So on my first day around Hong Kong with Cheryl, she mentioned to me that if you come to Hong Kong and never go hiking then you have missed out on seeing more than half of the city. My response to her was “I’ll be fine missing out on that half” because navigating hills and mountains is not my idea of fun. However, I received an email last week saying the office had organised a hiking trip and BBQ in celebration of Chinese New Year. They had me at BBQ, so I opted in.
Bright and early on Sunday morning, Emma, her friend who was visiting and I set out for Tai Mei Tuk. This hiking trail along with a lot of the other ones are located outside of Hong Kong Island (north of the New Territories) so it took us nearly two hours to travel out there.
Hike took about an hour and when my body got over the initial shock of climbing some really steep stairs it was actually a fun experience. The views from the top were stunning and I got a workout in for the day so I was happy.
I managed to eat almost double of whatever calories I burnt at the bbq though. Yo, we had an amazing time. It was a traditional Hong Kong barbecue style at this place called BBQ Party. What it is is each table has one or two mini grills and you keep getting all sorts of raw food to grill by yourself. I mean an endless supply of beef, chicken, sausages, fish, corn, if it can be barbecued, it is available. You just keep grilling and eating (I did mostly eating because my attempt to grill a corn was an epic fail. My husband who is a barbecue king will be sorely disappointed in me) till you get sick. I actually felt sick when I was done..LOL but I consoled myself that I didn’t eat any carbs just protein so #fitfam still..kinda! Delicious experience!
Later that evening, I took over Bella Naija’s Instagram page (@bellanaijaonline) and shared some of my favorite things about the city on there. I had fun doing it 🙂
Got back on the grind and I noticed that I don’t get that depressed Monday feeling here.At least not yet…
My colleague John is back from the NY meeting so it was great not to be a lone ranger at the office. My manager is still not back though, she’s away for another week or so. On John, he’s a really great guy and we get along really well. Nice to have someone like that on the team.
Citibank is seriously stressing me out guys. Honestly, I don’t think I have received this poor level of service from any Nigerian Bank. So when I was out on Friday night, I tried to use my newly issued card to make a POS payment and it was declined. I had to ask the manager to try like 3 times, still declined. I was pretty miffed because not only was it embarrassing, I had to pay with my Lloyds bank card in these tough times when the pound is so expensive. Hiss! Anyway I went to the branch to complain and after keeping me waiting for like 30 mins the lady said to me that for some reason my POS spend limit had been set to zero and she couldn’t do anything about it in the branch, I had to call their customer service. Really??? I stormed out in anger but sha still called the customer service lol and they claim they have fixed it so we will see.
Lunch was some Sushi I bought from Welcome supermarket and it was nice. Not excellent but nice. On a mission to find excellent sushi outchea.
Went out for dinner with Emma to a local Chinese restaurant- cheap, cheerful and tasty. Tried something the Chinese call “Porridge” which is a rice soup usually with vegetables and meat, wasn’t for me at all…
Today was International Women’s Day and the women in the office celebrated with a small networking event that was brilliant. There were short talks from some of the female leaders on how they’ve been able to succeed in their careers in a male-dominated region. It was very interesting to hear that a lot of their issues are very similar to issues African women face and I learnt a thing or two from this interaction. After the conversations, we took selfies and ate some yummy snacks! 🙂
I went to Zumba after work today and because it was in a different location from last week, I got lost! Sigh! I thought I was done getting lost in this town, apparently not. I finally managed to find it but I was about 15 mins late for the class. I don’t know if it was my annoyance from having lost my way but I was not feeling this class at all. It was a different instructor too so perhaps that added to it but yeah, I didn’t enjoy this one.
On my way home, I ran into two of my guilty pleasures- The Body Shop and LUSH and I think I might have squealed in excitement! I walked into both shops and just had a moment. Picked up something from The Body Shop that I had been looking for but Lush was just an exercise in smelling, their stores smell delightful!
Started today with a visit to the Starbucks in my office complex as I have done all week because believe it or not, my sleep pattern has refused to budge. I have decided to stop trying to fight it though and just exist on coffee for the time I’m here.
John had been raving about this noodle place called DanDan Soul Food so we went there for lunch. Soupy noodles are really common here and I don’t like them at all so I just asked for whatever was a dry noodle and the waiter recommended the Peanut DanDan Noodles. They have different spice grades and feeling like a female Yoruba demon, I asked for HOT. What’s pepper to a nigga right? Man, the heat in the meal was something. I had my eyes and nose running through out the whole meal. It was almost crossing the unbearable line but it was delicious. #SideNote I’m going to have to find other words for great tasting food because food is a big part of my experience here. Food bloggers/critics, HELP!
As we were about to leave the restaurant, it started raining heavily out of nowhere. There was no way I was going to brave the weather and get these braids wet so best believe that I went back into the restaurant, asked for a plastic bag and put it over my head.
|Hey, this could be a thing!|
I got a couple of strange looks as I walked down the street but who cares? I’m still searching for a hairdresser here, till I find one I will do anything it takes to protect and preserve the life of these braids…
There’s a bookshop called BookAZine that I pass every day on my way to and from work and I decided to pop by in the evening. It was very well laid out and stocked, I must have spent like an hour just browsing through. I picked up this month’s Cosmo and Confessions of a Shopaholic by Sophie Kinsella.
Today, Emma was feeling really sick. I think she caught a stomach bug or something but my day basically consisted of taking her to the clinic to see a doctor and then getting her back home to rest. I worked from home just so I could keep an eye on her as she was in so much pain.
|Credit: ChiChiLicious.Com (No, she’s not Nigerian, I checked)|
For lunch I got takeaway from this unassuming Korean place called Food Expression. Brethren, this was the best meal I have had since I got here and trust me I have had some great meals. I ordered something called a Bibimbap which literally means “mixed rice”. So you get served white rice, sauteed vegetables, beef/chicken and a fried egg with a sweet chilli paste.which you are supposed to mix together and enjoy. Enjoy I did, it was super yummy and I can’t particularly say why. So much so that I had finished chowing it down before I realized I didn’t get a picture *face palm*
Write down Bibimbap as something you have to try if you’re ever in Asia.
Oh I think I saw my first lady boy on the train today…
Was really grateful when the Friday came along because the weekend is forever bae. The day dragged until it was 5pm and Emma and I could finally bounce out of the building. We went to Pacific Place which is one of the really big malls out here. It has a a TON of designer shops, a few high street ones and loads of restaurants so it was a perfect choice for Friday night. Very Selfridges-esque…
We milled about the shops for about an hour and I feasted my eyes in Gucci, LV, Valentino, Balmain and some other shops. I saw something I liked in every shop I entered, Sigh! Jesus be a bank account booster.
We had dinner at an Italian restaurant called Grappas that a colleague had recommended and I loved it! I have basically been eating Asian food since I got here and its delicious and all but it was lovely to catch a break and eat something different. The pasta was heaven on a plate and that Strawberry Daiquiri fam…it was done right!
I had touristy plans for Saturday but the weather was really rubbish like it has been all week really, rainy, cold and annoying. So for the most part of the day I was huddled up under my duvet watching StarWorld which I recently discovered on my TV. It has all the best shows- Two Broke Girls, American Idol, Asia’s Next Top Model etc
I went out grocery shopping at Taste which is a subsidiary of Park n Shop. I prefer it to the local supermarket Wellcome because it has more brands that I’m familiar and comfortable with and Wellcome is just a nightmare to navigate. The store is in the basement and the till is on the ground floor. So you have to log your heavy shopping baskets up a flight of stairs, no escalators! Taste is way more expensive but I’ll pay for the convenience.
Oh and I got this Turkey that’s about to be my thing. It was kind of shocked to see it because I don’t know why I thought turkey wings was a Nigerian thing, haha. This one was top notch.
Later on in the day I went for a much needed pedicure because my feet were starting to be a national problem. Thanks to Google I found a foot spa just 5 mins walk from my house and I was pretty impressed. The girl did a great job and the pricing was not too bad. I saw people getting foot and neck massages and I was a little jealous so might go back in for a much needed massage.
You know what they say about Asian spas and happy endings…This pedicurist is a little too friendly 👀
— Y (@SLTFT_Blog) March 12, 2016
I think I experienced my first bout of racial discrimination today. I signed up to an English group on MeetUp i.e English name, event details written in English etc. They were having a house party with drinks, games, just chilled fun so I decided it might be a good way to spend the evening. I RSVPed and then messaged the event organiser, who’s Chinese on Whattsap to find out details about payment. The girl came at me all like “umm do you speak Cantonese?” I was pondering the relevance of her question but still responded and said no. She then went on to say that a lot of the games they play are in Cantonese….That was all she said so basically it was up to me to deduce what I wanted from the info she had provided me, sigh. It’s so funny because the group is an English group but the moment a black person RSVPs you to attend it becomes a Chinese group? If it was a Chinese group love, why aren’t all the event details and the group description in Chinese? I shouldn’t even have been able to decipher the bloody event! I was really taken aback and just said oh my bad, thought it was an English group. I sharply exited the group on Meet Up. I think she felt guilty because 10 mins after she sent another message saying “Nice to meet you though, my name is ….” #Blocked I have reported this to MeetUp on Twitter but they are currently unlooking..
And thus went week 3…
Peace & Love,
Hong Kong Fun Fact
Hong Kong is number 1 on the list of cities with the most skyscrapers in the world with 380 skyscrapers.