Saturday, November 26, 2011

Friday, November 11, 2011

HKBU Poetry Contest

I got first place in the HKBU English Poetry Writing Contest and Grandma was here for the award ceremony! Writers Brit Bildoen and Alan Cherchesov were the judges of the contest and presented me with a prize of 1000$HKD.

Lighthouse Bed and Breakfast

We’d drive the highway to meet eternity
my mother and I,
until we reached an antique treasure
buried in the heart of New England,
perhaps, Massachusetts.
I don’t recall.

Lighthouse Bed and Breakfast,
tucked into a cove by the sea.
The place was surrounded by white houses
and engulfed in salty ocean mist.
The cedar paneling on the walls inside
breathed history
and the receptionist at the counter
was 1,000 years old, at least.
I’d get the key to our room
from the ancient lady
and I’d begin the journey
to the musty attic
on the third floor.

The stairs groaned and creaked
with every step I took
and my suitcase
thumped along behind me
in protest.
The halls were lined with
portrait paintings of previous owners.
Their faces all stared back at me
the only way they knew how to,
and I watched their still eyes,

A decade later,
my mother and I arrived at our room
and Mom jiggled the key in the lock
until the old oak door
broke free and swung open
to reveal our temporary home.
Mom would sigh in relief,
but I’d throw my luggage down
and spring into the old bed,
excitement pumping through my tiny body.

I’d lay surrounded by
a handmade quilt’s embrace,
and I could imagine
an elderly woman in a rocking chair
stitching each square together carefully
and cursing quietly
when the threading was not precise.
The thought made me giggle.

Even now, reminiscing,
I smile at the thought
of the old lady cursing.
I close my eyes and imagine
the old inn by the sea.
I can smell the cedar paneling
and taste the ocean air--
well, almost.

That was years ago.
Strange how time goes by
and memories become a mist around us,
reeled in only on a whim.

Nelly @ Macau

So maybe Nelly is a little bit old school and maybe it was a little bit crazy to leave the country to see him in concert, but guess what? IT WAS SO WORTH IT!

The concert was an absolute blast. Mellissa and I got a hotel for the evening and hit Club Cubic to see our boys, Nelly and Paul Wall. I was sooo close to the stage! In fact, at one point I was even on the stage when Nelly pulled me up to dance with him! Too bad I got kicked off by the bouncer... Either way, I had the best time!
yeah, I was THAT close.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Sunday, October 30, 2011

I have the coolest grandma!

Last week, I had a very special visitor in Hong Kong!!
Grandma's flight landed in Hong Kong on the 18th and she was able to stay for about 7 days. She stayed at the Holiday Inn at Tsim Sha Tsui, not too far from my dorm in Kowloon Tong...Maybe about 12 minutes by taxi. Grandma came just in time to watch me accept an award for my poetry!
I took her to visit all the best spots...Jumbo Floating Resturant, Mr. Wong's, all over the HKBU campus, on the Star Ferry, to the Peak, Monkey Mountain, Repulse Bay, Tin Hau Temple, and I even brought her to classes with me! It was a blast!

Love you Grandma! xxoo

Monday, October 17, 2011

Pictures from Temple of Heaven (Beijing)

I have been so busy with school work lately, I forgot to update my blog! Here are some more photos of Beijing :) All of these photos were taken at Temple of Heaven (my favorite place in Beijing!) The gardens and architecture are too beautiful to describe.

ps--the last "picture" is a link to the video I took of some locals singing. Check it out!

Outside one of the gardens, just as the sun was setting!

a local writing prayers on the walkway

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Forbidden City and Tian'anmen Square

Inside Forbidden City with Emma
First stops in Beijing, Forbidden City and Tian'anmen Square. Both of these places are very close to each other and have a load of history to them.

Forbidden City is supposed to be one of the best places to visit while in Beijing. The architecture is beautiful and it is such a peaceful place compared to the rest of the city. Forbidden City was established as the Imperial Palace during the Ming dynasty.. I don't really know too much about the history of the place, but from what I understand, Forbidden City got it's name from being an area where commoners were not allowed to be. Forbidden City also played a big part in establishing Beijing as the capital city of China. Today, many come to visit and all are allowed. It is a very large area of land and is definitely an interesting place to visit.

Right after Emma and I walked through Forbidden City, we got some lunch, got some souvenirs, and headed to Tian'anmen Square. Tian'anmen Square is very famous (or infamous) for the Tian'anmen Square Massacres of 1989. Many Chinese people, mostly students, were killed while protesting the communist government. While walking through the square, it was incredible to think that all of the protests and killings had happened right there. It is an extremely large area, but during my visit, the Chinese people were happy and celebrating China National Week in the same area where thousands had been killed. It just gave me a bizarre feeling..

Besides the interesting history of the places, I found the people to be quite...well...interesting too. First thing I noticed was their manners (or lack thereof.) For Chinese people, it seems perfectly acceptable to spit anywhere, anytime and push people out of the way to get wherever they are going. And they love to try to take advantage of tourists. The woman who sold us the Chinese flags tried to sell them to us for 20 Yuan. After much of a struggle for the three of us, Emma and I were able to haggle them down to 5 Yuan for both of them...a much more reasonable price. Probably the funniest thing that happened was the Chinese requesting photos with us. They were very excited to see westerners, so we posed for no joke, over 20 pictures with Chinese people. It was ridiculous! They all lined up to take photos with Emma and I put on our panda hats and waved our Chinese flags...and looked like the biggest tourists ever! So funny!

A photo request that we were happy to complete :)