Saturday, 29 May 2010


Our new building is actually part of a development of about 20 towers that share a name. We also share two clubhouses--with gyms, restaurants, pools, and the like. We haven't really made use of them much (yet!). But we went in to sort out some paperwork and I got my photo snapped in the chair in the lobby. It's like a huge red velvet flower made into a chair. "What for?" you ask. Who knows. But it's pretty cool looking. Or so I think. Do you?

Tuesday, 25 May 2010

wild weather

You know you live in a country with bizarre weather when you see this. What is it, you ask?

Well, first let me say that the weather here is very changeable. Rainy season is just beginning and the rain can come quickly and with fury. In fact, rain is categorised to tell you just how severe it is going to be. "Amber rain" means 30 mm or more could fall in an hour. "Red rain" means 50 mm or more in an hour, and "Black rain" means 70 mm or more. Since I arrived, we have had two incidents of Amber rain. I stepped out of the flat to go to the bus one morning, and though I was wearing a long jacket and carrying an umbrella, I was soaked to the skin in seconds. I held the umbrella touching the top of my head, and by the time I got on the bus, only my face was dry. The rain pelted down, making my shoes into swimming pools for ants. I looked as though I had stood in the bath under a power shower, fully clothed.

When I got to school that day (and changed my shoes, thankfully), one of my colleagues remarked that in the case of Amber rain, kindergarten students are not required to go to school. She told me to watch the news, because if we ever have Black rain indicated, school would be shut. I can imagine that it would be insane to go outside during Black rain. In fact, at this point, I can't even visualise how heavy Red and Black rain must be. The Amber rain I have experienced was intense enough.

The photo above was taken by my parents, who have also experienced Amber rain. It shows a vending machine for umbrellas! Though if you find yourself already caught in any of these coloured rains, I doubt that an umbrella will make much difference by the time you get your money out of your pocket.

Friday, 21 May 2010

visit to the Peak

Ant and I took Mum and Dad to visit the Peak today. We also met up with Matt, Bree and Jo Beth there. We had a nice lunch at one of the restaurants overlooking the city. The views were really great even though there was a bit of a humid haze over the city.

Matt and Bree left with Jo Beth to go do some shopping and we headed out on a walk around the Peak Circle Walk. We looked out over the lush south of the island and the city on the north side. It took us about an hour and a half to walk around, stopping frequently to take pictures and marvel at the scenery. (Mum, Dad, and I all brought our cameras.) It was hot and we didn't go very fast.

I can see why the Peak is a definite must-do for all visitors to Hong Kong. I am looking forward to being there on a more clear day and also riding up on the tram next time.

Monday, 17 May 2010

football match

Ant got some free tickets for the Hong Kong Football Association Cup semi finals last weekend. We went with Mum to the Hong Kong Stadium. It was quite empty when we arrived, but as the first game progressed, more and more fans arrived. I brought my camera with me (the first time out of the house with it) and Ant managed to get some great action shots.

The games were both quite interesting, with three goals in each and lots of action from end to end. We were in an executive box in the upper level of the stands, so we had a great view. (The food was still the same limited choice, though!)

I had to take along my marking, and Mum totaled the tests after I marked them. I managed to get through several hours of my most hated task this way. It was so nice to be outside enjoying something different.

Saturday, 15 May 2010

quiet Saturday

After a long week it was a relief to not do too much today. In fact, looking out over the balcony was as close as we got to actually going outside for much of the day. Ant and Mum and I pottered around the house--I started some files of all our recent paperwork and Ant called (over and over) about our TV installation today. In the end the TV and some cable were hooked up and Ant is much happier.

Matt and Bree came over in the early afternoon and we sat around chatting and eating. It is sad that Bree is leaving soon--but we understand since she is keen to get home to her family before Baby J is born. (Funny aside: We now have the same couch in our flat that Matt and Bree have in theirs; it is a very comfy sofa bed.)

race course

My colleagues and I went out to watch the races at Happy Valley on a Wednesday night. It only costs $10 (less than £1) to get into the stands area. I had some cheap and cheerful beef noodle soup, and we ordered a jug of beer and a jug of wine while we watched the races. The horses ran right in front of where we were standing and their hooves threw up grass and dirt as the roared past.

As you might expect in a group of maths teachers, we were keenly reading the newspaper and investigating the odds, the form of the jockeys, and the stats of the horses. I placed three $20 bets and won a little back each time. In the end I was up by $12.50... but of course that doesn't take into account the taxis, entrance fee, the soup and the drinks! But it was a really good night of entertainment and chatting with my colleagues.