Monday, December 19, 2011

Don't expect me to cry, don't expect me to lie, don't expect me to die for thee

So I'm writing again. It's Monday, I just blogged yesterday, what could I possibly have to talk about?

My landlord invited me over for dinner with her family. It was her and her husband and their son and of course the domestic helper they have.
The food was delicious. Cantonese style food. We had three dishes: a sweet and sour pork dish with peppers and pineapples and other veggies, some kind of a chicken dish with carrots and potatoes, and then scallops with I think snap peas and more carrots and mushrooms. It was all delicious. We had a soup after that and then the chocolate mousse cake that I brought (always supplying the healthy food!).

They were so polite. And they started teaching me how to say a few things in Cantonese. It was a really nice gesture and I greatly appreciated it.
We had a nice conversation about Hong Kong, the culture, they asked a lot about my and my family and America. I just... I feel very lucky. I really like them and that makes my living situation so much more... comfortable.

[The Australian news show just used the word "spifflicated".]

Thursday is apparently the winter solstice which is an important holiday here where most people leave work early to be with family. Our group is all going out to a big lunch all afternoon. (I've got too much work to do to afford the time off, but if everyone's going...)

And of course to tie back into the title of this post:

Cheers all!

Sunday, December 18, 2011

An afternoon beverage...

I got my Christmas packages sent out today, I'm a little skeptical about the process of writing the contents on the box for customs and how that kind of ruins Christmas... Don't customs officers love Jesus?

But none the less I sent things as fast as I could, I think. The guy wouldn't really commit to anything, more of a suggestion. And it wasn't all that expensive. The shipping didn't cost more than the items. Nice.

So feeling good about being done with that hassle (and let me tell you hauling boxes full of gifts on the MTR, through TST, to the ATM to get cash, and finally to the post office was exhausting) I thought I'd reward myself with lunch and a pint at a pub.

A pub with Stars of David on their Christmas decorations.

Now I'm finishing my lunch and enjoying the second half of my Guinness when a gentlemen walks in and sits down who happens to wearing a Devils cap. There are like 20 of us Devils world wide and most of them live IN NEW JERSEY. Meeting one in Hong Kong seems impossible. But there I am having a conversation with another New Yorker about American sports and specifically our New York area teams. Nuts.

To add to the chain of coincidences, while I'm talking to this guy, an architect that I'm working with on one of my projects walks in with his girlfriend/wife.

In the span that I was there, I met a guy who lives in Hells Kitchen who's also an engineer and a Devils fan and ran into one of the countable number of people I know in Hong Kong... Was there some mystical significance to that place? Was I supposed to be there on a metaphysical level? The world may never know.

In other news the apartment is a lot more apartment-y with a couch and pretty much all of my furniture. I know how exciting my furniture news is for you guys.

Right now I'm looking forward to seeing my old friend Mr. Jeff Dalton for Christmas. We'll probably head out to the western district and see what kind of trouble we can dig up.
Oh and my landlord invited me over for dinner this coming week. Her and her husband have been nothing but nice and helpful about the whole process. So I'm looking forward to it.

That's all, what's up in your world people? I love hearing from my friends and family, so please throw me a line.

Merry Christmas everyone and I'll catch you on the flip side.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

We're going back to the blog...

Hey friends!

First off, I obviously took a while to blog again. A couple of reasons for that:

A) I've been busy. The act of moving into and furnishing an apartment is really really time consuming. (Plus side: I'm in an apartment and when my couch shows up this week, I'll actually be able to sit down and relax in my own apartment). Also work's been draining, it's been taking so much out of me that it's hard to find the energy to write about anything.

B) Work isn't the only thing that draining. Culture shock and settling in can also take a bit of an emotional toll. It hasn't been an easy adjustment and it wasn't a couple of weeks that I wanted to blog about for everyone to see. But I'm sure anyone who's done anything like this knows what I've been going through. You miss the little things that make home, home. And the little annoyances in your new location just grate on you until you can barely stand it. But you wait and you hold tough and you realize that it's all going to be alright. (A good night out drinking with another New Yorker who can talk baseball can really be a mental reboot. Good to see you Greg!)

C) Most of my expendable mental energy has gone into making sense of my other situation. I spent a lot time in self reflection and making sure I felt alright or if I didn't, why. It really was monopolizing my thoughts (and rightfully so) but again it was nothing to blog about. Despite Facebook and Twitter and all the others, deep personal introspection has no place in the digital public square.

I have no intention of complaining about any of the above, I just wanted to give some reasons for why I've been so quiet.

The big event of note was the Arup Annual Dinner. This is like a holiday party in that it's around Christmas and with everyone from the office. Those are about the only ways however. First and most notably, there is a theme. 2011: Circus Circus. So during cocktail hour* there were clowns and magicians. If your company didn't have anyone on a unicycle at the holiday party, you missed out. But the performers weren't the most noteworthy aspect of the theme. That would be the fact that those attending are welcome to dress in costume. So it's a formal thing (I wore a suit) but you can also wear a costume, there were employees dressed as clowns, monkeys, ring leaders, etc. This isn't just tolerated, there's a costume contest built into the entertainment. (More on the entertainment later). So they're giving out Long Service Awards to people who've been with the company a while and surrounded by well dressed coworkers, there's a guy in a circus monkey costume accepting his award. Now if you don't have a crazy costume but still want to accessorize they had a table with clown wigs, giant glasses, sequin bowties, etc. The Directors were encouraged to don a little gay apparel. I had never seen anything like this.

And the entertainment. They had two emcees (going over everything in two languages) they had Vegas style show girls with the outfits and the feathers, they had professional singers who apparently were old celebrities around here. A number of the locals went nuts!! (One singer sang a medley of James Bond themes...) Of course there was a live band to go with them, too. They had a professional hula hoop girl come do some amazing things! It was a spectacle. And the production value. A huge stage with a professional set. Four giant screens with pro quality video cameras filming so everyone could see from anywhere in the banquet hall. It was stunning!

And breaking up the courses of dinner were silly games. Music Bingo, create the longest chain of balloons, etc etc.

You might ask yourself, "what's the catch? That's got to be expensive." And the catch is booze. There was beer, and wine with dinner. But that's it. No real bar like at an old fashioned party at home. But I suppose you can't have it all.

So other than that, I'm finding more things to make myself comfortable here. Discovering places in the western districts that are pretty neat. There's an Italian Delicatessen that I found that I will probably go back to on regular basis. Prosciutto and Mozzarella!

What else, what else? I have a television but I'm only getting the base set of channels right now which doesn't have a wide range of English language stations. I find myself watching literally anything on the Australia Network. I might buy a BBC package and a sports package (ESPN would be so nice) but I'm going to hold off a bit on that.

I do miss all of you guys and anyone who finds themselves on Skype at an hour when I'm awake here, my skype handle is christopherpsimon.

Also download either whatsapp (+85293002381) or textplus (cpsimon), for your Androids/iPhones and we can text for free.

I'd love to hear from you guys.

Sorry I don't have pics. But I'll get some up when I have a couch and I've sorted things a little more.


*Cocktail hour was cheap beer, orange juice, and coca cola. No real cocktails to speak of. But it was an hour...

Sunday, November 20, 2011

closer to normalcy

I mentioned that I finally found some moderate priced shopping. Well it was all part of last weekend.

I met with my real estate agent again (I ran into some road blocks in negotiations with the place I had been interested in previously*) and she had two apartments to show me. Well they were both in a really nice quiet development that's close to work and really practical. One of them was really nice, clean, renovated, had new bathroom and kitchen fixtures. I really liked it. It's a decent size for my needs and there's a supermarket and a small shopping center just next to the complex. There's also a bigger shopping and restaurant area near the MTR station about a 10 minute walk or so from the apartment. This is where I found places to buy the stuff I'll need to fill out the apartment.

I actually just bought a bed and mattress to be delivered on time so that I won't be sleeping on the floor.

So the apartment: two bedroom, about 500 sqft, I'll take pictures later. I don't know what else to say other than I'm looking forward to having a place to live (not a hotel).

I met the landlords. A couple and their son. They were really nice, and they spoke english well which really helped. They asked about me and were in general just nice polite friendly people. They have to move some stuff out that they were storing (stuff like their sons old toys and some sports equipment etc etc...) and they have to finish up the work in the kitchen.

So the details: I finalize the paperwork and get the keys on Thursday. I'll move my bags in on Friday and sleep on my new bed.

But everything's not perfect. The extra time it's taking to get into the apartment pushes me over the one month limit and I'm living in a different hotel. The serviced apartment that work paid for was not available for me to stay in (they were full) so I had to pack everything into a cab and move to another hotel (which is actually a hotel room and much more cramped with all my luggage). The bad news is that the money I wanted to spend on a Christmas trip is going into this hotel, but I'll spend the holiday continuing to get my apartment in order and reading and exploring Hong Kong. This means that I'm going to start encouraging people to come visit. I should have money in my reimbursement budget for second bed...

I haven't had the time to adventure much lately, it's been all work and apartment stuff. Work has me learning plumbing and fire protection on a project that's already so tightly scheduled as to be ridiculous even if I was working in my own discipline. This is going to be a really busy week for me.

I did see this today:

I guess you get your haircut by a quarterback. I would always assume the kicker is most likely to be into cosmetology, but who knows.

Live note: I was watching some English language movie channel. And it's been normal movies. X-files was on at one point, and then some movie with Jodie foster, but now it's "Lesbian Vampire Killer". I can't tell if it's a campy comedy, a really bad sci-fi fantasy movie or something in between.**

Where was I? Oh yeah.
I also wanted to point out that this beer is in all the supermarkets:

It's Ice Smooth!

Thanks again for reading!

*The landlord of the first place I was interested in wanted to avoid paying taxes by renting under the table and not letting on to the government that the place was occupied. Not wanting to wind up in a Chinese prison somewhere with no way of notifying my office that the Terminal 1 work wouldn't get finished... I politely declined.

**So far Lesbian Vampire Killer has it all: dry British humor, profanity, some eye candy...

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Friday's thoughts and Saturday's excursion

It's the end of week 3. I'm already in the groove at work and that's been really good. Have I mentioned that they sanitize the phones once a week? Cause they do that, and the lady just came by cleaning my phone.

Work is work. Pipes, ducts, space proofing and the like. I'm not getting to do my own plant design just yet but we'll see what happens. But it's the little things that make working out here interesting. For instance, I've been working on an educational building at a sludge plant. This place has a pool area with three pools (perfectly clean pools, heated with excess heat). Again this is at a sludge (or sewage) treatment plant. "Kids the field trip is to the sludge treatment facility, bring your bathing suits." If that's your kid, are you signing that permission slip?

Fun fact, unlike Arup New York, here they actually have the Annual Dinner (basically a Holiday Party) in December. What a thought.

So far I haven't found middle class, modest shopping. It's either really high end, fancy-pants malls (which all the same designer stores) or it's cheap stuff on the street. I'm not saying it's not here, but I can't find it. (Sunday update: I found some. More on that later on.)

I haven't seen the giant Buddha everyone's told me about yet. But it's on my list of places to visit.

Okay it's time for a beer and I'll finish up later...

So guess what I did saturday? Saw the giant Buddha. Or the Tian Tan Buddha in Ngong Ping, a Buddhist village on Lantau Island. It was a really cool trip. So at the end of one of the MTR lines, I took a gondola to the village. The gondola trip alone was worth it; the views are stunning! Just these island mountains covered in green, and then the sea. Side note, in the gondola with me was a guy who works in the village and he told us about the emergency rations stored in each gondola car in case of any long stoppage. He told us about a 20 km bridge that's just starting to be built from Hong Kong to Macau and Southern China. I thought that was pretty cool, and I think I know a one time bridge engineer who might also.

So anyway the base of the gondola is a pretty commercial. They're catering to the tourists. But it's nice and I sat outside and had some nice dumplings and a hoegaarden (a real beer!!!!) before continuing through to the Buddha statue itself.

There's a big arch and series of statues of the 12 heavenly generals. Each represents a different 2 hour period of the day and has it's own weapon.

From here I reached the steps of the Buddha statue itself. 300 steps to be exact. I hiked up and got a closer look. There are some great views from the base of the statue!! I took some pictures of the surrounding village and the sun setting over the hills. Again, just magnificent. My favorite part had to be the statues kneeling and making offerings to the Buddha. You can see one of them below.

Inside, there are a number of artifacts that were impressive to look at but I had no idea what their significance was because I couldn't read any of them. Wish I had my sister with me to explain them to me.

I simply loved the afternoon, despite the hour long line for the gondola back. I need to go back to see the Po Lin Monastery. If I have someone to go with me, I might try to hike the trip from the MTR station instead of the gondola...

Well it's getting late and I'll check back in shortly with the news on the apartment and how I found medium range shopping.

My last sentence is about Nic Cage so I have an excuse to use that tag again.

And for more photos check out the album.


Sunday, November 6, 2011

The Junk Boat!!

Sorry it's been a bit of time, but I was waiting for some pics from my friend from last Sunday. I still haven't gotten them so if I do, I'll post my update about the Hong Kong Wine and Dine festival. But for now I'm going to post today's boat trip. It was worth it.

So Arup Hong Kong has a boat that employees can get access too sometimes. One of the expats at the office had it and invited me and some of the guys I was hanging out with last Friday to come along. Best decision I've made in a long time. I'm tired and a little sun baked, and I loved it.

So I grabbed some food and beer to add to the picnic and met the guys at the pier in Central at 10:30. To be honest I don't remember where we went but we went away from the city. I think it was Sham Wan. It was a nice warm day and I sat around with some folks from work on the roof of the boat just relaxing and sipping beer and enjoying it. Let me tell you, when you're on the roof deck of the boat with friends, lounging on the cushions enjoying the breeze as the boat cruises along, life's good. So after we stopped, the swimming started. The jumping in off the top of the boat, and goofing off in the water started. We swam to the little beach and hung out there for a bit. This was really nice, the water was calm and there are all these green hills coming right up out of the water. So beautiful.

We swam back for lunch on the boat. So much food. Mostly just typical stuff, we were pretty much all westerners so not a lot of local food. After lunch the boat heads across the little bay closer to a slightly larger beach. This time some of us stayed in the water around the boat rather than swim all the way in and back but it was more good fun. We played the very appropriate lonely island song "I'm on a boath" from an iphone at this point.

The weather started to turn just as we were heading in. So the wind was picking up and the sea was choppier and we could see a storm coming. We took the calmer route close to the city and then finally as the weather was clearly looking to turn sour we reached the pier again and everyone headed home.

Here are some pictures:

If you want to see the rest click..... here!

Thanks for reading!!

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Strange things are afoot at the Circle K

It's all I can think about whenever I see one of the many circle Ks in Hong Kong. It's funny Circle K and 7-11 are everywhere.

So Friday I went out with some of the guys from work, Brits and Americans. Just like home. There's a bar in the mall below our office that's really the only place close to go to. It's covered in Americana. Pictures of Gerald Ford and maps of the US, and it's Chicago themed so they have lots of Chicago sports team stuff.
Anyway, I ended up following some of the guys to get dinner and go to a party for an Architect friend of theirs in the western area of Hong Kong Island. We went to this little restaurant. The food was great. I don't even know what we ordered because they ordered for everyone and we just shared. But we had two different types of dumplings and some spicy tofu dish and some noodles and pork and everything was really good. Of course the drinks were a bit sketchy:

Cans of Tsing Tao and paper cups. Style.
After dinner we did hit up this party. Lots of westerners, all in the industry, engineers and architects. Good people, fun conversation, and the place was nice, out on a balcony. But so far I'm not enthralled with the western areas. Very loud and busy. Big party scene. I could hang out there for a while, but I think I'm right to be looking in Kowloon for a place to live.

I saw a great place today. It was plenty big for me. And it was in a really nice clean modern building, good security, quiet neighborhood. The building has a gym, a pool, a clubhouse, really nice. The only draw back is that there's like a 3 minute bus ride to the supermarket/restaurants/MTR but I could live with that. And the price is right in my wheelhouse and I think the agent can help talk it down a bit too. I want to see a few more areas. Can't just jump on the first nice place. But I would probably really like it there. I don't need to be right in the heart of the nightlife. I was never into that NYC.

Okay so I've mentioned that our office here is right above a mall. Walking from the MTR station to the office tower I've seen this too many times:
Yep. They've got Nic Cage's face selling watches over here. That seems like the opposite of a good endorsement, but what do I know.

Tomorrow meeting up with an old friend who used to live in NYC and now I think I'm going to go for an evening swim.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Back to work

Hey friends,

So I started work on Monday which means that there's been less time for adventure, but I have been continuing to try the local food. I found out that this office is also moving and that the area will have a much bigger selection of lunch options than the food court at the mall where we are now.

My favorite part about the office has to be the tea ladies. They have ladies that come around and bring you fresh tea and refill your cup a couple of times during the day. They're sweet older ladies and it's super convenient.

I never thought about this, but it makes sense in hindsight. Locals over hear can't instantly tell the difference between a Brit and an American. Most people assume I'm from London. Sure our accents are completely different to us, but it makes sense that to someone who speaks English as a second language, it's not obvious. Little things like this aren't surprising, but I never would have thought about them if I didn't come over here.

Oh yeah, this is another thing I noticed, everyone over here takes almost exactly the same lunch hour. In New York, lunch hour was kind of a floating thing. Not that any one person took lunch for 2 hours, but the first "lunchers" would start around noon and some people didn't eat lunch till after one pm. but around here it's like Ol' Faithful: 12:30 everyone goes and gets lunch or takes their lunch out. Groups all sit together and the tables around the office and then an hour later everyone's back at work. I don't know how this many people can coordinate lunch times this well. It used to be a struggle to get 10 people to be ready for lunch at the same in New York.

I'm starting to look for apartments. I think maybe apartment hunting for the first time in a foreign country where I don't speak the first language is a little daunting. I had it too good in New York. If I can pull this off, I know I'll be set.

So far my favorite thing is the smell of the MTR station in the morning. (In general, the subway system is much cleaner than NYC.) But the station near the hotel has all these little pastry shops in it and every morning it just smells like heaven with powdered sugar on top. This is something NYC has to get in on. Pastry shops > trash/hobo pee.

Alright I'm done rambling.

Monday, October 24, 2011

The weekender: beach, supermarkets, and cellphone service

First some beach shots from basically right outside the hotel. I hit up the beach on Friday; the water was a bit dirty, but thanks to years swimming in the water off Jersey, dirty water doesn't faze me as much as it probably should. There were some old men out in the water too and they seemed fine; I guess this made me feel better about going in. It's probably busier on the weekend. (Note, I wrote that Friday night, it's not true, it was just as empty on the weekend) But it was nice to take a 3 minute walk and end up on small local beach.

I found a supermarket for the first time. Nothing like the supermarkets back home. But there was so much good fresh food; I bought some marinated meats among other things. Delicious. I love the food here so far. They had a bunch of meat available by the pound. They had little plastic baskets with paper bags wrapped around them. You pick the meat you want and put it in the basket and then just take the bag with you. What's not clear is that you have to get the guy at the meat counter to weigh your bags before you check out. I guess I could have figured that one out. Fun fact: I couldn't find a small package of rice. They only sold it in sacks the size of pillows. It would take me a month of eating rice every day to finish that much. And where would I keep it? Come to think of it where does anyone keep that much rice around here?

So Saturday I found some shops on Hong Kong Island, a little more like New York City. I tried this chain of Japanese fast food places that's everywhere here: Yoshinoya. Eh. I also found an English language book store, but the choice of books was somewhat random. I guess I'll HAVE to check back in there from time to time. Twist my arm.

Today (Sunday) was really successful. I found the office. I really liked the area around the office. Kowloon Tong was nice, kind of quiet, a pretty park, clean. This was in the area outside the office:

Now I had heard that it was above a mall, I didn't realize that it was a HUGE, western style mall with all the expensive American and British chains. I wouldn't shop at these places in the States. Most of them anyway. I didn't want to spend too much time there (trying to explore the city and the culture). But I did venture into a music/video store. I loved two things about this.

A)They didn't have a rap/r&b section it was all just called "Urban". China, don't co-opt our racial PC hangups. No one's fooled when something's called "urban" in the States, and no one's fooled over here.
B)They sorted the movies by actor (I know Dad will get a kick out that). I guess if it works... but for instance, Pulp Fiction, one of my favorite movies, was listed as a John Travolta film. That's misleading to me. I think some movies are defined by the writer/director (Tarrantino films, Kevin Smith movies) some by the actor in them (Nick Cage movies, Jet Li movies) and some not at all (Fight Club, The Kings Speech). I think I can understand how this makes sense in Hong Kong though. If someone in Hong Kong is looking for a movie, they're going to think of the actors in it, not its niche in American pop culture.

The best thing about today though was that I found not one but two REAL honest to goodness supermarkets. With some local foods but with most of the day to day stuff that I need. The larger fancier one was in the lower level of the mall below the office. But this made my day. I felt so much more comfortable. So much worry about how I was going to get by completely disappeared. I've never been so happy to find a supermarket. They still only sold rice in apocalypse sizes, but I'm going to guess that Uncle Ben's size boxes are just laughable around here.

I now have a local cell phone number, e-mail me or something if you want it for whatever reason. I'm going to see if I can afford to keep my US number on a super cheap minimal minutes/no data plan just so I can hold on the number. I'll let people know about that one.

And I'll wrap up this long post with a little silliness. Some of you may remember my hip hop alter-ego, Cap'n Funky Fresh. Well like all great hip hop stars, The Cap'n needs to re-invent himself at this point in his career. Funky Fresh is retired and he will now be known exclusively as:

Saturday, October 22, 2011

First Adventure

So here I am. Day two in Hong Kong. Yesterday's adventure was one for ethernet cable. I hadn't thought about not having wifi and that I'd need to find a store before I even had the internet to e-mail my family and loved ones to tell them that I made it.

So with no store for this kind of thing nearby, I set off on foot.
I figured since it was nice and warm out, that I'd simply walk along the bay toward the city. I walked for half an hour along a walkway that probably didn't see a lot of westerners. I passed a lot of little houses and "villas" along the water. They looked like they could be very lovely places, but they were old and from what I could see, a bit run down. I reached an area that was mostly industrial/construction before I finally reached an MTR station. I thought that since I'd made it that far, I might as well hop on the train and see if I couldn't find a neighborhood that was more commercial.

I took an educated guess based on where the downtown parts of the city are supposed to be. I came up in an area that was something between Times Square and Canal Street. There a ton of people and the guys on the sidewalk were hounding me. These guys are relentless. It took all of my ability as a New Yorker to ignore them. Lots of stores with big neon signs, as I said, it looked like Times Square, but the types of stores were more like Canal Street. For the most part. There were a few bigger stores, but since I was only looking for an ethernet cable, they were of no help. After fighting through the hoards of tourists, shoppers, and relentless shills, I found a little electronics store. I bought two more power adapters and the precious cable.

Next mission was dinner. I didn't find anything in this area that I wanted to eat. I mean I'm sure the McDonald's here is great and all, but I thought I ought to save some experiences for later. I also found an "Irish pub" but again, I didn't come to Hong Kong to eat at a rip off of an Irish pub. Hotel food it would be.

Today's lesson: the shuttle from the hotel is much easier for getting to the area around the MTR station and completely free. And there's so much to explore in that area. I found some little food shops and had some pork buns and some pastries. And it was all so cheap.

Might get cell phone service set up today, and if I hit up the beach today, I'll make sure to write about it.

Thanks for reading!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

How I got here

For at least two years, more if I'm not deluding myself, I have been somewhat directionless. I was treading water. My career was comfortable though not soaring.

In early summer 2011, my office asked if I was interested in a position overseas. Hong Kong. At the time this seemed like just the opportunity I needed to re-energize myself and reinvigorate my life. So I said yes and waited, cautious and curious. When I started actually speaking with one of the Directors in Hong Kong, I was still a little uncertain if I really wanted this or if I was just telling myself I did. Did I actually desire to go to Asia to live and work or did I have nothing in New York to give me an excuse not to keep the process going? I definitely thought about job security in New York during the early decision making steps of the process. Soon the transfer had so much momentum, I couldn't stop it. I was headed on a two year long adventure whether I liked it or not.

All of my friends and family were incredibly excited. Everyone at work told me how great a city Hong Kong is, how much fun I would have. No matter what, some doubt lingered. I couldn't make it make sense in the deepest part of me. I felt silly telling people. Could they tell what I was really thinking? I love the New York life, I wasn't unhappy with my job or my apartment, or my friends, I was just a little stuck. I only needed...

What happened, not two weeks before I left New York, may be the subject of a different post or it may be left to sing sweet songs in her memory and mine. But as it turned out, the one thing missing from my life was right underneath my nose. I have no regrets, but I don't yet know how to come to terms with the fact that I came so close to having it all in the Greatest City in the World.

Here I am. A kid from a Jersey, a transplanted Brooklynite in Hong Kong. I'm definitely going to have to give this city my all. Let's do this!