Living in Hong Kong

I live in a small Hong Kong apartment – 450 square feet, barely enough for me to walk around once I set up a big clothing rack to dry my laundry. I have shifted my bed to the living room ever since I spot molds in the bedroom walls. Humidity is a big issue in Hong Kong, especially during winter. My landlord clearly loves IKEA and adores white coats of paint.

The building has two security guards rotating on a 12-hour shift. They smile at me whenever I get home and, sometimes, we engage in small talks. Let’s see, by now I know that they earn around HKD8,000 every month and have an off-day every week. It is not a lot of money, considering that the amount is less than my rent in Hong Kong. Some people say that it is not difficult to make money in Hong Kong. I guess it depends on the group of people that you are looking at. Most locals do not seem to have it that easy. I laugh to myself whenever I come home late at night, noticing how they manage to make themselves comfortable enough to fall asleep in that small space. On days when I feel wicked, I let go of the heavy metal gate fast just to jolt them up from their sleep with a loud bang. I justify by thinking that, “hey isn’t it their job to stay awake?” Clearly, a long day out in Hong Kong does great damage to my sanity.


September 2, 2011 1 comment

Picture Postcards: Indian flower seller

Today’s photo is from India. It’s a flower seller making a garland, taken at the wholesale flower market in Mumbai. Thanks to Anu for the photo – she says this is “a common sight in India, especially outside temples and in the festival season”.


August 23, 2011 Comments disabled

Picture Postcards: Taking a break in Switzerland

Today’s photo is from keepps in Switzerland. Thanks!

The Picture Postcards theme for this month is everyday people. If you want to share a photo please add it to our photo group on Flickr.


August 15, 2011 Comments disabled

Catching the Tour de France in Brittany

Tour de France Dinan-Lisieux stage on 7 July 2011

The Tour de France is one of the most popular sporting events in France.

First staged in 1903, the annual cycling race covers over 3600 km in 21 days.

Departure Marxhix
Departure Dinan-Lisieux stage


July 12, 2011 4 comments

Retracing the Journey of Refugees and Asylum Seekers

“Deprived of their wallets, phones and passports, they board a leaky refugee boat, are rescued mid-ocean, experience immigration raids in Malaysia, live in a Kenyan refugee camp and visit slums in Jordan before ultimately making it to the Democratic Republic of Congo and Iraq, protected by UN Peacekeepers and the US military. For some of them it’s their first time abroad. For all of them, it’s an epic journey and the most challenging experience of their lives…”

This is the story of six Australians who volunteered to retrace in reverse the journey that refugees have taken to reach Australia. The 3-part SBS series, Go Back To Where You Came From, aims to challenge the participants’ preconceived notions about refugees and asylum seekers.


July 1, 2011 Comments disabled

The Best Commute in the World

It starts early in the week when I type an appointment in my work calendar for 4:30 p.m. Friday: “Bike ride home.”  Just the act of typing those words puts a smile on my face because I’ve just blocked that time from any meetings and I’ve got all week to look forward to a glorious bike commute home over San Francisco’s famous Golden Gate Bridge.

On the commute home via the Golden Gate Bridge

Friday morning I get my gear ready: the bike pants, the windbreaker, the gloves, the iPod, the helmet, the Camelbak, and the sunglasses.  Since I live 25 miles away in Marin County and there’s no shower at work, this is only a one-way commute. I jump on the bike-rack enabled commuter bus in the morning and head southward towards The City by the Bay with all the other gas-guzzling suburban commuters. (more…)

May 25, 2011 6 comments