<![CDATA[It just hit me today that I leave Hong Kong in about a week. Eventhough I've been here two months, I really haven't seen anywhere near enough. We've barely traveled outside of the "colony" as was our plan, and I hope when I get back we can do a bit more throughout Asia.
Now, unfortunately, comes the frantic part. Packing is easy, but getting shifted (data, phones, etc) to the US is more complicated. My head just isn't ready for this type of move so quickly after the last one.
Time for a crazy week.]]>
<![CDATA[The Washington Post is reporting on the recount of mayoral ballots in the town nearest to our home in Maryland, Chesapeake Beach. The first go round had a margin of victory of 57 votes, so they demanded and got a recount. The second go round got a margin of victory of 57 votes. Guess they know how to count where we live.]]>
<![CDATA[Last night we settled in for our first Thanksgiving meal in Hong Kong. Of course, there had to be a few changes to reflect the reality of apartment living in Hong Kong.
So we did actually find a turkey. A nice big Butterball in fact, imported from the USA and costing $50 US. Unfortunately, what we didn't have was an oven. It's not something that is used that frequently over here so the turkey had to be substituted for with:
stuffing's role was filled by Prego....
pumpikin pie was replace by a Japense Sweet Potato/Pumpkin flavored Apple tart...
and in the role of cranberry sauce were some bad tasting German sausages.
The wife was a bit upset that we had no bird. So she insisted we buy "turkey eggs" to keep a bit with the holiday spirit. We looked around the store and she was so exited when she found them. Of course, looking at these things specckled things the size of a large marble, and noticing how much smaller they were than a chicken's egg, I was like "honey, do you know what a quail is?"
"Great, then let's buy these 'turkey eggs'"
<![CDATA[The Grand Sumo Tournament is underway in Japan. I get live coverage on some Japanese channel. It’s actually pretty interesting–kind of like baseball. Lots of preparation–little action here and there. Basically when the announcers start to scream, I turn my head for all of about ten seconds and then get back to work. Good background noise.
There are a couple of American-looking guys wrestling, though not quite up to the proper weight. I did see a funky “official’s conference” where the five scorers got up and consulted with the field judge. All the robes in the center circle–it was pretty cool looking.
Oops, turns out he is from Georgia
The other funky guy is Toki, who, with these sideburns, looks a lot like fat bloated Elvis.
The USS Lake Erie is in Hong Kong today, continuing it’s first patrol in five years as part of our response to North Korean missile testing. The Lake Erie has been back in the states for a number of years doing some anti-missile testing, but now it is here in Hong Kong giving the crew a taste of the city.
Lodbrog is part of the Alcatel Submarine network of cable ships. It’s funny that it is visiting today as just this week some fisherman stole (or tried to steal) 300 yards of cable from of all places, Central Hong Kong (like it wouldn’t be noticed). Police boats nabbed them pretty quickly (by the way, there are over 130 Hong Kong police boats).
I found a blog of a sailor on the Lodbrog. I guess he is the Lodbrog blogger.]]>
<![CDATA[Went over to the new mall in MongKok last night which is this 10 story monster with a "digital ceiling" that displays images (it wasn't working when I was there so it wasn't that fancy). We caught the opening of "Bride and Prejudice" which is a Bollywood version of Pride and Prejudice.
It was ok, for awhile.
There were several visually interesting and colorful Bollywood scenes, but then when the movie got into the plot things started to get a bit silly. I'm not sure what it is about UK trained film makers, but they don't have the same knack as American producers when it comes to producing a 'tight' story. There is always something happening, some character or scene that you say to yourself "that would have worked if they hadn't have cut the scene that set up this one". Perhaps it's the American rules on actors (Union rules that basically mean mucho money if you say something in a film, leading American filmmakers to use less speaking characters than other nations).
I liked the film. It's a chick movie and I was with mine to see this. Most American audiences, unless they are up for something Bollywood-like, are going to grimace at the plot twists and turns, and generally get this "who cares" attitude toward characters that could have been more neatly defined (for a film that deals with misperceptions, you would have hoped they would have developed the characters more instead of relying on charactures.
Anyway, worth a few bucks at a matinee.]]>
<![CDATA[My wife hates Chinese soap operas. These long 44-episode mini-series that are set in the time of Emporers and Princes and Plotters and Servants all dressed in fancy and pretty clothes. Silly plots based around misundestandings, to more historical works based on facts and fable. She hates them.
Of course, she can't stop watching them.
Today is a perfect example. There is this on one that she has been waiting for. Something about a prince pretending to be a servant and women fighting over him.
"It's pretty stupid" she says.
"Why don't you buy it for mama?"
"I can't find it"
"Go ask the guys at the DVD store?"
"I'm embarassed to ask for it because it is so stupid."
So we have to hunt around Hong Kong looking for a movie without actually looking. Boy, isn't this a role reversal, the husband asking his wife to "ask somebody for help" to find something. ]]>
<![CDATA[I'm off to London in a few weeks, but it got me thinking that I haven't really been anywhere in the region lately. Everyone here raves about "Thailand" but I think a lot of that is for the more debaucherous sides of Thailand and not the kind of things I'm interested in seeing. India is quite a hike--five hours or so, as is Australia. We did Japan earlier this year. Singapore might be something to do, but it is pretty small.
Maybe I should pull out a map and plan a few things.]]>
<![CDATA[Sometimes you need a bigger truck.
I don’t know the details yet, but I think this is from Galway. You need to look at all the pictures. It’s pretty funny.
See if you can guess what comes next.
<![CDATA[I just ran up against some fine print today with BA North America Executive Club.
I just bought a one way ticket back to the USA here at the BA Hong Kong office in Jardine House. It's a T Class ticket, and I planned to use some miles to upgrade it. Unfortunately BA HK couldn't do the upgrade, and told me I had to call BA NA to get it done. I had them hold the ticket as a reservation.
So I called BA NA. After several people said it would be no problem so long as I bought a T class ticket, none of them could actually take my credit card since their computers kept locking them out. "You'll have to buy it over there because we can't get that fare up on our machines." So I bought it here and called them back for an upgrade.
No one could do it. There machines wouldn't allow it. Eventually I got a supervisor who told me they couldn't do it, because the only way I can use miles to upgrade is if I buy the ticket in the US in US dollars. "It's part of the rules." I tried to explain that I travel all over the place and use BA because they have service in many different countries, so why do I have to "call home" everytime I want to buy a ticket? "That's the rules" was the best answer they had, with no explanation why it was "the rules."
It's the little things like this that really tick me off about BA (eventhough I know they exist elsewhere, but I just seem to get hit by BAs more often).