December 19

December 19, 2009

Sunday. December 13, 2009. Yet another great day. Sunny and warm without being hot. I entertained the idea of climbing Lotus Mountain, but ended up at Starbucks as usual. I’ll climb the mountain when the weather turns cooler.

Otherwise, did nothing interesting today. Here are some random pics as I walked around.

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Monday. December 14, 2009. Nice morning, but a little cloudy. It’s supposed to cool of the rest of the week. The highs will be in the lower 60s or upper 50s. I’m glad I took advantage of the nice weather.

I went by the subway construction site that I have posted pictures of before. The damage had increased greatly. The part of the sidewalk that I noted was sunken last week, was even more sunken today, and it was roped off so people could walk in the area. I am no engineer, but it seems inconceivable that the apartment building has not been structurally damaged.

I didn’t have my camera with me, so I additional pics. I might go that way tomorrow and take a few.

Had dinner with Roger, the Canadian I met a few days ago. We ate at my favorite barbecue place. It just re-opened after its renovation. It really got fancy. The menu used to be a single laminated page. Now it was 3 or 4 pages, plus there was a list of specials on the table. The charcoal grill was in front of the restaurant, and they had a kitchen in back. They had aquariums of fish, eels, frogs, crabs and cages of live birds and chickens outside.

When I got there they had not started setting up the outside tables yet, so we ate inside.

We had 5 mutton skewers, 2 chicken legs, 2 grilled cauliflower skewers, 2 sausage skewers, 4 grilled oysters, and a plate of noodles with vegetables. We each had a beer. The total came to 56 Yuan (about $8.00 USD), so they did not raise their prices to pay for the construction. I paid. My favorite was the cauliflower, which I had not had before. They served a new kind of sausage that I didn’t like, the old kind was one of my favorite foods there. Won’t have the new sausage again.

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Tuesday. December 15, 2009. It was cool and cloudy this morning. I thought it was the cold front coming through, but it warmed up nicely during the day.

I went back to the sinking sidewalk at the subway construction site and got a few pics on my way home this afternoon. I am obsessed with the moving foundations and damage there. There was a break in the fence so I was able to get some pics of the actual ditch. It is huge. There are two men in orange uniforms at the lower left of the first two pictures. They are barely visible because they are so far down. The pipes are apparently used to keep the sides of the ditch from collapsing. Some of the pipes look slightly bowed  from the pressure.

You wouldn’t catch me in the bottom of that ditch for a million dollars.

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The existing subway has 2 levels of trains and is two tracks wide, so it’s pretty deep and wide. I guess this ditch will accommodate two levels of trains too.

There was even more damage to the sidewalk and the steps of the building. I took some pictures of the facade of the building, but didn’t see any damage.

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Rain began about 18:00. Because of the rain I didn’t go to chess. About 21:00 I felt sleepy, so I went out to a little restaurant for a snack to help me wake up. It was a lot cooler than it was earlier, and it was still raining. Had a dish of sautéed tofu and celery. It was seasoned with a little meat, garlic and red and green peppers. It was pretty good and cost 16 Yuan (about $2.25 USD).

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Wednesday. December 16, 2009. The cool weather arrived last night. The temperature in Hong Kong was 57 this morning. The rain had stopped, but it was cloudy.

Someone gave me a bag of herbal teas. I’ve seen these in stores but never knew what they were. It was a bag with about 20 smaller bags inside. Each small bag is used to make a cup of tea. There were two kinds in this bag. One had sliced lotus seeds and some other herbs that I didn’t recognize. I made a cup of tea with it. It was a little bitter at first, but it was good. Very different. I added a tiny bit of black tea to the cup and it ended up very good.

The other type was mainly small dried flowers. The looked like miniature mums, and some other little roots and herbs. It was a little sweet. I added some black tea to it too. Consequently I didn’t get to sleep until 02:30.

Thursday. December 17, 2009. It was 52 in Hong Kong this morning. The high today is supposed to be 61. It’s cloudy. It was 65 in my house this morning. I guess I’m becoming somewhat acclimated to the cool weather. Since everyone keeps the doors and windows open all the time, I get used to the outside temperature. In the USA we go from one heated or air conditioned place to another. We don’t get acclimated to the changing conditions outside.

Still, I am sure I’ll break out the electric heater tonight.

On my way home this evening I passed by the restaurant where they serve the deep fried duck I mentioned a few days ago. They were getting ready to start cooking and I got a few pics. I didn’t stop to eat any. Deep fried anything doesn’t sound good anymore, although they use oil by the barrel in most Chinese cooking. Even my veggie filled pancakes are a little greasy sometimes.

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Friday. December 18, 2009. The weather was exactly the same as yesterday, cloudy and cool. The temperature in Hong Kong and in my apartment were exactly the same as yesterday.

The giant clay containers have slow burning charcoal in their bottoms. They have clay pots stacked inside. I think they are cooking lotus root soup. I have never had it, but it’s supposed to be pretty good. It’s every expensive. I think it has both the root of the lotus and the seed pod.

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Saturday. December 19, 2009. The cold weather warning was on the TV screen last night and again this morning. Some sort of cold temperature record was set yesterday. I checked the 5 day forecast. It’s supposed to start warming on Tuesday. It’s only supposed to get up to 60 today.

Went to Wal-Mart to stock up on a few personal items, including almond cookies. It was a little cool walking this morning, but I play chess this afternoon, so I didn’t want to wait until later when it might be warmer.

My friend’s sister and nephew are arriving from the USA today. He invited a few of us to welcome her at a little get-together at La Casa tomorrow night. It is also his birthday. I got him a Christmas gift set of coffee at Wal-Mart. I have no idea if this will be appropriate. But it’s the thought that counts.

It is also open mic night at La Casa. That is when people play their instruments, sing, and sometimes tell jokes or read poetry on the little stage there. La Casa has a piano and a guitar for anyone to use, but most people bring their own instruments. They have it is every Sunday night. I have never been there before, but I understand it’s pretty popular.

Street views. The subway ditch is behind the white wall in both of these pictures.

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On my way home I stopped at my barbecue place. My friend Jan, her son Harry, and her husband were there. I joined them for dinner. Found out Jan’s name is actually Jane. I had two grilled chicken legs, a grilled ear of corn, a skewer of gilled spinach, a skewer of grilled green peppers, and a beer. The total was 19 Yuan (about $2.25 USD).

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