Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Earthquake in BC Canada last night

Wow! There was an EARTHQUAKE last night! According to the news this morning, it was 4.3 magnitude (Canada) and 4.8 magnitude (US). I didn't know it was an earthquake, otherwise I would have been more well-prepared. Luckily no damages, no tsunami and nobody gets hurt J
At around 11:39 pm last night, I was watching YouTube on laptop in my bedroom. Suddenly I heard strange noise from the ceiling and then it started to shake slightly. "What are the neighbours above doing???" I thought. Then I started to think "But the neighbours above us are old couple. Although they are big but their motions are super slow due to their age." ... "Do they have a guest staying overnight??? Just above my bedroom?" ... "Is the guest pushing HEAVY STUFF around to destroy the room?!" OH NO!!!"


The noise from the ceiling did not stop and it kept shaking. "What should I do, it's scary ~~~". I looked at my YouTube then back to the ceiling, YouTube again then back to the ceiling, YouTube again then back to the ceiling. My mind was already saying "STOP, be quiet".
All of a sudden, I felt the ceiling was moving forward to the window side and finally reached to the point that the corner JUMPED forward.  I was SHOCKED!
天花板一跳, 嚇得我個心都一跳!

What was that? I had never experienced it before. I went to my brother's bedroom right away and checked with him. "Was there a shake?" ... He said yes. Then go to my mom's bedroom, but she fell asleep already. I hope the structure of our building is safe ...
死啦,會唔會又嚟架? 都係上床.
"Will it happen again" ... " I don't know " ... "turn off laptop, turn off light, sleep". That was my solution. Next morning from the news, I knew it was an earthquake. What a relief! Not from my neighbours or building damage.

Fortunately it lasted less than a minute and the shake was not too strong. I practiced this before at work but didn't do it properly last night. I should review it ...


But I hope I never have to do this ... hehe J


Monday, December 28, 2015

Trip to Hong Kong - Part 2

The second part of my Hong Kong vacation was from November 28 to December 10, 2015. We were in Hong Kong from November 15 -21 then travelled to Okinawa on November 22-27. There are too many photos to share so I will write about Snoopy World, Cheung Chau Island and Ocean Park separately. I will also share my pleasant experience in Okinawa on my blog shortly. Stay tune for it!

We stayed in Yuen Long for about 10 days so there should be more to write about. The above picture was taken nearby Long Ping Station 朗屏站 while we were walking to bus terminal for 268C to Kowloon Bay 九龍灣. I used to think Hong Kong is lack of green spaces since it has excessive high rise buildings. I have changed my thought from this visit when I saw many green trees or plants along highways and in some residential areas.
It is unbelievable that now it only takes 50 minutes to travel from Yuen Long to Kowloon (36 km distance based on Google Map). It took me 30 minutes to drive from home to work in Vancouver for travel distance of 18 km without traffic! During my childhood, this Yuen Long - Kowloon Bay route took almost 2 hours. Without highway and tunnel, we used to take bus 68M from Yuen Long to Tsuen Wan Station 荃灣站 then transferred to MTR (mass transit railway) to Prince Edward Station 太子站 then transferred to another MTR to Kowloon Bay Station.

Someone must be a big fan of Hong Kong bus, videotaped the whole trip of 268C ... cool! Good video for those who have never been to Hong Kong but would like to know how its typical roads and traffic are like.


More pictures from Yuen Long, I think this small local cake shop or dim sum restaurant  街坊麵包店/街坊茶樓 represents  the life of middle or low income class in Hong Kong.  Although they are not franchised,  they got tons of customers!

We couldn't resist the yummy mango cakes so we bought some.  It even had 20% off for seniors! Unlike Vancouver, the price of cake was not calculated by inches but by weight such as 1 lb or 2 lbs ...
Am I professional in blurred photography 沙龍照片? Nope, it just happened that I got to take these pictures in a quick motion to avoid being scolded by the store owners or customers ... hehe. 估唔到變咗咁靚沙龍相 J


Remember the yummiest breakfast we always had in Yuen Long. Bored to take out all the time L so we spent one morning to eat there. No deep fried dough or put chai ko, instead we had deep fried dough wrapped in rice roll and plain congee J

Without having Hong Kong style lunch was not a complete visit in Hong Kong (一定要試嘅港式茶餐廳). There were many unique things about Hong Kong style meals 港式茶餐 such as fresh butter toast 鮮油多 (I just translated it directly word to word, the more appropriate term is thick butter toast since there was a thick piece of butter in the centre). I know this was unhealthy but once in a while should be OK, right? They even had coffee sugar for Hong Kong style coffee 港式咖啡, what a perfect match!

There were days that I need to be vegetarian so the choices on the menu became very limited to me. But still the meals without meat were delicious and quite filling (素食都好豐富). Most important is not to have gout 痛風 as people with gout cannot eat good vegetarian food like tofu and mushrooms (有痛風想食齋都唔掂).




Do you think the dishes, soup and dessert look mouth watering??? Wa! 睇見都流口水? These were all vegetarian food from a Veggie Palace in Wan Chai (灣仔一間叫貴德宮嘅私房菜, it was my first time having 私房菜 ... with全齋宴).

Very special hey! I recall we were served with unusual tea like lavender.

From left to right, top to bottom. 1st photo is salad platter with sushi, 2nd photo is ... I forgot ... hehe, like we got to put the deep fried food with carrot, cucumber and sauce into the bun. 3rd photo is eggplant! 4th one should be pan fried cucumber with seaweed at the bottom. 5th one ... 6th one ... 7th one ... too many, let's skip to 8th photo since it looks more interesting. It was a curry dish which we could dip the toasted bread to the curry sauce ... hehe. 9th is soup of pumpkin and sweet corn. 10th photo shows walnut paste and osmanthus jelly.

Thanks cousin Elly and cousin-in-law Mingo for the treat there J

The atmosphere in Yuen Long was different on Sunday. See how many customers Western Union had. Why???

These were Indonesian maids 印傭sending $$$ back to their families, I think. Sundays are their holidays also picnic days. There were so many having picnic on the street or in the park. I kind of understand, they are also humans who need buddies to communicate but I hope they would not leave garbage everywhere after picnic. I was told by the street cleaners that they left lots of garbage after picnic back in year 2012. 同好姊姐傾心事唔緊要, 最緊要保持香港清潔.

This song was for Hong Kong civilians, after 20+ years I think same song can be advertised to certain foreign labours and for certain tourists.


You may think they were Indonesian maids, actually they were Philipino maids in Central on Sunday.  菲傭幫在中環  picnic day! Same thing  again - please don't leave garbage. 同好姊姐傾心事唔緊要, 最緊要保持香港清潔.

When we went to Kowloon Bay, we had a quick visit to Amoy Garden s 淘大花園. Amoy Gardens became famous worldwide in 2003 due to the outbreak of SARS. I took picture of it not because it is well-known, but I spent 6 years dwelling there before I came to Canada. Every time when I visit Amoy Gardens 淘大花園, memories come to my mind ...

December 10 was time to go back to Vancouver, flew with Cathay Pacific. Can you see the Canadian Flag? Air Canada was at the next gate and its flight took off 7 minutes ahead of ours. I believe it was exactly 7 minutes since I counted it ... hehe. Air Canada we were following you J

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Trip to Hong Kong - Part 1

Now start with my trip to Hong Kong. It was November 15, 2015 flying with Cathay Pacific, a 13 hour flight.  
We stayed in our auntie's place in Yuen Long, New Territories (元朗). The benefit was to buy the yummiest breakfast at the least cost. Deep fried dough () and sesame rice dough were $7 HKD each (about $1.20 CAD). The brown sugar pudding cake in a little bowl called put chai ko (砵仔糕) was only $3 HKD each($0.55 CAD). The one shown in picture has no red bean, but we often bought the ones with red beans on top for the same price. This particular market made very good 砵仔糕 and often sold out before 10 am! 

One day we tried a different kind of breakfast ... McDonald breakfast!!! Of course we would try something that isn't offered in Canada such as pancakes with Korean pomelo jam and soy milk. Even the service system is different - new service model: 1) ORDER at cashier desk  2) get RECEIPT with an order number  3) check the order number on the screen & COLLECT meal.


One interesting fact about Hong Kong McDonald's is it has wedding party packages! The packages include venue decoration, customized games and special gifts for the couple & guests. Now only 5 McDonald's in Hong Kong can host a wedding party J

Mei Ho House 美荷樓 was one of the places I would like to visit in Hong Kong. Finally uncle George (uncle 7) offered to take us there!  After few times travelling to Hong Kong, I feel uncle George can read my mind now on where to visit, where to eat ... hehe.

Mei Ho House has a little museum for the exhibition of early Hong Kong resettlement areas 徙置屋邨. The early Hong Kong resettlement areas which don't exist anymore except the one converted to museum and youth hostel in Mei Ho House were complex of H-shaped architectures for Hong Kong public housing in 1950s to 1980s. It was part of my early childhood memories as my grandparents lived in this kind of building when I was very little. I even wrote about it when I started my blog (

Here are the items, pictures or models displayed in Mei Ho House ...


Briefly speaking, it was a H-shaped 7 stories building with public bathroom and toilets in the centre (the cross bar of H). Kitchen was often located in front of the unit in the hallway. No elevator, no private bathroom and toilets.
Somehow I had a very deep memory of its old style squat toilet (舊式「一渠通」廁所) but my mom insisted she never took me to the toilet there. Why would I have such an excellent memory of一渠通 toilet??? 2 possiblities:  1) As uncle George said, I passed by the toilet when I walked from my grandparents unit to my grand auntie's unit (they lived on the same floor), 2) I as a very small girl at age 3 or 4 secretly went to the toilet to explore around ... hehe (小學雞靜雞雞去遊覧一渠通廁所?)

Let's look at some interesting displays:
Hong Kong old bus tickets which remind me the old bus tickets in Vancouver prior to 2001.
This display has 2 meanings to me. 1) 的確涼 - I've heard about it but not sure what it is. Now I know it means dacron ... trademark for a polyester fiber, high resistance to stretching, both wet and dry, and good resistance to degradation by chemical bleaches.  2) I recall I used this kind of formatted paper to write composition 作文 in Hong Kong primary school. In grade 4, my composition about mid autumn festival 中秋節 was praised by my Chinese teacher中文老師. The only time my composition was considered one of the best two in the class!

In the past (half a century ago), some areas such as Mei Ho House in Hong Kong had access to water once every 4 days. Can you imagine? Nowadays we die for 米芝蓮 Michelin star restaurant with long lineup. During those days, our parents died for H2O with long lineup.


We also had a very enjoyable lunch in Mei Ho House with green veggies, fruit salad, soup and sandwich, noodles and pastas ... 一個很有田園氣息午餐.

Monday, December 21, 2015

Overnight in Harrison Hot Spring

You may expect me to write about my recent trip to Hong Kong and Okinawa. Well, let's do my Harrison Hot Spring trip first since it was also my special travel for this year. I had been to Harrison Hot Spring twice but never stayed overnight until this year. You may wonder why? Because I won a prize from the Korean festival for a one night stay in Harrison Hot Springs Resort and Spa ... haha!

Luckily I found my colleague to accompany me J We went there on March 16 and came back on March 17. During this trip, there were few things that I experienced for the first time.  First time to take the Greyhound Bus from Pacific Central Station in Vancouver.

Fee was $24.15 per person for a roundtrip from Vancouver to Chilliwack, not bad.  The bus departed at 12:30 pm and arrived Chilliwack at 1:55 pm.  Then it was my first time to take Chilliwack local buses. Although Chilliwack is not very far away from Vancouver, its transit system is different so it wouldn't accept Translink monthly pass or faresavers. Since we had to take two buses to get to Harrison Hot Spring (Route 1 Vedder & Route 11 Agassiz-Harrison), we paid in cash and got a transfer ticket which I didn't take a picture but it really looked like the classic BC transit bus ticket as below.

By the time we arrived Harrison Hot Spring, it was already close to 4:30 pm. Let's take a look at the beautiful scenery of its lake ...

First time to stay overnight in a Harrison Hot Spring hotel. We had a corner unit, nice guestroom!

View from our guestroom. Wow ... March was still cold but quite a few people were swimming in the outdoor pool!!!


Me in the spa robe provided by the hotel. We tried its hot spring next day early morning. Needed to walk through a chilly outdoor hallway to get into the indoor hot spring ...

We left at 10:25 am as the next available bus would come at 1:25 pm. The bus stop located just right beside the hotel, very convenient! Goodbye Harrison Hot Spring Resorts and Spa ... nice free stay J