Crap Western Food

Tyler hiding his tears of disappointment

Crap Western Food jpg

I hate so-called western food in China. They just can’t do it, so stop trying. And people who travel with me to the mainland, stop trying to entice me to the “western” restaurant in the hotel! No good can come of it. Ever.

The boy in the photo looks like he’s smiling but he’s just being brave.

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Picking

Banjo

Yep, I play the banjo now. Ish. It all started like this:

Saxophone player

I have to say though, I find it extremely puzzling why the sub-editor at a reputable paper like the South China Morning Post would change the last sentence to ‘two days later’ when I had written ‘two days ago’. Maybe I didn’t express myself clearly? The letter was sent in January and came back in JUNE, unread.

What puzzles me is this: What letter gets anywhere in two days these days, let alone comes back?
This proves yet again that you shouldn’t always trust what you read in the paper.

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Fantastic Good News For Once

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Who says the Chinese don’t care about animals? This is an email I just received from DuoDuo animal welfare organisation on the mainland (all photos DuoDuo):

“Aug 5, 2014 — I have some great news to share with you! On August 3, five large trucks loaded with about 2,000 dogs were blocked by animal activists near TangShang City, Heibi Province, about a 3 hour drive from Beijing. The dogs have been rescued and are currently in a temporary shelter.

Many of the dogs were stolen. As you can tell from the photos of the rescue site, some of the rescued dogs are Huskies, German Shepherds, and Golden Retrievers Those breeds are very expensive and would not normally be strays in China.

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In this particular rescue event, volunteers from all over China rushed in to help. Incredibly, there were about 200 cars that surrounded the trucks to make sure the trucks could not get away. Vets and volunteers rushed in to help and people flooded the site with crates and supplies.

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Another astounding highlight was that local officials and law enforcement also got involved. After a lengthy negotiation, the local government agreed to give the dogs to the activists. The officials provided a large, empty plot of land as a temporary shelter.

I believe that our campaign to stop the YuLin Dog Meat Festival played a big role in the outcome. We generated a lot of awareness and concern for dogs and cats during the YuLin campaign. More people have become active and local governments in China have become more sensitive about the negative public response and its consequences.

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We believe that this rescue event is another big blow to the dog and cat meat industry. The large rescue effort has generated lots of publicity. More people will become aware of the brutality of the industry and its illegality.

DuoDuo’s Chinese team members and friends are at the rescue site. We will try to help as much as we can. We will keep you posted on the progress.

You can sign up for future updates:

http://www.duoduoproject.org/subscribe.html

Thank you very much and if you have time, please drop us a quick note to share your thoughts: info@duoduoanimalwelfareproject.org

DuoDuo Animal Weflare Project
www.duoduoproject.org
408-220-5407″

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What Are The CHANCES!!!

Jimsee Bogan

I’ve just come back from an incredibly fun and satisfying trip to Australia – thank you Lydia without whom not even a sixth of the joy would have been possible! And thank you for introducing me to James Boag (Jimsee Bogan), a Tasmanian beer almost on par with Tsingtao (or Chengdou as it should be pronounced).

Yesterday I took the day off pottering around with unpacking and re-arranging my sock drawer. Exhausted from the two hour difference jet lag I soon started watching the eight (or whatever) episode of the excellent American show Modern Family. And what are the chances – the very first scene sees the whole family strolling down the edge of: Sydney Harbour!!!!! Exactly where Mister Public Security Uncle had stood two days earlier!!!!!!

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Not only that. The first thing I saw walking into Mui Wo’s Park’n’Shop was: lots of bottles of Jimsee Bogan!!!!!!!! I’m running out of exclamation marks here.

I just had to invite a nearby-dwelling Australian around to keep the hopping feeling alive. Unfortunately he’s camera-shy, unlike Jimsee Bogan:

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But I’ll always favour wombats over kangaroos.

However! Part 2: I just finished the rest of the Modern Family episode, and it turned out to be the least good in the whole series! Crappy gags, childish sexual innuendo although it featured Murray from Flight Of The Conchords and the worst thing was when Claire Dunphy, who had been working through their entire holiday, calling her project ‘my baby’ throughout the episode, suddenly screamed: “A wild dog ran off with my laptop!” What? Not “A dingo took my baby”, Claire? Or was it meant to be really deep and aimed at us born before 1976 (or so)?

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Australia The Beautiful

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So we’re cruising down the road in Annandale in Sydney, and I see this sign. At first I didn’t get it but then I realised Ah! It is your famous Australian humour! and say to my friend L: We must go to Victoria and see if the beaches are indeed crap. I’ll rev up the engine! She replied. We went straight to Victoria and:

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Which led me to think: Are there any crap beaches in Australia?

It’s damned cold though.

Oh, how I love a good road trip! Nothing is better. Nothing, I say.

Morning in Milton

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Marching For Canto

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Yesterday was July 1st, what was meant to be a good opportunity for Hong Kong people to worship at the altar of the mainland, thanking its kind government for rescuing us from the slimy claws of those Limeys.

Marching

Instead it has become this; March Against Everything Day. Good on the Hong Kong people! This year the turnout was just incredible, like triple the last time I joined two years ago.

Ah-On (Andrew) and I joined in, but instead of calling for the resignation of our unpopular and unelected Chief Executive, we encouraged Hong Kong people to speak Cantonese and not use simplified characters:

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We had standing ovations along the way, and everybody wanted to snap a pic of the foreigners who apparently had no idea of what it said on the posters we were holding.

Snapping

That’s the impression I got at least, based on the amount of people who came up to me asking – in English – “Are you know what’s the mean?” The worst was a higher-ranking policeman who took the poster away from ah-On.

“Do you know what it says?”

‘係呀, 係我自己寫既’ (yes, I wrote it myself) I naturally answered in the language in which the posters were written.

“Yes, but do you know what it REALLY means?” No matter what we said to him in his own language, he pretended only to be able to speak English. I found this vexing.

Everyone who wanted to take a photo and all the newspapers (many) who wanted to interview us addressed us in English, explaining that although I may have written the posters, I wouldn’t actually understand Cantonese. After a while it got really tedious.

Scribbling

So there you have it; not even writing their own language and holding it right in front of their faces can get Hong Kong people to fathom that a whitey can understand Cantonese. So yesterday was a kind of victory as well as yet another gigantic slap in the face.

(It says on the posters: Support Cantonese, down with simplified characters! and: “Hong Kong people speak Cantonese. If you don’t get it, off you piss.”

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Insanerator #1,000… This Time With Plan For Action

BEACH 5

Our not always easy to understand government seems to be dead set on this incinerator thing. Needing to “spread the pollution around” they want to build a toxin-spewing monster right outside Pui O Beach, assuring us that “there will be no toxic emissions” and that “all the particles will blow over to Cheung Chau.”

What are we to believe?

Having been pushed back and back, it seems the day of doom (the day the funding yes/no will be decided on, but hey, it’s only 18 billion of your money in return for being poisoned) is June 27th. There will be a protest flash mob thing outside Government Headquarters at Tamar, at 2.30 that day.

I think this is not a time for same-coloured T-shirts but for sober attire; suits and dresses, so we don’t look like a bunch of deranged hippies. We must be taken seriously and also get press coverage. So please do come along and notify your journalist friends!

Posted in Beauty, corruption, Environment, Eyesore, Government, Hong Kong, Incinerator, Media, Movies, politics, Pollution, property | Leave a comment

Yellow River – Blue Grass

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Cantonese and bluegrass go together like beer and Sichuan food. It all started in Hainan last Christmas when I met some 86 year-old-geezers playing the saxophone near the beach. One of them had started only two years earlier and he was great!

That’s when I decided to take up the banjo, not realising how incredibly heavy this light-looking instrument is. But I love banjo and I love Cantonese, so here we go!

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The Worst Yam Cha In Hong Kong

Taro cakes

Last Saturday was my birthday, and my friend E who was visiting from the States wanted to take me out for lunch.
And not just any lunch – we hadn’t eaten since 2 the day before followed by lots of beer, so we were hungover-starving.

For some reason which now escapes me we had decided to go to the Hong Kong Museum of History in Tsim Sa Tsui East and thought we’d nip into Jade Garden in Star House on the way there. There was a QUEUE to get in which I normally don’t do, but it started torrentially raining so we might as well. It looked very upmarket and the prices certainly were. Observant E looked on the back of the menu and saw all the things that were extra, such as CHILLI SAUCE ($15) XO Sauce ($35) Nuts – which they plonk down on the table without asking – $35; in fact there were more items charged extra than the actual menu.

But whatever, now we’d finally be able to chew and swallow. The first thing was “spring rolls with prawns” an old favourite of ours’ from Treasure Lake (Jubilee Street). Their only saving grace was the mayonnaise and wasabi dressing. How can anything with mayonnaise go wrong? But the rolls themselves were thin, over-fried and tasteless, and there were only 3 of them! Although long and thin, I’d say that dish was 55% smaller than a normal spring roll dish. To cover up this miserable fact, they had optimistically put some wilting carrot and cucumber sticks into the cup, but we saw at once. At once!

The next thing was panfried taro cake, one of my favourites, but we couldn’t even eat one half each. It was slimy where it should be crunchy and otherwise tasteless.

Noodles

Some horrible noodles then appeared, tasting worse than the so-called noodles in the so-called Western restaurant in Railway Station Hotel in Shenzhen. Inedible! We paid for that chilli sauce just to be able to swallow it, but failed.

Then some awful, awful things that didn’t know what they were but called themselves “panfried chives cakes”. Avoid! In fact, avoid anything with the word Jade in it.

What a scam! Although seriously hungry, we left 90% of the food behind as we ran out the door, signalling “don’t go” to the dozens of people sitting in rows outside thinking they were going in to a great yam cha experience.

Avoid.

And the cups had handles!

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My First Interview

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I’ve wanted to meet Cesar Millan for three years and now I have! His show at the Hong Kong Asia Expo was excellent and really funny. When he comes back, you must go. In the meantime, don’t let your dog run your household.

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