September 2005 Archives

MLA - 只因當時太緊張 (got it)

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Got it just an hour ago. Listening to it. :D So good, but too short. :/

Edit: Ohhhh... I get the how they got the inspiration for the song title...

So Dr Evil did have it his way...

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Night Out, It's Friday After All

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It was the tenth anniversary of CTF. Nothing fancy. After they had the tea party without me (the "30-people" cake lasted about 30 minutes), we met at 6-ish, and went for cheap Arabic food, and headed for the drinking hole, the Brutopia, on Crescent, a nice pub with live band on Friday night (playing the latest Coldplay, Franz Ferdinand, or the oldest Radiohead (I heard Airbag)), and home-brewed beer. I had a half pint of a "condensed something-something" beer named the "Rocket Fuel". A few others, Rye Beer, Indian Pale Ale, and a Stout. All extremely fabulous stuff, in good company. Conversations ranging from mindless drunken exclamations from my part (and Nic's), or Martin going on about how Python sucks, or how Vista is such a stupid name for an OS, pff. We teased him about the German election too.

I'm still more or less disabled, although in my infinite good-typing style, I prevent myself from making spelling mistakes. jasdioasdioa sidaocnuahoasndlc nzdclas. Indeed.

[music: Maggie Gyllenhaal - Just the way you are]

NiNa - Hairspray

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"Don't puncture or incinerate / Don't use while operating heavy equipment"

NiNa - Hairspray

Ooouuh yeah! Great stuff! NiNa is a Japanese super-band that lived the time of one album released only in Japan (1999) and contains Kate Pierson of the B-52s as its seem-like leader. Yuki is the other vocals in the band, and is in this song, if you recognized that squeaky voice. The album is vintage stuff. Yum, and I'm off to sleep.

Relatively funny shit

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Flickr has it all.

Went downtown to finish up my shot complement for Hepatitis B life immunity (teh Life Immunity), and then descended to the copies place to print the damn bioinfo manual (<3). In front of the university's main entrance, bumped into former girl of my dreams, wearing mouse ears (or, more probably, Totoro ears :D), fundraising for the local SPCA (and gave her a quarter, mainly for the ears). Then went up to the lab to chillax with the former / kind of still colleagues. Afterwards went to the fine arts museum to see the exhibit by Canadian artist Edwin Holgate (a member of the Group of Seven, he also made many portraits - known to paint in big patches of color with well-defined contours, interestingly close to comics-style, one with pop references would say). Had dinner by myself at the "jiaozi place", officially known as Ravioli de Manchuria (semi-French, semi-English, all-Montrealer :D). Walked the whole useful length of Ste-Cath. Met up with Wee for 20 minutes of bubble tea at the Cactus, and then strolled around Vieux-Montreal just for the sake of seeing what a tourist place looks like in the middle of September, on a weekday night after 9PM.

What a day. And with only 6 hours of sleep, broken in half by a phone call from a certain familiar but unknown number at 8:30-ish. I get a glimpse of what life would be like if I were busy... Do I want to be busy? Currently, I'm saying, yes of course! Give me as much busy as you will! Work hard, party even harder. A salary to use, some good time to have. Sounds like an ideal train-train quotidien, to me currently, now, at least (until the adventure gene expresses again).

Hockey craze is back in Montreal. Second friggin' pre-season game has been won 6-1 against Stanley Cup champions of 2003-04 (to those who care, and from outside Canada, there was a lock-out in the NHL the entire last season) Tampa Bay Lightning. New rookie sensation, 18 years old Guillaume Latendresse (it always felt weird to know that the English equivalent for "Guillaume" was "William" - they have such different generational connotation to my bilingual mind) scored twice and assisted once, and is now lauded as better than the other 18 years old superstar-to-be Sidney Crosby. Ok, like everyone else in town, I hope the kid makes it to the NHL this year, without choking, and perhaps captures a Calder trophy for the Canadiens (who, during the entire 90s decade screwed up every single 1st round choice they had). Woooh, hockey.

In your dreams

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Yeah! I'm flying for Japan/China/HK again this Fall! Becoz the exchange rate is just so awesome: 1CAD equals 85.6USD equals 6.64HKD; and 1CAD is now 95.3JPY! omg, I'm going to faint (the Hakutsuru does good).

[music: Hi-Posi - Namidai Bourokyu]

It's coming out this Friday, and they're sending it to me by registered airmail for 20CAD (70HKD the CD, I guess the rest for the registered airmail :D). Yay, yay -yay.

The thing with elections

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The thing with elections in countries that I don't care about is that the result is exciting. Just take the vote in Japan last week and Germany, yesterday. In one, polls predicted a reelection of the LDP, ruling party for, like, 50 years, except for a year break in the mid-nineties. A passionate vote, where people had "lady assassins" and young unconventional entrepreneurs going after old farts of the old LDP guard no longer in the plans of the party. And in the other, for month people predicted a crushing victory of the centre-right-ish CDU then-opposition party to top the 7-year rule by the centre-left SDP. Hmm, not that Canada doesn't have interesting elections (Canada is like the UK, a 100% first-past-the-post system). Mind you, the previous one had the most improbable of all results, not handing the Liberals and the NDP a clear majority together (the predicted arrangement in case of a minority government people started expecting during the campaign), but instead gave the balance of power to a bunch of independents. We're supposed to have an election (they were saying in the Fall, but probably going to be next Spring), and depending on whether the Gommery Report is going to damage the Liberals. If we had the elections today, Liberals would have a majority certainly (and one would say it's b/c the opposition parties keep a low profile while it's not election time yet). To me personally, going to vote is non-happening. My riding is one populated with Anglos in a French-speaking province and city. While the rest of the Province has the Bloc Québécois as an alternative to vote for, it's unthinkable for anglos to vote for a "separatist" party (pejorative term), even it has re/defined itself as a left-leaning one.

I was listening to the 10th anniversary of the 1995 referendum. The sovereignists (as they like to be called) lost by a margin of a percent, another one of those closest, exciting races. I remember, as a 15 year-old kid back then, wishing they voted in support of sovereignty, just because a change would be nice. Currently, I enjoy Quebec's distinctiveness, but would not go as far as offer it a city. Word from a Chinese-born Canadian. XD In fact, I was told (b/c I've known of just a few instances) that ethnic Chinese, usually Anglophones (we're an exception, as even my parents speak a better French than English) living in Montreal, flocked out of the country in the years of instability surrounding the referendum. I was listening to the documentaries, and one thing that they recalled was Parizeau's (then Premier of Quebec, and leader of the Parti Québécois) impassionate speech the night of the defeat, remembered for the wrong reasons to the eyes of sovereigntists, because it was then that he blamed money and the ethnic vote. Probably that the ethnic vote counted, and as a recent movement I didn't single out until watching it on TV, was the multiplication of ethnic candidates for the Oui camp, either as Bloc Québécois on the Federal scene or PQ candidates on the Provincial scene. Many French-speaking ethnic groups (Haitians, Maghrebians, Greeks - no Vietnamese or Chinese or other Asians yet - we're either not numerous enough or not so overly interested in the politics of the country we emigrate to) have their elected poster boys and girls rooting, not for the usual federalist parties, but rather for those who are portrayed as country-breaking parties. As a reuninting force is the French language and culture.

But in any case, I personally seek statu quo. Let Quebec be French, and preserve itself that way, but it isn't worth declaring independence (what they want is a common economic zone, but with sovereignty over foreign affairs and tax collection, say). I might have remembered that the soon-to-be-crowned (until the press decides he more evil than he is young-ish and charismatic - a gay man who doesn't identify himself by his sexual orientation, but by with his nation and countrymen) leader of the PQ said he did not believe a referendum was in the immediate plans of the PQ, despite sovereignty is the "Article Un" (first point) of the party's consititution. Just isn't worth breaking a couple for, b/c, has anyone thought of the children?

On the other hand, people like to vote for the PQ, because of the alternation thing. If you dislike the current Provincial Liberal government, you vote them out by voting PQ (except in the anglo suburbs of Montreal, where people vote for the Liberals no matter what - except when there was this anglo party, the Equality Party, back in the 90s).

Yuki - 66db

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Yuki - 66db

It's lame that as I start regularly posting music again (after a two years hiatus), the same artists come back over and over again. This is a single from Yuki and also on her first solo album published in 2002 (a few months before I made my first trip to Japan - I didn't know Yuki but remember seeing the cover while browsing the stands at the HMVs in Ikebukuro and Shibuya). 66db is electropop with some trance elements? (I'm still trying to figure out my styles) One music critic compared it to Bjork, but I've not listened to enough Bjork to be able to decide. Starts as a calm little song, which amplifies at each pass, until the finish where a male vocalist (?) and then Yuki whisper something like "Everybody loves the silence" (I noticed it today - it's really whispering, need to be in a silent place).

Sleep is such an overrated thing

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I made a serious attempt to sleep early (4:30AM) and failed miserably. Therefore I'm fighting fire with fire, and skipping my turn tonight... Usually that works to unscrew me, while causing me to experience jet-lag-ish symptoms. Anyways, I've got work to do. :P (Let's see if I can last a full day)

(Chomping on cold crisp grapes found in the fridge - hope they were not somebody's...)

Quite Ridiculous

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I listened to songs by YUKI, 535 times last week? I suppose that shuffling it once in a while doesn't really help? o_O

Random Picture Spam Post

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It's summer! One more tropical day, is for tomorrow...

Japanese brand of hair products, Gatsby, and this marvelous styling wax that's supposed to make you look like that.

Spreadable! Doesn't it look like spreadable butter?

And result is this. Hair is incredibly sticky and... flexible.

My messy desk - left side. The Economist opened at page 11, editorial on the post-Katrina fiasco "The Shaming of America". A plastic box sitting on the platform, containing a few things, which included Hello Kitty tissues from 2002?, two stacks of DVDs and/or CDs stacked on top of each other, belonging to my brother or father; sake glasses, both in plastic, one as a free gift with the Hakutsuru served on the plane from HKG and NAR, and the other purchased during the drinking/sakura viewing party (with no sakura unfortunately) on the Himeji castle grounds; on the desk itself are some some pencil boxes, including one "Chung Hwa" Mainland Chinese vintage style purchased at the HKU student store (I have this article in HK Magazine about Communist Cool - therefore bought hand-tailored zhongshan suit upon reading it ^^); the Xylitol chewing gum bottle for when I'm stressed (like now - *glomps*); a few DD glasses from the time my mother owned and worked at one or many shops downtown Montreal (and they typically litter my desk a few days after liquid has been consumed).

My messy desk - right side. A 2046 DVD I fetched out to hand it to a friend on Friday sitting on stack of "men" magazines from around Asia; that bioinfo manual; a stack of books I haven't started or finished, including Murakami's collection of testimonies by victims of the Tokyo subway attacks of 1995 (I figured while in Japan that I was there just the week after the 10th anniversary of it); a pair of scissors.

"Where were you the night of September 14th 2005!!"

Not so subtle

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(I should go to bed, blargh. Because it's still super-dooper weather tomorrow, and I'm not going to sleep past it. -_-;; SimCity, so teh addictive.

[music: Stereolab - Canned Candies])

Found a way to get tangled up with bunch of random stuff ay 7AM. Finally, My Little Airport updated their site, and set a release date for their next album (sept 23rd). I'm attempting to buy it from overseas, and one needs to do it through Paypal (with no specifics as to the shipping/handling fees). Why so much complicatedness?... And later, while roaming from link to link, I fell on the site of a solo act called "The Pancakes", who started back in 2001 (MLA, and False Alarm are playing supporting acts for her show in two weeks in HK). There is an indie scene in HK. One just needs to find it woh. [I'm not going to link it, but you can find samples on her website] - And I must say, I never thought I'd appreciate Casio music so much?

Week of September 4th has been characterized with a diet dominated with instant noodles, at home, and dumplings, at the restaurant. We bought, like, 25 packs of instant noodles? All sorts of varieties they don't have in Montreal. >_> And the dumplings, because it's cheapo. OTOH, I've been tempted to go to an expensive restaurant to eat meat (so, a Brazilian BBQ perhaps?).

There is an unspoken rule that, if I am still awake when either one of the other members of my family wakes up, we must not talk to each other. It's ackward. It's like talking with dead people, or people from a different plane of existence. It's not something you do, point.

[music: YUKI - Sentimental Journey] (that's just one weird music video)

my little airport - Tim, do you really wanna make a film

The beginning reminds me, for a lack of musical references, Belle and Sebastian's Sleep The Clock Around (what I'd like to do tomorrow - actually, I'd like to go out and PARTAY! It's Saturday night after all :P). A nice composition, sung in beautiful HK-glish with a tint of Cantonese in the bg at the beginning. (The B&S ref must be the beat and use of fwe-fwe's) The sound is kind of getting old, but the new single of the new album (something like "I was too nervous back then") is refreshingly different from the other tracks I've heard (this one, and the AV one). SHE MENTIONNED CAUSEWAY BAY! ~faints~ One has to cheer for the home team (indie music) when the rest of the crowd is booing or just looks the other way. Oh, damn you HK for you lack of musical taste...

Leaving or arriving?

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(I bought it in Narita - probably because of Chungking Express)


(cut for pics)

(Artificially created a LJ-cut thingy... which isn't really one, 'cause the pics will be at the end. :P Wish they're going to implement some LJ features to MT)

The first time I go out to the city for a week and a half. It's been also a week and a half that I've been sleeping at around 5AM (if not later) and then waking in the middle of the afternoon. I wish for a job (all of this is wishful thinking - nothing falls from the skies, especially if one means quite definite stuff such as a career-grade job). So in the meanwhile, je vis la vie bohemienne, as my dad likes to taunt me with. ^^; My parents know I like a bit of parental pressure, b/c they just do it mildly, having other things to worry about. I think eventually it will break, and I'll be caught in some sort of job. Like falling in love (even if one's realistic enough to stop counting on love at first sight - well, really, I should stop thinking about finding that love at the first sight job).

Montreal is a boring city, but only if you compare it with Hong Kong or Tokyo, say. I'm sure living in a city like Morioka (or take any mid-size Chinese or Japanese cities) has its boring contents. In cities like HK, you feel as if every day is a party in the streets in Lan Kwai Fong. Can't party all the time, and it's hard working in HK. :/ So Montreal? What's great about Montreal? Well, having been three days in Toronto, you immediately think of the European-ish style of life (while suburban Toronto is no different from an US city it seems). I've seen downtown Toronto: it's cool, the area around the old Chinatown, Eaton Centre, ... but it's not Montreal? It's not really home. Really, I've spent all that time in Asia, and it was only wheezing through Toronto that I really felt Montreal was like home. Go figure.

Montreal has a nightlife. I want my gallon of sake for 20$. WHERE ARE YOU?! Has a nightlife, but like other things, seems like it's only when I'm on vacation that I discover what a nightlife is. Hmmm. I dislike how I was so free and independent when in vacation, and so the contrary when back home. It's a cycle I try to break.

Cedric yells: "Can you imagine we're already in September of 2005, and I'm going to be a quarter century old in less than three weeks?!".

Yuki - the end of shite (PV)

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Oh my gosh! I saw bits and pieces of Yuki's first solo single "the end of shite" (written, apparently, by the girl from Seagull Screaming Kiss Her Kiss Her)! ... Of course, no reaction, because nobody else saw it - but it does confirm that cute == hot in the Japanese/East Asian pop culture, and that somehow, as the article of the other day was saying, then Yuki is to Japan what Britney Spears is to the US (or should it be Ai Otsuka?). Anyways, I guess bleeding noses exploding are meant to be funny.

(Now, see it for yourself)

What is she pulling out of there? Gnomes, of course!

HALCALI - Electric Sensei (remix)

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In the same family as m-flo, I discovered this J-rap girl duo called "HALCALI" (as I was searching works by Miho Moribayashi of Hi-Posi - she did a remix for HALCALI)... Did not put the whole album up, because as any sort of thing that only Japan is interested in, the filenames and ID3 data are all in Japanese...

HALCALI - Electric Sensei - (electric body sensei mix)

This is a pretty awesome remix of their 2nd single, "Electric Sensei"; and if you go on their website, you can hear that the original song has nothing to do with the remix. Anyways, punch me if you want more. :D Oh, and is that rap in Japanese, Engrish, or Spanish-Japanese? o_O - Not said on the filename: tthe remix is by Takkyu Ishino.

[The PV for the 3rd single, "Giri Giri Surf Rider", is this cool fight between a gang of goth schoolgirls and their girl 80s punk rivals! (Who then settle their differences by dancing in choregraphy with those we call HALCALI)]

大事件 (Breaking News)

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Woaw! Better than the usual HK crap I thought it'd be (besides the out-of-sync "dialogues" over the phone). And I also understand the extent of my incompetence in both Cantonese and Putonghua. T_T (A pirated DVD picked up in Toronto, and the pirates did it w/o subs in the original channel only, talk about cheap quality, pff)

Yuki - Commune

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It's not really a new album, as it came out in 2003, and is the predecessor to the "Joy" album (with singles "Home Sweet Home" and "joy" published in between). I uploaded the album on my mp3 device right before leaving for Toronto, having finished the download just the hour before leaving, and it was probably on the best things I've listened to in a long long time. It was music to make Cedric happy during Labour Day break 2005... It's hippie. It's like the music from Chara past her early 90s very-pop stint (they probably exchanged notes while recording that duet together), sounding as a logical sequel to Madrigal. I like it so much because it fits a mood of abandonment, of wanting to escape to the countryside and spend time doing about nothing. I had to listen to the full album before sleeping on both nights at the hotel (and it was past 3AM both times, with a timetable to wake for 9AM-ish). Quite less mainstream pop than Joy, but probably as squeaky as it...

Yuki - Communication
Yuki - Funky Fruits
Yuki - Nakisoda

(Other people say it better)

Toronto (actually rimes with Totoro)

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Was about eating and more eating. >_>

(Photos: Saturday | Sunday | Monday)

The week before going, my mom called her friends in Toronto and was then told that her old friends from that same school in Vietnam (who were classmates of my mom and pop later in Montreal) were having their annual get-together party on the same weekend. So the food was terrible on Saturday night (Chinese fondue for 50+ people, how do you expect that to be good?), but I met a lot of new people (the kids) and some I probably may've met before (the parents). A surprising evening anyways with bad food, pretty good refreshing conversation and socializing at random. Next door from the fondue place was a cosmo-bowling range facility (in the dark with fluo lights) where we played after dinner (a break from watching the older folks being taught salsa by one of the kids couple). The day after we had (again pretty bad) all-you-can-eat sushi at one new place called Saké (what can you expect for 20CAD per head?) on the ground floor on the Southeast corner of the Pacific Mall (太古廣場), certainly the largest and most well-known Chinese shopping mall in Toronto.

During the day on Sunday, I wandered Pacific Mall, a maze of a shopping mall, totally organized like mini-malls in China (small shops arranged in uniform rows, such that you can never tell whether you walked somewhere before). A gruesome 3-hour experience where I spent 0$, for not wanting to give hand to triads (all DVDs are pirated), and not finding some of the less-than-pop Japanese stuff I usually like (let's see, they had Ayumi, Do As Infinity, Misia, Ai Otsuka, L'Arc-en-Ciel, Ayumi?). (And went for a 2-hour hunt at giant Canadian-Chinese supermarket with all the attributes of a supermarket, packed with Chinese people and food...)

Still, great Chinese food. is the only reason to come to TO. It's a very different country. It feels like being in a different country. We went downtown on Sunday morning, to take quick pictures of landmarks (CN Tower, Air Canada Centre, Rogers Centre, Chinatown, UoT, Queen's Park, University Avenue) and everything seems so much bigger and spaced out. The Chinese suburbs, Markham and Richmond Hill are just so infinitely uniform and extended. To someone who didn't bring a map along (nor did my parents) and who doesn't make the usual effort to find oneself on a map when in a new city, the illusion of repetitiveness is just too strong to cope with. The suburbs are built like how I build my cities on SimCity (I choose a flat piece of land if I can, and then I write down roads perfectly parallel and perpendicular to each other, and fill with low density residential areas). Suburban Toronto must be extremely boring, and even more difficult to cope with than Suburban Montreal.

On Saturday night, I caught the Margaret Cho stand-up "I'm The One That I Want" on the Bravo channel and stayed up until 3:30AM b/c of it. >_>

Even a trip to Toronto can change you from home. And I guess I am a somewhat mature, confident and independent person who just hasn't had the chance to bloom. Food is great, and if you can't have it in Montreal, you can still learn to make it (quite more rewarding also).

Ced and the monthly Politics column

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I am someone relatively soft regarding political opinion, but I am also someone who likes to gather information from all sort of newspapers, current affairs magazines. Reading about politics, how the world is going, has something inherently "fun" to it, just like someone likes following showbiz or sports.

Anyways, among the things that caught my attention this weekend:

1- The death of Justice Rehnquist: I don't trust that Roberts guy, who was originally supposed to replace O'Connor, a Republican, named by Reagan to do the deed for the Conservatives, but who turned out less prone to advance the conservative agenda after all (a fair judge, as they are expected to be, in the purest of all intentions). He is now Bush's nominee to replace Chief Justice Rehnquist... There's nothing to indicate he's as conservative as they think he is, because there is no way to know (except that he was nominated by Bush), until he actually starts rulling on cases as a Supreme Court Justice. the guy's pretty young too, and SC judges are appointed for life. Scary, eh?

2- Gas prices (and War in Iraq). Hmmm, I angst against the people who're against the war in Iraq and complaining that their gallon is above 3USD (it's almost 1.50CAD per litre in Canada), which is still much cheaper than anywhere in Europe where it's about twice the price. There's a moral price to pay to sustain a sort of lifestyle. To me, misery in the Third World is tightly related to how comfortably we live and waste on the non-essential. I am part of that, and when I think about it, it makes me sad. So, soaring oil prices? Just learn to do without cars. I am going to get my license this month, but I'd rather live in a city where mass transit is more ubiquitous.

Flashback: Food in HK

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Leaving for my food trip to HK-in-Canada in less than an hour. Couldn't sleep with all this excitement; but that's not true, it's more b/c I've been used to sleeping at 5-7AM for the past week... In other news, I watched all sorts of depressing stuff on TV, before deciding to do something constructive. Including: disasters of biblical proportions in the Deep South, a documentary on orgasm, and on the same channel right after, a documentary on the (less-than-orgasmic) 2000 US election... (dot-dot-dot)

Ok! Let's go with the food! (Sadly, I forgot half the names of the places I had this food... it's pretty generic (and still good), so no loss)
One of the first days in HK, but the last for uncle ah-Pang, who usually owns/manages the Perle something (d'Orient?) restaurant on Des Sources in DDO, but returns to HK for a month every year. So he decides to invite us for... I forgot, safe bet is Chinese food? Including fish, and we ordered that shao xing wine I kept looking for since tasting it in Shanghai in 2002.

The morning after, we get some regular noodles with fish balls or what seems to be pork, in a little eatery near the MTR station of Wan Chai. A bowl for about 15HKD. Side orders of fried salmon skin are favourite fillers.
Miam, Cafe de Coral! The #1 Cantonese fast-food chain in HK. I had a BBQ pork and duck on rice here, with my favourite, the HK-style milk tea. <3
This is actually in Macau, but food (besides the Portugese specialties) is pretty much the same as in HK. This is a beef brisket noodles I got at a well-known restaurant on Largo de Senado (the territory's central plaza), facing the McDonalds and beside the Starbucks. Couldn't dare order the thing before 2002, but now it's a once-in-a-while delicacy...

Another place in Wan Chai, between the Southorn Playground and Morrisson Hill... Famous for its delicious congee, and flavours "boiled" into it. Rice dumplings (zong) are favourite too. ^^;
Tofu au gratin at a branch of a fancy Japanese restaurant chain in the new Kwun Tong shopping mall (was it Watami?), my uncle Rene and family took me to. They've all sorts of other "cool" plates like crab meat sashimi salad and eel sticky rice, in a chic environment (you get to sit at those tables with a deep gap under them to dangle your naked feet over).
Two weeks later, same uncle and family take me to fancy Hunan-style restaurant (owned by the Maxim group?) in friggin Central. This is a piece of delicious fish with a nut-like-based sauce. Never was able to understand what it was made of, but quite novel to me, so all good. :D
Some of the cutest baby choy I've ever eaten, from that same restaurant.
The day after (May 14th) was the day before the Cheung Chau bun tower climbing competition. As a tradition, the whole month before is the Bun Festival, and residents must eat zai (vegetarian). To follow the trad, McDonalds only offers the incredibly disgusting McVeggie.

Sai Kung, a little town in the Eastern New Territories, and one of HKers' favourite weekend places, boasts a large number of seafood restaurants in its downtown, and seafood peddlers selling their goods directly from the boat (fresh or not, it's still moving! But is for tourists really; any local big grocery chain has their "live" seafood/fish).
My aunt Nat takes me and cousin Nic to fancy Japanese chain restaurant in the basement of Times Square. We get a bunch of sushi, extremely Japaneasy-tiny dishes, and these onigiris...

At the airport, as I was going to leave on a Dragonair flight to Guilin with a HK tour (China Travels)... the only affordable meal you get is from big fast-food chains. And Ajisen Ramen is one of them, selling their meals at the same flat price than in other branches in the city. This is their "Ajisen Ramen" (eponymous, eh), which has about everything you expect for Japanese ramen, the preserved veggies, the hard-boiled egg, and the fat pork.

Early June, this is a weekend day I got bored and decided to eat at random places by myself. By then, I'm used to life in HK, and dare return to restaurants I've been taken to (eventually, I'd even try new restaurants, I think?). Shown are "xiao long bao", a variety of Shanghai dumplings, filled with pork (a variant puts crab fat and meat in them), have a thin skin, are made with wheat flour, and if well-made (as they are in China but not in stupid Montreal), has pork juice in them (pierce and drink before eating the whole thing!), from one of the best-known chains of Shanghai-style food, Crystal Jade (Fei Chui).

HK is also an international city, and it doesn't have a farming industry to protect... So clearly imported saucisson and goat cheese (you can find saucisson locally-produced in Montreal, but it's miles away from the real thing - funny, I thought to myself, that I had saucisson in Asia...).

Another rediscovery (b/c I probably tasted a lot of those traditional plates, while going "meh" when younger) was the drunken chicken, made with teh shao xing wine. Chicken is different in China, meat has more consistence, which makes or breaks this sort of dish.
At the same restaurant (in Causeway bay, on the street behind Sogo) my aunt took me to, we're in mid-June by now, a few yummy non-Cantonese dishes, including some fatty pork leg.

Another evening by myself, I decide to try Cafe de Coral's main local competitor, Maxim Fastfood. Had the salty baked chicken combo on special.

One evening in a hurry, my aunt and cousin meet up with me, and we're whizzed into this fast meal restaurant in Causeway Bay. There, we had a few cha chan teing quick dishes, eggrolls, lime pork chops, fried tofu...
...and also, something called "choy fan" (veggie rice), the simplest tastiest specialty. Just cut some bak choy finely and mix it in with your rice, right before it's finished cooking.

At another Shanghai-style restaurant, behind the Sogo in Causeway Bay... Was meant to be one of my last meals in HK, so we had what I liked the most, xiao long bao, ... and a bowl of chicken broth with dumplings.

I'm going to have a wrap-up post of HK and South China at some point, eventually, lah.
Not usually seen by tourists or casual HKers, are the newer new towns, those in Tseung Kwan O (opened mid-90s?) for instance. This is the new district of Tiu Keng Leng, which sounds so much like "Tiu Keng", as in "hanging oneself" for the good reason that it was the original name, "Hanging ridge" (see story on Wikipedia) (while it currently probably means something like nice view ridge, whatever).
One of the newer MTR stations of Tiu Keng Leng (but in fact, all MTR stations look boringly the same, except those maybe that are over the ground).
MTR wagons are so wide... (and there goes another Freudian dream)
Shenzhen, an endless ugly Chinese city. I don't think I've seen other Chinese cities as large and ugly. I mean, endless rows of skyscrapers, as if Shenzhen was some Coruscant, on the ugly side... Shanghai Pudong might be endless, but at least it won't be ugly until a few decades... Or never it will get as earlier-stages-of-capitalism way of building speedily and functionally rather than for the future generations kind of stuff.

I saw a big cat die of the flu

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If leopards can die of the flu, then what's left to this world, I ask? Are we merely fabrics of meshes of information, waiting to be taken over by other sneakier meshes of information? The damn viruses. All I want is to preserve my race. All I want is to preserve my information...

In the meanwhile, Katrina was worse than I thought, and I guess I'm not the only one, seeing how many people decided to stay behind in New Orleans no matter what sort of aquatic hell the weathermen forecasted.

Damn it. There's something so philosophically central to the biological definition of life in those viruses. Why are they seen as pests? They are mere bunches of DNA or RNA, packed together with proteins and lipids and sugars. I often wondered if a piece of DNA/RNA with the genetic makeup of that particular virus was viable, but I think not. Of what I know, we are their beginning, and their end. Either they are rogue mechanisms escaped from us or our ancestors somewhere in the mid to long term past. Or perhaps they are the earliest forms of life, which have co-evolved, been "pests" to all the lifeforms that scoured the Earth. And broken down like this, Earth sounds like a simulated playground for meshes of protein-producing information...

5 more minutes of working on flu, and that's it for the weekend.

ducks: bringers of mankind's doom?
Bringers of mankind's doom?

Ballade à Toronto

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Jean Leloup - Ballade à Toronto

Parce que je vais à Toronto ce week-end! :D If one misses HK, while from Montreal, then Toronto is the best/closest surrogates of all. Nothing as closely cool as Jean Leloup's trek to Toronto, I'm going there for very urban eating and shopping of Asian stuffs. >_> In Montreal, things are different, perhaps more interesting, as you can effortlessly live un-ghettoized. Hardly can, in TO's Chinese suburbs (last time, I tried the game of spotting a gweilo in other cars - and lost so badly).

Hong Kong Tramways

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A book on HK Tramways. ^^; Only 100HKD if you get it directly at the HKU Museum bookstore (instead of the 35USD on Amazon...).

My pic (tramway coming in the opposite direction in Wan Chai):


Some hooligans painted comments all over some of the pictures part of the outdoor picture exhibit on McGill College Avenue, the portion between Président-Kennedy and Sherbrooke. Well, in 2002, the City of Montreal came up with a great idea of having those giant supports on the most downtown of all streets of Montreal, for an exhibit of uber-famous aerial photographs by Yann Arthus-Bertrand. So instead of wasting the support things, the City recycled the idea the following years with various photo exhibits on themes everyone enjoys (Montreal, ma ville; Grands personages du 20e siècle; that sort of stuff). The graffitis were sort of funny. Probably some students with too much time in margin of Frosh activities right across the street...

Adjust your mind / Reality is at fault

Non serviam

No two equals are the same

There is a cop inside your head

Wise up suckers

Abolish mental slavery

Last dead end kid

See outside the frame

Exterminate all rational thoughts

Beware the scumunist menace!

Your moma wears combat shoes

The 20th Century died dog yella

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