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Grand Rapids, Michigan, United States

Aug 29, 2011

Hong Kong Fashion

Hong Kong has been called a Fashion Capital. Often compared to the likes of New York City, London and Paris. It is common to see a long line of people outside Louis Vuitton, waiting, even when it rains, to get inside.

"Copy hand bag,copy watch" can be heard night and day on the streets of Kowloon. This is the vendors attempt to try to sell you the more reasonably priced Gucci, Prada and Rolex. It is a safe assumption that a majority of people in Hong Kong, care about what they look like.

The fashion I see on a day to day basis reflects more of an eclectic look. Neon striped print top with an orange and black plaid mini skirt. What I like is the monochromatic approach, such as leopard print top, with the leopard print tights and Leopard print shoes. This outfit is made complete with the matching iphone cover.

This picture reminds me of Nesting in skyscrapers a regular post called "Have you ever seen?"
I am not as clever as Renee but here it goes.

Have you ever seen pants that could fly?

See a recent a fashion related post on the site

The kids cannot help but be influenced by HK fashion.

Jane wasn't quick enough to escape the camera.

That really was just them be silly.
This on the other hand was a battle I lost one morning before school. In spite of his really sad face, I didn't argue with him too long. I suggested he change and he said no. He was pouting because he didn't want his picture taken.
I think when I make my case for the Norwegian International School to have uniforms, I will simply bring in this photo.

This is how Jane tries to go to school.
This was actually taken from her last modeling shoot in Shenzhen. At least she got paid to look like that.

Aside from the fact that there are so many people in Hong Kong to look at, fashion is why people watching in HK for me, never grows dull.
Personally it frees me to wear whatever is clean on the days when the laundry has been neglected. I can grab whatever is left in my closet regardless of what it looks like and boldly go out in public. Who knows? maybe one of these days, it will get me on a blog.

Aug 21, 2011

Jemilla's Birthday

Jane's friend, Jemilla Harvey turned 9 and the Sweeney family was invited to the house to join the celebration.

Renee brought back these terrific mosaic crafts from their recent trip to Australia. It proved to be too long of a task for Elliot, but Jane finished it and was glad to bring it home.

These beautifully decorated cupcakes were a hit with the kids.

Thanks for a fun time Harvey family!

Happy Birthday Jemilla

Aug 19, 2011

Hoi Ha Sai Kung

We decided to head out to Hoi Ha to do some kayaking. We took a taxi from University to get there and took a red mini bus from Hoi Ha to Sai Kung bus terminus. There are a handful of locals renting out equipment selling snacks and drinks along the way down to the beach. We decided upon a two person kayak which cost 280HKD snorkel equipment 50HKD. This was only my second time in a kayak. Pictures taken with the Gopro. It has a fish eye lens so they can look a little distorted.

We kept having bees fly around us, here I caught one in the camera near Nathan's head.

Also spotted sea urchins and a jellyfish. Nathan was able to get a video of the jellyfish.

Aug 13, 2011

Seoul The End

My love for Seoul was more than kimchi, donuts,coffee shops and free things to do. It is quite possible that The Koreans love of baseball really endeared the people and city to me. In the past 10 years I have come to really enjoy the sport and I was glad we made this part of our short trip to Korea. My friend Kate, who is from Seoul helped me navigate a Korean website and look at maps to determine if this is something we could do on our own. It was really simple once we got there and a lot of fun. The night before a big rival game went on between two teams. We heard that game might sell out and chose to visit the next day.
The Bears and Eagles were playing the day we arrived.

A player during practice gave the kids a baseball. They picked the Eagles as the team to root for shortly after that.
We only paid about $16USD and the kids were free. Again something else in Seoul we found inexpensive and a lot of fun.
Cheerleaders and chants made the game really entertaining. The songs were in Korean but we could hear the words Doosun(Bears) or Eagles being shouted out once in awhile.
The only downside was our ignorance of the food. Most American baseball stadiums forbid outside food and drink, we had that mindset and went in expecting to be able to find some delicious snacks from stadium vendors. We soon realized as we watched people bringing in KFC and Pizza that it was different in Korea. The vendors inside were selling only ramen and a few chips and soda.
Kate told me she remembers popcorn and hot dogs when she went to the game as a kid, maybe that is available on the busier nights? Next Time we will know to bring in our own food.

Stadium from the 1988 Summer games is near the ballpark.

This tea shop had notes and letters stuck all over the walls. Jane found a card and put her own note up. I don't know the names of the snacks we ordered with our tea. They were primarily sweet and had chewy,dense textures to them. One item reminded me of a mooncake. The tea I ordered had a strong cinnamon like flavor to it.

I hope to get back for a visit someday.

Seoul #4 Palaces etc.

Gyeongbokgung Palace was originally constructed in the 1300's and has been under ongoing reconstruction and rebuilding since the Japanese occupation in 1911. The two palaces we visited were sprawling and beautifully landscaped. They were inexpensive to enter and the other palace we visited didn't even charge us for Elliot.

The Children's Grand Park
There were playgrounds, and performances, but we spent most of our time looking at the animals. It had animals found in any world class zoo, I was surprised there wasn't any fee for the attractions or park.

This river had been covered by concrete in 1968 for roads. A 900 million dollar project had it restored to a flowing stream in the heart of Seoul in 2005. It really is a nice oasis in the middle of the city, the kids enjoyed playing up and down it.

Seoul Metro system appeared to me safe and clean. We didn't find it as efficient and simple as Hong Kong, but I am beginning to think not many subway systems are as excellent as the HK MTR, and the Tube. The most confusing part was duplicate names of transfers or stations assigned a different number. Nathan being the good navigator always figured it out. It was sufficient and got us around. We did not take a single taxi or bus (aside from airport bus) during our time.

Aug 11, 2011

seoul #3 Donuts and Taco Bell

Kimchi is probably in my top 3 of food items. It is more of a side dish, or appetizer to us, but definitely a staple in the Korean diet. It is not uncommon for Koreans to have Kimchi refrigerators, that is how much they eat.
We went on this trip with small children who have yet to develop the same love their mom has for the stuff.
They on the other hand were excited to see Dunkin donuts, Mister donut and street donuts on almost ever corner while walking around Seoul. We had donuts everyday, so we indulged this.

The Ginseng Chicken was a highlight of our eating out experience. A small chicken stuffed with glutinous rice, red dates, and chestnuts. Flavored with ginseng set in a delicious boiling hot broth.

Upon researching Seoul we discovered that it has a Taco Bell. I believe there are a variety of western food chains near the US army base in Itaewon and that is where we found Taco Bell. We turned the wrong way at first when we came up from the subway and almost gave up looking for it. We had a "let's try one more way" discussion and were pleased to find it. This was our only reason for stopping off in this district.
In talking with other Americans, I have found that we are not alone in missing the cheap tex-mex fix that Taco Bell gives to us. HK is not abundant in Mexican food choices and certainly has no fast food. We joked about going back to Itaewon the next day, but knowing our trip home was only a month away we held off and savored our first Taco Bell in over a year.

The street food often smelled delicious and looked like items we would eat. If anyone has ever been within a mile of Stinky Tofu, or strolled passed stalls of squid on a stick, fish balls, looking for a good hot dog, or french fry vendor you can appreciate my sentiment. Nathan had encountered a hotdog, french fry conglomeration during his last trip to Seoul and we couldn't find it. We did spot these spiral cut potatoes deep fried on a stick and were glad to try them. If we wanted we could also have had octopus and wasp larvae, but we were thankful for an option.
I am fairly certain in the picture above some of those were filled with red beans. Koreans from my observation have the same affinity as Chinese and Japanese for red bean as a sweet treat.
It took about an hour, but we did eat at a restaurant that served bite sized chicken pieces deep fried. It was delicious and almost worth the wait. We watched Korean baseball and were served multicolored cereal for a starter.

A spicy octopus dish was shared by Nathan and I and it was quite good. Not as chewy as I often find it to be.
and yes I had Kimchi.