Waohhhhh…The love, positive feedback, prayers and encouragement I received from you guys on the blog and Twitter on the first #HKDiaries post (here) was amazing! You guys had me cheesing around the place! Here’s saying THANK YOU!
I know my gratitude speech is not the reason why you guys are here so let’s get the show on the road shall we…
The later part of my Friday was actually uneventful. My drinks/dinner date was unavailable so I jejely nursed my loneliness at home with McDonalds and Vodka. I actually felt better when I got to the McDonalds at 1am and there was a queue of people waiting to make bad food decisions like me. Ordered a Double Cheeseburger expecting the worst (thanks to my nasty experience with Subway last week) and surprisingly it was one of the better McDonalds I have had. McDees in HK is a go guys….
|How’s this for a wild Friday night? 🙂|
I must sound like a broken record going on and on about jet-lag but serious, this demon has refused to leave me. Anyone have any recommendations on how to cure it? Its actually quite tiring…I didn’t sleep till 6 am on Friday (well Saturday really). I had great plans to do some exploring but I only managed to get up at 2 pm and out of the house at 4 pm.
Decided to go back to The Peak but this time using the Peak Tram. When I went there last week, Cheryl took me in a taxi and I heard that riding the tram is actually part of the experience. You get to observe the beauty of the city while riding through the slopes in this historical mode of transportation.
I was not ready for the amount of people that were standing in LINES waiting to board the tram. I was actually confused. Imagine hundreds of people gathered under Onikan bridge with the queues stretching to CMS..I had a good laugh while deciding to just give it a try. I thought that if the tram comes fairly frequently and takes a whole bunch of people at once then it shouldn’t be that bad. I was wrong….I stood in line for approximately 30mins and zero progress was made.
I really wonder if they are sharing money at Victoria Peak 🤔 The line to board the tram is from hell! 😩
— Y (@SLTFT_Blog) February 27, 2016
After I tweeted this, a friend (s/o @Tutunuu) who had visited HK on holiday before advised me not to bother as the wait time is about 2 hours. Because its never that serious, I ran as fast as my legs could carry me away from the place. I read up that to avoid the queues you should get there as early as 9 am…I will have to plan better next time.
I decided to go visit the legendary Flower Market Road, another one of the gems of this city. Actually, Hong Kong as a country is divided into different islands (Hong Kong Island, Kowloon, New Territories) which you can think of as states. The main Hong Kong island is like the Lagos and then the other islands are like Abuja, Ogun, PH etc. Only difference is that HK is so small that crossing from one island to the other will take you max 40 mins. The Flower Market is in Kowloon
On my way to the Flower Market, I got stopped by a group of tourists from Philippines to take a picture with them. They couldn’t handle all that #BlackGirlMagic yanah. I was actually not surprised because my husband had told me to expect it. He had the same thing happen to him when he traveled to China a few years back.
The Flower Market is located in Kowloon island and it was fairly easy to get to. I took the MTR from Central to Prince Edward which was about 6 stops away. From the MTR station I followed Google maps directions straight to the prettiest place I have seen in a while. #SideBar I’m becoming a badass at Google Maps, I did not get lost!
The road is lined with many flower shops and it was so lovely to walk through each one. It was a very uplifting experience but if you don’t like flowers I’m probably not making sense right now..sigh.
I left with an Orchid plant, a Succulent and some Lucky Bamboo shoots. I was very paranoid on the way home because my worst nightmare in that moment was someone crushing my poor flowers during the usual fashion of rushing in and out of the train. If that had happened, someone would have for sure had to pull me off the culprit, I’d have wrestled him/her to the ground (well, tried)
Still riding the jet-lag train, I didn’t sleep till 5 am but I was determined that nothing was going to stop me from going to church that Sunday. It also helped that the service was 11:30 am so I managed to groggily wake up in time to make it to church. I had googled churches around the Wan Chai area and I found a nice looking one called The Vine Church.
Off I went to The Vine thinking it would just be a small church, I mean there can’t be that many Christians in HK…I was wrong again! The church was massive, I mean there was no sitting space when I initially got there. I didn’t mind though, I just stood in awe of the the sheer number of people worshiping God earnestly. It was a beautiful sight to behold. The senior pastor is a British man who moved to HK when he was 12. There are a good number of Asian men and women who are also pastors at the church which I found super impressive. I enjoyed the service a lot and I plan to be a regular here. There’s also the added plus that I saw a number of black people there 🙂
This man from Cameroon followed me from church to the restaurant I went to have lunch. I decided to be tolerant seeing as he is a “church brother”. Dude came and sat with me and had lunch. It was the most awkward 30 min lunch ever, between the awkward silence, random questions and me flashing my ring like hey dudeeee. I did not want to expressly come out saying “I’M MARRIED” because to be fair he did not really come across as suggestive but we will have to see. Maybe he’s just trying to build his own community of West Africans in HK because he mentioned that his best friend here is Nigerian #YouDonMeanIt
Apart from the awkwardness, the restaurant was a lovely Thai place called The Spice House. I had a red seafood curry which was a solid 9/10 and not badly priced too. It’s like 5 mins away from my house so I foresee myself coming here a lot. On a side note, the restaurant service here in HK is remarkable! I have never had to wait more than 15 minutes for my food to come out before and it blows my mind every single time. Nigerian restaurants, are you taking notes? Making one wait for their food for 45 mins to an hour is witchcraft.
I decided to have a “look” around the shops after lunch and I put look in inverted commas because I ended up buy 4 new shoes and a bunch of skincare products.
|When your Nigerian girlfriend tells you she wants to go window shopping|
|Shoes are from Le Saunda, a local HK brand with awesome quality|
I can explain the shoes, the skincare products not so much 🙂 I’m a flats hater, like I very rarely wear flat shoes or sandals. And when I wear them it will probably be on the weekend but NEVER ever to work. In my 3 years of working with my present company, I’ve only ever one flats on a few Fridays, NEVER on the weekday. I don’t know what my issue with flats is but I just don’t like the look they give me, heels all day, every day baby. Background story over, I came to HK with the only pair of flat shoes I currently possess. With the amount of walking I have to do commuting to work, wearing heels during was simply not an option. So what I did the whole of last week, was wear flats on the commute and then change to my heels when I get to the office. I wore them everyday so you would imagine that the flats got a beat down. I decided that I need to get a couple more flat shoes- justification over! Oh, no justification for the heels I got, they were just too pretty to not get 🙂
|Skin about to be on fleek|
With regards to the skincare stuff I bought, all I can say is Korean skincare is the wave right now in the beauty industry. Had to jump on that train real quick, show me a beauty blogger that isn’t moved by product hype, lol. I got these sheet masks which promise to give you the effects of a facial within the four walls of your house and some other products I will be blogging about separately.
Later on at night, I went grocery shopping and then did some cooking for the week. Beans is a big part of my diet back home, being #fitfam and all so I was seriously missing it. I paced the aisles of the supermarket looking for the closest thing to Nigerian beans and I found this.
|When Nigerian beans goes to jand for masters|
It didn’t do too badly though, actually tastes nice 🙂 Not sure how well it could do if I attempt to make moi moi with it though…I really miss moi moi.
|Beans on the right…|
Oh I forgot to mention that I met a lovely black lady called Jennifer while on my shopping round. She just moved to Hong Kong with her cute family and when she noticed me stomping through the streets with my my large shopping bags in tow, braids swinging from side to side, she had to stop me. We exchanged numbers and plan to meet up soon.
I have good news and bad news, which do you want fist? Ok, bad news first- Guess who is Johnny-No-Mates this week? My manager and the other guy on my team have traveled to New York for the week and left me here in HK to “hold the fort”.
The good news- I met a new colleague Emma who’s Chinese. She’s also in HK on assignment and wait for it…she lives in my apartment block! 🙂 Fun times ahead 🙂
In line with the spirit of fun times, I was pushed to throw caution to the wind and sign up for even more meet ups today….Take a look at my current calendar for March below. Can someone say social butterfly?
After I got off work, I was traipsing through the streets on my way home when out of the corner of my eye I saw a KFC and decided to give it a try. I mean after my great McDonald’s experience, I wanted to see if KFC would live up. Live up it did. I ordered their barbecue chicken which I haven’t seen anywhere else in the world. Every KFC I have been to only serves their disgusting fried battered chicken. But this was yummy, succulent barbecue chicken in all its goodness. I ordered it with a side of something they called Criss-Cut fries, another novelty (to me at least) and everything was just delicious.
|The moment the whole world had been waiting for|
I had it for dinner plonked in front of the TV, watching a replay of the Oscars. This was a happy coincidence because I never turn on that TV but for some reason that night, I decided to just see what was on and boom! Oscars, I caught it right at the start! It was an amazing show from start to finish, Chris Rock really held the crowd down. I was howling with laughter through it all. By the way that individual named Stacey Dash, is she all up in the head? Someone explain to me, please.
Tuesday was just not the day. I woke up really grumpy and seriously missing my husband 🙁 This is the first time since I got here that I have felt a bit down. Only after 1 week and two days in? I have honestly impressed myself. When I was leaving I gave myself a two week buffer period where I would regret the decision I made to move and cry myself to bed every single night. After that two week period, I imagined that I would be OK and carry on. But guess what, I haven’t cried once. My lesson here is that we are usually much stronger than we give ourselves credit for. But yeah, today was just not the day.
I got into the office and worked till about 1 pm then I couldn’t take much of it any more. My mood coupled with the fact that I was feeling really sleepy made me board the next train back home. I slept for about 5 hours whilst leaving my phone on loud in case anyone from the office tried to reach my by phone or email. I woke up feeling much better and had a pack of plantain chips to celebrate:)
I brought about 12 packs of plantain chips with me to HK because on my scale of priorities, makeup and clothes rank higher than food. When I realized that I had about 26 kg of extra luggage and Emirates charges $55/kg, I very quickly discarded several bags of plantain chips and a whole carton of Indomie. Basically, I have to ration my “Taste of Nigeria” well by eating only one pack of plantain chips a week….
|Gold right now|
#SideNote There’s a football and basketball pitch just opposite my house and kids are there playing every single day, Sundays inclusive. Sometimes, I look at them and wonder if their parents consent to this. Maybe they are supposed to be at after school lesson or something but instead are running around the field kicking a ball.
” Don’t you guys have homework today”? Maybe I will ask one of them one day, in true Amebo Nigerian Aunty style.
I was back on form on Wednesday, all positive and shit. The office is still really quiet with my team away and every one else not really checking for me since I’m no longer “The New Girl”…sigh, this life sha…I was hot cake just last week.
Emma and I went out to IFC for lunch but like everywhere in HK, crazy queues, so we decided to get takeout and head back to the office to eat. It was really funny that the whole menu was in Chinese so Emma basically translated a few meals for me and I picked what I wanted. When the Rice and Beef came out it didn’t quite look like what I expected..haha
|Not really what I would consider Rice and Beef, but it tasted good just a little dry because no sauce|
|Barbecued Pork Buns….intense!|
By the way, I think I might file a complaint in this office. I waited till 5 pm for the fruit cart to come around and it didn’t. Last week I was told that it’s a weekly tradition now I’m beginning to wonder if it was just new comer wash…After fully adjusting to this office pamper lifestyle, I feel defrauded 🙁
Been here waiting for the fruit cart to come by 👀 It’s almost 5pm, how far?
— Y (@SLTFT_Blog) March 2, 2016
After work today, I decided to lace up my boots, head to the gym and work out. My life has been a whirlwind since 2016 started out with lots of travelling and now the big move that I haven’t really committed to my workout routine in a while. I decided to wake up from my slumber though because health is wealth etc etc
I went with my new HK bezzie. Emma who is so similar to me it’s almost unreal. I mean she loves fashion (girl be slaying to the office on a daily), makeup, selfies, food, exercise…kindred spirit if you ask me. She even told me that I’m the most beautiful black woman she has ever seen. I hear you snickering “she must not have seen many“.. Hi hater, Bye hater 🙂
It was an amazing work out session, we both ran on the treadmill and I was super glad that Emma is not one of those crazies that can run for 1 hour on a treadmill without stopping. We both did a nice run-walk routine and managed to burn around 700 calories, not bad! I was feeling super pumped after the workout, really hope I an stick to it. Gotta return to Lagos snatched…yasss!
Last week I mentioned how I had faith in the local network here, SmarTone but they proved me wrong. I allegedly used 1GB of data in a little over a week bearing in mind that I use WiFi at home and in the office. Data thievery might not just be a Nigerian thing. I had to buy an extra 1GB (which strangely is the largest amount of data you can buy ) at the cost of 168 HKD which is roughly 21 USD which is roughly N 6300…Madnesss if you ask me, I need to find a more sustainable plan for data.
In other news, the fruit cart came today, all is well with the world. The integrity of the HK office has been restored!
We also kicked off celebrations for International Women’s Week in the office today. Every one received this cutely wrapped apple (great fruit choice, haha) and an invite to the event proper next week. It was a cute gesture and I live for those. We all gathered to take a quick photo right after. My kind of girls..
|I’m the only one holding the card up on the wrong side…sigh|
Emma (don’t get tired of hearing her name yet, please) and I attended a Zumba class that I found on Meet Up and it was so much fun! I have been doing Zumba for three years now and it is one form of exercise that I love. I love to dance and there’s nothing better than dancing to burn calories!.
|Hashtag Sweaty Selfie|
I really enjoyed the class particularly because a lot of the songs are the same as what we dance to in my Lagos class only that the moves were different. I had a very nostalgic feeling during this class, it transported me back home for a minute 🙂 I’m going to try to attend at least once a week.
Got some take out sushi for dinner from this place literally called called Take Out Sushi and it was very average. I mean I wasn’t expecting gourmet but seeing as I’m in Asia I expected my taste buds to light up. In the world of pre-packaged sushi, Tesco sushi beats this one hands down! Ironical…
I stumbled on a Starbucks in my office complex so I was like YASSS and got in there real quick…
|Green tea frappe…ridiculously yummy…|
You know how Fridays in Nigerian offices are usually more relaxed, everyone’s decked out in traditional or super casual, hype for the weekend and everything…its not the same here. A Friday here feels like every other day, at least to me…That Friday feeling just isn’t in the air here- everyone is still working as intently as if it was a Monday. In the Lagos office on Fridays we are hardly working more than working hard, Someone would have ordered small chops or cupcakes or something, you know…
Anyway, I finally received and activated my bank card today! I was told that I could get everything done in about 2 days but CitiBank decided to show me pepper and drag this process for two weeks. Ah ah even Diamond bank opened my account and gave me my ATM in less than a week.
Speaking of Diamond bank, I ran from GTB to them because of all the glowing recommendations I got but moving to HK has made me realize that truly not all that glitters is gold…I’m sticking to GTB for overseas transactions!
— Y (@SLTFT_Blog) March 4, 2016
Later on in the night, I met up with Jennifer (the black girl I met last Sunday) at the bar just opposite my house and we had a great time!
It honestly felt like I was hanging with one of my girls back home- we gisted about everything under the planet, ate, drank, laughed, ate some more…It was so much fun! Who would have thought that I would get along so well with someone I just met, who is from Suriname, a country I had never even heard of prior to meeting her…
Saturday mooring involved me making brunch while dancing to really loud Nigerian music which I’m sure annoyed my neighbours to greatest heights but heyy…
Do you guys remember Monica from my first day at the office? She got married and I got the opportunity to attend my first Asian wedding! Well, I couldn’t attend the church service because stuff came up (or I’m just the classic badly behaved Nigerian youth) so I only went for the reception dinner.
When I first got there I felt really out of place because I couldn’t find the rest of my colleagues. So I was literally just standing by myself, nursing a glass of wine while everyone else was mingling, laughing and having a jolly good time.
|Snapchat Id- yewandesoba|
|Wrote in the guest book 🙂|
I soon found my people though and we sat down to enjoy the ceremony. There were declarations of love from both Monica and her husband Jimmy to each other and also to their parents. They had a lovely first dance and she even threw the bouquet, to Beyonce’s Single Ladies! It was lovely to see that some wedding traditions are indeed universal.
The dinner was 9 WHOLE courses and by the time I was done, I believe my dress was bursting at the seams. After dinner, I was getting ready to turn up Naija style but alas there was no turning up. In traditional Asian weddings, once the dinner is over, everyone leaves…putt!
Overall it was a lovely, classy ceremony and Monica looked really beautiful in all her 3 dresses.
And thus went Week 2….
Peace & Love,
Hong Kong Fun Fact
The Octopus card which is used as a means of electronic payment on the MTR and several other retail shops was launched in Hong Kong in 1997. One would think that HK copied London but the reverse is actually the case. The Octopus card led to the development of the Oyster card which was first issued in London in 2003.