. I have a couple hours before i'm leaving to meet my friend Ken for lunch on Baker Street. I haven't been out to that neighbourhood yet but i hear nice things about it.Wednesday i met up with James in Notting Hill. I took the tube over and was about to text him on the corner across the street from the Gate Cinema when i heard him call my name from a big black Range Rover. I met up with him and his friend Mike, and then we headed into the beautiful little Nottinghood for lunch. James is Mr. Healthy, and we went into a couple little stores like Capers back home, and after finding that all restaurants were jam packed full, we opted for a pub on the corner that had really good thai cuisine....fancy that! Thai food at a pub??? Well, only in Notting Hill. And PS- Notting Hill rules, i saw Portabello Rd but the markets only run on the weekends so you know i'll be back! We all got Beef Rendang and after Mike headed off and James walked me to his gym where he trains his clients, and then to his flat. It was cool to finally see his home, it had a very clean energy and i felt at home. It feels good to have some familiar friends in an unfamiliar place. I talked with Jodie and Jef yesterday and i just found out that Jill Sutherland lives in East London too!!! So cool. Thursday i spent the entire day organizing my stuff and touching the walls of my new home. The first few days, it's natural to feel like a guest and the only way to feel like it's your home is to do things you would do in your own home. So, i got into chore mode and opened up all the cupboards, finding out where everything is and goes, so that i dont' have to ask Carlo or Nick. I got some laundry done, and basically settled in. At the end of the day, i got to chat with my mom and Robert Wilson. Touching base with home felt good. Carlo got in around 6:30 and then we went to buy some groceries and vote. We passed another polling station on the way to the supermarket, and once again...only in England would a PUB be a polling station. People here really love their pubs. Carlo and i made a yummy dinner with salmon, steamed veggies and wild rice. We ended up catching Charlie's Angels on the tele and then fell asleep thru Ocean's 11. I think it was my favorite nite here so far. I love spending time with him more than anything.This morning i've just had some tea and toast and will soon be off for central london to meet up with Mr. Ken Lee, one of my favorite people in the world. James has the afternoon off and i might meet up to drop off some vids of 24 and Napoleon Dynomite. People who know 24 know it is properly addicting. They also know that if there are episodes never seen before, it would light up eyes in big anticipation. So, i promised to lend him my half of season four. I'm so bummed i don't have the rest of it yet! I agree with Carlo....Jack Bauer should be the president of the United States. Here in England, the Prime Minister Blair won by 3%, and it's the closest election in history here. The Conservative Party has way more seats now which hopefully means taxes will maintain or drop instead of rise. And, Blair has his work cut out for him. I think i like him better than Margaret Thatcher, but that's based strictly on looks. My last box still has not arrived from UPS and i am anxious to get that back. The UPS in Hong Kong don't speak good Ingrish....so if you're mailing from there, even though Fedex may be more expensive, it's worth getting the communication right, and on time delivery.I like my new home. As i sit and write, i look around and know that when i'm really old i'll look back at this time in my late twenties at my humble beginnings. I am loving the journey.Today i miss- my Tragically Hip CD collection.
Current Mood: happyCurrent Music: At the Hundredth Meridian- The Tragically Hip
(Leave a comment)
May 3rd, 2005
12:59 am
[Link]
After the Bank HolidayIt's Tuesday morning and it's quiet in Chipstead. I can hear the butcher downstairs in the butcher shop....our flat is just above. Carlo has left for the office, and i have a few moments before gettin my shower in etc. I'm going to meet his friend who is a head hunter and see if he knows of any jobs that would be suitable. London is BIG. It's weird to be back in the white man's land. Quite a transition from HK and the bustle. It's so quiet here. I live in the countryside, near the trainstation, about 40 minutes outside Central London in a place called Chipstead. It's very green, peaceful, and beautiful here. Carlo picked me up at the airport on Friday morning around 7:30am. My flight was as smooth as a 16 hr flight can be. I flew to Thailand first for my connection and then off to Heathrow. I think i got about 6 hours of sleep in, which is really good for any flight, so when i landed i felt lagged but awake enough to get the day going. Immigration was a breeze, i spent about 30 seconds (if that) and then picked up my baggage. That part was easy, but navigating thru Heathrow is a nitemare. It's not the most user friendly airport, so i was so glad to see Carlo and let him guide me thru the rest of it to the car. The first thing i noticed was the smell, it smells really nice here, much like home...crisp and clean. I filled up with a few deep breaths letting it fill my lungs and instantly felt a familiarity to the place. We drove home and made a pitstop at the grocery store on the way. It was weird to be around westerners again. Local westerners are different from local expats. It's a completely different vibe. Anyway, i noticed alot of pale skin here, the sky was so bright. I was squinting most of the day adjusting to seeing a vibrant blue sky again. Things are pretty spread out in England, lots of little quaint towns and lots of green inbetween. After living in Asia i think it will take me a couple weeks to feel totally at home in my new home.Carlo shares a flat with his brother Nick. It's very nice and cozy, it's been renovated and is very clean. I'd say it's about the same size as my flat in Happy Valley, but laid out on three levels instead of one. I think we're going to Ikea tonite to find some storage stuff for all my stuff....cuz i brought alot of stuff!!Friday i played it pretty mellow. I had a nap and Carlo took me around to the local areas so i could get an idea of the neighbourhood. We exchanged a faulty dvd player at a place called Curry's, which is like Future Shop back home. Curry's has alot of black people and east indian people the help you, exactly like the Future Shop. Then we went to a spanish tapas place for dinner. The food was sooooo good and it was the best meal i'd had in a long time. I was so full and then realised i was exhausted. By about 10pm, i could barely keep my eyes open, so we hit the hay.Saturday was a huge day. We went into Central London and Carlo was the most amazing tour guide. We started at Victoria, and went to Buckingham Palace, past Hyde park, down The Mall, towards the Parliament, Westminster Abbey and Big Ben. We went to Trafalgar Square, then past Tony Blair's house and then to the Thames to see the London Eye. We walked the river bank towards Leicester Square where all the theater's are, and then to Piccadilly Circus, stopped for lunch in Soho, then walked thru Covent Garden, past the Royal Opera House onto the Strand, past the Savoy Hotel to mass at St. Paul's Cathedral. Then we walked over the Millenium bridge over to the Globe Theater, and then back to the trainstation at the London Bridge and took the train back home to Chipstead. We must have covered at least 6 miles by foot, and i was beyond exhausted by the end of it. It was pretty warm out too so we were both a bit sweaty and tired. Our legs hurt the next day and we took it easy on Sunday. But whoa....London is huge, and very cool. I saw some good areas for shopping and very impressive buildings. There is alot of hype about the elections this Thursday. There's alot of Anti- Blair posters and billboards up around the city. I wonder if he'll get re-elected???Saturday nite, we headed out to meet up with some of Carlo's friends in Clapham. We hit a few bars and by about 1:30am headed to bed. I pushed thru the nite and fought the lag, but i think i'm getting there. Sunday we went to a place called the Rubbing House, which is a little patio restaurant next to the race track. It's really nice there, we had some lunch with Neil, who's a friend of Carlo's and is in the police force. It was cool to talk to him about London and growing up here. We had a nice little meal and then went back to his place to watch some tele. There is a show out of Japan called Takeshi's Castle that had us in stitches laughing for about 2 hours, and then we met up with some other friends at a pub a few miles away. In the end, we all went to Wimbledon, which reminds me alot of Kits W4th Ave. Really cool area, and a good time. Monday Carlo and i headed south on the M23 to the coast. We went to a place called Brighton, and it was sunny and gorgeous. It's a little like Venice Beach and English Bay put together. It was packed full of people and a really nice day, so we took a walk around, had a drink, took some photos and then headed to East London to visit Carlo's sister Angolina. We had dinner with his sister and her boyfriend Dan, and then headed home to bed. I was fading in the car, my head nodding off with my mouth open. It was only about 10pm by the time we got home, but i don't even remember hitting the pillow. It's been such a good few days and now it's back to reality...the real world. Today after my shower i'm heading to EAst Croydon to get my cellphone up and going, as well i have to get a map so i know how to get around on the London Underground (aka The Tube.) Then i am going to Leicester Square to meet up with one of Carlo's friend's who is a recruiter. I hope to get some good feedback about what's available in London for me. Maybe he can get me a few interviews. I may look at auto sales again. It would be good for saving money and to also have a demo car to get around. I'm going to also get in touch with my contacts at Agent Provocateur and see if i can meet with their people this week or early next week. It's a short week because of the long weekend, but i think alot can happen in a day here, much like Asia.Better get started!Things i like here- The dairy, the cheese, the milk, the air quality, the countryside, the white cliffs of dover, the old brick buildings and history.
(Leave a comment)
April 25th, 2005
07:10 pm
[Link]
The Day of ErrandsI have sticky notes all over my wall, my numerous checklist of stuff to do before my flight in THREE DAYS!!! I'm pretty stoked, but i got lots to do. The weather is mild, it's super humid. I had a bag of chips out last nite and they lost their snap in 15 minutes and felt soft. It was kinda gross but i ate them anyway. When it's this humid, my skin goes funky, my hair goes huge, and i have the kind of dreams that when you wake you wonder if it was real. Normally i have tea for breakfast, and this morning i am craving a coffee. I am going to put on some clothes and head up the street. There's a Pacific Coffee Co under the new Starbucks, which has just invaded Happy Valley. I am feeling kinda groggy today, even though i went to bed at a normal hour. Carlo and i talked on the phone late last nite, it was our first real conversation in over a week. He just returned from a work exhibition in Vegas, and with the time difference we never got a decent chat in. So last nite we finally caught up, and it felt so good.I'm looking at my room and wondering how to play out the next couple days with my packing. I have alot of stuff. Last nite i went thru most of my books and things i wouldn't be using for the next couple days, but with clothing it's different......a girl has GOT to have options!!! Today i am buying a suitcase. I have to get one of those four wheel ones, they are heavensent! Then, i can figure out what's best to bring and what's best to mail. I have a feeling the post office is going to give me grief about my bags but i have a 20kg limit for my flight to London, and 20kg would basically account for all my shoes. My mother called yesterday and it felt really good to talk to her about this move. There are always mixed feelings when leaving a place, all that is familiar and the friends and faces you know. I love Happy Valley, i've been very happy living here. It's the little community next to the big city, and in Hong Kong, that is a dream. I'm glad to be checking out Europe too. It's going to be really amazing to visit all the different countries out that way, Carlo wants to take me on little weekend trips to Amsterdam and Paris etc. It makes me squeal inside thinking about it! It's still a little surreal though, i think it will really set in when i board the plane. My friends in Hong Kong are mainly from the UK anyway, and alot of them i'll see back there in their visits as well, so I know we'll keep in touch.I spent my last day at Sean's yesterday, with Max and Chowder. Max is getting so tall and big, he's about 15 weeks now i think, and is developing into a very gorgeous dog. He is so well behaved and has an excellent temperment, when he woke up from his nap yesterday, he was whimpering a little and when i picked him up he climbed up my chest and licked my chin and cheek to cuddle and say hello. Of course i was mush, I love puppies!!!! The next time i'm out here he'll be close to full grown and i wonder if he'll remember me. We'll see. I really enjoyed the last 3 weeks with them all, it was really fun.My craving for coffee is increasing so i better run. I feel like a croissant too!!Today i miss- my friend Rosanna in Lanai. I have been thinking of her tons lately. Shelly Kim, who's voice i hear in my head whenever i'm getting ready to change things around. Senka and Amanda, who i think would be the best shopping companions in Asia!! And Leonard, who always inspires me and yet keeps me grounded. I have such incredible people in my life, I know they were handpicked by God especially for me.
Current Mood: busyCurrent Music: Yahweh- U2
(Leave a comment)
April 23rd, 2005
03:57 pm
[Link]
Last impressionsWhen you live someplace for a while, you end up taking alot of your surroundings for granted. But then when it's time to move on, you start imprinting specific observations in your memory bank so that you never forget the things that your senses would normally be numb to. When I left Vancouver to move to LA, this didn't happen. I was too young to appreciate home the way i do now. When i left home in November to come to Hong Kong, my senses started kicking it up a notch even months before i decided on Asia. I had an unsettled heart and knew i wanted to explore more of the world. I contemplated Europe and Africa, and then Asia. Your body has this way of letting you know when it's time to leave places or things or people, and I seem to recognise that time long before i make a decision to do anything about it. This has been my crutch, moving more swiftly to a decision. The last few days especially, i have been observing Hong Kong in vivid living colour. This is a very glossy place, big buildings, big money and big egos. The place where westerners come to make it big in the financial district and corperate world. I sat in the back of a taxi yesterday staring at the buildings a little more closely, and started to sum up what has happened here in the last 6 months, from what I thought would happen here, what did happen here, and how it has changed me. Sometimes alot can happen inside of you while you're reflecting inside a taxi cab. And what's ironic about that is the cabdriver was playing canto-metal, which i had never heard before, and will never forget!! I watched What the Bleep Do We Know this week. Sean bought a copy and I have been catching bits of it here and there. The scientists say that we assume alot in our reality to be true, when they could be totally false. IE- the earth is flat. Once apon a time, society believed this, and it was not so. As we progress, science is revealing new and profound discoveries that what we believe to be true in our everyday life could be more of an illusion than real. We can now see a particle under a microscope in two places at once! We have also done experiments on the most reactive element, Water, where it's molecular structure completely changes when exposed to different thoughts. JUST THOUGHTS! I know that sounds hokey, which is why i think people should see the film. Plus, it's 7am and i'm talking quantam physics. Is this healthy?Practicing positive thinking is not this cheezy salesman's hot tip to success. If you believe you can proactively influence what happens in your reality thru positive thought, you will start to see unexplainable little coincidences take place which are a reflection of that. We believe we are one in a zillion, what do we matter. And yes, it is good to be humble, but we were also created in the image of God, and science says we only use a fraction of our brain. Our brain processes 400 billion bits a second, yet we are only conscience of 2000 bits a second. So, that's fascinating and all, but how to we tap into more? I believe by positive thinking and believing there is more beyond what we observe, we will increase our awareness. That is where faith comes in, and the thirst to seek further. I am only just beginning to tap into this type of thinking, but my friends say to me, " how does this stuff happen to you?" because random unexplainable perfect things seem to happen to me alot. I believe it is because i seek it, because i believe in it, and when i wake up that is where i project myself there in my mind. My journey to Hong Kong has proven that to me in more ways than any other experiences. And almost every religion in the world has the "hear no evil, speak no evil, see no evil" philosophy. Scientifically, if we are made up of 90% water, and water reacts to thoughts, then thoughts have the ability to actually change our molecular shape and affect us. Wild!This week I got my work permit for the UK. I also got my plane ticket. The plan is to be in the UK till the end of July, spend 4 days in HK and then catch my return flight to Vancouver in early August. I would like to visit Vancouver for 2 weeks and then return to the UK to work. It is a breath of air to know i have the work visa out of the way. That has been my biggest hurdle in Hong Kong. Puppy sitting has worked out well and Max the little boston terrier is 99% paper trained. I have never seen such a good puppy actually. All puppies are cute, but they need a lot of training to keep them out of trouble. I can honestly say that this dog has been a dream. Yesterday, Sean experimented by leaving Max out of his cage with roam of the house and left for a little while. When he came home, everything was in order and the two dogs were chillin out in the living room. This means that my sitting position is coming to a close as well. I get to have one last day with them tomorrow, and then i'm racing the clock to pack, mail, clean up etc for Thursday. In the past week, I watched a chinese play in the park where i live. It was really cool, lots of bright costumes and makeup. I didn't understand a word, but i could figure it was a comedy about arranged marriage. A few days ago, Jeremy Tang invited me to dinner at the China Club. This is a prestigious private building of restaurants within the original Bank of China building. There was a hot black Aston DB9 parked out front, and going inside, it was like walking into an old british manor. The staircase went up 5 or more floors, with so much artwork on the walls it reminded me of Hogwarts. We met a girl named Lizzy, who is half chinese and half british. She was stunning, and i would reckon the most beautiful teacher in Hong Kong. At our table was Hans and his brother Doug. I'm not sure what Doug does, but Hans is a consultant in oil. Originally from Norway, this gentleman lives in Dubai permanantly, but does work in Iraq and most of the middle east. He told us life and death stories of being in Iraq, where soldiers nearly killed him on various occasions. This guy is the real deal, and I had such a blast talking with him and hearing his stories. He invited me to come on a 6-8 wk Land Cruiser road trip adventure in Africa. It starts around Christmas time in the north of Africa, working south along the East side, thru SUDAN (!!!) and beyond. I think my mother would freak out if i did a trip like that, but I would love to do it. I haven't told Carlo yet, but i wonder if he's up for that? Well, i'm going to have to get my finances sorted pretty quickly so i can even consider it!Only one nitemare this week. I locked myself out on thursday nite and came home around 1:30am banging on the door to wake David. After numerous tries over the course of an hour, i was curled in a ball sitting at my doorstep completely exhausted. I dozed for a bit and when i came to, my butt really hurt from the hard ground, so I went to the lobby downstairs and sprawled myself along 3 wooden chairs. Again, very uncomfortable, but i was too exhausted to care. The fluorescent lights were blinding, and around 3am another guy in my building came thru the door. He asked me if i was alright and i told him my situation. He offered me his couch and i declined, but he insisted and said i'd be safer there. So, i ended up crashing on his couch after slipping a note under my door for David to call me in the AM. At 5am, David called me, noting that he missed 25 calls on his cellphone (all from me). I finally got into my bed just after 5, and then woke up at 7am, too numb and underslept. I headed to the UK consolate to take care of my work permit, and managed to smoothly deal with the grumpy immigration officer. Then puppy sat till dinner time, and crashed on Friday nite around 10pm. i've been waking really early the last few days, long before my alarm. Today i woke up at 6:45am thinking about quantum mechanics and a trip to mongkok for a suitcase. Now i'm considering what to make for breakfast????! Hashbrowns and eggs, pancakes, or cereal? hmmmm.I have 3 days to do stuff till i fly to the land of marmite. I am pretty confident i can get it all done. I may go to Sham Shui Po for Cara one last time if time permits, and then on Thursday nite, i fly to Bangkok to connect to London. The journey to Europe will take appx 16 hours. I will fly thru the nite and end up on British soil at 7:15am on Friday. Carlo is picking me up and has the day off and the May long weekend, so he'll have some time to help me get sorted with the neighbourhood and my new home. Wow, home in London. My passport is starting to look much more international!!Things i miss today- driving thru the countryside smelling the clean air.
Current Mood: excitedCurrent Music: Clarity- John Mayer
(Leave a comment)
April 15th, 2005
12:00 am
[Link]
The listI do not feel that i have lived here "too long", but i feel that i could check off about 90% of this list. Hilarious.60 Signs You Have Lived in Hong Kong for Too Long1.. You have paid enough rent to buy a moderate-sized North American orEuropean town.2.. Most conversations with your friends involve mobile phones ormutual funds.3.. None of the sea-front buildings existed when you arrived.4.. The shoreline itself shifted by half a mile.5.. All your friends are now living in London, New York, Singapore orParis.6.. You can't put a proper sentence together in your native language.7.. You got really excited when Starbucks opened their first outlet inHong Kong.8.. At the movies, you take bets on the number of phones that go offduring the performance.9.. The funniest jokes revolve around your stockbroker.10.. You developed an acquired taste for mooncakes.11.. In a crowd or a queue, you learnt to stay away from frail-lookingold ladies carrying umbrellas.12.. You seriously considered taking up golf.13.. You have a Mont Blanc pen clipped to your shirt pocket.14.. You have stopped noticing the grotesquely deformed leper on theExchange Square flyover.15.. A sexual pervert is a man who prefers women to money.16.. Your building's security guard is 4 times older than the buildingitself.17.. You have become a shameless name-dropper.18.. You feel a compulsion to take exams.19.. All you need is Louis Vuitton.20.. 165 decibels is a normal noise level for lunchtime conversation.21.. It's OK to throw rubbish, including old fridges, from your18th-floor window.22.. Thanks to karaoke, you know who has the most singing talent inyour building. Not that this is a great achievement.23.. You believe that pressing the lift button 63 times will make itmove faster.24.. The ultimate status symbol is a lawn-mower.25.. You know it is useless to protest when the lady at the supermarketcheck-out wraps one toothbrush in 6 plastic bags.26.. You will never ever EVER buy Miracle Foot Repair.27.. You learnt to recognize Andy Lau, Leon Lai, Aaron Kwok and JackyCheung.28.. You aren't aware that one is supposed to pay for software.29.. Pink bathroom tiles can make any building or public gardenbeautiful.30.. Your colleagues eat sun-dried cuttlefish coated in sugar and youdon't bat an eyelid.31.. You actually purchased a canto-pop CD.32.. You actually played it several times.33.. You believe shopping and eating are the only forms ofentertainment in Hong Kong.34.. Queuing in the rain in a diesel-choked Kowloon backstreet to buy aHK$6 Hello Kitty plastic doll at a McDonald's store is not the mark ofan insane person.35.. You believe Li Ka-shing is a saint.36.. You test your seafood for mercury, hepatitis B and cholera.37.. You have attended at least 4 weddings and a funeral in a languageyou don't understand at all.38.. A PhD in Nuclear Physics fluent in 7 languages irons your socksfor a pittance but she is from the Philippines so it's all right.39.. All the clothes you own are tailor-made or come from Giordano.40.. You are not surprised to see your tap water run dark brown.41.. Drilling on the walls in the wee small hours in the morning isconsidered acceptable behavior.42.. If it's Friday, it must be Typhoon 3 day.43.. If it's Saturday, it must be Typhoon 8 day.44.. You tell your parents their house back in your home country hasbad feng shui.45.. You get offended when people admire your chopsticks skills.46.. You compiled a 3-page list of weird English first names thatChinese people of your acquaintance have chosen for themselves.47.. You learnt to bring a coat, a scarf and gloves to fighthypothermia in supermarkets, buses, ferries and cinemas.48.. Your collection of business cards has outgrown your flat.49.. You are convinced that the only thing that moves more slowly thancontinental drift is a Causeway Bay crowd on a Saturday afternoon.50.. You are not surprised to see 85-year old ladies pushing tons ofgarbage up the streets of the financial district.51.. You bulldoze your way into lifts and MTR trains before otherpassengers have a chance to alight.52.. If someone smiles at you for no particular reason, you know she isa Filipina.53.. You know that leather shoes can grow leaves during the wet season.54.. The word "wildlife" refers to the family of cockroaches thatdwells in your kitchen drawer.55.. You use the word "Ayyiieeaaahh" every few sentences to conveysurprise, pleasure, pain or anger.56.. You speak enough Cantonese to make your colleagues laugh theirheads off (attempts with anyone else still only draw blank stares).57.. You are not surprised to find footprints on the edge of the toiletbowl.58.. You believe you are really tall when you are only 5'8".59.. You know that leaving Hong Kong will break your heart.60.. You read this list and understood everything...
(Leave a comment)
April 14th, 2005
12:17 am
[Link]
Irons in the fireIn the movie, Finding Neverland, there is a scene with Johnny Depp and one of Peter's brothers who is about 12 yrs old. It is a scene where the boy begins to talk about the serious condition of his mother's health. Depp's character makes the comment how in 30 seconds, he matured from a child to a man. I was really moved when i saw this scene, and i think it was a beautiful example of how in 30 seconds, we all have moments where we leap ahead in our maturity, where we realise the little world we live in just got bigger, more complicated and a piece of our ignorance or innocence is gone, and replaced by some kind of enlightenment that completely transforms us forever. We can all relate to moments like that in our lives. Sometimes they come in spurts, sometimes they come with years inbetween. My last 6 months in Asia have been filled with moments just like that.3 weeks ago, I got a call out of the blue from Chris Toth. He was visiting HK for work and was leaving for Japan next so he invited me and Carlo to dinner with him and David from Made on Earth, and some other canadian friends. We had a big table at dinner at "M on the Fringe", in upper LKF. It was so nice to see them all, and i was super shoked when Chris told me he had checked out my blog from time to time. It made me feel slightly embarrassed, I started to compare my situation to his world and great success and suddenly felt so insecure. I have to stop doing that, it's not about comparing myself to others as much as it is comparing myself to me, to my progression. It took a couple days to remember that the whole reason i left Vancouver was to "develop myself". But something that Chris said to me has stuck; he said that leaving and being open to where the opportunities take you are the exciting part. And ultimately, i really want that for my life anyway. Travel, adventure, opportunities, knowledge...the whole experience. Dinner that nite was more than he will ever know. I admired everyone at that table, including Carlo, who was a shining star, i was so proud to have him with me.Yannick came out the past 6 days and stayed at my apartment. Scott moved to Japan, so Yannick got the master suite of the flat (lucky guy). In the first two nites in HK we met a Tunisian guy named Slim, a Camaroon guy named Fifi, and then another guy from Morroco named Youssef. They all spoke french, and in the blink of an eye, Yannick was sorted with a crew of friends to rock the town with. There were no shortage out outings. If i was puppy sitting, he was out shopping in Mongkok or Time Square. We toured all of LKF, Dragon-I, Kee Club, Drop and the like. While i tucked into bed at the decent hours of 11pm and midnite, he was staying out and coming back home around 5am and 7am!!! From the shots on his digicam and the stories, it sounds like he had an incredible time in HK. Now, he's on a flight back to Vancouver to work at Provence restaurant in Yaletown. During our visit together, Yannick told me that in his 5 months away in Australia, New Zealand, and Thailand, he learned alot about himself and was able to define what he really wants in his life.....he wants to have his own business too, a restaurant. And, it looks like he wants to custom in Asian cuisine!!! So, with his vision, it lights a fire in him and he has all these ideas and goals and is so enthusiastic to get back home and get it up and going. I feel so happy for him, that he has found that desire. His dream makes his eyes sparkle. It's rad!The last day that i spent in Vancouver, way back in November, i was a bit teary eyed all day. I had no idea where i was going, or what i wanted. I was torn to leave the nest, leave my friends and family, to go out on some adventure in Asia alone....my first international experience. I remember being in my room packing some things, my heart racing, and Robert my room mate said to me...."Raquel, the hardest part is getting on the plane. Once you're there, it's out of your control what happens, there are too many variables. Just go out there and try, the rest is fate. No matter what, the fact that you left to experience it is a success in itself." I have never forgotten those words.The common advice that i have received is to be open to the outcome. I have kept my options open here in HK and continually have leads on the go. In 5 months i have networked and met some influencial people in the city, involved in various industries who are all connected and have assisted me in further introductions. During this time, i have had to ask myself what do i really want? And in the process of living here and my experiences in Asia, I believe i have come closer to those answers. The dream of wanting to live in a few places in the world still exist, the desire to have my own business has been increasing, and i see opportunities in Asia for making that happen. My eyes are constantly watching and daily i am brainstorming thoughts and ideas. In my hunt for a job, i realise that what i want long term is my own business. I do not want a boss again. And if i do work for someone else, it's for the short term, so that i can gain some capital to start my own thing. I am sick of working for the corperations, the political games that go with it. I don't care to work the corperate ladder and spend the rest of my life being dictated to when i can spend time with my family and when i can go on vacation and how much i deserve per year. I put my passion, loyalty and time for companies that don't give a shit about my outcome, and that is the reality of the corperation. If i am to work in HK, ultimately this is where i would start. And my position, being that i am 27 with no prior experience in the asian market, no university degree, do not speak the language.....these all mean that i can still work in HK, but in a jr position for a corperation because only the big companies have an easy time processing a work visa for me. But with my previous history in the field i have the street cred and want to learn more, not go backwards. I don't want to enter into the workforce here and have to climb that ladder over the next 2-3 yrs, only to become 30 and be in the same place i was back in Vancouver. This is not my destiny, i am sure of this. I will not back down, and it may break me, but i believe i have more to give in a position than the ones i have been offered here. And i also now have a vision of what i want, and how i'm going to get it.I met with Lane Crawford twice this week. I had my big meetings with Agent Provocateur, finally!! The lady they sent out is a british girl who was transferred to run Dubai AP. She was lovely and because we had similar backgrounds in our life journey, we really hit it off and in many ways, it was like making a friend. At the end of the interview, she kissed me on both cheeks and gave me a hug. She was warm and wonderful, our conversation was really good. She told me she wanted to talk to the UK about me and would get back to me on Thursday morning. So i went to see her today and we basically laid cards on the table. I told her how keen i was on AP and she could see that. She thought i was perfect for the company too, but she also found out some things about Lane Crawford, such as; she was under the impression that LC would sponsor my work visa. According to LC, AP would have to do that and this was not communicated prior to our meeting; although that's not really that big of an issue. Two, the manager running the lingerie section was being flown out from Dublin. This is a big promotion for the girl flying over, she agreed to stay for her contract, 2 yrs, managing the store. The position they were keen for me on was the Assistant manager position, however the salary and benifits that come with it only allow me to sustain and exist in HK. I would have next to no money left over after paying my rent and responsibilities back in Vancouver. I do not want to exist like that. She said that with my previous experience, i should be doing more or i'd get bored real fast, but because AP is only just launching in HK, there are no other positions for me here. She still wants me, so basically i could have the job if i wanted it, but i would have to keep in mind that as far as making advancements within HK with AP would not be likely for at least a couple years. I appreciated her honesty. And then she said...."However... worldwide, there are other opportunites." I love this company, and the CEO in London has heard of me now. Lisa has offered to make introductions for me and i can interview with the company to see if there is something for me there..... there being London.I have decided that after a half year in HK, i have gotten the HK experience and have a fairly good sense of what this place has to offer. I know the pros and cons, and i'm ready to keep on moving. I actually don't really have much choice. I have been thinking about this move for the past two months as a plan b, and now the time has come to look at these avenues. I have chosen London for a few reasons. 1- As a canadian, getting a holiday work visa allows me to work and earn money right away. I need cash to take care of my responsibilities, and i cannot wait any longer for that to happen. The pound is strong, and even with an entry level job i can still make about the same as i was at home.2- I have always dreamed of living in London and because it is a hub for european travel, i can see more of the world. I am stoked to see Europe and my european roots!3- Carlo is there, we want to be together, and also plan some things for our future. 4- If not London, the only other option is home, and i don't and i might as well try one more place before going home. And besides, i'm definitely not ready to come home.I know a few people in London also, so i'll be further ahead than when i came to HK. I plan to work there for a year, and then hopefully have some money saved up to take off back to Asia with Carlo. We would like to backpack thru South East Asia, India and Burma. I would also love to see Nepal and Tibet if the opportunity arises. Carlo and I are already talking about getting our TEFL courses done also so we can teach english if we end up staying in Asia for a while. It would be an asset to have should we need it one day. We both love Asia and want to be here, but in the meantime i need to get sorted job wise. I can't believe i'm going!!! I'm super excited about it. I see it as a positive experience. To do six months in Asia, to live and get to know the world out here has been such an incredible experience and has taught me soooo much. I see my trip to London as an extension that will only increase my experience and knowlege. I know that this is the best time for me to be making moves like this and although i'm nervous, i don't really have a choice at this point. My main concern is finances, and other than that i'm just a little nervous to start out again in a new place. And as far as relationships go, there are never any guarantees, but i can not let that hold me back from going for it with my whole heart. HK has alot of great points, but there is a downside too, and you dont' really get to know that for yourself until you live here a while. It's very noisy all the time, and the air is very dirty. The glands in my neck swell up every month for a week or so just because the air quality is so bad. You cannot go outside without spending money. Everything here revolves around restaurants and shopping. I'm suprised i have survived for this long without a job, but i have been very careful in restricting myself and budgeting as best i can. If anything, i've been forced to get better at that. But, i'm antsy also and want to work again, but this time i have a goal to work towards. If you work just to kill the time and pay your bills it's one thing. But if you are working towards something and see your dreams inch closer to your fingertips, that is entirely what i see and wish for now. And to have some accountability in my life again, being in a relationship doesn't feel like a negative thing. On the contrary, it feels wonderful.There's more to gain than to lose, and that's why i am deciding to do it. If it backfires i will head home and restart again. But whatever the outcome, i don't regret coming out here. I left Vancouver with a mental checklist of what i wanted to acheive. And many of them are character traits and becoming a better person. I've had a phenomenal time, and i'm excited to get to the next phase.
(Leave a comment)
April 6th, 2005
03:41 pm
[Link]
A slingshot into AprilIn HK, life changes from week to week, I never know what's around the corner. Last wednesday, i got a call from my recruiter, Tony. He asked me how my job hunt was going and i told him i still had not found something. He told me about a friend of his who needed some help puppy sitting a little boston terrier named Max. Of course i was interested, so he set me up a meeting for friday.On thursday, Carlo and I went to Shenzhen, which is Mainland China. The train ride is about one hour. The mainland is very different from HK side. Shenzhen had a dark vibe, kinda like this steel machine that pumps out stuff. It wasn't busy, we had almost no one on our train going over. The train drops you right at the border, and you walk across into Mainland China, where you can connect straight into the mall that most of the westerners go to for dvd's and designer copy goods. Shenzhen city is pretty new and there is alot of development cropping up everywhere, i was suprised. I thought it would look industrial, but it had nice highrises and a city thing going on. After touring 5 floors of the mall at the border, we got our dvd's, had some lunch and then headed over to East Gate Market. It's all mandarin, and i think we were the only western people there. The markets are so cheap though, it made the markets in HK look expensive. I bought an adidas messenger bag for $3 cnd. Shoes were $20 rmb, which is like $3 cnd too. I was pretty shocked how much there was over there. Carlo and i did some exploring and i was mainly interested in accessories. I wanted to see what kinds of things they had in comparison to what i've seen in HK, Singapore, and Mongolia. Last week Carlo and i were touring thru Soho, a district above Lan Kwai Fong, and we found a really cool Tibetan Antique store. The stuff they had there was really quality, and in Shenzhen i was hoping to find things along that line. I found a shell necklace but other than that, they didn't have anything that i found interesting or different enough to buy. But....if i had any family or friends in town, i would take them there shopping. If i knew some mandarin, i would have felt a little more confident to explore past the tourist area and tour some of the factories just outside the city. There is a Shangri-La hotel in Shenzhen, and i found out the prices are about $200cnd a nite. That's pretty good for a 5 star hotel. After an entire day in China, we were exhausted and huffed it to Knutsford Terrace to meet up with Neil for dinner. We had a really nice Italian meal and then headed home.Friday morning, i met up with the puppy owner, Sean. I met his two dogs, Chowder and Max, and after getting aquainted we agreed i would start on Monday. I headed home after and met up with Carlo, and we pounded back about 6 hours of 24. He had not seen season 3, so he popped in one disc just to make sure the quality was okay. It ended up taking most of the day, and then we headed out to meet up with the crew at Ciao Bellas for a drink. After a few hours in LKF, we grabbed a bite at the pizza place before taking a taxi home.The weekend was great. I really missed Carlo's company and i was so glad we got the time together. We went to Stanley and walked around the seaside for some serenity. I'm pretty lucky to have him in my life, we get along really well. We originally thought he'd be leaving on Sunday nite, but we ended up getting an extra day together. I went to puppy sit on the monday and met up with him after around dinner time. We went for malaysian food in LKF and then home to pack for his midnite departure. I dropped him off at the airport express and watched him leave on the train, face streaked with tears, that gutted feeling once again in my heart. I hate goodbyes, especially with him. When i got home, i washed up and hit the pillow. It's wednesday today, and I'm day 3 at the puppy house. The dogs are great, i LOVE boston terriers. I'm really fortunate to have the experience taking care of Max as a puppy, because i get to know what the breed is like and it gives me the reality of what kinds of responsibilities and work are involved in caring for one. He sleeps for an hour and then he's up for an hour. He's pretty good with the newspaper training, and his health has greatly improved. The vet made a house call today and he said alot of positive things about him. His energy is more vibrant everyday, he has bigger energy spurts and is now jumping more and playing a little rougher with Chowder, his sister. The two are getting along well, and I think they're getting used to me being here. They respond and come to me now, it's pretty cute. In the meantime, i'm looking for other positions. I keep hearing feedback that it takes about 5-6 months to get sorted out here. I dont' know if i can wait that long. I only anticipated i'd be looking for about 3 months, but it's over 4 months that i've been here and I have put so much effort into this. I hope to see some more leads crop up this week. Li and Fong are still in contact with me, and i'm hoping they can connect me to some more people in the industry. Now we're into April, it's the 6th. Scott my room mate is packing up and leaves tomorrow for Japan for good. Today the maid swung by to help clean up and get his room in order. I think we're going out tonite to celebrate his job promotion. I don't think anyone will move into the extra room until May. David's friend will probably end up moving in. In the meantime, we have an extra room for any guests who may drift into town. Yannick comes in on Friday, and i'm hoping to pop out to meet him at the aiport. I think i can work around it with the dogs. He can stay at my place and tour around HK in the day while i'm puppy sitting, and then i'll meet him in the eve's to go hang out. It'll be great to hang out with him and hear his stories of his travels in Australia. He's going back to Quebec with a fresh new bag of experiences. I'm sure we'll have tons to chat about.I talked to my folks this morning. It was good to give them an update and see how things were going with them. I miss them, and sometimes being away from my family is hard. But i'm glad to be on my own trying things out. Part of coming here was to go thru the motions of the hustle. This is part of it. I know it'll make me or break me, and sometimes i just want it to all work out perfectly. I cannot believe i've been here almost 5 months and i'm still not working. It does freak me out sometimes, but on the other hand, i still trust that everything is happening the way it's supposed to. And i am doing everything possible in the meantime, so we'll just see what happens. Things can change so drastically, overnite something can crop up and the next thing your life changes again. I think ultimately Asia is a really great place to hang and i'd like to travel alot more. If i ever had to leave, i know i would want to return. Each place has it's pros and cons. I hope that in my lifetime, i will be able to see all parts of the world. I just don't want to do it alone.I'm still a little sad today, it takes a little while to get back into the swing of things when Carlo leaves. Today i wish for a few things- seeing progression in my life, walking with my partner beside me, figuring out a business for myself. I would really prefer to work for myself.
Current Mood: melancholy
(Leave a comment)
March 29th, 2005
06:38 pm
[Link]
A series of eventsIt's been over a week since i've sat to write. I have been busy with finding work and spent more time in interviews and meetings. I met with one of the top 6 companies in HK, Li and Fong Distribution. They are publicly traded and apparently a really great place to work. The people that i have met with so far are outstanding, and i felt a good fit with them. I met with the business director, Jeremy, and on a few occasions after our first casual interview, he invited me out to a couple different gatherings; one was his birthday, the other was the opening of the EVISU store in IFC mall. Evisu is a really hot brand out of Japan, ridiculously expensive denim and also very very cool. There was a fashion show and i met the Evisu owner and his family. It was a cool experience. Jeremy has been really kind in introducing me to some of his friends. He mentioned wanting to introduce me to his friend who works for Adidas here in Asia. Adidas is apparently hiring and also expanding. I would adore this as it is the only sneaker i wear really. I have yet to find the right fit with a company, and it's coming to my last week here. I have to find something and very stressed.I heard back from Agent Provacateur's recruitment agency. They sent out a mass email about the managment position and i sent them a cover letter and CV. I guess this means they will be conducting interviews soon. The expat package comes with benifits and a salary i could at least live on. So, i'm hoping they will at least interview me with the background i have. I dont' know how much push Lane Crawford will give me, but i'm crossing my fingers they will root for me too. This would be a good start here, and at least i'd be working close to home.My recruitment agencies havne't been too hot, and I havne't had anything else interview wise. My contact from Polo went to NYC and hasn't followed up for me. I have learned alot about striking while the iron is hot, and quick follow ups. The pace here is fast, so if you want to keep up you have to be on it. It's an aggressive place.I found out that David might leave this summer for China. He needs to upgrade his Mandarin so he can be a better liason for the West. He's got great contacts with all the factories in Guangzhou, and so I hope it all works out for him. It would mean that he would lease out the flat to someone else. I love Happy Valley, it's become my new home, and this flat is a real score. So Scott is gone, and soon David will be too. Who knows where i'll be in two weeks!?I feel a lot of pressure on me. I don't know what i'll do if i cannot acheive what i set out to do. It feels very heavy.Carlo flew in a few days ago and has been staying with me. It's been a very good visit, and he took care of me when i went down with a sinus infection over easter. Thank goodness for Dr. DeCianti. We did some research on the internet of what the right antibiotics are to take, and then he went to the pharmacy on the corner and picked some up. The best thing about Asia is you don't need a dr's signature for most meds. It saves alot of time and money, you just have to stick to proper doses and know what you're allergic too. Since Carlo's been here, the holidays passed, and it was pretty mellow in the city, alot of people took their holidays. Jim and Ben went to Borocay, and all my teacher friends got 2 wks off, so they have been around. Yesterday Carlo and I did some window shopping in Soho, had some lunch and walked about. We found an antique store that specialized in Nepalise and Tibetan art and jewelry. I loved the jewelry, so much torquoise and really nice silver. I think I have a thing for accessories.....I keep thinking about bringing that stuff back and starting up a business. There are so many ideas.Today I follow up with my leads, and then Carlo and I are going to pick up our visas for China. We're going to Shenzhen tomorrow, it'll be my very first time there. Apparently it's really different from HK, so i'm looking forward to it. I want to find a couple dvd's, and i know he's curious to see what kind of goodies are there too. I love little adventures like that, i know it will be a good time. There's a spa there too, and it's about $15 canadian for a 2 hour massage. I think we might get one of those too. With my body feeling stressed, it would do me some good.Alot is happening in the next week. People have to make decisions, I have to make a decision soon too. I know everything happens just the way it's supposed to, but i'm concerend. I don't like being in this position, but maybe that's part of what i set out to do.
Current Mood: stressed
(Leave a comment)
March 20th, 2005
04:34 pm
[Link]
The Rugby Sevens World CupIt's 4:30pm on sunday afternoon and my flat is deserted. It looks like a college dorm, straight up mess and the bathroom is a germ sensation. The boys and Caitlin are at the rugby tournament, and i am hating the mess but adoring the peace. I actually really don't mind missing out on the games. It's sunny and beautiful outside. I'm going for a walk soon and look forward to the sun on my skin.The last few days have been hectic.....Thursday i headed to the agency to do a fitting with the stylist. I lugged my suitcase with umpteen different outfits and we picked out three different looks; casual smart, formal, and summer fun. Very catalogue looking stuff. I looked at my "contract" which isnt' even legally binding cuz i'm not a resident. Anyway, once that was over i booted back home, dropped off my case, tidied up a bit and then had a quick cat nap before heading out in the evening. Kip who's David's dad got into town and so i saw him in the living room. It was cool to see him again, and in a different environment other than MINI. Tim and Nick's dad got into town too, so the two boys left the flat to stay at his hotel. This brought the headcount down to 6. Around 10 I headed over to Wanchai and met Ben, Jim and a bunch of their friends from Singapore and Manilla. We took two taxis from Carnegies to LKF where we ended up in the masses. I bumped into Johnny Cash ( real name Johnny Gowing) from Ho Chi Minh. That was fabulous, i hadn't seen him since Quinn's stag!! So we exchanged numbers and then i bumped into Alaudeen. One after the other, then off to Ciao Bellas. The streets were packed with rugby stars and fans alike, it was manic in the streets, crowded and overflowing to the point of dangerous suffocation. We ended up in front of Bar George and i felt like a float at a parade because random people kept buying me glitter lights, glitter balls and glittering light up sunglasses. I was decked out in glitter and my red boots and must have looked like a clown) The boys from Turkey, Merad and Selcuk came out too, and then we toured around to our last spot, Drop. That is where i dropped, so Jim got me in the taxi and got me home safely. Here is where it gets a little crazy....Jim decides it would be reeeeally fun to wake up Scott, so he comes into the flat screaming "BUDDY" like a girl, and then pounded on Scott's door. He opened it, and then did a superman dive on Scott's bed. Scott doesn't remember a thing of it, even though he was chatting with us for a moment or two. Jim was still in super party mode and took off to Wanchai. I hit the sheets and then the doorbell rang. Justin opened the door to a half dozen police officers, who had been summoned to the building because they got a call of a woman screaming. They wanted to make sure everyone was safe and wanted to know if we'd heard anything. Of course, we hadn't. Too Funny!!7 is my lucky number because of my birthday 7/7/77. Friday was the day of the big Rugby Sevens and also my 4 month anniversary in HK. I also had a big interview around 10am and really tired from the tent party and LKF. So, i headed over to IFC where i met a guy named Jeremy Tang. He's involved in the business development side of Li and Fong, who manufacture alot of the major brands in apparel. We met at Pret A Manger, this great little coffee spot, and inbetween his incessant phone calls, we somehow managed to get an interview in. He's a pretty busy guy. He seemed to like me though and also want to help, so he told me to put a list together of things i want to do, who i'd want to work with or work for, and hopefully he could arrange something from there. Sounds like he's pretty connected, so that's good. After that, i hung out at IFC for a while, wrote a few emails and got a call from Mark, the business outsourcing guy. Our chat was good, and he gave me some things to think about. I have to hunt down some immigration details and send them to his HR to see if employing me is possible. Then i headed for TST to my 3pm facial. The coffeetable in the waiting room of this spa was an all glass fish tank. It was so cool you didn't care to read the magazines, you wanted to check out the fish! I didn't wait more then 10 seconds and off i went. It was a good facial and the service was wonderful. I would go back to them again and glad this one was paid for by the agency. When i got home, the boys were getting ready to head off to the rugby match, and then my cell phone rang....My Luck!!!- Ben had an extra FREE ticket! So, i got ready, popped in a cab and headed to the stadium. As i sat down, Canada was starting their game, so we were all cheering and singing, screaming and silly. It was so fun. There were about 10 of us there. HK Stadium is pretty big, and it's open up top so you can see the moon and stars. It's where all the celebrities play and situated in Causeway Bay, on the waterfront. Rugby fans were screaming and ridiculous. The place to sit if you want action is in the south stands, where people dress up in costumes, body paint, and wild wigs. It was incredible! The rugby sevens are 7 min games, not the standard 40 minutes so the teams are giving it all they got and then some. I love it much more than american football. Rugby is a specatacle and i got right into the cheering and singing too. After the games, we headed to the tents just outside the stadium, where there was a university style keg party. Joe commented to me, "51 wks a year, it's great to be a guy in Hong Kong. But there's 1 wk a year it's good to be a girl, and it's the Rugby Sevens." The party was pretty nutso, people were completely shit canned, could barely stand, and were spewing when talking and slurring. I saw a few black eyes, some swollen lips and some stitches. Yeah, reeeeeal attractive buddy. And with all the testosterone and egos on liquid courage, you can imagine the type of attention and pick up lines i was getting. Thank God for my boy band, they protected me from the drunkards. Joe was on fire with the banter and said to me, " Raquel, i should just wear a sign that says, " Her Boyfriend is Hotter than ME, So What Chance Have YOU Got!?" I love Joe, he has the best chat!The whole Rugby event has everyone lit up in HK, and it's kinda similar to what happens in Vancouver with Slam City Jam. Except, there are way more people here for the 7's and the party is way bigger. After the tent party we ended up in LKF again with the crew. Everyone was in great spirits and the streets were once again 4 blocks of solid body mass. It was intense and i had not one sip of liquor. I ended up cashing out early for my saturday morning photoshoot and i didn't want to look or feel like shit.Saturday Morning- i woke up early and packed up my gear for my shoot. I headed over to TST and met up with Calvin, Doris and their assistant. They did my hair, makeup and photos and we shot 3 different outfits, one roll each. Calvin had a camera that does digital and film dual. From each roll i'd say there was about 4-5 good ones, so next week i'll pick out the keepers. Modelling in Asia is a different gig from Vancouver or Europe. It's all about catalogue stuff here, nothing glam or artistic. It's all cheezy poses and asian marketing, at times i felt like a bit of an idiot. I just hope it pays my rent, so we'll see how accepted i am out here. The shoot went all day and i was really exhausted after, so i headed home and napped till dinner, then met up with David and his family's crew, there were about 25 of us at dinner, and we ate at this really sweet Indian restaurant. I'm not a fan of Indian food, but they had some good stuff. I think i'll show Carlo that place as he's a huge curry fan. Amanda would love that place too, the butter chicken was the favorite. David had made reservations at Dragon-I so after dinner we headed down and watched as it got increasingly busy. The music was really good and the crowd was awesome....lots of hot people, models everywhere as usual. I bumped into Michael Chang, did some dancing and enjoyed the energy, but i wasn't really into party mode, didn't drink too much. The guys were packing it up early and LKF slowed right down around 1am. People had to get up early for the morning games as Sunday was the finals and people would virtually sleep outside the stadium to ensure a good seat. Yep, festival seating. I took a quick tour thru LKF and jumped in a cab home.And now we're at sunday and i am dedicating this day to honouring my health and well-being. Sunday is a day of rest, and it's been such a busy week! This coming week it will also be non-stop. Justin and Cody are here till Wednesday, then Scott leaves for China, David and Caitlin leave for Cambodia thursday, and Carlo arrives easter saturday. Carlo is here for a week, and then he leaves and Yannick arrives. When i lived with Steve, i thought that the amount of guests we had over was alot, but HK has topped that for me. I was under the impression that i wouldn't get to see my friends living out here in HK, but this is so not the case. Not only am i making more new friends all the time, but i also get to see my old ones. And with so many canadians here, i get my fix. Each place has it's pros and cons. I accept this and can adapt. The adventure outweighs the challenges really. What i don't have here isn't that big a deal, i find myself to be content, and that's why i stay here even though i miss Vancouver. I do want to stay though, and i hope to have more luck this week with my job search. It truely is who you know out here. Contacts.This week i watched the Aviator. I didn't know it was about Howard Hughes, and i wasn't familiar with his story either. I enjoyed the movie alot, the acting was great, the time period was awesome, i love the fashion and music from that era. Howard Hughes seems to me like another one of those perseverant pioneers. He saw outside the box. He wasn't necessarily a genius, but he never took no for an answer. He kept searching for ways at the expense of his wallet, relationships, and national reputation. The reasons that Katherine Hepburn fell in love with him ended up being the same reasons she left him. The drive that makes these types of people great is almost imbalanced, you would probably consider them eccentric because they certainly don't seem normal. Creative people are moody and he seemed to be a moody guy too. But his legacy lives. I wonder if it was worth it to him, to sacrifice what he did to contribute to the world and his vision for the future. Can people that find success at that level also sustain a life long relationship? I still analyse and reflect about Steve and me, the way it worked with us. I was young and adored his genius and eccentricities. He was a superior being in my eyes, and still is in many ways. Being his partner was hard though because i had to accept that i wouldn't be as smart or knowlegable as him, he had much more life experience than me. And i remember that all the things that i adored about him also drove me insane at times too. He would never pause, not even for a moment and at times i felt like i was holding onto his coat tails just to keep up. I knew long term i would not be happy living a life in someone's wake. I have always been drawn to the pioneers. I also wonder if i could be one, and what i would pioneer, but i fear that in my perseverence i may lose a piece of my soul. Maybe it comes with power or ego. I dont' know. Yesterday walking thru TST i passed a church that had a banner along the fence that said, "Give God the Glory." Perhaps that was God's message to me, and perhaps that's the answer; if i always start there, i should be okay. I think that God does have a plan for me, and maybe it's not in the near future, but i know that the lessons and experiences that I am living right now are all preparing me for that time. I am dead convinced of that. And when that time comes, hopefully with all the preparation and examples i have become aware of, i will somehow manage to keep a balance, and maintain my values. I relate to the struggles we have in the world, entangled in our strive for power, money, celebrity and what the world classifies as success. Some days the world seems like an intimidating scary place, and sometimes i feel a weird sense of invincibility too. I hope that a healthy balance doesn't equal mediocraty though, I don't see myself as better or worse than anybody else as much as i see myself as different. I am so attracted to the adventure, I hope it will be a constant in my life!!Today- i really miss having a dishwasher, and a washer/dryer. I hope the maid comes tomorrow!!!
Current Mood: lethargic
(Leave a comment)
March 16th, 2005
04:03 am
[Link]
Lunch with Ambassador Alaudeen and Opportunity knocksWHAT A DAY!!!6:30am- Caitlin arrived in HK, so David picked her up and when i woke up we got to chat, felt soooooooo good to have a girl in the flat! I love her. The four boys left for Shenzhen and won't be back till tomorrow. They went to visit some factories for business opportunities and wanted to explore China a little more with their contact over there. So, the flat is down to 3 right now, it's a breather time, just David, Caitlin and me. Nice!10am my phone rang and it was Alaudeen. He invited me to the Consolat and for lunch at noon. Sweet!!12pm- So, off to Wanchai i went, and met him at his office, on the 64th floor. His office was stunning, truely palacial, and it reminded me alot of Keith's style at the McCaw house in Seattle. Very elegant. He gave me a tour of the place and some brochures on Saudi Arabia, and after a short visit we headed downstairs to lunch at the Renaissance hotel. Their lunch buffet is incredible and we had about 4 courses. It was beautiful and tasty and i was happy to have a proper meal as i have been eating at home and making quick snack type of meals. So i loaded up on greens and fruit and felt really healthy after. We had a very good talk and he told me he'd already sent my resume around and would continue to keep his eyes open for me for work opportunities. In the meantime, i'm very happy to meet a friend like him, he's quite the pioneer and has acheived alot. I like his energy and hope we'll get to hang out again sometime. We seem to get along quite well.3pm- I got back home and chilled with Caitlin. We had tea and then i retired to my room to follow up on some emails and send some new ones out. I sent a thank you to the two agencies i met with yesterday, who were pretty stoked on me for modelling. That's new.....i thought i was over-model-weight, flat nosed, big hipped and had a sleepy eye. My meetings with them yesterday were very very promising, and i thought i'd send a quick thank- you and the links to my work on the internet ( ie music vid/ tv commercial) I also got to Skype with Mel Yap in Malaysia. It was great to hear a familiar voice. I'm hoping to head over to Malaysia and pop in on him for a visit sometime in the next few months. It should be very fun.7pm- The phone rings and it's Yoki, who is one of the bookers for Jundeh modelling agency. Her whole agency loved me and want to sponsor me 90%. They will pay for my photos, facials, hair and makeup. And, they would like to sign me on an exclusive contract. They already have ideas to send me to China!!! Whoa. So, i'm supposed to come back tomorrow afternoon, they will have an image consultant who i will meet with to discuss what kind of clothing and look i should be wearing for the photo shoot. Incredible! So, i'm supposed to fix a suitcase with a half dozen outfits or so so they can see what i look like in different things. Hmmmm, packing up the gear again, should be fun. I am definitely picking the pink dress!! They have a vested interest and because they are willing to help fund my photos i know they will get me work. The best part is i don't need a HKID card, and the pay comes within 45 days of working. This is good news. Back at Richards i wouldn't get my money for appx 90 days. Sucked. But here, there is a possibility that Rquelly takes ASIA as a model. Who knew? I think it's funny.Yesterday i met with a contact and friend of Roger's, who is the president and director of a business outsourcing company. His driver picked me up and then drove out towards the China border to a place called the New Territories. It's about a half hour by car on the freeway from Central. The drive was industrial and it reminded me of driving in parts of LA around the San Pedro and Long Beach areas. Anyway, the meeting went very well and the impression on both ends was quite positive. He said he would contact me on thursday and let me know his thoughts. He is looking for someone to sell business outsourcing in HK, and i think they find me suitable. I am still unclear to the degree of the job and unclear to business outsourcing as it is a new concept. But the UK and USA are doing it, outsourcing their call centers in India. Invent Asia is the company i met with and they do not do call centers, but their idea is similar, so i am quite curious and hope to further investigate it. He did mention that the person who would take on the position would need to relocate to the new territories, as well as would need a company car. Definitely something to take into consideration....Tonite i made more applications to Nike, Gucci, Mexx, and Kasyan's contact. Still no word from Polo or my recruiter. Funny how the doors you think are hot are not as warm as you thought. Funny how the places you think will turn you down offer you a contract. Say WHAAAAA?Good day all around. Carlo is on his way to Paris on a train and will end up in my arms in 10 days. The countdown is on!Today i miss my Mom's cooking, my Oma's cooking, Guu and Ezugiku with my friends. Leonard sent me a postcard from Cuba and i got it in the mail today. I love getting post from him. Postcards are one of my favorite gifts of all.
Current Mood: YAY!!!!!Current Music: the soundtrack from ocean's 12
(Leave a comment)
March 14th, 2005
07:29 am
[Link]
the 90 yr old lady who made fun of me....Oh comedy in Happy Valley....So, Scott left yesterday for Japan on another business trip. He'll be back in a couple days but in the meantime, the guests are using his bed to crash. I never would have thought we could fit 7 people in our flat, but it's going to be 8 once Caitlin gets here. Intense!!! So, i have this thing in me from the way i was raised to make sure guests are comfortable, and i feel so helpless with our flat because we honestly do not have much furniture. The boys have been crashing on sofas and they are not that comfortable either and once David leaves for work, they are flipping a coin to see who takes his room for a couple more hours sleep. Well, at the furniture depot i scored some sweet free furniture. I got a foldable foam mattress that is pretty strong and comfortable, 4 chairs, and a small bedside table thing that i am using for all our dvds and the cable boxes. It's looking pretty cozy at the flat now, with all the finds i have, it's starting to look like we live there! I saw from my window a van pull up to the furniture depot and pull out the foldable bed, and i flipped out and ran across the street to score it. but it was heavy and when i tried to lift it there was a 90 yr old wrinkly chinese lady who pointed her finger at me and started laughing her head off. It was so funny, even i had to laugh, i must have looked ridiculous. Who would guess that once apon a time i slept like Cinderella in my fancy houses in Hawaii and LA, and now in Happy Valley furnishing my apartment with second hand alley treasure? Yeah....priceless irony. The boys were impressed with my finds and that made me feel good. They are already fighting over who takes the new bed i prepared for them. I'm stoked we have something like that now as it looks like it would provide a much better sleep than the couch. I guess we'll get feedback in the morning.I took it easy this weekend, Friday i stayed in, Saturday i stayed in and watched The Passion of the Christ and Kundun. Both are pretty spiritual movies and it was interesting to see the different angles and perspectives in each film. Passion was definitely disturbing but i did not feel emotionally gauged from it. There are certainly many horrifying scenes in the move however i think after everything i'd heard about it i was mentally prepared for what i saw and it didn't feel so bad. It's not a move you enjoy but it is a movie that should be seen. Kundun gave me better insight on the Dalai Lamma's history, how he was found and raised and what he has endured thru his life. I feel the same way he does about war. There are no good guys and bad guys in war. War is bad and promotes hate and violence. It's aweful to see how humans can be so cruel towards each other. I really hope he will return back home to Tibet one day.Yesterday the boys went to China and went ballistic on dvds and designer bags, belts and shoes. They came back with heaps of cool stuff and i'm eager to head over there myself! Carlo and i are planning a trip so i'm hoping to find some LV wallets for my mom and maybe a little briefcase. Of course, i'd like to pick up some dvds too. I skipped out on the China trip and went to meet Justin at the Grand Hyatt for lunch. I had an hour to kill before heading upstairs to Roger's auction. Justin hooked me up with a vacant room and a piano, so i had a baby grand to myself for a half hour and cringed as i clumsily found my way thru some old repetoire. It was the first time i touched real keys in about 4 months since leaving vancouver. Felt incredible and also aweful because unless you practice, you lose alot of technique. Once i have a job, the first luxury purchase i will make is a keyboard. If i can find a used piano, i would rather have that, but a keyboard will probably be better as our walls are far from soundproof. The auction was fun, and there were a few keen bidders. I had some lunch and met Roger's family. I also got to hang with the turkish carpet crew again and they were fun. I think they are here till thursday and i've offered to show them around HK if they have free time. Turkish names are hard to pronounce and harder to remember, but i made friends with Merad, Selcuk, and Amina. They gave me an introduction to a new love....Baclava!!! mmmmm. Later in the afternoon, Alaudeen showed up with his wife. He was decked out in his pipe again and wore a tie with a whole bunch of jockey outfits on it. It was super cool, i want to make that pattern on a drndl skirt! So i had a brief talk with him and he'd received my email and CV also. I think he may help me out finding a job. I wrote him again today to set up a meeting at the Saudi consolate this week. I hope he has time.Today....I sat on the computer and went thru the paper in full. I sent out nearly 40 emails. 8 of them were for teaching english and i got a call back almost instantly. Incredible. The woman who called owns her own agency. She sounds filipino and basically runs an agency for private tutors. She has offered me 3 students already on the condition that she likes me after we meet in person. I assume it is cash in hand. The first month that i teach i have to give her 50% of what i make, and after that, I keep 100%. This is a good start for some spare money, and although it's only 5 hours a week, it's going to come in mighty handy. If this is just one english teaching agency, i wonder if i could get some more!Roger called me early this morning with a job lead with his friend Mark. So, i called Mark who is originally from the UK but based in Manilla. He has a driver picking me up tomorrow morning and i'll meet with him and his CFO. I am curious as to their business and hope it leads to something promising. We shall see.I sent a couple applications to a few modelling/talent agencies and there is one that really likes me. They need to take some measurements of me again, my shoulders, neck, inseam, outseam. It's strange that they need to know EVERY measurement. maybe they'll measure my nose too. I have another appointment with another agency in TST tomorrow afternoon, so i have 3 appointments in total tomorrow, busy day! Still, until i have my hkid card they cannot give me work. I'm hopeful though...it will happen soon.No word from my recruiter Tony today, but i did receive an email from another head hunting firm that they have received my resume and are looking at jobs for me. Cool. I followed up with Polo and hope to hear something from them tomorrow as well. It should pick up this week i think. I have two weeks till Carlo gets here and i'd like to have confirmation of something so that i can be a little more at ease and focus more on our visit together. I have one more lead i will contact tomorrow and then i think i've exhausted my possibilities for the week. I like to set it up strong on a monday in hopes that i can go to meetings the rest of the week! Well, so far, i have 4 set up and possibly 3 students to teach conversational english! Sweet.Chad wrote me today and told me about his close call with a pilot where he and Jennifer Love Hewitt were the leads. I think he's better than that kind of show though, his time will come and i'll see him on the big screen again. It was so good to hear from him though, it sounds like things in LA are the same hollywood is a tough business.I tried my Skype account to call jodie Smith in London and it worked great. I also got in a cool little convo with Neil in Paris. He's in a similar boat as me with the job hunt, going to loads of interviews and trying to find a match. What is so ironic is that him, Ken and I all used to work at Gap on the visual merchandising team. And in the past 2 months, all three of us have interviewed for positions with Polo. Gosh that would be a little deja vu if we all ended up with the same company. This time though, we'd be internationals! Carlo and I are using skype and it's taken the load off the phone bills. I just looooooove the internet! I just wish my pirate signal were more consistent in strength. Half the time i have a weak signal and i can't even send an email. Today was clear though, so we were stoked.I just finished watching Life or Something Like it, featuring my favorite Angolina Jolie. Amy Esterle plays Angolina as a teen ager and her photo is in the yearbook. It was funny, Amy was wearing thick black glasses but it totally looked like her. That movie was filmed in Vancouver and they filmed some of it at David's friend's house. Small world. Half way around the globe in HK and we're two degrees away from the real Lara Croft! It's time i hit the hay, i'm so tired and need my beauty z's for tomorrow's hefty schedule. YAY, an actual schedule!!! It feels good to be constructive. Who knows what tomorrow brings?Today i miss having central heating. The flat was so cold today, i wore thick socks and my feet were still freezing. I think i went thru 4 pots of tea also and that's alot for just myself! It's back to big sweaters and gloves again. I dream of Bali.
Current Mood: constructive!Current Music: Fly- Foo Fighters
(Leave a comment)
March 12th, 2005
01:34 pm
[Link]
The Explosion in the Loo....Ah bless....So here at the Happy Valley Hotel, Ben and Malcom checked out. After 18 months away from home, they were actually a little freaked out to be flying home to Vancouver. The thought of entering your own room and sleeping in your own bed sounded actually foreign.....i can imagine. So, we were only down to one guest, which is Justin, David's little brother. He and i did some bits n bobs around town yesterday, and then in the early evening his room mate from Montreal flew in. His name is Cody. So now we have 4 boys in the flat and me. So Cody decided to take a shower after his long flight last nite. After taking a rinse he got up and wrapped up in a towel...when suddenly the sink pipe exploded an all this water started spewing out all over the place. He opened the door with a concerend voice and said, " uh guys, your bathroom is flooding..." So David casually walked over to the bathroom, thinking it would be the usual puddle on the floor from when we normally take showers. But no. There was about 4 inches of water on the bathroom floor. Suddenly the heart beats faster. I took a look and started to freak out, called out to Scott who was in the living room on the phone. He didn't think we were serious, and then he hung up on his friend when he saw what was happening. So the 4 boys got in there to figure out how to stop the water and they managed to get it under control, but the new pipe couldn't be put in till the morning, so no one could shower or use the bathroom sink. Thankfully the toilet was still in order!! I got photos of it, pretty funny stuff actually. There are two more dudes coming in either tonite or tomorrow. They are also friends of David's. This will take the headcount to 7 in the flat. This will be the record of guests sleeping here and should be interesting.So i met with a publishing company on Wednesday afternoon called Pacific Century Publishing Company. The director there was the gentleman i met with and he was super cool and i had a lovely interview with him. It turns out that his company is quite small and the legal for the visa would be attrocious, however he has contacts within the city that he thinks would be very interested in meeting me and also working with. I am hoping to get some interviews from there. I also talked to my recruiter Tony, who said that Chris, the VP from Polo really liked me too and wants to put me in contact with the retail division of Ralph Lauren. So, because they are licensed with a separate company, i'd be meeting with their heads of staff.....so hopefully next week i'll hit the second set of hoops with them.Separately, i have sent out interviews to MINI, CK, Zara, Disney and World Vision. We'll see how that works out. I think MINI will call me for sure, and i'm just as curious to see how they run their operations here. I am seeing more mini's on the road here, but no convertibles yet. They are displayed in the showroom, but i have not seen one on the street yet. The weather was great for about 4 days. It was sunny and blue out, i had all my windows open at nite. but yesterday it was muggy, humid and overcast. And today, it's been drizzling and the cold is coming back. The weather here has been the worst and back in Vancouver i have heard they are hitting record breaking warm weather for this time of year. Well...typhoon season will be starting in April, and that should be wild. I hear it gets ridiculously wet here, so much rain and wind!!! I like that kind of weather, cuz it all happens in a flash. A half hour or hour of really intense power rain....and then it's all over. Nick Warren is playing tonite apparently. He's a bigtime dj and Scott's planning on going. Jimbo and Ben went to Manilla for the weekend, and Joe is hanging out with his guest Laura, who is visiting from the UK. I'm happy in my happy valley flat, retiring to a book and surfing the net for work possibilities. Cody has the flu and i dont' want to get sick again, i'm still nursing my heavy chest cough so the last thing i need is a flu from montreal. So, i've been washing my hands a lot and keeping to myself. Honestly i like the silence of my bedroom right now, Hong Kong's pace of life is about 10 times faster than home and at times you just need to breath and get off the road....it can be very overwhelming and kinda creeps up on you too, cuz most of the time you're going with it and enjoying each moment. I am actually pretty happy with myself....i have been very mellow on the late nites and haven't been drinking either. I'm in the focus mode though, i like that.Carlo is coming in TWO WEEKS!!! I'm so stoked, he'll be here over easter holidays for a week. He called me with the news a couple days ago and i was screaming happy. I have been using my skype account and it's fabulous. I can't believe how easy it is, i've called home and Robert and a few friends and it's suprisingly clear. The only times there is latency is when my internet signal is low, and that happens frequently since i'm pirating a wireless signal somewhere in the neighbourhood.Just made some soup and a sandwich. Gonna pick up the SCMP today, new classifieds in the employment section!!!Scott is sleeping, the rest of the crew is out, and i am smiling even though the rain is coming down. I am typing from my new desk that i found in the alley across the street. Everyday people drop off used unwanted furniture there and around noon the garbage man comes by to collect it. So, if i peek out my window, i can scope out new digs for the house. Yesterday i fetched a great big ol mirror for the main room, and today, a desk! Gifts sent from heaven. God would never let me go without. He knew exactly what i needed and there it was, outside my window! Today i miss being around dogs. In Yaletown they were everywhere. Out here, there aren't too many, but yesterday this distinguished older chinese man was waiting for his driver on the sidewalk, and he was holding his miniature german schnauser whose name was Marco. I gave this little puppy some love, he was freshly washed and groomed, so adorable. I found out that Marco was already 14 yrs old, but he wore his age very well, still cute as a little tyke!
Current Mood: mellowCurrent Music: Low Tide of the Night- Everything but the Girl
(Leave a comment)
March 9th, 2005
01:32 pm
[Link]
Ambassadors, old friends and a man called RayWhoa, a few days go by and there are heaps to write about.Monday was happenin....I headed over to Central to help my friend Roger with his carpet exhibition. I met him and his people at the rotunda of the Exchange Square One, near IFC mall. It had taken them days to set up the exhibit, and there were beautiful silk carpets and wool carpets from places like Turkey and Persia. I had my first taste of silk carpet weaving, as this beautiful turkish girl named Amina showed me how to weave. It was super tedius and she showed me her calouses. Weavers spend about 4 days a week, 7-8 hours a day weaving a rug. A small runner would take her about 7 months, and an area rug can take from 2-3 yrs. It's incredible the amount of effort that goes into these carpets, it's alot more involved than i thought.This 10 day exhibit was hosted by Galeria carpets, which Roger is the director of. Him and his partner teamed up with the Ambassador of Turkey to kick off the exhibition with a coctail party. I was helping him in reception, welcoming guests and taking their names and business cards as they came thru. I had no idea so many officials would come....i met and shook hands with the ambassadors of Denmark, Belgium, Holland, Kuwait, United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Germany etc. There were also quite a few other business and banking officials there, so it was people with money to burn. Most of the rugs on display were appx $100,000 USD, and there was one carpet in the center of the rotunda that was commissioned by the Shaw of Iran. Somehow, Galleria was able to purchase this carpet and it is now worth appx $400,000 USD. Incredible!! These carpets appreciate, unlike cars, and the niche of collectors and investors alike are quite interesting people. So, i was in my element, got a few business cards, and enjoyed my time. There is an upcoming auction this sunday and i plan to go. I may even work for Roger again helping him out there. After the carpet party i headed to the theater to meet up with Paul and Nate and we saw the movie Ray. It's about the life of Ray Charles and was totally excellent! I had to keep reminding myself thru the film that it was not ray charles on screen but Jamie Foxx ( who earned that Oscar and then some) It was really fabulous, a treat to watch and i recommend it. What is a coincidence is that at the end of the movie, Ray is awarded a plaque for his commitment to the black people in Georgia. When he was in his prime, Georgia still had concerts which were segregated, and Ray made a stand to the govt stating that he would not play there unless the crowds were mixed. The date of this award was March 7th, 1979. We went to see the movie on March 7th, totally unknowing of this date. I wonder if there's a little quantum magic happening there...... well, I have had Georgia on my mind ever since.Tuesday i had my interview with Polo Ralph Lauren's sourcing dept. I met with the VP and with HR and both experiences were very positive. Although there are no immediate positions within the manufacturing side of Polo, the VP was pretty helpful and told me he would pass my name along to some of his friends in the business. So, all is not lost, perhaps i can get into the retail side of polo too. Here in HK, the licencing to sell Polo and RL products is owned by a different company called Dicksons. So, who knows, i may end up meeting with them later. In the evening, i headed up to the Peak for dinner with Paul and Nate, and then we got some videos and watched the Football Factory with David, Scott and their mates from vancouver. There were 7 people in the flat, it was packed, and as usual, i was the only girl in the room, comfy as can be.Scott broke the news about his promotion with his work. This means he is leaving to Japan. I'm sad to see him go and he'll be moving out there sometime in mid April. Just as the three of us were settling in, one leaves. That seems typical of HK, it's so transient. At least Jim is still here, this is good. I'm glad he didn't get transferred afterall. Today is wednesday, and i'm meeting a guy named Kasyan at 3 for a sales position in a publishing company. i'm interested to meet with him and pretty open minded about it. I have no idea how that industry works but sales is sales, so i'm eager to get a read on what their business is all about. Later tonite are the horse races and i'm not betting but i'll head over for some cheering etc with the boys. Should be a great time!Off to shower must get to TST in a little over an hour. The weather is warmer today, i'm loving it!
Current Mood: hopeful


March 7th, 2005
02:37 pm
[Link]
Franck Muller and Paul's visit.It's important me to keep my journal, and although i have fallen off the wagon from writing in it daily, i still manage to get alot in. I think part of it is just sinking into Asia. After a while some things become normal and you don't "see" them as out of the ordinary any more. That is why it is always fun to see friends from home experiencing Asia, it's like living it all over again.I finally heard from Mark Gruter, and it turns out that he had to make his acting classes back in Vancouver so he flew home straight away instead of checking HK for a bit. I'm happy that he's enjoying school and will catch up with him next time. Roger Field who owns the carpet company invited me to help as a host for his exhibition in Central tonite. So i will get to meet and greet some of his clients, learn about carpets and also hopefully make some contacts of my own. Carpets are big business here, i had no idea how much people adore their rugs. Today i will get an education in it.Tony my recruiter and i spoke this morning and it looks like my interview with Polo happens tomorrow morning. I dont' know exactly what position i would be meeting for, but it's more like a meet and get a read on what they have available and where i'll fit in. I'm looking forward to it, should be insightful at a minimum.I have followed up with Lane Crawford a few times now about the AP position and apparently they are interviewing this week but i have yet to book an interview with them. Still waiting for their reply after a few vmails and emails.....it's quite frustrating actually.Saturday in the day, i bought the new paper and went thru employment listings. Since it was finally sunny and warmer out, i picked out a nice picnic table outside IFC and sat in the sun jotting notes and composing cover letters. It was mellow but constructive. Later at nite, Jim came over for dinner and we watched Ocean's 11. Then we met up with Joe and Laura in LKF. Laura is Joe's ex girlfriend and he hadn't seen her in about 5 yrs. She flew in that day on a week vacation from London, and got the Vomiting virus, which is going around the UK. Joe ended up calling an ambulance in the middle of the nite and she ended up on a drip. Very scary for seeing an old friend. I talked to Joe yesterday and she's on the mend, thankfully!! So, on saturday nite, after Joe left, Jim and i hopped in a cab and booted over to Cyberport, which is on the other end of the island and in the middle of no where. Justin had invited us to a big party that was hosted by the luxury watch designer Franck Muller. The Grand Hyatt helped organise the event and Justin was somewhat "working". So, he got us in and were mesmerized by the size of the party.....500 people with an unlimited open bar meanse ALOT of free booze. From the rafters, there were about 8 people doing bungy ballet, totally Lara Croft style, except they were dangle dancing to house music and live drummers on a stage. It was like going to see Stomp and the circus at the same time, but sipping Van Cliq in black tie. I have never seen a line up of wealth at a soire like this one....most of HK's bling-elite showed up in their big beamers, lambos and benzes wearing fur coats and diamond watches. I wore my old scratched up Nixon watch, $13 boots and stussy jeans.... and although i may have been VERY underdressed i didn't feel isolated....infact i felt totally comfortable wearing a happy grin. We had a great time, Ben showed up in his tux and the 4 of us partied for a couple hours till the crowd died down, and then by about 4am we headed to Wanchai and sang in the cab the whole way there! I'm so glad we can sing, we actually got some harmony bits going and that was super rad....the taxi driver had the giggles listening to us. Hey, it's better than that irritating cantonese pop on their AM radios! Sunday was a day of rest, and the sun came out and it was beautiful out again. David and i hung around Happy Valley for most of the day, taking care of house duties, airing out the apartment and getting some groceries etc. I took a stroll thru the neighbourhood and admired the blue sky that is so rare out here. I also watched Monster's Ball with David later in the afternoon, and it's a dark movie. I was always curious to see it after Hally Berry won best actress for her performance....so we saw it and it was VERY dark and depressing. I can now see why it didn't get a big media push when the movie released....it makes you sad, not what you want to feel when you step out of a theater. I love to be entertained, bring on the smoke and mirrors and adventure! So, it's not my cup of tea, and although it was a moving film, i do not recommend it.Later sunday afternoon, Paul Stapleton called me from the train station in China and then checked into a hotel in Causeway Bay near time square. I met him and his friend Nate at the intersection from hell by SOGO's and we hopped on the mtr and went to get some Thai food in LKF. We shared some yummy curry and pad thai and then headed up to the Russian Vodka bar. If you are a visitor to HK, it's something you have to do, they have the best vodka there and it's nice to shoot it in a sub-zero environment, decked in fur coats and hats!! I think they enjoyed the experience, although Paul gave up drinking for Lent. Still, he was loving the fridge in fur. After, we roamed thru an unusually quiet LKF and jumped on a tram back to Causeway Bay. It was only about 10pm so i took them to Tott's, which is at the top of the Excelsior Hotel, about 34 floors up. We had a drink there and admired the view of HK's brilliant city lights. Then around midnite, i headed home and met up with David's friends from home who are staying with us right now till the weekend. They have been travelling for the last 18 months, thru parts of india, korea, nepal, indo, thai and most of SE Asia. They had so many cool photos and we were looking at them on the computer. They showed us footage of the Gangi river and how the indians live there....it's savage. When people die, they dump them in the river and they saw first hand; dead corpses floating in the river, chared remains of other cremated people, and some corpses being gnawed on by wild dogs by the riverside.......cows and garbage everywhere. People bathing, washing laundry, swimming, shitting and pissing all in the same river. It was enough to make one nauseous just looking at the photos and movie clips. I cannot imagine visiting there at all. They had some incredible stories. The photos were unbelievable and completely disturbing. It is dumbfounding to experience a part of the world that lives this way. These two guys from Vancouver have been completely transformed from the experience. I wonder if i could be so brave.So today I will be heading to Central around 4:30pm to help out Roger. It should be pretty interesting and i look forward to meeting some new people. I may hook up with Paul and Nate a little later. I'm feeling a lingering cough deep in my chest still, i have not shaken it yet and it's really bad early in the morning and late at nite. I am going to see if i can drum up some chinese herbs to nip it. I have the flat to myself for the next few hours and i'm enjoying the silence. Serenity is a luxury here, there are just so many people. I often enjoy a time to read or soak in moments of reflection. I do miss my visits to the waters edge in Vancouver. It's a phenomenon to live at the beach in the heart of downtown and still find that sense of peace. It's one of the charms of Vancouver that i appreciate more by leaving it. My Qi has been pretty weak the past few weeks and i have felt out of touch with my spirit from being ill with flu and discouraged with lack of work. I think this week will present some good leads and the sunshine has definitely impacted my mood. Attitude goes a long way. I had a lovely chat with Patrick today also, we talked about being away from Vancouver and how it's changed us. There's been tons of talk in the last 24 hours about changes that happen when you're away from home. It's the theme of the week. That's good, i like change, and i'm ready for more changes....like becoming employed again!What i miss today- Sundays in Vancouver, the UBC golf course, pitch n putt at Stanley Park, driving my mini with the sunroof open and music blasting, live shows at the commodore, gelato in english bay, walking the strand in white rock, Carlo, Senka, Leonard, Dan and Kirby.
Current Mood: hopefulCurrent Music: Millenium- Robbie Williams
(Leave a comment)
March 3rd, 2005
11:44 pm
[Link]
Chillin at the Cyber Cafe....This week i am back in ACTION! It feels good to be healthy again. Monday the resume was sent out to a few people, including TJ with six senses, and to my recruiter. I was so stoked to have it done, it looked good. Gina the new maid came over, and i was on the phone for a large portion of the day. My mom called early, i spoke to Jim for over an hour, and i also got a great call in with Carlo. I received word from Paul that he'd arrive in HK on the 6th, so that gives me some time to devote more to work stuff. Mark Gruter also sent me word he would pop in for a few days on his way back to Vancouver from the Philipines. BUT, as usual, he didn't end up showing, not as of yet anyway, and i'm not going to hold my breath. I thought he'd be here for a couple nites on a layover, but i guess i'll catch him next time. Jim and Kirsty popped by the flat and we went up the street to Browns and had some pizza and a bevvie. It was great to hang out with them, and then we came back to the flat for some tea and a visit with my room mates. I found out that Scott might be leaving for Japan on a promotion. Tuesday was a slow start to the day, i had insomnia the nite before and couldn't get a peep of shut eye....the rain was hitting my AC block out my window and making such a racket, i thought i would lose it....so i slept in, then went for a walk thru Causeway Bay and enjoyed some exercise and got some more credit put on my phone. Cells are expensive if you are not on a plan, and until i am a legitimate resident and have a HKID card, i can't get signed up on the regular plan. So till then, i'm using pay as you go, and it sucks. Wednesday, i went to the Big Buddha on Lantau Island with Kirsty. It was so socked in with fog you couldn't even see the buddha's head, and we got lost trying to find the stairs to climb up to it! It's been so cold here, you can see your breath, the rain has been consistently happening everyday and i am SO ready for spring and the warmer weather. Right now, i'm typing with gloves on!!! By the time i got home from Lantau, all i wanted was a warm blanket and my sweatpants, so indeed i did just that and watched a dvd with David. The Oscars were on tv, a little late, but it was cool to watch them, i am a big fan of the oscars....not for the fashion really, but i LOVE the speeches. When people win, they talk about their inspirations, and often they are emotional and it comes from their heart. That is what i love to see, the real deal. Oscar speeches give me shivers, and i like that too, it's the same feeling i get when i hear a great piece of music.Today i headed to Sham Shui Po for Cara and ran some errands for her. I was there most of the day and then once i had her stuff done i did a little browse thru the wholesale district. Alot of the clothing places are getting rid of old stock for dirt cheap. I picked up a black sweatshirt for $3 Cnd, and i bought a pair of tan leather boots for $13 Cnd. They were basically a steal, and although i have been refraining from buying things, i can justify my buy today. When i returned to the city i went up to Lan Kwai Fong and got some thai food with Jimbo. the new HK magazine has his ad for ZIZ salon. The photos look great! Now, we're at the cybercafe in Central. I've never been here before but most of the people here are playing videogames and are total cyberfreaks. I feel a little silly being in the same room with them, but we're at the "english" table, where the computers are in "english", and we're the only two sitting here....actually i think Jim's getting bored so i'm going to finish this entry.Work wise, it looks like i have an interview on monday with Polo Ralph Lauren. I don't know much about what position i'd be interviewing for yet, but from the sounds of it so far, it sounds FAB!!!Today is my cousin Lorna's birthday and i want to personally wish her a happy birthday. She's such a beautiful spirit and the thing i miss most about her is her laughter. I think children's laughter is one of the most beautiful sounds in the world. She is also one of the smartest little girls i have ever met and i think she's going to be the kind of person that grows up to inspire alot of people. At the young age she's at right now, she already is.Today i miss- WARM weather!!!
(Leave a comment)
February 26th, 2005
11:42 am
[Link]
On the Mend, Twins, and more news....After a week of fever, sequence of restless sleep and waking from horrible nitemares, i'm glad to finally be feeling close to normal again. Today i still took it easy, drinking a lot of hot liquids and staying in from the rain outside. This has been a darker week for me, i'm glad it's over. I did find out some good news though, and some promising notes as well.Thursday i met with a recruiter, a contact of Justin's who is quite good at hooking people up with jobs. After a meeting with him, he sorted me out and as of monday my resume will be looking a lot different. This coming week I'll have some more interviews to check out. It sounds very promising, and now i race the clock.Friday afternoon i went to Lane Crawford head office and met with Franz Kraantz, the VP of Sales and Marketing. The meeting was the worst interview i had ever been to, but still somewhat positive in the end. He has a villianous nature, a condescending attitude towards others and is rude to the people who work under him, this i observed while waiting in the conference room. He took pleasure out of talking "down" to me however i went thru the interview intelligently, and answered his questions as PC as possible. I was quite happy with how i did, and from his feedback, it seems they are interested in placing me with the Agent Provocateur position. The problem runs with the timing. The lingerie dept is currently under construction, and because it is a concession store, it is still unclear as to who would be hiring for that position. I was told i would have an answer by late next week....so again i wait for them. I don't have much time left, so i am anxious to hear their offer. That's the scoop on work, or lack of.I found out from Rene that we are related as second cousins. It turns out that his great grandfather and my great grandfather were brothers, TWINS! Very cool. So, twins run on mom's side of the family, thru her Opa, and thru uncle Henry. Sweet!! There is also a possibility that Jimbo won't be leaving HK afterall. There is a chance that a position within his company is available in HK so he can stay. It's all rumour at the moment but he'll get confirmation later this week. More good news!Paul Stapleton wrote me and is in China. He should be back in HK after the wedding. I haven't seen him yet but that's a good thing since i've been so ill. It will be so nice to see a familiar face from home.I've been bummed out and have been slacking in my journal because i've felt discouraged with the position i'm in. I know there is opportunity available here and i'm not going to give up. I know it's going to be a challenge to get thru this month but i dont believe i came all the way out here for an extended vacation. I want to stay. I'm praying about it and i know God will guide me right.Today i miss- sunshine. It's been raining here the past few days and cloudy when it's dry out.
Current Mood: worried
(Leave a comment)
February 21st, 2005
11:12 pm
[Link]
Flu Fighting...So it looks like i got some kind of flu bug, i've been in bed all day. It's evening, around 10pm and i finally had some soup and an asian pear to eat. The flu sucks; it started with heavy duty sneezing all yesterday while i was in Sham Shui Po running errands for Cara. I thought i was having an allergy attack, until i started to feel a little fevery and achy in the evening last nite. Well, today my whole body ached, even my eye sockets. I think it's stress related. Stress means my digestion gets messed up, then i get run down, then sick. I'm sure i'll recover in the next couple days. My spirits are up, i'm just weak.I spoke with a gentleman who runs an HR company that hires for lots of other companies. Justin gave me his contact info and i spoke with him today on the phone about meeting sometime later this week. I'm hoping that i'll be up to it tomorrow as it sounds like there are plenty of opportunities for westerners to work. He mentioned the most available jobs are in sourcing and manufacturing for big american companies. Anyway, it's some positive news of the day. I am looking forward to my next interview with Lane Crawford....i meet the Vice President of Sales and Marketing on Friday. This will be a good meeting as he's the biggest person i've met there to date. Carlo phoned to check up on me today and it felt good to hear his voice. It snowed in London today but wasn't sticking to the ground. It's cold here too, but not that cold. I'd say in the evenings it gets down to about 6C and in the day it's about 10C. That's still very cold for here. I'm bundled up in fleece everything!!Tonite i missed yet another drum jam at the fringe club. I'm so bummed, i know the guys had a great time. I will make it next month. I wonder if Nick is still drumming back in Vancouver. I should write him tomorrow and see how vegas went.In the last couple days i've received some great calls from Robert and Senka. It was exactly one year ago that i moved into the penthouse with him. I can't believe how fast a year goes. Sounds like things are going well for both of them. Senka finishes school in a few months, then i hope she can come visit me!!Today i miss- home made veggie soup, Dantius my dog, sitting by the fireplace, a hot bath.
Current Mood: sick
(Leave a comment)
February 18th, 2005
06:46 pm
[Link]
Weekend thoughtsSo, it's Saturday morning, and i've just got up. Last nite was Jim's going away party nite, and we had a good time. Jim got the sway, and so did David my flatmate. I took David to get some food and broke from the gang around 3am, visited Pizza Neal, and then taxied home and i crashed. Our nite was pretty fun, we went to Ciao Bellas and to Volar, which seems to be all the rage these days. Apparently, Dragon-I is on the decline, but i guess the hot spots change around here, too much competition!In the day i went to the HK immigration office to look into holiday work visas, but in HK the only citizens applicable for one are from New Zealand or Australia. I went to the Canadian Embassy and they said to come back on Monday morning or call the Canadian Consolate or Canadian Chamber of Commerce. Normally they have lists of the proper professional job listings, but maybe they can help me. Justin gave me a name of a girl that works there that may have some leads. Carlo sent me the name of one of his asian contacts, so i sent him an email too, and other than that, i'm still waiting to hear from TJ, Tej, Jo and Rebecca from Lane Crawford. Dragon-I requires that i have a work permit, so what i'm thinking is that if i get the job with LC, i could work nites at Dragon-I. It's not what i really want to do as i hate the thought of working in a club again, but if it's some extra money, i am all about it! I have two weeks left, so i'm praying something comes together. This week i've been a little depressed. I think it's a combination of a bunch of things; Carlo leaving, Jim leaving, approaching broke, and realising that finding a job here is way harder than i thought. It's a challenge without a university degree, and the language barrier is the other thing. If i spoke mandarin or cantonese it would definitely help, but chinese lessons are very expensive, about $50 Cnd/Hr. My measurements for modelling are not small enough for the fashion standards, and the agencies i have talked to either said i was fat or would take me on if i spent a whack of cash on their photographers for pictures. I'm posting up some fliers for tutoring conversational english and hopefully get some bites from that. I hate being in this position really, it's discouraging. My friends keep telling me to hang in there, try every avenue i can, and i will get something. We'll see. I am going to visit the Four Seasons also on Monday as they are opening up next to IFC and they're looking for staff. If i could get into corperate sales for them, that would make me very happy. I really do not feel that my time in Asia is over, it doesn't feel right to go home yet. Ugh, pressure!! This is where my faith is tested. This is where i truely have to give my all and accept that whatever happens is in its own right time and place. It is hard to go with that sometimes, but that's why it's called faith. On the very bright side, i have not gone without during my time here. I have been prosperous in love, in friendship, experiencing Asia and travelling to different spots, not to mention tremendous inner growth. There is no price one can put on that, it shapes you for a lifetime. I have been very good with my budgeting, incredibly well considering how much i love to buy things. I have bought very little for myself other than necessities...my biggest expense is rent! I have never had so little, and yet i am happy to feel free and not be so attached to things. In the city that wreaks consumerism, i've been pretty disciplined, so i'm happy i have that kind of self control. Today is day 3 where i have cut sugar from my diet again. I think this is the 5th time i've done this in the last year. It feels good to stay off breads, pastas and starchy things, but i still crave them and enjoy them alot. There are 5 bakeries next to my house, so the smells make it even worse!!! I have to get healthier though, i think it will make me feel happier in the end. I've started sleeping earlier, waking at a normal time, and i have totally laid off drinking. Now i must somehow fall in love with the idea of exercise. This is where i need one on one accountability. I definitely prefer doing exercise with one other person; i'm hopeless on my own. It was so humid and hot on wednesday, and then the weather changed and it's been raining and very cold for the past few days. Unless you're up in the mountains, it doesn't really drizzle here. HK gets rainshowers. Maybe that's why i'm a little bummed out too. Sunshine always makes me smile.Today i'm going to do some chores, put some clothes away and plan out my week before Paul Stapleton arrives. I'm pretty sure he's going to be busy until the 28th with his friends' wedding, so that will give me some more time to jobhunt and hopefully go to some interviews. I know everything will happen just as it's supposed to, and maybe i'm supposed to feel this anxiety too. I'm not sure what the boys have planned for this evening. I doubt it'll be a quiet one tonite, but i might decide to stay home catch up on some books.
Current Mood: distressedCurrent Music: Don't go Away- Oasis
(Leave a comment)
February 16th, 2005
10:49 pm
[Link]
My day at the Science CenterWednesdays in Hong Kong are the days when you can walk into any museum for free. I was in TST and met up with Jimbo for lunch yesterday and after i was by myself and decided to wander thru Kowloon side for a bit. I bumped into the Science Center and decided to have a look around, why not right? Wednesdays means everyone and their dog goes to the science center. It was like walking into mongkok on a saturday, absolutely packed with people....a true test of my patience you can only imagine. People pushing and shoving and butting in line-ups. I almost lost it a couple times but my tolerance and patience are slightly improving. The only section that wasn't getting so much attention was the Energy section. What peaked my interest was learning about Nuclear Power. When i think of nuclear, i think of weapons of mass destruction or scientists in labs doing whack experiments with radiation suits on. So exactly what the heck was that. I put on my think cap, pulled out my notebook and jotted some notes on the various forms of energy that our world uses. And, when it comes down to it, it's all pretty simple if you take the time to learn about it. Nuclear Energy is found in Uranium. A Uranium Atom only creates radiation when it's gone thru nuclear fission, or when the nucleus is smashed into 2 or 3 nuetrons. Once one atom of uranium is split, it starts a chain reaction that hits the nearby atoms and so on and so on, creating ridiculous amounts of heat. Thus.... BIG EXPLOSIONS. Energy Ratio: 17 grams of Uranium= 200kg of Coal = 1 Barrel of OilThe world uses energy in two ways: thru Fuel and Electricity. We use different sources to generate both. Nuclear is used to produce electricity. Ever wonder what is inside a Nuclear Power Plant and what the heck they do in there? I always thought it was a sinister looking cylinder of scientific classification. But what they do in there is pretty cool.Control rods made of Cadmium and Boron absorb neutrons to control the rate of the chain reaction from the uranium. What happens is uranium rods and control rods are weaved together and dunked in a big tank of water. Fission creates a lot of heat and the water turns to steam, which turn the steam turbines, which then generate electricity, which power your Laptop and TV etc. Simple. Coolest part is that Uranium can be reprocessed and reused as nuclear fuel, so very little goes to waste.Fun facts!!- HK uses 30% of it's energy from nuclear power. France uses 70% of it's energy from nuclear power. - Uranium is actually mined in China, leached from the ground using acid. Then it is purified and filtered to form Uranium Oxide, and sent to France for enrichment. Basically all types of energy are generated by steam, water or wind to turn turbines into generating electricity. We have enough coal to last us 300 years and enough crude oil to last us another 40-60 yrsthat's it! Our kids won't be driving cars like we have today. That's kinda whack! The prediction is that 50%of our electricity in the future will come from solar. I think that is very cool!
(Leave a comment)
February 15th, 2005
04:16 am
[Link]
Valentines Day and mid month!Ah Valentines Day....I believe that too much emphasis is put into this holiday.....alot of people get the blues or? I think everyday should be like Valentines day and Christmas....not the presents part, but just not taking the ones you love for granted and really being thankful for your time with them. Yesterday, Valentines day was a totally normal day for me, although around 7pm, there was a huge bouquet of white lilies waiting for me at the apartment, care of my sweet Carlo. I put them in my giant vase near my bed so the fragrance would fill up my room. I love white flowers!! In the day i tinkled on the computer following up on some work leads and scoping out other job postings on the asiaxpat site, and spent the majority of the day doing that, cleaning up my room which was a disaster of clothing, and also changed my linens and did a laundry drop off....the usual domestic stuff. In the afternoon i got a call from lil Dave, who had a wierd tone in his voice but because i was on the other line with Dan Fong in Vancouver, i told him i'd call him back. When we finally got to talking, he mentioned he broke up with his girl, Mon. I suggested that since we were both solo for Vday we should do dinner, and then Jimbo called to invite us to his hotel for room service and a video. So, off to Excelsior we met where we ate like kings, chomped on some Ferrero Rocher and then all passed out watching the first few minutes of the Incrdibles. When i woke up, i looked over at Jim and lil Dave who were also passed out on the bed, it was pretty hilarious, i think i heard some snoring and i should have taken a photo, but with mercy i refrained. By about midnite, Dave and i caught our cabs and headed home. Today i woke up at 9am, which is getting back on regular time after all the late nites i've had last couple weeks. I'm happy to be rising at a decent time. I met up with Joe and Jim in TST for Jim's lunch hour and we had a little bite together and talked about their times in Boracay.....sounds like they made some great memories out there! I can tell Jim wants to go back immediately, he's now addicted to the nitelife on the beach. Beach parties are the way to go. After dropping Jimbo back at work, Joe and I decided to go on a field trip to the Museum of Art. There was an exhibit on impressionism sponsored by LVHM ( Louis Vuitton Hennessey Moet) and Christian Dior. I got to learn a little more about impressionist art, which i didn't really appreciate before. The impressionists were rebels of their time. Before them paintings were very distinct and as true to life looking as possible. The Salon Jury (which would be like the Art Jury in France) were not accepting of impressionistic works and thus many of these famous artists made their livelyhood from painting reproductions of other existing famous paintings. In the mid 1800's, technology had advanced to the point where portable easles and portable stools/painting equipment were invented so that artists could get out into the countryside and paint the activities of the day outside. This is why you see a lot of nature scenes in Impressionist artworks. I had no idea until today that was why. Up until then, most portraits were painted indoors where people had to freeze still. When Monet and Renoir hit the scene, they weren't afraid to represent movement in their paintings by making their paintings look blurry and messy up close, but remarkably alive from a distance. I thought that was pretty cool. I even have a few favorites now too!Today i also popped into the Penninsula Hotel for the very first time. Felix wasn't open till 6 but it was tea time. Although we didn't stay for tea, i was able to soak in the glamour of the place. It is an old hotel and known as one of the most luxurious and top hotels in the world!!! It is awesome there, really, every inch of the place is art, it's very gorgeous and old. The lifts are dark wood and every inch of the place is in mint condition. Maybe one day i'll have the pleasure of staying there. I wonder what the rooms are like....Right now, i'm back in the coffee shop. There's some weird dude sitting across from me who was asking me a whole bunch of questions. He's old and kinda stinky, like moth balls. He's really elusive, although he asks me tons of questions about what i do etc, he won't tell me very much about himself. He's a sneaky fella, i kinda gave him a bit of the brush off, but he did invite me to a art opening, and so we exchanged contact info and i told him i'm bringing friends with me to it. He rolled his eyeballs when i told him i have a boyfriend, and i strongly doubt i'll hear anything from him. There are about 4 other people with laptops here at the moment. I don't feel like heading out tonite. I want to make it an early nite, maybe read some of my book. Robert gave me a book about decoding the davinci code, and i started it today. So far it's really interesting and i want to dive into it further. One needs a fair bit of discretion when reading the davinci code. There is a lot of fact, and just as much fiction, myth and lore. I am keen on diciphering what is what, as this is one book that gets you asking ALOT of questions about tradition of things, the basis of religions etc. It ruffles a lot of feathers, but maybe because people don't know their stuff. So, i'd like to feel more confident in my facts. I really admire people who have a photographic memory and can read stuff and always remember it. I can't do that. for instance, today at the museum, i was absorbing so much text and paintings, it's hard to really walk away and take anything with you that you can remember the next day in detail. So, i have to take notes, and thank goodness i brought my notebook with me. For instance, i wouldn't ever be able to pass an exam about all the chinese dynasties that have ruled since before Christ! There are so many, the most popular one being the Ming Dynasty, which is recent, around the 1700's. But, the Qin Dynasty, which is the one with all the terracotta soldiers, dates back to over 2000 yrs ago! Incredible. After visiting the museum today, i want to check out Beijing and see the Great Wall and the Old City. Today i miss- Carlo in London, the heat of Singapore, the smell of plumaria, the cityscape of Vancouver, conversations with Leonard, Ross's sermons, Amy Carlson's singing in church, my piano, and bike rides.
Current Mood: calmCurrent Music: Swollen- Bent
(Leave a comment)
February 12th, 2005
01:26 pm
[Link]
The ChapterIt is shortly after 1:30 in the afternoon. I just finished saying goodbye to Carlo at the Airport Express terminal. It was a beautiful goodbye, the best kind of goodbyes, but i still dread goodbyes. I had to sit outside by the water fountain to get a grip of my emotions for a few minutes. Now i can breathe again, and it is a gorgeous day outside. What an incredible and exciting two weeks!! I did not want to waste any time sitting at a computer when i knew that i could spend time with him. Honestly, i wish there was more time, but we always wish for more time and that's the one wish that doesn't come true. Time is constant and keeps on moving, so you have to make the most of it. I think we did.The first few days that Carlo was in town, we just chilled out and watched a couple dvd's, the highlight being Napoleon Dynamite, which ended up getting quoted a few times. We made breakfast together and walked thru hong kong so he could get a better idea of the place. In the evenings we hooked up with the boys in Lan Kwai Fong for drinks and outtings, hitting up Dragon-I, Kee Club, Jewel and Drop. In HK, evenings don't start till 11pm, so we pulled some pretty late ones. Then we packed up for Singapore and left on the monday.Singapore was lovely. We got upgraded to the super delux "Continental Suitte" which was huge and beautiful and came with access to the top floor executive lounge. We would eat breakfast up there and tinkle on the computers or watch the news and read the paper. Carlo had his business meetings and during that time i did a little bit of shopping, but in the day we would hit the pool and walk around thru the city, and also did a great little trip to Sentosa Island. It's more of a tourist spot there, but we found an excellent bit of beach where the sand was talc soft. We got a fair bit of sun and did a lot of swimming which felt so good. The beach coctails on the patio and local radio station "Lush" played the best music so it really set the mood for "chillout". It felt fantastic and Carlo was such good company. In the evenings we ended up checking out Boat Quay, which was connected around the Fullerton Hotel. We did a tour around there and had a drink there and also at Raffles Hotel. The touristy thing to do at Raffles is to order the Singapore Sling. So we had a couple of those but i realised too late that i was allergic to the pineapple juice in it so i had a bit of a rash on the way home. Still, it was super romantic being out at nite. The lounge singer was hilarious and the warm nite breeze felt therapeudic to calming the spirit. We had some tapas at a little spanish place in Chijmes where a group of 4 guys played spanish guitar and sang. I tried these little anchovies that were very tasty and had a nice glass of sangria. It was heaven. We ended up having dinner with Edmond one nite who was Carlo's business contact in Singapore, and he took us to this place called Jumbo which is on the East Coast. It was like dining in Vietnam at the big place we went on Christmas eve. The food was massive, incredible and we left nearly having to undo buttons and belts. Edmond and Precilla his girlfriend were great conversation and it was nice to see Carlo in his element. I felt like we were a pretty good team. Our last nite we headed out on the town for a less chill and more party scene. We'd been recommended to check out a couple places; the New Asia Bar, which is at the top of the Swiss Hotel, on the 71st floor. It's WAAAAAAY up there, and the view was ridiculous. You could practically see the whole country!! We had a GnT and watched some very drunk and wild westerners with loud clothing dancing up a show on the floor, but mainly we were surrounded by wallflowers and wanted to experience a bit more pulse. So, we headed to the other recommendation- Zouk. Keeping in mind that we were in singapore from Monday till Thursday, the city doesn't really come out until friday/saturday, but Zouk was raging. It was full of youngsters and Carlo and i looked at each other with big eyes amazed by the size of the place and the music, it was like a highschool dance, some old skool 80's 90's remix nite, and the music was pretty cheezy. In another room in the club there was some hip hop but that wasn't too good either, so we had some coctails on the patio outside and by the end of it we were both pretty tired, so we headed back to the hotel. Singapore was romantic and warm. I realised how much the hot climate suits me. I never once had to wear a scarf! My favorite smell was the plumaria trees. They blossomed outside Raffles and i picked up a couple flowers to put in glasses at the hotel. Their fragrance is one of my favorite smells and also reminds me of hawaii. Back in HK, it was a trip to see so many people around. With Chinese New Year approaching people were gearing up buying lots of mandarin trees, and setting up a bunch of decorations every where thru the city. There was a buzz. Carlo and I had finally got into vacation mode, so we headed to Stanley to escape the shopping frenzy madness in the streets. Stanley was quiet, and we had a beautiful stroll along the boardwalk. I'm glad he likes the water as much as me. We had some nice Italian food and a glass of red wine and then headed back to Happy Valley before heading out for the Friday nite fun in LKF. We met the crew at Ciao Bellas and enjoyed sharing stories from our trip. From there, we headed up to Dragon-I and Jewel and Drop. Drop was soooo busy and super loud, i ended up hiding in the bathroom for a little bit. I was feeling somewhat dizzy and then it was time to head home. Saturday nite we went to Patrick's birthday at Volar and i bumped into Amos from vancouver. He's modelling in HK for a few months and Chad told him i'd be out here. He's only touched down for a couple hours and then bumped into me, which confirms yet again how small HK is. It doesn't take long to find someone here. The party at Volar was the land of models and beautiful people but it got to be enough and lil Dave looked like he was going to pass out, so we decided to get him some food. I ordered poutine for the four of us- Dave, Carlo, Ben and me. Neal from Cul-De-Sac was super cool and hooked us up with some butterscotch shots for dessert. I think the poutine only lasted about 3 minutes, and became a new canadian favorite amongst my international mates. YAY!!! Soon after it was time for bed but Dave decided to hit up Wanchai on his own and was out for about 36 hours straight. I'm not sure how he does it!!Sunday, Carlo and i decided to see a movie. We ended up seeing Closer because i love Natalie Portman, and i assumed it would be a good date movie. OOOPS. Closer was the most depressing movie i've seen all year! It was dark but we shook it off and got some eats in the food court at Pacific Place. It's not your average north american food court. It's incredible and all the food is like a real meal. Anyways, we ran into Cul-De-Sac Neal again. (Culdesac is a restaurant in LKF and Wanchai, it's a little pizza/poutine place and Neal is the owner and Canadian so we're friends.) He was shopping with his wife Jane who was also 7 mos pregnant so we had a really nice dinner and chat with them and then parted on our way to Wanchai to meet up with the boys at Carnegie's and then home to sleep.Our other little trips included taking a ferry to Lamma Island. We ended up in this hippy town and then had some indian food. In order for us to catch the ferry in time at the other end of the island we had to hike this trail thru the countryside and this included some hills. Big butt crunching hills. Lamma is such a different place from HK island, and there are elements of HK but it is still very small and villiage like. I liked that but i could never live there. In the countryside we saw a bright green snake coiled up in the gutter along the path. That was pretty cool but i didn't stop to take a picture. I figured that being in the middle of no where with a snake wasn't a smart idea. If he was poisonous and bit either of us, it's be bleak. So, we marched on and ended up in the fishing village where we took the ferry back to Central. The village was very quiet as it was New Years Eve, and people were getting ready for the wednesday activities.Chinese New Years in HK is a sight. There was a big festival in Central and also in Victoria Park near my house. At the park, we saw a whole bunch of wild Cockatils in a tree (the big white parrots with crests that can talk). We walked around and saw the sights and even headed up to the Peak for a light lunch. The view was all fogged in unfortunately, but it was so nice to get up high above it all. We also had drinks at Tott's which is in the Excelsior Hotel and the ambience was great. We had some appies there and chilled out watching the boats cruising thru the harbour. HK has a great harbour front from way up high. And watching it become dark with all the lights was a treat too. The one thing about the HK holidays is booking things in advance. Everything in HK requires pre-booking. If you wish to go to the movies you need to book your tickets online. You pick your seats also, it is not festival seating. If you want to go to Macau, although ferries run there every 15-20 minutes you have to book before hand or you're not going to get a seat for 4 hours. We made the mistake of showing up at the terminal to get on one, and were unsuccessful. We also wanted to see Meet the Fockers, but each cinema and each show was sold out or only the front row available. That part was kinda shitty, but we just went with the flow and in the end it was still heavenly.Carlo's plane just took off. I'm really excited to phone my mom and dad and tell them all about my latest travels. Now that the holidays are summing up i hope the job stuff is sorted. It NEEDS to be sorted or i'm going to have to look at option #2. One thing is certain, i am not ready to go home. I do not want to go home. I am in love with Asia, it's people, the food, the weather, the beaches. If people can live in this kind of paradise everyday and have a normal existence, i should be able to also. I want to build my life in a place that is warm and coastal. I feel the most happy in that place. HK doesn't really offer that but it's got access to those places in a heartbeat, and it's a good place to start for work, so the quest continues. I have a bug to see the whole world now. I so don't want to stop. I want to experience it all and see it all. Even if it's a little rugged, i don't care. I'll figure it out. What i'm certain of is that i don't want to do it alone. The boys come back from Borocay tomorow, and i'm sure they'll have loads of stories. Well, i have a few myself.
Current Mood: on a cloudCurrent Music: Fall at Your Feet- Crowded House
(Leave a comment)
February 4th, 2005
07:51 pm
[Link]
Singapore Sling RecapsI love Singapore. It's a quaint little city. It's spread out but the downtown core of it is quite small. The architecture is a mixture of British Colonial and Modern Skyscrapers. The shopping and marketing is done right and it's a place you can cruise thru and not feel to overcome with cars or foot traffic. It's great, i was totally relaxed and even got some sun on my shoulders. Tuesday day time, Carlo had some meetings with his clients, so i went for a stroll to the mall near the Esplanade which is right by the water. I had to escape the exhausting heat and i ended up finding a great little shoe store and found some beautiful shoes for some dresses i have. I bought a little bohemian skirt set in torquoise as well and then hooked up with Carlo around 3pm when he'd wrapped with work. We had a little swim at the poolside and ordered some Nasi Goreng, a Tomato Boccacinni Salad and the local drink....a Singapore Sling. Little did i know that it had a bit of pineapple juice in it and i ended up having a bit of a rash on my skin. It was good though, and then we ended up going for a little stroll in to a place called Chijmes. We looked around there and went for some tapas food and checked out a place by inside the Fullerton Hotel and also had a Singapore Sling at Raffles Hotel. Both were sensational, but the company was especially nice. I have really enjoyed my time with Carlo. Wednesday, we decided to take advantage of the nice weather and headed over to the most southern tip to Sentosa Island where we basked in the sunshine, walked along the beaches and swam in very warm blue water. We had a drink at this really cool little beach restaurant that was playing some cool chillout cafe delmar type music and then we ended up on the monorail back to the mainland. We had some sushi and checked out the harbour front and then headed for the hotel to change in time for dinner with his client, Edmond. They took us to this place on the East Coast called Jumbo and it was like eating in Vietnam all over again. Big feast, all seafood, all incredible and inexpensive.Must go, someone's waiting for the computer and will update again latyer. Craps
(Leave a comment)
January 31st, 2005
04:14 am
[Link]
Landing in Singapore!!!I am staying at the Conrad Hilton Hotel in downtown of Singapore. It's a very small island and it's really hot, even at nite. Flying into the airport it was 31 C, or 98 F. Hot, and sweet. The sky is blue and it smells fragrant here, nice spices and fruit. The grounds are clean, everything is very organized and the trees are manicured. I've never seen better service on an aircraft in my life, and flying Singapore Airlines over was like flying first class. I flew econ and everytime i was spoken to they called me by my last name. We got hot towels, a menu to choose our meal from, a choice of 60 movies to choose from that you can pause or back up if you have to go to the bathroom, etc. I LOVED flying with them and wish every airline was like that. Carlo and I watched Cellular, and it was okay. Jason Stratham has a marginal quality american accent, but he's still got a mean character. It made the flight soar by, took us about 3.5 hrs to get here. It's lovely so far. The taxi driver, Allan, gave us great chat on the way to the hotel. He had Right now, i'm in the executive lounge, sipping on a G&T, had a couple little appies and just chilling out before dinner. Carlo wanted to nap, i think he's got a little jetlag. Tonite i assume we're going to have a nice quiet dinner. Tomorrow i have the day to myself. I think i'm going to look around at the shops and see what's the thing to do here. I heard there's an area that is along the water, and there are a bunch of cool restaurants and shops. I'd like to check those out. The pool looks good too and it's real warm here in the evenings so i might go for a midnite dip later on.I think Jim will like it here, the ladies are beautiful and soooo polite. The air is cleaner and there is next to no pollution. Yet, it's very modern and communication is no problem. Everyone speaks English!!!! The traffic is heavy around rush hour, but from where i sit i can see that the roadways are mellow. The food is a fusion of chinese and malaysian from what i've seen. I am on a hunt for a market that sells mangosteen. I would love to devour a big bag of those!!! They are hard to find in HK, and are an essential fruit for living in a place where you definitely need antioxidants.Back in HK, not alot going on except the usual. I heard that Keanu Reeves is in town for a few days promoting his new flick Constantine. Ah, a fellow canadian brother. It's too bad i'll miss him. I'd like to ask him what the bleep was up with the Architect lingo in Matrix 3. I wonder if even Keanu would get it......diss.The Iraq Electoral Commission briefing is on tv right now....it's the day after the elections. I don't know enough about it all to make a prediction on how it'll affect the rest of the world, but my room mate has been following it whenever he could.Just before i got on the plane the mailman popped by to drop off two boxes from my mom. She's so nice!!! I have more clothes and jackets. This will come in handy as it's been pretty damp, dark and cool in HK. Today i miss my mom and dad, i miss my grandparents, and i miss playing a real piano. I heard Moonlight Sonata and got the fever.
Current Mood: excitedCurrent Music: Nina Simon Remix by Felix the Housecat
(Leave a comment)
January 28th, 2005
12:35 pm
[Link]
Gitty Up!Wednesday nite, the races were in Sha Tin, which meant no Happy Valley action for us. BUT- it was Australia Day, so Joe, Jim, Justin and I met up some friends and played a friendly quiz game at Dicken's pub, which is found in the Excelsior hotel. Andy, his dad Rick, and their friend Ian, met us there and we hugged and caught up. It was great to see them and hear a little about their travels in Shanghai. I think Andy likes Asia too. After, we went to LKF, and Jim and i took Andy to Dragon I. It was a sea of models, absolutely unreal scene, you could have shot a music video in there it looked that good. Sting was also in town doing a concert and was expected to show there. We didn't stick around too long and went to Wanchai to show him the real circuit of HK. We popped into Klong, Mes Amis, and Venue. Then Jim went home, I introduced Andy to my favorite pizza place, and then he got in a cab back to TST and i went home to sleep. It was a full day and very fun. I realised i don't know shit about australian history or sports.Yesterday i fixed up my room finally. I arranged my clothes and some tables and now my room doesn't look as disasterous as it has the past month and a half. I feel so good about it and had a very good sleep last nite.Andy called me in the afternoon to head up to the Peak for dinner. We went with Ian and Andy's dad to this place called Cafe Deco. It was really good, the presentation was good, the food was good..i had a thai red curry with roasted duck...mmmm. For dinner, chocolate pudding cake with coconut sherbet. I took him into LKF to the vodka bar, and we met some of the RHK Jockey Club folks. Inside the fridge were one of the top jockeys in hong kong, and his friends (horse vets, trainers etc.) They had various bottles of Vodka on the table and invited Andy and I to join in the fun. We must have done at least 7 shots in there, it was manic and so much fun. I had them doing Vietnamese drinking chants. Shit, i should've broke out in the theme song to "the littlest hobo"!! Andy and i got out of there before we got too messy and i took him to Ciao Bella's and also to Drop. We had a drink in each and then bumped into Scott my room mate, and he was in Volar so we hung out there until i was really sleepy. I said goodbye to Andy, then Scott and i cabbed it home to bed.This morning my mom called me real early, like 6:30. I was up before David, and that is like hugely abnormal. She was putting together some clothes for me and double checking my mailing address. It should all arrive for next week when i'm back from Singapore. I'm stoked to get some more clothes. I really don't have much here and i havne't bought a lot of clothes since i've arrived. I'm taking it easy until my vacation is over and i'm back to earning some dosh.Carlo comes in today around 6. I'm picking him up in Central at the airport express and very excited to see him. It's been so long since i've seen him. well, 4 more hourse to go! I have to pick up some laundry and some supplies at the grocery store and then i'm sorted for the next couple days. Got a message from Rebecca about Agent Provocateurs and she's told me that she forwarded my resume to the team in London, who will be conducting their own interviews for the position. Rebecca recommended me but that's only one avenue....i still have more hoops to jump thru. I hope they call me soon, i want my interview already so i can get the heck on with it! it's frustrating.In the meantime, i'm having fun, being smart and enjoying this city again. With Chinese New Year's around the corner there is quite the buzz in the air . IT's cool to see everyone so pumped.Today i miss- organicd grocery stores that have all my favorite suppliments and weird herbal teas. I miss that Tofu Salad that Dan got me hooked on. I miss my old boss in Toronto, Robert Muller.
Current Mood: excitedCurrent Music: Politik- Coldplay
(Leave a comment)
January 26th, 2005
06:02 pm
[Link]
The Air Up ThereHong Kong has dirty air, and it's taking its toll on my respitory system. The last two days my neck has been tense and last nite, i felt swollen glands coming on....grrr. Been popping all the stuff mom gave me and it's cleared up today, but i called it an early nite and bowed out of drum circle. So, i missed out but i think the boys had fun. My poor hand could use another day or so of healing before i go spank a drum again, it stung so much in the shower yesterday. Next time, i am definitely investing in a golf glove. I ended up watching The Last Samurai on my laptop. It's super good. I thought it was WAY better than Troy. I'm finally getting caught up on all the movies i missed. But now it's getting to the point where i've seen almost everything. We have the complete set of Seinfeld and i believe i almost know them by heart. They are still so good though. This morning i watched Before the Sunset, with Pierce Brosnan and Selma Hayak. It was cheezy but there were some funny moments. It's almost worth checking it out just to see the house that they lived in in the carribean. I finally heard back from Rebecca at Lane Crawford. Some good news is that she wants me for the position for the lingerie. The interview for the stylist position wouldn't end up happening till march because the dept manager is out of town till then. I can't wait that long. BUT- What i found out is that the Agent Provocateur position would be part of a concession deal, which means that it's not really Lane Crawford that'd be hiring me, it's AP. What is also safe to assume is that they would set me up with an actual expat package, which normally means they hook you up pretty good with rent allowance etc. And since they are based out of London, the package should be pretty good. We shall see how that all goes though, Rebecca told me not to worry and would contact me by the end of the week. It's the best lead i have, so i'm really hoping i can get that one. It's the best lead i have at the moment, so i hope they'll propose something more concrete to me very very soon!!Today i took a tour around Caunaught Road Central. I was looking the Sai Wan War Cemetary and also for Linda's offices, and then mixed up because she's on Caunaught Road West. It's not that much farther by car, but on foot i was already kinda low energy from fighing off this little bug i have. So,i called her office to double check she was even there, and she's gone for till early Feb. Good thing i didn't walk the whole way there. I couldn't find the Sai Wan War Cemetary because it's out towards Stanley....no wonder! Instead, i made another trip back to Causeway bay, found Ikea, picked up their catalogue, looked at some furniture that didn't turn me on at all, and now i'm on my way to pick up some laundry. My internet connection has been crap at the house lately so i've found myself at the internet cafe going thru all my emails and doses etc. Andy Franko arrived and called me when i was in Ikea. He's going to the peak for dinner with his dad and some business dudes, and then he's hanging out with me for the evening. I'm going to take him to Excelsior Hotel to meet up with Joe, Jim and Justin, my infamous boy band, and we're celebrating Australia Day at a restaurant there called Dickens. They have quiz nites on wednesday nites, and normally i'd be at the horse races, but they aren't in happy valley this week, so we are opting for quiz games instead before heading out to wanchai. I've had my coffee but i may need some other type of stimulant to keep me awake. I've been turtle slow all day, my energy level feels like i'm grinding. My body is aching from the driving range the other nite, the second day is always the worst. I stretched a bit today but unnngh, i could really use a massage!! The next couple days will be cool hanging with Andy though, hopefully he doesn't have too much on his plate and we can go cruise around and take photographs. I haven't seen him since my going away party at the penthouse. Today i miss- So fresh, So clean, Vancouver air.
Current Mood: soreCurrent Music: Good Souls- Starsailor
(Leave a comment)
January 24th, 2005
09:16 pm
[Link]
What's the Special?I watched Disney's "The Incredibles" last week. There's a scene where little son "Dash" is in the car with his mom in an argument because he's not allowed to play sports. The reason he's not is because he has superpowers and if he played sports he would always win, and that wouldn't really be fair. "Dash" dreams of playing sports and states the fact that his parents always tell him to " do the very best you can." Somewhere in this conversation, Dash's mom says that everyone's special, and Dash replies, "saying everyone is special is the same as saying no one is." It stuck with me, because parents do tell their kids that they are special. People tell their friends and partners they think they are special? So this week, i've been thinking about what is "special"? How do you truely value the meaning of "special" if it's used so liberally? Isn't it contradictory if it's regarded as something so generic? The events of this week helped me sort it out.Joe Dawson and Jim Ramsay are my closest friends here. Since i arrived in Hong Kong they have shown me around, been incredibly funny company, invited me to all the cool happenings, provided good honest advice and help. Jim seems to be the ring leader of our little crew here in HK, and i spend more time with him than anyone else here. He mentioned this past week that his company might move him to another hotel somewhere in Asia. I knew he was serious because he was quite uncomfortable with the idea. His suspicions are that they'll send him to Singapore. Part of being in the hotel business is the opportunity to be in a different city every year or so. That's one of the main draws to the career.....travel. With this transfer about to happen, he's so torn. It's exciting and sad at the same time. Exciting, because it's a new place with new people and a warmer climate. Sad, because you leave the friends that you have kept close to you for the past year. There is alot to be said for cultivating and nurturing friendships. It goes beyond the party, and although Jim just LOOOOOVES going out, he recognises the special gifts that each of his friends have. Some people gossip about their friends, but when Jim talks about his, he loves to recognise and bring to surface the wonderful special things in particular he enjoys and appreciates about each of them. It is that positive vibe that draws me to him. It's why he and i are quite close, and why so many people love him. Each individual person leaves and incredible impression on you once you become friends with them; It's the power of being human, our influence and draw. Certainly i have met some very charasmatic people here, and the thing is, they are all completely 100% unique. I think of how much i love them, and how they could never be replaced or duplicated. For someone who is always light hearted, i have never seen Jim so sad, he admitted it last nite, saying that he loves Hong Kong, not just because of the city, but because of us. I told him he would meet new people that he would befriend just as many, and settle in happily as he has with us. And i say this with complete confidence. The brilliance of Jim is his ability to walk into any place and he is instantly embraced by others. That is what i admire about him. I know he'll be fine, i know he's going to meet alot of cool new people and it won't take long till he's sorted and settled in Singapore. Most expats dont' have a fear of going to a new place, and Jim isn't fearful at all. Infact, if anything he feels a loss to leave the people who have brought so much colour to his life in Hong Kong. I know that i will miss him, since i spend more time with him than anyone else. I'm sad he's going too, he's certainly left quite a powerful impression with me to last a lifetime. I know how he feels. I wasn't so much scared to come to Hong Kong really, but I was gutted to leave Vancouver. In the summer, i was so sad when Leonard left for school. The day i left, I balled my eyes out hours before i left with Dan's arms around me and we stared out his window out towards the water. He told me i would encounter so many fabulous experiences, but in my mind, all i could think about was how i would miss him, how no one could replace him, no one. Kirby came over and no matter how hard i tried the tears were gushing down my face, even he couldn't believe someone could have tear ducts with such a huge reservoir! He kept asking me why i was so upset, why wasn't i more excited. Thing is, i was so excited, i knew going was better than staying, but I was so torn to leave him, my friends, my family. And even now, i think about home and don't necessarily miss Vancouver. i miss my people, each unique and special. I think about my old job, i don't miss the job, i barely remember the job. I miss my collegues, our laughter and life spent together...the moments that take your breath away. Ah but there it is....We are all special, and it stops sounding generic when we celebrate the death of a loved one, or why we are torn when we break up in relationships, or if we move to a new place, start a new job. No one can ever be replaced or duplicated. Forever you are etched in someone's life for who you are. I think that's pretty damn powerful, and that's why it's important to contribute as positively as possible, and to not take people for granted. Letting people know you value them is what helps make them recognise they are special. And when people really feel like they are special, they create bigger dreams and belive in making them happen. That is why parents tell their kids they are special.(On the flipside of that, i'm thankful for all the people who have left a negative impression and shook up my world. They are an example of what to stay away from, the red flags to certain roads that can bring you down. These people have a lot to teach me too. )Jim just called to tell me he's leaving in a week or so. He'll find out the exact details this afternoon and then we'll see just how long he has. I hope he gets to stick around at least for chinese new year. His company owes him that holiday. I'm sad he's leaving. I'm excited for him too, but i will sincerely miss my friend. He is distinctly one of a kind.Last nite i made it to the driving range with Jim, Dave, Ben, and Nick. We hit balls for an hour and i didn't have a glove and ripped up my left hand. I have two huge blisters that sting right now. Iron grip???? Yeah, but it felt soooo good to swing the clubs again, it's been at least 4 months, the longest stretch of not practicing in 4 yrs. I was slicing a lot, but i got some good ones in there, it doesn't take long to feel the buzz from a good ball. Golf is a fantastic drug.Andy gets here tomorrow with his dad, and it'll be cool to hang with them and show them around. I love seeing friends from home on the other side of the world!! Carlo will be here on friday and i have been looking forward to his visit. It will be lovely to spend some time with him, he has such a bright sparkle. I hope the weather keeps up! I need my work stuff to be sorted by end of this week. Been following up heavy and hope there will be some bites. I got word from one of Valerie's friends who is a lawyer. He's keeping his eyes open. I also heard back briefly from TJ in Vietnam, so i'm glad there's some correspondance there. I have not heard anything from Lane Crawford yet, although i have written both HR and the dept heads, as well as left messages. I'm hoping this persistence will pay off and i'm trying not to have expectations of which road i will go down. I am just hoping to work!! There is freedom in work too, i never looked at it before like that. I thought of work as shackles. But now i think being unemployed is being shackled. If you have all the time and no money you can't do anything. If you make money you have freedom to do more things if you make the time. I'll take the latter one thanks. Somewhere exists a healthy balance.Rene Vansomeren is a guy that emailed me from finding my photos on the internet. He thinks we may be related. I have been in correspondance with him for a few weeks now and put him in touch with my aunt who would have a better knowledge of our family history than i. His dear indonesian friend has a relative that past during the war and was buried in HK. He emailed me asking that i take a photo of the grave site, and although this is a very unusual request, i feel really happy to do it. Today i'm geared up to go. It's morning right now and i'm hungry for some cereal, then i'm out the door. Tonite is drumming circle at the fringe club and i think we've drafted up a crew of about 4-5 to go suprisingly. Nick Louie, you will be there with me in spirit! The doorbell just rang and it was a courier. Shelley Kim, you are a doll!!! Thank you for the scarf, it has been chilly and it's perfect, i LOVE it!!!!! Time to get the day goin. It's tuesday and the sun is shining. I have not been breathing deep enough and need to spend some time earlier in the day getting back into my readings. I have not been devoting my time to it, and it's making me feel thin.Today i miss- the ocean.
Current Mood: thoughtfulCurrent Music: The Walk of Life- Dire Straits
(Leave a comment)
January 23rd, 2005
08:17 am
[Link]
Gittin Wiggy With It!About a week ago, i got an email from Joe inviting me and some of our friends to a birthday party of his friend, Jolee. She was having this super cool wig party and it was going to be slammin, she sent out an evite and everything. Because i don't know her personally, i did not reply to the Evite right away and ho-hummed about if i was going. I decided that i would go, if some more people i knew were going. Joe was going with a date and i wasn't about to be a third wheel, so..... Ben and Jim agreed to go as well. The party was Saturday nite, and i was in a very festive mood. I decided to wear my pink marylin dress that Nick gave me (and which i only wear on special occassions) , and a pink wig. I loved it and was ready to go all out on the town. Ben, Jim and i had dinner at the Excelsior and then headed over to TST, to a spot called Bonkers. Hilarious name, and it sounded like it would be cheezy but totally a place that wigs would be welcomed and celebrated. In Hong Kong, there is always a party, it just never slows down. For some stupid reason, i thought that Bonkers was on Knutsford Terrace, the strip in TST where all the good restaurants and bars are. But, i had mistaken it for Chasers. So, the three of us wandered thru TST and found it easily enough. We headed down a flight of stairs to where Bonkers was and.....( the record scratches to a halt right about here.) I was anticipating loud music, there was no loud music, infact no music at all. I was anticipating disco lights and loud voices and laughter. There was no disco lights, no loud voices, i can't recall hearing any gutbusting laughter either. Instead, there was a group of about 15 people all in brightly coloured wigs sitting around cushy lounge chairs and sofas, chilling around some coffee tables and dark lights. The ambience was that of an old style british pub that you would maybe be seen in on a sunday afternoon for brunch. Hmmm. I was a bit shocked. Everyone went thru all the effort to put on their party hats and party pants and then whaaaaa????? Bonkers was a bust, besides us there were some older chinese people at the bar, staring at us like we were a travelling circus. Now looking back i chuckle. Saving face, i wished Jolee a very happy birthday and had a quick toast. I think it was just a small little example and reminder to not place expectations. Deflated, the crew decided to switch it up and pop into Chasers afterall. There was a Filipino band playing cover hits and people were dancing and staring at us again. We did look pretty hilarious. After about a half hour we three got in the cab and headed back for the island, destination Lan Kwai Fong to Ciao Bella, where Fernando the bartender patiently awaited our weekend routine visits. Shortly after that the wigsters followed and we got the party started. I decided to take it easy but everyone else was in champagne mode! It was a sight, but by about 3 i was yawning and could dream of nothing better than a good nite's rest. So that was last nite. I didn't make it to Sheko in the day, but i will go next week. I hear there is a very good thai restaurant by the beach, and that sounds like my kind of place!Today was pretty chill. The weather was warm and sunny and i decided to check out one of Joe's football games...finally! It was cool, Jim was up for attending too so we hopped on the MTR over to Jordan station, got lost trying to find the park, which was actually a real trek from where we exited. So, after a frustrating search, we just got in a cab and asked the driver to take us there. Problem solved....wish we would have thought of that to begin with! We got to see the last half of the game, and missed Joe's goal, but he did get an assist and we were all cheering. To sum up the day we had a quiet evening at Carnegie's, i shared a bite to eat with Dave and drank tea. We made plans for this week; Monday nite- driving range, Tuesday nite- drumming circle, Wednesday nite- Races. Looks like i'm busy till Carlo gets here. That's a typical story here in HK, there is always plenty to do.Tomorrow morning, i am calling LC.
Current Music: Nobody's Home- Avril Levigne
(Leave a comment)
January 21st, 2005
09:04 pm
[Link]
Call of the Sea.Ever since i was little i was called to the sea. If i didn't visit it, i would dream about it. I still have dreams about swimming or walking on water, breathing under the water like a mermaid, and frequently either dolphins or whales show up in it. Occasionally sharks do too, but for the most part my dreams have lots of sun reflecting of a sparkling ocean. I have always lived by the ocean. If not right on the coast, very very close. Being in HK, i am on the water too, but HK is a harbour with many little bits of land around you. Unless you go to the south tip, then you meet open water, and there's actual surf! I have not been to Sheko yet, but this is where the big waves are, and today, i plan to go there. Living with my folks, i made a trip to white rock beach almost 3 times a week. When i was downtown Vancouver, i lived right by the ocean. In LA and Hawaii, again i was very close. In Vietnam, i started to wig out after the 3rd day as Saigon is inland. Once we made it to Nha Trang and i saw the coast, my soul felt at ease again and I felt totally at home. Here in Hong Kong, i'm near the water, but i don't see it much. The real coast is about 45 minutes away on the south side, or there's Stanley's more protected coast line, which is a very nice compromise. Being by the coast is a part of me that must always be constant. Even when i visit Arizona or Vegas, after about 3 days being inland, i get the shakes. So, i know i will always live by the sea. It is home, no matter where, as long as i am by the ocean, i know i'll fit right in.It's Saturday today, and it's quiet in Happy Valley. I dont hear as much noise outside my window. I just left a message with Jim about going down to Sheko for lunch and to check it out. I've been meaning to visit that area of the island for a while. Yesterday, i met with Roger Field, who i met thru the Mandarin Sport Fishing Club. He has a carpet business, and told me that if i hadn't found a job before march, i could assist him in his exhibition. His area rugs are stunning, and i got to learn a little bit about them. I visited him at his office which is in Tsen Wan, at the opposite end of where i live, just past Central. It's way more Chinese on that side, and it felt like i was in Kowloon. It was cool to check it out, although some of the smells made me a little nauseous when i walked past the shops that sold dried or salted things. Dried sharks fin, deer antlers, all sorts of mushrooms and other types of animals etc. Kinda makes you want to go Vegan or Vegetarian. I am almost immune to the smells here now, but it's especially pungent when walking past shops like that. I always hold my breath and pick up the pace!Yesterday i also picked up the tickets for Singapore, as booking them thru HK was way cheaper than bookings out of London. I'm so excited to check out another city and country. It is so fun to be on this side of the world! HK is the hub for asia travel and the two cheapest flights are to bangkok or singapore. Sometimes, you can get really good deals on flight and accomodations.....ie- in early december there is a rave in Singapore. It's the largest rave in Asia and highly acclaimed. Flight and accomodation packages from HK run about $250 Cnd, and that's return! Flights are not always that cheap, they are normally about $200 return for just airfare, but that is still really really good.I need to make some compilation cd's for my friend Neal who runs this pizza chain called Cul-De-Sac. It's the closest thing to 99 cent pizza here. Neal is canadian, from montreal, but opened up two restaurants, one in LKF and one in Wanchai. Both are totally busy in the nite, but i popped in there yesterday for a slice of pizza as i was starving but didn't want a whole meal. I had a chance to listen to the tunes in his establishment and they were compilations of cover songs sung by some random local group. It was below satisfactory, so i've offered to make him a couple for the restaurant. DJ Croft to the rescue.
(Leave a comment)
09:54 am
[Link]
Morning GloryArising to the honking and lovely sound of construction outside, it's about 9ish, and i'm feeling a bit of a sore throat. Scott hasn't been feeling well, David was fighting it too, and I'm pumping as much vits as i have to ge past it. It's just a sore throat, and i have beat much worse! But it hasn't got me down at all, infact i am pretty happy.Yesterday i received confirmation on my next little adventure. Rquelly is off to SINGAPORE!!! Yep, for 4 days or so, guess who is squealing with glee! Carlo is flying into HK for a couple weeks and has a bit of business in Singapore so he asked if i wanted to pop down too, and i said Yes Laa! Another cool stamp in the passport, whewhoo! I want to see what kind of opps are down there too, might as well... Singapore is pretty neat and tidy, the rumour is that you are not allowed into the country with gum! Good thing i still have my MINI mints. The temperature down there is in the late 20's. I am sooooo looking forward to some hot weather.I should hear something from LC today about the two positions they were mentioning. I know that HR wanted to get the ball rolling quickly, as do I!!! I honestly do not like the idea of not working an entire month more. It's starting to get boring.My cell phone is outrageously expensive to make long distance calls home. I have to find a phone card that will work for a mobile, the only one i have is for a land line. I would like to call my grandparents and let them know things are going really well! My brother told me they were a little concerned. Today i am on my way to Central to pick up the tickets for Singa, and then i don't know.....look for some furniture for my apartment? Once i'm working, i'll need to buy some of the big things, like a closet, desk, lamp, bookshelf, alarm clock, plant, and hang some art. I almost like keeping it minimal though, i feel more freedom with less. But if i'm going to be here a while, i should settle in a little bit.Today i miss- steak and eggs for breakfast in Vietnam, central heating, cruising in the MINI convertible, and dvd's from legit sources that do not stop 3 chapters from the end of the show!!!!!
Current Mood: optimisticCurrent Music: BLACK-pearl jam
(Leave a comment)
January 20th, 2005
01:09 am
[Link]
Cravings.....You know how in the winter time when it's cold out and you are craving certain comfort foods. Well, today, i've been craving salty foods, so i had grilled cheeze toast with cream of tomato soup, and i could not have been happier about my meal. It was wonderful, perfect. Today has been cold, it rained a bunch early this morning, but it's been cloudy the rest of today. I have been indoors for most of it, bundled up, on the phone, internet, or watching a movie...today's flick was Napoleon Dynomite. Anyone who likes MTV humour will love it. I thought it was funny, but i drifted at times. It had some holes.....like the setting was super nerdy old school 80's, yet they had internet. Okay. There wasn't much of a story, but it was entertaining.Ken and Wolfgang left for Hanoi today! I'm so excited for them, i hope to make it up to that part of Vietnam someday. We all went out for drinks last nite. I met them in LKF right beside Ciao Bellas, and then we went to the prestigious Key Club. It's a members only place, but because we were with Valerie and Darryl, it was an easy in. Lucky us! It was not too busy there but it was a really classy place, very cozy, i think that's what i liked about it. The music was okay, some guy banging on some drums to house music. It could have been better, so we left and headed for Dragon-I. It was the usual....14 yr old models and men 45+ staring at them. I saw Mel there, the manager and gave her a sweet hug and kiss, she's super nice. It was packed at Dragon-I, too many people and a serious fight to get anywhere....lots of squeezing and nudging. I ran into Anita and Jim there, that was cool! We had a few drinks there, took a few photos and then ended up at Drop. I had never been to Drop before, it was down some back alley totally hidden, and more mellow with a very good crowd and better tunes. I finally got a chance to chat it up with Wolfgang, who i really admire. He's one of those professor/doctor/geniuses that almost lose you in conversation with their intellect. Wow, he's got some cool stories. I am so happy for Ken, they compliment each other really well. It was great to visit with Ken too, almost like in a dream....it's so neat to see him on the other side of the world. It's always like that when you see friends from home. We were missing the other half of our fab four, but it was still really great times. In the day, i went back to Lane Crawford to meet up with a lady named Rebecca Yeung. She deals in sales, but more on the behind the scenes part, dealing with lots of figures....not really my passion, however she did tell me about a couple opportunities that sounded really exciting. The first one would be running the lingerie division of the IFC store, which is due to open sometime in april. The line is exclusive and from London. www.agentprovocateur.com The lingerie is fun, wild and very sexy. If i were to take a position like that they would fly me to London for training also. Interesting, and sounds like it could be VERY fun!! The other position would be part time, as a stylist, or personal shopper. I'd have appointments booked with people who are looking for something specific or have no clue at all. I'd deal with people who have a lot of money but no fashion sense and need a hand. I would work closely with them and earn a commission on what they buy. It would be about 3-4 days a week, possibly more if i wanted to book more, and i would make about the same as the lingerie position but working half the time. So, free time is a big deal to me, i love having the time to do other things like little 3 day trips to different places in asia! But also, it's kinda nice to have a management position under my belt for a hot company like Agent P. So, until i find out a real breakdown of the numbers and job description, i'm hopeful. Very hopeful, and totally excited either way. Now, it's just waiting for the phone to ring on that end. I still have two more meetings!!! How many hoolahoops can i get going at once ya think?I haven't heard anything in the other areas of work that i've made efforts with. It's pretty hard when you're contacting people by email and they have not met you. I have a sneaky suspicion they may delete my emails before reading thinking they are junk mail with viruses or something like that. I wouldn't be suprised, if it was me i'd probably do the same thing.
Current Mood: cheerfulCurrent Music: Groove Armada- EASY
(Leave a comment)
January 18th, 2005
04:58 pm
[Link]
Ken Lee comes to townTuesday was a good day. I got word from Linda's husband and he forwarded my contact info to Shanghai Tang as they are hiring. I didn't hear back from the two other people at Lane Crawford, but i will call again. I headed to Central to find a spa place to touch up my eyebrows. No one is as good as Val in Vancouver, although i met a very nice chinese girl, Jennifer about my age. After meeting her, i headed over to IFC, ran into Fernando on my way to get my favorite cocktail, the Liver Flush, a concoction of cyanne, ginger, beet and grapefruit juice, at MIX juicebar. It was spicy but it always puts color in my cheeks! By starbucks, there was a man playing piano and knew all the best of Debussy. It was nice to listen to him, but the accoustics in the mall were not good so everything was booming and echoing. He rushed thru nearly every piece, i was wishing he'd slow down a little, i like debussy downtempo. Anyway, it was getting cooler outside and i figured i should get home in time to prep for Valerie and Darryl's house. I met up with Ken and Wolfgang at Excelsior Hotel and after a quick hug we jumped in a cab up to midlevels. Darryl's an architect and designs the interiors for Fendi and LV etc. He also designs bars like Alibi, where i went for a book launch once. Their place was really gorgeous obviously, very modern with clean lines and low light. We had a really good cocktail with diced strawberries, vodka, cranberry juice and mint. Alongside that we had some great caviar from Dubai. I met some more of Valerie's friends, Kirk and Greg, it was a very nice visit with everyone, but they didn't join us for dinner as they had some previous engagements to attend. So, the rest of us went to eat shanghainese food in Pacific Place. We had some type of pork and pine nut burrito, sauteed spinach and bamboo shoots, prawns, dumplings filled with meatball and soup, and green beans. It was all so good and we were stuffed. It was a great meeting of friends and we got some good photos at the end. We jumped in a taxi home, and i called it an early nite at around 10:30. Wow, that is a first in a long time. I felt almost weird being home at that time. Today is Wednesday 8:45am, I'll be hooking up with Ken and W later. More job hunting on the menu for me. I am supposed to check out a little concert at Neil's school, but i don't think that's going to happen.Today i miss- paychecks. church. my dog.
Current Mood: refreshedCurrent Music: Live Long- KOC
(Leave a comment)
January 16th, 2005
07:30 pm
[Link]
Hair of the DogI have never heard the term, "hair of the dog", until coming to Asia. It's a phrase based from the UK (i think), and it's the drink you have the day after the party. I first heard it in Vietnam on New Years Day. Hot Sauce Andy mentioned that that's exactly what you do the nite after new years eve. You drink it up again!!! I cannot do this, i'm just not physically capable. I think the UK bloodline have genetically evolved with super human livers. How on earth can people consume so much here is beyond me. But i have seen and injested enough champagne to last me half a lifetime.Friday afternoon i headed to IFC to meet up with Joanna. We had a very good chat and she suggested that i speak with some other depts within Lane Crawford before making a final decision with VM. She recommended i look at Sales or Marketing as they are some of my other passions. So, i have made contact with those people today and hope to have meetings with them in the next couple days. Friday nite i had dinner with Justin, then chilled out at home, wrote a little and watched some tv.Saturday i met up with Linda and her husband Jean Philippe and their gorgeous baby son, Bibi. We had lunch at the football club in happy valley, which is a part of the race track. It was really nice in there, the food was very good and i felt like i was in europe. The club is private, a members only type place, so you have to be a guest of a member to be there. It is pretty much an expat country club. I liked it, very cool vibe. I finally touched base with Imani from Nike, and he's down with the flubug. Seems to be going around no matter what climate you're in. If it's the winter months, there's a flu bug. Strange cuz it's not THAT cold here. I also went thru my notes from last years exhibits and movies and found a link from Massive Change on water purification systems. I sent the company an email as i'd like to know if they need some people to sell.... with all the stuff going on in the disaster region and lack of pure water, these companies may have huge opportunities waiting for them. Since there is alot of international attention i feel i should check this out as a possibility. I hope to hear back from them. In the evening, Cara and I met up at Ciao Bella's in LKF for some drinks with Jimbo and Neal. The nite was messy, very messy. We had everyone singing Ole Ole at the top of our lungs at Balailaika's (the russian vodka bar), but then once we hit up Dragon-I we were invited to sit at the platinum table and that's where i stop remembering what happened. I have not blacked out in about 4 years, but it happened. I remember coming to and reaching for the champagne bucket, where i discreetly threw up in. Shortly after that, we left and headed home to the safety of club bed. Sunday we all laid on the couch and watched dvds and episodes of seinfeld. Cara had missed her flight home by about a half hour, so she crashed at my place, Jimbo came over and our three foggy brains numbed out to the tv while the hours passed. At 7 we headed over to Carnegie's to meet up with Joe and his football team. They are a good bunch. Cara and i finally put some food into our bodies and had some tea and sodas to nurse our dehydration. The boys on the other hand.....well, it was the hair of the dog for them. Seriously, superhuman livers... She and i headed home around 11, and the boys got home at 5 in the morning. This morning, Cara and i were up at 6am. She got her things together and successfully caught her standby flight back to Vancouver. I'll miss her, it was fun hanging out and getting to know her. I climbed back into bed after she left, turned on my computer and fell asleep to my Goldfrapp cd. Felt good to nap a wee bit longer. Today, i've been on the computer contacting my leads for work. I really have to make something happen this week or next. I trust i'll be meeting with some people wednesday and later. This afternoon, Ken Lee gets here with Wolfgang. I'm excited to see them and meet W. Valerie called and invited me to drinks at her house tomorrow nite, so i'll get to see Ken there too, i'm so stoked! Too bad Dre and James weren't out here too, we could do some serious damage in Konga.Today i miss- Episodes of 24, the heat of Nha Trang, a routine, my warm coats from home.Happy Birthday Steve.
Current Mood: hopefulCurrent Music: Lovely Head- Goldfrapp
(Leave a comment)
January 13th, 2005
08:32 am
[Link]
plumber buttI decided not to write for a few days because i have felt like i'd write a bunch of negative thoughts, and i'd rather remember the good notes. It has been a very good week, tomorrow being Friday. The time flies faster here than any other place i've been. I am a few days shy of being in Asia for 2 months!! Already we're half way thru January and i can still smell the Christmas turkey.Monday nite i met up with Nick, Cara and Virgil. We ate thai food in TST and chatted over a good meal. I was happy to see them all. Seeing Virgil reminded me that i should send Roger the headhunter and email. So, i did that. I also set up an appointment to meet with Lane Crawford's HR dept.Tuesday 11am, i met with Lane Crawford's HR representative, Ms. Mak. She was lovely and my meeting with her was very smooth and informative. She gave me an outline of my job description and the expectations of my position and salary. I was with her till about 12:30 and then met up with Jim for lunch. Nick and i had coffee and a good chat around 2:30pm and i got home at around 5. I was bummed out that day. I think reality hit me that for me to start in HK meant to take a step side ways, possibly a little step back, if i was going to take the chance to move forward beyond where i was in Vancouver. A little princess syndrome? I think i had a little mental breakdown. Thanks to the help of my friends and mentors, i have been able to snap out of that. Thank you Nick, Caitlin, Jim, Robert and Carlo. Wednesday was a day to soak in rest and a little dvd action with Caitlin. I was also able to take on the role of Ms. Fix-It. Since i have moved into this flat, my Happy Valley toilet has been noisy, unpredictable and unreliable. I had enough!!! I decided to get to the heart of the problem, roll up my sleeves and dunk my hands in the tank. Yep, Rquelly the plumber. I think i was successful, the loo has behaved so far. The bar in my room that connects across my room was torquing pretty bad with all my hangers and clothes too, so I decided to buy a little rolling rack to take the weight off it so it wouldn't fall on me in the middle of the night. I assembled that just in time for Cara's arrival at my flat. We went to Brown's for dinner and had a really good thin crust pizza before heading to the RACES!!!!! I think Cara liked it, she was cheering and caught on to placing bets really quick- she won too, i was proud of her. We met up with Joe, Jim, some of their friends and Leanne (Joe's date). The races wrapped around 10:30 and we headed for Wanchai to Klong and Venue, and then finally to sleep. It was a great nite, and Cara also learned what "Ham Sap" means, haha! Nick left in the morning and called to say good bye. I will miss him as i have a feeling he won't be back here for a long while.Thursday- which is today..... i had cramps and felt fat. I had some tea and a little food and watched the Bourne Supremacy with Caitlin. She and i were either watching the tele or on our computers. I met up with Cara in Time Square around 4ish and we toured around and then had some Viet food on the 12th floor. The food was okay, nothing beats nha trang! She and i took the MTR over to Central and i showed her the collections in the women's dept of Lane Crawford's flagship store, and then we hit up National Treasure, which is a movie about the Illuminati and their secret treasures and clues. It was a Goonie's style movie for grownups. And anyone who's read the davinci code would adore it! Tomorrow i'm meeting Joanna from LC at IFC for 4pm to do a walk thru the store and get a guage of what she likes and what i notice. This will be interesting, it's been a while since i've done a walk thru. I wonder how rusty i'll be. I've been there enough times but tomorrow, i'm taking my notebook!The emails and phone calls with the Red Cross were a turn down. They told me that they would keep me on their list but that the people they were needing for volunteers would be in the medical field or professional counselling, neither of which i have. They recommended i speak with non-govt organisations in helping. Hmmm....Nick told me to get in touch with Danny in Thailand as he's assembling some people to do something. I'm intrigued and will contact him tomorrow. I am brainstorming of ways to help from here, possibly raise money with friends.I'm excited as i feel like the speed is about to accelerate for me. I have people coming into town starting next weekend. Derek Lee is here tomorrow, Ken Lee is here the following weekend, Andy Franko is coming end of the month with his dad, and Carlo will be out to visit around the beginning of Feb! Next month, James D is probably stopping by on the way to Australia and maybe Yannick too? If my visa situation is in the works i should be working by mid feb or possibly beginning of march. I certainly hope so. I may look into the acting business this coming monday for some extra cash, maybe i'll land a commercial or some extra work. I saw a dope black dress at Miss Sixty with a screen print of a black panther on it and it was HOTT! I didn't buy it......yet. It could be my first unpractical purchase!I think i'm sinking back into hong kong. It took a good week and a half to happen. My battle is finding the balance with self. Recognising the opportunity I have available to me and not being so spoiled or to waste it. Stepping outside my flat, the city stimulates me offering arts, entertainment, restaurants and shopping. That's what a city is designed to do. It's an engine run by the people, but it's a place that sucks you in and it's very hard to keep focused on what's important, when wanting that pair of shoes or hot dress is what i think will make me happy. My trip to Nha Trang was an example of how stimulating the sunrise is, how the ocean breeze, warm sandy beaches and fresh air are sufficient and freely available if i step outside my house. Yes, what nature offers is stunning, and often doesn't cost you a dime.Today i miss- The vancouver summers and gelato with Josh, Tim and Dan. Safari's using the night vision goggles in Lanai hunting for sleeping deer in the darkness!


January 10th, 2005
11:52 am
[Link]
Hotmail and the Daily DoseIt's almost noon on monday. I got an email from this guy Rene, who claims that we could be related on the Vansomeren side of the family. We are getting to the bottom of this, but i have a feeling his grandfather and my grandfather were brothers. So, it'll be cool to see if it's true. I sent the msg home for my mom to work out the details. I dont' know much about my family tree, my extended family that i know of is hard enough to keep track of!I am about to call Lane Crawford's HR dept and see what they left me a msg about. If they thought i was stellar enough to hire, then the visa application process starts. I should know more soon.Last nite, i spent something like 5 hours at Carnegie's with Neal and his friend Jim. Then our Buddy Jimbo came out with little Dave after cruising thru TST with Joe. We took some fun photographs. Jimbo did his photoshoot yesterday, which means he can now stop his Atkins diet. Shoot, if he plans to run that marathon with Joe, he better stock up on some carbs! Carnegie's was super fun. I took it mellow and had some food and tea. We talked about girlfriends and how cool Aerosmith is. The daily dose is getting bigger, i send it out to so many people now that hotmail only lets me send out a maximum of about 100 a day, so i have to pay money to upgrade my account and that way i can expand how many emails i send. It better work.Sheri- i got your email today, it was a real pleasure to read, i will write you soon.I am going to call Dr. Wong and let him know i'm in town again. I want to talk to him about shots for Indo and also let him know Nick is in town. Cara is in town too and i think they are doing some work today. I hope to see him for dinner sometime before he goes. I think i may have japanese tonite with Neal and Jim and Darren. I haven't had Japanese food here yet, but they said they know of a "phenomenal" spot. I wonder if it's like GUU.Better get in the shower. Ellen is here, and i met Kaitlin who is here too visiting David. She is awesome, i love her spirit, she's a happy person much like my friend Shelley Kim.Today i miss- GUU, vintage shopping, my uncle henry.NOte to self- get that album that Dave recommended by Goldfrap.
Current Mood: okayCurrent Music: SWEET EMOTION- Aerosmith
(Leave a comment)
January 9th, 2005
01:45 pm
[Link]
Sitting in MIX cafeFriday, Ryan and Amanda headed off at the airport express after a quick drink with me in the IFC mall. It was really nice to see them off, i feel like we all bonded on our trip. It's interesting how you become more open to things when you're travelling in comparison to being home. I certainly feel like i got to know our little canadian crew a lot better than i had previously while living in Vancouver. Friday nite, i headed out to meet with Justin, Amee, Jim and the gang. After a quick piece of pizza, we met at Ciao Bella's for the usual two for one specials. After one drink, i could already feel my body saying no more, go home, go sleep. So, i did. I dont' think i was really tired though, i just wanted some quiet. I ended up watching the Matrix, the first one. It makes more sense now that i watch it, especially after my recent readings. That movie is pretty genius actually. I fell asleep half way thru and watched it on saturday morning. Saturday was a write off. I stayed in bed till almost 4 and then made my way to time square for a bite to eat and run a couple errands. I headed home around dinner time and watched the movie The Terminal. It was okay, another one of those movies where Tom Hanks carries the entire film. There are some cute moments, so i did enjoy it. I hit the pillow early, and my room mate David got back into town around midnite, returning from his trip to Vancouver over Christmas. He's brought his girlfriend with him and i think she'll be visiting with him for a couple weeks? Not sure. I'm looking forward to meeting her, i missed them this morning, they took off pretty early. I think they have to get over some jetlag again.Sunday is Maids in the Streets day. They are everywhere. They tape down a blanket on the sidewalk and they all eat together, play games, chat. It's really a site to see, there are literally thousands of them, and it makes me a little sad too. I spoke with Nick last nite, it was so good to talk with him. I think i get to see him today, i hope so, i know he was feeling pretty tired from his adventures in Saigon. I'm taking it easy, i don't feel like doing much. I wrote paster Ross in Whiterock, and i'm hoping to hear back from him on some indonesian missions. I wrote the red cross but still no reply. I hope to get some word soon so i can get the ball rolling. I feel like my life is pending at the moment. What i have figured out is that i am meant to live by the coast. I am drawn to the open ocean and rolling waves. I need to find that place, i know that is home. If i could be certain about one thing, it's that i could live anywhere where there is mainly sun and surf. I've known it a long time, but i think it's time i really make it happen. I think that's why i felt so gutted about leaving Lanai. Freedom feels good. I feel more alive now than i did while working. I am hoping i can find a way to continue a life that provides more liberties for me. I dont' mind to work hard, but i want it to mean something long term, not just to put in the time. I hope it will hit me like it did Thomas Edison.A man named Rene Vansomeren contacted me randomly saying that we could be related. I am curious about this and how he tracked me down. We'll see what comes of that. He says he's from Ventura County, CA, and now lives in Holland. Hmm...I got word from Science's friend Bryce, who's in Bankok. He's headed over to volunteer in Thailand for the disasters, and he's told me they are pretty good over there. It's malaysia and indonesia that are in dire need. So, i think i'm axing Thailand off the list. The rest is fate, and i hope to figure all that out within the week.Lane Crawford left me an email and wants to hear from me on Monday. I believe they may want to start processing a work visa for me??? I'll call them tomorrow and see what's up. Bombardier said no, which is cool, i don't mind and i didn't have any expectations. I figure one must try and try again. I did write them back though, and thanked them for their reply.I also contacted Action Asia Magazine to see if they ever consider freelance writers for their magazine. I know that i'm addicted to sitting at a computer and writing. I feel very happy to spend 4-6 hours at a time in front of a keyboard and screen. Maybe i can turn it into something at some point in my life. My dream job would be to write for Conde Naste Traveller. I should contact Roger from the sport fishing club, he's my recruiting contact. Jim said to me last nite he thinks my travels will not stop. He has this idea that i will be going around the world, and this is just the beginning. Gee, if he's right, i better start packing a little lighter. I hope he's right though. To see the world is my passion, i have the bug!! I tried to get in touch with Kirby but his phone cut out, total bummer. I'll try him again tomorrow.Today i miss- mom's macaroni and cheeze baked with bread crumbs on top! mmmmmm.
Current Mood: confusedCurrent Music: i do not have a song of the day today
(Leave a comment)
January 6th, 2005
10:05 pm
[Link]
Sinking back in.....The last couple days were a little uneasy getting back into the Hong Kong groove. It's weird to be back after my experiences in Nam. It was very hard to say goodbye as i'm aweful with goodbyes, especially after really great times meeting the very special family of Nha Trang. I swear i'm too sentimental sometimes.Cyrus, Judah and myself boarded the plane very early on Monday for Saigon for a pitstop and connect to HK. Back in the big city, i dropped my heavy load at my flat while the boys checked into Miramar Hotel in TST Kowloon side. Right away i noticed that my flat has dropped in temperature, as Hong Kong is going thru winter. Although it's around 8-10 C at nite, there is no central heating in the old buildings so it gets chilly and you need to bundle up. Thank goodness i brought my fleece slipper socks. They are ugly but i wouldn't trade them for bare feet! I unpacked my stuff and started going thru the things that i bought and almost forgot about, like the little paintings i bought in Saigon, and the flute and dvd's and postcards. My phone rang and it was Cyrus. He said they had an extra room at the hotel that was already paid for and he asked if i wanted to spend the nite with them and then hit Mong Kok in the morning, so i packed up a backpack once again and huffed it thru Time Square to the MTR to meet them for 7pm. We found a restaurant across the street for some family style chinese food ( i had Ma Pao Tofu, mmmmm) and then i took them on a short little tour thru HK island side, where we strolled thru a very quiet Central/ LKF/ and Time Square. I got to see Jimbo real quick with the boys before heading back on the MTR to the hotel. We crashed and called it a nite. Flying takes alot out of you, even if it's only a half day. Tuesday morning, we took our time, and got out for breakfast around noon. After that, we hit up Mong Kok where we experienced a shopping experience like no other for electronics and kicks. The boys were in heaven at first and then slowly realised it is beyond overwhelming. I thought for sure they'd buy shoes, and they didn't, but they did buy hot digicams! Ah, just like what happened to me, no shoes.... Even on my second trip, the only purchase for me was a bottle of water and some anti histamine. I was sneezing up a storm with allergies. We did end up at the ladies market though, where we were ushered into a separate building on a second floor where there were a bunch of hot knock off bags. Hmmmm, fake Hermes bags that would sell appx $20'000 USD, but here they are about $150. I can't buy fake, just can't, but it was serious to see how good the fakes are. You seriously would never know. I think i'm over designer bags though. I don't need the logos all over the place. I've always liked the little labels or a smaller detail. Whatever, i've nearly destroyed my old gucci bag from San Francisco. Being back was uneasy and slightly irritating to me with the noise and bustle and all the wealth. That sounds weird coming from me, but after spending 2 weeks in a third world country where people have nothing, and then with the tsunami's happening, it's more of a culture shock to come back into HK then it was the first time, and I'm a little undecided how i feel about being here. Everything takes time, warming up to a place and settling in....it's all transition. I have faith that everything happens just the way it's supposed to, but i believe i need to make some decisions before life starts flowing again. I have always based decisions based on my heart, my gut, that is what lights up my life. I am in a bit of a funk because i know what my life is here right now. I'm fighting that part of making things happen versus letting things happen. I know there's supposed to be a balance there or i'd be a lazy ass. Ah, my mind is so fragmented at the moment i have a hard time putting into words.I just checked my hotmail and got some great encouraging emails from Chad, Neal, and Judy and Garrett Louie!!! It was so excellent to hear from them all. I also got the pleasure to MSN chat with Science the other day, and he gave me some hook ups for Thailand as one of his friends who's a fireman from Vancouver had planned to vacation in Thai, but when the disaster happened, he decided not to cancel his trip and go over anyway and help. So, perhaps i'll meet a fellow canadian friend over there, if Thailand ends up being the destination. I haven't had the opportunity to look into going yet, i'm still settling in and hanging out with the Vancouver crew that is here. Amanda and Ryan went to Mongkok today for shoes, Cyrus and Judah are heading back to Vancouver, and i think Nick gets here either today or tomorrow. I'll be so happy to see him, and i'm glad he got his passport stuff sorted out! Yesterday morning, Allan took off for China. Then Cyrus met up with his mom for the day, while i headed out with Judah to the Museum of History. That was really cool, they started the exhibit at 400 million years ago...., we were like, how long is this exhibit???? It was great though, i didn't take a notebook though cuz i forgot, so there's a lot of stuff i missed out on and i know i'll forget unless i read it a couple more times. Anyway, i liked it, and learned alot about the different dynasties and trade and british arrival. I think it's about time i start reading Tai Pan. Last nite, i took the crew to the horseraces where we met up with Jim, Neal, Joe and friends. It was fantastic to see Joe, he'd just got back from the UK and after some big hugs, i gave my canadian friends a quick crash course on how to bet on horses. We betted a few races, and then headed over to Wanchai, where we ended up at Klong, a little club that plays house. After a few little club stops at Venue and Dusk till Dawn, we got in cabs and headed home. I slept in my own bed for the first nite last nite, cozied up in my blue fleece pj's and passed right out.Today, i woke up and talked to Cyrus on the phone, said goodbye, then went downstairs to the fotolab, dropped off my memory card for some photo printing, then Leonard called me and we had our usual long and beautiful conversations till his phone card ran out. I miss Leonard alot, he is truely one of my best friends, i almost forgot how much i missed our conversations. I thought about him alot when i was in Vietnam as i know that was one of his favorite places in all the countries he's travelled. He's also a great inspiration to me to be more adventurous!! I'm still in my sweats. I need a shower, i feel gross and need to get up and out. I don't feel like going outside today, and even though it's nice weather, i've avoided writing and have so many emails to write, i feel so behind. I do need to get a lot done on the computer though, many emails and calls to make. I am used to 8 hours at a desk and computer from MINI. It's strange being unemployed for 2 months. I quite enjoy it. But i'm going to have to figure something out. I cannot do this forever, not even another couple months more...Nha trang......i dream of the beaches and that unbelievable Guava burger. Seriously, food is a sweet luxury. I miss that whole experience today. I miss all the girls, Darren and Thuyd, Quinn and Jung, Sophie, Jess, Vy , Patrick and all the Andy's...how many were there again....5? I'll make it back there again soon, it's one of those places that takes a piece of your heart and keeps it to make sure you come back! Lanai's like that too, but for me i want to go there again without sadness, and i still feel sad about Lanai. Until i deal with that, i don't think i should go back there.I'm so glad i got to speak to my folks on the phone the other nite. My mom called me at like midnite, and it made me feel calm to hear her voice. I got to sum up some of my travels, and thankfully she keeps up with my writing, so i could skip to the other parts i don't write about, and only a mom's ear could understand. I spoke to my father also, and it was rejuvinating to talk to him. I get alot of my strength from my dad. I could've spoken to them for much longer than i did and feel like we only scratched the surface. After all the events in asia, it has heightened the emotions with touching base with home.It is good to be back in Hong Kong. I wonder what is around the corner for me next week. I feel a little tremor inside me. That means somethings gonna happen soon. I've got to dive deep into myself to find these answers. I am confident i'll find them. In the meantime i hate feeling so funky. Being in the middle sucks. I like to make up my mind and go for it.Today i miss- Guava's Burgers, the way Vy teases Cyrus and Allan, pho noodles for 80 cents, vietnamese coffee!!! I am going to call Kirby this week, we must catch up!
Current Mood: confusedCurrent Music: End of the Innocence- Don Henly
(Leave a comment)
January 3rd, 2005
12:18 am
[Link]
New BeginningsNew years was a blast. This trip has been incredible, with so many wonderful experiences and moments that leave you breathless. I'm in the hotel and it's after midnite. I must be up early at 5 tomorrow to meet up with Judah and Cyrus as we three are heading back to HK. The crew is breaking up and it's sad that our Vietnam adventure has come to an end. This place is beautiful, i love Nha Trang. I hope to come back, there is a piece of my heart here, without a doubt. I love island life. I love the tropics, and i love hearing waves crash on the sand when i sleep.Today we went to a new resort that is just finishing on a neighbouring island about 20 mins off the coast of nha trang. It's part of the 6 senses resorts, and it's called The Evason Hideaway. It's rustic, but high end design, and absolutley lovely. It is totally remote and great for a couple days but i would definitely recommend it for couples who want their alone time. Wow, it's gorgeous. We hung out with the resort manager there, he's overseeing all the building. TJ is his name, and his girlfriend is Iyaka's sister Chica. They have the most gorgeous british bulldog named Braveheart and we feasted on organic salads, lobster and chocolate cake with homemade icecream.Tonite was pretty mellow. We had some pho for dinner and then had a coffee down the street. Guava was busy but mellow and i said my good byes and then headed over to what i would call Hot Sauce Hotel. That's where hot sauce Andy and chef Andy and Sophie and Jess live. I hung out for a half hour there and gave out my hugs and kisses, and now i'm here, writing.Yesterday was pretty much a write off. Everyone slept in for new years day, including me. I got out of the hotel around 2pm, and headed to Guava for a burger (they have the BEST cheeseburger in the world, i'm not kidding.) Picked up my laundry and then we all had dinner at the sailing club. I had some italian food, which wasn't so italian tasting but still very tasty, and then we called it an early nite. It was a recovery day. New years at Guava was intense. I slurped back a good lot of Bellini's and then at the countdown there was a ton of champagne being popped and showered over the crowds! I felt pretty sticky and also fairly intoxicated. We danced up a storm and DJ's Precise and Chigga rocked it solid! It was so much fun.Yes, this year we're going to "drop it like it's hot!"I'm sad to leave Vietnam. It's been really good to recharge with Nick and his family, and to explore some new places and have such incredible company. All of us have bonded here, and there are great memories to last a lifetime.I'm going back to Hong Kong tomorrow and looking into a couple things work wise. To be honest, i'm not really keen on staying in HK for long. When i was on the back of the motorbike praying about what is my destiny, i asked God to tell me where to go, and i'd follow. He spoke, so it's time to pack my bags again and head on another trip. This one's not going to be a vacation though. I certainly know it will be much more serious this time. I'm going to team up with the red cross when i get home, and it's off to either thailand or indonesia. I'm going over there to help out. The people there need so much help and i am not working or tied down at the moment. I should be there. I always imagined myself in Africa. I thought that's where i was destined to go. But then after the tsunami happened, i glued myself to the news and felt so helpless sitting there. When God told Moses he was supposed to lead the people, Moses said to God, " but can't you send someone else? Why me? I am not suited for that kind of role." Alot of the same objections have been going thru my mind as well. Somewhere deep inside, i knew this day would come too, and i'm almost dreading it. But i have faith that i will be okay, much better than most out there, i know God will not fail me. I must admit i am not looking forward to it though. I should hit the hay, i must be up in 4 hours and i should get a little rest before sunrise.Today I miss- Dan and Leonard Fong, hearing my parents and brother's voice on the phone, quiet nites with Steve in Lanai watching vids in the octagon room.
(0 comments Leave a comment)
December 30th, 2004
10:23 am
[Link]
A morning without NickI am a mash of different feelings right now. It's been a horrifying few days in the news. The reports say there are 80'000 corpses, and they expect many many more. I estimate there will be around 200'000, and it will take a long time for the bodies on the bottom of the ocean to rise to the surface. God, it's aweful. I felt anger when Colin Powell noted on CNN that they were going to "assess the situation before proceeding". Well, no one's going to want to go in there when they quarantine these countries from disease. If anyone has the power to make things happen it would be the americans. It's very easy to see why the rest of the world has violent opinions towards that country.Here in Nam, it's fantastic and lovely. I went on an hour motorbike ride catching up to the crew who left without me, to the countryside by this big babbling river so hidden that no tourists go there. I didn't drive, but sat on the back of a local bike driver. I popped in my ipod and watched the world around me. I found myself in a meditation as well, but instead of peace i felt a tug on my spirit. It's hard to explain, it was more like guilt for not taking more advantage of this life i have. I was spared from the disaster only a couple hours away, while thousands had lost everything or died. What is my destiny? I looked to the heavens and asked God to point out the way and take me there and i'd trust him. Tears streamed across my cheeks as the bike zipped past rice fields and small villages. It's comforting to know you can find yourself in prayer, even on the back of a motorbike. After a 15 minute hike, Juan my driver and i found the rest of the crew on a 500 sq ft rock in the middle of the river. It was smooth and dry and we bbq'd meat and ate and beached ourselves for a few hours. It was private and serene. We even saw some of the country people walking across the river to the other side where they would get their fruit or firewood for the day. On the way back into town, i rode with Quinn, and the lot of us passed a bunch of children, so we stopped to give them some extra food from our little picnic. They were so thankful and unbelievably happy to have the fruit!In the afternoon i had a shower and rested for a while before meeting up for drinks at the Ana Mandara, which is THEEE place to stay if you've got the loot. It's like an Aman Resort, but it's under the 6th Senses Chain. It's a 10/10, at nite they have flower petals and floating candles in the pool. It's completely romantic. We ended up having a big dinner there, and toasted Nick off on his train ride to Saigon. He is there today at the Canadian Embassy to get a new passport. I hope he returns to Nha Trang for New Years. He lights up the house, everyone adores him. We totally missed him last nite at Guava, but we played "Lean Back" in his honour and danced up a storm.I'm in the business center right now, it's almost noon and i'm about to head back up to my hotel room and get ready to hang out with Chef Andy for the day. Quinn's family is doing a big lunch at Jung's parent's house, but i think i'm going to bow out on this one and spend the day at the beach reading and just chilling. Andy has offered to show me around some of his favorite spots and do lunch. I'm better one on one than in large circles anyway, so i'm looking forward to it very much. I'm on island time now, it feels very good.Things i hope to find today- my black bikini MIA, White Tiger Balm for my mosquito bites.
Current Mood: a mixture of happy and sad.Current Music: The Planets- Holst
(Leave a comment)
December 28th, 2004
06:10 am
[Link]
The trip down the river.....Last nite at the reception was incredible fun, a nite to remember, and certainly something people will be talking about for a long time. FlyBoy Andy and Chef Andy sang some songs on stage impromptu for Quinn and Jung....it was hilarious. Danny and Selene did their own duet as well and it was priceless. After that and a whole lot of Tiger Beer and amazing food, we pitstopped at the hotel with some people to pick up my laptop and a quick change. Thanks to Allan and Ryan for their talents with my itunes and the dj equipment at the club....you guys cut it up!!!! We turned Quinn's lounge into a club and everyone was dancing. It was fantastic!Today i am slow moving.....not only am i recovering from the late events of last, but i also have allergies here from some of the local dust. I couldn't stop sneezing today and thankfully, Arnie (aka A-Ho) had some allergy meds on him, so i lucked out and by late afternoon i felt better. I think they are helping my mosquito bites too as they are not as itchy.This morning i had a half hour to get to Guava again, i need to have a little more notice as i need more time than men do. I'm pretty low maintenance but not that much! So, Nick and i met up with about 20 of our crew at 9am, and then we loaded into the taxi's and they took us to the boats. We went on these very simple skiffs downriver, towards the Cham Towers. The Chamba believed that men were below women, and women ruled everything. Interesting. They were into the Hindu religion, so when you go to the temple, you can see Shiva guarding the entrance to the door. The inside is the same kinda shrine as most in Asia. The outside is best to take photos of as it's super old, built during the 17th century.After that, we got back into the boats and travelled to a spot where there was a small group of houses off the riverbank. There a family was waiting for us and set out some tables and chairs. They climbed a tree and got us each a coconut, sliced off the top and we sat and ate them. It was delicious! Then, Allan decided to climb a Coconut tree and he did! From there, we got back in the riverboats and travelled to our next stop, which was a fruit break at this man's house in another spot a few kms down on the riverbank. His place was cool, he had all these fruit trees and we ate and sat on really cool koa root furniture. We had some very good tea and then it was time to go, but this time, not by boat. We went by horse and carriage!!!! But, it wasn't pulled by the black stallion, nor were we going cinderella coach! This was the real deal, ricketty and small, the little horses were very small and cute. And they hauled aobut 6 of us in each cart to our destination- Lunch at this little restaurant along...you guessed it.....the riverbank. It was gusting wind and we had to switch tables as the drop shears unlatched and were flapping out of control. Our lunch was fantastic, although my stomach is still ultra funky. By the riverbank our boats were docked, and so we got back in them and off to the Mud Baths and mineral pools!!!The mud baths were interesting. It feels more like bathing in gritty chocolate milk that you didnt' stir properly. It was luke warm and really yucky feeling, but i think it helped my skin after all the bugs eating at it. Also, i think i got a little bit of a burn from the sun. The mineral pools were fun too, really warm and soothing. My allergy meds finally kicked in there and i stopped sneezing and looking stoned from being so stuffed up. It was just what the doctor ordered. We hopped in a cab and i left my swim suit in a little plastic bag in the taxi when the driver dropped me off. I hope the others saw it on their pit stop at their hotel....shit, i love that bikini. I am zonked. So tired. I can't believe i have the energy to even type right now. What i really need to do is shower and comb out my hair. I dont even feel hungry, i love the food but it takes a while to adapt to it. I'll be heading over to Guava later tonite, it's the place to be, either there or the Sailing Club. I may retire early tonite, and sleep sleep sleep. I have to save my strength for New Year's Eve.The connection here is pitifully slow at transferring photos to my website, and i'm trying to get that up as i have some excellent shots of Nha Trang. It's SOOOO different from Saigon. I better run and have a shower and find out where Nick's at. Every day and nite here seems to outdue the last, and it's fabulous and new and wonderful but completely exhausting. I have to keep writing so i never forget my time here.
Current Mood: exhaustedCurrent Music: Chief Rocka- Lords of the underground.
(Leave a comment)
December 27th, 2004
01:52 am
[Link]
The Day after Boxing Day!Whew, it's been wild the past couple days...... i am in love with Nha Trang. I could live here, honestly. It's beautiful, you live by the ocean, there's a constant breeze, the sunsets and sunrise are fabulous, the food is an 11 out of 10, and people are so sweet and wonderful. It's a great place to live, i'm so happy for Quinn and Jung.Today was the wedding. Nick woke me up really late, at 7:10am and we were supposed to get to Quinn's house for 7:30, so i made a mad dash for the shower and hustled for a wedding faster than any function i've ever attended!!!Once at Quinn's, we were welcomed by a crew of people, his family, friends, and motorcade of taxivans. After a quick coffee at the shop across the street, we all followed vietnamese wedding tradition. It is from the groom's house that you are supposed to load up with presents for the bride's family, and travel over to their house. So, we did, with the wedding cakes, the roasted whole pig, fruit baskets, bamboo centerpieces and other various things. It was great! We loaded up in the taxi's and i sat up with Todd, a friend of Quinn's who had the luck of transporting the wedding cake into the countryside. It was stressful holding it the way there, praying to God it would not topple over!!! We toured thru the city first and then thru the countryside to this lovely villiage of farmers. This is where Jung's folks live. We parked and then walked single file to their entrance way, where we each presented them with the gifts. After that, the ceremony began. All of Quinn's family and friends were on one side of the room, and Jung's on the other. There was an introduction, starting with Nick's Mother, and Jung's grandmothers. It was really cute, Nick's mom gave each of Jung's grandmas a hug and kiss on the cheek. Yvonne and Nick gave Quinn away, and Jung's folks gave her away, there was a lot said in Vietnamese, some gold jewelry placed on Jung, and some shots of tea. The rings were exchanged, and then it was done! It was a great wedding, not too long thank goodness, as it was boiling hot! After that, we proceeded into an adjacent room where we all sat at big round tables and ate lunch! It was only about 10am by this point, and everyone was starving for breakfast. Out came the beer, and then the toasting, and before 11am, we were all shouting and drinking. We played spin the chicken head in the bottle.....see photos on the site, he's priceless! I left there giggling my head off and my voice was almost gone from all the shouting. We would shout together "Mot, how, bye, YO!" (phonetically anyway) and clink our glasses and cheer. It was unbelievable. Fly Boy Andy was there, and he never got sleep from last nite. I swear he is the narliest partier i have ever seen. This guy pulls all niters like the world's ending. Yesterday was a lazy day. First off, i wasnt' feeling too hot at all....my stomach has been kinda shot since i got here, and i think from taking all my vits to fight off the cold made me even more uneasy in the belly. Anyway, i stayed in most of the day, sat by the pool and finished Digital Fortress (which is good but doesn't come remotely close to the Davinci Code.) Nick left to the police station to file a police report on his lost passport......that is going to be a nitemare, he came back today and is still having major problems. I headed over to the Sailing Club, which is managed by Patrick, who i bumped into and had a drink and some food with. I met "monster", his dog, and then we got interrupted by his cell, and it was the call about the tsunami and earthquakes hitting up all the islands. We instantly snapped on CNN and were glued to the tube. Harsh. Wu is in India, Imani and Vida's whole family are in Puhket. And i haven't heard anything from them yet. Judah was worried today, but i think Wu is inland in India, so i think she's safe. It's really weird being here seeing it all on the news. Allan and Amanda (Nick's kids) were there just a few days ago. Crazy. Thankfully, nothings changed for the coastlines here, the waves are slightly bigger, but we are all safe. At 7pm, we met up at Quinn's club, Guava, and all of Nick's relatives were there, as well as Darren's folks. I met Nick's mom, sister, ex-wife, and inlaws, as well as Quinn's stepfather. We headed to another giant feast at a restaurant and Jung ordered. We left totally overly stuffed and went back to Guava to drink and spin records. Hoa shined my shoes, he's a little kid that hung out with Allan, Amanda, Judah, and Cyrus during the day, as they went to Monkey Island, to which i declined. I have a problem seeing caged animals doing tricks in third world countries. The only way you can make a bear ride a bicycle or motorbike is if you whack it, i'm pretty sure you don't train by coaxing them. Anyway, at Guava, it started to get silly, more beer, more shots, Quinn's last nite as a single man, and then Fly Boy Andy got a little crazy and started taking bribes. money started appearing on the table, and i was in stitches of laughter watching him snort Insanity Hot Sauce up his nose, and then dipping his penis in it too. I nearly peed my pants, it was pretty funny shit.Back to the present- I'm sitting by the hotel pool, the sun is starting to fall, it's just after 4:30pm, and at about noon we got back from Quinn and Jung's ceremony. So, the rest of this day has been spent by the ocean sand, absorbing rays, slathering coconut oil on, and fighting the shore break for a little dip in the China Sea. The water was warm, and after a slight pummeling, Amanda and I survived and got some colour. She's had a head start and is BLACK from Thailand. I'm a little tinted, but it takes me forever. I will need to bake out there everyday till we leave to show any real evidence. In about an hour, we're going to the wedding reception, and it all starts up again. "Mot How Bye Yo!" Mom, i'm taking my vits and enzymes before i leave....i have a feeling this is gonna get ugly! Life is so good here. I can see why people fall in love with this place just passing thru and decide not to leave. It's gorgeous. Like any small place, everyone knows who you are, and what your business is. That part kinda bothers me and is part of why i got out of Van. But, in another way, it's cool because everyone's got your back and you take care of each other. There are pros and cons to every place you live. But, certain things outweigh the other, and to me, this is true quality of life. I do not want to leave this paradise.The only thing i miss today is north american bug repellant as the local stuff is shit and i'm covered in mosquito bites! I am trying to stay near the bats as they keep me safe.Time to get my dress on and head to dinner. heels or no heels??? decisions.:) I love weddings.
Current Mood: ecstaticCurrent Music: Bongo Bong- Manu Chao
(Leave a comment)
December 25th, 2004
01:23 am
[Link]
ChristmasJoe once told me that if you go away on vacation for a week, you’ll write a book; if you go away for a month, you’ll write a magazine article; and if you go away for a year, you won’t write a thing. I think he’s right….i don’t know where he got that but it’s true. I haven’t written in about 2 days because it’s been so hectic, and then I feel like I should summarize it or I’d be writing for eons. Sheesh, a lot has happened in the last 48 hours. Where to begin….i’m not sure…..We got into Vietnam on Monday nite, and hung out at this place really close to our hotel for last call. The next morning, we met downstairs at the breakfast buffet and I tried some really good dim sum and an array of western cuisine and Vietnamese cuisine. It was tasty. After that we did our shopping in the BinTham market, where I saw a lot of meat, seafood, clothing, fabrics, shoes and souvies. Darren gave us the tour and then we went for a coffee at this cool little café before carrying on to a mall that sold cheap dvds. Cyrus and I went bonkers on them and had to buy a separate cd case to house them all. We both bought appx 30 each. Stoked! During this time, Quinn and Nick went to the airport to see if they could retrieve a bag that Nick left their by accident. It had a bunch of books for Quinn and the package from my parents. They met us at the mall and then we continued on to lunch and then the war museum. The war museum is a sad and educational experience. It’s not for those who have a weak stomach or those that are quite innocent. I would not take children in there, it’s very graphic. The museum has about 6 small pavilions, and outside in the middle of the museum are all the big war planes, bombers, large guns, tanks and helicopters. You can see the size of ammo that were used to destroy the earth, and you learn about the Purple People Eater and Agent Orange, the chemicals used by the American military. It was harsh. Before the usa came in there, it was the French, and they used guillotines, so there’s a tonne of shit that these people have been thru and they are survivors. The after effects of the chemicals lingered in the soil and water and children were born deformed, trees are still small, a lot of the animals are small etc. It will take many years before this place fully recovers, and even then, these people will never forget.Judah, Cyrus and I checked into a thai massage place and got our feet rubbed and backs cracked for about $20 over 3 hours. It ruled, I needed it badly, I think they got about 5 cracks up my spine. It was Quinn’s stag this evening, so we headed back to the hotel for a quick “shower shit and shave” as Nick likes to call it, and then headed to a spot called Juice. It’s a really cool place and the owners are American and Vietnamese. The chef/owner is a Californian guy who makes really good fusion food. His wife is Vietnamese and very cool. We dressed up Quinn as a girl with a mumoo and wig. He looked really great. I was the only girl at the stag, which is normally a total no-no unless you’re stripping, but somehow I managed to get in with the club and drink up on Juice’s signature drink- The Cannonball (rum, tequila, watermelon juice, lime juice, mint, crushed ice, and something else) The party continued to a place called The Underground, where we laid Quinn down on the bar and shot a syringe of liquor into his mouth! From there, the lot of us ( about 15) went to a club called Rainforest. In there, it was straight up techno music, and that’s when the heavy drinking started. Two big bottles of Absolut Vodka were bought, and the boys started to dance. We snacked on some shrimp cheezies and some fruit, and watched a santa routine with about 8 dancers dressed in red and white. It was cute. Then some game show host looking dude came out and handed out some prizes to a draw. The weirdest thing about this place was not being allowed to take photos. We brought out the digicam and almost got thrown out! It was a weird club, the entrance was done in aluminum foil to create this space-like ambience. The dj looked like Ali G but the music was far from hip hop. After leaving Rainforest, we went to a place called U2, which is like a girly bar, except a little more rough that what I’d witnessed out in Wanchai. This was part of the tour that made me a little sad but I met a friend of Quinn who’s name is Johnny, and he’s an Australian guy that has family in HK. So we spoke briefly and then Nick and I got Cyrus and Judah and left for bed at the hotel. That was Day One. A very full and wonderful day.Day 2- Nick Louie’s Birthday! Nick and I woke up and had breakfast in the club lounge. After, we got the boys and decided to do a little walking around Saigon. We ended up back at the Bin Tham market, bought some things, found another dvd store, and then Quinn suggested that we check out another dept store on the other side of town called Diamond. We were totally down to go, but there was one new element……taking the motorbikes there. In Saigon, you can hire a motorbike taxi guy and he’ll take you anywhere you want, so we rented 5 dudes and headed over to Diamond for more shopping and lunch. I bought a safari style button up shirt for 75000 Dong, which is appx $6.25 Cnd. Diamond is the only place you can go where you can buy real labels like lacoste or ripcurl or quicksilver. All the other places are knockoffs like Nexx (instead of Mexx), or Spirit ( instead of Esprit) shit like that. Anyway, Diamond offers a decent dept store assortment of things, and they are leading in what’s available for fashion in Saigon. The food fair is interesting. There are around 6 different restaurants within the food fair. You are sat and given a menu of each of the restaurants, and then you pick what you want, and they get it for you. At the end, you pay your bill separately for each place, so you can buy a coffee from one, and your pho from another. It’s kinda weird. They are very nice, very good service, and the food was the best food fair pho I have ever had and it cost us about $2 each to eat there.At nite, we went to another restuarant a little out of the way, but it was soooo worth it. We were with Quinn, Ayaka, Brent from Cardero's in Vancouver, and the four of us. The best meal yet- we had pumpkin flower, lotus leaf wrapped fried rice, soft shell crab and stirfried jackfruit. It was off the hook, so unbelievably tasty.Day 3- We woke up early to check out the Cau Dai temple and the Cu Chi tunnels. This was an emmotional day for me. Our guide was 56. His name is Tung, and he was a soldier at the young age of 20. He lost his brother in the war, his mother, his brother in law, and sister. He lived in the tunnels for years while the war was happening, and he almost died and showed us where the machine gun blew off half his shoulder. War is narly and aweful. The vietnam had to go underground because the US would torch the land, so the locals built tunnels that connected for 250kms thru many villiages. They went down three tiers, and they got the idea by watching how crickets have tunnels. Clever Crickets saved these people. When peace came to Vietnam, he married a lady who got cancer because of all the aweful chemical warfare that was riddled in this country. His only son almost died from a motorcycle accident, and Tung had to work overtime to pay for his son's surgery, who laid in critical condition for almost a year. In the end, his son recovered his memory and wasn't brain dead like the dr's said he'd be. He was also a survivor. Tung took us thru the tunnels, he explained his life, and how they did it, they'd come out at nite. We learned a lot of how the war was here, and how the US military fought. I could go into detail, but it's ugly. It's amazing these people smile today, but they understand ups and downs in life, and they have so much love and compassion for each other. I came back exhausted mentally and physically, i fought tears for much of the day. We went thru many villiages and saw Rubber Tree plantations where Nike gets their gum sole, where chewing gum originated etc. We saw the rice fields, and we were at one point only 10 kms away from the Cambodian border. The caudai religion is a mesh between taoism, buddhism, and confucionism. There are illuminati symbols all over the place, i have to look into it more. But after reading the davinci code, i've become a lot more aware of symbolism in everything. It is incredible how much of it is all interconnected. Everyone had a big dinner and partied late that nite as Allan and Amanda arrived. I hit the hay early as i was very drained and wanted some solace to reflect.Day 4- We left for Nha Trang and checked into the Sunrise hotel. Judah suffered a gash to his elbow and was bleeding everywhere, they partied pretty hard the nite before, and so there were some sick people on the plane. But, everyone was in very happy spirits. I love Nha Trang, it's by the ocean, that's the main reason. There is a constant breeze, the air is clean, and it's not nearly as busy. It's a beautiful place. We checked into the hotel and headed for Quinn's place called Guava, where we met up with everyone and then headed over to dinner at the most famous and best restaurant in the city. We ate snake, frog, grouper, giant prawns, and a whole bunch of great food. It was incredibly tasty, all healthy and most of all, with a great crew of people. Nick's good friend Danny came out, and a bunch of Quinn's friends. There were a dozen of us at dinner for christmas eve, and after they all went back to the club to continue the nite. I decided to duck out early as i was feeling a little bit of a sore throat and body ache. I've been on the vitamins ever since and fighting it. So far, so good, but i'm taking it real easy. Oh, i did see 5 on a bike though, couldn't believe 5 fit on a little bike!!!Day 5- Christmas day!!! We slept in, and then headed to breakfast breakfast buffet downstairs, and then off to Guava, where fly boy Andy was dressed up as Bad Santa. He was still drunk from the nite before and had not yet gone to bed. It was quite hysterical actually, we were laughing as he is still pretty witty hammered and on no sleep. I wonder how long he can go??? We went to his roommate's place, Andy, and had a little visit on his balcony and enjoyed the view. Today has been a lovely hot day. It's hard to believe it's christmas. The crew keeps growing and everyone had a duty for xmas dinner at Guava. I was helping with trimming the spinach, and Andy was in charge of the turkey, while some other girls were peeling potatos, and another bacon wrapping weiners. It's going to be a feast tonite, and we'll be leaving for there in about an hour. I should get ready and put something christmasy on. I'm at the hotel in the business center right now, updating this and then i'm off. I haven't had a chance to do much writing and so this entry is very long. I hope to have some photos of this place as it is most wonderful. Nick and i visited one of the photographers from here who is friends with Quinn. His name is Long, and he's got his own gallery. Nick and i checked it out and met a guy named Paul from Belgium who is selling photo books to raise money to send some of the little children to school. Education is a big treat here, and so he's decided to devote some of his time to raising money for the children. Both gentlemen will be at dinner and i am honored to sit at their table. God is putting the right people in my life, showing me that the honour code of men still exists. Things i miss today- my family.
(Leave a comment)
December 22nd, 2004
02:56 pm
[Link]
Recap continued......It's 3pm, and i just got back to the hotel. We're at the Rennaisance and it's by the riverfront. I'm up in the club lounge on the 18th floor and it's quite the view. The sun burned off alot of the morning fog and it's really pleasant and hot out. This morning after breakfast we met up with Quinn, Judah and Cyrus and headed to the shopping district to look at some art and shop for some more dvds. We also signed up for the cuchi tunnel tour and buddhist temple tour for tomorrow, so we are stoked!!! We'll have to be up early tomorrow around 7 as our bus van is picking us up at 8:30am.We went to the markets and also took the motorbikes for the first time. The traffic here is dangerous and crazy. I felt a bit tense but then sorta relaxed by the end of bike trip one. The five of us were taken by five different drivers, and then we somehow navigated thru the craziest part of the city. There are no lights, no stop signs, no rhyhm or reason, just go. People who cross the street do so with oncoming traffic, and if you walk at a regular pace, they will drive around you, it is dangerous to run. It's the most insane thing i think i've ever done and witnessed. You watch little children do it too, it's kinda freaky when you first arrive because it's those things that are totally normal here and not like home. nope, this aint' kansas.The children are hustlers. They will sell you books, gum, flowers, anything and everything. They will latch onto your leg and beg beg BEG you for money. They will give you the pouty look, the feel sorry for me, the "i need to go to school" chat. It's really sad, but this is the reality of this country. Everyone's gotta hustle to survive. We even experienced a brief encounter with the girly bars here and they are like hyenas, they will grab you and attack you and show you their private parts and basically sell you their prostitution with no shame. It broke my heart. I've never been so appreciative of home and felt in such gratitude for the fate of being born and raised Canadian. Today is Nick's birthday. He just left for the other hotel where the boys are staying. We're going back to the same spa called TOP. They give really good massage and they cracked me in the back yesterday so i feel a lot better in the neck. It's been stiff since i got to asia, but i'm feeling a lot better. I think if i do concentrated massage for a week everyday, i'll work it out and recover fully. Once we get to Nah Trang the price is half of what it is in Saigon, can't wait. I'm also really looking forward to the beach. There is no beach here, and the river water is pretty dirty. The shopping here is good for silks and fake bags and fake shoes. There is very little processed food here also which means all the food is made fresh and that is a much healthier diet; the people here are very slim and in relatively good shape. The club we went to last nite served a huge fruit plate if you bought a drink, and with the lot of us in the stag, there was quite a lot of liquor and fruit going around. The club played techno, not house. And the people here love it. I have yet to see a hip hop bar, but i think Quinn's is like that. I'll be leaving the hotel soon for TOP for another spa session. I would like another massage. It's soooooo good here, and dirt cheap. 70 minutes of massage is $7 USD. They walk on your back and have full intuition of the body. It's amazing how their toes get into all your toughest knots. I love it.I bought some cd's today, the new Avril, some petshop boys, the latest from massive attack, and portishead dummy and nyc live. It cost me a total of $4 for 6 cds. Hot! I've got 30 dvd's to watch and keep me company if i don't feel like going out when i'm back in HK.....like that would happen!The average salary of a Vietnamese living in Saigon is about $50 USD a month. Outside of Saigon it's about $40 USD/month. A nice little quality hotel here is appx $20 USD a nite. And Tiger Beer is $1 Cnd. It's cheap to live here, you can live very healthy and simple. The people here mostly travel by motorbikes that are more like scooters or mopeds. They wear hats and cover their faces with masks to avoid getting sun. It is considered more royal to be fair skinned, as you are perceived to have a higher status if you work indoors vs working in the field. The smells here are mostly of various foods or motor exhaust. The meat and seafood markets are very pungent but it's also quite interesting to see what varieties of things they have. Yesterday i saw pig intestines next to pig ears. I think they make good soup.....so i hear. This place makes me think of the tropics in hawaii. Although this place is very different, the climate is very similar and there are some similar vegetation. I am missing Lanai actually, the humpbacks are there right now and the sky and water are so blue. It is now 4 yrs since i have been there, it's amazing how fast the time flies.Speaking of which, it's time for my massage.
(Leave a comment)
December 21st, 2004
06:35 pm
[Link]
A Recap of Day 1 in SaigonTuesday, all day. Boy was it a long day. We covered a lot of ground. 8am, we were up early, and after a shower i headed downstairs to meet up in the breakfast room with Quinn, Nick, Judah, Cyrus, Darren and Andy. It was a great breakfast. We went to the markets after, and i bought a bamboo flute. After we had a vietnamese coffee and then off to the mall to pick up the dvds for under $2/piece. I bought about 30 of them. We took a taxi to the war museum, where we saw some very interesting things.....deformed babies in jars, photos of brutality that the vietnam people endured thru the war. The USA were pretty narly, war is narly, period. There were a bunch of war planes and helicopters, it was cool. After that we headed back to the hotel for a rest and then met at this little salon/spa for a 3 hour treatment of thai massage and foot therapy. It was incredible, Cyrus, Judah and i were in heaven. After, it was a quick shower and prep for 7pm, where we met up at a place called Juice, for the big stag!!So much to write but i have to shower and go back to the markets as we are going back to the markets, and maybe the Kuchi Tunnels!!!! Oh, i hope so.....Day one was great, exciting, and quite a difference from HK. It's a good change. The city is busy, the people are very aggressive when it comes to sales, even the kids. gotta jet!
(Leave a comment)
01:52 am
[Link]
Safe is Miss SaigonLadies and Gentlemen, i am in Saigon! Holy smokes, it's a brand new place at that, we have left the city civilization of HK that i have been accustomed to. Here it's a brand new ballgame. We have named it Honky Dong. Honky for the incessant honking that everyone does, there is no rhyme or reason to the way people drive, there is no reason for stop signs, lights, or even a dotted line, it's that nuts. We call it Dong, because that is the name of the currency here. We went for a rickshaw cruise around the town, so that was really fun, 4 guys took us four ( Cyrus, Nick, Judah, and me) around the little city and then back to the hotel. We went for a drink at this little club but on a monday nite, everything closes at 1am, so after a quick beer, we've found ourselves back at the hotel at about 2am. The boys have been flying for about 18 hours, so they are barely coherent and i can relate. It is most certainly bedtime. I cant' wait to see this place, it's so dark here and there aren't a lot of big lights like HK, so once the daylight comes, i'll be snapping photos as much as i can. We are already talking about what we want to do in the next 3 days- visit the underground city to see the kuchi tunnels, go to the museum, go down the mae konh river and visit the candy factories and see snakes etc.....there is so much. And of course, there's PHO noodles No 1! Ah pho, i hope i don't get the runs here. I've heard stories. It's back to just bottled water. and that's okay, i brought my Grapefruit Seed Extract to kill any funky bugs in everything else. Quinn gets in tomorrow, and Nick forgot a bag at the airport so tomorrow he's gotta pick that up. Other than that, we'll be finding our compass tomorrow and heading out on the streets to see what's around the hood. Everyone here wants to give you a lift or help you for some Dongs.....it's funny. This girl about 11 came up to us tonite and hassled us to buy notepads and xmas cards....she wouldn't leave us alone and got really aggressive. We kept saying, no, sorry, not interested.....but in my mind, i was thinking....this is a future car salesman in the making.Tomorrow we rise and hit the club level. We're at the Rennaisance hotel, and very nice and comfortable. They are really polite here too, so it's great for finding your way. People are very attentive when you need it. Currency exchange $1 USD = 15000 Dong. $1 Cnd = $12000 Dong. A Beer= $50'000 Dong.There's the scoop, i'm hitting the hay.Ps- the interview was a hit. I will update more later on that when my eyes aren't so heavy.
Current Mood: tiredCurrent Music: Ole ole, ole ole ole!!
(Leave a comment)
December 20th, 2004
03:31 pm
[Link]
Leaving for Saigon!!The last few days have been hectic. Time flies here. Yesterday was sunday and i went to the movies for the first time in HK. I saw Ocean's 12 and it was great! I enjoyed it with Imani after our organic bruch at the Pacific Place bistro on the bottom floor. After the movie we tried to get into the Micheal Lau exibit for Nike Black Ball, but it was closed, so i'll peep it when i get back. Imani and I ended up meeting with Linda (manufacturer) and Carta (designer) on Carta's boat. It was a cool meeting to talk about a private label that both Carta and Imani are individually working on. It gave me a lot of insight into creating your own little clothing business. It is a very big job to plan something like that out, but it was cool. The boat was all wood, polished floors and beautifully designed. It had barely any furniture since Carta just got it, but he lives on it in Causeway bay, which is really pretty at nite with the views. He's an interesting guy, who is recovering from a very bad motorcycle accident that shattered his upper leg and took half a finger. He's still on crutches 7 months later, and more ambitious than ever to live it up and go for his dreams. It was pretty inspiring to meet him. He looked kinda like john lennon, but better looking because he smiled alot. In about 15 minutes i go into my first job interview, this one is with Lane Crawford. I will meet a lady named Joanna Gunn, so my fingers are crossed that i make a good impression. Thanks to Valerie, i got the interview, so i hope it all goes well. Right now, i'm at the coffeeshop only steps away from the elevator that will take me up to the Lane Crawford offices.I am excited to see Nick and get on the plane for Vietnam. There is so much to do today, i mailed all my goodies away, got some photos printed and then finished my packing. I still have a tiny bit left, but i'm pretty much done. I think i am meeting up with Jim after my interview, and then i'm basically booking it to the Airport Express, which is a jet train that takes you to the airport from hk island in 23 minutes. That's fast compared to the hour it took me to get to Hung Hom. I always get a little nervous before i fly. It's fear of leaving a country and entering a new one....all the USA immigration abuse from when i travelled with Steve. I opened my box of christmas goodies from Carlo early because i couldn't pack them in my suitcase. I got some great books from Deepak and an amazing cashmere shawl that i am wearing right now. It's my new lucky accessory!! Thank you Carlo, i absolutely adore it! I downloaded your cd's this morning and they are coming with me to Nam.The last couple days were your standard weekend. I actually took a break and didn't do much as i was pretty tired from all the book launches and events thru the week. Friday nite i hung out with my room mates as David has now left for Vancouver to see his folks. I got some great shots of Scott though with these really cute chow puppies that were in a stroller getting "walked" down the street. See my photo album for the snapshots, they are so cute. Saturday nite was my last nite to see Joe, as he's off to England to see his family. Almost everyone's taking off for a while, but we'll all soon be back, away just long enough for us to all miss each other. I'm really excited about the new year. And this year will end in splendor!!!I will try to write more from Saigon, depending on the internet availability at the hotel.Things i miss today- I miss my brother, Jenn Irwin and Paul Sweeney when we used to rock climb on fridays.
Current Mood: immigration be nice!!!
(Leave a comment)
December 17th, 2004
10:41 am
[Link]
Lane Crawford, MIX, and AlibiYesterday, a warm pretty blue skied Thursday, and i chose to be indoors. I actually did some cruising thru the markets in Central, picked up my ticket for Vietnam from Cecilia at Concorde Travel. Then i went to the IFC mall, picked up a ginger beet juice and wrap at MIX, and then went off to visit the new flagship store for Lane Crawford. It just opened.NICK- I must take you there when we get back, it is a phenomenal masterpiece of visual marketing and the product is bang on. It is the best shopping experience one could ever ask for. The layout, the flow of the sections, the merchandising......ah, it made me squeal. I know you will appreciate it and i'm excited to show you.I am a big fan of Harry Potter, but have yet read one single book. However, in the movie, when all the students eat in the big dining hall, the candles float above them to light the room. The first time i saw this, it was one of my favorite details. Lane Crawford used this idea for their woman's section of the store. Near the entrance to each section there are these short polished black marble platforms with a plaque on them noting the artist. From the ceiling dangles long wires and hanging from them are white candles or clear swarovski crystals. From the flagship launch parties, these candles had been lit, and the wax would drip on the marble to create a splattered design, but what is so cool is that when you turn out the lights, you no longer see the wire, you see floating candles and sparkling crystals flickering in mid air. I think i want to do that in my house for a party. I walked thru the store very slow, i'd stop and look at each section, understanding the flow from dressy to street wear. It was perfectly thought out, flawless, i was so impressed. At the end of it all, i also felt kind of depressed about my very basic wardrobe. I brought some of my favorite pieces from home of course, but i went thru one of those " i have nothing to wear" moments. Still, i walked out and didn't buy anything at all, not like i could afford it. I need a job!!! But, it was good for me to touch and admire solid quality construction. Although i did shed a tear to walk away from the WHOLE Stella McCartney, Marni and Yoshji Yamamoto collections. They were my favorite, and a reminder or motivation to reach high so i can have them. I read in a book one time that if you see something that is financially out of your reach, you don't tell youself "i can't afford it" but you say to yourself, "how can i afford it." I like that thinking alot, because there are a lot of people out there who have found a way, so there must be a way for me to find it too. It makes me smile because i'm sure it will unfolf for me on some crazy path. I cannot remember my life ever being conventional or normal. My life path has been quite the adventure, right from the start. I could feel myself getting intimidated by the level of wealth that went into that dept store, depressed that my clothes are not as up to date, but at the same time, i shifted my thinking into how i can be at that level, or where my place belongs. It is for me to create now. Besides, some of the worlds greatest entrepeneurs had bad style, and at least i have good shoes! Plus, i remember being a slave to fashion, always being up to date, and it still didn't make me happy....infact, it was worse, i was never satisfied. So, in the end, it's an illusion. What i'm out to find is far better than looking the part. I am here in the city of banks, bankers, money and status, wishing to go deeper down, to find zen here, in the most polluted chaotic place i have ever stepped foot.Last nite around 7:30, i took a cab up towards Soho on Hollywood Rd for a book launch from Lorenzo Saraceni at a place called ALIBI. I met the photographer for it, his name was Steve. The books are called The Human Form. They are little photo books of female nudes. I came with Jim and Joe, and met up with Shanay and her sister Arti, who threw the book party on tuesday. There are two books, one on breasts, and the other on female genetilia. Um.....not exactly PG13. I got the books, which are considered art, had a flip thru, found my favorite pages, which were quite tasteful and not as explicit as some of the other photographs. Alibi is swank, it's got a great cozy feel, very dimly lit, a lot of velvet and red colours accent the place. It's a place you can have a great martini and just chill to some hip chillout music. We had a glass of wine and some appies, and just met with friends. After the speeches and wrap up, we headed over to LKF, which is like a 2 minute walk. We spotted Vida who was dining with her whole family from Canada, so we shook hands and gave them a warm hong kong welcome. After that, we proceeded to Ciao Bella to say hello to Fernando the bartender, and then we bumped into more friend's of Joe's. As the story goes, we went to another couple places from there, and then found ourselves in Wanchai at Dusk til Dawn, at which point Joe and I decided it was time for to go home. We have had a lot of late nites, and that is Hong Kong. Your lifestyle changes when you come here, nothing gets started till late. It is a nocturnal place, so if you're an early riser, that's great, cuz people rise early here too and work their asses off to make a dollar. No wonder people check into spas. They get by on like 4-5 hours of sleep at best. I am really looking forward to Vietnam. I cannot wait to be on a warm beach and reading my book. The new Dan Brown is awesome. Anyone who read the Davinci Code and liked it, should read Digital Fortress. It's fantastic!!i got an email from Craig Engman and Tanya. They are headed over here with family for about 3 days. I will probably miss them as they come in on a monday and that's the day i leave for Vietnam. You never know who you'll run into in Hong Kong. It is a melting pot and more people come here than you'd think. It's as busy as nyc or paris or london. Things i miss today- Balderson 2yr old cheddar cheese. I miss Dantius my dog. People who have come across my mind today- Ken Lee (happy birthday!!!), Mark Grueter, Kelly K, James D, David B, Connor D, Wu, Adrian M, and Aunty Jan.
Current Mood: soreCurrent Music: Somersault- Zero 7
(Leave a comment)
December 16th, 2004
12:01 pm
[Link]
the post office version of my address: edited once more!!OKAY, so last time, thanks to Leo i had to look this up for extra caution.Here is my address:Raquel LehwaldFT 2C 2/FSing Woo Bldg10 Sing Woo RdHong KongThere ya go!PS- Hello Senka, Dan, Sheri and Kirby i still don't have your addresses!!!
(Leave a comment)
11:20 am
[Link]
Wednesday nite at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel7pm, wednesday nite- i prepare for my drinks meeting with Valerie. I got on the tram heading for Central, and on the way had my ipod on repeat to one of my favorite happy tracks- Heather Nova- London Rain. It's one of those tracks that gets me goin. Some music defines who you are in a way, and this song does., the lyrics are like a love song to God, "nothing heals me like you do." Anyway, during the tram ride i got a text from Valerie saying, " Raquel, what do you look like??" as we had not yet met! This was funny. Anyway, we met at the Captain's Bar, inside the hotel, and it's a really cozy spot, impecable service, and really happy company. I met Newman, Genie, Daryl, Tej, Karen and Fed. It turned out to be Valerie's birthday, which had i known, i would have brought some flowers at least!Valerie Chow is one of the hottest ladies of HK. She's smart, admirable and has a high level of sophistication. You pick it up instantly. She's been in a bunch of movies and has been the campaign model for both Covergirl and Guerlain. She's amazing, and incredibly nice. I had a great time with her and her friends, we toasted thru endless bottles of Moet, and then her and Daryl went for dinner and the rest of us went on our merry way. I ended up in LKF for a drink with Tej, and then hooked up with Jim and his Virgin Airlines friends who were in town on a layover. That was fun. After about 2 minutes in Wanchai i hailed a cab and found myself in my comfortable bed where i fell fast asleep.This morning i came into the living room to find that our tv no longer sits on a couch. It looks as though Scott went shopping as he's replaced it with a tv stand and the couch now sits in his bedroom. Nice!I also got an email from Craig Engman from 24 in Vancouver. Him and Tanya are heading over here on Sunday, but i am not sure if i will see them as i leave for Vietman on the Monday. Also, Derek Lee's dad is here for family matters, and i mentioned to Derek to pass my contact info on so i could meet up for lunch or something. It would be so nice to see him, he's a very nice man.I have an interview with Lane Crawford, got the call yesterday and i'm going to meet with them in regards to a position in visual merchandising. Today i'm going to the IFC mall to do a tour of the store on my own and take some notes on the layout and their visual directions with the various sections. I really wish i had my photos from all the stores i shot when i was in Vancouver, but they are all at Robert's in a box somewhere. Damn. You just never know quite what to take when you're leaving home....I pick up my ticket today at the ticket agency. It's booked, but i have to grab it now. I can't believe i managed to get on the same flights as Nick! So far, it's seamless. Things i miss today- greasy diner breakfast at Teresa's in English Bay. I miss the grilled cheese sandwiches from the koele club house. Mmmmm, so good with soup.Memory of the day- when my brother, me, and my twin cousin's Thomas and Auralia were all little, we used to have sleep overs pretty often. They were some of the closest of all my cousins next to Chantelle and Candice. We used to play a game at nite where we would create an obstacle course ( or jungle gym) in my brother's bedroom. He had bunk beds, and we used to make a game up where we had to get from one point of the room to another going over all these obstacles, without falling or getting tagged by the "RAAAAGH", which was me. It was a lot of fun, we would stay up so late, i think it used to drive my parents batty, but it's those childhood memories that you do not forget. I miss being close to my cousins like that, playing. When you become an adult, you still have to make time to play.
Current Mood: hungryCurrent Music: London Rain- Heather Nova
(Leave a comment)
December 15th, 2004
11:39 am
[Link]
parum pa pum pum...Ellen is here today, our housekeeper....THANK GOODNESS!!!! The kitchen is a catastrophe of dishes, the fridge is a dischordant symphony of different foods, and the living room looks like we threw a party last nite. We love Ellen.Last nite I met up with Jimbo and had some dinner at the Excelsior before heading out to the book launch in Central. The bookstore was packed full of people and the book that was launching was Modern Indian Cooking, so there were a variety of cool indian tapas, and we munched on those, the quail eggs were pretty tasty. I found myself at the back of the bookstore where lo and behold...there was a section of Deepak and Tolle and Mandino etc, the self help books is how they are classified. I leafed thru a few and found myself getting lost in text. After a second glass of wine i came across the new Dan Brown book, Digial Fortress, which is about the NSA and encryption coding. Dan Brown has great fictional stories and what i love best is the real history he pulls from the world to teach us about why things have become what they are. The root of symbols, organizations, and traditions. I love that stuff. If you want to know why the internet was invented, it has a military background to it. I applied for my Visa for Vietnam and it will be ready on Friday!!! YAY!!!After the book launch, we proceeded over to the Fringe Club, which is on the "fringe" of Lan Kwai Fong. We could already hear the drumming going on and it was LOUD. Once we got in there, we were welcomed by about 70 drums, kid you not! It was the largest drum circle i have ever seen. There were a few really good talents in there, but the cool thing about drumming is that you need not have much skill. You can take professional drummers and novices and they can all play together and make something rad. And it was. I got in there immediately and picked up a drum like the one i would play with Quasi and Nick. It was incredible. The leader of the drummers was a japanese girl, who had that Saltspring Island hippy look to her, she was dressed in red pants, tie died sweatshirt and rasta hat.. She was really happy and got the crowd going. It was a great experience and i found out they do it once a month. So guess who'll be making attendance for that next time around!? When you put a whole bunch of strangers in a room and ask them to bang the bongo, it's astounding the community you create. All of a sudden, you're all aquanted, smiling, expressing yourself thru your clatter. It is a great release and very powerful. You channel a positive energy together, and you definitely feel the buzz. Tying in with my layman's research on quantum physics, i can understand how these things are happening when they do, and really tune in and savour the moment as it's happening.I'm in my hormonal week, feeling quite heavy, tired, crampy etc. Lately in the past two days i have had a headache and have been craving sugar like you wouldn't believe. Today i am resting, and tonite i have plans to meet up with Valerie who is Ken's friend. She's having some drinks with friends at the Mandarin Hotel and has invited me to come, so i am looking forward to it. I can't believe it's already half way thru the week! I must get more heavy into the job hunt before i go and send out a couple more hellos to employers and let them know i am ready to go come Jan 4th. My work experience and life experience really cannot be put into your standard resume so I am continuing to put my faith in God for this. I know He will take care of me.Things i miss today- a microwave. We dont' have one here. I miss summer pitch and putt with the boys and pho after. I miss doing tv commercials. I miss dinner at Oma and Opa's. She would make my favorite macaroni, it is soooo good with dutch cheese and ham. I found rotticucus at the bakery on the corner. It tastes exactly the same, even has the chocolate swirl!!My memory of the day is when Candice and I were in dance class together. We would go about 2 times a week and at the end of the year we had a huge group routine with costumes and all. It was so fun. She and i would practice our dance moves in her backyard or in her bedroom when we were about 12 or 13. She was a great dancer and very strong. I was the weakling but i paid attention to the moves and had a total blast. She and i were very close when we were 12. We would go to the candy store and pig out on heaps of it and during summer would drink slurpees and run thru sprinklers. We had so much energy at that time and could stay up all nite and watch scary videos and talk talk talk. Those were the days of the slim double cassette decks, janet jackson's rhythm nation, bobby brown and whitney houston, and even a little new kids on the block, and prince. Oh, and let's not forget the high bangs and slouch socks!
Current Mood: groggyCurrent Music: A New World- Bjork
(Leave a comment)
December 13th, 2004
07:44 pm
[Link]
Smartone, how can i help you?Yesterday afternoon, i headed over to Central, to the IFC mall to see if there were any travel companies that i could book my ticket thru. I got side tracked by a store called Mango, and Zara, and ended up in this Jugo Juice type of store where i bought a wrap and ate. It felt good to eat food that tasted like home. I didn't buy anything, and realised that i still needed to fix my phone, so i took the MTR back to Time Square and proceeded to get that sorted. Smartone, is like Telus Mobility. their marketing is very clean and simple, they wear nice uniforms and are very polite. I decided to find a better plan than the minutes cards i was buying as in calling long distance this has been very expensive. So, i asked and they began to tell me about another PayGo program. It made me very confused and trying to communicate is really hard here. Put it this way....i was in there for 3 hours. I walked out with a phone, a new plan, and i still had to wait for them to reset my vmail from cantonese to English. I almost lost it. Hong Kong teaches you patience, whether you like it or not. You must be patient finding things, in your communication, in transportation, in all that you want or need. Right now, because things are so new and exciting, my attitude is pretty good. I am hoping it doesn't wear off though, maybe i should take a cantonese course, or a mandarin course. Even though they speak some english, when you need real details, you are not confident in their reply. Asking one person in a shop for directions will all of a sudden turn into a group effort, where the manager and half his team get involved to try and help you. I feel so bad even asking anymore. I don't travel with my map as much as i should because it's not that far to find things. It's just so difficult though sometimes. This is part of being a rookie in a new city. I can't imagine what it will feel like once i start working!I am in the process of booking my ticket for Christmas. After a short chat with Nick, it looks like the ball is in motion. I am awaiting the itinerary from my travel agent here who i have had communication troubles with already ( she sent my itin to fleepypie77 instead of sleepypie 77!!! ) and then i'll fire off the visa application this afternoon!! Wow, this is totally exciting. Me in Vietnam? Would i ever have thought this could happen even 4 months ago, or even 2? It gets better. Since i am booking it late, the chances of getting there around the same time are slim to none, however, i will be flying on the same flight as Nick! Perfect. Just got off the phone with the Vietnam Consolate and i'm visiting them this afternoon to apply for my tourist visa. HOT!Jim has invited me to a book launch tonite at 7. After that we are going to a drumming performance. I am really excited to go. I love drumming circles. I will take my camera and catch some on film. A book signing too....this should be a very cultured day. I think Kirby as left on his road adventure with Ben to Wyoming. That should be fun, but cold. Kirby, when you get to Jacksonhole, you have to check out the Amangani. Even if you can just eat there, they have good tea and cookies. I'm thinking of you, Jacksonhole is one of my favorite mountain destinations! Send me a postcard if you get the chance!I need to find the post office today too. Once again, here is my contact info in HK:Raquel Lehwald#10 Singwoo Road. Flat 2CHappy Valley, Hong Kongtel +(852)-9850-7978It's time to shower and head out. I think the maid is coming today, thank goodness....we've been piggypies all week!
Current Mood: excitedCurrent Music: My Perogative- Good Ol Britney Pop!!
(Leave a comment)
December 12th, 2004
08:01 pm
[Link]
The Weekend Recap and Monday RoutineSaturday nite, i dressed down into cargo pants and a striped sweater. It's my favorite club monaco sweater in black and white that i wear all the time. I wore it to Lan Kwai Fong thinking that i would be more inconspicuous in the party atmosphere. It wasn't quite so because Vida showed up wearing the same sweater! She's canadian too, so she's up on the club monaco tip. Gawd do the coincidences ever stop? Well, could they when it comes to my clothing please?!!! Nope, cuz it happened again when we walked into Wanchai's lovely Mes Amis. There was an asian guy in there and he was wearing a black and white sweater also right next to me when i was waiting in line with Jim to get a drink. Well, was there a prison break? It was pretty hilarious i guess. Back in LKF at Ciao Bella's there was a 2 for 1 special on Champagne. I did not intend to drink because i was trying to practice a cleaner weekend, however, Jim and Joe went to town and bought me a round, and although i did not ask for it, it was in my face, so yes, i did have a few flutes and it sent me on my merry way. Good grief, here we go again! Off in Wanchai we took a cab, and we were joking with the cab driver like we always do. Making jokes with the chinese is fun, especially if it's Jim. He has a hysterical sense of life, i hang out alot with him and always feel like i've done a bunch of stomach crunches because he always makes me laugh. Ah, good ol Jimbo. We left Mes Amis to go across the street to the Kabob place to pick up some chicken and cheese. It's what Jim eats for snacks since he's on Atkins. I had a bottled water as the champagne was doing my head in, and as i waited outside by the sidewalk i watched the prositution ring of Wanchai working their luring skills on any of the men walking by. It was intriguing to watch. You could see the madam on the corner in her short haired wig, carefully observing her girls, which were all, by the way, gorgeous exotic philipino/thai/indonesian/chinese girls. My heart broke and i said a little prayer for their safety. They are so young, and if they were brought up a certain way and knew love for themselves, they would aspire for something greater. It is a different way of life where they come from though, that is the sober reality of it. I headed home and my head spun as i fell asleep. I knew i would pay for it the next day.Sleeping all day yesterday was exactly what my body needed, and i finally felt good by about 4pm to get my arse out of bed and into the shower. What really got me up was my beeping cell as a text msg came in from Patrick. It said, "BBQ with RHKYC. Meet at my house 6:30, we're taking the boat." In normal english terms, this meant that i was invited to hang at the royal hong kong yacht club's bbq on a private island on the south tip of HK. Humph, sounds like a Croft-style adventure to me!! If this didnt' motivate me to rise up, nothing would, and so i shuffled my lethargic body into the shower and dashed out to catch a cab to Central. Patrick has a flat that is very similar in architectural design to mine. He has a regular sized flat, and i know this sounds like no big deal, but in hong kong, it really is. I met a bunch of his friends, one is the rep for NIKE, and he's from LA. His name was Amani, and he knows Garrett Louie and Nick! Small world, he knows Damon Way too. Wow! Then, i met a guy named Kak, who works at a theme park called Ocean World Amusement Park. He's in the marketing development there, and was totally fascinating. He'd be like a Dan, Charles and Derek Lee all put together, really really creative, and very fun. Dreyfus the new york DJ (slash graphics artist), and his girlfriend Nisa were there, and a bunch of models. Daphne came out too, and she and i got a lovely chat in. She's from Alberta and a total sweetheart. We ended up taking two cabs and one car over to the southern tip of HK, to a place near Repulse Bay. This is where all the gigantic mansions are. It's big money and more quiet, very much like a Monte Carlo, or Santa Barbara combined. There at the side of the road is a long set of stairs that take you to the water's edge, where a little shoreboat skiff took us over to this other island not more than a 3 minute boat ride away. We could see the yacht clubhouse from where we were, and it was dark and a total exciting adventure. We felt like illegal immigrants smuggling to get across the border, cracking jokes with the capt too. He was old, his face weathered and had bad "teef", but his smile was big, his eyes were warm and he was in lovely spirits joking in cantonese something i could not understand but still appreciated.The yacht club is right on the water and goes up about 5 stories from the water's edge where all the boats surround it. It has a huge restaurant with an outdoor patio area that is two tiers and enormous. The bbq alone was the size of 8 picnic tables put together, and everyone would order what kind of raw meat them wanted, and then you had to take a set of tongs and bbq it yourself. It was totally fun, and a great way to interact and chat it up with others. There is a real communal feel when you are cooking or eating. Anything that involves food is fine by me! We feasted on pork, steak, fish, chicken wings, corn on the cob, salad and garlic french bread. I had a coke, a latte and even some roasted marshmallows!!!!! I was so full after that, and felt so much better to have food in me after saturday nite. And by eating family style, it automatically opened up the table to great conversation. I didn't feel uncomfortable for a second, and except for Patrick and Daphne, i had just met these people. After dinner, we headed back on the skiff to the main side. Some people had to go home to prepare for a monday work day. The rest of us went to Wanchai to this place called the Skits ( aka, the Shits, that was the joke). Inside there was a live band from Nigeria, this black band that were really soulful and talented. There was a white guy in the audience who brought his electric guitar and he had an obvious jazz background. He tuned up his strings as the band invited him to play with them, so he headed for the stage, and they played blues bars and took turns doing improv solos. It was AWESOME!!!! The white guy, was kinda balding on the top, and had the rest of his hair in a ponytail. His body shape and features were familiar to that of Ozwald Copperpot, who is the character of the Penguin in Batman. It was uncanny, i should have snapped a photograph of him. The more peculiar the musician looks, the better a musician they seem to be. It was so great to see this man on stage giver on the guitar. He got our whole section going and by the end of the session we were all applause and whistles. It was fantastic. And after a perrier, i called it a nite and headed back to Happy Valley where i rested my weary state. It was my first nite i saw stars in the sky it was finally that clear. I saw the 7 sisters and Orion. The whole nite was a unique and special event. I made some very cool friends there, i hope to see them again soon. Kak, Amani, Daphne, Dreyfus, Nisa and Patrick. My hong kong family is growing. What i thought would be a write-off of a day turned out to be a positively incredible Sunday. Yesterday i got a call in to Nick which was so fantastic. I miss him and it was good to hear his laugh and his voice. He was having an early dinner with his family before they all took off travelling in different directions. He has invited me to go to Vietnam, and i am going to book a ticket today if i can. If it works out, i will be checking out more than just Hong Kong. Ho Chi Min and Na Trang here i come!!! Oh, the land of Pho!!! My tombraider skills should come in handy in Vietnam. I am most excited.Today is Monday, and i am writing a bunch of people about work, and following up on some calls, including booking my ticket. I am up and busy everyday, but i don't usually leave the house until the afternoon. During the morning i turn my little bedroom into my office, where i get down to business in my pj's. I now these days are numbered and sometime in the near future i will be up and out of here at like 7 or 8 am, but until then, this is how we do it, and i am appreciating the time out as it is also great for thinking, reading, meditation and prayer. It's beautiful outside today. I am glad it's sunny, it makes me smile. It's warm and i have my windows open and can hear the traffic outside. I can hear some dogs barking and people talking. It's busy always but i'm almost deaf to the noise pollution and the various smells. Although i recognise the incense that people burn almost everywhere, i dont' really smell it anymore. That's the smell of Asia. I talked to my mom on the phone today and it was a suprise call as she called me this time. I was so scared the phone would cut out as i had next to no minutes left. But, we got a very good and much needed conversation in. And then shortly after Robert called and it cut out on him! I'm so bummed. I have to get a real phone contract, but until i have my HKID card, that won't happen. Grrrr.... Robert, if you're out there reading this, i'm so sorry. I will call you tomorrow morning, it will be monday evening where you are.Things i miss today- The Massive Change exhibit at the Vancouver Art Gallery. I miss lunch at Whole Foods Market in Hermosa Beach. I miss baking cookies in the winter time with Rosanna in Lanai and the Killer Cookies at the Airport in the Sky on Catalina Island. I miss Carlo in the UK. I miss long talks with Dan. I miss the crisp sunny dry winter days in Vancouver where your pores feel tight and the air is so fresh, cozying up to my scarf and jacket, sipping a gingerbread latte, walking deep in thought and happy to be in the present.My memory of the day is the times Rosanna and i would leave Lanai on capt. Pat's catamaran and sail over to Lahaina, where we'd rent a convertible and cruise the coast of Maui and shop. We would wear scarves around our heads, red lipstick and pop in the Pet Shop Boys, driving with the top down along the meandering coastal hwy. My favorite time was watching the humpbacks so close to shore whacking their side flippers and making a big splash, i nearly crashed. She and i had the best times.
Current Mood: relaxedCurrent Music: A Silver Age- The Pet Shop
(Leave a comment)
December 11th, 2004
03:24 am
[Link]
The trip to Lantau IslandJustin's birthday last nite was fun, we all met up in Lan Kwai Fong at Bar George of course, had a couple drinks and then proceeded to Mes Amis (of course) and had a good dance and a few more drinks. I switched to aqua, and i felt sooooooo good about that too. I decided to bow out early at 2 as i was getting up early to meet David Owen for a trip to Lantau.It was the nite i needed after the incident with moving my bed. I bought a bed from a man in Mid-Levels ( which means a really high class expensive area of town like british properties). Anyway, he was renovating his 3000 sq ft flat, and was gutting everything in it, so he sold a bunch of his high quality designer furniture and bargain prices. Mine was about $50 cnd, but would sell at a place like koolhaus for about $3000. Now the challenge was moving this very big and heavy bed from his flat to mine, so i called some movers with a truck, and had it all arranged for 3:30pm. I was supposed to meet up with Virgil and the Sport Fishing Club for a bbq at 6:30, so i figured i had a good buffer of time inbetween to get moved and have time to prep for the party later. Well..... it didn't exactly happen like that. The movers were late, like an hour late. They got there at 4:30, two guys, one was indian, the other was chinese. The indian didn't speak much cantonese and the chinese guy didn't speak english. They fought the whole time taking the bed apart, and reassembling it in my flat. It was a nitemare, and they didn't leave my flat until almost 8pm! I missed dinner with Virgil, but in the end, the cost of getting this bed, having it delivered, totalled appx $200 cnd. So, i'm not going to complain much. It was a very good deal. And i needed a bed badly. After i wiped it down and put on my bedding, i stared at it and admired it. It's like the start of home. So that's the bed story. Enough of that!I don't need an alarm clock, my body wakes about 5 mins before 8am, you could time it. It's quite weird, i dont' know how that happens, no matter how little sleep i get, i still wake up even for a moment at 8am. Anyway, i was going to meet David at 9:30am, but he was in business calls with canada all nite and didn't really get to bed until 5, so he's like, let's meet later, and later ended up being about noon. But, all said and done, it was a great morning.......the door bell rang and there was a delivery. Delivery? hmmmm, so i buzzed the guy in and he comes to my door with a GIANT bouquet of white flowers and a card with my name on it!!!! The first thing i thought was that Robert was suprising me, but it was Carlo!!! Oh my gawd, the bouquet was huge, and i had no vase for it, so i immediately rushed down the street to find one. What a treat, i don't know how he knew, but white flowers are my favorite. It's true, girls are suckers when it comes to flowers, even me. By the way....Robert- how is Penelope doing? Is she alright? ( Penelope is the gorgeous orchid plant that Kirby gave me, and we named it.) It's the only plant i really own and i had to leave it behind in Vancouver. The fragrance of my apartment totally rules right now, and it's brightened up the flat completely. Thank you Carlo, heaps of love ya!I arrived at the ferry dock at noon and then after grabbing some food at the IFC food court, we hopped on the ferry and cruised over on a 23 minute ride to Lantau, a little fishing village called Silvermine Bay. It's pretty old and authentic, and you already feel like you've gone away from the zoo of the city. The day was warm, clear and sunny so the bus that took us to the Big Buddha, drove us thru terrain similar to Catalina Island, except these roads were paved. The road meanders up and thru the mountains, and you pass so many breathtaking views along the way. The air is cleaner out there, and you see banana trees and bamboo, pine, all kinds of foliage. We even saw a wild bull on the side of the road with big horns, just chilling and eating. That was so cool. When we got to the Po Lin Monastary, we started the trek up to the Tian Tan Buddha Statue, as he sits atop a peak and you must climb about 300 stairs to get to him. Yes, BUTT CRUNCH it baby!! As i was climbing, i thought......gee, this is a fabulous way to get deep into the breath and start meditating!!! At the top, you can go inside the buddha and there is various art work and scrolls. This buddha is made of bronze and is absolutely enormous!!! Inside the buddha is some artwork and the story about this particular buddha. When this buddha passed away, he set himself on fire. In his ashes, 85000 crystals were found. Those sacred crystals are called "relics", and have been distributed to various temples and monastaries around the world. They had one of the crystals in a case, but i couldn't get close enough to see it ( the area was roped off and prohibited from visitors getting close), but apparently different people see different colours when they look at them. Very interesting. What was new to me was the symbol on the chest of some buddhas; the sign of a swastika, but counter-clockwise or backwards. I asked a lady at the gift shop what that symbol meant, and she said it meant "wisdom". So does that mean that by changing it in the opposite directions the Nazi's walked around with a symbol that said "FOOL"???? Something to ponder, the Nazi's were indeed a foolish army......After decending back to the monastary, we went thru parts of the temple and found the monks chanting and singing. It was incredible, i could sit and listen for hours. They sounded wonderful, so peaceful. I went to the backside of the monastery where i wasn't really allowed to be and i snuck a peek into one room, which was a plain looking eating room with long dark wooden tables where the monks would eat together. There was one monk who was praying a blessing for the food, and then walked thru the room to each bowl already set at all the tables. He was preparing for their next meal, chanting a blessing for each little porcelain bowl that would hold the food for each monk to eat. It was a very private and special moment to catch. He did not see me, and it was a super cool treat!!! Later, we ate at the public cafeteria for the tourists etc, and i had some noodles and also tried green tea red bean cake. It was interesting, not bad. I also chugged a coffee, and David and I engaged in some pretty heavy conversation. He's big into Zen and Warrior/Wizard thinking. It was neat to hear what he had to say and pick his brains. It is wise to hear other people's perspectives; there are certain pieces that they say that can fit into your own mind's puzzles.It started to approach dusk, so we bolted for the bus back to Silvermine Bay to catch the ferry back to Hong Kong Island. I had a really great day. I made sure to take in lots of deep breaths in Lantau, the flowers and greenery smelled so fresh and healthy. It has been a day full of flora, and it was exactly what i needed. It helped remind me not to create the same distractions in Hong Kong as i had in Vancouver....a healthy note-to-self. And with all the late nites, i needed to come to admission of it!Tonite Jim mentioned that there could be a drumming performance somewhere in the city, which reminds me of drumming circle with Nick. I hope it is tonite, i would love to hear live music here that isn't cantonese pop. A drumming group of about 40 drums would be incredible. I hope to go, so we'll see! It would be another dash of culture that i'm totally craving!On the job end, i got a call yesterday from Valerie Chow, Ken's friend who is in marketing here in HK. She has made and introduction for me to speak with the HR dept for Lane Crawford (canadian version of holt renfrew, but more like a barney's.) She suggested that i look at inquiring about a VM (visual merchandising) position, of which i have heaps of experience from my years with GAP. Anyway, i will call HR on monday and see where it leads. I am a little tired though, and now i think i'll have a small powernap! Ah, naps should be enforced by law. In my country they would be!!!Things i miss today- Church. Mom's home cooking. Dad's laugh when he's watching comedy. Gut-busting nites out with James Fraser, Ken Lee, and Andrea Franecevic.My memory of the day is of my father. When i was like 4 or 5, my dad would come home from work around dinner time, in his dirty work boots and lunchkit, and we would play a game of hide and seek. Before he got inside the house, my brother and i would run and hide behind the sofa, excited to jump out and suprise him. And i would hear his voice go, " where is Raquel and Damian? i wonder where they could be? Where could they be..... hiding??????" I would peer under the couch, and i would be able to watch his feet get closer and closer until i couldn't take it anymore. So, we would jump out in "suprise" and laugh and squeal, run up to him and throw our arms around him and tell him how happy we were to see him. He would give us a big hug and pick us up and kiss me and my brother. And sometimes, he would bring us home bubblegum, either grape, orange or watermelon flavour. He knew how much i loved bubblegum. I would eat the whole pack within a couple days. I would try to savour each piece to make sure i could make it last, but i had no willpower. Candy candy candy....it's the one track mind of a little youngster, and i'm still a sucker for treats! But jumping out and squealing as i would routinely "suprise" my father was my favorite game of all. To this day, my favorite flavours of candy are grape, orange and watermelon, and i'm certain that stems from my childhood. That joyous endearing love that a little girl feels is the kindred heart i wish to preserve.
Current Mood: lovedCurrent Music: Nocturne in C-sharp minor- chopin
(Leave a comment)
December 9th, 2004
07:16 pm
[Link]
What is meditation?Scott and I had this discussion on the tram last week about "meditation". He was saying how he feels the word is quite arbitrary and has lost it's weight and true meaning, and i agree. He asked me to describe what meditation was for me, and i blabbed on and on about a ton of things, but it later made me think long and hard... I mean, really, what does meditation mean? How you describe what it is, and how do you teach someone to do it? How do you know you're doing it right? And what is the advantage to do it? What will i get out of it? So, i started hunting to see if i could find a more solid explanation.These days, yoga is the rage, and meditation and spirituality are supposed to happen when you do yoga. Well, from my experience with yoga, they only told us to breath in, breath out. Find the breath, deep in the belly, and to concentrate on the breath, and to let go of your stress in a 90 minute class. But to me, getting into the breath is just the beginning. Because if all i'm thinking about is breath, that's gonna bore me in like 10 seconds and my mind is going to wander elsewhere, and i am pretty certain that i'm not the only one that feels that way! Science tells us that our brain processes 400 billion bits per second and we are only aware of a mere 2000 bits per second, so i want to make sure my meditation session is going to help me become aware of more than just my breathing!!! So how do you go from finding your breath, into the deep meditation that buddhist monks seem to find. What the heck is that, and how can an average person like me find that spot, or at least touch the iceberg of enlightenment?I believe that everything you do well, comes from either a special natural gift, or practice. And i believe that good meditation comes from a constant practice of mindfulness and awareness. If we develop understanding and compassion (empathy) in all parts of our life, we can then absorb the world around us and be mindful in how we interact and respond. Mindfulness is the practice of stopping and becoming aware of what we are thinking and doing. The more we are mindful of our thoughts, speech and actions, the more concentration we develop. With concentration, insight into the nature of our own past pain, we recognise the "red flags" or hazard signs, and then know what to avoid to keep a happy existence. The people that i meet that are deep thinkers are very aware of their environment and aware of themselves, and how they intereact with their environment. They do this by the practice of mindful breathing, and mindful walking. Sounds complicated maybe, but it's not. I often find myself deep in thought when i am walking thru the city. From a simple personal example, i am able to calm and focus when i am thinking romantic thoughts about a man i have feelings for. It brings me a great sense of calm and peace, a recharge, joy, extra energy in my steps when i am focused on my love for someone and their love for me. But it is thought driven, not extra sleep that i have gotten. It is conscious concentrated meditation on my love for another. And this is just one example of meditation that i think most people can relate to. To breath mindfully, is to be attentive to the contact between our body and the air. It only takes one conscious breath to be in touch with ourselves and the world around us, which is why yoga people tell us that with each breath, ease is restored to our body and mind. So, i think that being conscious of breath is the catalyst to meditation. It is the trigger. From there, you have to start thinking, stopping, being aware of your pain and weaknesses, being aware of your strengths and your love, bringing out your best, and healing where you hurt, understanding and forgiving. It is an incredible experience to grow from the inside. And i can better understand why people like the Dali Lama have such serenity and peace. We all have the ability to nurture ourselves from the inside by being aware of both our strength and our pain. Being mindful of all our thoughts, acknowleging our negative ones, is how we learn to target and flush out the negative energy that we harbour. It's also there that you find alot of your own answers to problems or challenges you have in your life.If you can be mindful in your breathing, then you can launch into meditation virtually anywhere, while sitting, laying down, standing, driving, working, waiting, washing dishes, whatever you are doing. When i was at reflexology yesterday, i sat in the chair while tears came to my eyes, because i know people in my life that have so much hurt in their past, that for them to have deep insight and focus on meditation is very painful thinking. Because to reach the deepest parts of yourself is sometimes like opening up a big can of worms you don't want to. And I know most people wouldn't want to go to the root, they definitely DO NOT want to go there. Sometimes it seems impossible to go back and work it out within yourself, and you just want to put it behind you. But if it's never dealt with within, you never do heal, and that's where your pain become your scars, and your scars become your issues, your baggage, your character. This is why i try not to say bad things about others. It is also why i have landed myself in a foreign country, to spend time focusing on myself and my pain, my scars; to nurture my insecurities and grow from within and to appreciate my special gifts and give back as much as i can in my love and understanding. My big can of worms opened for me when i was 23 yrs old, and i am still dealing, but i have seen very promising and wondeful progress. When you get to the root, that is where you find real change, and THAT is how you know you have tapped into true meditation. You are truely transformed.In the past 2 months my awareness has become much more acute, and each day has become so entirely special. Life is fuller, bigger, and i am even more blessed and very thankful.
Current Mood: thankfulCurrent Music: Today- Brian Doerksen


December 9th, 2004
02:13 am
[Link]
HighlightsI'm missing Dec 8th, and yesterday in the daytime, i did some hunting for furniture on asiaexpats.com. I found a really cool bedframe for $300hk and so i told the guy i'd take it if it was still available. Then i went to Ikea to pick up a duvet and some sheets. I am in desperate need of come good pillows too and there is a good pillow store down the street so i'll be picking up one of them also. I got a phone call from Calcarres Modelling agency and talked to Angelyn who is one of the agents there. She said i am too big to model but good face. I figured as much, which means in order for me to do modelling i must lose a bunch of weight that i honestly dont' know if i feel like losing. I am gonna eat healthy and see what that does for me, and if i am running every second day, you never know, maybe the cardio will burn the rest off. I dont' really care to do it though, i always feel ugly when i leave an agency. Unless they are totally stoking your ego, which out here they do not. I am tall for asia though. Alot of the girls i have seen are shorter than me but waif. I don't care to compare, i'm also twice their age!!!I am leaving the apartment for a little bit to have dinner with Dr. Wong and Mr. John Sham who is involved with the electronics company in China. It will be nice to meet with them....ah, my second official business dinner. I'm really glad to have Dr. Wong. He's been really helpful and he is extremely smart. I like being around folks like him :)Last nite i was supposed to get to the races with Jens, but he didn't call, so i went with Jim and we bet a bunch and it was smoking packed. It was the Cathay Pacific Championship Cup and there were trophies and a huge mob of media. The place was vibing well and i made a little money this time. After the races, Jim and i headed to Wanchai and parked ourselves at Mes Amis where i bumped into a girl i knew from Holy Cross, this girl Mari Chris. She is Brian Oteyza's cousin, and that was fun. We had some drinks and i dont' know what, but after 3 i was very very very drunk, so i looked at Jim and said we gotta go home now. He made sure i got home safely in the taxi and i was lights out.This morning i woke up early and checked my emails. I got one from Steve, who i haven't heard from in ages. It's his first trip back to Lanai in 9 months. I miss the island and him. I'm sure so much has changed. I would love to run the quads on the sand again, now that is JOY! It means alot to hear from him, i wish he sent me photos of the malibu house though, i'm so curious....I got an email from the guy at Bombardier and for some reason my resume attachment didn't go thru. So, i must send it again and i'm going to do one last final pimp before i fire it off. And we will leave it with God from there. EEEPS, so exciting!!!11pm, i am in my bed and listening to Chopin. Carlo sent me some file transfers of Groove Armada and this other amazing band called Starsailor. They are good.....very good! But i'm winding down, very tired as my body needed a recoveriy day. Today i got the call from Tony with the $300 bed, and i took a taxi to check it out, and it was perfect. I bought it and it's being delivered tomorrow. I'm excited, it's real wood, and the style is like the ones they have at kool haus for $3000. But i got it for basically $50 cnd. So Hot. It's dark brown wood, really elegant and in perfect condition. It also has a lift so that you can have shoe storage or etc. BONUS!I woke up early as i mentioned but after checking my emails, i went back to sleep again as i was really really sick and had the worst headache from partying. This is so not me. Seriously, no more drinking. Honestly, this weekend, i'm on perrier. When i finally rolled my ass out of bed, i walked to the reflexology place in my flip flops and MINI sweatpants and cap, and checked myself into a chair so they could flex my feet. Oh My, she was good but it was at times quite painful. Still, sweet pain is how i can refer to it. I read my book, Creating True Peace, which is a very beautiful read. I found myself in tears at one point because i was overwhelmed at how blessed i was to have this book in my possession. It has so much to teach and it corrolates with Quantum Healing in a lot of ways. Ah, i love it when things come together!The dinner with Mr. Sham and Dr. Wong was cool. Mr. Sham has a dope porsche and picked me up out front my flat and we met up with Dr. Wong at Time Square. There are 5 levels for parking under time square. Every care is immaculately clean, and i found out that people who own cars hire their maids to keep it clean. Well, no wonder. I also found out the correction of vehicle taxes. The tax on a vehicle is 150% if you are buying something in the average price range. If you are buying luxury, your tax is 180%. Mr. Sham taught me this. I learned about his company and there is alot to tell, but i am so sleepy and must end this. I got all the catalogues though, and they are pretty good. We ate at this chinese restaurant in time square and i had shark fin soup again. I dont' want to eat it anymore, i felt so guilty it gave me a stomach ache. It tastes fine, but it's like cartelige and it's like shredded. I feel so bad for the shark.... It is a real delicacy here and people eat it in the groves thinking it will protect you from cancer. Hmmmmm.....what about protecting the great white? No wonder sharks are pissed at us.Things i miss today- my piano, the curious incident with Kraft Dinner in the nitetime, emergen-C packets for wicked hangovers.
Current Mood: tiredCurrent Music: Nocturne No4 in F major- Chopin
(0 comments Leave a comment)
December 7th, 2004
11:08 pm
[Link]
Walking in the MatrixThis morning, i met our cleaning lady, Ellen, and her boy Michael. She comes by on tuesdays to clean up after us three messy heads. And we love her dearly. She folds and tidies and makes bed, even takes our clothing to the laundrymat and back. Ellen is the best!!So, from my clean and made bed, i'm sitting and winding down from the day. I sent out the Daily Dose late today, and i got grief from 3 people, who were like, "yo where's the dose? are you okay?" Funny.I was out of the house around 11 today, which has been earlier than usual. I had a quick bowl of noodles around the corner at my new spot Cousin Cousin. It's cute and cheap. A bowl of noodles is like $15 hkd, which equates to appx $2.60 Cnd. As i was ordering, i got a call from Dr. Ken Wong, and so i met up with him at 12:30 in Time Square, and we had a coffee at Pacific Coffee Company and chatted a couple hours. Nick was right about him, he does know how to survive in HK. He is a very smart man, and it was really great hearing a little of his world views, especially on taxes, immigration, and free time. I had a great convo. He actually has a very close contact who is in the manufacturing of LCD and Plasma tv's. Robert, i hope you're ears are perking....i'll be doing some investigation, because if i get them out of China, they will be way cheaper than the Brick or Future Shop. Tell me your quantaties and i'll get you a deal. I have given Dr. Wong my address so he can send me the product knowledge on it. Excellent....i will report once i receive them. You just never know.....After meeting with Dr. Ken Wong, i went to Smartone, which is HK Fido. I had to pick up a prepaid card for my phone, as i cannot get on a regular plan until i have a HKID card and am considered a resident. It's super expensive and a major pain in the ass for now. But, here's the matrix of it all.......I bought the card and asked the girl at the counter to help me setting my vmail, as it's currently in cantonese and i cannot seem to turn it off or record my own greeting. So, she called over one of the "mobile specialists" and his name tag said his name was Ken Wong too. K, not even 5 minutes apart and i met two people with the exact same name. I wonder if at some point in time i will be able to accept these coincidences as common natural events. It was really trippy, because things like this always happen to me, same with my lucky number 7. I see it everywhere. Today is December 7th too. I jumped on the MTR shortly after 3 to head over to Yau Ma Tei, to 577 Nathan Rd, where the Murine Tsui Modelling Agency is. I met with Murine, who is a very tall asian lady, and she was very aggressive and nice, but very aggressive. I walked for 15 seconds and she didn't take my measurements at all. She sat me down in her office right away and wanted me to spend $2500 a roll for a portfolio. So, i asked her for some photographer business cards, but she would not do that. And i thanked her for her time and walked back on the MTR to Central, where i checked out the Landmark, a really fancy mall. I found a sweet Gucci bag there that i really really loved, but i didn't get it. Buyers remorse at this point in time. But i know where to get it, and i know once i have a job, i'll buy it as a treat. i like it better than any other shoes i've seen. I checked out the market over in Central and bought a Gap denim jacket, 3 scarves, a charcoal herringbone blazer and i also got my watch fixed. David my flat mate called me to tell me he didn't have keys to get in, so i took the tram back to happy valley and we picked up my laundry and then headed home. Him forgeting his keys was a blessing in disguise as the markets mesmerize me and i could spend hours walking in slow motion thru them. there is just so much to see and i have yet to be numb by it.Back in Happy Valley, it felt good to take off my shoes and walk my clean flat. I put on my sweats and headed over to Cousin Cousin again to pick up some fried rice. And then i bumped into Scott who was also coming home, and we watched I,Robot. It was pretty good for smoke and mirrors hollywood. Some silly lines but your classic robots take over the world story. I enjoyed it and now i'm in my room.I got a silly joke today, and i'm not really one for jokes, but:How do you get a tissue to dance? Put a little boogie in it. k, someone chuckle, it's pretty cute actually. When i was little, boogies were more like creatures, they were almost characters in a fairy tale. Jens called me today and is in Macau tonite, i think we're going to the horse races tomorrow, so i'm super stoked to hang out with him. He's never been there before, and i think he's gonna dig it, especially after coming from Macau! Meeting him is the only real appointment i have tomrorow. Everything else will be home stuff and calls. I'm going to send out my resume to a couple people tomorrow thru the internet, and call that guy that Roger was trying to set me up with. Ah, the job stuff...it's a real task.So that was today, and last nite i met up with Neal's friend Patrick. We had dinner with a bunch of his friends at this place where most westerners would dine for comfort food. It's called Dave Ryan's, and it reminds me of like a milestones restaurant. Anyway, i met a guy from nyc who's a graphics designer, a couple models, and some avid divers.....where was Leonard ( hot polish model girls that dove the Red Sea and caves?)??? shit boy, you'd be in heaven) Anyway, so that was fun, and then i grabbed a cab back to Happy Valley. I had full intentions of going home to club bed, but then i walked past a reflexology place and they had a special. I walked in and met a guy there named Emiel who was a happy valley resident also, and he happened to be from holland, i called him on the dutch accent! So we got our feet rubbed and talked shop. It was random, but that's hong kong. It's the most random place i have ever experienced. And that was my very first time having reflexology done. I fully recommend it, for the amount i walk, i should be in there at least 2 times a week!Things i miss today- Canadian dairy. Chinese dairy products are sketchy, and the milk is very fatty, it's gross, i miss skim, and i miss Balderson Cheeze too. I miss having a tan, i'm so white, the temp is dropping here and it's overcast.
Current Mood: contentCurrent Music: (dance remix) Walk on by- Seal
(Leave a comment)
December 5th, 2004
07:30 am
[Link]
Making it to the two week mark!I am exhausted. For someone who is used to drinking alcohol appx once a month, i have drank more in two weeks than i would in a year in Vancouver!!! It's the social drink though, not getting too drunk. I hate feeling it the next day, it just never feels good to feel like a zombie. Last nite, meeting Virgil was super cool. He does look a little like Vernon, but their voices sound very similar. I met a lot of people at the Mandarin Sport Fishing Club dinner. It was cool, the people were really friendly and down to earth, and there was a slideshow of all the cool fish caught over the year, mainly mahi mahi, ahi, and marlin. There were people of all walks of life, and i met a couple pilots, finance guys and people who ran their own businesses. I met a guy who's a recruiter and when i told him my story he offered to help me get some interviews set up, so it's another door opening up. We'll see, i know it takes time, and i know that the everything will happen in it's right place. As long as i'm not lazy about it and continue to seek out new people and new challenges, all will be revealed, that i believe. After, i headed home to change and then Scott and i went to Lan Kwai Fong and met up with my crew at Bar George. While in there we had a few drinks, and as i looked into the masses of people walking thru the streets, i spoted Jens from Vancouver!!!! Jens is Kirby's friend, and he had mentioned he was going to HK, so when i saw him, i freaked out and went running after him. It was a positively wonderful little reunion. He's gonna be here for a week, so i think we'll get to have dinner sometime this week! YAY!After doing the usual LKF/Wanchai routine, i grabbed a piece of pizza with Justin, waited for his girlfriend to get there, and then i cabbed it home to my bed.This morning, i slept in past 8, woke up at 10, and left the flat for about noon. Had brunch in Happy Valley at this really cute yuppy spot called V. Alot of chinese movie stars dine there, the coffee is top notch and they make a dynamite eggs bennie. Scott met up with me, and then we headed over to Wanchai to do a little computer speaker shopping at Computer Center. IT should be called Comptuer Hell Mall, because it was very very crowded, not well merchandised....just shit everywhere. Very low ceilings and crammed spaces, it was enough to make one shudder with clausterphobia. But, we both found some really good speakers and bought those. Scott was kind enough to take my big box home while i met up with Jim to do our weekly routine.....a nice massage!After a massage, which was not as good as the last two i got but still decent, we met up with Joe and his guests. He then took us to this very special place called Laguna. It's a dive of a place, a very seedy operation where every sunday, they open at 11am. It's a club believe it or not, and at 7pm, it was so crowded and bumping, i'd never seen so many little philipino/asian girls and so many middle aged men hunting for girls which some i had trouble beleiving were past the age of 16. The boys took me there because you have to see it to believe it, but it made me very sad. Once i watched a documentary on the prostitution problem in south america, and although i was not in a brothel, i saw interactions that were most certainly suspect. The men were my height, the women were half my height and half my width too, tiny. This is the spot that the women in the domestic industry go to. So if you're a nanny or maid, you work 6 days a week and your only time off is sundays. In Central, there will be literally thousands of ladies in the streets in the morning, playing cards, reading, sharing food, just chilling. It's a phenomenon, and i can't wait to get a photo of that! But the younger ones who want to party go to Wanchai, and that's where i was shocked to see it going off in the wee evening of only 7pm! Because the women have a 9pm curfew with their employers, they do not drink when they are there, they just want to dance their asses off. So, the club charges ladies $100 for cover, and men get in free but they definitely drink. check the website for fotos, i did get the "sea of people" shot. When i took the photo, some dude walked up to me and asked me if i was a private investigator. I was like," is this a line?" but he was serious. I showed him my harmless photo, and then he left me alone. I did get some weird looks while i was there, but i guess i sort of looked out place. After leaving this dodgy place, Jim and i said goodbye to the others and got some dinner at a Thai restaurant down the street and i had some pad thai, which i was totally craving! I barely ate all day so it felt sooooo good to eat!I have yet to find an alliance church here and am missing going to church in whiterock, and missing being nurtured by Ross's sermons. Now, it's me who has to be diligent in my readings and in prayer. Although, i do feel God's presence and have felt his comfort every step of the way and it has made the transition much smoother. I have already come across some temptations that i know i must surrender to Him. It's easy to live in a new place with a clean slate and do whatever you want. It takes more strength to set and keep your principles so you don't get spoiled rotten. I know this is one of my challenges, and will probably be something i'll have to keep attention to for the rest of my life. The last two weeks have been incredible, with more coincidences and stories and positive concentration and new awareness. Watching each day unfold is really exciting. Things i miss- Hearing many voices sing in unison at once while shivers and heat fill my body. I miss Rosanna and our times in the convertible driving around Maui listening to the Pet Shop Boys and cooking to Louie Prima! I miss curling my toes in hot sand by Manele Bay and floating in the warm hawaiian ocean, rising and falling with each wave that would pass me and crash on the sand.
Current Mood: lethargicCurrent Music: Sing Softly to Me- Kings of Convenience.
(Leave a comment)
December 4th, 2004
02:52 am
[Link]
Saturday with JustinToday i spent the afternoon with everybody's favorite Aussie, Justin Pitt. He's one of the function managers at the Grand Hyatt in downtown HK, and was working today so i met him at the hotel for lunch and he gave me the grand tour. The lobby is shaped like a crab, and is very feng shui or however you spell it. We had lunch by the window where you can view the star ferries cutting across the water. It was windy today, beautiful. I had Hainese chicken which was really good, and got to know a little about Justin, which is nice considering the only times i've seen him is in Lan Kwai Fong during the end of week drinking binges. I also met his girlfriend who is super nice and a concierge at the hotel too. Very good afternoon. Justin also gave me a tour of the hotel and there was a big ballet ball going on, and a wedding in another function room. The highlight was checking out the spa of the Grand Hyatt. Please go to www.plateau.com.hk if you get a chance, you'll freak when you see the photos of the place. Robert- take special note on this website. And, when you come to visit, you have to see it for yourself! I think the name of the designer is John Mumford, who also did the spa that you can see in the movie Lost in Translation. I am leaving shortly for the HK Sport Fishing Club dinner at the Rosedale hotel. Yeah, it's pretty funny where i find myself winding up. I'm happy that i know a little about spear fishing and fly fishing. I really miss fishing actually, so this will be very fun indeed. Last nite, i went to the Canadian Chambers christmas coctail party. It was fun and i met some cool people. David my flatmate invited me to go, and i really enjoyed it. Justin told me there is an american and australian one next week so i'm going to those too i hope. It is a great place to meet working young professionals and build a contact base here. After, David, some of his friends and I went thru LKF club-hopped for a bit and then ended at some place for a while.....but i coulnd't take the noise and i was pretty buzzed, so i planted myself in the coffeeshop next door, melted into the sofa and chatted on my cellphone till they kicked me out for closing time. I took a cab back to the flat and passed out in my clothes. But i did manage to savour a little hagendaz in the cabbie back. Coffee is my favorite flavour.Things i miss- Chats with my mom, the good ones where i can come undone, and my crunchy nice duvet in my bed at home in vancouver.
Current Mood: workingCurrent Music: When Doves Cry- Prince
(0 comments Leave a comment)
December 3rd, 2004
11:00 am
[Link]
Waking up in my very own bed.Ah, it feels good to have a home. Although, i do miss Joe's "mornings" accompanied by a warm cup of tea. Today i had to make it myself, not that i minded. I shuffled into the kitchen and boiled some water. The flat was empty, the boys were off to the office. I spoke with Carlo in London, and now i begin my day with the task at hand. I need some furniture. I would like to get a bed/desk/drawers/mirror etc for my room. Currently i am surrounded by bags and my clothes, and i am sleeping on a very comfortable mattress but it's on the floor. I'd like to get a real frame for it, and make home. This place has SO MUCH potential, it's ridiculous. I can't wait to decorate and get some plants. It's gorgeous, i love it so much. What is very very cool about this flat that i just found out last nite is that the landlord is a temple. A buddhist temple owns the flat and blessed it. I saw buddhist monks bless frozen water molecules and it turned the molecules into pretty little snowflake looking crystals. So, i wonder how my molecular structure will be altered by living here. A very exciting thought dont' you think?Today, is the phone/internet day again, which is fine, i dont' mind making calls. I hope something pans out with some meetings next week. I have been invited by my flatmates to a meeting with the chamber of commerce, and alot of canadians go. I will be schmoozing, believe. My neck hurts a little again from moving all my big bags. I do not need any clothes for a long long time. I have told myself that i will not buy any shoes until i get a job. This is huge, since i love to buy shoes, what girl doesn't. And the ones i want have little G's all over them. I am such a sucker for Gucci. There are a pair of runners i may buy though, only because i will need them if i choose to run this marathon. It would be a half marathon, which means running for appx an hour or so. A full marathon is about 4 hours. YIKES, i can barely run for 5 minutes at the moment! I live right next to the track though, and there are people that run it in the mornings and also people who do tai chi in the middle of the field. I like that it's a place for creating good energy. I have a great vibe from this area, plus the name Happy Valley makes it even better. It is so convenient, i live right by the tram, across from the laundrimat and grocery store, and 5 minutes from time square. Hot. Any of my friends who are thinking of visiting me....you will love it and are most welcome to come over for tea and cookies. Today is not hot like yesterday. It's a bit overcast, but it's still very comfortable. I am practicing breathing in and out, the conscious kind. It's helping. Big moves are never easy. If it was, everyone would do it and it would be so common. What is great about the expat community is that they all made the decision to venture into the unknown and were courageous enough to deal with the challenges that come with living in a foreign country. I still cannot believe i've landed myself in China! Today is 2 weeks under my belt. I barely took any photos. I will snap some this weekend. Week one was like slow motion. It took it's toll on me and i got thru. Week two went by in a breath, and in less than a week i have found myself a great flat, great flatmates and a good collection of people here. I've made it to 2nd base. 3rd base will be a job. I am looking forward to the grand slam. Oh i hope i can go to vietnam. That would be amazing. NICK, i'm trying, i really want to go!!! United flies each day to Ho Chi Min, i looked it up.Things i miss today- Having tea with Joe in the morning and watching him put on his tie. I miss Marcel's butt butt ding ding voice, the exaggerated hand clap that Amy does when she's excited about something, taking the little ferry boat from yaletown to granville island, Cherry Rose Sencha Green Tea, episodes of Nip/Tuck, and my cute parrot dress that i should have brought to HK and didn't.
Current Mood: calmCurrent Music: Sing it back- Moloko
(0 comments Leave a comment)
December 2nd, 2004
11:14 am
[Link]
Buddy Girl's in Happy Valley!!!I got the flat in Happy Valley!!! The name suits me huh? Happy Valley. Rquelly in Happy Valley.....goodness it has a good ring to it.I met up with Scott and David last nite after picking up Jim at Excelsior. We headed to the track and bet a few times, but i didn't get ahead. Still, i only lost a mere few dollars. We headed to Wanchain in the taxi and ended up in Mes Amis ( big suprise ) to have a few drinks and toast to HK, Canada, and a brand new room mate- me! An excellent day all around.Today, i am moving. It's early in the morning, i am on my way back to Joe's shortly to start packing everything up. This will be a big chore, but i think i'm going to hire a guy with a van so i can get it all there in one big swoop. I will probably do it later in the aft though, when either Joe can help me, or the boys will already be home. I feel weird entering the house all by myself.I have to head to the bank too to get my rent moolah.Just one step closer to gittin root down.This morning i started the book that Nick gave me, Creating True Peace. It's taken my breath away a few times already. Wow.I'm thinking of running a half marathon in February.Things i miss today- Kirby's voice "what's happenin? Ah,not much." Walking with Chad and Dexter to the dog park. Booyakah shots with Dan at PnP. Sitting by the fireplace in deep talks with Robert.
Current Mood: Colouring my worldCurrent Music: Tear Us Apart- INXS
(0 comments Leave a comment)
December 1st, 2004
01:25 pm
[Link]
Quantum VS Dejavu VS Fate....Okay, so have you ever had a whole series of events happen to you where it was just too weird a coincidence? Do you believe in coincedence or fate? This is the question that fell into my lap with the results of yesterday afternoon....."THE DAY OF KING DAVID......"I left the coffeeshop yesterday after checking out the Shama serviced apartments. If you want to see what you live in for $20 grand HKD ($3500 CND) a month, check out www.shama.com and click on the 380 sq ft studio. Ya, highway robbery. I left my cup of coffee and took the tram to Happy Valley, which is where the horsetrack is. I got off and headed to the last flat viewing of the nite. I met up with the guy there, DAVID, and he took me up to his place on the 3rd floor. When the door opened, i fell in love. 1300 sq ft opens up into this beautiful big living room, 4 couches and a big coffeetable with a bookshelf. 3 BIG bedrooms, good water pressure in the shower, bathroom good size, and western style kitchen, which means an actual oven and stove, double sink and big fridge. The place has high ceilings, big windows for lots of light and dark pollished hardwood floors. It'll cost me $1000cnd a month to share it with two other canandian guys. Here's where it gets wierd....A month before i left, i bumped into an actor friend of mine, DAVID Cubitt (he was in the movie Alive with Chad). DAVID called me up and told me that if i headed over to HK to call up his friend there David Woodward. He gave me his contact info, and i said thank you. But, i had misplaced this information, and didn't really think about it any further. But wait, it gets better....Last week on the expat flatshare website, i emailed a guy about this particular flat in Happy Valley. When i finally got to the flat, i realised that this was the same DAVID Woodward that DAVID Cubitt told me about!!! Not only that, but when David asked me what i had been doing in Vancouver, he mentioned that his parents had also bought a MINI......so i asked him who his parents were, and it turns out that I SOLD HIS PARENTS THEIR MINI!!!!!! Fate found us 3 times- thru DAVID the actor, thru the expat site, and connected thru his parents. Despite the fact that i lost his contact info, it was fate that we met! UNBELIEVABLE. So, both roomates are canadian, the other guy is Chris, and he looks kinda like Andrew Macarthy from the bratpack of the 80's. Very cute, both totally easy going. I hope they choose me as their room mate, we'd be the canadian brotherhood. ( I am all about the brotherhood! ) And, when i walked into the flat, i wanted to make it home. So, i'm hoping that they will call me later to say if i got it or not! After leaving their flat, i hopped back over to Timesquare where i was going to meet the next DAVID, friend of Didier's. While i was waiting, i got a call from Carlo, who finally got back to the UK, and while i was talking with him, the two flatmates from Happy Valley walked by me on their way to yoga. Now, what are the chances that i would see them in timesquare after seeing them on the other side of town in a city of 7 million? I could barely wind down to sleep last nite, it was just too weird and exciting a day.At 8:30, i met up with DAVID Owen, who is a pretty smart fella. He's done a very dynamic range of work in his time, and is currently in hong kong on business to close on financing for his current project. He asked to take me to dinner, and ended up takine me in my ratty jeans and sneakers to one of the top fine dining restaurants in all of HK. I ended up on the top floor of the Mandarin Hotel chowing on a $600 USD full course fine dining chinese cuisine! And what i thought would be a nice meeting with someone from Vancouver turned out to be a job interview. It was a really great evening and i learned alot about marshal law, common law, and the Fiat money system. "Fiat" is latin and means "pulled from air". In other words, it means "fake". Learning about the Fiat money system was as fascinating as the first time i did any research on the Illuminati. An incredible educating experience, incredible food, incredible view and incredible company. Unless you were in my incredibly dirty shoes, there are no real words to recreate and fully explain my incredible day. I need to do some more research on VOIP technology, but there are opportunities presenting themselves on the daily, so i'm very much praying and trusting God to show me what he's handpicked especially for me. I'll feel my heart skip a beat when it's the one for me. Quantum Mechanics and the power of thought....more than ever i believe in the power of meditation. It's incredible how you do create your day, how you create your own limitations and to some degree, your destiny. God is right beside me, never failing me, either by reaffirming my faith thru these amazing happenstances, and by the love and comfort i have received from the great people in my life. I am so glad to be here.Virgil called me today, Nick's friend. I have been invited to a hotel dinner party with him and some local business friends at the Rosedale this Saturday. I am very excited to meet some other locals that are making moves and have theif finger on the pulse of HK. This will be a great week!Time to call some of the modelling agencies and see if i can score some local work to tie me over till i get sponsored for a visa. Things i miss today- Hip Hop nites at Shine with DJ SCIENCE on wax, Leonard's big open mouthed laughter, when Senka clutches onto my arm when we walk down the street, and pushing 6000rpm's in my MINI Cooper S while blasting Ghostface Killah!
Current Mood: AMAZED!!!!Current Music: Take It Personal- Gang Starr
(Leave a comment)
November 30th, 2004
03:06 pm
[Link]
Who's Who in the ZooToday i have been on the phone.....alot! First, i called a bunch of places about apt rentals, and set up 3 appointments for today, starting at 5pm, ending at 7:30. The flat i saw yesterday was gross. It had bad carpet, was in a very busy area, darkly lit, and just bad energy. I didn't feel the love, so i said my thank-you's and exited stage right. I got a little lost finding the flat, which was in Causeway Bay, near the Canal Road markets where there is a strip dedicated to fish mongers and meat stands. It kinda turned my stomach, i feel for vegatarians if they come to HK, it's a bit hard to see how the food is just out in the open, you wonder about cleanliness. Still, as long as you eat smart and are aware of what you are putting into your belly, you should be okay.I am meeting up with one of Didier's friends later, his name is David. We are going to dinner to discuss what the heck i'm going to do here in HK, and how i should go about doing it. There are a bunch of tax benifits if i give up my residence in Canada, i only pay appx 16% in comparison to 40%, BIG DIFF. I need to pick his brain and see what things i can put into action. He has some connections in the HK finance world, so hopefully i can network a little and meet some people who know the scene. Consider it HK busines 101. Life is school, gotta pay attention!I spoke with a local doctor who's a friend of Nick's and he was very informative too, so it was a day dedicated to letting people know i'm here and looking for work! I need to get my hands on a phone book and call up some of the recruitment companies here. I hope to have some good news to report soon on the job front. It's a bit of a funky thing here with the whole process, who came first the chicken or the egg? In order to get a job, you must have a work visa. In order to have a work visa, you must have a job offer. In order to get an apartment you must have a job or HKID card, which is essentially your work visa. So, i'm in a bit of an awkward position at the moment. It's a mild nomadic chaos and i'm trying not to stress too much about it. I know it will work out the way it's supposed to. In the meantime, there is nothing like watching your bank account get smaller to light a fire under your ass.Joe has two more guests coming on Thursday, and i'm freaked where i'm going to sleep. It's tight in there as it is, and although they will be there for 3-4 days, i should be finding my own accomodations. Cross your fingers, i hope one of the 3 i look at today are cool.Jim and i finally made it to the massage house last nite. It was heavenly torture in the sense that they walk on your back and crack your bones and force your tense muscles into mush. I winced and moaned quite a few times, but it was the BEST massage i ever had. I hit up the Sauna after, then showered and headed home to crawl into bed. 2 hours for $50 cnd, good value. Robert, we should talk about getting that kind of spa treatment for the Falls!! Tomorrow is the horse track nite again. I can't wait to smell the grass again.Things i'm missing today- going to the movies, Lanai, quad riding with Steve, my big vancouver flat, the beautiful doggies of yaletown, sunsets from Dan's house, and Dr Hoy's awesome backcracks.
Current Mood: optimisticCurrent Music: Walk On- U2
(Leave a comment)
November 28th, 2004
10:50 pm
[Link]
The nitty grittyAh Mondays. It's on monday morning, that it's Sunday evening back in Vancouver, and it's the time i pick up the phone to call home. Today i got my cell phone all worked out. My new number is (852) 9850-7978, so for you text msging people, plug me into your mobile and send me a little text, i'd love to hear from you.Yesterday, i rested most of the day. My neck is still really bothering me. I had breakfast with Joe, then he headed off to play football and i tidied up and then met up with Jim at Timesquare and we went to Carnegie's later to meet up with Joe and his football team. Had a drink, ate some food, then got home and passed out by 8pm. I slept hard till about 2am, then crashed out till 7:30 this morning. I needed the rest.....HK locals are serious night owls. I did manage to flip thru the paper and noted some jobs. I am updating my resume and will fire those off this week.Today i am looking at an apartment, and i have an appointment to see another one tomorrow also. Joe's got guests this week, which means there would be 4 of us in the flat for about 3 days. It'd be pretty tight, and i'm sure we could manage, but i'd also like to have my own place too. If i cannot find a regular flatshare, i may need to get a serviced apartment for a short term until i can secure employment. It's now come to the chore of getting a financial anchor in HK. I figure it'll take on the minimum 2 wks to find something, on the outside, well.....2-3 months. But i'm hoping prayers will be answered.The last half of this week has been quite the adventure. Hanging with the Carlo from the UK definitely encouraged me to aim high for things. I hope to meet more people that are in that similar mindset and just go for things. Being in a brand new place all by myself, i've realised how much reassurance i need from my peers out here. Everyone has been very friendly and wonderful, they've all been in these shoes before, so they relate. That's the best part about meeting other travellers. MINI Hong Kong is hiring a sales person. Not that i am applying for that one, but it was ironic to see the posting. There are a few positions that i've looked at applying for, but the best one looks like sales for Bombardier Flexjets, based out of the UK, but the position is for selling chartering packages. Apparently they are a pretty big company and have many employees. The job would require travel......shoot that would really suck, not! We'll see what happens.....cross your fingers and say a prayer for me pleeeeez!! Other companies i've looked at are Prada, Kiehl's, Sony, 21st Century Media, The Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club, Repulse Bay Golf Community, and The Body Shop. The clothing and body care lines are looking for Visual Merchandisers, so with my Gap background, ya never know. Still, i'd rather sell private jet flights. Totally my thing....So, the big hunt begins. I just finished lunch with Joe and am heading over to Causeway Bay to look at an apartment for 5pm. Then i'm heading back to Hung Hom and working on the resume for tomorrow's shout outs. Wish me luck, i could use all positive thoughts. I hate being the rookie. It totally sucks to go from really knowing your game inside out, to starting something from ground zero. But i guess the more you practice it, the better you get at launching past the rookie level. In the real world, knowing the MINI and car sales doesn't really mean anything, but the practice from problem solving is what i can apply going forward. Thank goodness i'm not shy.PS- i'm looking to set up a website and need someone to design it for me. I would like to set up a paypal account so that i can send stuff to whoever is looking at buying kicks, electronics, or LV/Gucci anything. Holler if you are interested in setting this up. There is some very cool shit in HK. IE- Ipod Color 40G, $3800 HKD. LV Leather, the good fakes can be negotiated to appx $100 HKD!!! Currency exchange is currently $6.5 HKD = $1 CND. You do the math and let me know if you're in. Remember, there's no tax here either :)Peter, it was rad to get your email today. Jodie i miss you, say hello to Rupert and Abbey for me. Come to HK if you are looking for a change, there are a lot of people from the UK here. Kirby, it was awesome speaking with you today. Mom, i'll send you my address soon.Looking back, the transition here is heavy with time zone, food and pollution. But all in all, i'm alive and very happy to be here. It gets easier everyday. The first week is hard because you're physically exhausted and resetting your body clock. Then add the overwhelming emotions of missing and leaving home and you can add up what it was like. I still wake up and can't believe i'm really here. This place has so much going on, i've only seen a very small part of it, but it's been incredible. Letting go of fear is ongoing and needs constant attention. Thank you for your prayers, keep them coming! I cannot believe i was sitting at a desk less than a month ago. Life is wild.
Current Mood: hopefulCurrent Music: Sleep will Come- Bliss
(Leave a comment)
November 27th, 2004
05:38 am
[Link]
The Trip to MONG KOKWhoa, i have never seen so many people in my life. I got scared and took a trip upstairs to a little pub to chill out and sink down a heineken. Mong Kok is a shopping district, but it's beyond anything i have yet seen in HK. This place has blocks that are dedicated to one thing each. One street was all about car stereos, so store after store all you see is speakers, stereos and lights for your cars. The next street is all sneakers and it was so overwhelming, i saw the dopest kicks on earth and didn't buy a single pair because there was way too much a selection i short circuited and ducked out in the subway. Carlo the spy found his gold mini ipod and the day was a success. The electronics street was amazing, so many digicams and videocams etc. This is the place to get gadgets. But then again, when you see a 10 by 10 ft wall of 500 cellphones, it's really hard to choose which one is the one to get. Holy Dyna....I'm exhausted just thinking about it. Currently, i'm on my way to dress and head to meet up with the gang in Lan Kwai Fong where it's the usual Saturday nite party.I spoke with Virgil and he was super nice and very informative. I am hoping that this week will be a success in finding a flat. I am in the mode to get my party started here. It's time to get down to business. The urge to start getting rooted is a mild itch, but i think i'm ready to take it on now....Dinner time.Chow.
(Leave a comment)
November 26th, 2004
03:49 am
[Link]
Friday Nite in the big city.I am happy. Today i bought an Ipod, the 40 G colour. It cost only $500 canadian, AMAZING! I also went to the chiropractor and got adjusted, and i realised that my phone will work over here and i dont' need to buy another one. This is a relief. I found the mall under the shangrila and conrad hotels. They are just like South Coast Plaza in LA, but even better :) I don't have much to say other than i'm going to the Peak for dinner in an hour and i must change.This has been a great day, lots of giggles, i got an IPOD!!!! Yay, finally!!
Current Mood: happyCurrent Music: Paul Weller- Early Morning Rain
(Leave a comment)
November 25th, 2004
05:37 pm
[Link]
The land of flats and fake designer bagsHK is where you wear flats and rock a fake gucci bag. This is a city that walks and walks and walks. You cannot see the horizon most of the time because the buildings are so tall, so you cannot really tell how far you have walked until you realise how much your feet hurt. Thankfully, the chinese know this and put up reflexology and spa like places everywhere so you can just walk in and get a foot rub. Lord knows i need one. What's also my observation is there are many shoe stores, like 4 per block at least....this means it's Rquelly heaven, as she loves shoes. Still, i've been here a week and haven't bought a single pair. That is what i call willpower! If i had a wish, i wish for an Ipod. That is what i need, a soundtrack to my stride.Got a few leads on the flatshare, i have to follow up and we'll see what happens.Last nite, went to a turkish restaurant and tried some of that turkish bong, some apple pipe. It was good, although i'm not a smoker at all, but i actually enjoyed a bit of it. I went with Joe and his friends from Japan. We had a great time. I also went to the Causeway bay market and spent $35 on heaps of stuff. I think it's my new favorite place for tops. Esprit is like the Gap here, there is no Gap, but i don't think it'd do well anyway, it's too expensive in comparison. Pants will be a challenge here, i'm long and clothing is made for the shorties, so i may need to start up the floodpant trend.I ate at a real chinese place last nite, it was good too, had some fried rice with bbq pork and salty fish. I liked it.People are short here, i can look over the majority of people on the subway and in the streets when it's really crowded. I still get funny looks, i am the inbetween, i look like a westerner, i dress different and i'm tall for an asian girl. Asia doesn't teach it's children not to stare, so everyone grows up and continues on like it's no big deal. I have never experienced that before...the closest thing would be the indian people in Delta, but even there, they aren't that bad. In any case, it doesn't bother me, i notice it, but it's not that big a deal. I don't really have time to be concerned about things like that anyway.My spirits are pretty good today, i feel good. Tonite i'm going to the race track to bet on horses. This is going to rule as i love gambling. The boys are taking me out, and then we're going to ladies nite in Wan Chai, which means free alcohol. I think i'll just get them for my friends and get more. I'm gonna need some redbull to keep me going as bedtime is still around 11pm, but tonite will go way beyond that. Oh, i almost forgot to mention the irony i have encountered here. Joe, who is letting me stay with him, is related thru marriage to Neal Tennant- who is the lead singer of the Pet Shop Boys!!!!! I cannot believe it, how cool huh!? We sang together in the flat yesterday afternoon to a bunch of their songs i had playing on my itunes. Hilarious.I can see myself being here a while, not forever. I know i want to be back in Vancouver sometime, i miss home, it's the people.....i miss my people. But i know there is much for me to research here; explore what opportunities are hidden in this enormous place...this is actually a lot of fun. It's almost 6 and i have to get home and get ready to meet up with Jim at 7:45pm. I have my horse racing/party outfit all laid out and ready to go!
Current Mood: my feet hurtCurrent Music: home and dry- the pet shop boys
(Leave a comment)
04:59 pm
[Link]
A Nite at the RacesI love the horse track. Good lord is it ever fun! It's bigger than canadian hockey, there were more people out than a sold out stadium at BC Place. I bet on about 5 races, but in the end i lost a total of $50Cnd, so it's worth the education. There is a strategic system that i am going to learn, just like craps. Excellent. Jim Joe and i headed over to Wan Chai after for ladies nite, and i didn't drink much, just chilled and hung out with some of the familiar faces from Sat nite. They are all so great. I did meet another traveller(Carlo- sounds like an Illuminati spy) who's here for a couple days on business...in sales, so we had common ground. I have a shopping buddy for tomorrow as we both need ipods and i still need a phone, so we're gonna team up and hit the city tomorrow. I'm looking forward to it.Right now, i'm hungry, i need some food and i'm a little on the drowsy side. I always get this way around 4 or 5 oclock, i think it's my jetlag a bit still. But i'm getting thru it. I really need a chiropractor, my neck and left hip are totally sublixated. I miss Dr. Hoy, he was great.Still looking for a place and gonna go hard core on it next week. I feel the urge under my skin so it's almost time. It still feels like i'm on vacation and i know it will be that way until i move into my own apartment. YIKES, do i really live in HK? IT's still a dream, i trip out nearly everyday, shaking my head like what the f#$% am i doing here? Well, i suppose i'll figure it out in the next week or two hopefully. Until then, i'm just gonna "lean back". Scissor Sisters are coming to vancouver at the commodore on Jan 28th. Someone please go so i can live vicariously thru you. I love that band. Kirby, if you go, you gotta rock the white loafers. Pimp styles baby, yeah.... Neal, did you go to KEANE?K, hungry, and thirsty. Must jog on back to the flat. Joe, i hope you're home, i'm thinkin of goin for chinese.
Current Mood: relaxedCurrent Music: Glory Box- Portishead
(Leave a comment)
November 22nd, 2004
09:58 pm
[Link]
Late in the evening....It's almost 10pm and i'm back at the coffeeshop. I bought a tea and it cost $23 HDK, which is about $3.50 at home. They charge you extra depending on the size of tea you get, which is ridiculous if you ask me, it's just more hot water. Alot of things make so much sense in Asia, but this tea thing gets me.I was able to add some more photos from the chopstick party on my website, and i'm still waiting for the ones from Chad's cam. I know he got a bunch, but he's still MIA in NYC, so Chad when you get this, send em over yo!I'm tired, 10ish means bedtime for me, i start to feel a little on the dizzy drowsy side, so i'll be packing it up in a moment and heading back to the flat. Joe is meeting up with his old room mate from Japan who is here visiting his girlfriend Joe. We had dinner with them last nite at Mes Amis in Wan Chai. They are really cool, but i couldn't do another nite of drinking, so i stayed behind and Joe's gone to meet them in Central. Tomorrow, i'm going into Causeway Bay, today was a write off, literally....all i did was write. Tomorrow, i need to get walking about the city and explore a little more. I'm excited about wednesday, we're going to the race track and then to ladies nite in Lan Kwai Fong. Should i wear my electric yellow dress for this marvelous occassion?? Still undecided. I did pick up a big black beenie today, it's a beanie that actually looks good on me, so i was stoked. I picked up a cargo halter zip up vest also in military green. It's totally me, and i'm wearing them together with my spectacles, i'm trying to blend in with the community, so tomorrow maybe i'll clash some colour around and add some high top runners. That's the steez, high tops with baggy pants tucked into them. Hammer pants are back in fashion again..too legit to quit i guess.Senka, if you read this, you'd go mental on the clothes. I went to a store today that should have been named Senka. Everything in there was you you you lady. Off the shoulder Flashdance dance inspired clothing with hot bags and cute shoes. They had dresses in there for like $15 Cnd and shoes for $12. Take that as some motivation to visit :) hee hee....They're mopping the floors... that's my signal to shut it down. Nite!Amy Sicolo, i love you, thanks for your msg today!! xo
(Leave a comment)
12:55 pm
[Link]
The last few daysI'm sitting at an internet cafe called "Pacific Coffee Company", which is pretty much like a seattle's best, but with free internet booths. The one i'm at is in an area of Hung Hom, and it's on the Kowloon side, so if you have good HK geography, i'm by the water the looks towards HK island. It's a beautiful day today, and it's been great weather since i've arrived. Dry, hot, about 25 degrees everyday, i've been wearing my little dresses and sneakers. Here's the recap and it's a long one, so i hope i can keep your attention....Friday morning was basically a write off, i was so tired and pulled an emotional 60 something hours straight, so i crashed and woke up at like 3am on Saturday morning, went back to sleep, woke up every hour or so, and then finally got up around 10am. Joe, the guy i'm staying with, teaches a class in Mainland China on Sats, so he set me up with his friend Jim, who is scottish and very fun. We met at Time Square in Causeway Bay, and it was the first time i took the MTR aka subway. He looks like Steve Merkeley, a guy i dated when i was like 19. Anyway, Jim took me on a short tour of the Time Square mall, which is like 8 or 9 floors and unbelievable. If you saw Lara Croft 2, it's the place where she goes to steal the orb before skydiving off the IFC. The international Finance Center is 88 stories and would blow your mind. They lite it up every nite and do a lazer show from the top. It is incredible. Anyway, so after an awesome mall tour that would put any north american mall to shame, we went to Stanley Bay, which is about a 25 minute bus tour. Stanley is like La Jolla/Malibu. It's a small beach community with amazing new residential buildings and a strip where there is a great market and bunch of western style restaurants. ( "western" meaning white, not frank and beans. ) I bought a necklace there with a pendant of a flip flop. It's the cutest little necklace, made of mother of pearl, silver, and cubic zirconium. I'll pop up some photos soon on my website. After Stanley, we headed back home for a power nap and at 11pm, headed back into the city for the Saturday nitelife. HK is the city to be single. It's a transient place where you can be anonymous and show up fresh with no baggage. The world is your oyster here, and if you're a western guy, it seems that the yellow fever gets you sooner than later. Wow! Sat nite, i met up with Joe's friends in a place called Lan Kwai Fong, which is the district for expats to party. There is one street that is blocked off from cars and people literally spill into the streets partying outside and inside the various bars that are lined in a row. The highlight for me was this russian bar that had a vodka room. You walk into the place and enter a lobby type area where you take a fur coat and a russian fur hat and then enter this refrigerated room that looks like an ice chest, ice walls all around, blue lighting and small stand up bar tables. There is a tiny little window where a bartender takes your order, and basically you do your shots of vodka and leave. They have about 50 or so different types of vodka, so they aim to please. I can't remember the name of it but it was russian anyway. We were only there for about 5 minutes, but it was absolut'ly fantastic. From there, we headed to Wan Chai, which is the area where all the "girly" bars are. They also have a strip of regular bars, some that play live music. The music here is old, they like the pop stuff, very asian. I have yet to find a good hip hop joint or something more NYC. The two big nites to go out here are Saturdays and Wednesdays. Wednesday's are ladies nite everywhere, which means if you're female, you drink for free. So, the boys come watch and pick up etc. It's a total meat market, and would blow your mind. The best part is that everyone is really friendly and inviting to new people. That is super different from Vancouver, but i believe this is a commonality in the traveller's communities. Anyway, i'm not a big partier, but i'm looking forward to Wednesday. Saturday nite ended at 5am. We had to take a taxi back home, and on the way passed a MINI COOPER S that had crashed on the freeway. It was flipped upside down, and there was a trail of smashed glass on the road, but the mini was in one solid piece, the roof in tact and everything. It was indi blue with a sports pack for any of you at work that are reading this. I couldn't believe it. The freeways here are nuts and people travel and ridiculous speeds in lunacy.So, i've made three friends here, and i'd like to call them my boy band, the Heartbreakers. They are made up of Joe, Jim, and Justin. All very handsome, very charming, and totally my wingmen. Will set up photos soon.Sunday was a write off- woke up at 11, left the flat at 2:15, met Jim at Time Square again at 3, checked into a spa and got a 2 hour massage, the best one of my life no doubt. When we got back outside, it was nite time, so we went for dinner and then i passed out around 10 and melted into bed.Alas, so here i sit in the coffee shop. It's just after 1pm, and i'm going to head over to the island to find Ikea. The idea is to get some space efficient things for Joe's place as my baggage take up the whole place, poor guy. I am planning to take this week easy, i want to get an idea of the neighborhood before making any drastic moves for living arrangments or work. I think finding work will be a challenge here but i'm not concerned just yet.How am i feeling? Much better, a little more emotionally stable. I have been reading "Quantum Healing"- by Deepak Choppra and it's tied very closely with the What the Bleep movie that i saw a few weeks ago. I do believe in mind-body healing, and the power of thought. So far, i have been very positive about this place. I do miss home, and realise that my ties to there are all normal. I ache inside for the ones i love so much from home, but they are truely with me in every step that i take. I wish you were here to see the same things i am looking at, this world is an incredible place, and although i'm far from home, the love and support from my friends and family is definitely felt here, so if i close my eyes and think of home, i can be there too. All the emails and notes have meant a fortune to me, so thank you." Simply believe, it's that simple. " And Lara's adventure continues.....
Current Mood: Inspired, Recharging, PlanningCurrent Music: Elevator Loveletter- Stars
(Leave a comment)
November 19th, 2004
10:26 am
[Link]
The big departure....Whoa, it's now 10am, but last nite was hard. All day i was in and out of an emotional mess. I think i ran out of tears by the time the plane got off the ground. It was nice. I spoke with Amanda and Doug on the phone before take off, and then as i walked down the ramp towards the plane, i said, "here we go God, it's just you and me."The plane was big, and apparently i had a good seat, it was by the wall, so i had an extra 6 inches of room in front of me. However, all in a row were women with their new little babies, and in our section there were about 8 of them. They all cried through the entire flight. I don't think i want children for a while now. 14 hours of flighing with a baby balling....i almost lost it. Although, i will say that the one beside me, her name was Shirley, and although she did cry a bunch, i did like her. She reached out and touched my hand as we were taking off, as if she was looking to say to me it's going to be alright. I looked at her and she at me, and it was a quiet little piece of heaven. Later i found out it was her first trip to HK too, so were the two rookies.I did manage to sleep a little bit, but i'm still really whacked out and i need a shower and just to tour around. I wish i could ditch all my stuff, i really packed alot. Once arriving at the train station at the end of Hung Hom TST, i had to find a cart and put 4 huge cases on it. As i walked across the 3 crosswalks, the trolly bit the lip each time and my luggage would fly all over the street. Thankfully, this kind man helped me get across, and we actually ended up helping each other out finding carts in the first place. He was super sweet. It looks like i have some angels looking out for me afterall.The hardest part is leaving. Once you make it on the plane, you're okay. I realise that the last day was the toughest emotionally, but today i feel very excited to embrace this place and learn all about it. Robert has sent me some info on TWFR= the world's finest resorts. I would like to get in contact with them and see if i can set up shop in HK. HOT!!!!!It's 18 degrees and i'm in a tank top. Bye bye shitty winter weather. I'm so read to get a tan. People are looking at my funny, i think i look like a foreigner. I even wore my new spectacles to look more asian. Hmmm.
Current Mood: JetlaggedCurrent Music: That new band Stars that Dan recommended!!!
(0 comments Leave a comment)
November 17th, 2004
08:01 am
[Link]
Starting my final dayIt is surreal to wake up and know that tomorrow i'll be waking up on a plane destined for another country half way around the world. Whoa. Okay, heart's beating fast again.... I feel dehydrated from being so emotional. My tear ducts are over productive these days.I still have so much to do. I have a list a mile long, but i'll get thru it. I am hoping i can be done with most of it by this afternoon so i can relax this evening and just enjoy my last few hours with friends and family. I am dreading to leave in a way, i know i'll be so sad to say goodbye. There are people here that i am so close with, it's breaking me to leave them. I am in love with life here, my dream to live here is still a big dream. I hope i can gain what i need from there and bring it back here and do something cool with it.I'm in my bed right now, looking at my room. I picked the paint colours for it, i like it alot. It's home to me. I will miss this place. So much of my house reflects me, i feel a little sadness to leave it. I love my apartment, i wish i could stick it in a suitcase too. But, i must not be sentimental about things like houses or material things. I will miss my people the most. Ah Robert, i will miss him alot too. He's such a great spirit, always happy, tasking away. I have learned much from him in the past year and he has become one of my best friends.What i wish to accomplish from this journey are a few things. First, to prove to myself i can do something like this. Two, to rely on God and myself completely, instinctively. Three, to maintain a focus, balance, to get in touch with my dreams a little closer. What do i dream of? I want to live in Vancouver for 4 months, Africa for 2 months and either Europe or Asia for a half year over the course of a year. This has been a dream for a long time. I hope this trip will make me a better woman, and prepare me for the next phase of my life, where i will have a companion and children. I know they are not far from my reach, but i am not quite prepared yet, i'm still working on my own foundation. I want to make sure it is strong and will not crumble. It is so important to me. Whenever i think about that stuff, i get really stoked. I know if i'm focusing on it, i'll keep on moving towards it, and one day have it. I want to make good decisions, the right kind, even if they are hard and aren't something i necesssarily want to do. I hope to acheive more discipline. Going off sugar 4 times this year for over a month was hard but not impossible. I did it, and it seems like nothing compared to what i'm about to do. I didn't even faint from my shots, and i always get such anxiety. This time, i was calm and didn't even flinch. I realise i'll have to take a few shots to the arm if i ever want to achieve anything great. Shit am i getting too deep?I should get my day going, i have much to do. Bank, Post office, Drug Store, and more passport photos, laundry, unpack and repack with less. I am bringing 18 pairs of shoes, plus the boots on my feet. I'm gonna have to look twice at this. My bags are so heavy, i don't want to be lugging so much thru the city when i get there. Later i must meet up with Nick, Riaz, Mike and my parents. There are a few people who will want to swing by and say hello. I hope i have it together by then. Thank goodness it's sunny today. It makes my spirits feel a lot lighter.
Current Mood: hopefulCurrent Music: Eclogue- Gerard Finzi (english composer)
(0 comments Leave a comment)
November 16th, 2004
09:47 am
[Link]
One day away.....I am thankful to be here and very thankful to be going thru the emotions of embracing a new adventure. I'm getting butterflies when i wake and all thruout the day, but i feel calm, somewhat peaceful. Maybe i'll go thru a panic attack on the plane? Nah, i'll be in quiet prayer. I spoke to Leonard this morning and he helped me get mentally prepared. I'm going to love it there, i know it. Today i go to the exchange place and to the bank for travellers checks. I have to buy some adapter plugs and mail some stuff and then it's back to packing. It's Senka's birthday today, and she is 22. I'm going to do lunch with her and spend a bit of time with her before i go. I am going to miss my closest friends- Nick, Dan, Leonard, Senka, Chad, Kirby, Amanda and Robert, the list goes on...I think i can fit everything i need to in. Cara is also thinking of meeting up today so that she can give me some info for her business in HK. I think i will be her eyes on the other side, which would be cool side project. It will give me a little experience on the textiles side of things and can only contribute to my own business later. Excellent.I had some tea for breakfast, but i'm really hungry. I gotta shower, then hit the day!
Current Mood: but busy!Current Music: When i call your name.
(Leave a comment)
November 15th, 2004
08:23 am
[Link]
The Anxiety Starts.I have a very strong beating heart right now. I woke up with a bit of a start, and i am realising my time here is running out. I have a lot to do. I pulled out my notebook to jot the things down that i need to get done, i'll have to make a couple trips today, the bank, the passport office etc. And i think my mom is coming over for part of the day too to help me pack. I'm happy she's coming over, but i'm also hoping i can get everything i need to done.
Current Mood: anxiousCurrent Music: Please forgive me- David Gray
(Leave a comment)
November 14th, 2004
09:30 pm
[Link]
Receiving my grandparent's blessingsTo see your grandparents in their tears of emotion is a very moving and painful to face . It was difficult to see my Oma sad and tell me that she'll miss me. I will miss her too. Her love is overwhelming, this whole day has been overwhelming. On the way to church today i was listening to Coldplay and i was meditating on being receptive to God's voice. I was praying for strength in this giant leap of faith i'm about to take, and praying that he be by my family to comfort them and their worry for me. I am confident God will take care of me. I started to cry last nite when Chad kissed me goodbye and told me he loved me and wished me well. We have certainly been thru alot together and are finally at this beautiful place of friendship. Some friends, my closest ones, i've gone thru hardships with, but if we survived them, our bond is now stronger. This is us, and he was the first person i had to say a real goodbye to. He leaves for new york tomorrow morning, so i know i won't see him till he comes to HK to visit me. I am very bad with goodbyes.I am exhausted.
Current Mood: It's hit me that i'm goingCurrent Music: Politik- Coldplay


November 14th, 2004
09:48 am
[Link]
4 days till take offWhoa, the part last nite was really fun. The whole apartment was decorated in Japanese lanterns and Robert and i set it up pretty cool with lights. I liked it alot, people seemed really happy, so i was happy. My folks got to meet some of the very important people in my life, and that was nice. I didn't get to speak with them much, they came in, schmoozed, ate etc. I was on the phone answering the door and making sure people were happy and entertained. Ol' Dirty Bastard of Wu Tang died though, that was kinda wierd. Now he'll be immortalized in the hip hop world like Biggie. just watch.I am going to church in a bit. I need to get up and shower, and then head on over to whiterock and also to visit my grandparents who still have no idea i am going away. Now i make my little announcement. Yikes, i hope they take it okay.I am hungry, but i need to take my last typhoid pill. I better do that now.My heart is pounding, i am most certainly alive and alert. Nick brought my plane tickets last nite. I still can't believe it. I know once i finally start packing, it'll sink in. I have some great books for the road, i can't wait to read them.
Current Mood: happyCurrent Music: King Of Spain- Moxy Fruvous
(Leave a comment)
November 9th, 2004
09:46 am
[Link]
8 days till Hong KongAh, this morning i woke up too early. It's marginal weather, and i'm waiting to hear from Rya at the agency, and for Riaz about borrowing a car. Today i am spending as much time gettin my shit together. I need to work on a resume. I need my T4 from Donna. I need to figure out if i want to bring two suitcases or just one. I need to get a car for the rest of the week. I think day trading is hot. It's like being part of the work out room in the economic gym, watching different companies pump iron. Josh Pong is one of the funniest people ever. His Friendster profile says one of his favorite movies is the joy ruck crub. He also explains himself as: i'm 5'10 and i'm chinese, but i don't eat dog and i can't do math. I think i was busting a gut over this for over an hour. Josh you are one of my favorites.In seriousness, i need to clean my room, and clean up my life. Like loose threads on a sweater, i have to snip them off and tidy up a bit. Why do i think that procrastination buys me more time. What a foolish foolish thought. I need to update my ibook to 10.3 so i can talk with ichat. super duper important for the departure. I know i'll miss home.Whoa, i can't believe i'm going to really do this.
Current Mood: i need to go to the chiro todaCurrent Music: Happy Ending- Avril Levigne
(Leave a comment)
November 8th, 2004
05:57 pm
[Link]
9 Days till HKI'm sitting on Dan's couch, the one i think i've fallen asleep on more times than one, including drool.....We're talking about how the time is coming that i'm leaving and how i should be diligent with updating a blogg. So, i'm making a pact to start writing more. Let's see what happens.....Today, i returned my keyboard, and i was so sad to do that, but it makes no sense to keep it and make payments.Today, i tore up my entire office looking for my T4, which is MIA, i will have to get work to send me another one, bummer.Today, i woke up way too early, and i'm very tired. Too many late nites,.Today, i ate sugar and flipped the bird to Atkins.
Current Mood: contemplativeCurrent Music: Regret- New Order
(Leave a comment)
September 25th, 2004
11:49 pm
[Link]
Day at the SpaSaturday morning 7am- the sun was rising and the sky was gold. It was the most incredible way to wake up. I found Nick meditating outside on the balcony, absorbing the beauty around. He came back and we woke up and read a bit and made some coffee, listened to some music etc. We went to breakfast at the lodge again and then I headed to the Grotto Spa to get my massage.10am at the Grotto Spa. The Grotto has the same type of sign at the front desk. The reception area also serves as a gift shop, as you can get any kind of hair or face product, bath robes and make-up. It’s not the best I’ve seen, but they carry some decent product. I did not buy anything. At check in, you receive a key for your locker, then there is a lady who ushers you along the back side of the building where you come to the ladies locker room. I found my locker which was about 3 ft by just a little wider than a ft. I would say it was appx 30 cm. Not sure what is standard. The ladies locker room is cool. The light fixtures are frosted glass made to look like a hanging towel, very cool. Also there is a lot of cast iron made to look like twigs and branches. The trash bins are wicker type in dark brown, and I think the place was very warm. It reminded me of a country club in Montana, but not quite as luxury. Anyway, so I put on my robe ( which was made of terry on the inside and a really thick rayon/poly blend on the front. This makes it look slimming on the body and also dries you off quickly if you’re coming out of a shower or pool)and slippers and headed upstairs to the ladies lounge where there are magazines, some food and iced lemon water, and some soft atmospherical music playing. Greg was my masseuse and he got me within 5 minutes. This is good because I hate waiting. From here I was brought into a room. The second level of the spa holds many rooms where all the wraps, facials and massage take place. Greg was very professional and friendly, and my 30 minute massage was good, he touched on all my toughest spots along my neck and back. I definitely felt refreshed. All spa treatments are followed by a bottle of glacier water and then you are able to use the Grotto mineral pool if you want to. I decided to pass till later in the afternoon. After getting changed, I headed back to the room and found Nick at the beach. The tide was way out, about a mile. We sat in the sand and talked a while, then we decided to head into town and see what was goin on in the town of Parksville!We drove around Parksville and saw the there are a lot of financial institutions, which seem to be promoting what to do with your estate if you die. I think there are quite a few retired folks in Parksville, as although it is beautiful and serene, it’s a pretty sleepy place. We drove to the main strip in town and popped into a health food store, and then into a new/used cd shop. Nick bought some gospel disc and then we decided to get some food at the pub across the street. When we walked in we saw a Keno machine and some lotto ticket dispenser. We bought a few and I won a dollar, and then we sat down to order some food. The weirdest thing about this place was the fact that they had a meat lottery, kinda like a 50/50 draw. So this old guy set up a bin full of packed meat in ice, then he went around the pub and asked people if they wanted to buy tickets for the draw. Nick and I decided to keep to Keno and Cougar Cash. There were two guys at the table beside us and they were definitely from out of town and under 40. It turned out they were architects and visiting. It also turned out that they had some people in common with Nick. After they left, Nick and I checked out if we won anything on Keno and pulled a few more lottery tabs. We won $2 on the lotto tabs and $5 on Keno. I think we spent a lot more than that though.Later we went to nanaimo for dinner and sang gospel all the way there. I drove Atticus, his car. We ate at this asian restaurant where i tried Saki for the first time. It was interesting, and i have yet to develop a pallette for it. Ah well, after that we went to the casino and we both doubled our money in an hour. It was so much fun. Lucky Louie and I took over roulette and black jack. What a night, we left giggling our heads off. Bye the time we got back to parksville, we passed out.
(Leave a comment)
September 24th, 2004
07:27 am
[Link]
Trip to the Tigh-Na-Mara Spa2pm on Friday afternoon, I hustled to get my things packed and figured out what to wear. Chad was in the apartment with his “people” getting styled up for his photo shoot. I wonder how it went. Nick and I had to fight traffic at horseshoe bay, it was horrible in the city, every vein was grid-locked. We had to check in by 2:30 to make our reservation and the 3pm ferry to Nanaimo/Duke Pt. After some creative driving by lucky Louie, we finally got to the ferry terminal to find that all the boats were totally sold out until 7pm!!! Eeeps! So, we made a wise decision to turn around and head for Tsawassen and grab a boat from there for 5:45pm. The second hand smoke made me a little strange and I could barely keep me eyes open along the way, but somehow I stayed alive….kidding.Okay, so from there we finally got a ferry and once aboard we settled by the cafeteria seating and watched “Queen of the damned” with Aaliyah. Although I normally enjoy vampire movies, this movie sucked, but that’s okay, it passed the time and Nick took a little sleep. We saw a couple Orcas as well, which was pretty cool. Once in Nanaimo, we kept driving straight to the Tigh-Na-Mara Resort Spa and Lodge. We pulled in around 9pm and found the office really easily. At check in the receptionist is quite friendly. The reception area is wide with a huge tank behind the desk which has the name etched in cobalt blue glass. With this there are tiny bubbles that continue to surface from the bottom of the tank. The front desk gives you real keys, not cards like hotels. They printed up our itins for the spa, and check in time was quick, appx five mins.The room we stayed in was waterfront. It was ground level, 121C. The building was made of logs, and very warm. The inside of our room was appx 700 sq ft and deep. I liked it. To the left a bathroom with standup shower, and following that, king sized bed, gas fireplace, and then there was also a balcony that overlooked the east side of the island. Which means, you can see the sun rise. The right of the room is the kitchen, which featured a microwave, toaster, coffeemaker, stove and fridge. Following this is a dining area and then an L shaped couch. Carpet thru the main area, and rock tile thru the kitchen and bath. 9pm- we headed to the lodge dining room, which features a lot of good seafood. I had the squash soup, and Nick had a goat cheese salad. Then we split a seafood dish which had rice with sturgeon, halibut and salmon. After that we were stuffed. A couple gin and tonic’s later, it was time for bed. I read a little of my book on the couch and dozed off, then hit the hay around midnite.
Current Mood: happyCurrent Music: Classical playhlist off itunes
(Leave a comment)
July 18th, 2004
01:41 am
[Link]
My first day without Leonard...I already miss my bestest friend. it's interesting how after one day, you could realise how you take certain things for granted. And, it's interesting how one particular person could be so significant to your life. Today i had things i would have wanted to share with him but couldn't. I felt lonely without my Leonard.I'm so tired i want to fall asleep. I am already in bed and just got home from a walk with dexter and chad. he's been back a couple days and i finally caught up with him today. He seems good, but a little lost. I think he's feeling a little weird to be back, but still glad. he likes it here alot. it hink he'll end up moving to kits. I won't see him if he moves out that way. Jeff moved out and now Chad has the place to himself, so he's pretty stoked. i can barely write. i'll write tomorrow. i need polaroid film for my project.Raq
(0 comments Leave a comment)
June 6th, 2004
08:50 pm
[Link]
Dusk on SundayThe sun is shining on the neighbouring building, and it's so bright. English bay must be a dream, but from my living room, i can't see that way. I just finished my dinner, it was a tofu salad from Capers, my new favorite that Dan got me hooked on. I'm waiting for Mark to call me. He's at his mom's right now, but i think he'll swing by after to hang out for a bit. He's so adorable, i like him alot. Very sweet and genuine. He's a lover, it's really refreshing actually. I am intrigued by him, despite the age.... He and i have a good chemistry. We are very drawn to each other physically. I am wondering if the rest will stay that way too. We will see. I hope he calls soon. I think i'm going to shower before he gets here. My stomach is full and i hope i don't look fat when he comes over. I feel so conscious about my weight these days. I step on the scale every single day, paranoid. I flux between 120 and 125. And most of it is water, but i want to get back to 115 so badly. I dont' know if the hydrotherapy will help with that. I just want to be healthy, without excess water and fat. Yikes, flab sux.Well, i better have a shower.Still no word from David in the UK. No calls from NYC. He's got to be too busy for me. And if there was anything, we would be more on the ball with it. I think it's just too brief a moment in time we had. If i had a little more time with him, it would be different. I'm not worried about it right now, it's all supposed to be the way it's supposed to be. So, i'm going to just go with it.
(Le
May 21st, 2004
08:08 am

from the 35th floorIt's just after 8am, and it's finally a long weekend that i have off work. I'm so excited. It's cloudy out though, not the best weather, however it's not raining, and my house is dirty anyway, so this morning i'm going to make myself busy by cleaning some shit up. Tomorrow furniture is coming to Robert and I, so i need to make things look presentable. My dad is coming by tomorrow too, to look at the house and do an estimate on the paint colours. We definitely need some colour in this place, it's so white, too white.Tomorrow is Dan's bday, so i need to find him a present. I wish i could spoil them all. I think i will go to Metrotown later and see what i can find. When the weather perks up, i'll hit up some pitch and putt. I was thinking of going to Seattle today, but i dont' really have anyone to go with, plus my spending money is not as huge as i'd like, so i'm going to take it easy instead. I think that's a wise decision.I'm feeling better about being solo again. Although i miss Chad, he's bad for me. I know that, and right now, he needs to process his own shit. it's something he needs to do on his own, and i need to be on my own too for a while. I still feel it, i'm forcing it at the moment. I'm supposed to be alone, getting my stuff together for the real deal. I hate wasting time when it comes to dating.I should start the day. Day 1 clease again. Just the fast start drink, and a ton of water. i can however eat apples if i want. And i may, but right now, i'm not that hungry.
(Leave a comment)
May 9th, 2003
01:49 pm
[Link]
Friday at homeI hate being sick, but my head feels so dizzy, like i'm foggy in the head. My headache comes and goes, and i have no desire to be anywhere but near my bed in case my fever comes back. Twice today i have been fighting it. Thankfully, i have my tylenol, and all the other things i have gotten from Dr Andy and the healthfood store. Nothing is on TV, i think i may go get a video or something, i'm going out of my mind!!!! The sun came out and it'd be the perfect day to golf. I am going off alcohol and i am starting to eat much healthier. Time to take care of myself. No word from Ben today, and still no word from Steve. I doubt he'll write after the last email i sent him.

May 7th, 2003
09:19 pm
[Link]
Canucks lost againToday i didn't have a shower because i slept in past my alarm and was 10 minutes late for my meeting at BMW corporate in Richmond. It was a good training day but a lot of it was repeat. In the end, i met some new BMW people, and after i did a quick shop at Future shop where i picked up an antennae so i can receive an entire ONE channel on my tv. i also got an adapter for my headphones for when i play piano. And i picked up the new Matt Good cd. I couldn't get it out of my head and i wanted the whole album.
Current Mood: tiredCurrent Music: Matt Good- a world called catastrophe

6 Comments:

At 7:59 AM , Blogger Askinstoo said...

Hey! Very Nice! Check out this website I found where you can make extra cash.
It's not available everywhere, so go to the site and put
in your zipcode to see if you can find something. I found something and make
and extra $900 a month!

http://www.degree-programs-online.info/extramoney.htm

 
At 3:36 PM , Blogger Askinstoo said...

Very nice! I found a place where you can
make some nice extra cash secret shopping. Just go to the site below
and put in your zip to see what's available in your area.
I made over $900 last month having fun!
make extra money

 
At 4:37 PM , Blogger Askinstoo said...

Very nice! I found a place where you can
make some nice extra cash secret shopping. Just go to the site below
and put in your zip to see what's available in your area.
I made over $900 last month having fun!
make extra money

 
At 3:35 AM , Blogger Askinstoo said...

Very nice! I found a place where you can
make some nice extra cash secret shopping. Just go to the site below
and put in your zip to see what's available in your area.
I made over $900 last month having fun!
make extra money

 
At 9:27 PM , Blogger Billy Guilfoyle said...

Hey, I like reading your posts. Glad you came to Blogger.com. When are you going to start posting again? I hope soon. It's fun reading your perspective on things. And it's a good idea to post what mood you're experiencing and the music that you are listening to. I think I'm going to start a journalistic type blog as well on my blog page and do the same with the music. Totally dig it. Too bad they're adverising here. Hope to read your new stuff soon. TAke care,
Billy G.

 
At 3:37 AM , Blogger StillWater said...

Wow! Semi permanent make up has alot of uses! But did you know that a woman consumes over 4 to 9 lbs of lipstick in her lifetime! Here is the link that I found that shows all of the research:

http://www.lipink.com/lipstick_wax_s/6510.htm&Click=33586

 

Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home