Calgary is big enough for better transit

As I’ve said before, I’m no expert. I haven’t been everywhere or done everything. But one thing I have done is paid attention to public transit systems, especially the ones I’ve had to deal with on a daily basis.

Such as the one in Calgary. You already know [[Calgary Transit Sucks|how I feel about our beloved transit system]]. And we’re long overdue to consider how much bigger it should be.

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A side-trip to Macau

One last thing we needed to do before we leave the Hong Kong area was check out Hong Kong’s forgotten half-sister, Macau. Macau was founded a couple hundred years earlier than Hong Kong by the Portuguese, and was originally the heavy weight title holder of foreign trading port until the British dethroned it with, shall we say, some less-than gentlemanly behaviour to get their way (I refer to the events leading up to the Treaty of Nanking).

Getting from Hong Kong to Macau is a fairly simple process: you either go overland (through China, which we can’t do since we’ve officially left China and don’t have a multiple-entry visa), or you take a ferry. While Macau might be Hong Kong’s forgotten half-sister, they seem to have a pretty solid relationship, especially now since they’ve both returned to the stewardship of China. The ferry service is perfectly representative of this — they run every 15 minutes.

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The dim sum curse lifted

The dim sum curse is lifted, finally! After a few days of trying to figure out where to go, we hit Hong Kong Island to see what we could find. Our concierge had recommended a place called “Luk Yu Teahouse”, which according to the Lonely Planet guide is full of surly staff. When we got there, it wasn’t even close to full — a sure sign of a not-so-good dim sum.

We tried another nearby restaurant that we’d spied a couple of days ago. Didn’t look any better. At this point, I was willing to walk 100 miles for good dim sum. We’d backed down twice on dim sum, going for something that looked decent, rather than what we’d really wanted. I wasn’t willing to back down a third time.

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Paddles up!

For the record, we didn’t it plan it this way. But like many things on our trip, fortuitious circumstance happened to place us in Hong Kong on the first day of the Dragon Boat festival!

Hong Kong Dragon Boat Festival at Stanley Beach

Having first tried dragon boating last year, I was curious to see how the Big Buoys (yes, bad joke) do it out here in Hong Kong, where the sport reigns. There are many differences from how I did it in Calgary last year, and what seems to happen here.

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Ode to Hong Kong Trolleys

Trolley headlight burning bright,
cart me through this stormy night,
Away to the curious city sights
And let me view the highest heights!

Trolley, tram, whatever they say
You run ’round the city every day
100 years and one you tramp away
So darn cute, promise me you’ll stay?


Hong Kong trolleys

Buying a suit

So one of my missions here in Hong Kong (self-imposed, I should add) is to find a suit. Not just any suit, but the one for my wedding. So needless to say, there’s a certain amount of care needed in ensuring that what I get is what I need. I mean, I’m getting married in this. Yet, I don’t want to break the bank.

For some reason, dress-makers are on Hong Kong Island, but the tailors are in Kowloon. An interesting divide, but it meant that I couldn’t do anything until yesterday.

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The dim sum curse

We’re cursed. It’s the only way to explain it.Since arriving in China, one of the few things we’ve been absolutely obsessed over finding is some authentic dim sum. For us, this means a seating hall of about 4,000 or so, insanely noisy, carts trundling every which way, and no menu. Oh, and a place PACKED full of people.

You’d think, that in a country of China’s size, we’d find one?

We’ve had dim sum, now, twice. The first time at our first hotel in Beijing. Very unsatisfying. The second time was after our current hotel in Hong Kong (we’re now just checking out for another one; we got this one to cover the days extra in HK) recommended one that doesn’t seem to exist. Either that or the concierge is a moron who doesn’t understand that when you recommend something, you have to know where it is!

The food was good, but it was off a menu. And no carts.

One way or another, we will find proper dim sum!