pictures were lost some how….
So to combat the slumping economy, and to do my fair share of saving the mother Earth, ive decided to cut a few costs and find alternative solutions. Running an office is pretty expensive. 6 computers, lighting, A/C.. Last month alone, my electricity bill was around $250. Maybe its because I dont pay the bills back in SF, but I never recall the electricity bill being anything close to $250. So to mix things up and to save a bit on the utilities, I came up with an idea, Fridays At Bo’s.
Bo’s is kind of like the Philippine version of starbucks. In fact, it has a similar look and feel to it inside. The coffee is just whatever, but the main selling point is that most other coffee shops do not have free wifi. The beauty of being involved in a web based business is that you can easily take your work with you, as long as there’s the internet.
What we did was we hogged a litte section of the cafe, brought our own power strip and got right to work. The Bo’s employees didnt mind that we stayed over 8 hrs, just as long as we kept the coffee coming. All in all, I think it ended up being a success because it not only saved me a couple of bucks, its got us out of the house and builts team comradre in the process.
Actually, the first few sightings of Christmas trees here was in late September. Now theyre flooded everywhere. Malls, restaurants, hotels.. even my condo lobby has been decorated with Christmas lights and ornaments. Not, that I have anything against it. I just find it kind of odd because its never like this back in the states. The states usually jumps from Halloween, to Thanksgiving, to Christmas, then to New Years. Basically, whatever the stores and malls can throw a sale and take advantage of.
It’s nice see the anticipation and excitement of the people here. From what I hear, Christmas is supposed to be one of the most lively and fun times of the year here. Family’s are all celebrating, people are lighting fireworks on the streets, the malls are jammed pack, kids run around drunk from the Christmas wine… My filipino american friends tell me it has at least 3 times the buzz of the celebrations in the US. I can already feel it brewing.
My first impression of HK was that im in a huge, never ending Chinatown. Sure, the airport is really modern and the sights are as pretty as can be.. but once youre actually in the city, you cant help but feel a little bit out of place. The Large neon Chinese character signs came aplenty, hardly anyone spoke English, and the fishy smell of squid or stinky durian always lingered. I gotta to admit tho, I couldnt get enough of the dumplings, fishballs and potstickers from the street vendors. It was also nice to have a real XLB (xiao lum bao) for a change.
We ended up staying in the center of MongKok, a pretty popular area. There were market places, restaurants, several retail stores, boutiques, and anything else you would ever need or want.
This place is always crowded with people, and the city never sleeps. We’re lucky that Erik had a few good friends to show us around and take us to all the hot spots. I even had a chance to hit up the golf driving range for a hot sec.
Special shoutout to John for being such a great host this weekend.
After getting a bit settled and taking care of business, we ended up going to Lan Kwai Fong for the first night. This is where most of the clubs, tourists, and crackin areas are. After doing a bit of drinking and bar hopping, we ended up going home at 6am… the earliest of my 3 nights in hk. I dont know how people can get any business done out here. From the three nights that I was out in HK, I ended up coming home at 6am, 10am and 9am. Supposedly its common to stay out that late and people dont even leave their house to go out til 1am.
The second day, we ended up taking the train to ShenZhen, but we got stuck at the border. Apparently, China still had the olympics ban on giving out temporarily visa’s and we couldnt get in.
Things didnt go quite as planned, so we were forced to postpone our trip til a later date. We had a free day so we ended up going to Macau instead.
Macau is supposed to be the Las Vegas of Asia. It’s bigger, makes more money, but lacks the vibe of Vegas. We ended up kicking it at Wynn, MGM, and this Chinese Casino for most of the time. It was okay, but i’ll have to save this story for the mature audiences only. After all, I try to keep my blog PG for the general public.
The last night we ended up going to this one bar/lounge and played the dice game til about 6 in the morning. We then ate breakfast shortly after. If you’re a fob or are from hk, you know what im talking about. The dice game is pretty much the main game that everyone plays. Its a drinking game that keeps you entertained for hours. It can be fun every now and then, but I really dont enjoy staying up that late, night after night. I usually only do that when I am in Vegas or back in college, cramming before each midterm or final. I always end up waking to the sunset and feeling groggy the rest of the day. I didnt like that feeling, it brought back old memories.
Overall, the Hong Kong trip was a success. I had a lot of fun and got a lot accomplished in the process. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to go to ShenZhen/Guangzho. That was a pretty big setback, but i guess its just an excuse for a 2nd trip next year. Hong Kong is a great place to live and has improved dramatically since the last time ive visited. I just need to learn a little Cantonese before the next time I go back. Highlight of the trip was the food. I havent had such good cheap Chinese food in a while (Philippines is a bit lacking). Negative part of the trip was that its hard to get around without knowing any Cantonese. Overall, it was worth it, I give it a 4 stars on yelp.