Saturday, June 30, 2012

After the storm

How did that bicycle end up in the sea? Blown by the winds?
 Clean up op.

Friday, June 29, 2012

Typhoon Doksuri approaches

The warning bell had gone and I was rushing to get the ferry before the Typhoon Signal 8 was hoisted but I couldn't resist getting this photo.

Yes, I know typhoons can be terrible and scary but they can be so beautiful too.

Just look at that sulphurous yet luminous light you get when (in Hagrid's immortal words) "there's a storm coming, Harry".

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Barefoot in Central

The problem with only just breaking out my summer shoes is precisely that – they break. Having been kept dormant in the shoe cabinet for the past six months, soles come unstuck and sandals fall apart.

One fell apart just as I was leaving the ferry at Central and it made me suddenly realise what a long way I walk each day to reach civilisation. Imagine having to trudge up the overhead bridge and along the vast expanse of walkway on shoes that threaten to break your ankle every three steps.

It was way too early for any shops to be open and even if they'd been, the nearest place was IFC mall. I wasn't about to spend HK$500 on a pair of emergency Geox or something from Pedder Red.

To make things worse, this was a day of "special deployment", which meant the ferry docked at Pier 5 instead of the usual 6. So it was hoppity skip, hoppity skip to the Star Ferry pier... where I decided that if I wanted to get anywhere at least by noon, I was better off ditching the shoes and going barefoot.

It was a strange experience walking barefoot along the Stock Exchange and Jardine House, passing the suited or stilettoed office workers. Not something I'd want to repeat in a hurry.

I finally got my shoe fixed – temporarily – at the cobblers at Central MTR station.

But that experience set me thinking. Normally, if a shoe breaks, you can just turn round, grab a taxi and go home to change your shoe... but not if you're a ferry commuter.

So why don't they have emergency slipper vending machines at piers? And come to think of it, a couple dispensing umbrellas wouldn't go amiss either.

Or has the whole trauma of walking barefoot in Central addled my brains?

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

No joined up thinking

I've often wondered why they bother to put a roof over the ferry pier if alighting passengers still have to run that uncovered distance. How much more would it cost to just extend the roof just a few meters? Or maybe open the gate to the entrance lobby so we don't get caught in a downpour?

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Resort tea

Silvermine Beach Resort is looking better under new management so we decided to give the restaurant a second try. The prices are slightly higher than cha chaan teng prices in the village. 

But the atmosphere and view is definitely nicer. 
The food was okay, better than when we were first here two years ago. But still, a word of caution. Go for the local stuff because the chefs are obviously local.

Don't bother with the more exotic Southeast Asian food because they simply can't get it right here. This is supposed to be char kway teow, a Malaysian specialty. Instead, it was just rice noodles fried with curry powder, the way they do the spurious "Singapore noodles" everywhere in Hong Kong. It tastes weird, to say the least. 

 Their black pepper beef hor fun, a local specialty, tasted so much better.
Service still leaves a lot to be desired. We had to go and call our waiter and when he turned up eventually, he gave us only one menu to be shared between us. The food took half an hour to arrive.

I must say though, they were consistently slow throughout - the bill took forever to come and we could have walked off for all the staff cared.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Water dragons

This year is the Year of the Water Dragon and it certainly looks like it at Mui Wo's Dragonboat Festival. The morning session was a bit of a washout.

But in the afternoon, the sun came out and the party atmosphere picked up.

I may be biased but I think Mui Wo has the best dragonboat races because you can watch the entire race from the shore. In other places, you only just get to see the boats come in.
Check out the action.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Setting up stalls

The stalls beside Silvermine Beach Resort appear to have all been taken up. They have some pretty stuff there, from jewellery to wooden boxes handpainted with cute cats.
 I think they'll be making a roaring business at the Dragonboat Festival tomorrow.

Friday, June 8, 2012

Jamie Oliver comes to Mui Wo...

... or at least his spices have. 
Loi Chan Frozen Meat Company (Tel: 2984-8346) in Chung Hau has really grown since I last featured it.

It now has a much larger selection of meats, from US Angus rib eye to Brazilian pork butt (!) and New Zealand lamb shank.

In fact, we had to stand by the freezer for a full 10 minutes while deciding between the Cumberland and Lincolnshire pork sausages (HK$65 for 6). We got the Cumberland but I think we'll be going back for the Lincolnshire soon.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Summer planting

The Mui Wo municipal council may be lacking in many ways but what is does well is ensure the town looks pretty with fresh bedding plants.
 The workmen are hard at work putting in fresh flowers in time for the Dragonboat Festival.