Wednesday, 25 May 2011

Picasso and Cirque Calder for dinner

The HK Art Fair is back, and the city is buzzing with fabulousness.

Here's a picture of the fantastic menu my friend put together for a dinner party to inaugurate the event. I thought the art-inspired menu (heavy on Picasso) was rather brilliant.

Back: Elephants and cats and bulls and things

Saturday, 14 May 2011

The wrong side of the bed

On our way back from a rather heavy office lunch, we happened to have a particularly cheerful taxi driver. He joked and laughed while my colleagues nodded politely. As my Chinese in non-existent, I enjoyed this time to sneak in a bit of shut-eye. But just as I was hitting that food coma phase, the cab driver eyes me in the rearview mirror and shouts,

"Hey, you! Sorry we speak in Chinese. I love American movies. Haha" He grins cheerily.
"Oh?" I ask, trying to show that I'm more than happy not to enter this conversation, and would-be-quite-pleased-if-everyone-went-back-to-talking-Cantonese-so I can-have-a-snooze.
"Yes, I learn slang." He laughs and translates what he's just said to my colleagues - who all speak fluent English, and so need simultaneous translation as much as I need to be kept awake.
"Oh?" I ask again, sinking in my seat.

"Yes. Like....Shit Head!"

He then switches back to Cantonese and seems to be explaining what a wonderful term this is, as it's much more metaphorical than it is literal.

"And more!" And so he proceeds to list his proudly borrowed words from the movies, interrupting himself to explain all the nuances around each word. Here's the list:

Love handles - that's for boys, not for girls. Girls have a..
Muffin top - while boys also have a..
Spare tyre - which is the inner part of a tyre
Duffus - which means stupid
Monkey business
Eyes over stomach - which means you eat too much
Big wig
Back seat driver - haha. That's you!
Sleeping on the wrong side of the bed


Monday, 9 May 2011

Vibrate and stretch

You know how it feels when you think you're onto something, and then you find out you're not? Well that's how I'm feeling now. I tried
Pilates reformer and PowerPlate classes last week and both were wonderfully effortless. Both seemed to involve lounging around on a mat or vibrating pedestal, wearing socks instead of sports shoes and having a small massage afterwards.

Everyone talks about how fantastic these exercises are and how they are famed for turning hippos into giraffes. So I was thrilled to find how easy they were, and so pleased to have discovered an exercise which doesn't actually involve any..well..exercise.

Now I know why they call the first classes "introductory".
This week was a killer.

I went back to PowerPlate class today, imagining I would again be concentrating most of my efforts on lying on my back while my bum gets massaged. But instead I found myself being ordered to squat, jump and clap (yes, clap) and then land back on the vibrating plate. Not only did I feel like I was dying of exhaustion, I was also worried I might fall off the machine entirely - so, a lethal combination of pain and fear. This was followed by a rather humiliating move which involved me clinging onto the "plate" for dear life as I suspended my legs up to the side while balancing a ball between them. Not good.

Pilates has so far been going a bit better, as the movements are slower and I get to take breaks. Yes, on the PowerPlate, you don't get to break for the entire 30 minutes session. My one small victory against instant death this afternoon was discretely sitting on the large ball I was supposed to be squeezing between my knees (while standing on my tip toes and feeling the teeth-rattling vibrations through my head). Never has a stolen moment of reprieve felt so good.

So, tomorrow it's session three of Pilates. Fingers crossed that introductory period isn't over there too.