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Archive for October, 2007

If anyone even cares.

I know there are many people living in HK that do enjoy the Halloween holiday, but there really isn’t much ado about it here. At least not comparably to how Halloween is celebrated in the U.S., which is my only comparison.

I miss all the spooky decor and all the costumes. Adult costumes may be available here, but they are not easy to locate. Even if I had a costume, I would have no where to wear it since we don’t have any children and most of the Halloween activities here revolve around fun for children. I suppose I am just a big kid, but missing Halloween is one of the top ten things I do NOT like about living in Hong Kong.

We went to Hong Kong Disneyland a week or so ago partly to see Halloween decor and even that was a bit disappointing to me. It was decorated, just not as much as I had expected.

Nothing here is really decorated, there are a few spiders and pumpkins but not much. I miss all the giant bags of candy, wearing my witch hat to work, suiting up all spooky to pass out candy to the kids, and on a good year a costume party.

Halloween just isn’t Halloween in Hong Kong and that is kind of a bummer.

These are photos from the Disneyland Halloween experience, which is about the extent of the decoration here. There will be children out Trick-or-Treating on Halloween and some fun activities at the common area of the Discovery Bay plaza but I won’t see it because I will be in Seoul, Korea not celebrating Halloween since there isn’t much of anything for me to do.

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Oct
30
Shark Attack!

This is a photo inside GOD where they have a shark (game chair) infestation:

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This is a retail shoppe in Central District, Hong Kong. I have window shopped many times and had once taken a quick look when I really didn’t have time to do so…until recently.

Recently, I took the time to shop there and they have some cool stuff. There is clothing downstairs and upstairs is home goods. It’s a little pricey when you consider the ultimate bargains you can find in Hong Kong, but reminds me of a miniature Pier1 Imports in the U.S.

The name of this shoppe is Goods of Desire (GOD), but clearly you will see “Delay No More” written in larger letters above the store name in the picture below. This is a huge cultural joke in Hong Kong, as my cybrhub discovered the hard way at a luncheon in a restaurant filled with locals who all get the joke which he explains here.

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Considering how large “Delay No More” is written, it is easy to think that would be the name of the shoppe so then tourists and gweilo’s say that phrase which resembles a Cantonese phrase that means “I fucked your mother”.

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So if you want to know the full story of the meaning of the name(s) of this shoppe, then you need to read my husbands story because he explains it better since it was told to him directly from Hong Kong locals.

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So, that was the brief version!

Oct
27
Live feeding.

Burrito stalking Pixel for a little midnight snack…

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**Disclaimer**
No hamsters were harmed by kittens or in any other manner during the making of this blog post.

Okay, so here are the swag photos from the most recent Shenzhen trip:

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Chloe shoes for me, to be worn seldom and last forever.

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Gucci handbag, a gift for Christmas.

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Miscellaneous items including Hello Kitty keychain, dolphin keychain, funny China Olympics characters keychain, silver Tiffany necklace, Omega watch, Patek Philippe watch, and RayBan sunglasses. Some gifts, some are cybrhubby’s loot.

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Oh, look, a tiny kitteh too! No, he’s just helping take photos of swag, he isn’t actually part of the swag…

We also got tons of kids/baby clothes for Christmas presents to bring home at Christmas time. I didn’t take the time to photograph them though.  I also picked up two jackets I had made and had three pair of pants made that will be ready in a couple of weeks.  The clothes are tailor fit and very nice.  The price for the fabric and labor to have three pants made is considerably less than buying three pair and having to have all of them hemmed to fit.  The quality is excellent as well.

Bye for now!

In spite of the fact that I have had an enormous “to-do” list for 3 days and then leaving for Macau for three days, I made time Monday morning to go kitty trapping(or cat nipping, as is commonly referred to here in HK) .

I failed to mention that last week I trapped a cat I call Kasey, she is the mother of three litters of kittens in the past year. Of her last litter only one remains a feral, the others went to SPCA after living in our spare room for a month. Now she has approximately five week old kittens and they are very cute. I had the mother cat de-sexed (finally! she was a hard one to trap) and at the same time I nipped up one of her kittens who went to a good foster home.

Well, I didn’t have time this past weekend to trap any of the other kittens and I am so happy to say that I caught two of the babies Monday morning and they, too, are in foster care with their sibling caught last week. I think they will make good pets, they will calm down and not be wild. The first one caught has already made huge steps toward being tame and I believe the others will do the same. Their mom wasn’t originally a feral, she had to have belonged to some one because otherwise she wouldn’t be so comfortable with human contact…she actually seeks out contact and is very lovey.

I will get pictures and post them in a week(ish) of the kittens, I want to wait until they have time to adjust to their new environment. They will go for adoption after seeing a vet next week and having 10-14 days to be socialized. Maybe longer, it depends on their personalities but these babies are still so young they will quickly adjust.

but he may also be accurate.  I haven’t seen his recent film on healthcare, Sicko, but hearing/reading about it made me think about the cost of healthcare I have researched here in HK.  The system here and in the UK must be somewhat similar, it stands to reason since there is so much British influence in everything here.

The cost of public health care is so cheap here in HK and it is state of the art health care.

This is the cost of having a baby here, either natural birth or c-section, with absolutely no insurance coverage whatsoever. It is for public hospital (as opposed to private, although private hospitals send all their complicated and/or high-risk patients to the public hospitals) and includes your three to four night stay, meals, medications, your baby’s nursery care, nursery bed, formula, everything the same as in a US hospital. The only difference here that I have found is that the visiting hours are very strict, even for fathers/family:

$300-800HKD (Hong Kong Dollars) for the whole thing-labor, delivery and antenatal care. This is the equivalent of $38-103 USD (US Dollars). I am not kidding.  This is shocking and amazing to anyone in the U.S., since it cost thousands of USD to have a baby in the States and from what friends have told me that is usually WITH insurance covering the bulk of the cost.

I spoke to a woman who had her baby a month premature and the baby had to stay in neonatal care for two weeks and it still didn’t cost more than $1000HKD for her entire delivery. I spoke with the hospital staff and they say that a lot of things will be free, it depends on testing and our personal situation which explains the large gap in the price range.

There is a catch. You have to be a Hong Kong resident to get this pricing. We have resident cards, so as long as you have a long-term visa you can become a HK resident and get the ID card to prove it. Not a big deal, anyone who is staying here on a work/student visa would benefit to get one.

If you ask me, anyone who is staying here long enough to have a baby should do themselves a favor and get an ID card. Not only does it make health care amazingly inexpensive, but it also makes going through customs and immigration at the airport a lot faster and easier. But that is a whole other story…

So, as I was saying, Michael Moore may be really annoying but his information on the U.S. public healthcare system being inferior to other countries is likely to be quite accurate.

Conversation between cybrhubby and myself while packing his suitcase for a 6 day stay in Macau:

Me: You should put your socks inside your shoes in the suitcase to save room for other stuff.

Cybrhub: I always put my underwear inside my shoes, not my socks.

Me: *dripping with sarcasm* Yes, that makes much more sense. Underwear in shoes instead of socks in shoes…and I’m the irrational one?? What in the hell is rational about underwear in shoes?

Cybrhub: Hehe, I AM the rational one so it makes sense…

Me: Uh-huh.

Oct
21
Randomness

Cybrhubby and I went to Shenzhen to shop yesterday (again for me and a first for him). I will take pictures of some of our goodies we picked up across the border and post them later in the week. We went with a friend of mine, a friend of hers and her neighbor. I really enjoyed everyone’s company, it was a good time for all. Plus I landed a couple of photog jobs along the way, can’t beat that. I got a bitchin’ pair of shoes, cybrhubby got a bunch of goodies, and we did some Christmas shopping.

We have been busy all weekend preparing for cybrhub to be gone for a week and a half, doing what must be done. I am joining him in Macau for a couple of days this week and joining him in Seoul, South Korea for a couple of days next week. I plan on hanging out in the hotel chilling out in Macau and sightseeing in Seoul. I’ll be taking pics along the way, so I will have a lot of catching up on my posts to do upon my return.  BAH!  I just read on the website for the Venetian hotel we are staying at in Macau that the Black-Eyed Peas will be performing there the same day cybrhub is returning home! DAMMIT!!

In other news, I spoke to my aunt in the U.S. that recently sent us a care package and had to admit that I was an ass for not remembering to call her and thank her for the goodie-box she sent. I got a message from her asking if I had received it and thought ‘CRAP!!! I forgot to call and thank her!!’. Well, I thought of a thousand and one excuses but in the end I just called her and told her that I am an ass and I forgot to call. In my defense, I don’t normally forget thank-yous but I was very sick with a wicked cold about the same time the package arrived. Still, I am an ass. She appreciated my blatant honesty, which I figured she would.

Also, I have been located via my website by a friend I haven’t seen or heard from in a VERY long time. That makes two former high school friends (other than Heather) leaving me a comment on this site and I think that is SO COOL!! It was really good to hear from this particular friend, I have missed her and thought of her a lot over the last decade often wondering how she is, where she is and what her life is like. And as of today, it is no longer in question.

Finally, you should be aware that Burrito will be having his nuts snipped this week. He is coming of age and getting a little territorial, which is pissing Francois off and creating sleepless nights for everyone else. No more nuts for Burrito, then maybe he will feel a bit less dominant. He is also having the twisted tip of his tail removed…not for aesthetic purposes, but for safety reasons. His tail gets caught on things and I am concerned that he will get hurt by either breaking his tail or pulling something over onto him. It may sound paranoid, but I did have a cat that tipped over a carpeted cat house (not a very big one, either) onto a new kitten and it hit her hard in the head that she died. She was revived with mouth-to-nose resuscitation and then seen by a vet to live for many years after that incident, but it raises the question of how lucky can I be for a happy ending if it were to happen again.

Anyway, say good-bye to Burritos nuts…

Some posters of events/shows at Hong Kong Disneyland:

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We didn’t make it to this one, we ran out of time before having to leave to take our dogs out for potty time.

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The castle was surprisingly small up close. From a distance it looks huge, but then you get there and it’s very small!

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The Stitch Encounter was pretty cool. It is interactive with a presumably live person engaging with the audience via a computerized image of Stitch. It was funny.

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The PhilharMagic show was in 3-D with 3-D glasses, water splashing the audience, aromas filling the air. I really like this one, it was cute and it incorporated multiple characters together in one show…characters you wouldn’t normally see together.

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We went to this area, although not the dining cruise part. We took the adventure cruise and it was really funny. Short, but funny.

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Astroblasters was great! You get to shoot stuff for points during the ride…very fun, I like to shoot stuff. I was kicking cybr-hubby’s ass during the first time through, but he made a very fortunate (for him!) comeback near the end and made my score look ridiculous. Bah! I hate losing!