Saturday, 19 May 2012

How not to eat pepper crab

I knew the crab was a bad idea.  The minute I gave into my Thai colleague's pleas that you-can't-come-to-Jumbo-seafood-in-Singapore-and-not-eat-the-crab, I knew things might go pear shaped. 

A bib would have helped, but as none of my colleagues nor my client were wearing one, I didn't think it would be appropriate to ask.  But I was wearing a white shirt and cream trousers, so of course they were the perfect palette for "crab aux chemise" or "cangrejo con salsa de Massimo Dutti". 

Needless to say, the crab went all over my shirt (as I tried to tame its claws with a chopstick and a clamper).  

So I decided that the most sensible option would be to go to the bathroom and wash it.

The bathrooms were actually public bathrooms, so there were a lot of interested ladies walking in and out as I put too much hand soap onto my hand and smeared it all over my front.  I then vigorously scrubbed my shirt, rinsed it, and while dripping wet, looked around for the much needed hand dryer.  Given the way this evening was going, of course it had to be one of those new Dyson dryers where you put your hands into a little slot, rather than letting the air go anywhere.  Not helpful when I couldn't exactly take my shirt off (this wasn't the airport) and I couldn't quite fit into the air dryer slot either.  

So I resorted to flicking my shirt (with feeling), hoping to get rid of some of the water.  Clearly my flicking was too vigorous, as the next thing I notice is that I've completely shredded my shirt.  Big, gaping gashes.  Hulk meets Spring Break 2012 style.

So out Hulk walked.  Chin up.  Demanded a bib from a waitress and sat down.  No, I won't have any more crab - thanks, but-it-was-quite-delicious. 

Friday, 11 May 2012


In New York, I felt eternally young, while in Hong Kong sometimes I feel like I'm all grown up.  Maybe that's because I was 29 and single for much of my time in New York, while in Hong Kong I'm a married woman who gets her hair done regularly and hosts small, yet entertaining dinner parties.  Yawn.

Just as I was starting to feel particularly desperate housewifey, I was saved by the Nasser concert.  Who's Nasser?  No idea.  Some random French electo-pop group from Marseille who I'd never heard of before.  But the concert poster showed them looking sufficiently wild, sweaty and keen on lasers, that there didn't seem much to lose.  The notification that the concert was going to be held in an old factory somewhere in the depths of Kowloon only added to the appeal.  

We arrived at the concert to find we were literally 15 years older than everyone in the audience.  And boy were they having fun.  Girls were kissing boys who were kissing girls who had their hands up skirts and chain smoking and posing and jumping off the stage.  And this was before the show.

And then Nasser arrived, and the crowd went wild.  And we danced and jumped and drunk out of beer cans we'd had to bring in from 7-Eleven

And then the lights changed colour and more people jumped and sang and sweated as the A/C machines stopped working and the keyboard player took his shirt off 

And then we traipsed back to Tai Hang for dinner.

Refreshed and ready for civilized life again

Thursday, 3 May 2012

Weekend at home

It's so easy to fall into a rut and get used to doing the same thing and going to the same places.  So last weekend, T and I decided we'd venture out from in front of our movie projector and poke around Hong Kong a bit.

Our mini adventure started in Cafe Loisl. A small Viennese cafe which reminded me of Barcelona more than Vienna.  Clearly I wasn't the only one, as 2 of the 6 tables had Spaniards sitting at them. Its tucked away location far away from the road and peaceful setting - broken only by the grinding of coffee beans - made it the perfect spot for me to catch up on Kahneman (fave book right now) and T to read the Inrocks (T's fave mag ever on earth).

Serene hideaway for Apple Strudel fans.  Hang around there on a Saturday for the mouth watering mille-feuille 

The next day (we wouldn't want to exert ourselves too much), we headed off to Piccolo in Kennedy Town. It has quite a reputation as it's owned by the famous Les Amis group who also own Cepage. However, Piccolo couldn't really be much more different.

Pizza looked fantastic. I had salad. Saint.

Seriously unassuming decor - such a relief from all those places pretending to be unpretentious but failing miserably (think Pulino's in NYC)

We ended the weekend at Caffe Habitu in Causeway Bay.  Probably the most comfortable armchairs in Hong Kong.  Food looks pretty mediocre but cupcakes and coffee deliver.  Perfect spot to recover from IKEA in (unless you're one of those people who "test the beds" in IKEA, in which case you won't be needing any more rest).

Chaos and cupcakes at Habitu at Leighton Centre

Still can't do this at home


Yes, we're still in China