HK 5: ShopPAINg

(Photos from celphone. Skipped HK day 4 because photos transferred to computer.)

If you’re into brands plastered on Vogue like LV and other hard-to-spell brands, HK is definitely a heaven. But since I can only afford the “bench”-type brands, le sig,. They’re mostly tucked in some subway station, it’s not at all inviting.
Until, I got into Citygate Outlets Mall on our way to the Nongping village for the cable cars & Giant Buddha. (Lantau Island where airport is.)
Tip: Shorter line on the “regular” cable car cabin compared to glass-bottom.
But before that shoppaing thing, we paid first the Buddha a visit via the “regular” cable car. And, I felt that even Buddha can be a “shopping” experience.
A souvenir shop is waiting after stepping down from the cable car. Then the Nongping village which is row after rows of stores / restos all the way to the Giant buddha.
Then at entrance / exit and at the top of the Giant buddha are stores / shops. I’m sorry to say this but i kinda feel Simala is patterned after this.
I think going around the “trail” around Nongping Village:0Giant Buddha has a more solemn / peaceful effect.
(Selfie w/ my new sweater)
‘Went to Lantau Base Camp back in Moi Wu, where the port is. This was the only decent “outdoor” shop I found in all of our stay in Hong Kong. And, owner was some top placer trail runner who confirmed what I thought. 
Lunch was in something like a “sutukil” equivalent in Cebu. And as always, “lost in translation.”
Then we sneak in some shopping at the Citygates. It’s the only mall in HOng Kong where I found those not-so-pricey brands outlet shops like Guess, etc.
There were a lot of Sporting goods brands lik nike, adidas but i was totally disappointed because their stuff are mostly “fashion” wear items like thise glittery sneakers.
I got stuck at Esprit. 
And, Mark got annoyed because I wasted his time on “bargain” stuff. Wow! Look who’s talking? Between the 2 of us, he is the self-proclaimed consumerist Uncle Sam is proud of.
But I guess, we do age “mentally.” And seriously, shopping is such a waste of time when traveling when I think Philippines has way much better items unless you want the blings on Vogue mags.
But hey Esprit Jeans at 1k? It doesn’t hurt that bad?
(Pilipino and bombay store side-by-side. Must be owned by Chinese.)

HK 3: travel to people-watch

We were eating at McDonald’s seated near the glass wall, having a view of the outside world. It was past 7am, people were passing by, probably going to work and school. There were kids in uniforms, women carrying babies or pushing strollers, corporate-looking guys and ladies, and the not-so-corporate looking. A few dropped by at McDo for some “grub.” πŸ™‚

But one thing that stood out to me was that there were many senior citizens in this part of HK Island. We were in Sheukwan(sp?) to go to Shek O, where we can find the trail head to Dragon’s Back. I wonder if HK has designated areas for senior citizens.
Funny that I could probably just sit the whole day there at McDo and just watch locals go with their daily life, wondering how do they make a living, cook food, do they also bitch about Mondays, the crushes of the teen girls, etc etc? And i realized that it’s one of those things that I really look forward to in “traveling” — people watching. I’m probably not alone in this.
(Not in mcdo)

The trail path / system of a country reflects the nation’s “status”? I only been to SG, and now HK, and i noticed that both are really keen on their “trails.” Maybe when once a country has solved their “basic needs,” they could work on this kind of stuff. And, it’s not entirely for aesthetic purposes because they actually made it senior-citizen friendly in HK so it’s usual to meet old people trekking or just making “tambay” in their trails. When senior citizens are “healthier,” the less is burden to the government. In our case, since we don’t have government, the less burden to the families. When are less-burdened, people would feel more secure to take risks.

But I guess the most benefit when people get closer to the nature / trails is that we became more aware of it that we get mote conscious of the consequences of our every action. Yada-yada. πŸ™‚

So it got me thinking that “paving the trail” is on our generation. I guess for us the current adult / working generation of Philippines has the biggest say on what our children will get. Will it be paved or still messy or worse?

With having a “paved” path, our kids will have a better life. They can be more risk-taker.
But on the other thought, as they say, it’s the tough life that gives the most learning. 
I guess, in the end, either way, nothing really matters?!?
The dragon’s back trail ended at a beach.
We had lunch at surfer’s dude shop.

We went back to our place via Tram (“dingding” as what they called it here). It’s also one of my wonders why / when / what made locals choose “tram” over train or bus or taxi when commuting. 

Over the days we stayed here, we tend to pick it over others because:
* going to the train station underground can be time-consuming
* bus is nice
But tram has this romantic calm feeling. I guess maybe because we’re not in a hurry. Though, locals tend to pack it still but you’ll notice that it’s mostly packed with senior citizens.

HK 2: Victoria Peak to Victoria Harbor

(Photos from the celphone)

Breakfast started with the nearest “specialty” coffee shop, Rabbithole, based on the coffee map we got from the Coffee Academy.
Selfie because I got a new pink sweater because it’s annoyingly necessary. That layering of clothes is time consuming, and “samok.” 
Mark said we’ll be real “tourists” this day so off we go to bestselling tourist spots. We went to:
* Central HK that place with the HSBC bldg with century old lion statues
* Central park which is probably the equivalent of Cebu’s plaza independencia
* At the back of hsbc
OOTD (building) mirror selfie. Spot me! πŸ™‚

* The Peak Tram – tourist-packed place. HK $28 tram fee using octopus card. Definitely it was Paying like a tourist when tram fee is usually at 2.50. I think there are other ways but it’s part of the experience.

* Victoria’s Peak or more of Mall at the peak. The first thing that will greet you at the peak is a “Buy Me” sign to set your expectation.

Lunch at Mak’s Noodles. Another misua-eating experience at some used-to-be Michellin-starred resto at the peak. 
* Because did not pay for “skypass” (360 view of HK at the very top of the mall), we instead did a different version of 360 degree view — trekking. πŸ™‚ From Victoria’s peak down to somewhere in the University of HK area where we took a bus back to the Central. It was probably 5-7km. 
Manicured trail

* Mongkok, Kowloon. They said was a bargain hunting center. All I could say, it was jampacked with people. I did not get any thing. If you’re not into “divisoria” style of shopping, then don’t bother with the Ladies Market, and those thrift shop centers in Mongkok. 

* Victoria Harbor for the Avenue of Stars, and Light show. For some reason, I was shivering from the coldness of that area.
It was so cold, I would pay for getting warm inside starbucks.

* we rode a ferry back to Wan Chai, where we stay.

And, as usual, the dinner was a struggle because of the communication barrier. Dinner is something I just want to do in some next-door “carenderia”, probably because i always craved for something “homey” for dinner. So i would pick some hole-in-the-wall resto over any other.
We got into Joy Hing which was just fee steps from the house and is quite popular. The thing is despite it’s being very popular w/ costumers sharing tables , they do not have menus with English subtitles. 
It was seriously such a chaos. Thankfully, this “corporate” looking guy butted in, and became some sort of interpreter.
So we got yet another version of roasted duck. Though, I prefer the peking duck from the Guangdo resto, who has menus with english subtitles, i think the experience was a blast.

Ooppss. No photos again of dinner because place was seriously cramped.

HK 1: Subtitles Please

(From celphone photos.)
First time nakatungtong na jud sa Hong Kong.
I think HK’s airport is boring compared to SG’s.

Ordered too many noodles at Crystal Jade in airport, i don’t want to eat any noodles for the rest of the year.

Selfie at IFC, which was like tambayan of the Pinays in HK.
We stayed in Wan Chai, in an area which has store after store selling tiles. I even spotted tiles with Hello Kitty design.
Drink at some “specialty” coffee shop. It was how they categorized their coffee shop.
Spotted this all-red sports car, which this kind of car is a usual thing.

Eat street food in between “specialty” coffee shops. 

Tried “shopping” but I realized that what is expensive in Philippines will not be any cheaper in HK. duh! 
So i ended up with just Pilot pens, which What i can mostly afford in Cebu, Philippines.
Oh heaven!
Hunting for dinner from some local “carenderia” style was tricky because it’s in Chinese and Chinese symbols. 
Restos written in English alphabets are somewhat in the modern side. So it was happinnes when We would spot restos with subtitles.
No pic from my phone for the dinner.
And, I realized HK people are actually quite helpful people. 

e-HK-zited!

I cannot be totally excited every time we go off for some “travel” because KIDS. And recently, everything gets so busy that guilt is eating me up for being always absentee mother, and then the next thing you know is that you will “travel!” 

Wow! How can that be so exciting! Leaving kids while always being away.
And then there’s news that HK is trying to be so bully on PH. Spending money on someone who does not like you is exciting!
But not to be sounding so-so and ungrateful. I do am looking forward to this.
I got HK$ to throw on the ground.

Things I’m looking forward to:
* coffee
* trails
* running stuff (tights / capris / sports bra and maybe a hydration bag, i need a bigger one because trail runner this is)
Things I don’t look forward to: weather and packing! I don’t have closed shoes except for my running shoes, and I only got those thin TNF windbreaker. 😐 Goodluck to me basang sisiw!

Earn-ed

I kind of make a vow this year that by hook or by crook, the site should be making money already. I don’t care if it’s losing, I just want to see moneys go thru it.

And, the universe did connive to make it happen. Thanks to those who experimented with the site.
Anyhoo, I handed the earned money to the “businessman.” Funny that I felt disappointed with myself after all that finally whatever we wanted to prove was proven.
I think because I was not totally proud of the “marketing” I did. I did try to go the “high” way but it was proven that, generally, people were more attracted by the blings. 
Or maybe I was wrong.
I might be eating what i’m saying but I just cannot accept to go down that way. I do not want to lower my expectation from us, the people. It just does not feel right to me to be making money out of our “weaknesses”?
Maybe I just read much marketing manipulation books.

No more baby

TRandom conversation with Mati after school.

Me: 6-year old na ka, mat. Di na ka baby.
Mati: o. Big boy nako. Magboot nako.
Me: whatttt????
And so he picked a “pink” cake. Despite Meg trying to convince him to pick chocolate, while Migi was for the ube flavor.

And, everyone in the neighborhood kids is really “big” boys and girls now. 
We usually do not have big parties but random neighborhood kids usually would join us every time someone’s having birthday at home. So this time, when Meg & Migi asked me if they could invite their friends, I just said yes. Because “little” kids don’t really require a big preparation because they eat little.
But I overlooked that they’re “big” now. OMG, what used to be this tiny babies running around are really growing up!
Thankfully, everyone was able to get their fill.
I wish all of them can really be “magboot nako,” and follow through whatever they set their mind on. 

Special thanks to Mareee Flor’s cake pops and choco crinkles which never made it to dinner time because it was sold out earlier of the day.

That’s my tomboy

Because i was with 2 single ladies when we’re on bohol, I told them that I’d act the tomboy among us.

So I should not be smiling.
Anyhoo, it went to talks about our tomboy-tendencies.
Among the 3 of us, it was probably Leah who had the closest experience. I was surprised when she said that if it happened now instead of when she was still “younger,” there’s a greater probability that she would say YES to that tomboy. Because before she was confused, now she knows more what she really wants / goals in her life. 
It’s funny just when you know what / who you really are, you can be more open to gay relationships.

For me, the closest I could remember is probably I’m the tomboy. There’s this girl that I was really enchanted back in first year high school. Let’s just say I was smitten on how she introduced herself in front of our class on our first days of school. She was not pretty but she was witty, smart, intelligent, and just any thing about nice. πŸ™‚
We became the “berks,” you know high school thing. 
It was 2nd year high school when I was this close to “making a move.” But I guess, I was just too scared or that I could not take the thought of touching another boobs, I just had to cut it. 
Instead I became a very big supporter of her crushes. I got hurt and crashed when her crushes became jerks towards her. There’s always that thought that if I can only be a boy…
Anyhoo, because we had different courses, we took different paths. But i’m proud to say she remained to be that smart girl. She’s now happily married and all. πŸ™‚
Maybe, the next time we’ll meet, i’ll tell her about my crush on her. It will be a blast!
***
Yesterday, Mark commented that why were the girls at PhilHealth station in Robinsons were having make-up. Why are other girls really put effort of prettifying theirselves, while I’m not.
Then I told him that I think I have a thing for girls with big boobs. That maybe he’s marrying a “boy.” That maybe he really wants a boy. πŸ™‚ and, I’m just perfect.
On hindsight, I probably would make a great boyfriend. πŸ™‚

Meg’s Valentine Spree

Meg’s not really the girl I can take to the mall unless she demands it. So from time to time, she will ask or more of order me to take her to the mall.

Valentines day was one of those times. Days before the V-day, she had been telling me already that she needs to buy this and that for gift-giving with her savings. She reminds me of my MIL, always have a list. So maybe like Mark.
I told her no; she can’t just waste her savings away. But the father came to the rescue and said to let her be. It’s her money. I think her money was from my nanay and the sales of their “accessories” with her friends. So yeah, i think the father is right, it’s her money.
So off we went to the mall with her piggy bank.

When it’s her “order,” i just follower her itinerary. 
So first was National Bookstore. She picked a few books, the one with rats as characters, and word search. I thought she’s paying but she said she’s only paying for the gifts she’ll be giving away. While the books were gifts from me. Wow! Girl knows her rights! And, it’s really hard to say NO to books.
Then we went to department store because she needs red dress again from me. Maybe it’s some girlfriends’ dress code.
Then, next was her gift buying. She picked 4 chocolate bars, 1 for HER, 1 for me and mark, 1 for Ate mona, and 1 for Ate Elsi. It took her awhile picking the chocolates as she kept going over her “budget” which was P200.

I wanted to just give her additional money but I thought to just let her be.

Then it took a few more time counting her money.
Finally! Mr. Henry Sy must be happy! πŸ™‚

Anyway, aside from consumerism, I’m happy to see Meg to be more decisive unlike me.