Sunday. December 20, 2009. After cleaning and laundry I walked the 20 blocks to Starbucks where I had a double espresso. I never got warmed up, so instead of stopping at the market for a snack for lunch, I stopped in a restaurant I had never been before and  had a dish that was very close to chili. It had tofu in it instead of beans. I’m not sure what kind of meat it had because it was heavily seasoned. If I had to guess, I would guess it was lamb because they had a lot of lamb dishes on the menu. It had a few tiny little bone chips in it. My theory is they ground up lamb, including the bones, to make the chili. I just ate the bone fragments. They were that small. Anyway it was spicy, hot and tasted good. I was glad I stopped there.

The chili cost 18 Yuan, and I had a pot of tea for 2 Yuan. The total for the meal was slightly less than $3.00 USD.

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I detoured by the subway construction site on my way home. They had closed the breaks in the fence so I couldn’t see the digging. They had put up a new pedestrian walkway over the ditch. It was very creaky and didn’t seem real solid. I took a couple of pics as I crossed. To tell the truth, I felt a little uncomfortable in it.

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Here are a few pics from David’s birthday party Sunday night. It was really a combination Christmas/birthday/welcome to David’s sister who is visiting from Canada.

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They were giving away CDs at La Casa compiled from various open mike night performances. I didn’t pick one up because they are available for free online. http://lacasa.alltogetherenglish.com/

Monday. December 21, 2009. Cool, but clear and sunny. This is supposed to be the last cool day. The temperatures are supposed to go up to the high 60s/low 70s starting tomorrow. I hope the forecast is correct.

Went to Wal-Mart this afternoon. Otherwise it was a quiet and uneventful day. I cut through a park and took some pictures of flowers in bloom. It seems odd to have flowers in bloom in the winter.

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I’ve mentioned that the kids pee on the sidewalks here. Here’s a kid in the park. I didn’t get my camera out and on quick enough. He just finished. You can see the wet spot in front of him.

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Tuesday. December 22, 2009. Finally it’s a little warmer this morning.  It was 64 in Hong Kong at 06:00 and was predicted to be 67 and sunny today. Chess Day. Stopped by a little restaurant on my way to La Casa because I had eaten at La Casa on Sunday and wanted a little variety. As I was walking out the door, the owner played a few songs on a flute-like instrument. He was very good. I sat down at the table with him and listened for about 45 minutes. I ended up  late for chess.

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Wednesday. December 23, 2009. Warm and sunny again. The same little group that got together for the “Thanksgiving” dinner that didn’t work out, is getting together for a Christmas dinner. This time we made our reservations.

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Thursday. December 24, 2009. Nice weather again today, so far. Very warm. It’s supposed to be cloudy this afternoon, the the temperature is supposed to start dropping on Friday and hit the low 60s by Saturday.

I took my weekly walk by the subway construction. As always, there was a lot more damage than the week before, but I still didn’t see any damage or cracks in the facade of the building.

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Friday December 25, 2009. Christmas day. It’s hard to tell it’s Christmas. The weather is warm and everything is open.

Warm but cloudy. It’s supposed rain today, but it hadn’t started when I left the house this morning.

I had Christmas dinner at a place called Seaworld. It’s a place that has a few rides, many shops, stores and restaurants.Someone told me it was built on land reclaimed from the sea. At one end of Seaworld is a giant ship that has been converted to a hotel, restaurants, shops, etc. We ate at one the the restaurants in that ship.

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Dinner was nothing fancy, but it was well prepared and very good. I had turkey, raisin dressing, sautéed vegetables, mashed potatoes, gravy, rolls, and hot cranberry sauce. I went back for seconds of everything. They had several deserts, but after my second plate of food, I wasn’t in the mood. I ate too much and felt bad the rest of the evening.

There was a sports bar attached to the restaurant. A few of us played pool and darts for a while, but my heart wasn’t in it. I mostly sat and offered advice from the sidelines.

We met for dinner at 17:30. By the time we finished eating it was dark and Seaworld was completely filled with people. I don’t know if there was an event going on later, or if it’s that way every night. It was hard to walk the crowd was so thick.

It was about an hour bus ride home. As soon as I got there, I went to bed.

Saturday. December 26, 2009. Plan on fasting today. Woke up feeling sluggish from over eating yesterday.

It was a nice morning. It is sunny and just slightly cooler than yesterday. I plan on getting out because this will be the last warm day for a while.

Went by a traditional Chinese medicine store this afternoon. They had a girl giving away samples out front. I didn’t take a sample, but asked if I could take some pictures inside. She said yes.

The store was actually a a combination drug/traditional medicine store. The left half was rows of modern medicines in boxes, jars, tubes, etc. The right half was traditional medicines. Got a few pics of the traditional medicines. I have no idea what they are or what they do, but many are very expensive and kept under lock and key.

Coincidentally, last night I found out the wife of a friend of mine is studying traditional Chinese medicine in college. After graduation, they plan to live in Canada where she will practice traditional Chinese medicine, acupuncture, etc. 

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Went to La Casa this afternoon for chess. I waited around until 17:00 and no one came by to play, so I went over to CoCo Park and played a couple of games of pool with a waitress. I intended to check by La Casa again, but didn’t . Instead I returned home early. Unbelievably, I was a little hungry, so I stopped for a bowl of rice and veggie soup. It was the most bland thing on the menu. I ate about half of it.

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