Sunday, November 23, 2008

Training for RIR

I haven’t been doing much other than paddling for the month of November. I’ve put off blogging, drinking, e-mailing, going out, running, reading or writing for four weeks of hard training. I just started doing outrigger canoeing in October and have spent many long hours training, hoping to make the team for the Round Island Race that happened yesterday, the 23rd of November.
We’ve paddled around Lamma Island (24 km) three times, done sprint sessions, technique sessions, huli drills (flipping and righting the canoe), sea change practices, and so much more.
I’d never paddled before, so there was so much to think about and so much that they told me to focus on.

I can’t count the number of times I heard:
1. Rotate your body.
2. Reach two inches further.
3. Transfer your weight from your ass to your paddle.
4. Power in the water.
5. Snappy return.
6. Pause at the front.
7. Clean exits.
8. Paddles in and out together.
9. Bend from the waist.
10. Use your legs.
11. Timing!!
Each Saturday and Sunday morning I spent 2+ hours out paddling, starting usually at 8 a.m. The way to the beach is beautiful on a weekend morning. People are getting their fresh meat from the butchers. Shopkeepers are arranging their vegetables. Old ladies and men are squatting on the edges of the sidewalk with fresh greens or cut flowers to sell. The tourists are starting to choose the steamed boxes of dim sum. I ride the bike through the waking-up village, then continue on past banana plants and vegetable plots out to the beach by the power station.

Plus, there were the Tuesday and Thursday night sessions of paddling at night across the warm water. We were chasing moon paths across the water, dancing ferry lights and avoiding the black silhouettes of fishing boats coming too close.Not many people get to be out around the corner of the island in the chop and wind where the big tankers sail off to parts unknown. I feel so lucky to get to go out there. When Gina or Mel takes us close to the rocks and we whoosh down the waves through the foam, I try not to wiggle from excitement. My paddling team thinks I never stop smiling.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Proud to be an American


The little kids of eight, nine and ten ran screaming through the halls of our school here in Hong Kong. These Hong Kong kids (many with Canadian passports) are overwhelmingly for Obama.

I can't believe it really happened. And I can't stop crying for joy at the thought of hope for my country.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

AIG and me

On the bus on the way home yesterday, my seat mate and I looked up at the familiar buildings of Hong Kong and simultaneously gasped. To the left of the "Lightning Building" (which is the new Bank of China building), there used to be a neon sign writing over and over the letters AIG. Now the panel is dark. I guess US TAXPAYERS doesn't fit.

This blog is going the way of the AIG corporation, but without the federal support. I am working very hard this year on building a community of friends here in Hong Kong, which requires going out and talking to people in person. I don't have time to do that and all the other things like kids and work and put up a daily photo.

So for the time being, I'm going to stop posting to this blog. I'll still be putting up posts every week or so on my site. I hope you stop by.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

More mid-autumn festivals

Locals celebrating on the beach with lanterns and sparklers and candles in the background.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Mid-autumn festival

Sunday was mid-autumn festival so we made our way, lanterns and glowsticks in hand to the beach.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Sleep-over view

The view from the bedroom window of my friend's flat. She let me sleep over, and the kids, too, because I spent three days of the three-day weekend at a conference.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Fishing boat

A boat pulled up early Saturday morning at the Yung Shue Wan pier selling its catch along side. I don't think they were supposed to because the woman was hustling the sell and the boat pulled away in a couple of minutes.

Friday, September 12, 2008


The Olympics are over, so look at the sky now! It got thicker as the day went by.

Thursday, September 11, 2008


Watching someone harvest on the walk home from the beach.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Monday, September 8, 2008

The new commute

Leaving the Yung Shue Wan harbor.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Glorious Central

The last morning commute from Lantau.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

The bridge still growing

I'm still waiting for them to finish stringing out the bridge.

Resolution #1

I have resolved not to post any more pictures of cargo ships. No one comments on them, so they must not be as beautiful as I think. Plus, they just don't have the impact if they're not massively motoring toward you. Imagine a building moving along like a bus.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Getting back to it

Since my last post, I've moved from Lantau Island to Lamma Island and simultaneously started a new school year. I'm going to try and see if I can manage in my new life to get back to posting every day. Here's a picture leaving my old commute in Discovery Bay.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Joy #4 Joshua Tree

It's the first day of school (Friday was canceled because of Typhoon Nuri) and I think I might be frazzled. So I'm posting one more of the joys of summer.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

The most sparkling day!

It's a typhoon day, but last week, it looked like this!

Monday, August 18, 2008

I believe...

Ok, it's not Hong Kong. But Hong Kong is tiring and hectic today, and I believe in baseball.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Joy #3: Direct morning light

Hurrah for the Olympics cleaning the air!

Friday, August 15, 2008

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Sonoma County Fair: Joy #1

I'm not quite ready to be back yet. Let's indulge for a while in one of the treats of summer in the US - the county fair.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Just about back to real life

The best iced coffee I had in Hanoi.
I've finally finished posting the story and pictures from my trip to Vietnam. It's about time because I'm back to work on Monday. Check out the holiday at

Monday, July 14, 2008

Hanoi is Happening!

This is clearly not Hong Kong. Please check out my blog of my terrific trip to Hanoi at: I'll be updating it every day to tell the story of my 13 days in Northern Vietnam.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Going off.

Today I'm flying to Bangkok. I'll be taking the summer off from Hong Kong and this blog. These are the shoes I bought for my adventure. Don't they look rugged and able to take on anything?

First I'm flying to Bangkok by myself, then on to Hanoi. I'm treating myself to a trip on my own - an early birthday present for my 40th in August.

Mid-July I'm flying back to Bangkok and meeting the rest of the crew. We're flying to Ho Chi Minh City and Southern Vietnam for a couple of weeks, then back to Bangkok for three weeks lazing on some beach somewhere.I'm back at work on August 18th. I have wandering to do until.
See you then.

Sunday, June 22, 2008


Note the nose ring. A touch of class on the bus to Stanley

Saturday, June 21, 2008

5:45 a.m.

Yesterday was the last morning I have to get up at this ungodly time (this school year), though isn't it beautiful!

Friday, June 20, 2008

Ice cream truck in Mongkok

Get your soft serve here. Yes, Mister Softee plays music. Yes, you can pay with your Octopus card.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Apliu Street Flea Market

The place to buy carabiners, battery operated USB chargers and apparently the place to hang your laundry.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Dozo in Soho

All you can eat sushi brunch.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Friday, June 13, 2008

More dragon boats

What fun everyone was having racing! I could only watch 20 minutes or so because I was so longing to be out there. Next year I told myself, I'll get on a team. I want to practice for months and get really good. At least I think so even though I've never tried.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

The market they will tear down

Graham Street Market is scheduled to be "revitalized" soon. It's the oldest wet market still left in Hong Kong. Some people think that they don't want to see fish being filleted on the asphalt.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

The bridge growing

I've been watching the bridge growing since I got here.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Looking towards Central

The sky scrubbed clear from a Black Rainstorm (official term), a fishing boat and a ferry in the distance. The view from another ferry while coming home sandy and sunned.

Monday, June 9, 2008

Tuen Ng Festival

The front of one of the dragon boats set up for photo ops. There are booths all over raising money for the earthquake victims.

Friday, June 6, 2008

Outside Mui Wo

Graffiti along the wall of the helicopter pad.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

In the mid-afternoon

Raining so hard that the lights came on in the blackness.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Insidious isn't it

Crocs are everywhere, real and knock-offs. Since when? And why?