Thursday, August 31, 2006

Episode 5: hong hau adventure

today i woke up, had lunch (which was terrible), then grabbed a minibus to the local village of hong hau (i think thats the name of it, ill have to check at some point to clarify). hong hau was cool, its small but very dense with these huge skyscraper condos and minimalls spread throughout. like most of the towns here, many buildings look somewhat delapidated (yet are starkly contrasted by ultra modern neighbors), but the streets are surprisingly clean.

first, a picture of my lunch. so far this has been the most unpleasant meal to date. it is "beef with sweet corn sauce". it wasnt necessarily that the taste was that bad but there was something about the texture that made me very uncomfortable eating it. i am going to leave it at that....

the best way to travel, when not traveling on the MTR subway, is with these little minibuses that hold about 12 people. hong kong has streamlined their public transportation system with something known as the octopus card, which is like the new blink debit card that you tap against a machine and it deducts from your balance. when riding the mtr, you tap once to enter, and once to leave and it deducts based on how far you traveled, hassel free. why we dont have this in NYC, i dont know.

there is nothing i enjoy more than seeing evidence of american corporate imperialism. here is a star bucks at the hong hau mall.

this i enjoyed immensely. because cars are coming from the opposite direction you may be used to, there are often friendly little reminders on the street to tell you which direction to look in order to avoid oncoming traffic. this particular one happened to have saved my life....

hong kong is riddled with these huge skyscraper condo communities. they often have minimalls at the base of them, and if they are close enough, these malls are connected with bridges that hang over the road.

and this is a darker closeup of one of these huge condos that riddle hong hau.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Episode 4: epilogue, my first double decker ride to Sai Kung

Episode 4: Sai Kung

Sai Kung is a little town about 8km from my school. its on a river so there are a lot of fisheries there. our exchange group went to a thai restaurant for some peer bonding. here are a few pictures but nothing spectacular.

i am a little blurry in this pic, but i am standing under the Sai Kung arch. what i liked about this place was that the village was tiny, but neon flashing lights were everywhere.

here i am standing in front of one of a million seafood restaurants. i love the orange lanterns.

this is a picture of me taken to celebrate my very first ride on a double decker bus. i have to say it was quite a spectacular experience (who would have thought riding a bus would ever be that), but on a serious note, you do get a great view of everything from the second floor.

kids were playing basketball last night. the best thing about basketball is that it offers cities a lowcost solution to provide for its citizenry. soccer, football, hockey, and baseball are very demanding on space, but basketball only needs a court or even half of a court... hell just a net will do.

for those of you that think "cheers" exists only in Boston and Chicago (and a few other select american cities), feast your mind on the fact that sai kung has one too. the question is, which came first???

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Episode 3: Epilogue, video of the landscape

Episode 3: the sunrise

still being jetlagged, i often find myself up at 5 in the morning (to be honest, i havent made much effort to get over jet lag). i decided to revist my nice spot on the rocks and take pictures of the sunrise as i get to know my new camera. hope you enjoy.
this is a snapshot of the presunrise that is perhaps as beautiful as the sunrise. to some maybe even more so.

here is another snapshot of the presunrise, which almost resembles a sunset,
as i set on my rocks.

here is a panoramic that does absolutely no justice to my view.
remember to click on these pics to make them larger.

here i go obstructing our view of the sunrise.
notice how the flash relfects off of my face. i almost look like a ghost...

the sun is slowly making its way up but the clouds block its light.

an orange crescendo as the sun fights off nature's clouds

finally the sun has made it through the clouds.

Episode 2: the campus

this is my building from afar, notice how close i am to the bay. its pretty beautiful even though i dont have a view of the water.

here is one of the cafeteries where i ate breakfast today. it was $2. rice noodle (a big one) that was stuffed with pork and topped with a weird soy type of sauce. it was pretty good.

this is a picture of the front entrance to our school with their signature sundial.

this is the main atrium of my school. all of the classes and hallways meet at this the distance is the library which is pretty respectable. they have every hugo and nebula winner in their science fiction section.

this is the left side of my campus as seen from the main causeway. this place is like a jungle, pretty beautiful.

this is the right side of the causeway which you can see covered on the left side.

this is the fountain on the left side. there are alot of grass fields where you can play ball or picnic.

this is one of the main causeways that you walk down to get from the top of campus to the very bottom. the school is built on a cliff, so the school is layered in terraces.

here is a picture of the pool from afar.the temperature is perfect. it has a high and low dive.

and finally a closeup of the pool. that is all of the campus for now...

Episode 1: my dorm

this is a picture of my dorm from the street level. unfotunately, my room doesnt face this side which has a view of the bay, but the back,which faces the cliff wall.

this is my hallway. it is an all boys hall way, my door is number 001, first one on the right.

this is my bedroom. considerably smaller than my room at NYU. my bed and desk are on the right, my roommate TJ's are on the left. notice how clean my section is...

this is a picture of my shared bathroom. notice the urinals on the left, for some reason water consistently runs in them. seems like a waste

this is my shared kitchen. kind of a mess, but at least we have a communal rice cooker. eating out at the cafeteria costs $2-3 a meal.

this is the common room. as you can see, this place is very much like a traditional dorm.