28 September 2008
27 September 2008
19 September 2008
17 September 2008
this is macau, from a hill in the center of the island (you can see it larger if you open the picture in another window). macau has the whole range, from new construction and cn tower knockoffs, to stunning(ly-ugly) casino towers and old construction. there's a reason the picture looks smudgy as well --- that's the air pollution blowing in from mainland. today in hong kong, you can hardly see across the bay to hong kong island. it's kind of amazing, in the worst possible way.
15 September 2008
this weekend i took a spontaneous trip to macau, the las vegas of china --- only city in the middle country where gambling is legal. however, "city" is a little misleading. macau is actually a giant construction site, and will be a city in five, ten years.
this was one of my favorite pictures, that really illustrates the nature of development in china --- that i've seen so far, anyway. in the foreground are traditional buildings, five stories tall, a vast blanket of weathered textures and colors. those buildings are replaced by the tall tenements, twenty-plus story towers of cheap, small housing, every building the same as the last. finally, in the background, the new monsters that are being built. they are entirely wrapped in green fabric, christo style, and framed by bamboo.
also --- that's not fog, that's air pollution. visibility is two miles, at best.
how many bags of cereal in a box? bought a box of crackers the other day, there was plastic wrap over the plastic bag over the plastic tray which had small plastic-wrapped 4-cracker bags inside. this is very much the rule in hong kong.
11 September 2008
10 September 2008
08 September 2008
06 September 2008
we were at a clothing store, the coolest, most local that we could find, a chinese h&m. i spotted a shirt on the wall. it was a hip shirt, with a hip american college on it. what college did they pick, the college among colleges, the classic american college to represent the pinnacle of our celebrated university system?
central fucking michigan university.
on the other end of the view spectrum... this is the view out my window from the lovely kam chung apartments, on the seventh floor of the building. hong kong is a little rough around the edges. these are no slum apartments, we live very close to downtown, mostly with other families in the apartments. families, in 400 sq foot apartments.
this is the view from Victoria's Peak at night --- you can see the Batman tower square in the middle of the picture. calling it a beautiful city isn't really fair, it's far more than that. it's a very colorful city, even from this far away.
beyond that, ryan and i have been going to the lan kwai fong district frequently, which i believe translates to old white men trying to get laid district. it was a happening place the first night, but each subsequent visit --- of which there were three --- saw less locals, and more middle-aged british bankers. we've wandered around the local street stalls, ate dim sum and hot pot and all other manner of chinese food. it's been busy, and it's been a blast.
05 September 2008
03 September 2008
i've been a little scattered on this thing so far... i'm going to try to update this blog a little more frequently in the days to come. for now --- the above is a picture of the neighborhood right outside my place. i live in the heart of the city, past the financial district, and just past the major shopping and dining center, tsim sha tsui, where most of the other foreigners hang out. it already feels as though i've been here for far longer than a week. soon, hopefully, some of the details will start to emerge.
01 September 2008
add to the cow's stomach:
-hot mint turtle shell herbal jelly. imagine hot menthol jello with a hint of dirt. that's dessert.
-iced tea with milk and beans. no, not pearl tea. that's what i thought i was getting. no, imagine chili beans instead of tapioca. beans that grow in the ground. imagine iced coffee with a hint of dirt.
sadly, wing-lau says that i can only eat bugs on the mainland.
at any rate: hong kong has entirely surpassed and surprised any of my expectations. after today's first class, which will have more depth, guidance, and conscience than any i've ever had at ccs, a dozen of my new classmates whisked ryan and i away for a proper dim sum lunch, where i established a beachhead on my weird food list with tripe. beyond that, everyone's very friendly and giving. the city is incredible, diverse, rich, very clean, and very, very easy so far.
pictures, more stories, soon.