Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Battle between Canon 500D and Lomo LCA+


I got a Canon 500D DSLR for Christmas and used it almost exclusively (i.e., not use my Lomo LCA+) during my trip to Tokyo/ Osaka/ Kyoto.

I have to say that the level of convenience, flexibility, predictability, precision makes the camera very "usable".  Though the weight of the lens is a bit of a problem, giving my right shoulder very bad ache.

Having said that, it will never be a replacement of LCA+ for me.  They are totally different cameras - LCA will never take the type of pictures the DSLR takes, and vice versa.  When I came back to work from holiday, logged on to my work computer and looked at my wallpaper of Pantheon, I thought to myself:  ah, such dramatic effect is priceless!

So what this means is - the DSLR will be my regular camera when I need to take pretty, but safe pictures.  LCA+ will accompany me when I want to go for some creativity and interesting effect.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

You know you have traveled too much for business when...

1. You no longer try to get window seat to get an aerial view of the city.
2. It does not even cross your mind anymore the minute possibility of a cute passenger of the opposite sex sitting next to you.
3. It happened to you at least once when you were in your resident country yet your wallet contained more money in (different) foreign currencies than in local currency.
4. It happened at least once when you were at the check-in counter and you needed more than 10 seconds to remember which country you were flying to.
5. You were on business trip and after a long day of work you went "back" to the wrong hotel (usually hotel you had stayed at on the previous work trip).
6. During the taxi/ car ride from airport to hotel, you rarely even look out the window but instead check and reply emails on your phone.
7. Staff working at a particular airport restaurant actually recognize you or remember the food you usually ordered.
8. You get so sick of refilling bottles of skincare products that you would rather pay (a lot) more to buy your habitual brands in travel sizes (if only they were available).
9. In the past year you traveled overseas much more times than you went to TST/ Sai Kung/ Mongkok.
10. In the past year, you took the airport express much more times than you took the MTR/ bus/ tram.
11. You rarely talk to other travelers, but when people start small talk with you they are most likely to be business travelers too - they probably know you are one of them from your calmness, lack of excitement/ smile on your face.
12. You tend to pay attention to other business travelers' luggages - wondering if they are lightweight, with very smartly designed compartments to keep everything super organized.
13. You travel with only your bare necessities - often times without one or more of the following items: sunglasses, camera, map, bathing suit, extra sets of accessories to match with different clothes (and you tend to bring clothes which are of matching color tones to avoid the need for extra pair of shoes).

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Beyond Yoga

I've always been a fan of yoga pants - they are so comfortable I hardly ever travel without them.  Yet not all yoga apparel brands are as comfortable as I'd like them to be.  Lululemon, while being one of the leading brands with probably the widest selection of styles, is not the most comfortable.  The material is thick and a little rough on the skin.

Today, in Pure Yoga (yoga studio), I discovered the brand "Beyond Yoga" and cannot wait to tell everybody about it.  The moment I touched the fabric, I decided I had to try it on!  The material is 90% Supplex + 10% Lycra and feels amazing on the skin - incredibly soft and smooth!  With flatlock seams, there is no irritation from seams scratching your skin.

I bought the pants below with a matching bra top, and cannot wait to wear this to my next yoga class!  The pants are actually so comfortable that I would totally wear them like normal leggings with boots.  Do check them out!  They cost around HK$5xx a pair.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Love-Hate Relationship with Lomo LC-A+


Since my LC-A+ camera broke once during a very important trip of mine, I started giving it the cold shoulder.  I threw it around a lot, stopped taking it with me wherever I went, and left an unfinished roll of film in it for more than one month.  It was like a lover who broke my heart and lost my trust completely - I couldn't forgive him.

Yesterday I even considered spending HK$2000 on Diana F+ camera and lenses - Diana F+ is only a toy camera with plastic lenses but pictures come out very soft and dreamy.  Today I finally finished (in fact I didn't bother shooting the last 3 frames) my roll of Velvia slide film in my LC-A+ camera and had it cross-processed.  I rarely shot with slide film and the pictures came out so much more interesting than I had expected.  They were completely random shots I took in the past month or so walking around Hong Kong, but turned out rather charming.

I looked at those pictures and thought:  OK, I forgive you.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

For Love of Traveling


Airline - Emirates (good service, inflight entertainment starts the moment you are on board, decent food, nice plush seats)
Travel agent in Hong Kong - Yoho Travel (Nelson 2314 3898)
Business travel destination in Asia Pacific - Sydney
Chilled/relaxing vacation destination in Asia Pacific - Koh Lanta, Thailand; Bali
Chilled/relaxing vacation destination outside of Asia Pacific - Fiji
Soul searching vacation destination - Sri Lanka
Shopping vacation destination - Brazil, Italy, New York
Gastronomic vacation destination in Asia Pacific - Japan, Taipei
Gastronomic vacation destination outside of Asia Pacific - Spain, Italy, Brazil
Romantic travel experience -  Senkyoro Hot Spring Hotel in Hakone (room with private onsen)
Exciting travel destination - Tokyo
Charming travel destination - Cinque Terre, Santa Margherita, Portofino, Sienna
(Bounce-Around) Happy travel destination - Disney in Florida

My Essentials
Travel pouch - Victorinox (lightweight and with many compartments perfect for frequent business travellers) 
Suitcase - Samsonite (for the great compartments), Victorinox (for the style and smooth/ easy pulling) (article on tips for choosing luggage)
Storage mesh bags - Muji (many different sizes available, helps to organize your clothes and other personal items)
Notebook - Moleskine (comes in handy to jot down places to visit, addresses, etc. and store receipts in the foldable compartment)
Simple gold ring - Mom's ring, comes in handy when traveling alone and need to fend off strange men
Plastic containers for skincare - Muji
Camera and Film - Lomo LCA and Portra/ Ektar film (especially important when travelling to cities with lots of color)
Shades to hide tired eyes - Oliver Peoples (for modern chic look), Kate Spade (for girlie vintage chic)
Magazine - Oprah Magazine (can last a long flight)
Portable guide book - Lux Guide (always wonderful when travelling to developing countries)

Tuesday, November 17, 2009


到上海弄堂食簡單上海菜, 因為男友stomach flu,想點比較清淡少少嘅菜飯,所以我問侍應推介:

我: 唔該, 請問邊個菜飯會清D?
侍應: 排骨菜飯囉.
我: (見到餐牌寫住fried pork vegetable rice)...個排骨煎定炸o架?
侍應: 炸o架囉!
我: 我要清D, 少D油喎...
侍應: 係呀,少D油咪要炸排骨囉, 炸o左咪無油囉!  再唔係咪要獅子頭囉.

我: 唔駛喇...

我對男友話: 佢都癲癲地嘅!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Plump Skin: Ultima II ProCollagen line


After months of traveling, my skin has become so stressed-looking, lacking a natural glow, and always looking dry and tired.  Despite continuous usage of Skinceutical treatment products, and upgrading face cream to La Prairie, nothing helped at all.

Finally, I decided to try Ultima II's ProCollagen line for the first time.  I did not know anyone personally who used Ultima II, and did not read any recent articles/ ads/ blog entries when I bought the product - just based on some advertorial I came across almost a year ago.

Result was truly amazing!  Within days my skin restored the glow I had had before.  My face no longer felt dry and sensitive, but moist and plump.  The texture of the products was gel-based - not greasy at all and not easily "evaporated" (dried up) like some other gel products did.

I've been using it for 2 weeks now and am 100% happy with it.  After applying the serum, I put on very little face cream and I'm ready to go.

Strongly recommend!

In love with Stefanel F/W 09


Just a few weeks ago I was freaking out over the lack of one fashion label I could always count on.  You know, that one shop you can rush into at the start of a season and basically stock up on everything you need for the next few months in just an hour?  That kind of reassuring, "comfort" shop was exactly what I needed.  I have been lacking such a brand/shop for about 2 years now and I really am not the type who enjoys seeking out items from shop to shop.

Thank God I crossed paths with Stefanel again in Italy after it disappeared from Hong Kong for some 10 years or so.  By chance I walked into that shop today in Hong Kong and with the assistance of a very helpful store staff I found almost everything I needed for 2009 winter within 2 hours.  I hardly ever get a rush or a sense of fulfillment after shopping, but today I did!

Simple yet elegant and sophisticated, romantic, casual chic.  Beautiful earth tones, high quality knitwear, understated but creative cutting.  Fits my body shape and style perfectly.

I feel, in love!

Saturday, November 14, 2009

"Mistress Boutiques"

In my neighborhood, there is always retail shops and restaurants opening and closing.  Whenever I walk past a newly vacant retail space, I often pray that the new shop will be either:
1. A cool cafe, hip hangout - please not another Chinese restaurant!
2. Or any type of shop which can provide the occasional retail therapy I need - shoes, clothes, film cameras, home decorations, soaps, hair products, cosmetics etc which can provide me with retail therapy in close proximity to my home.

Sadly, my neighborhood seems to be recent target of either:
1. (More) Real Estate agents
2. Or what I call "Mistress Boutiques".

What is a "Mistress Boutique"?
- It is a boutique which sells unsophisticated-yet-flirtatious fashion and accessories catered to women in their late 30's/ early 40's, typically worn by middle-class mistresses, hence suspected to be owned by some rich married man to give his mistress some past-time.
- The merchandise typically has some or a lot of bling bling, glittery element to it
- The shop usually has much higher dress to pants ratio, material and stitching not of very good quality.
-  Store fixtures and decorations typically show bad taste - 80's looking mannequins, cheap plastic hangers,  very poor (unflattering) lighting, etc.

Recently there was another newly vacant store space just a block from my home.  While the shop was under renovation, the entire window was covered with South China Morning Post (English newspaper) which led me to think that it could break the spell.  Two weeks later, the newspaper was removed, showing through the shop window another "Mistress Boutique" with a bling bling Hello Kitty display on one of the shelves facing the stop front.

If Elements Mall can refuse to lease their space to fast food stores since they would "cheapen" the mall's image (not that I agree or anything), why can't we - as residents of this quaint neighborhood - have a say in what shops we want?  Our neighborhood is so saturated with real estate agents, hair salons, food spas, Chinese eateries, English pubs, auto shops, pet grooming services, nail bars, laudromats, and of course these "Mistress Boutiques", we'd all be excited to frequent any new type of shop!

In the meantime I'll just have to praying.

**Spoiler** 2012


2012 has some really long and cool movie trailers which - coupled with the hype which Kevin had built up - enticed me to watch it the first day it was showing in Hong Kong.  John Cusack, doomsday movie, long movie trailer, advance ticketing - typical signs of a masterpiece.  Big mistake!  It was the biggest movie disappointment I had in years.  :(

*Spoiler below.  Do not read on if you plan to watch the movie.*


Why was it such a disappointment?  Just to name a few examples:
1. This doomsday movie with such great special effects and interesting premise had every potential to be a "serious" thriller, but the producers and director decided to make it a mass market comical, family movie.  The movie became SILLY.  Nothing made any logical sense in the movie.
2. Kate (the wife) was in the supermarket when there was a sudden earthquake and she was standing right on the edge of the 20+ feet crack.  Guess what - she went home to make pancake breakfast like nothing happened, and reassured Jackson (her ex-husband) that everything would be fine because the government said so.
3. Knowing that the world was about to end, there was no detail as to how the world leader(s) planned to rebuild the world by saving the best of human race.  Only mention was secretly moving Mona Lisa painting to the Arc. 
4. Kate almost lost her youngest daughter who got trapped on the other side of the door on the Arc.  Guess what - a minute later she lost her son too who went to save his dad! 

5. At the end of the movie, the sole survivors on Earth were happily embracing this new beginning, with zero signs of mourning over the loss of all their (other) family members, everyone they had ever known in their lives, rest of the human race...
6. Flying amongst buildings which were collapsing, and over lands disappearing in tsunamis, the main characters watched from the jet's windows like checking out snow mountains from an airplane window during family vacation.
7.  Most importantly, I felt that movie was a huge waste of talent.  There were a lot of great actors and actresses in the movie (John Cusack, Amanda Peet, Danny Glover, Woody Harrelson, etc.) yet the movie made them look like fools, saying the cheesiest lines, with the most unconvincing reactions to the supposedly traumatic experience.  John Cusack - a very talented actor in my opinion - and Chiwetel Ejiofor's acting was convincing but given the comical nature of this movie became out of place!  It seemed to me like those were the only characters who truly took the end of the world seriously!!

The movie was an insult to its actors as well as moviegoers. 

Third Blog - Tea Yee's World

My third blog since I started blogging 15 years ago - Tea Yee's World is about the world around me instead of myself.  Recently I wrote a blog entry about my belated entry into adulthood - which I feel too narcissistic to publish - and realized that after years of seeking knowledge and understanding of myself I was now ready to move onto understanding the world around me!

So this third blog, Tea Yee's World, is going to be more sharing than expressing.