Thursday, October 27, 2011

A Goodbye BBQ, HK Style

Right in front of my old HK apartment building.

My computer's been in the shop recently, but now I have it back all wonderful and shining. I should get back to posting now!

This particular event happened awhile ago but I never got around to putting it up. I might as well do it now!

There were two brothers who owned a drink stand on the corner of our block. I'd stop and talk to them as I walked by, usually when I was coming home from work. They'd teach me a lot of words in Cantonese! They also sold these delicious meat sticks that I loved to get.

They were friends with a lot of other guys in the neighborhood, so I met the others too. When I told them that I was leaving, they decided to have a farewell barbecue for me. I was definitely game. Here are some pictures from that deliciously wonderful event!

Some neighbors, cooking up a storm.

Me, pretending to roast a duck.

One of the brothers and the chairman of our building.

Eating a delicious piece of pork.

Some people kiss fish instead of frogs.

Yes, I tried a piece of each.

Me and the finished roasted duck. I didn't really help with it at all; I'm just pretending.

The pig! They roasted him so he's all crispy on the outside.

Knives. Hehehehe.

I got to make the first chop.

Readying the pig for consumption.

As you can see, it was a wonderful, carnivorous night. It was a great way to say goodbye to the neighborhood. I think I'll always miss the beautiful, fun, little Ap Lei Chau.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Hillbilly Flea Market

I have so much blog material at the moment, but not enough time to post it all! My computer, Yuri, is going to the doctor today. He's not really sick, but just needs some formatting help a.k.a. I'd like to be able to watch DVDs, and he's currently set to Asia so I can't. Well, that and some other stuff too. Anyway, I only have time for one post, and this one couldn't wait!

This weekend I went to the Hillbilly Flea Market with my roomie Katelyn! It's in West Siloam, the Oklahoma side, and I'd never been to it before. I was looking for a night stand but didn't have much success. I did end up buying a charm bracelet, though. I've never had one before, and this one had sweet charms like a ladder and a harmonica and a frying pan. Katelyn found a whole box of fabric that she's going to use in some art projects.

Katelyn. She's excited.

I am too. Like my new sunglasses?

Everyone was really friendly, and I struck up conversations with several of the vendors. Even though I didn't buy much, it was so much fun digging through the plethora of treasures lying around. If you're ever in Siloam on a Saturday or Sunday morning, you should go. Just do it.

Bargain hunters, shooting the breeze. I swear, I haven't ever heard such eloquent/involved conversations about the weather before.

I really love these fisherman mugs, but alas, we have no room in our cupboards.

Turkeys! They also had chickens and guineas.

Lots of random stuff.

A saddle.

It was a beautiful day.

Boots and lamps.

A pile of creepy dolls. And a troll! I love trolls.

Friday, October 7, 2011

The Night of Squid

It was a beautiful evening.

I realized that I have a bunch of pictures and stuff from Hong Kong that I never posted. Although I'm no longer there, I thought I'd share some nostalgia posts.

I taught some outside private lessons, and one of my students has an uncle who's a professional fisherman. She arranged a time for all of us to go on a squid fishing expedition! It was very kind of her to arrange it and for her uncle to take us out! I had a wonderful time.

You might remember another post I did about squid fishing. The first time I went, I was with a bunch of church friends on a large yacht. It was a very fun night: beautiful weather, fun people, lots of little kids running around. Unfortunately, the only thing I caught was a fish ball (it's a popular snack in Hong Kong). that had somehow fallen into the water. No one else had any luck either. Still, it was fun.

In case you don't remember, you go squid fishing at night. Squid are like the moths of the sea They're attracted to light, so you hang lights over the edge of the boats to draw the squid. You're holding a ball of fishing line in your hand that has a four-prong hook on the end. You basically just toss the hook over the side, raising lowering your hands so that the hook is bobbing up in down in the water. With luck, the squid will get caught on your hook while swimming toward the mesmerizing lights. Oh, you also wear dark clothing just in case you catch a face full of ink from a squid that isn't too thrilled at being caught.

The squid crew.

Erica and I! She was my first student ever.

The night I went with my students, I still wasn't having much luck, but at least I caught more than a fishball. I didn't get any squid, but I kept catching these annoying little puffer fish. They're not like the pointy octopus puffer fish, but they're smaller and smoother. I'm told that the Japanese are the only people who eat them, since they're poisonous and you have to be very careful about cutting them up. I must have caught (and thrown back) at least fifteen of the little suckers.

One of my snagged pufferfish.

I was pretending I caught that squid, but I didn't.

Even if I didn't have any luck in the squid department, others on the boat did. Before we headed for home, the uncle cooked up a pan of squid for us. Now that's fresh seafood. The squid was really delicious, but I wasn't a huge fan of the mouthful of ink I got in one bite. I'm told that squid ink is a delicacy, but it's one that I'm willing to pass up.

The squid bucket.

Enjoying a late dinner.

On the way back, the uncle floored it so we were speeding along. That was a great feeling, buzzing along with cool wind and a few drops of water blowing in my face. The boat was pretty small, so we were very close to the water. In the dark, it almost seemed like we were flying. I love boats.

Monday, October 3, 2011


I went to First Presbyterian today for church. The church is only three blocks away from our apartment, so my roommate and I walked together. It was slightly cool yet very sunny. I wore my orange and brown fire scarf.

I noticed in the bulletin that they have a Bible study on Sunday nights. I've been wanting to go to a Bible study for a long time, so I decided to go. I don't know if I'll be able to keep going since I might be working on Sunday nights (more on that later), but I was happy to finally get to one.

When I first got there, I almost thought that I had mistakenly crashed a seniors Bible study, since almost all of them were older, but there was one younger lady there as well. For the first few minutes, we discussed something of vital spiritual importance: (American) football. The leader is an avid Saints fan, and she was happy that they won. I'm not really into football, but of course I support the Broncos by default, through rain or shine. Apparently it was rain this weekend.

Finally, someone passed around some little maps of the Mediterranean, signaling the start of the study. They're going through Revelation and were starting chapter two. Chapter two is a bunch of letters to the seven churches written by John, and we focused on the letter to the Ephesians.

I really enjoyed the whole study, but what stuck out to me was the end. We talked about how churches and people always err on the side of too much truth or too much love. Both things are very important, but too much of each thing isn't good. If you care a lot about truth, that's great, but you need to be careful that you present it in a loving, tactful manner. If you err on the side of love, that's awesome, but be careful that you're not glossing over the truth just to avoid conflict.

Wisdom, is the marriage of truth and love. It's knowing what is right, when's the right time to bring it up, and what's the right way to say it. That's what I want. I'm sure it'll be a lifelong process, but becoming wise is definitely on my bucket-list.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

NaNoWriMo Fun

I have some exciting news to share! I've just officially signed up to be a part of NaNoWriMo! Or in layman's terms, National Novel Writing Month!

Basically, during the month of November, I will be writing a 50,000 word, most likely crappy, novel. I won't be alone, since last year there were around 200,000 participants. Of course, not everyone actually made it to the 50,000 word mark, but 30,000 of them did. So I have a good chance.

The premise of NaNoWriMo is that most people are crippled by perfectionism. When they're writing, they feel like the dialogue is cheesy and the plot is unbelievable. So they work on little sections of their writing to try to make it perfect, but they never actually get anything done. They get through fifty pages and stop.

The cure for that is writing a massive amount in a short period of time. You'll have no time to be a perfectionist. Of course, you're not going to have a wonderful, publishable novel by churning it out in one month, but at least you'll have something to work with. You can later go back and edit and cut and fix to your heart's content. Or you can trash it. Or you can move to France, hang out in cafes and say you're a novelist. Either way, I think it'll be fun.

And through this blog I've already followed some of their advice: tell everyone about it. As they wrote, "the only thing keeping you from quitting is the fear of looking pathetic in front of all the people who've had to hear about your novel for the past month. The looming specter of personal humiliation is a very reliable muse."

I think I like these people.

Anyone want to join me? Like they say on the NaNoWriMo website, "let's write laughably awful yet lengthy prose together."