Goodbye, 2016: A Reflection

Well, there goes another year. How did that happen?

As I sit here typing up this blog post (as I haven’t done in quite some time, despite repeated resolutions to “blog more”), I am struck with the fierce passing of time. I used to hear people say that life just speeds up faster and faster: from high school, then university, where four years can just pass by in the blink of an eye. And now that I’ve entered this uncertain, ambiguous, shifting stage of “career”-dom, time just slips by and no small part of this uncertainty comes from having to figure out what I’m to do with this time that I’ve got. (Side note: should we refer to time as a possession, or an outside context? I exist in this time, but I also have the time… a query for Doctor Strange, perhaps.)

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Local Lifestyle in Hong Kong: My Take

A little while ago, I was contacted by to create a guide for local lifestyle in Hong Kong. Granted, I’ve been here for over a year now, I think I’ve earned some semblance of the label “local”. I think I’ve mentioned this on the blog before, but I’ve always found myself in the somewhat unique position of being caught in the middle between local and expat. A Canadian in Hong Kong, with a Chinese face, the ability to speak the language (more or less), and a mix of Asian and Western sensibilities. I’ve never felt the importance of culture so keenly in Canada; I guess it takes a certain ‘leaving’ to do so.

Anyway, philosophizing about personal cultural identity aside, let’s get back to the guide. While I’ve said before in my last post, that I am admittedly somewhat of a hermit, I still have found occasion to go out and explore. Of course, there are city guides about Hong Kong aplenty–just a simple Google search will turn up results about eating, living, seeing, going, and what have you. What sets my guide apart, of course, is quite simple. It’s just that these are the places I’ve deemed worthy enough to actually get ready, leave my apartment, and brave public transportation as well as walking in the blistering sunlight for. (I’m kidding, I’m making myself sound like much more of a shut-in than I actually am, LOL.)

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through another lens

It really isn’t often that I get the opportunity to venture out of my cave, er, flat, to explore a more novel side of Hong Kong. There are a plethora of good cafes in this city that I’ve never been to, for one. So when Andrew invited me to get lunch and go shooting, I was down. Granted, I didn’t end up doing much shooting, but luckily, Andrew did, so that makes one of us. 😉 He was gracious enough to take a few of me and let me share, so here we are. (You can check him out HERE and give him a sneaky little insta follow HERE.)

We started our adventure in this cafe in Wong Chuk Hang (around the Aberdeen area) called 3/3rds. The place is located on the top floor of an industrial building, which was unassuming and mildly sketchy upon first impression, and even has the huge industrial elevators with manual gates to prove it. But the cafe itself was promising, with a pleasing shabby chic aesthetic and delicious smells wafting from the open kitchen. I went for the cheese toastie for the sake of grilled cheese nostalgia (hello, memories of 2am Cheeses Murphys from my uni days–people from Waterloo will know 😉) and it was delicious — check that cheesy goodness out here. None of the photos I took did it justice, aha.

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the start of something (else) new

Unless you’ve been reading my blog since the very beginning, you might not know that the “I.E.” in my blog name actually stands for something. (Or you might know this already if you’ve read my about page, haha.) These two letters in my blog name, besides making the last two letters in my name (a nice bit of symmetry there, eh), or being some obscure Latin abbreviation, stand for “inspired” and “experimental”. That’s basically the spirit of what I want to achieve with this blog and how I want to approach life.

Inspired, as in being driven to create something beautiful or valuable–for me this is almost kind of existential. Experimental, as in the courage to be willing to try new things or simply to just do it, whatever “it” may be.

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the ocean is calling and I must go // PLAYLIST

Summer is nearly here! I’m not one for scorching temperatures, or even really the sun, for the matter–I’d rather be sitting in the shade with plenty of SPF on–and while the beach isn’t my favourite place to be in the world, I do really love the ocean. Maybe it has something to do with all its poetic connotations, of how intrinsically wild it is but how it brings an unmistakable feeling of tranquility.

Like as in this excerpt from one of my favourite novels, All the Light We Cannot See (by Anthony Doerr)…

“I have been feeling very clearheaded lately and what I want to write about today is the sea. It contains so many colors. Silver at dawn, green at noon, dark blue in the evening. Sometimes it looks almost red. Or it will turn the color of old coins. Right now the shadows of clouds are dragging across it, and patches of sunlight are touching down everywhere. White strings of gulls drag over it like beads.
It is my favorite thing, I think, that I have ever seen. Sometimes I catch myself staring at it and forget my duties. It seems big enough to contain everything anyone could ever feel.

I’ve always found the ocean to be really calming in a way. When you’re standing on the shore watching the waves come in and out, it really creates a nice feeling. You become very given to contemplating life, haha. The playlist I’m sharing today kind of encapsulates that feeling, but more than anything it’s for a chilled-out kind of vibe. I really do like that kind of laid-back vibe that comes with summer.

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