Sunday, February 20, 2011

Do You Believe in Love at First Sight?

A very close friend of mine sent me this quote recently and I thought it would be a great way to start this blog entry.

"Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength, while loving someone deeply gives you courage." - Lao Tzu

I don't know who Lao is and I'm sure he was a brilliant man but Julie's translation of the quote means "brave up, bitch" which I think summarizes it perfectly. Jules, thanks for being an inspiration to me everyday. I am so glad my little ray of sunshine is back from the States! It just isn't the same when you're not around.

Since we recently celebrated Valentine's Day, the holiday many single women across the globe dread (I've confirmed this based on an extensive scientific study...I asked them) I wanted to share a story I heard recently that hopefully gives singletons all over the world hope for the certainly opened my eyes and gave me the courage to believe love at first sight really does exist!
Let me preface by stating this is a true story but names have been changed to protect the innocent (aka the guilty).

The Story:
I went to the Philippines with some friends back in October (please read Boracaylicious entry for more deets). We had a great time relaxing on the beach, drinking the day away and enjoying good meals every night before hitting the bars. What I didn't know was that one girl on the trip met a guy she ended up pashing (aka kissing) the first night - she had so much fun with this international man of mystery she agreed to meet up with him again the following night. DISCLAIMER - if my mom and dad (or any of their friends) are reading this, let it be known that your wonderful, conservative, responsible daughter (that would be me, not Michelle) would never consider doing such a thing! Or at least not be dumb enough to write about it in my own blog :)

Back to the story. Chanel and this guy exchanged contact info after their romantic weekend and kept in touch after returning to their respective lives in different US cities. After two months of phone calls and constant emails they started dating and have been together ever since. He is moving to be closer to her and there's even talk about a possible engagement!

My Valentine's Day was nowhere near that exciting since there weren't many attractive, single, straight men at the JJ concert (although for any single straight or gay man who might read this it's a brilliant way to meet a significant other) but regardless I had an awesome time at the show with Long and Traci. We knew almost all of the songs (she sang 35 of her #1 hits) and we found ourselves saying "I haven't heard this song in almost 20 years." The bit I am struggling with is when the hell did I get old enough to say I remember anything from 20 years ago??? Time flies when you're having fun!

Here are a few pics from that night. Does the venue remind anyone else of a high school gym? I love HK but it's definitely not known for it's music venues...I also recorded a video with my camera but decided not to add it since you can hear me singing...and I couldn't handle the abuse I would receive from Julie, Long, DAC and Kevin if I posted it.

 Waiting for the show to start
 Traci, Me, Longo

I also included a picture of me and my dad away from home on Valentine's Day. His name is Chow. He's the night doorman in my building and I heart him. He is soooo nice and looks after me and Longo much like our dads would if they lived here. The best part? He laughs uncotrollably whenever I try to speak Cantonese and Mandarin but keeps encouraging me to practice...
Me & My Valentine, Chow

Another installation of the blog is coming soon. My mom and "B" have been here for a week so there will be some funny stories and pics to share.

And since this is my Valentine's Day entry, I want to give a shout out to someone very special to me. We are going to have so much fun next month and I can't wait to show you my city!


Monday, February 7, 2011

Kung Hei Fat Choi - To Cebu Or Not To Cebu

Hello again...I have to share that I am writing this blog entry while getting a foot massage from James and drinking a cup of warm, herbal tea on a Monday night. I heart him although he just told me that my pancreas isn't working properly. What does it do anyway?!

I just returned home from a wonderful trip to Cebu, Philippines with Long and our friend Paul in observance of the Chinese Lunar New Year. We stayed at the Shangri-La Hotel ( and it was well worth the money minus the wet dog smell in our room. And to think we almost didn't go because a cyclone was headed for Cebu...thank goodness it didn't make an appearance and we had clear blue skies the entire time.

 Our Hangout Spot

 The Grounds

 Banana Hammock Haven

 Me & Paul in the Philippine Sea

 The Typical Asian Pose

There were a few funny experiences on this trip that I wanted to capture, starting with foot massages by blind men that Longo made us get in the Manila airport. We had time between our flights and wanted to do something to help us relax and get into holiday mode so in typical Long fashion, she suggested a foot massage. We probably should've realized something wasn't quite right when the footies were cheaper than usual (even by Manila standards) but it wasn't until we sat down and Long took a good look at our therapists that she turned to me and whispered "I think they're blind - at least I know mine is" - instinctively I looked over and noticed his eyes were rapidly darting back and forth and it sent me into a bit of a tailspin. I couldn't help but feel a little panicked about our situation but after a few minutes of being completely paraletic I did what I usually do...I started talking. As it turned out, my therapist went to school to learn foot reflexology, spoke nearly perfect English, was married and owned his own reflexology studio. He was only at the airport to help a friend who was short on staff that day. It was truly remarkable and the experience was one that will go down in history but Longo is no longer allowed to select foot massage locales. 

Something ironic happened while we were in transit on our way home. Longo and I were both tanned from sitting by the pool and on the beach for four days and we are both vertically challenged with long, dark hair (hers is darker and longer) but that's where the similarities end. She looks Asian and I look, well, depending on where I am and who I am with I get everything from Egyptian to Argentine to Greek but never would I pass for Asian. As we walked by a police officer he asked very seriously if we were sisters?! We both laughed uncontrollaby and said no, just really good friends (BFFs!) but as we sat on the shuttle bus we decided that from now on we will tell strangers we are sisters and that I am adopted. My new name is Stephanie Wu! I always said I wouldn't give up Angelini but Wu is a cool last name and the Chinese symbol for Wu is a little man waving. That makes perfect sense because Longo might be the nicest person I've ever met in my entire life...seriously.

A ridiculous thing we did demonstrates that Long and I are brilliant masterminds...we got smart and selected a vegetarian meal and a low-sodium meal when we booked our flights solely for the purpose of getting our food first! We are usually chewing our arms off by the time we get fed since we're considered part of stowage (no status on Asian airlines yet) and in this example were sitting in row 84 of a 747 (aka the 'big bitch' as we affectionately called her). What a difference it made. We were chowing down on our food while everyone else sat green with jealousy...even if they were something similar to hot pockets! Thanks to ABL for sharing that little tidbit of information with us. We miss you!!!

All in all it was a fantastic, low-key trip. We literally did nothing for four days except pamper ourselves, nosh on lovely food, and exercise (no laughing). We did have to survive amid the Hong Kong families with multiple children and their helpers, along with the Asian men in their teeny tiny banana hammocks (Kev - is this what you rock on holiday?) but we did our best to steer clear of both groups whenever possible. To balance that out, we hung out with a hot Aussie named Nathan who owns a firearms business with his father. Another example of why all good things lead to Australia!!!

I've learned that CNY is not only a time to start over but a time to wish each other 'good fortune' and for that reason it's customary to give red pockets with money to service providers, people who work for you, and single people (yay for the singletons)! It's a really fun custom and people are very gracious and appreciative of the gesture. There are other customs many people follow, such as cutting your hair, buying new clothes, and getting healthy. What's not to love about a culture that gives you money, encourages you to spend money on a new wardrobe, and pamper yourself on spa treatments? I love this place!!


PS - I am SO excited for my mom's visit next week. T minus 7 days and counting!