Sunday, July 31, 2011

Pizza party

We thought pizza would be a perfect lazy Sunday lunch and what better place to get it than at the newly opened restaurant, The Kitchen?

The place is so laidback that you can basically order the pizza you want and, if they don't have the ingredients, someone – most likely Avi – will pop over to the supermarket to get some.

They make the dough themselves so it tastes really fresh. I love the thin crust so much I can eat just that on its own.

Our meal of two pizzas and a coffee came to HK$185 (there's no service charge – and no cash till yet for that matter).

Be warned, though: each is slightly more than 1 foot in diameter and can easily feed two.

We over-ordered so now have enough for dinner with something for tomorrow's lunch pack too. But it was good pizza so I'm not complaining.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Gosh, free books

Next time you're in Tung Chung for shopping, be sure to check out the shelf of books at Pacific Coffee.

Buffalo Wilbur and I are such bookworms and we spend a fortune on our books so it was wonderful to find this shelf of free books.

Part of the self-explanatory Read More movement, the principle is simple: Take a book you want off the shelf, read it then return it when you're done to any Read More shelves.

You'd think that people would be grabbing the books and leaving nothing but, say, 101 Ways to Regrout Your Bathroom on the shelf but some of them are new novels and travel books.

Worth checking out, I think.

The Kitchen is open

After months of drilling and weeks of looking like it was ready for customers but wasn't, The Kitchen, the restaurant in Scenic Crest Tower 1, is finally open.

Mark and Avi have been selling their trial breads to us curious wannabe customers for the past week or so and Buffalo Wilbur have been hooked on the ciabattas and French loaves.

It's lovely to get freshly baked goods in Mui Wo. The baguettes are so crisp and smell so good I can have a whole loaf plain, dunked in milky coffee, for breakfast.

We haven't tried the other stuff yet but if the bread is anything to go by, I predict The Kitchen will soon find its own niche of customers.

Mark and Avi say they are serving salads, pizzas and pastas (from HK$68) and brunch on weekends. Just no liquor yet, until they get their liquor licence.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Rough sea warning

Typhoon Signal 3 + small ferry = 1 very sick me staggering out at Central Pier No 6.

See how the spray comes up over the window?

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Safe subdivision

The walk from the ferry pier to the MTR station every morning can be a pain, especially when there's a very hot weather warning.

Thankfully, I had this hilarious bus ad to keep me amused.

Remember, folks, unauthorised subdivision of units may CAUSE life.

To prevent unwanted babies, wear a condom when subdividing.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Go slow in Pui O

Brandy is a stray adopted the kinds folks at Pui O Delicious. We met him when he was just a puppy and he's now a friendly, playful dog who's endeared himself to many of the restaurant's diners and Pui O villagers.

So there are many of us who were appalled when we read that he's been hit by a car. Thankfully, he's only broken a leg.

But that straight stretch of South Lantau Road is, as blogger China Droll noted, a real death trap.

I have often watched, heart in mouth, as speeding cars - and buses - narrowly miss the dogs, cats and sometimes buffaloes crossing that road.

The police say they cannot monitor that road all the time but can't they just install a speed bump or two to force drivers to slow down?

Or how about a speed camera? Proceeds can go towards helping animals needlessly crippled by these idiot drivers.

Monday, July 25, 2011

RIP Uncle Tofu

I hadn't seen my favorite tofu fah uncle for the longest time. But many weekends had been rainy so I thought he's just decided not to hawk his beancurd dessert at his usual Chung Hau village spot.

So I was saddened to read about his death in Lantau Link.

Goodbye, Uncle Tofu. I will always remember you for your jovial smile, your extra ginger sugar and your incredulous look when I asked you for a phone number I could call to order in bulk.

Read my post about Unclu Tofu here.

Sunday, July 24, 2011


We and our part-time helper have a small tussle going on.

Every time she comes, she moves stuff in front of our living room window. When she leaves, we move it away.

We want the picture window unblocked so we can see the full sea view we paid for. She sees it as additional wall space.

Have you noticed this phenomena all round Hong Kong? The windows with the best view are always obscured by posters, clothes or, more often than not, a huge wardrobe.

I can understand if they live in somewhere like Mongkok, where the only view is of someone else's toilet. But in Mui Wo, where the sea is the best thing about the place?

It's a wonder real-estate agents even bother to tell you what kind of view a flat has. Maybe in addition to FSV (full seaview) or PSV (partial seaview), they should also add FHW (full hanging wall) or PSL (plenty of space for laundry).

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Exercise in bureaucracy

We finally did it. We have been inducted into the secret triad of fitness freaks in Mui Wo.

But boy, that was three and a half hours we'd never get back. Watching Harry Potter would have been a much more enjoyable way to spend our Saturday.

Hong Kong loves bureaucracy and nowhere is it more apparent than in that pink concrete monstrosity they call the Mui Wo Municipal Services Building.

You can't just turn up, pay and use the gym. You have to go for a "briefing" on how to use the equipment, with a large dose of nanny-state warnings thrown in.

Because there seems to be only one session a month, everything was fully booked so we had to resort to registering as a walk-in.

It was typical government office procedure – you took a number, filled a form and were made to sit in horribly uncomfortable metal chairs till they called you (after all the obedient registrants).

Then it was like school again. The trainer accepted the forms, checked that they were filled in properly, then did a second roll call to weed out stowaways.

We did all that... only to find out that it was for a Cantonese session. The counter guy conveniently forgot to tell us that.

Determined to get our pass, though, we sat through a video, a two-hour session entirely in Chinese, and (don't think you get away so lightly) a multiple-choice test at the end of it.

All for the privilege of going to the gym. A privilege we still have to pay for: HK$17 an hour or HK$180 a month.

But at least, as a fellow sufferer/trainee pointed out, we're now in the system. That's all that matters with bureaucrats, isn't it?

Monday, July 18, 2011

Doggone it!

Buffalo Wilbur and I were having lunch when we saw four census takers walking past.

"Don't they look awfully young and inexperienced to you?" Buffalo Wilbur fretted. "They look like undergraduates taking part in orientation."

We went back to our lunch and thought nothing of it until this report in The Standard:

Dog sends census pair packing

Monday, July 18, 2011

Two young census officers were injured when they panicked and fell down a slope after being chased by dogs on Lantau yesterday.

The two, a 21-year-old man surnamed Lee and a 20-year-old woman named Mok, scraped their hands and legs and were sent to Mui Wo outpatient clinic.

The accident happened at 28 Tung Wan Tau Road near the Methodist Conference Centre at about 3pm.

After interviewing a resident named Leung, the two were walking up a 150-meter stretch of stone steps to see another woman, named Lee.

But as they approached the house - which has many dogs - one of the animals barked and chased the pair.

They ran but fell down the moss- covered ramp next to the steps before escaping to the Methodist center.

Lee and Mok, who are from the Chinese University of Hong Kong and the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, are responsible for the Cheung Chau and Mui Wo areas.

Another census officer, who asked not to be named, said there is no training for staff on how to protect themselves against dogs.

However, they have been told not to confront dogs. If they sense danger, they are told to flee.

They are also advised to take along an umbrella and could also ask for an anti-dog device but they have to apply for it.

Lee and Mok had brought anti-dog devices and had been taught how to use them during training sessions that lasted between eight and 16 hours.

A government spokesman said groups of census officers are sent to rural areas. Once there, they

work in pairs.

Yesterday was the second day of the second census phase, which requires officers to conduct face-to-face interviews with households that had not submitted questionnaires by mail or online.

Postal service workers are another group often exposed to the dangers of dog attacks, especially on rural routes.

However, Hongkong Post employees are learning how to deal with problem dogs.

Dog trainer and principal of Hong Kong K-9 Academy Lewis Sum runs a workshop with his assistant, a six-year- old German shepherd named Felix.

During the one-day course, postmen learn not to scold or hit a barking dog, but instead remain still and not show fear.

"Dogs bark or even attack to protect their territories, and postmen usually drop off letters and leave," he said. "This gives the dog satisfaction as it believes its barking caused the intruder to retreat."


What were the census department folks thinking, sending out kids (townies too by the look of it) to do the census?

These youngsters have absolutely no idea what they're getting themselves into - fierce dogs and grumpy hermits who don't want to fill up census forms are par for the course in villages. There may even be a murderer or two out there too if you look closely enough.

Worse, they might encounter a buffalo...

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Mui Wo has talent

I've always thought Mui Wo has an arty community. Now there's a new place to hone that creativity.

The Made in Mui Wo Workshop (Tel: 9324-3754) opened today at G/F, 52 Mui Wo Rural Committee Road – diagonally opposite the church.

The artist-cum-dance studio doesn't look like much – just an open space with a wooden floor that doubles as a dance floor – but at least it's a start.

The Workshop is mainly offering summer classes for kids at the moment but there are two classes – art and jazz – for adults too.

Owner Winky, a born-and-bred Mui Wo-er, says the lessons will be conducted in both English and Cantonese. Prices start from HK$480 for five classes.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Park N Fail

Every time Buffalo Wilbur laughs at me for not being able to straighten my car when parallel parking, I will show him this.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Ooooo, MTR discounts for ferry commuters

Check out this announcement from MTR:

HK$1.5 discount for MTR passengers interchanging from five Outlying Island ferry routes

From 16 July 2011 to 15 January 2012, Adult Octopus cardholders taking the Outlying Island Ferry services from Sok Kwu Wan, Yung Shue Wan, Peng Chau, Cheung Chau and Mui Wo to Central to interchange for the MTR will be able to enjoy a $1.5 discount off their MTR fare. All they have to do is swipe their Octopus cards at the new Fare Discount Processor installed at the respective ferry piers before entering the MTR network through Central or Hong Kong Station on the same day.

The Fare Discount Processors are located at:
(1) Sok Kwu Wan Route : Before exit at Central Ferry Pier 4 (Sok Kwu Wan Route exit)
(2) Yung Shue Wan Route : Paid area of Yung Shue Wan Ferry Pier
(3) Peng Chau Route : Paid area of Peng Chau Ferry Pier
(4) Cheung Chau Route: Unpaid area of Cheung Chau Ferry Pier
(5) Mui Wo Route : Unpaid area of Mui Wo Ferry Pier

The Interchange Discount is not applicable to Airport Express and the free MTR connection journeys offered by Airport Express.

For details of the new Interchange Discount, passengers may refer to the MTR website at or call the MTR Hotline at 2881-8888 during office hours.

Monday, July 11, 2011

It's the pits

I hate Mondays. Hate having to drag myself out of bed, dash around like a headless chicken to make sure I catch the ferry on time - only to find that they have deployed the small ferry again.

I think I can eventually get used to the small ferry for my commute both to and from office (do they send the big ones out for repairs during the summer holidays?).

But it's the stench I can't take. And in the small ferry, it's magnified.

What is it about some people and hot weather? They dress as if they cannot believe it's 32 deg out, piling on the clothes and - the clincher - never use deodorant.

Last week, I've had to sit in a miasma of stale sweat and food turned bad (from the bins and containers stuffed at the back of the seats). It makes that half an hour's ride just that little bit more nighmarish.

Is it just me or have I some super sensory powers to bad smells?

I wonder of the ferry folks can work with perfumers/deodorant to give out free samples. Failing which, the traditional remedy of White Flower oil will do (No, I don't get paid to advertise for them; in fact, I think I'm their best customer).

Or maybe they can make a pro-deodorant video to go with the anti-smoking one they already have. I'll volunteer to produce it. I can do naff.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Booth booty

Don't you think these booths are perfect for the Mui Wo ferry pier?

Not only will they add some life to the place, they will also help small entrepreneurs get a start.

Best of all, the police don't have to resort to this to keep illegal bike parkers at bay:

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Mui Wo guide book

We've been curious to read up more on Mui Wo ever since we moved here but there hasn't been much information about the place in English. So we've been reduced to reading the heritage boards scattered around the villages for to glean more about Mui Wo.

A few days ago, Buffalo Wilbur found an Island Series book on Mui Wo for HK$60 at The Bookshop and we've been happily devouring the little factoids in the tri-lingual (English, Chinese, Japanese) book.

Produced by the same people who publish hiking maps on nature trails and guides, it is a fount of information and photos. I like the historical tidbits and village-by-village guide of the Tung Chung-Mui Wo and Discovery Bay-Mui Wo trails.

Don't expect scintillating writing - there are some bloopers (Jesus was "resuscitated", not resurrected, according to the authors) and the English is clunky in places. But it does fulfill a need, by satisfying our curiosity on some Mui Wo curiosities.

You better hurry if you want to lay your hands on one in Mui Wo. Terry at The Bookshop only has a few left - they sell out almost as soon as he brings them in.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

The frustrated gardener

We love our tiny seaview flat. But my one regret is that we have no outdoor space to grow plants.

My poor basil is reduced to poking its head out of the kitchen window for more growth space and Buffalo Wilbur is always rescuing the pot on the sill that topples at the slightest breeze.

But that doesn't stop me from wanting more plants. So the last time we passed Garden Plus in Pui O on the bus, I told Buffalo Wilbur we have to check it out.

It has stuff I absolutely salivate over... I want these grass sods for my imaginary roof.

And don't the chillies look lovely?

Buffalo Wilbur banned me from buying anything because he doesn't want to rescue yet another pot from the window sill. I need an allotment. Sigh...

Friday, July 1, 2011

Spot the odd one out

The red car parking illegally in the lorry lot is getting a ticket. Muahahahaha.... I love it when things like that happen – but only when it's not to me, of course.