Friday, April 27, 2012

Raining with thunderstorms

Just saw my dad off to the airport. His flight should be taking off right around now. He took the ferry back from China and I met him at the ferry terminal building. I rushed there after dropping everything related to this project back to my supervisor. I felt kind of bad that I hadn't really solved all the problems for him. But then again, he hasn't really taken the time to tell me about the project so I don't feel any ownership of it. Can't take responsibility for it if I don't actually own it, right?

So tired from work this week. It has been a really long week. Went to BD every day to answer questions and amend drawings. The BD engineer was disappointed that he was dealing with me only and not with anyone else more senior who can answer questions better and make decisions. He probably wanted to solve all the problems in one go instead of having me go back all the time. But it's a good opportunity for me to learn on a relatively simple submission. I definitely got more comfortable every time I went. There's a little store that consists of one of those ice cream fridges that is full of kimchi and other fermented (kimchi flavored) veggies and meat that is situated between the subway exit and the building that BD is in. I got kimchi there once and it was pretty good. I bought a bag of some other stuff on Wednesday, stuck it in the office fridge, and still haven't managed to remember to bring it back home. I hope it hasn't affected the smell of the fridge. Sigh. Every time I leave the office this week, I'm always in a rush to leave because I'm finally able to put things down.

Thursday was an unusually sunny day in the mist of a really rainy week. This was perfect for the groundbreaking ceremony for the site that I've been working on. The HK style of groundbreaking involves burning incenses and "offering" roasted pigs, ducks, and chickens. 3 big roast pigs! There were a lot of people and it was nice to see everyone so happy.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Back from vacation

Came back from my nearly week long vacation with my parents. It was good to see them again. We had a decent time in Thailand and Singapore, although I still wish we had spent more time just relaxing. It all went by very quickly. We arrived in Bangkok late at night and got to our hotel very quickly. We were met by my dad's friend who helped us arranged pretty much everything. For the next two days, we had a guide who brought us around Pattaya and Bangkok. It was so hot that it was nice to have an air conditioned car to climb into. Otherwise, I really doubt we could have done everything that we did during those two days.

I didn't end up exercising as much as I would have liked to on this trip. And of course, I stuffed myself on the really nice breakfast buffets at the five-star hotels we stayed at. I think eating out every single meal for the past two weeks made me gained weight again. I think I definitely need to some trips to the gym again.

We did quite a bit in Singapore during the one day that we were there. We felt the swaying from the earthquake in Sumatra! We were back at our hotel in the afternoon and were napping on the bed. Anyhow, we saw all the touristy sights and made it into the Marina Bay Sands casino. My mom and I played around with the slot machines and made $6 turn into $70+. I can see how this can become addictive. Good thing I don't do well on ferries and therefore, am not tempted to take the ferry over to Macau to try my luck on the weekends.

When we got back to HK, one of my dad's long time friends came to HK for a night as well. So my parents hung out with them on that Friday when I went to work. I went back to work to discover that basically nothing had happened to the stuff I was working on. There was a minor crisis that was solved with the help of other people in the team. But otherwise, things were just as I left them.

My dad took the ferry back to Zhongshan with his friend. He had a lot of stuff to bring back and we were worried about him carrying it all through customs and such. But it turned out that the ferry lets you check in one piece of luggage per person for free (included in the price of your ticket). So they did that and didn't have to carry anything. I hope nothing was lost or damaged along the way though. My mom and I spent some time looking at apartments for me last Sunday but couldn't find anything in my price range. I helped her buy a lot of souvenirs and saw her off at the airport.

This past week at work was busy as ever. Big changes in our little bay over the next couple of months.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

In Singapore!

Just arrived in Singapore after 4 days in Thailand. I would post some pictures but haven't figured out how on the iPad. We stayed in some really nice hotels in Thailand and did more sightseeing than I did last time. We have one full day in Singapore and have already made it to the Merlion. Parents are very anxious when it comes to doing "need to do" things. Anyhow, we ate at a hawker place for dinner and got food and drinks from 5 different places. The actual food was okay. Good thing it wasn't really hot out. I had hopes of losing weight but looks like that won't happen for a while...

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Parents in HK

My parents are here! I'm so tired and it's ALL their fault. I got home really late Tuesday night and then got up really early Wednesday morning to wait for them to arrive. I left the wooden doors open so that I would hear them come. They arrived with a lot of luggage. Good thing they had the sense to take a taxi instead of somehow taking the bus.

Wednesday was Ching Ming, so it's a public holiday here. I was super tired the whole day due to the lack of sleep. We went to dim sum at Tim Ho Wan. The food is good but I don't think they liked the setting very much. Oh wells. And then we went to Mongkok on a fruitless search for an iPad cover. We were there way too early. I only realized that we should have just gone to the computer center near where I live instead. But then we wouldn't have seen how much they were selling for at these big stores. I don't know why people (even my own parents) think that things are cheap in HK. HK is totally a separate country from the Mainland.

Anyhow, we went back to my place and napped for a while. Not sure why parents are always trying to rush. I seriously can't do anything after a flight. Need to sleep or nap or something. It's no use trying to push yourself when you're tired. I napped for a little bit and then decided to let them sleep while I went into the office to get something done. I was there for only about an hour when my dad called. We then went over to the island and had a late lunch/early dinner with a relative. We talked for a long time. After that, I took them to Central and showed them the project that I've been working on. While we were walking, we walked on a sky bridge that had a lot of maids hanging out. Visitors are always shocked by the way the maids just lay down cardboard and sit on these public areas to hang out. And then we were in the LKF area where there were lots of bars and expats hanging out at the bars. Some people were even sitting on the steps of the side walk (very steep hill) to drink and hang out. My dad remarked that these people were just like the maids. Sitting on the street to hang out.

We walked around the IFC and then came back. We finally got an iPad cover at the computer center near where I live. There were so many choices for good prices. Then we were exhausted and came back to my place. On the way back from the island, I started getting text messages from a friend who I met back at Stanford. He happened to be in the area and we decided to meet up. He was having dinner with a friend in Festival Walk of all places and I met them there afterwards. We chatted at Pacific Coffee for a while and I came back pretty late, almost midnight. Wish we had more time to catch up. We met 2 years ago at an aagsa even at Stanford. Seems like it was yesterday! So I went to bed late a second night in a row and then got woken up by my parents really early in the morning.

They're super jetlagged so they started moving around at like 4 or 5am. I gave up on sleeping and got up at 6am. We went for breakfast and I got to the office at 8am. Amazingly, NL was already there. I was so tired that I gave up preparing for the GEO visit. The streets were so empty that it took me forever to find a taxi. I was getting worried when I spotted a lone taxi coming my way. It had a passenger in it and I nearly called the office to get someone to call a taxi for me when it pulled up to drop off a passenger. Looked like someone who was going to our office for a meeting. I went to GEO by myself and I think the GEO engineer felt bad for me because I was just so tired. Anyway, she called multiple times during the day but I think she's satisfied, overall. I feel like I'm "growing up" too fast. Really don't mind being babied through this whole process.

I wanted to leave the office at around 6pm but ended up leaving at like 7pm. I took my parents to dinner at the Dragon Mall nearby. We had a lot of pretty tasty food for a decent price. Now they're snoring again. I should sleep too. Heading off to Thailand tomorrow night!!

Sunday, April 1, 2012

The office

I thought I'd take some pictures of the office since this is where I spend a lot (most) of my time these days. This is my desk. Notice the green thing on the chair. That's the pig from Angry Birds. He keeps my back straight. There's a cute tissue holder to the right of the monitor. 

Here's a wider view. Our spaces are very open. There's no separation between me and the next guy. Each row has 3 desks and I'm in the middle. It's like an airplane. There's the aisle seats, middle seats, and window seats.

View from the other side, towards the "aisle".

 The plants. That's a mint plant on the left and some violets on the right. The violets are in a down phase right now but there are some more budding. This plant was left behind by a former coworker. The plant has been doing very well.

Our side of the office has a very nice view. We can see Lion Mountain and the rest of the mountain range that separates Kowloon from the New Territories.

The windows are very big. I'm glad the designers decided to make it a place that is pleasant to work in.