Okay. This is the first I've written in months. There are multiple overlapping reasons for that. At first it was simply that I was busy but I wasn't doing anything worth blogging about (I mean I know it's exciting to read about someone getting a few drinks with friends regularly on Friday nights, but people will have to use their imagination). So then I got mired in work and was kind of dragging myself though, not particularly interested in writing and sharing anything.
But recently things have been pretty darn good. So what's really brought me back to writing and sharing...
A few weeks ago I was out with a bunch of coworkers having a good bye beer or two with a colleague who was in HK on a short term assignment from the UK. At the pub we ordered some snacks, a bunch of typical bar fare (mozzarella stick, chicken wings, etc). Oh and nachos. Nachos made with Doritos. I don't know, some people might say they've seen it (I'm sure it's popular in a couple of corners of the US.) But it was a first for me. They were... OK. I suppose I'd eat them again in the same situation, but I'm not going to seek them out any time soon.
So what else has been going on? I visited Singapore for a long weekend. Absolutely beautiful city. I loved the area full of restaurants along the water. The city as a whole was clean, lots of space and just a comfortable place to be. I recommend it. Sorry no pics. I know... I know... but my camera didn't make the cut of things to bring with, and my cell phone was off the whole time since I don't have service in Singapore.
On a personal note, I'm really glad I went and saw a great friend of mine and really made some sense of a few things.
What else.. myself and a good friend who's also an American (if you call people from Long Island Americans...) put together a bit of an Independence Day party on the work boat. There were only the two of us and one other American, but the Brits, South Africans, Chinese, Canadians, and everyone else were willing to listen to music about America, eat hot dogs, lunch meat sandwiches, and apple pie, and raise an American flag with us. It's funny how I've been gaining an appreciation for what it means to be an American. Culturally, you know, not in a post-9/11 "These colors don't bleed" kind of way, but more of an "it's all part of our culture, the south, the west, the northeast, and it's all part of our story" kind of way.
I've been taking a Cantonese class that was offered through work. It's free and we meet once a week. It's a slow paced easy going course but I'm finding that I'm starting to pick up a few things, a few phrases. Hey any bit's useful, and if you were wondering, yes I can swear in Cantonese. So that's English, French, Spanish, Italian, and now Cantonese. Anyone want to hook me up with a few more, I'll be back in NYC at some point and you never know when you're going to need to put a cabbie in his place...
So a little over a week after the Independence Day party, we end up back on the boat on a fantastic Saturday trip. We went to a beach, had a few beers, good laughs, it was a complete blast. Couldn't have planned it better. M and I signed up for some more yoga classes together so we'll have that coming up. :-)
Oh yeah I'm all set to hang out with my sister in China this coming weekend. My visa from my Easter trip has one more visit left and since she's in Shanghai, we'll meet up and check out Hangzhou for the weekend. Should be awesome. And I promise to bring my camera so we can take some pictures. Promise.
So while I'm writing this Tropical Storm/Typhoon Vincente is passing quite close to Hong Kong. There was a T8 warning raised late this afternoon, meaning everyone was told to leave work early (well actually leave work on time since it was about 5 or so... ). This means gale force winds and let me tell you, they're not kidding. And this storm isn't even actually hitting the city. It's passing almost 100 miles off shore. I imagine if the storm actually hit the city it would be hell. No worries on my end. I have food and the water and power are still good. Just a really violent storm so far. But it's a first for me. I saw one or two funnel clouds in Colorado (and maybe missed a few that were even closer...) and I lived through Noreasters in NY/NJ but tropical storms are new to me.
Okay. So I don't know what the storm will be like in the morning and if it's sufficiently passed or died down, I will need to go to work so I'll wrap this up here.
I hope everyone's well back in the States, the Netherlands, the UK, Ireland, Israel, Australia, China, Hong Kong, Canada and anywhere else I've got friends.
Update: As it turned out, the storm was upgraded to a full blown T10 Typhoon with hurricane force winds over night while I was snoozing away. When I finally left to go to work this morning, the trees were all torn up all over the street, there were sign posts knocked over. First T10 since 1999. That's all.