All posts tagged: special

Hong Kong – Day 4: Home

I promised you the other day that I’d show you a picture of the cockroaches, so here’s one, though this little guy looks just as dead as he is: We’ve been “bombing” our place these days to get rid of them, and still they keep creeping up on us! Anyways, I’m glad that this one’s rather dead! And since I’m showing you pics already, how about another one? This one is the view from our balcony: This seems to be a school district, because all the buildings around are various kinds of schools. Well, I’m very busy studying these days, but I’ll try to keep you updated!

Hong Kong – Day 3: I Heart Hong Kong

Still dealing with the cockroach situation here, but I have to say, I heart Hong Kong! More than once have I observed that the Hong Kong people are really nice and helpful to visitors. So, here we are, the other day, looking for the supermarket to get us some food and what not. The problem was that the supermarket had moved, and we couldn’t find it right away. Either we were looking really lost, or they must have heard how we were trying to find the store, because out of the blue someone just came up to us and told us how to get to the supermarket. Then, we are getting closer to where the store was, but still not sure, and yet again, it’s us discussing where exactly we could find the entrance, and another person directs us right to where we need to go. I remember the same thing happened last time I came to Hong Kong, and I must say, the Hong Kong people make me really like this place!

Hong Kong – Day 2: Toilet Paper

So, after I told you about the unpleasantness of our cockroach invasion – that still isn’t solved (and there are live-roaches still crawling around as I’m writing this) – how about we turn to the brighter side of life? I want to share with you about a more pleasant affair: the toilet paper. Did you know that in most parts of China, toilet paper can’t be flushed in the toilet ? It would clog up the system hopelessly. So, instead of the toilet, the toilet paper has to go in the trash can! It’s true, I kid you not! Oh, what a happy discovery it was when I arrived here and first realized that in Hong Kong, toilet paper can go into the toilet again! Gonna have to love the bathroom experience here! ; )

Hong Kong – Day 1: Cockroaches

I know, I haven’t posted here in quite a while. I’ve just been so busy with grades and my own studies, and getting ready for Hong Kong. And here I am. Hong Kong. One of the first things we discovered after arriving here, was cockroaches. Our apartment is infested with cockroaches. They are not very big, but they are everywhere. Crawling on our walls, beds, and especially in the kitchen. Fortunately, someone had bought some roach spray, and so we sprayed as much as that can would contain, all around the house to make sure at night we’d have at least some chance for sleep. And going to bed, the only hope is that they won’t crawl all over us during the night! I haven’t taken any pictures of them yet, but I’ll post some, as soon as I get some!

Tomb Sweeping Day (Qingming Jie)

The Tomb Sweeping Day is a traditional Chinese festival, which can be traced as far back as more than 2,500 years. On this day, people visit the graves of their ancestors to honor and worship them, to pray before them, to sweep their tombs, and to offer them food, drinks, and other gifts that could be useful in their afterlife. Some people even draw pictures of TVs, cars, houses, in hopes that the deceased would have a more comfortable “life” wherever they are. Money, real or paper, also often is burned at the tomb, as a sacrifice in honor of the ancestors. It is believed that worshiping their ancestors on Tomb Sweeping Day will ensure good luck throughout the year, while not honoring those who have already passed away, can have very unfortunate results. After its re-institution in 2008, the Qingming Festival has become a widespread custom again, and many people of the older generations expect the younger people to follow their example in observing this holiday. Other names for Tomb Sweeping Day are: – …

Special: Happy (Chinese) New Year!

I hope you all had a good night’s sleep, for I certainly didn’t. Custom has it that around midnight (after the TV show has finished) everyone comes out and the fire-cracking/fireworks goes berserk for at least another hour. And then everyone has to get up really early the next morning, around 5 am, to wish their family members health and good luck for the new year, receive their presents (usually a red paper envelope with money that will be spent on clothes) and eat dumplings. All this is necessary to keep good luck for the new year. Anyways, right after that – also for good luck – everyone starts to fire up a new round of fire crackers. So, this morning, at 6 am sharp I woke up to a big whomm!!! that took place right in front of my window, and ever since then the constant whomm whomm has continued  and probably will go on for the next couple of days – at any given hour. Well, at least last night I was in …

Special: New Year’s Eve

It’s here! The last day of the year. At least in these parts of the world. I can tell, because when I wanted to go for breakfast this morning, I found the door to my building locked – did I ever tell you that for Spring Festival everything shuts down in this country? Well, it happens. I mean, literally! Of course, I’m glad for the people, because for a large percentage of the Chinese the New Year’s holidays are the only time of the year they ever get off work for a couple of days. Some are not even that fortunate – as I discovered on my search for someone with a key this morning so I could go get my breakfast. Anyways, today is the big day, marking the official beginning of the New Year’s festivities. They will last about two weeks and will end at the 15th (Lunar calendar) with the Lantern festival. This means: more than two weeks of hearing fire crackers and fireworks going off all day long while someone out …

Merry Christmas!

To all of you a very merry Christmas, pleasant holidays with your families with lots of peace and joy! Here in China, Christmas is quite a curious thing! First thing to note is the apple: everyone here associates apples with Christmas, thus Christmas is a heyday for fruit sellers! The reason? Part of the word “apple” in Chinese has the same character as “peace” which is part of the word “Christmas” in this language. Therefore apples are the most common gifts on Christmas! Secondly, as we are talking about gifts already, let me tell you how Christmas gift shopping works here in China. While in the West, everyone tries to get the Christmas gifts before the holidays, in China, the day of Christmas-gift-shopping is just that: on Christmas. So, on December 24, everyone rushes out in search for some nice little gifts and the streets and stores on campus go crazy, especially the later it gets in the day! For us Westerners, though, we get to celebrate with our friends, and so we get to …