My take on local lifestyle in Hong Kong

A little while ago, I was contacted by Stay.com 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

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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

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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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LATELY 001

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You’d think for someone who’s spent the past four years immersed in books and essays, writing a blog post like this would be super easy… but, alas. Apparently I’ve been missed, however, in my last four months of unintended hiatus, so here I am, back again on the blog, after having finished the final term of my undergraduate career/degree/what-have-you. *throws confetti*

I’ve just realized that since I started this blog in my first year, it’s been that long for “i.e.Jessie” as well. Actually, I think I missed the fourth-year anniversary. How strange! I’m kind of proud of myself for having stuck with something for so long. I know I always make mention of “new things” coming up on the blog, or such-and-so improvements or projects, or whatever, and now that I no longer have school as an excuse to fall back on, we’ll see how it goes.

This blog post was meant to just be a sort of “catching up on life” sort of deal, what I’ve been in to or up to lately, and so on. Let’s just focus on the past and present for now, because at the moment, my future is kind of blurry. Now that I’m finished with school (for now, anyway), I’ve had to field multiple queries that run along the lines of “so, what are you doing now?”, but really, it’s anyone’s guess. I’ve made do with the simple reply of “oh, just job-hunting…” because how am I supposed to detail my life plan to you, really. Even if I can’t properly say that I have no idea (because happily, I do, or at least some semblance of one), it’s hard to describe my life aspirations to well-meaning adults, you know?

>Anyway, in the vein of “monthly favourite” edits, I thought I’d just share what I’ve been enjoying in the time I’ve been away…
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