Showing posts from September, 2018

How to Deal with Culture Shock

 17 Sep 2018 | Veronica You’ve been in Hong Kong a few days, weeks, or months, you post online about this amazing adventure you’re on, and in so many ways it’s all the excitement you imagined. And then there are moments that you (perhaps inexplicably) feel disoriented, detached, depressed, isolated. It may be the way your colleagues and managers communicate at work. It may be going to the grocery store and products are arranged in different aisles. It may be not knowing where or how to run an errand that should be so simple. Maybe it’s hearing Cantonese all day, and your brain is exhausted from straining to understand something, anything. Despite how many places you’ve travelled or lived in, or even how long you’ve been there, culture shock can hit unexpectedly and inexplicably. It’s okay. So how to deal with culture shock? 1. Make friends with locals and learn/read as much as you can about Hong Kong. The more familiar your surroundings are the more comfortabl

"Hong Kong Cool" (HK Ballet x West Kowloon x HK Art School) Review

16 Sep 2018 | Ashley I have always been a fan of dance, bodily expression in general. In fact, I believe it is my most natural way of expression. Although I am more of a spontaneous "body mover", ballet is usually a very tempting choice when it comes to appreciation since there is a certain strictness in movement that I do not think I can personally master. Each time, I feel an inexplicable pleasure watching professional ballet dancers kill it. It is a sort of cathartic feeling watching a human body bloom and evolve and be one with the rhythm of the external world. It is at that moment that they and I breathe as one. Despite all stereotypes of ballet being traditional, emotionally and physically restrictive, "Hong Kong Cool", an artistic project where Hong Kong Ballet, West Kowloon Cultural District and Hong Kong Art School collaborated, has proved ballet a possibility to be otherwise. It is the second time that West Kowloon and Hong Kong Ballet have teamed up.

"Crazy Rich Asians" (2018) Review

11 Sep 2018 | Ashley Although "Crazy Rich Asians" (2018) is not an Asian film, and is rather an American film made by an American director Jon M. Chu about Asians, this film is still valid when we talk about Asian families and marriages. In fact, it presents an interesting point of view for even Asians themselves who grew up in Asia because of the mixed background of the people who made it. This film is based on Kevin Kwan's novel of the same name published in 2013. Kwan is a Singaporean-American novelist who was born into an established Chinese family and grew up mainly in the United States, which parallels with the family background of protagonist Nick Young. As for the film director Chu, he grew up in America but his father is a well-known Taiwanese chef while his mother is Chinese. I feel that Kwan and Chu's background contributes to the film an authentic vision as Westernized Asians confronting a traditional rich Asian family. With that being said, the film s

How to: Eat at a Wet Market Cooked Food Center

12 Sep 2018 | Veronica They’re loud, they’re chaotic, and potentially very overwhelming (especially if you have bad memories of your high school cafeteria). They’re also very cheap, very fast, and usually delicious! 1. Getting There Cooked food centers are usually on the 2nd, 3rd, or 4th floor of a wet market. So getting into a cooked food center might involve passing through the wet market. This means past the half-alive fish and hanging meat butchers’ stalls. Still have your appetite? Good. Read on. *TIP: most centers will have an entrance (stairwell or elevator area) that leads directly to the cooked food center. Use this to skip the wet market sensory overload! 2. Choosing a Restaurant and Finding a Table Inside, each restaurant has their own designated tables. Take a tour around and peer at what people are eating. When you find something that looks good to you, find a space at a table in that area and squeeze in! There’s no private dining in here – if there’s any spa

Drone Music Performance: Chora(s)san Time-Court Mirage (review)

8 Sep 2018 | Ashley I have always loved this hidden gem in Hong Kong. It is indeed a wonderful place that brings thrill to not only the viewers that step foot on this place, but also the local art scene. What will meet you when the lift doors open is darkness, complete darkness. You will have to very discreetly step into the darkness, grope in the pit for some time, then you will find a doorbell. Press it. The door will open for you, leading you to a short passage of chilly cold black walls with maybe faint light at a corner of your eye that takes you to some smoke swirling upwards. What you will also notice is the continuous electronic sound that hums under this gallery's breathe. One could imagine this being an embodiment of the "Dreamhouse" project initiated by minimalist composer La Monte Young and light designer Marian Zazeela in New York in the 1960s. Image: Lightbox projection by Hennix @Empty Gallery Indeed, the exhibition that took place at the Empty

5 Must-Try Foods in Hong Kong

6 Sep 2018 | Veronica This article has been years in the making. I personally have done the very hard work of eating countless delicious meals to bring you this list. I have done that, for you, new-arrivals-in-Hong Kong (and you, been-in-Hong Kong-for years-but-never-leave-the-island)! You’re welcome in advance. Here are my top foods to try in Hong Kong. I’m not a food blogger, so hard core foodies do continue to look to the proper experts . But for those of you who just enjoy a good meal and want to know what foods to try in Hong Kong, here you go! 1. Bo lo bao (pineapple bun) Look no further than your closest local bakery to find this delicious, doughy treat. Don’t be fooled – there is no pineapple component other than the formation of sugar on top which gives its name. For those wanting an extra boost, ask for a bo lo yauh – the same thing but stuffed with a thick chunk of butter. They cost around $3.5 – 7 HKD ($0.45 – 0.90 USD) and are the perfect breakfast or snack on-the-

The First Day of School - Confessions from an English Teacher

6 Sep 2018 | Veronica Who’s heard that being an English teacher in Asia is easy?   Lots of holidays, often only minimal experience needed, being with cute kids all day. Should be a breeze, right? Now picture answering the phone the day before you’re meant to start work because another school needs a cover teacher that day and your agency is wondering if you can do it. “Of course”, you say jumping out of bed, wanting to give a good impression as a dedicated employee. So you walk into this new school at 9:20am, knowing nobody, are shown to a classroom of 2-3 year olds and are told “Okay, so at 9:30am it’s the English lesson for 20 minutes. Here’s a storybook you can use”. I didn’t realize how long 20 minutes could feel until that moment, in front of a class with a very, very short attention span and any pause in distraction reminds them that their mom isn’t there so they should probably start crying, loudly. I started with “If You’re Happy and You Know It”. Then, “He

6 Reasons To Teach English In Hong Kong

6 Sep 2018 | Veronica 1. East Meets West If you’re considering Asia for the first time, or if you’re a bit intimidated about culture shock, Hong Kong is the perfect place to live. Walk around neighbourhoods like Sheung Wan to see exactly how East meets West here as you pass a western coffee shop followed by a traditional Chinese medicine store side by side, hearing French, English, Mandarin, and Cantonese as you go. 2. Holidays, holidays, holidays! Speaking of East meets West… Thanks to recognizing both Eastern and Western festivals, there are 19 public holidays in Hong Kong. Teaching in a local school you can expect even more! Approximately 1.5 weeks off for Christmas, 2 weeks for Chinese New Year, and another 1.5 weeks for Easter. With this generous holiday time, you benefit from being able to take holidays longer than the average businessperson (making friends jealous and meaning you can book flights outside the worst of the peak travel times!). 3. Easy and afford

"The Artist Talk to End All Artist Talks - or, the Struggle Session Continues!" (artist talk) Review

5 Sep 2018 |  Ashley Ever wonder what artists do to achieve art? Is art an achievement? What if artists are just as normal as you and me? What if you and me are artists? What if we have made art without noticing it? What if artist talks are artists pretending to be abnormal? What if curators, artwork collectors, and people like me who write about art are the only ones thinking about what art means? These are the questions you will get an answer to, in a very confusing manner, from a recent talk on 31 August 2018 at the JC Cube Auditorium, Tai Kwun, organized by M+ West Kowloon. The M+ Museum has invited the pioneering Seoul-based digital artist duo YOUNG-HAE CHANG HEAVY INDUSTRIES to give their first and final talk titled " The Artist Talk to End All Artist Talks - or, the Struggle Session Continues! " It was truly eye-opening. Also, surprisingly enough, I felt extremely drawn to this confusion, and even thought it relatable. When I sat down at the front role of the sta