WOW, I’ve neglected this blog for so long! Sorry about that; I’ve been too busy traveling through China and doing meaningless assignments for school. As promised, I’m letting my parents be ‘guestbloggers’ today, to describe their experiences in HK. Also, I still need to tell you about the HK Sevens, a rugby competition held two weeks ago in HK which I went to see as well as my first trip to the beach! Oh god, the weather is sooo nice here: it’s warm and tropically humid, which makes me go into holiday-mode ALL the time making it extra difficult to motivate myself to do homework. 😦
Anyways, I made my parents answer the same questions as I asked my friends, and they answered exuberantly as follows:
Name: Hans Kaanders
Profession: Professor of Radiation Oncology
What was your favourite childhood television program?: Yvanhoe! For those of you who are too young to know it: it’s about a white knight devoted to secure justice and help those in need during the medieval times. Starring Roger More! Had to secretly watch this TV-series in my grandmother’s or friends’ houses because my father felt it was too violent.
Are you a collector of anything?: Tintin books and items, but not very actively.
What’s your favorite song of the moment?: “Comfortably Numb” from Pink Floyd. Brilliantly performed during “The Wall” tour by Roger Waters and Snowy White.
What’s your favorite thing to do on a Sunday afternoon?: Drink a nice and cool Belgian beer on a sunny terrace.
What is your favorite movie?: Many, in random order: The Sixth Sense, A Beautiful Mind, The King’s Speech, The Shawshank Redemption, Rain Man, Capote, There will be Blood, The Godfather, The Dark Knight, The Silence of the Lambs, The Pianist, Gladiator.
How old would you be if you didn’t know how old you are?: I have a drivers licence and a degree in Medicine, so I should be at least 24.
Name: Maria Jose Peiro de Kaanders
What was your favourite childhood television program?: Among others, The Little House on the Prairie.
Are you a collector of anything?: Ideas.
If you could have any superpower, what would it be?: Flying.
If you could live anywhere in the world, where would you live?: Spain, of course.
Name 1 thing not many people know about you: I am very happy. 🙂
What’s your favourite color?: Green
What’s your favorite animal?: Rabbit
If you could trade places with any other person for a week, famous or not famous, living or dead, real or fictional, with whom would it be?: Reina Sofia (the queen of Spain).
What was the last movie you went to see?: The Descendants.
If Hollywood made a movie about your life, whom would you like to see play the lead role as you?: Katharine Hepburn
What’s your favorite thing to do on a Saturday night?: A good movie.
What would be your dream job?: Helping people.
We arrived at HK in the afternoon on the 5th of March. Our daughter was already waiting for us and enjoying a cup of Starbucks coffee. We picked a special hotel: it was the closest one to our daughter’s apartment; it is called the T Hotel, for Training Hotel. The staff are trainees who will work in a ‘real’ hotel after they graduate. The students were quite nervous at times, which resulted in funny situations. 😉 Their English was just enough to understand common questions, but anything out of the ordinary made them panic and look really confused. We had a great time testing their skills, which must have been a good training for them.
On our first day we visited the centre of HK: it was quite crowded, with impressive buildings. After that we went to Kowloon (the mainland of HK) by ferry. The first impression of HK was good: an organised chaos of seven million people going from A to B with many different shops for every budget and taste.
On the second day we visited Cheung Chau Island, by ferry through the foggy sea. The air-conditioning was very cold, but Paula told me that’s normal in HK. The island was pretty: full of fishermen’s boats in every colour, small shops and restaurants with all kinds of exotic food. Paula and her father went for a walk and I had a look in the streets of the harbour. There were quite a lot of bicycles; most people seem to rent one and try to find their way between all the pedestrians: a bit like a Chinese Amsterdam!
The next day we went to a coastal village in the southern part of HK Island: Stanley, with beautiful beaches and plenty of fancy shops. All of it looked very British or American, due to the many expats living in the neighbourhood: within a few kilometres we were back in Western culture! In the evening we had dinner at Mr. Wong’s, who seemed very interested to find out whether we were Paula’s parents. It seems Paula is a regular there and he wanted to make a good impression on us. (note by Paula: Mr. Wong’s is a restaurant well-known among exchange students for it’s sketchiness and all-you-can-eat-and-drink dinner for 50HKD)
On the next (foggy!) morning we departed to what our daughter said was the furthest away from the centre we would go. It took us more than two hours to arrive at the Po Lin Monastery, where the Big Buddha stands. Unfortunately, it was so foggy that we could only imagine how big it was, but not actually see it. Inside the temple, there were many smaller buddhas that gave us an impression of the Big Buddha’s shape. Many buddhists were praying to the statues and lightning incense. If somebody in this world likes colours, it must be Buddha: there were coloured flowers and coloured fruits everywhere!
On our last day we went to see Paula’s ballet school. Most of the students were about Paula’s age. To me, it looked very similar to the ballet classes Paula takes in Holland, but I’m not an expert. I’m glad Paula has found a way to practice her dance skills and to keep fit. She likes it a lot and the people at the school seem to appreciate her presence.
So far my Mum’s record of her and my Dad’s trip. Note that I had to edit it due to my Mum being grammatically challenged in English. 😉 Next time: something about the HK Sevens and the beach! (where the fun is)