Sunday, January 24, 2010

A New Semester

The new semester starts tomorrow morning at 8:10 a.m.!

This semester looks like it'll be a good semester and I'll do my best to ensure it remains that way. I'm looking forward to the classes. This semester we study the central nervous system and the urogenital system. I've always been one to be interested in topics about the brain and how it functions so I can't wait.

This semester I will very willingly make the sacrifices that I have to make. There are things that I do well without now after depriving myself of them over time, like MSN messenger. I visit Skype on occasion and google talk here and there but IM-ing for me is only for when I need to get into contact with someone. I've become bored of Facebook and I use Twitter every now and then.

Now's the time to concentrate on the important things.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

"I See You"

I've had my second dose of Avatar tonight and it was as good as the first. Or better. Either way, it was incredibly entertaining and so enjoyable. I fell in love with Pandora all over again.

I quite wish that more people who live on a planet as magnificent as Earth should be more respectful to its nature. To love it as it deserves to be loved. To treat it as it deserves to be treated. Because our natural world is amazingly beautiful and it should be treated as it is.

James Cameron made a place as wonderful as Pandora and managed to show us the beauty he had in mind. To show us something great and majestic. It hurts to see something you love with all your soul torn down, burnt and smashed to pieces...ravaged against...murdered.

Alot of work was placed into this movie. And I think it was well worth it. If only I could see it in 3D.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Bird's Nest Soup

Many people have had a thing or two to say about a wonderful Asian delicacy that I had while I was in Hong Kong: bird saliva...or more commonly called bird's nest soup. Everyone's had this to say about it: "Ew!" or "Yuck!" and other such related terms.

This lovely bird on the left is called a swiftlet (no need to get into it's scientific name because it's super long) and it is in its nest. The nest of a swiftlet is made, not of twigs, branches and leaves, but of it's saliva. At certain times of the year, this little bird's salivary glands expand and produces copious amounts of saliva. This produces thicker, stronger nests which are harvested 3 times a year.

The bird's nest has a number of benefits on one's health (plus, it's yummy). To keep it's health benefits short and simple, the bird's nest:
  • facilitates growth
  • replenishes strength and vital energy
  • increases immunity (thereby allowing for a speedy recovery from illness)
  • regulates endocrine function
  • enhances metabolism
  • moisturises the skin

Bird's nest is expensive but contains numerous health benefits without tasting like medicine. It can be served with milk, rock sugar, oatmeal or may be served in a chicken broth or congee.

While the bird's nest is made from the saliva of the swiftlet and used as a soup, I don't see why it should be so...gross to think of as a source of food and nutrition. It is just like any other animal product. Milk, too, is produced within an animal yet we all drink it without a second thought.

If you're interested in reading up more on the bird's nest, be sure to check out this site: Natural Nest

Friday, January 8, 2010


Nokia N97 Mini

This! This is my new piece of equipment. New to me in every way. And I love it.

Not only is it fresh from the factory and new to my hands, it's also the first Nokia device I've owned. It's the first touchscreen smartphone I've operated. The first "garnet" coloured mobile phone that I call mine.

New to Nokia, as well as the Symbian S60 5th edition OS, I've been getting accustomed to the interface. There are still things, probably many things, that I have yet to discover on it but that's ok. Why? Because I like making new discoveries on new electronic devices. Makes me happy every time I find out. Which is why I never read instruction manuals unless I get desperate and impatient.

It's a lovely piece of equipment. The way it slides up to reveal its full QWERTY keyboard. The way the keys feel as my fingers glide over them while typing. The simplicity of the home screen. The surprisingly high quality of the images it captures whether by still or video. It's lovely.

Many features, many technicalities to adjust to. The OVI store may not be the greatest right now but it's building it's way up.

Lots to look forward to.

And by the way, I named it Minimi.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

A Difference in Classes

I've mentioned it before and speaking about it to a friend gave me this sudden urge to go into so much detail about the flight between Hong Kong and New York that I decided I'd blog about it. =]

I flew Business First Class on Continental Airlines to and from Hong Kong and it was amazing! We've flown in Economy on Cathay Pacific for our previous trips and it was ok. We were considering treating ourselves and flying Business First on Cathay Pacific...the prices were incredibly high but the features available seemed to be worth it. The level of privacy on Cathay Pacific had Business First Class passengers almost in little cubicles and First Class had much larger cubicles. But alas! We decided on Continental Airlines because it offered a special at the time and we grabbed it while it was still hot, saving quite a bit of money.

We got 3 meals on the flight and were very well kept hydrated. Got a choice of a drink before take off, a refill after take off and about an hour after we got our first meal.

The first and third meals started with warm roasted nuts with a beverage. This was followed by an appetizer consisting of a small cup of soup and another item of choice, then onto a salad with your choice of dressing (or no dressing at all, as in my case) with your choice of assorted rolls with butter. The salad was then followed by the main course, which of course differed depending on your destination and about 3 meal choices were given. After the main course, we enjoyed some lovely fruits with crackers and assorted cheeses along with the option of wine. And last, but not least, came the dessert, which was merely vanilla ice cream with a choice of toppings and an assortment of pastries.

The second meal was merely a mid-flight refreshment and, to and from Hong Kong, we had a Taiwanese-style noodle soup with a slice of cake. I didn't have the refreshment on my way to Hong Kong because I was sleeping at the time but I certainly had it on our way back to New York.

Everything was delicious! The food alone makes Business First Class heavenly compared to Economy!

Our seats extended fully almost into a bed at about 170˚ which was comfortable enough with our spacious seating space. I got a good 6 hours or so of sleep on the way to Hong just the right time so that I wasn't drastically jetlagged upon arrival. On the way back, however, I didn't sleep any more than 4 hours and spent the rest of the time eating and watching movies and TV shows. Took myself a few days to readjust to the time zone.

I had an enjoyable time in Hong Kong as well as an enjoyable flight there too!

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

A New Love In My Heart...

...a love sparked by Hong Kong

Having arrived in Hong Kong on the night of the 22nd, we had a 15 hour flight that was just slightly delayed at Newark Airport on the afternoon of the 21st.
view from The Peak on the night of Dec. 23.

Thursday December 24th 2009
"It's 2:45pm on Christmas eve and we're at Ocean Park having fun! Well actually, we're in the sun in the line to watch a show...not too sure which one it is but the queue is SUPER long! Feels like it's 27 degrees out with the sun hitting me and all.

So far we've seen a dolphin and seal show, all sorts of jelly fish and all sorts of other aquatic animals. Just got me this little purple jellyfish keyring. I'll probably hang it up in the car =).

I went on the Raging Water ride with my uncle and aunts. We got wet but it was fun. Including the rapid steep fall at the end. Yikes. Falls aren't my thing at all. Still fun though...adrenaline rush and all.

Last night we went to The Peak and saw these amazing views from one of HK's mountains. It was cold, foggy and beautiful. We also went around a bit and saw some really nice lights around Kowloon. We were in Admiralty and I'm told that it's the tourist's area. Everyone who works there must speak English and the environment is just totally different. The buildings in that area are also commercial so they all held stores and offices. Some stores were brand name like Yves Saint Laurent, Giorgio Armani and some others so they were, of course, expensive as well. We didn't stop off in any of them though. Just passed by them while riding a tram. My first time on a tram too!

A nicely kept place. Completely different from our area. Might've seen a few more private cars around too. Private cars aren't very common in Hong Kong.

I was rather sleepy last night...too much so to make an entry. Since about 8:30pm I was ready to knock out and managed to survive getting home around 11:00 pm even though I took short naps on the train and taxi ride home. Haha.

More later..."

And I never really got around to saying more about the day later on. I was really tired (again around 8:30pm) so I couldn't make another entry. But I kept up the next day =]

Friday December 25th 2009
"8:30 am on Christmas morning. We're going out for breakfast today. Wonder where to.

Yesterday after my entry, we went down the enormous length we climbed (by escalators) by cable car. It was quite nice. Then we went into Santa's Illusion place. It was incredibly fun! Then we went to look at the great pandas. They were both eating. I loved it. I love pandas. Got me the panda stuffed animal that I've been wanting, as well as a couple other things for people back home.

Then we left and went to have a bit of sushi. I didn't eat much since I still felt full from lunch. We went for dessert too. And we went to this super busy mall -Wachifield Mall- to see some lights. Glad we went even though there were so many people."

I didn't really make an entry on the evening of the 25th. We were home mostly. A friend of mine who's at university in Wuhan, China, was coming to Hong Kong to meet us on the 26th. That day I ate this sweet soup. My Mom told me what it was made of...most people wouldn't want to eat it but she said it was sweet and was good for the body. Oh yeah, and that it was expensive...really expensive to get. Bird saliva. Mmmm. Yup. A soup made of bird saliva.

Saturday December 26th 2009
"10:07pm Boxing Day. Spent the day with Justin today. It was super awesome. It helped that I had someone to talk to for a change =D

Justin speaks such good Mandarin...I honestly couldn't help but be amazed at how well he interacted with my uncle. He's my inspiration. I'd love to be able to be somewhat fluent as he is someday...although...that might be a bit hard to accomplish. My plan is to focus more on being studious for the next year (my new year's resolution) and restart learning Mandarin and keep up with it...somehow...

We took a tour bus around Central and went to the HK Space Museum then we walked around quite a bit looking at lights in the evening. We saw a lights show around 8. It was pretty cool. I love the idea of displaying lights from buildings for like 15 mins. Caught most of it on camera. Most..not all since the battery was dying.
We saw about 4 couples who just had a wedding. Four beautiful brides with four handsome grooms. Awwww. =]

All in all I had an amazing day! I love Hong Kong! And Justin does too!"

Sunday December 27th 2009
I wasn't feeling too well today...I started getting a cold. Either that or my nasal sinuses were really bothering me. Probably the reason I didn't bother making an entry this day. Whichever it was, I decided to stay home that day and sleep it off for a bit because my head started spinning when we went out for lunch. After my little nap, I felt better and we went out to a couple of malls to check out the Christmas decorations. The first one we went to was my favourite. It was Telford Plaza and there were stuffed bears everywhere!
Oh how I love stuffed animals! =D

Monday December 28th 2009
"11:39pm December 28th. We went to Disneyland today. I had loads of fun!
I took loads of pictures and videos! Lots to look back on in time. And to show off to people. =)

I went on Space Mountain! The boldest attempt at adventure I've had...ever. I normally don't do stuff that initiates tachycardia at the thought of being on it. It helped that I couldn't see what was coming being in the dark and having my glasses off. It was sooo much fun though!!! xD.

Watched a bunch of shows then we stuck around to see the fireworks at 9. They were awesome!!! We got these special glasses..sorta..that allowed you to see lights in a snowflake-like fashion. Video was taken of my phone not camera since my battery was sorta dead. Hopefully the quality's still good though. =)

Tomorrow's our last day in HK then we're off to the airport Wednesday morning. Part of me wants to go back home but another (major) part is begging to stay! It's now somewhat a goal of mine to have the experience of living here. Definitely."

I guess I got a little bold this trip...having gone on two rather thrilling rides that I normally prefer to watch people survive on. =]

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Oh How I Love The Cold

You know how people like to ask questions like "Which do you prefer? Hot or cold?" And as I would normally reply to such questions, I say "I'm not sure. I like both. I'm not really one to pick a favourite." But that was 3 years ago. When I didn't have much exposure to colder temperatures. But now I have. And I love it.

It's true...I'm truly not one to pick a favourite. I can't choose between vanilla and chocolate ice cream so I normally take a mix. But I just love the cold. I really hate being hot. Sure being sweaty and feeling sticky bothers me, I only like sweating when I exercise because then I feel like I've really had a good workout and it feels good and, after all, I could easily cool down. But there are the days when the internal body temperature is just soaring (and it's not a fever), I'm not sweating and a cold shower does little to help. Those are the days when air conditioning is most required but what happens if you don't have it? You could strip down and stand in front a fan for all the world but it still won't help because the fan circulates hot air. Not helpful.

So I love the cold. Full stop. And I loved my trip to Hong Kong so much because Hong Kong has, as I've mentioned previously, the most perfect temperatures! With normal winter temperatures ranging from 15-21 degrees Celsius and cooler temperatures that can drop down to 7 degrees Celsius, how could I not love the weather there?

New York on the 19th and 20th were wonderfully cold and snowy. Here is where I'll start posting about my ever wonderful 12-day trip to Hong Kong and back and everything that happened in between. I made little "journal entries", so to speak, while I was gone with the Active Notes application on my new Nokia N97 mini. I'll just copy and paste them here for you to read =]
Sunday December 20th 2009:
"Flight to New York was delayed due to weather conditions. We left Barbados 2 hrs late and so we arrived 2 hrs late and then some since we had to circle around a couple of times while they cleared the runway of snow! Then another half hr looking for an open terminal. Then another 20 mins waiting for luggage. Temperature was in the negatives in degrees Celsius! Got out the airport around 11:30 pm. Had to drive slow. Got to the hotel after 3 am. Got the N97 mini."
hotel car park
While waiting in New York for my flight to return to Barbados, it snowed again. Snow upon arrival. Snow upon departure. It was my first experience with snow! And I loved it.
JFK upon departure

More to come! Look forward to it! =]

Monday, January 4, 2010

Welcome to 2010!

A Very Happy New Year to Everyone!!!

It's been 5 days since I've returned home to Barbados from my trip to Hong Kong. I've been pre-occupied over the past few days and so I haven't had a chance to come around and make a little post!
Hong Kong is AMAZING!

The buildings, the environment, the people, the language...the culture! What's not to love about Hong Kong?! Truly, the island of Barbados is absolutely nothing in comparison to this city. But then, I was never crazy about my current place of residence to start with. I've said it before: Barbados is a wonderful place to vacation. As for living? Not so much.

I did so much while I was there and I managed to collect a total of about 800 photos and 50 videos! WoW! That's amazing huh? Just a week in Hong Kong and I manage to snap quite a few pictures. I must say that I owe it all to my newest habit: snapping a picture of everything, everywhere. I've been working on compiling it all onto a DVD...prettying it up, adding music and comments to the slideshows, etc. It's been a fun little project to work on.

I probably should...but I'm not going to elaborate much on my very wonderful winter trip to the wonderful country of Hong Kong this time around. This is merely a very warm welcome to the beginning of another year...the year 2010.

It's official. Hong Kong is definitely my favourite country!

More on Hong Kong next time!

I wish you all a very safe, prosperous and healthy year!