Still alive

Despite the complete lack of activity on here for the past couple of weeks, I am in fact still alive in Hong Kong. I’ve just been rather lazy about updating the blog and not much out of the ordinary has actually been happening. That’s probably as sure a sign as any that I am now beginning to feel settled in over here. I took delivery of my suit on Monday 19th Novemeber. I’m pretty pleased with it – the trousers are maybe a little too long in the leg, although I haven’t made my mind up about that yet. Other than that it fits well and certainly seems to be well made and is lightweight enough for the climate here. About the only thing I don’t like about it is it’s got my name stitched on one of the inside pockets. A bit naff really, and makes it feel a bit school uniformy. I’ve been told by friends that this is pretty standard and if I were to get a tailored shirt I’ll have to put up a fight to not have it monogrammed. Terrific.

Trying to think of things that have been going on. The hockey rugby club I’m a member of hosted a street party in Lan Kwai Fong a couple of weeks ago on a Saturday night. The plan behind this is to try and attract new members to the club. At least that’s the theory. In reality it just seems like a good excuse to get the various sections of the club all out at once and drink as much reduced price alcohol as possible. Not sure how many new members we persuaded, but I think everyone present had a fantastic time hangover on Sunday. I had a return trip to Happy Valley races, courtesy of a friend who works at the Jockey Club. He’d been able to provide one of the corporate boxes to about 100 of us on a Wednesday night. For HK$330 we had as much buffet food and drinks as we wanted. As well as the opportunity to gamble on the races also. Unfortunately my luck in horse gambling continues. In the first race I had a total stake of HK$80, and had a horse I’d backed to place come in, which won me the grand total of HK$62. And that was my best return on the races for the night.

I was due to go on hockey tour to Bangkok at the end of November/start of December, but sadly that got cancelled due to lack of numbers, so my next travel will be back to the UK over Christmas/new year period. I’ll be back from the 22nd December to 4th January. Talking of Christmas, this is the first time I’ve spent time round Christmas time in a non-Christian country. There doesn’t appear to be the same ‘feel’ to the city as I’m used to. Of course, it’s not bloody freezing and wet here either, which I’d automatically associate with December. There’s also a less visible presence to Christmas, with more stores not having decorations than those that do. Of the stores that do have decorations, they tend to be of the ‘Seasons Greetings’ variety as opposed to the explicit ‘Merry Christmas’ type. A lack of annoying Christmas music is also a welcome relief. The stores that cater to the ex-pat community are, predictably, the one’s that have decorations, advent calendars, Christmas cards etc. for sale. In this environment they are even more obvious than usual. Likewise there are some decorated fir trees (HSBC main building concourse) and an archway over the main door (Bank of China tower), but nothing explicitly Christian in their decoration. I’ll have to sort out Christmas cards in the next few days or so I think, and then start hitting the markets so that I can buy awful Christmas presents… watch out Stu and Ang.

I’ve also (finally) sorted out a Hong Kong credit card and have arranged to join a gym when I return in the new year. I’ll look to sign up for the half marathon that is run in Feb/Mar of next year, so will have to hit the gym when I get back.

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2 Responses to “Still alive”

  1. johniebg Says:

    Christmas being a christian celebration and Santa Claus being a depection of a Catholic saint it is probably not suprising that the primarily Buddhist Hong Kong does not celebrate Christmas, but like you, for me the first time it was quite disconcerting – especially the realisation that all societies are not intrinsically the same.

    As soon as you mentioned the length of the trousers I was thinking ‘schoolboy’, the name tag just rounded off the overall mirth.

    Good stuff Irvine. I was in China Town Manchester last week and thought I would take in a few noodles. I walked in and the pseudo chinese waitress said: ‘Table for one?’ I smiled to myself.

    You back in Ireland for Christmas or touching down in the UK?

  2. Stuart Says:

    Oh don’t worry the markets here have plenty of naff too its just more expensive!

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