Sunday, November 20, 2011

Health and beauty weekend

I think I can really get used to this sauna and massage thing. Well, my massage session will end soon but I can always to go my gym for the sauna.

I went to the office on Saturday but didn't end up doing any actual work. I went to print out and bind some building codes and other guidelines that I always use. I think I'm getting to the point where I can read these codes and know what's important. At first, it just seemed like there is an endless amount and I didn't know what was what. I talked to X about the CA PE exam and she told me that we need to know the California Building Code for it. I didn't know there was one... But I'm guessing it's should be similar to ASCE stuff except with heavier emphasis on seismic. Maybe more stringent guidelines. I should really spend some time figuring out what I'm supposed to know for this exam because it seems like there's a lot of material in the exam that I won't be learning on the job. I think for the actual geotech part, I will be fine. But things like seismic, surveying, and other civil engineering topics, I won't have much exposure.

I went to the gym afterwards and was walking all over Langhram Place (the mall next door) for a decent dinner option. Things were either too pricey or I had already tried it. I ended up to going to Honeymoon desserts and had dessert for dinner. That place is really good. I need to go hang out in a different mall after my workouts. There were also a lot of people at the food court level because of a Hello Kitty Christmas display. I couldn't really see what it was because there were just too many people all trying to pose with the displays. I swear this city is crazy about Hello Kitty. Can a city have an official cartoon character?! I think I'm going to start taking pictures of Hello Kittys whenever I see them. Should be an interesting collection.

I started Sunday with a hike. I saw a reservoir while taking the bus to Shatin one day and decided to go hiking around it today. A lot of people got off at that stop as well. Hiking is actually pretty popular here. There were a lot of other people on the trail. It wasn't crowded but I definitely ran into a lot of families and groups on the way. While it is good to see other people out and about, some people are very obnoxious. The reservoir is not very big, only 1.4km for the entire loop. So if you shout, other people can hear you from across the reservoir. There was a lady who kept whooping and telling people to hurry up. There are also people who carry their own radios and blast them. One old guy actually had the FM radio going and was receiving mainly static. I don't know what he was trying to listen to.

 Can you spot the monkey?? There were a lot of monkeys. And a lot of signs telling you not to feed them.

Anyway, there are actually a series of reservoirs supplying water to the Kowloon area. There are link paths between them and I took one to get to another reservoir farther north. It was a cool day out so I felt that I had enough water, snacks, and energy to keep going. I ended up walking around that reservoir for only a little bit before attacking another family trail. I swear the category of "family trail" is very deceiving. You would think it's a walk in the park. But no, it was mostly uphill with many steps and small paths around the side of the mountain. I guess that's why it said 1km, approximately 30 minutes. I was like, there's no way 1km would taken 30 minutes. Should have known better. The end of that trail deposited me at a big road but I wasn't exactly sure where I was. I just knew that I was about 3km from where I had gotten off the bus. So I figured I was closer to the next town (neighborhood) than going back. I wandered around a bit and just  went the opposite way of other people. This was a good choice because it took me to a street with bus stops. I successfully found a bus going back to my neighborhood and took it back. I really love the public transit system here. I knew that there had to be a bus that will take me to the right place, even though I didn't even know where I was.

I showered and at lunch at KFC. Have to replenish those fat and calories lost! I walked around a bit and then went to get a haircut. My hair was getting really long. The guy definitely cut off more than 2 inches though. I think in about a month or two, I have to find some time to go get it straightened again. It's getting curly again. It's such a long process. Getting a hair cut beforehand is part of that process. I want to minimize the time I'm sitting there so I need shorter hair. Then I have to wait for my hair to grow out a bit more because after the actual hair straightening, which takes 4-5 hours, I need to get another haircut in another few days to get rid of all the split ends caused by the extreme heat.

I had another massage. This is the 4th out of my 6 paid sessions. They keep trying to sell me another package but they're not very appealing, price wise. The facilities are not bad though. They have nice showers, a sauna, a hair products. But there are better deals on Groupon! For example, their package deals, even with all the "discounts" are still $300+ (HKD) per session. Groupon deals are usually $100-ish a session. Anyway, I'm putting these massages down as a "health" expense. My masseuse says my back and legs are very hard. I should make a bigger effort to get out to MegaBox to make use of the swimming pool there.

I bought another pair of shoes after dinner. hehe. But some sales people here are way too aggressive. They will literally follow you around, chatter like crazy, and push for a sale. I mean, it gets to the point where I don't even want to ask  for the item in my size because they'll just keep pushing that or another product until I buy something. It's difficult to get yourself out! Maybe I need to learn to not be so polite about things. When my coworkers get phone calls trying to sell them stuff, they just say, "I don't need it. Thanks." and hang up. The salesman on the other end is still talking! I guess that's just the way things work here. It's much better at bigger department stores though. The employees don't seem to care as much.

Very busy week coming up: hard core work on submission, seminar on Thursday, bowling and hot pot on Friday  30 km hike on Saturday!

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