Look up and you will see the light, the light will lead the way~bonnie
Archive for January, 2011
The Chinese believes that when you are on vacation and is visiting a foreign place, it is lucky to purchase a lottery ticket and try out the luck of a visitor. When I return to Vancouver for visits, I would do the same thing, I would automatically purchase a few lottery tickets to try out my luck.
However, what I love best is the variety of scratch cards available at the lotto booth, I am especially attracted to these scratch cards. I remember as a child, I would tug on my mom’s jacket sleeves as she purchase lottery tickets begging her to put out a dollar and buy me a scratch card. People purchase lottery tickets to buy a dream, the possibility of winning, to try out their luck. I feel that when I am handed a scratch card, that piece of luck has been handed to me and I am the one to determine my own fate by scratching the play area. I feel playing scratch cards are more fun because you don’t have to clutch onto a piece of paper and wait for someone else to announce a winner ; rather, with a coin in hand, you will determine your own fate and know immediately if you have won. However, the allure of millions of dollars in a jackpot will continue to attract people to buy lottery tickets and let their minds wander to what they could do with that lump sum of money.
The following are three things that must be done when you arrive in Canada:
This is definitely not the first time Pretzel is away from me while I fly away, but it is the first time he is at a doggy hotel. I feel sad leaving him at the doggy hotel because it seems like such a miserable place to be at. I know it is a very good hotel,the dogs have their own individual room and even a balcony, I know Pretzel is not really “jailed”, but I know he won’t like it. Technically speaking, he is treated even better than at home, his sleeping area is sanitized every morning and he is walked two times a day, 30 minutes per walk. But I know he won’t like it.
When the doggy van arrived at the apartment to pick him up , we were both miserable. I remember specifically to not look into those frightened and sad puppy eyes, or else I would feel mega guilty and more miserable. So I yelled “goodbye pretzel” to his little behind while he keeps twisting in his little bag to make me look into his eyes.
An hour later, the lady at the doggy hotel called to let me know Pretzel has arrived safely, but I know Pretzel has major separation anxiety. Before, when I leave him at my grandma’s, he would be so anxious he would always throw up on the first day of his arrival. I was too nervous to ask the lady how he’s faring, but I just have to know. She told me not to worry, he has settled in ok, but he keeps shaking. Apparently they tried to calm him down and people are trying to hold him to soothe him, but he won’t let people touch him. Wow! Poor Pretzel! I always tell people I have an ADHD Maltese, and he is now transformed into a depressed little dog, sigh, drastic ends of 2 spectrum!
I know dogs are supposed to reflect a lot of personalities and characteristics of their owners, but I have no separation anxiety! In fact, I am so aloof, I can just get my ass up and just go, so why oh why, can Pretzel not take after that trait of mine?!
Every once in awhile, I would have cravings for foods that I cannot find in Hong Kong, which would then make me start counting the days until I reach good ol’ Canada for the good ol’ cravings, usually burgers, tacos, tater tots…the all American junk fast foods. I am all for packaging and upgrading a product, supporting the economic principle of maximizing the price by going niche, but I DO NOT believe in a niche gourmet burger! I am just unable to hand over close to $300HKD ($40USD) and up for a so-called gourmet burger that uses Australian Angus beef and serve to you on a warm plate with a fork and a knife! I also do not want a seafood burger that put a fried tiger prawn or a braised piece of lobster meat on top of a beef patty to feel like I am consuming at a high-end gourmet restaurant that requires waiters to wear ties and patrons to dress at the minimum “business causal”. All I want is a good ol’ American burger that is for sale at every food court in North America where there is a certain thickness to the slap of beef that is greasy and juicy between two pieces of sesame buns oozing with fattening and disgusting mayonnaise, ketchup and various condiments. I want a burger that after eating half way, I would feel grossed out for dumping something so greasy in my system–a guilty pleasure, something to enjoy in track pants and a hoodie. Burgers are full of calories and grease, they are not supposed to be “healthy”, so don’t give me the Japanese style of hamburger where the buns are actually rice patties and the slap of meat is a soy bean alternative, because that too, would drive me crazy! Oh, did I forget to mention that Burger King and Triple O’s have opened chains in Hong Kong? I know I am talking about burgers, but really, I am craving tacos.
I decided to bring my friend to “my favorite hole” in Tai Hang for dinner and I have selected an eatery that serves up delicious local cuisines; what I love about this restaurant is that you can dine inside or soak in the atmosphere and let loose siting outside on stools while chatting up a storm with your friends and the next table is talking even louder and everyone is just checking other people’s tables to make sure they haven’t forgotten to order “that delicious dish”. I love it! I have to sit outside anyway because little Pretzel always accompany me to “my favorite hole”. I specifically told my friend to meet me by 6pm and no later because it is a weekend and I know the eating joints will be packed–sadly I was right, she was 15 minutes late and by the time I made a beeline to my joint, I already spot the line up of at least 8 tables ahead, boo!
I got to tell you though, the wait is worth it, because their foods are delicious, and the thing I love most is while they serve up common foods, they add a little twist to them, give them a bit of pizzaz, so they seem all new and unique to customers, love it!
In my excitement of eating and forgetting how jam-packed the joint was that evening, I put Pretzel on a stool smack in the center and the waiter completely did not see poor Pretzel and thought the stool was empty and totally kicked it. My poor dog flew to the ground squealing, but he is alright. Just a bit shocked at the unexpected adventure and refused to sit on the stool by himself anymore and decided to crawl onto my laps during the entire meal, and my legs have pins and needles running up and down by the end of the meal.
“My favorite hole” is in reference to the eating streets of Tai Hang, there is a secret shortcut that allows me to breeze down the hill from where I live on Jardine’s Lookout to “my favorite hole”, with little Pretzel as my sidekick. I love this strip, love the shops, the people, and just the atmosphere these few streets possess–nothing pretentious or “hip” about it, just streets with people open for business serving good foods. It’s tucked away secretly from the hustle and bustle of Causeway Bay, the mega shopping district, yet it is totally possible to walk to from Causeway Bay for all those interested in some good cuisines from all walks of life–Japanese fine dining, pho, ramen, Japanese skewers, a good old bowl of wonton noodles, hot pot, “dai pai dongs” (outdoor eating), italian pasta, desserts, a good joint for drinking and haggling with friends, just anything imaginable, and they could all be found at “my favorite hole”, which is a few streets tucked away known as “tai hang 大坑”–literally translated as “the big hole”. It is a valley or a gap tucked away with an opening to Causeway Bay and Tin Hau, the 2 MTR stations closest to Tai Hang.
“My favorite hole” is slowly becoming more and more well-known to locals and people that do not live around Jardine’s Lookout, Tai Hang, Braimer Hill, and Tin Hau. Of course it is famous for good eats, but it is also a famous place for local celebrities to dine at because of its secluded location in the middle of the city. The food shows are really exposing “my favorite hole” to the world, sharing the hidden talents of famous chefs that are opening restaurants at Tai Hang, and the media keeps sharing celebrities sightings and “which star has dined at what place”.
I usually don’t eat there anymore over the weekend because of the crazy line ups that occur, as these eateries are small little restaurants that could only serve a handful of patrons at one time. That is what makes “my favorite hole” my favorite place, and I hope that while it is opening up to more people seeking good foods, the image of it in my heart will not change, afterall, I do refer to it as a “hole”, and not a “drinking strip” like Soho or LKF (Lan kwai fong)