Friday, March 29, 2013

I love Asia!

Asia f-8398jng rocks.  Friday, Monday, Thursday public holidays (despite working on Friday today, which turned out to be fun), so Paul and I are heading tomorrow to China for the first time.  We're going to hit a spa, shop, eat some noodles, spend the night, and MTR it back.

April 19th----- quick flight to KL to visit Maria!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  [funny to think the first time I went to KL was also girls trip with Emily...loved it!}

First Chetta and Ryan vist, and now Maria will be just a quick flight away.  And Catherine's coming too!  Girl's weekend in Kuala Lumpur.  BOOKED.

That's Vietnam, Japan, Indonesia, China, and Malaysia within 4 months. <3 Asia.  

Tuesday, March 26, 2013


They exist for a reason.

Monday evening I arranged a wine tasting with some of my dip (WSET diploma) friends, Italian wine expert Marco, and some of his friends.  Frist of all, the tasting was really fun.  Marco put together 10 international varietal wines for us to blind taste.  I guessed 9 of the 10, the Merlot of all things throwing me off. 

Anyway, this guy Herman walks in, Chinese, and we both kind of acknowledge that the other looks familiar.  We go through several events we think we would have met at, but can't figure it out.  Oh well.

An hour or so into our tasting we are served crab and truffle risotto (sounds better than it was).  The conversation moves to truffles, Herman loves them, so I give him my card.  And then he says, 'Oh I know you're company.  I was in the other day.'

I assume he was in to buy wines, and ask if he was with a friend, to which he said he was.  Then a little later on he says something about CRM.  Apparently he was in our office (not with his friend like he said- I think he was drunk- he IS Chinese afterall) just 2 weeks ago for a CRM meeting! I had a 45 minute face to face meeting with this guy and couldn't place him a mere 2 weeks later.

Just goes to show they all look the same to me.  Oops!

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Chetta and Ryan Are Moving to HK!

I've decided for them.  They are the easiest and most fun house guests ever, so we're going to continue the party indefinitely!

After our amazing, albeit rather silly, seafood lunch on Sunday, Chetta and Ryan hopped on a plane early Monday AM headed for Phuket.  There they spent 4 days beaching, biking (crashing!?), eating, and seeing.  Yesterday they arrived back in HK and we all met up with Catherine for some chat and vino.  And then more Thai food.  If you haven't been to Koh Thai, do it.  It's amazing!

Today, the bosses are nowhere to be seen (it's 11) as they had a bit of a 'session' last night.  I suspect they'll come rolling in within the next hour...anyway, meeting Chetta and Ry after work for some dinner, light shows, and HK nightlife.

Totally wish they didn't have to leave tomorrow!!  But now that they know how fantastic HK is, I suspect they'll be back :)

Bali or Bust 2014. 

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

I Love My Run!

Even despite the 99% humidity this week, I am so into my morning hike/run.  Same story every morning.


Jacked guy with short shorts
Shirtless dudes with glasses
Clapping tank top man (he's my favorite)
Wonk eye man with big walking stick (2nd favorite)
Tai Chi man on top


Husband and wife couple
Visor lady who I can never see her face
Grandma with Gremlin dog
And then stick guy and shirtless guys again...don't know where the tank top man goes, but I do love his smile at 7am!
 **I should mention that everyone on the mountain is approximately 300 years old.

Then walk home and see the same old couple with the cutest little puff dogs and the safe dude smoking and drinking his coffee at the News Room.  

I <3 routine 


Sunday, March 17, 2013

Concerts, Beer, Run, Beaches

Another jam packed weekend, and thankfully, not all of it was work.  Friday I left the office early with Sean to do some deliveries.  After running around Central for several hours we made our way down to Stanely where we were the wine sponsor's for Ernest So's piano concert; Golden Age of the Piano.  These events are always nice.  Good networking, amazing piano, and free flow wine. 

Woke up at the crack of dawn on Saturday to head over to the Lantau Beer Dash!!

Morning brews with Laura and Derek
Met up with Derek and Laura and took the 7:40 (shoot me it's Saturday!) ferry over to Mui Wo.  Hopped on a bus to Tong Fuk and got there a reasonable 2 hours early....ha.  No problem, we pregamed with some of China's best, TingTao, and eventually made our way up to the start.

We were the only jackasses out of like 100 + people, children included, not wearing a costume.  And I don't mean capes, everyone was full out.

Run, drink a beer, run, drink a beer, run, drink a beer, run drink a beer, run along the beach and finish!  Amazing sense of comradery and they we all get to revel in our fantastic running and drinking with a beach front buffet and, of course, brews.

We're totally doing it again next year with a bigger team, costumes, and of course, beers.

Sicily master class with Debra Meiburg
Good week at home.  Tutoring and Christmas presents from Paul's mom!, an amazing wine tasting in Central led by Marco who is an encyclopedia of all things Italy, and then an amazing tasting and master class of Sicilian wines at the Jockey Club, followed by a fun party at Jackie and Justin's, followed by Chetta and Ryan!!!  Great week.
Vermintino tasting with Marco

Thank you!!!

Chetta and Ryan are here!!

Friday late night, Chetta and Ryan arrived!!  They had a long day of flying and finally stepped into Qbay at 2 am for the first time.  We talked into the wee hours and then took a repose until the next day.
Saturday we had an amazing Hong Kong filled day.  Started the day with a delicious dim sum breakfast, followed by a trip across the Victoria Harbour on the Star Ferry.  From there we made our way through the crowds in TST to the Ritz Carlton for a drink atop the world's highest bar in the world's tallest hotel, next to the world's highest jewelry store....
Ritz Restaurant

Drinks and view were amazing!  Ryan and I had Stiletto's; sake, vokda, and watermelon, while Chetta and Paul sipped on Champagne Mojitos.  What a gorgeous restaurant and view, despite the haze.  Then we made our way back across the Star Ferry to a bus to the top of the Peak. Again, questionable haze, and now questionable camera battery, led to a quick departure.  

Taxi cabbed it to Causeway Bay for an amazing Korean meal complete with Soju.  Oh how I haven't missed Soju....
Then back to Qbay for Wii and more wine. Too much wine perhaps!  But a perfect day of all things Hong Kong and Asia, and all with my best friend from home!!

Sunday we had over some of our best Hong Kong friends for fruit, cheese, and green Cava.  Allison, Michael, Nina, Kenny, and Nina's cousin Meredith, Julia, and Mike all came to celebrate St. Patty's Qbay style.  We eventually made our way down to the ferry (love ferries!!) and over to Lei Yu Mun, for what can only be described as rip off central.  They saw our 11 white faces coming from a mile away!!
Allison, Michael, and Meredith

The girls sipped some more Cava while the men folk tended to the fish.  You walked through the alley from vendor to vendor trying to procure the best fish for the best price.  After a lot of back and forth, the men came back successful and with giant smiles for their (Michael's!) negotiation skills.  Eventually they settled on a giant lobster, prawns, clams, 2 grouper fish, and squid, and brought it back to the restaurant to cook up.

We had a lovely table right on the water and enjoyed each of our courses as they came.  Although not the best seafood, it was certainly enjoyable to analyze each dish to determine whether or not it was the fresh fish we had just picked from the tanks, or if it was pulled from the freezer.  

Our fish
And then came the bill.

No less than 2x the price they quoted us.  Did I mentioned we're the only guillos there?  There weren't even that many Chinese people there, you'd think they would be happy with our business    No, no, let's rip off the  whiteys.  After many a calcuations, and debates, and dare I say fights, we finally settled on a number.  So we thought.....

"10 dolla more...'  10 dollars on the table.  '7 dolla more....'  Seriously dude, here's your $7 ($1usd) and let us go.  YES, we will tell our run.  Lei Yu Mun = constant fight, mediocre food, although I will say we all had a huge laugh about it.  Definitely one to remember.

Next time we're getting pizza.

Monday, March 11, 2013

This Week Is Trying to Kill Me

Between the sweet potatoes and Ms. Han, it's a wonder I'm still standing!

Monday afternoon I decided it would be a good idea to buy a roasted sweet potato on the street.  Apparently it wasn't such a great idea as just a few minutes later my stomach cramped and felt naseous and I got a fever.  I had already committed, and paid, for a  sold out Hungarian wine tasting that evening, of which my boss was going with me. Despite thoughts of vomit (never actually happened thankfully), I persisted and made it to said tasting.

And I'm so glad I went.  It was really wonderful!   Great wines, great friends, great networking.  Great!

Tuesday I still wasn't feeling 100%, but I manned up and made it into work.  That's over 1 year working for HOFWs with only one sick day.  And it wasn't so much a sick day as much as Brian trying to kill me by visiting.  I don't think I have ever had such a bender.  Good times.  I went out and met a customer, and sold him 24 wines thank you, and while sitting on the bus home, recieved the following whatsapp:

'Hello.  This is Han.  I am at the YMCA hotel in tsim sha tsui.'

Thanks for the notice Ms. Han, but YEY Ms. Han's in town!!!  Later that night as I read my WSET book in my PJs, she texted again inquiring if I could come meet her in TST.  It was 9pm and TST is a good 30 minutes away, not this time Han.

Wednesday was another day in the office, followed by a quick Foodie social (too many people, no food!), and a kebab.  The we decided to run over to the Flying Winemaker for their monthly top 12 tasting.  This month's focus was on Aussies.  We ran into friend Fay and Adrienne (WSET 3 friends who also went to the Hungarian tasting with me) and enjoyed some lovely Aussie Rieslings, Semillons, and of course, Shiraz!

Then I was off to meet the ladies for a girl's night at Jackie's.  In retrospect, wine tasting before wine with the girl's wasn't the best idea, and my Thursday self was not so much appreciating it.  Life goes on and twas super fun to catch up with Jackie, Alicia, and Courtney.

Thursday evening I went to a really great networking/marketing event for an e-commerce marketing company.  I thought it was going to be a class about optimizing lead generation, but was more of a sales pitch.  Regardless, there were great people, great snacks (ahi tuna!), and drinkable wine.  The white at least.  And I was quite please with myself to write tasting notes and analyze my wine whilst Ohad gave his marketing speech- which was wonderfully to the point and no BSing around.   Aussie Semillon (theme this week, eh?) with overt traces of MLF (malolactic fermentation- makes the wine taste creamy).

Then I was off to TST to visit Ms. Han.  Ohh how I have missed her!  She looks fantastic, was smiling like always, and brought me out on an adventure as per usual.  We met some of her friends, one of which I had met years ago in Korea, and went to this secret street of bars I had never seen before.  Leave it to the Han to show me something new in my own country!  In typical Korean fashion, she insisted I order something and then we all got a round of beers despite the fact we were at an Italian restaraunt with a pretty extensive wine list.

This is where it got really Korean.  We get our beers, and as soon as the waitress walks away out comes the waterbottle filled with soju!!  SoMek for everyone!And then the guy across from me pulled out some of his own fruit.  haha oh I miss it!

Sadly, I was pretty exhausted and head home around 11.  Everytime I see Ms. Han  I get so nostalgic for my days in Korea.  A trip this summer may well be in order.