Ferorsa's Musings


Just my thoughts and feelings as I go, whether it's travels or just whatever I happen to be thinking at the time...

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Jealous Husky [x]

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6am bus contemplation

No I’m not heading home after a night out. I’m heading out for a hike on Hong Kong Island. Yes, that super populated part of the city not too far from my office.

The beauty of Hong Kong is that it is built around a mountainous harbour. Millions of years ago, HK was actually the tops of mountains which is why we have pretty stunning landscape if you can see beneath all the high rises. It also means that less than 20% of the land can be built on, giving us tonnes of green spaces, even in the densest parts of the city.

Gosh I feel like I’m working for the tourism board! But honestly, city life is just what I thought it was and more. I feel like I’m only starting to accept the fact that I’m living here and I’m still trying to convince myself that I’ve made the right choice. Just a little bit.

Even though I went travelling for a year, I never actually decided to settle anywhere so I’ve never been through this process of accepting a my new home for all that it is. The longest I stayed anywhere wasn’t quite 4 months so I didn’t need to worry about all the little things of living in that place.

Yes, it is stressful but it’s also exciting. So I’ve taken to getting up ridiculously early to go hiking with a bunch of like-minded peeps to unwind every Sunday . They also like their food and wine so it works well.

And seeing the city at this hour was very nice and soothing. Most things are closed, just a few cafés getting ready to open, there’s hardly any cars or people about. Don’t know how to explain but it’s soothing. I almost don’t recognise it and a nice reminder of a quieter time…

Photos to come on Facebook!

Tagged: hongkonghikinggreatoutdoorscitylifebalance

oddevenstar:

Lyrics:

I never left the shire in the flesh
‘til I saw bilbo disappear at the party
and I am proud of my address
I’m a Baggins, Baggins of Bagend

But everyday’s like
Gold ring, greybeard, trippin on the mushrooms
Blood-mad Nazgul trashin the hotel room
we don’t care
We go to Rivendell across the stream
and everybody’s like
Mountains, dwarf mines, presents from the elf queen
Rowboats, Rock paths, Gollum on a rope leash
we don’t care
yeah were simply gonna walk there

‘cuz were going to Mordor
Took runs in my blood
This kind of quest just aint our part
we are short and stout of heart
Sauron won’t be my ruler
Buckleberry Ferry, Brie
and baby the ring
Won’t get the best of me

The best of 2 awesome things kiwi

Tagged: lordelotr

Source: SoundCloud / Mo Mo O'Brien

Mid-Autumn festival

Sorry it’s taken so long…this was written about 2 weeks ago but enjoy, new one coming soon!

So it’s been another wee while since I last wrote.  The truth is, after being away from home a certain period of time, it gets harder to write.  The novelty of being away has worn off and has been replaced by semi-normality.  You might be thinking “but she was born in Hong Kong, so it’s semi-home anyway” which is quite right, I feel like the ‘travelling’ days are well and truly over now.  But I had trouble writing even when I was in France but I guess things were so busy, or so it felt, that I never knew how to write.  It would just put everyone to sleep if I wrote everything and summarising too much makes it boring too.  Either way, it would take forever to write out everything blow-by-blow or summarising.  Hmm.  The dilemmas of blog writing!

So anyway, since last time, I’ve been settling more into life here.  Work seems to be going ok I guess.  It’s so hard to tell when you start at a new place or in a new industry…or both…because you don’t really have any benchmarks to go by.  I sort of feel like I don’t really know what I’m doing but I’m always doing something but at the end of the day I don’t really feel like I’ve accomplished anything.  But I guess it’s normal, and it’s better to feel out of your depth rather than comfortable and confident after 2 months at a new job!

I also had my first Mid-Autumn Festival in HK since I got back.  A lot of my time here has been spent re-living childhood memories and this was definitely one of them.  Mid-Autumn used to be a harvest festival but no one remembers that part of it anymore!  Now, it’s a big traditional holiday, probably second after Chinese New Year.  

On the day of the festival itself, which was a Thursday, we got to finish work mid-afternoon so we could head home and get ready for a big meal with the family.  There’s no rules on what foods you eat, at least not with my family.  But one thing you do eat are Mooncakes.  You may have seen them at Asian supermarkets around this time of year.  It is about the size of a Christmas pie but about 2.5cms/an inch high.  There is a thin pastry and inside is a rich and sweet lotus seed paste.  Don’t ask me for a comparison for something you’ll know because there isn’t one.  Mooncake isn’t really for everyone though but I love them, if it’s a good producer.  There’s also modern interpretations which don’t use any of the traditional ingredients.  It also has some sort of pastry and filling, albeit lighter and less sweet and is shaped like a mooncake but it’s not mooncake!  You can put whisky into a wine bottle but it will till be whisky, you’re not going to fool anyone.  But your exceptional level of drunkness after a couple glasses might give it away… so basically, not so much of a fan of these ‘new mooncakes’.

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The other part of the festival is that it is celebrated on the 15th day of the 8th month on the Chinese calendar, a full moon.  This full moon is meant to be the roundest of the year.  I’m not sure if this is scientifically proven but this is when we get the spring tides/king tides which means the moon is at its closest to the Earth so it makes sense I guess.  So we always have a nice wee stroll after dinner to admire the moon and we take out lanterns to guide our way.  I prefer the traditional ones which are made from paper and lit by a candle.  

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In other news, I caught up with an old friend from NZ the other day.  I found out, by accident really, that he was in town.  He obviously doesn’t read my blog and didn’t realise I decided to move here :P.  It was very well timed as the next day was a public holiday (Chinese National Day) so I was off work but so was everyone else and all of China… so it’s been a busy week here with tourists!  But it was amazing catching up and great to show off HK to his girlfriend and his parents who were really awesome.  We admired the big Buddha, shopped at an outlet and ate some Cantonese food.

It’s been a good couple of months, will definitely try and post more often!  Peace!

Settling In

I know you’re all wondering… Hong Kong? Ferorsa? Yeah I know, I’m surprised too!  I spent all of high school and uni vowing I would never live here but never say never!!

So here’s a few myths I would like to dispel first:
1. There are actually trees and open spaces in HK. There are in fact numerous reserves all over the place with excellent tramping and cycling tracks.


2. Pollution is not as bad as you think, in the city centre it is no worse than any other international city

3. Haze over the city is often caused by weather and not pollution!  People love to go on about how you can’t see the harbour clearly from vantage points because its super humid here in summer and when it’s 30 degrees+, the moisture in the air creates the haze. Its like how some days we can’t see Coromandel from Waiheke because like NZ, HK is surrounded by water.  Of course there are a few days a year when we get pollution blown over from the mainland and if there’s no wind to move it on then yes, we have pollution that we can see.  Scary stuff.

Ok. Rant over.

There are so many things to love about this place, especially if you’re from NZ
1. Public transport - I live in the ‘waps’ near the airport but the longest I ever have to wait for a train is 12 minutes and there’s buses home from town through the night every 30 minutes. And it’s very affordable!  A taxi home from town is about $45NZD, certainly won’t even get me 1/4 of the way in Auckland…or 25 euros, more like 1/6 of the way in Paris!


2. The food. Oh the food! On the same road, you can find street food or a Michelin starred restaurant. From wonton noodles to foie gras!


3. Shops don’t open til later but they stay open much later. Whether you’re after some bread or a pair of shoes you’ve got plenty of choices even after work.

4. There are some gorgeous beaches within easy access, especially from my place which aren’t super crowded :)

5. HK is an excellent base for visiting the rest of Asia.  And it’s half the distance to the UK/Europe compared to NZ.

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But of course each place has its down sides…
1. The people!  They’re everywhere! Especially at rush hour! I was honestly a little bit taken aback on my first day of work. But surprisingly after a month I’ve gotten quite used to it.

2. The heat is crazy. I’m sure it wasn’t this hot and sticky when I was little!  I’m still not used to the humidity which is 90% and above at this time of year. FYI if you don’t do well in the heat don’t come June to August!  Cyclones (known here as typhoons, anyone remember 5th form geo??) are common at this time of year and if its bad enough we don’t have I go to work :). T8 warnings when I was a kid were magic - no school!

3. Second note on the weather: even though its super hot, it’s been raining heaps lately so I haven’t been able to spend nearly as much time at the beach so I’m very pasty by NZ standards but kinda quite brown by HK standard lol.  Ah silver linings…

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It’s funny how quickly having a routine (and an income!) has made me settle in very quickly. I’ve got a feeling I’ll be staying here longer than I thought I would.

So keep an eye out and let me know if you’re thinking of heading this way!

It really has been an age since I last wrote. I have definitely lost motivation ad dedication the longer I’m away from NZ but maybe Hong Kong will inspire me with its intense and colourful atmosphere!

So quick recap:
All ended well at Courchevel. It seemed for a while that the ski season might end early but it just kept snowing!  It was sad to say goodbye yet again but I’ve worked in hospo long enough, I’ve definitely hardened up a bit!

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The last month in France was spent catching up with old friends and saying goodbye. Who knows when I will be back in that part of the world again! France really is a stunning country filled with amazing natural and gastronomic wonders.  I also went to Champagne and Bordeaux…slowly ticking off my French wine regions.  It was so surreal visiting the great Champagne houses and first growth chateaux after reading and talking about them for so long!

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I have had an absolutely amazing year in France.  I met so many wonderful people, caught up with so many good friends, received wonderful hospitality, visited so many places, had lots of fun trying new things,

Home was amazing. So many great reunions up ad down the country! Going home helped me see how much I had changed and grown but for now I’m still drawn to traveling.

So now back to Hong Kong. I feel like I’ve gone full circle moving back to the city where I spent my first 7 years. It’s always been a home away from home and now I can explore this place as an adult an experience all it has to offer.

I’ve just started a job selling wine at a wine merchants in the centre of town. I’m liking it so far, great vibe and I can keep tasting awesome wines and enjoy the big city life.

Tagged: travelgoodbyesamazingfriendsnewbeginningsgrowingupFranceBordeauxChampagnedreamcometrue

Catching up

It really has been an age since I last wrote. I have definitely lost motivation ad dedication the longer I’m away from NZ but maybe Hong Kong will inspire me with its intense and colourful atmosphere!

So quick recap:
All ended well at Courchevel. It seemed for a while that the ski season might end early but it just kept snowing!  It was sad to say goodbye yet again but I’ve worked in hospo long enough, I’ve definitely hardened up a bit!

image



The last month in France was spent catching up with old friends and saying goodbye. Who knows when I will be back in that part of the world again! France really is a stunning country filled with amazing natural and gastronomic wonders.  I also went to Champagne and Bordeaux…slowly ticking off my French wine regions.  It was so surreal visiting the great Champagne houses and first growth chateaux after reading and talking about them for so long!

image

I have had an absolutely amazing year in France.  I met so many wonderful people, caught up with so many good friends, received wonderful hospitality, visited so many places, had lots of fun trying new things,

Home was amazing. So many great reunions up ad down the country! Going home helped me see how much I had changed and grown but for now I’m still drawn to traveling.

So now back to Hong Kong. I feel like I’ve gone full circle moving back to the city where I spent my first 7 years. It’s always been a home away from home and now I can explore this place as an adult an experience all it has to offer.

I’ve just started a job selling wine at a wine merchants in the centre of town. I’m liking it so far, great vibe and I can keep tasting awesome wines and enjoy the big city life.

Tagged: travelgoodbyesihaveamazingfriendsnewbeginningsgrowingupFranceBordeauxChampagnedreamcometrueinnerfulfilment

The beginning of the end

I actually got a wee bit emotional when I arrived in Paris this time.  I realised that I would have come here 5 times since I’ve been in France and spent about 6 weeks total in this amazing city.  It’s also the place where I’ll be leaving this amazing country from in just 2 weeks.  What an amazing year I’ve had here!  It definitely doesn’t feel like I’ve been here for a whole year.

So it’s been a while since my last post… The winter season has sadly come to an end.  I did manage to progress in snowboarding and I’m already making imaginary plans for a snowy getaway next winter.  It was very sad to leave behind the awesome bunch of folks I worked and hung out with this winter.

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I had the pleasure of spending 10 days the quaint provençal village of Grimaud on the south coast.  Going from 2 to 20 degrees was very welcome (something I would not like to experience in reverse!) and I finally visited the famous seaside town of Saint-Tropez.  This gorgeous port is famous for the famous people who go there.  I’ve been told to avoid it high summer and anyway, there’s so many other, less crowded seaside towns to visit in the area that are just as pretty.  Below is a picture of Port Grimaud, a pretty place worth checking out.

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I also popped in to say hi at Rochegude where I worked last summer.  It was nice to see everyone before I left the country.  I then passed a week in the Lot in the southwest of France.  It’s a beautiful, less populated area with more pretty villages and towns.

For the next 2 weeks, I’ll be having more adventures in Paris, Champagne and Bordeaux.  My secret mission is to eat as much cheese, bread, pastries, jambon sec, saucisson as I can before I go.  The food in this country is just too damn good.  Not to mention drinking wine…oh the wine!!!

I’ll be home for a few weeks at the end of May/June and then moving to Hong Kong, my place of birth.  Another interesting yet completely different experiment!

See you all soon! x

Mountain Life

I’m so pleased that I chose to come to Courchevel!  It is just so beautiful here, I can’t help but smile every time I look out the window.  Everything is covered in snow in and the view across the valley is just stunning.  So far we’ve had some very nice sunny days which makes eating lunch on the terrace quite enjoyable.

So Courchevel is one of the major ski resorts in France.  It is in fact 6 villages at different elevations.  The main village is Courchevel 1850 where work is.  It’s where the big 5 hotels are and is the main village.  The next one down is 1650 where we go to do our grocery shopping and laundry.  I’m staying at 1550 which is a wee quiet village with a great bar where we know the owner by name and we have our usual drinks.  There’s a bakery and a small supermarket if we need to do any emergency shopping.  There’s also 1300 with an awesome bar and 1400 and 1100 which I haven’t explored yet.

I’m in a nice flat which is in a lovely chalet.  I’m sharing with 4 other girls who work in different areas of the hotel.  This actually feels nice and homely, so unlike the flat at my last job!  There are free buses that take us up to 1850 every half hour and once I get my season pass and I start taking the gondola which will save me lots of time.  Funny thing here about the gondolas – I guess kiwis are the only ones that call them that, I guess cable car makes more sense to everyone else. But the funniest thing is the French name for them – “les oeuf”, the eggs!  I nearly broke ribs when I first heard that!  “I’m taking the egg to work today” is a phrase you will never hear me say!

Work’s been pretty intense, I have a lot more responsibilities but it’s nice to be pushed and do something different.  There are some amazing wines on the list but I don’t sell as many as I hope.  The clients have been for the most part very nice, not snooty at all so work is quite enjoyable.  The restaurant crew is awesome and it seems as though everyone is very nice in every part of the hotel.  I’ve met some absolutely amazing people here already, all that’s left to do is to get onto a snowboard!