Saturday, July 31, 2010

It's Official....I Am A Hongkie!

Hello again!

It's Saturday night here in Hong Kong and I just got home from another great day. I went apartment hunting for a few hours this morning (no luck yet so keep your fingers crossed) followed by pool time in Discovery Bay with Monica, the best pedicure EVER with Michelle and dinner at a Portugese restaurant. I decided I was too tired to go out because tomorrow will be filled by a long walk on Bowen Road followed by brunch and free-flow champagne with Eren, Cheryl and Naomi at The Pawn in Wan add insult to injury, I was out until 4AM last night (yes, you read that correctly) so I can barely keep my eyes open. This place parties more than ANYWHERE I've ever been - NYC, London, Buenos Aires or even Sydney. It is absolutely ridiculous!!!

Last night's evening started with a work dinner at The China Club, a local Hong Kong institution and one of the most exclusive restaurants, hosted by my coach and mentor Vanessa( We noshed on Peking Duck (they make it into little pancakes with spring onions and sweet sauce - I loved it), sweet & sour pork, dan dan noodles and the infamous century egg which I tried but didn't like too much ( I have gotten so adventerous with my palate lately that I am just asking to get sick (I am crossing all my fingers and toes as I write this). The crazy thing is that I haven't had any stomach issues that a lot of expats complain about....yet.

Once dinner was over (have I mentioned how much I adore my new team?) I met up with my new friend Sumaya (Sumi) and a bunch of her girlfriends for a night out on the town. It was like being at the United Nations and I couldn't have been happier - we had representation from France, Germany, Slovakia, Malaysia, Canada, Pakistan and the good ol' USA. We danced to 80's music in the street at Lan Kwai Fong and took jello shots off the back of our hands (yes, just like we did in college). At 3:45AM I decided it was time to take myself home so I hiked up the side of the mountain in heels to my apartment in mid-levels (the escalators stop running shortly running after midnight) which took about 20 minutes by stairs. I finally got home and it looked like I had just gone swimming because I was dripping from head to toe with sweat. I would call it perspiration but that would be a bold-faced lie. As much as I like it here, it is NOT GOOD for hair, skin, or high heels because of the humidity and hills everywhere.

A few other key things to share so my mom and the BFFs don't worry - I went out for dinner and drinks with a girl I met in Dubai in 2007 along with her friend Tanya from Russia Wednesday night after work. We had a great time and Ash is definitely going to be a great friend here. I also met a girl named Kelly through a colleague who lives in London. We met for drinks at Sevva, a bar with one of the best views of the Kowloon side, and I think we are going to start hiking together (and drinking together). It's so easy to meet people here and although there are 8 million people on the island it feels like a smaller community.

This week was also monumental because a VERY exciting thing happened yesterday....I officially became a Hongkie! Yep, that's right - I finally got my HK ID card so now the communist government can track my every move...literally. It felt similar to when I turned 16 and got my driver's license (on the FIRST try which is more than Jess can say!) I have to say my ID picture isn't too bad, either :)

As for the locals, here is an interesting observation. Many men and women of the older generations burp and dare I say "fart" in public with absolutely no regard for anyone around them. I was in a taxi the other day and the driver kept burping...with his mouth open. I couldn't figure it out at first - did he forget I was in the backseat? Did he suffer from serious indigestion? Was he just being rude? I asked someone in my office who explained that it's quite common....who then proceeded to tell me about the woman who sits behind him and burps/farts all day. He actually keeps count of how many "infractions" there are each day!!! I completely lost it when he told me and I am cracking up again just thinking about it (have I mentioned how much I like my colleagues)?

I've got to sign off and get some zzzzzzz's. I hope everyone is doing well and please keep the emails/skype/FB updates coming. It helps me feel close to home!

Elle - good luck on the house closing this week!

Love and miss,