3 days in LA

En route our way to Peru, we stopped over in LA for a few days. It was nice to stopover and revisit California for I missed the weather, the food, and cheap outlet shopping, and I was able to meet a few old friends which is always a bonus. On the way to LA, I sat in the new Cathay Pacific business class for the first time thanks to having enough mileage…

Aboard Cathay Pacific's new business class
Aboard Cathay Pacific's new business class

It was really cool how the seat was able to transform into a flat bed, and each person had their own private suite…

businessclass2

I watched two movies on the plane: He’s just not that into you and The Class.

He’s just not that into you was really entertaining and at some parts funny. I always enjoy movies and books that attempt to explain the psychology of human beings, even if, as was the case in this film, they’re not always true. The Class was a film on an entirely different level. It’s a Palm D’or film about a French teacher with the best intentions who cares too much and gets into trouble with the problems of a bad 15 year old student. It’s an amazing film because it has a documentary-like feel, a very strong ensemble of actors (even the young cast of students were really convincing) and an incredible build-up of plot that made me feel as though I was part of the class. I really felt the teacher’s frustrations as he dealt with kids and their fickle immaturity. When I arrived in LA we went to watch The Transformers 2. I fell asleep halfway through the movie (it was a really LOUD ACTION movie). I had never fell asleep during a movie before so to me it was quite a revelation. It sucked.

Flowers and letters reading "sorry for your loss" placed around the star of The Jacksons
Flowers and letters reading "sorry for your loss" placed around the star of The Jacksons

If there was something I would never forget from my LA visit it would be Michael Jackson’s sudden death. My sister picked me up from the airport at around 2pm (she went to USC for a year), and as she was driving me back to her apartment, I turned on the radio. I hadn’t had a chance to tune in to a good radio station for a long time as Hong Kong has never had any stations featuring good music. As we were driving past UCLA, the radio commentator suddenly announced the confirmation of Michael Jackson’s death, just as if everyone had expected it. I thought it was a joke. Michael Jackson was to perform in London next month, and the radio commentator had said it too casually for so big a story. I checked out the story after I arrived and it turns out Michael Jackson was dead. What’s more, he died in his LA home and his death was confirmed by doctors in UCLA less than an hour ago! It felt so bizarre that Michael Jackson, one of my most revered childhood idols, dies the moment I touch down in the same city!

I don’t know why, but the next day I felt that I had an obligation to pay his star a visit. It still feels so surreal that he’s gone! Unfortunately, his star at the Chinese theater was blocked off by officials, so we went to the star of The Jacksons. It really felt good to know that people still sympathize with his death even through all the scandalous events that took place during his life.

View from Hollywood Highland mall. Lots of TV cameras near MJ's star
View from Hollywood Highland mall. Lots of TV cameras near MJ's star

The next day we visited family who just arrived in San Gabriel. It’s a part of LA so infested with Chinese that it felt more like a “Chinacity” than a Chinatown; in fact, it felt more like we were in Shenzhen than in California. Everywhere there were English words, there were Chinese words. Apparently, this was where the FOBs get off their boats lol…the Vietnamese food was really good though!

We had a feast!!
We had a feast!!
In N Out kitchen at work
Speaking of food, cheap and tasty In N Out burgers!

That’s all for now, will update in a couple of days in Peru!!!

A week of lethargy

The past week has been…unproductive to say the least – I have not been efficiently carrying out my summer goals (i’ve just been stoned all day everyday)!!! I have not started exercising, working on my film, guitar-ing or learning to edit films yet. This is why I have not updated my blog. It must be the humidity, the newly acquired ability to drive, the LOVELY FOOD (see below), and the home-alone factors that have stymied my overall progress.

Also, I acquired a new goal this week because Derrick told me that he was going to sell of all his magic cards this summer and I decided that I should too (another stupid goal I should add to my list, but I won’t because I can’t believe I still have those cards!! what can I say! it was peer pressure at the age of 12!! ;)). Poker-wise, I did make a live profit of HKD 3k, albeit not a very significant achievement.

Despite all my lazing about, I did manage to finish a book – The Time Traveler’s Wife – a book I’ve been meaning to read for a very long time. It was better than I expected (I’m clearly not an avid reader) and the whole concept of time travel and the inability to alter fate was a rather cool plot device. Also, the fact that the story is narrated from both Clare and Henry’s (the lovers) perspectives makes for a good lesson in knowing-what-girls-think-about-psychology, especially when the same event is told from both points of view. However, once I got past 200 pages the story seemed to kind of drag on and there were many pointless chapters, like for example when they narrate about the dreams they’ve had. WTF lol… but still a very engaging read and well worth the time (well I always feel productive when I’m reading).

Anyway time for some pics of food (SORRY NOT FROM MY PHONE)!

FISHBALL SOUP NOODLES
FISHBALL SOUP NOODLES
ICE CHOCOLATE
ICE CHOCOLATE
BEEF BRISKET SOUP NOODLES
BEEF BRISKET SOUP NOODLES
CHA SIU FAN (bbq pork rice)
CHA SIU FAN (bbq pork rice)

That’s all for today. The next time I update will most likely be when I’m in LA (soon!)

I slept for 17 hours straight…

I went to bed at midnight and woke up at 5pm, not the best start to my summer holidays. I had the weirdest dream, as if I was the main character of a Murakami novel. I feel that I have to write this dream down, seeing how I always forget what my dreams are about, and how fucked up this dream was.

I met a girl in this dream, who happened to be my ex-neighbor. We were instantly attracted to each other. Somehow I find out she’s my half-sister on my mother’s side, and then she starts making out with me and I just couldn’t tell her we’re actually blood-related. She asked me out on a date the next day and I couldn’t say no. Then the next day, I was late by half an hour and I find her making out with a random guy who happened to be her boyfriend. I cannot believe I am jealous (that’s just messed up), but I was jealous, of her making out with this guy, even though she’s my half-sister!! I get upset and then my mom randomly shows up and I yell: “Mom, this girl is your daughter! How could you cheat on dad like that!!” and then I woke up and realized that mom never cheated on dad, I didn’t have a half-sister and I didn’t have a crush on anyone AND it was 5pm!!! I wasted my whole day on that dream!

Back in HK! Summer goals!!

The last few days were hectic having needed to clean and move out of my London flat, but now that I’m back in HK I can finally relax and completely enjoy the summer. I will feel quite unfulfilled if I don’t do anything over the summer (no work!), so I have compiled a list of summer goals (a work in progress):

1. Finish reading 5-6 books
2. Learn to use (master, if possible) a movie-editing program
3. Make at least 1, if not 2, short films
4. Start going to the gym again
5. Improve in tennis (play lots!)
6. Take up guitar lessons
7. Finish the 三國志 books once and for all
8. Profit of at least HKD20k from live poker (by any means)
9. Triple online bankroll
10. Learn ze art of wine tasting

I also finished reading a book on the plane back to HK – South of the Border, West of the Sun by Haruki Murakami. It’s not his greatest book, but it’s still a really good read about a man who gives up everything, marriage, kids, family, job, after bumping into his childhood love. Good reference for P.O.T theorists (kenta and otto you know what I’m talking about). I’m not going to rate it, but it’s definitely worth reading! Anyway, that’s all for now and I’ll update again soon!

Final days in London

Apart from packing, watching movies and walking around the city looking for a place to stay next year made up my final days in London. I visited another two student halls, Albany House and University Hall, before realizing that it was cheaper and more flexible if I found a studio or 1-bedroom flat next year with the help of Globrix, an amazing website. Yesterday, Ron, Kenta and I went to Westfield in Shepherd’s Bush to watch Terminator: Salvation.

The outside of Shepherd's Bush station looks a lot like an Asian city
The outside of Shepherd's Bush station looks a lot like an Asian city

And in case you didn’t know, Westfield in Shepherd’s Bush is the biggest shopping mall in all of Europe:

The posh bit
The posh bit
spacious...
spacious...

We didn’t buy anything though, we just went to watch a movie lol.

To be honest, Terminator: Salvation was quite mediocre. I’d give it a 6.5 out of 10 because of its amazing action, computer effects and expensive camera shots. Otherwise, I’d probably give it a 5 at best. Nonetheless, the Christian Bale incident certainly affected my judgment of the movie having seen it on youtube prior to watching the movie, lol.