Was the July 1st Anniversary a Celebration?

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Photo courtesy of crienglish.com

Last Saturday, it was the 20th anniversary of the handover of Hong Kong to China. There were fireworks, lots of news coverage and President Xi graced us with his presence. There were also lots of crowds gathered – mainly in Wan Chai where the celebrations took place, but also around Victoria Park where there were protests.

Back in 1997, China agreed to ‘one country, two systems’ which meant that HK will remain independently run for 50 years. It is debatable whether China has kept to their end of the bargain. Most Hong Kongers would say no. I only moved to HK at the end of 2013, but even so, I can tell that HK has changed a lot over the years. Continue reading

Saying goodbye

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Today is a sad day because one of my closest friends is saying goodbye to one of the most important persons in her life and I’m not able to be there with her. Her dad passed away yesterday and it was a rather sudden departure. My thoughts are with her  and I know that she has lots of support from friends and family.

When I was growing up, I got to know the parents of a few of my friends. Specifically, I saw the dads of three of my close friends fairly often. This was through time spent hanging out in their homes or getting lifts home. Sadly, all three of them have left us.  Continue reading

Farewell to my childhood home

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I couldn’t post last week because I was in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, helping my parents move. It was also my opportunity to bid farewell to the place that was home to me for a decade and I sometimes still call it home. When I was young, we moved houses a couple of times and finally settled in a double storey terrace house when I was just under 10 years old. That’s where my parents ended up spending 26 years. Continue reading

The Nai Harn, Phuket

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View from The Nai Harn

I’ve just returned from a long weekend in Phuket with hubby – it’s our only holiday this year without the little one. The last time we were there was nearly six years ago, when we had our minimoon after our wedding in Malaysia. We can’t seem to remember much of Phuket, but I’m sure that it hasn’t changed that much – beaches, great massages, seedy Bangla Road, etc.

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What a beautiful hotel

The highlight of this trip was our stay in The Nai Harn, a secluded resort by one of the nicest beaches in Phuket. The hotel is the successor to Phuket’s first five star hotel and was re-opened last year after months of renovation. It is probably one of the most beautiful hotels I’ve stayed in and immediately brings to mind the white and blue colours of Santorini. The best thing about the hotel is the view – pretty much everywhere would give you panoramic views of the sea. We stayed in the Grand Ocean View Room, which is very large and includes a big balcony overlooking the sea and across to the beach. Upon our arrival, they had provided us with a complimentary bottle of red wine and a bowl of fruits, which is a nice touch. Continue reading

How quickly we get used to living with terrorism

Hubby and I are flying out to Phuket tonight, yippie!! When I told my colleagues about it, one of them reminded me that there’s been bombings in Thailand. He’s referring to the explosion in a hospital in Bangkok which took place 3 days ago and wounded over 20 people. I just brushed aside his comment by saying that it doesn’t affect our travel plans, there’re even bombings in the UK!

That’s when it occurred to me just how quickly society has adapted to terrorism. Yes, it still makes headlines in the news and it’s shocking and sad, but compared to a few years ago when terrorism in Europe was still rare and not as large scale, the reaction these days is less pronounced. It’s really sad that this is the reality of life in the 21st century.  Continue reading