Hello Kitty Cuisine in HK!

In our quest to try as many different kinds of foods I’ve missed out on during the last few years I was away from Hong Kong, we decided to go to Jordan to give Hello Kitty Chinese Cuisine a visit!

I’m not a huge Hello Kitty fan— I guess my relationship with her can best be described as tolerable. But I can’t deny that she’s kinda cute. And I now know she can look even cuter as dim sum!

The outside of the restaurant looked like a classy Chinese restaurant with a splash of Hello Kitty.

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Contingent Contemplation: Canada Day

July 1st has always been a public holiday for me. In Canada, people will wear more red than usual and go downtown to celebrate the three provinces coming together to form the country of Canada. Then, after moving to Hong Kong, July 1st was a day celebrated by all as the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Establishment Day. For Hong Kong, it was the day the British rule stopped in Hong Kong, and they were handed back over to China. But they would also retain their freedom to remain capitalist and not be put under the communist government. “One Country, Two Systems”.

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Canada Day used to be special in my family. My mom, dad, sister and I would go downtown to watch the parades, followed by the fireworks. My dad, the stingiest guy on earth would pay for parking downtown. That’s how special that day was. It was a family day. After coming back to Vancouver, it was no longer a family thing. It was more of an “oh look, the fireworks are on TV” thing.

2015 was different. I went downtown bright and early (okay, it was around 1PM) to check out what was going on! I was actually doing something for Canada Day again! For one, I knew that the FIFA Fan Zone was running (it’s ran by the marketing agency I used to work for! Pretty proud), and they’d be giving away free Coke. Away my boyfriend and I went to quench our thirst with promo beverages! People were there watching the England vs Germany game and they were in overtime! Eventually, England won 🙂

We had come just at the right time to take pictures with the actual FIFA Women’s World Cup trophy. It was there for three hours on display to the public! The fan zone was a place for everyone to come together to watch the games, as well as get some free swag from sponsors, and experience some hype around the FIFA games.

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Meanwhile, the Convention Centre was bustling with more festivities. There were SO many drink samples (McDonalds, Nestea, some truck promoting milk, this other iced tea brand, Sparkling Ice, and I don’t even think I’ve listed them all), but since it was a sweltering hot day, there were huge lines ups for all of them.

The Olympic Cauldron was lit to celebrate Canada, and there were shows going on around Jack Poole Plaza. We ended up buying snacks and drinks from the nearby food carts. I couldn’t resist the skewers. LOOK AT THEM! As for dinner, we ate at the Spaghetti Factory because the line up was decent (everywhere was a little crazy), but ended up eating through the parade. We were pretty tired, so we didn’t mind.

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After dinner, we started getting ready for the parade. It was crazy how many people had spots reserved starting from God knows when. They had blankets, snacks, and some had their own poker games running amongst friends, sitting around to make sure they’d have a good spot to view the fireworks. And of course, leaving was a whole mess altogether. That picture above was the crowds of people rushing to get home.

All in all, this year’s Canada Day was one of the most fulfilling one I’ve had in years 🙂 I was super tired after walking around all day, but it was worth it. I just wish it wasn’t quite so hot!

– Karen

Contingent Contemplation: Summer? No thank you.

Hey all,

One thing I’ve realized since growing up is my view on summer. Let me start with what summer used to be:

Summer was one thing I always looked forward to. Once I returned to school in September, I started a mental countdown towards summer in my head. What would I be doing once it gets here? Basically what I’ve always done since the first summer vacation I can remember: do nothing.

There’s something amazing about being gluttonous, filling up on food, and mindlessly spending all your time watching TV or gaming the days away. It just felt right to not do anything.

Here’s my problem: I’m no longer happy with doing nothing.

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My dilemma since January when I returned to school after working for two school terms was wondering what I would do this summer. I applied for a few jobs I was interested in, but I didn’t land a position. Then there was the idea of starting my own project, or developing an idea for the summer. But that seems so un-concrete and not satisfying because I did not know where that will lead. I guess it’d also help if I had an amazing idea I could pursue, but right now, I don’t.

Then I thought about traveling. Broadening my horizons, and getting inspired through learning new cultures. Quickly another roadblock came before me: I didn’t have money for travelling.

I liked last summer when I knew I was working on multiple projects at TrojanOne. I liked the summer before, when I spent it interning in Hong Kong, allowing me to travel and work. What in the world am I going to do with the four month break ahead of me?

It’s weird how something that I used to see as paradise now looks haunting and ominous to me. I want more experience, and I want to do something productive with my time. I want to throw my heart and soul into something for the next four months. I WANT TO DO SOMETHING!

I guess we’ll see where I end up?

– Karen

This is Hong Kong

Hello all,

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Seeing the happenings in Hong Kong is giving me such mixed feelings. On one hand, I’m disgusted by how China is invading Hong Kong’s democratic rights. On the other hand, it moves me to see everyone joining hands in protest.

This isn’t what we were promised when Britain handed us over to China in 1997. “One Country, Two Systems” was the belief that we had stood by, understanding that while we were a part of China, our rules of capitalism were to remain untouched while they practiced socialism. The head of Hong Kong (the Chief Executive) is selected by the people, and we choose who we would like to represent us.

It’s amazing how years of Hong Kong social studies and history schooling rushes back as I watch the events in my other home unfold. It’s unfair, and I’m glad we’re taking a stand, like we have done before throughout history. I desperately wish I was in Hong Kong so I can join the protests, and stand alongside fellow citizens who want our freedoms. I feel as if I’m helpless to fight for my own cause, and others are doing the battle for me. But in the end, I’m thankful for everyone who has been rallying to protest.

The student uprising is commendable. These people are young, yet they’re organizing in order to fight for their future. Everyone’s using what skills they have to help the cause. I’m moved to see the adults join in as well as the protests started to include other demographics. People are taking days off work to support the crowds, choosing to volunteer and give out water or medical supplies.

While there are people who fear the instability brought about by these protests to Hong Kong’s economic front, I really do hope they see that in the long run, it’s worth it. This is our freedom on the line. This is our fight. This is Hong Kong.

– Karen