Saturday, June 05, 2010

Neih hou! Guess Where I'm Going!!

Neih hou, readers!

I have recently found out I am going here soon:

Here is the apartment complex where I will probably be staying. Notice it is beachfront!

Isn't it beautiful? Can you guess where this is? Here are some hints:

I have to get my passport renewed.
I have a VERY long plane flight ahead of me.
Where I am going, there is no such thing as the 4th floor.
This city is roughly the same size as New York City.
There are over 200 islands here.
It is the world's most vertical city, with more people living and working above the 14th floor than anywhere else.
I will need to get an Octopus Card.
It is home to the world's longest rail/car suspension bridge.
I hope I will get to try wife cakes and mooncakes, which are local delicacies.
I will have to remember that giving clocks, scissors and red flowers are all considered bad gifts in their culture.
I will have to learn how to use chop sticks -- eek! I suck at chopsticks!!
I will also need to develop a taste for tea -- blech!!!
If I am offered shark fin soup, it will be rude of me to turn it down, as this delicacy is expensive and given to guests of honor.
I need to get ready for my personal space to be invaded -- they stand very close to each other over there. Luckily, they are as uncomfortable with touching as Americans are.
Feng shui is very important over there.
I should not wear blue or white, as these are considered colors of mourning.

Can anyone guess where I am going??? I am super excited, even though it will be a business trip. I might be gone as long as a month! I will be going mid- to late-August. Woo hoo!!!


Christina said...

After googling what an octopus card was since never heard of it, I will have to guess Hong Kong. If so, how exciting!

teahouse said...

Cool! But hey, I hate to rain on your parade, but I just have to tell you - try to avoid shark fin soup if possible!! I just found out about the cruel way they treat the sharks - they cut off the fin, then throw the poor animal back into the water where it drowns to death because it can't swim. It's always been considered a delicacy in Asia, but there is increased awareness now of its cruelty, and shark finning is illegal in many countries.

Ang Lee and Jackie Chan have crusaded against it, and even Yao Ming refused to serve it at his wedding!

Here's an article about it:

Also, I recently watched a video (I won't share with you here b/c it's so gruesome) that showed these poor bloody sharks being tossed over the sides of boats. They're majestic creatures, and these poachers were (illegally) slashing off their fins and just tossing them, still alive, overboard.

kimmykins13 said...

I already knew because I saw it on facebook (heehee) Have Lots of Fun but be careful!!!

Meghan (The Declaration of MY Independence) said...

I was going to cheat too since I saw it on your Facebook.

Have a great time! And if you have any problems with immigration...let me know!:)

Jonathan Zero said...

Sounds like fun wherever it is you are going :)

Alison said...

Since Neih hou means hello in Cantonese, I guess you're going to Hong Kong! (I had to Google it.) It looks like a beautiful city...have fun!!!

Virginia Belle said...

Ding ding ding! Yes, readers, you are correct. I will be going to Hong Kong late this summer. Woo hoo!! I don't have any more details yet, but I have been working on my Cantonese, just in case.

It's a very challenging language, both grammatically and phonetically. There are some sounds which do not exist in English, at least, not readily. And asking a question involves using double negatives, which is difficult to get used to. Example: if you want to ask someone if they speak English, you essentially say, "Do you/don't speak English?"

and Teahouse -- not that I am much for seafood to begin with (I only like shrimp, crab and salmon), now I have a very good reason to turn down any shark fin soup offers. I am sorry to hear about how it is prepared, and fully agree with those who boycott this cruelly-prepared delicacy. Thank you for the information.

LK said...

Mike's mom is there now. She's living in an apt. in Kowloon Bay. She said the sightseeing is amazing. Be sure to pack comfortable shoes because you will be walking A LOT.

SJP said...

Awesome! This makes me insanely jealous, a work trip, for a month, in another country!! So much fun!! Can't wait to hear all about it!

GrewUpRural said...

That's awesome you get to go to another country for work. I hope you won't have to work every minute you are over there. It looks like a fun place to explore.

Wutwut said...
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mysmileisfake said...

Awesome. HK is famous for food varieties and shopping. I used to live in HK and let me know if I can help you in any way.

Scotty said...

I've been there, and instantly could tell from the pics (1st one being Victoria Peak)! AWESOME city. Seriously.

tgov said...

This is my mother's hometown, and I've never been! Have fun, don't worry about crossing cultural lines - HKers are very multicultural.

Avoid the sharkfin soup (although I admit is IS delicious, but I also disagree with the harvesting reality)

HONG KONG STYLE NOODLES is my FAVORITE asian dish - and when you're IN HK, you don't even have to differentiate! They are served pan fried (hard) with a gravy sauce (with veggie/meat stirfry) ladled over the top. The sauce gradually softens the noodles, so eat where they are softest first, and eventually the whole plate is softened. This is GREAT because I HATE noodles that are soft from the get-go, and become TOO soft and mushy by the time I reach them. HK style is noodle perfection!!!

Indulge in dried persimmons (another favorite of mine) as well as dried salted plums and lemon peel. Really, they look inedible, but they are great. I drop a couple of Li Hing Mui (salted plums) in my lemonade and/or iced tea, and they add a wonderful bit of flavor! Salt is good to add to your diet there, because it can be so hot/humid that you sweat it out, and need to replace it.

Enjoy yourself~ I'm a bit jealous that you get a (possible) whole month there - that's about what it takes to feel less tourist, more regular anywhere you go, in my opinion, and on the work-ticket!

best to you,