PUBLIC RELATIONS PEOPLE, DO NOT ADD ME TO YOUR FUCKING MAILING LISTS.


Wednesday, July 9, 2014

豚王 Butao Ramen

If you live in Hong Kong, you're probably sick of the ramen trend that has caused dozens of ramen shops to open in the past couple of years. Or, if you're like H, maybe not.

As someone who has Hokkien and Taiwanese blood, I should be genetically and culturally predisposed to liking noodles, not to mention the tiny percentage of Japanese ancestry I have should make me like ramen, but my taste genes must have mutated somehow because I actually prefer rice.

This reminds me of when I was apprenticing in Italy with a bunch of other people from different countries, and one time, we were talking about our respective cultural foods. We asked ourselves which cuisine we would choose if we could only eat that one cuisine for the rest of our lives. The Koreans obviously chose Korean food (I think out of all the Asians, they're the ones who need to pack their foods for trips overseas the most), the Japanese chose Japanese, the Italians chose Italian, the French chose French, and as the lone Chinese representative, I chose Indian food. 

Hey man, I can't help it. It's the truth. It would be hard but I could give up dumplings and sweet pork jerky (which I'm eating as I type and have probably finished at least half a pound by now) for paratha and sag paneer (or anything paneer). And I fucking love all the Indian rice dishes. That's how I got hooked when I was a kid. I wasn't big on bread when my parents first took me to an Indian restaurant, but as soon as I tasted that mutton biryani, dudes...

Hell, I love Indian food so much, I'm even giving my kid an Indian name. Alright, the reason is not true, but I AM giving my kid an Indian name. It's for more profound and personal reasons other than I could sex a roti, though, so hold up on those accusations of child abuse, please. 

Okay, so I don't know how I ended up talking about Indian food on an entry about ramen. Let's rewind to how I don't really like noodles but with the ramen craze going around, and H being a traitor to Chinese cuisine as well, he's been dragging me along to sample some of the offerings, and I've actually been pleasantly surprised. Still not something I'd choose to eat every day, but I don't mind the occasional meal.

Early this year, H finally moved on to tsukemen ramen and we've usually been going to a couple of places in Sham Shui Po and in Central that he really likes, but like an asshole, I haven't been taking pictures so stay tuned till I get my lazy ass correct. 

In the meantime, I'm going to introduce one of the ramen places we've tried and liked, even though it's in Central (I just hate eating in Central nowadays, dudes, too many entitled shits, and I always end up feeling so sorry for the staff). I present to you: Butao Ramen, which, because I am dumb, I always end up calling Bantot Ramen, which is Tagalog for "stinky."


Yes, it's so exciting to see a pic of the cash register, I know. 

Even more exciting! Don't blame me for your heart attacks!



I think the association is because I find that my poo is extra stinky after I eat there -- but I will explain why later. I asked H if he found his droppings any different, and he said that they were the same, so I think it's just because of what I order. 

Butao Ramen is one of those places where you get to customize your ramen. You're given a form to fill out that lets you choose the type of soup base, the intensity of the soup flavour, how much leeks, and even the doneness of the noodles and so on. 

I've tried all the soup bases and I have to say the one I like best is the cuttlefish black ramen. The thing is, though, it tends to give me diarrhea. I don't know if it's because I always choose maximum intensity for the soup flavour. Next time I go, I'll try to dial it down a bit and see if it has any effect on my bowels. I don't know, maybe I'm greedy but I figure, why not get everything for the maximum if you can?



H got the soup with cheese and pesto. I liked it when I tried it before, it's unusual for ramen, and I love pesto. Have I mentioned that during one of the typhoons, I lost six of my precious basil plants that I spent an entire year cultivating? They blew over the wall and thank God they didn't kill anyone. I still have three plants left, so things aren't that grim on the home cooking front, fortunately.



Anyway, back to Butao, I would say most of the soup bases are pretty good, but I would start with the regular ramen soup base first so you'll have a foundation for comparison. 

The thing I don't like about Butao is their shitty airconditioning. Dudes, it's one of the hottest summers ever, plus the heat from the kitchen and the heat of the soup, after a few minutes, you kind of just feel like you're being steamed alive. They should really fix that shit. 

Oh yeah, I should mention that they only accept cash. And the staff yell at you in Japanese when you enter, and I wonder if they actually know what they're saying. I'm tempted to drag a Japanese friend with me so they can yell back in Japanese. 

Anyway, worth a visit, especially if you're constipated and need some lubrication. Butao is at 69 Wellington Street, across from that really shitty Vietnamese restaurant (food is too salty and overpriced) with the tiny and dangerous bathroom where I hit my head on the sink once trying to pee.

They're open every day from 11 in the morning until they run out of ramen. Expect to pay around HKD90 for a bowl of ramen on average (can you tell I've been writing for a travel guide?) and they have side dishes like eggs and pork shoulder that you can add to your ramen, as well. 









Monday, July 7, 2014

Jinze Silk Workshop

Jinze is holding workshops from July 28 to August 1 in Shunde! This is a rare chance to visit silkmakers and enjoy a unique cultural experience, dudes. If I didn't have work, I'd be there in a heartbeat, seriously. And I'm not even fond of silk!

From their site:

Gambiered silk - an intangible cultural heritage in Guangdong, is produced by soaking the silk with yam juice and covering it with mud before exposing to the sun. During the previous International Shibori Symposium (8th iss 2011), gambiered silk, as presented by representatives from Foshan of the Guangdong Province, had generated tremendous interests among the global audience. Expect to see more fabulous work from the Foshan group in the upcoming Shibori Symposium!
As partner to the 9th iss, Jinze Arts Centre is organizing a 5-day gambiered silk dye workshop at Shunde at the end of July. We will spend our time at the dye workshop, watch how the cloth is made, while we experiment in our own ways. We will try the many resist dye methods on different fibres, exploring the unique quality of the tannin dye and iron-rich mud. Explore the applications on wood, paper and other material. The findings will be presented at the 9th iss in October this year.
Gambiered silk is unique to this part of China, the land, water, sunshine together gave birth to this textile.  There will be lots of sun and sweat, a chance to understand the local fishpond-silk culture, fresh food and lots of discussions.




Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Bang Bang 70's

Yesterday was the massive protest supposedly for democracy, but let's get real here, dudes. I have friends that marched, and I'm all for representation, etc. but people can say all they want about supporting democracy when we all know that a lot of that sentiment is just a cover for anti-mainlander bigotry. Seriously, people saying shit like how Hong Kong was better under British rule -- doesn't anyone know history anymore??? Somehow, people are conveniently forgetting that they couldn't vote during British rule either, but it's okay because the white massahs said so. Things didn't really start improving until the handover was imminent and the British were scrambling to try to do last-minute shit to try to embarrass China.

It's not like the Chinese government doesn't do some real shady shit sometimes, but I just hate nonsense and hypocrisy. Like, all those people here who cry about the poor Chinese people killed during the Tiananmen protests but in the next breath talk about how much they don't like mainlanders. Erm...

Honestly, the people who are upset are mad about the wrong thing. They shouldn't be upset that mainlanders are now occupying positions that the British used to hold. They should be upset that those positions exist in the first fucking place. Stupid. This is why the world should just end in a major apocalypse soon.

Anyway, so all this astute political observation aside, yesterday, H picked up his new eyeglasses at Bang Bang 70's in SoHo. Dudes, that area is getting crowded right now thanks to the opening of PMQ, but I'm not really sure PMQ is doing local businesses (aside from restaurants and bars) any good.

Okay, I can't resist, you can skip the next couple of paragraphs because I've got more to say about the bullshit going on in this city.

See, this is what I mean by protesting the wrong thing. People should be protesting the greed that makes even supposedly subsidized venues like PMQ turn into bullshit. This place is supposed to foster artists and small businesses, but the cheapest space they had was all the way on the upper levels and for about HKD10,500 (USD1,350) a month IF you qualifed for the maximum discount. Otherwise, you'll have to fork out HKD18,000 (or USD2,250) a month. Um...how in the hell is an emerging designer going to scrape up that money every month unless they're already rich, which means they don't need a damn subsidized space? Not to mention the cost of renovations, the utility bills, etc. that the small businesses have to cover themselves. And for a space that's supposed to foster emerging talent, why did they rent shit out to big brands and boutiques? When I visited, I noticed that a lot of people who went were tourists who were just there to take pictures, have a pizza and then fuck off. Are these designers really going to be able to recoup their costs? I know a couple of tenants there, and one of them has taken out a huge loan that I have no clue how he is going to pay off. Poor kid.

Honestly, Hong Kong people have nothing to fear from mainlanders because they're fucking themselves up the ass better than mainlanders could ever do already. Hong Kong people are the ones responsible for strangling their own creative and entrepreneurial communities, for fucking up their kids' happiness and health with the education system. Don't blame that shit on mainlanders, look in the damn mirror. Don't get me wrong, I still love this city and there are people actively trying to curb all the greed and materialism, but man...there are times when even H, who was born and raised here, feels really depressed by the situation.

Whew! So that's out of my system now and we can go back to Bang Bang 70's. This shop is one of the reasons that I still have hope in Hong Kong. It's run by two dudes who are from the Hong Kong film industry and have a deep love of 70s and 80s vintage stuff, and those dudes have really good taste and really know their shit. I love shop owners like that, and I hope their landlord doesn't price them out of business.

Here's the shop from the outside, it's inside a building and you'll have to get buzzed in, so watch out for the sign.


This is what the entrance looks like.

Just a short climb till vintage glory.

It's almost too much to gather in at one time. You need at least an afternoon to fully appreciate all the stuff they have.

I know I'm super old but does anyone else remember televisions with antennas and having to hold them at a certain angle to get decent reception, and if you were a kid, you'd often be the one forced to stand next to the TV and hold the fucking thing? My siblings and cousins and I used to get into fistfights over who had to hold the antenna because nobody wanted to do it. It was serious business, mang.

So much stuff I wish I could take home.

Most items are in mint condition. Just wonderful.


That handbag! But I have to say, the stuff here isn't cheap. You have to pay for quality, dudes.

Lots of designer brands for those of you who collect vintage designer stuff.

I seriously love that checkered floor. I don't know how they keep their place so dust-free. H and I have to clean all the damn time at our place, otherwise, we'll all look like we're covered in ash.


Look at the mint condition of that Bally bag!

H ended up buying a pair of 1950s frames that are kind of like William S. Burrough's. I would show them but it's too hot to take a picture right now, and I want to put this entry up as quick as possible. Oh, and I think there's a sale going on right now, so this might be the best time to buy stuff!

I don't really like long toes on shoes, but those two pairs are sassy as fuck. Good thing for my savings that neither of them were in my size.

Another lovely black and white pair.


And finally, the two bosses of the shop! Why can't my cats be cute like that instead of being assholes all the time?

Anyway, Bang Bang 70's is open every day from 2pm till 9 pm, and their address is 1/F, 16A Aberdeen Street in SoHo/Central.


Saturday, June 28, 2014

Hong Kong Jewellery and Gem Fair Haul and the IFC Genius Bar is Awesome

As I've just come back from the Apple Store Genius Bar at IFC Mall, I want to just rave about the service there. I am one of those people who have really bad chemistry with computers and smartphones and other technological accoutrements. I'm actually reasonably good at doing stuff on the computer, but I have some kind of demonic energy or something that fucks tech products up.

The weird shit that doesn't normally happen to regular users always happens to me. You don't even know how many times I visited the Authorized Apple Service Provider in Causeway Bay before the Apple Store opened (and yet I still keep buying Macs because I'm too dumb to use a PC). It got to the point where I knew everyone there by name (and was privy to the rather boring office gossip), and even the dudes there were like, "Why does everything happen to you?"

Weird white spots that look like mould on the screen? A rare manufacturing defect that I got TWICE. Touchpads that would go crazy and start doing shit on their own? Multiple times. I could write the disaster manual on Mac laptops.

So I'd gotten a new laptop last October after my old one finally gave up (swollen battery). It's partly the reason why I couldn't update this blog since all of my pictures were in the old laptop and I didn't do any backups, obviously. And I was doing pretty okay with this new one until Tuesday, when the display suddenly went fuzzy and then started fading away. I took it in to the Genius Bar yesterday morning and a really super awesome dude explained to me that it was a hardware malfunction and promised that I could have it back in 3 to 5 days.

Well! It's only been 30 hours and I got my laptop back! And everyone is so nice there, especially Ume, the manager. Each time I've been to that Genius Bar, I've left smiling and not cursing out Steve Jobs' ghost. So if you go, please be nice to the people there. Don't be like that horrible lady who entered and started shrieking, "I need a Genius!" Or that dude who was mad because they couldn't replace his smashed iPhone screen right at that moment. Be one of the nice ones.

So everything is cool, BUT now the shift key has suddenly stopped working. ALAMAK. A friend of mine says I have computer gremlins, sigh. I don't think I'll be taking it in until next week when I'm done most of my writing assignments, though. I feel so bad for those dudes because it looks like they'll be seeing a lot of me sweating up the stairs clutching my laptop.

Anyway, in the meantime, I wanted to show off all the stuff I managed to score at the Jewellery Fair! I went there to shop for supplies for my jewellery-making workshops  -- ahem, if you're interested, please e-mail me at checkouthk(at)gmail.com, and I shall tell you more -- and I left feeling pretty satisfied.

So, first off, I want to show off these super amazingly gorgeous and delectable agate crystals. Don't they look just like sugar candy?? I can't wait to make all kinds of jewellery with them, which I'll probably be selling at the JCCAC September Fair (assuming I get a spot) and at my online shop (which I truly hope is coming soon). I mean, look at them, dudes!!! I wish I could keep all of them. They're even more gorgeous in person because I took these pics in artificial light, and you can't see how translucent they are.

The thing is, the backs of the stones are pretty, too, and I wonder if I should make reversible rings. Would people be into that at all? Like, you can flip the stone over so you can wear a different side. Is it worth the extra effort? What do you think?


I decided to keep 3 for myself: violet one on the left, the blue-grey one, and the duo-toned one on the right. I seriously would keep them all if I could, though.

I also got these beautiful jaspers for my workshops. Such amazing quality, you can really touch and see it in person.

I believe these are jasper, as well. I love mottled patterns.

More agates! They're quickly becoming one of my favourite stones.

Just look at these agates! I love the matte finishing and the cracks revealing the crystals inside.

See what I mean?

And finally, I have no idea what these stones are, but I love how they look like quail eggs. Ugh, I'm so sorry about the pictures, these really don't do justice to the stones, especially the sugar candy-looking ones. I have a super ghetto lightbox that I made out of a box and some butcher's paper, but I was too lazy to use it. I'll do a better job next time.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Rockstar Camp Hong Kong

Here's my full disclosure first: this camp is co-founded by H so I'm going to write about it to help promote it. With that said, I wouldn't let him do a shitty job anyway, so there's my quality guarantee. If he fucks up, let me know and I'll kick his ass.

The whole idea is to make music lessons fun instead of the same old boring shit, and to have them taught by professional musicians who have actually performed onstage for years instead of some poor dude with a music degree stuck in a school for years. The students also learn to play in a live performance venue so they get a feel for the stage and stuff like that. AND there's a performance at the end of the camps that the students will participate in.

There's all sorts of information on the camp's Facebook page over here so head over there for the schedules if you're interested!


Sunday, June 22, 2014

JCCAC Arts and Crafts Fair

Oh man, I totally fucked up on this one, dudes.

The JCCAC Arts and Crafts fair is on June 21st and 22nd this year...yep, that means yesterday and today. I actually did go yesterday, but it was so fucking hot that my brain cells got stuck to each other and I forgot to bring a camera.


I went with a bunch of people who also forgot to take pictures because it was just so damn hot, we could barely take our wallets out to pay for shit, much less take out phones. I actually think this was the first time I'd ever seen people walking around without having phones glued to their hands and eyes since the early 2000s. I feel so glad I actually grew up and had a life before smartphones. And yes, I still refuse to have one, I don't give a fuck if I don't have Whasapp. I still don't understand why people want to be accessible all the time. I get really tense when I don't feel like I can just disappear and do shit without having people ask me where I am or knowing what I'm up to. I seriously feel like people can't wipe their asses without Instagramming or Tweeting about it nowadays.

Anyway, before my grey beard gets even greyer and longer, I'm hoping that this entry isn't coming too late. I was planning to write this one up last night but I went to the Street Music Concert after the fair to pass out flyers for my jewellery workshops, and then afterwards, I was so hungry, I dragged H out to eat a bunch of Beijing food (also fucked up and didn't ask him to take pictures) and when I got home, I was so tired, all I could handle was some bubble tea and a book. By the way, for those of you looking for something to read, I really enjoyed Lucy Worsley's If Walls Could Talk: An Intimate History of Your Home. It's mostly about England, but still very interesting and made me think about the possible histories behind Chinese customs and architecture. If anyone knows of any books like this, let me know!

Back to this entry, for those of you who don't know much about the JCCAC, it's a former factory building in Shek Kip Mei that got converted into subsidized studios for artists and designers. The Fair is a pretty great opportunity for people to go and visit some of the studios, as well. Here's a link to their site, they also hold courses and other cultural/artistic activities. It's really easy to find the place, just take the MTR to Shek Kip Mei, exit at C and it's right in front of you.

Since I don't have any pictures, I'm going to have to borrow from the Facebook pages and Web sites of some of the participating people.

I thought these were particularly eye-catching. Cork accessories by MA:Z.

Taken from their Facebook page

 Prints and postcards from Taiwanese artist, Suki Shroom. There were tonnes of Taiwanese people there, it was weird, like I was suddenly back in grade school or something and had to quickly finish my bien dang and take a nap.

Also taken from her Facebook page

Also found KaCa Pinhole Cameras quite charming.

Taken from her Facebook page and it's from yesterday

There's a lot more I should be featuring but it's 10 am, it's raining, and I still have to do some work before I head out to take advantage of the bargains at the Jewellery Show at the Exhibition Centre in Wan Chai. It's the last day and it's the best time to pick up some gemstones and equipment that people just don't feel like bringing back home.

Go to the JCCAC fair today if you can, it's going to be crowded but you'll find one or two treasures you'll like.

And before I go and actually live a real life offline, here's another link to a different crafts event: Handmade Hong Kong. They've been super helpful in telling people about my jewellery workshops, so please support them, too! Their next crafts fair is in September, and I will remember to write about it in time, dammit.

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Murderers

I'm still feeling remorseful about neglecting this blog for so long, and since entries with them are so popular, I present once more, the two hellions of my flat, Chabi and Nutmeg!

I bought them little hats when I was in Sham Shui Po looking for materials for my jewellery-making workshop (should I link to the site? Really still unsure about this) and to my surprise, those two actually didn't mind wearing them.

Chabi kind of looks like a pensive mime here.


This is what happens when you have a good camera! You get action shots like this! You know, I love the philtrum on animals. I just find it so tender and sweet and I can't stop touching it, which is why my hands are full of scratches.

I also realized that Chabi looks exactly like Watari in Death Note! Take a look! Am I not right??? From the expression down to the moustache! I've been calling her "Watari cat!" and Chabi has been responding with malevolent disgust.

Nutmeg looks surprisingly cool with the hat on, don't you think?

Excuse the caption, H asked me to make it for something he was doing.

Nutmeg is like the Godfather with this hat on. Poor thing, though. She has cat flu right now and conjunctivitis in her eye, so I have to give her antibiotics and 2 kinds of drops. The vet also said that she needs to lose weight. She weighs 12 pounds and the vet showed me the overweight cat chart and from the scale of 1 to 10, Nutmeg is at 8!


Monday, June 2, 2014

Jinze

Dudes, I'm back! I hope I don't disappear again, but I am kind of busy, so we'll see what happens. As for my disappearance (I feel like a shitty boyfriend who got caught out), I got kind of swamped with some jewellery commissions, freelance writing work, and trying to finish writing some fiction (still not done, tsk!) so I just kind of got sick of writing for a while.

I'm on a slight lull right now setting up jewellery-making workshops for the summer, which I'm wondering if I should promote here, but then I would lose my Internet anonymity, so I'm still considering.

In the meantime, I've got a fancy camera I got secondhand (I love secondhand deals!) that I am using to take nicer pictures. I've been eating out a lot lately since I've been too busy to cook, but alamak! I lost all the pictures when I fucked up my laptop. I've got a new one now, but mang, I gotta tell you, I am too technology-dependent. I need to go back to Mongolia and poo behind a sand dune again.

Some of you may be wondering why your comments have been deleted during my hiatus. I'm so sorry about that, but I've been away so long that I fucked up and deleted half the comments by clicking that weird check box...anyway, doesn't matter. It didn't happen under the influence of painkillers because...I'm clean! At least for now. We'll see how long I can manage the chronic pain without opiates. Anyway, if you need to ask me something urgently and your comment hasn't appeared anywhere, please comment again!

Alright, so with that out of the way, I know this is supposed to be a blog about Hong Kong, but I wasn't feeling any of my old unfinished drafts, and I still hadn't published this entry about a trip I took to a small village near Shanghai that I loved, so I thought I'd finish this instead.

Last year, I joined a metal weaving workshop set up by Edith from Cloth Haven at a 1000-year-old village an hour away from Shanghai. The story is that some rich lady bought up the old houses of the nobles that lived in the area and renovated them in order to house her collection of art and textiles. However, she decided that she'd go a step further and provide spaces for textile artisans to hold workshops and symposiums. How often does one get a chance to stay at a traditional courtyard house at a 1000-year-old river village? I was on that shit like like a coprophagic dog.

If you're interested in visiting, either for a workshop or for one of their open days, I encourage you to sign up over at their Web site!

Here's a few pictures of the village and the river it's built around. There's a couple of bridges that are over 600 years old, as well.





Yeah, that boat is picturesque and shit, but...I want to live.

This one I approve of.

Pretty gorgeous, right? The rich lady bought up the best property along the river, though.



Yep, that's all hers.


There was a time when I just came back from Italy and I wanted to start up a kind of guildhall -- a place for artisans to come together and work in the same space, sharing each other's expertise and holding workshops and internships for the public. Unfortunately, it went nowhere because I couldn't get any funding, and shit like that really comes down to money. I'm glad that the rich lady is using her wealth to do something similar, and I'm still hopeful about establishing a guildhall in Hong Kong one day. Anyone interested?


I loved Jinze so much that I'm considering moving there if I can afford it. I'd love to buy that red brick house and renovate it. Maybe turn it into a bed and breakfast since you can only stay at the art centre if you're participating in a workshop. Anyone with me???



Renovation and construction are still going on at most of the buildings. This is the interior of one meant to showcase some of the antique furniture she's collected.

Don't you love the smell of fresh wood (not a double entendre)?


These are the passageways and other areas around the main buildings.




The main gate to one of the morning rooms or public halls.


I registered too late and ended up in one of the dorm-type rooms instead of the fancy guest ones. I didn't mind because I got to save a bit of money, but the bathroom kind of made me laugh. I had a private toilet, fortunately, but I had to share the shower facilities with some of the other dorm-residing guests.

See, the thing about rural China is that it's unfair to judge it according to urban standards. People there simply haven't had the opportunity to experience living elsewhere, and so they sometimes fuck up. The compound was renovated by local workers and craftsmen, and so a lot of times, they had never even seen or used the stuff they were installing, and they're not really sure how things are supposed to work.

So the funny thing about the showers was that they didn't have any doors and nowhere to hang curtains because most people in that village don't have showers. They use the old bucket and dipper method (ie. the tabo method that many people from the Philippines will recognize). It doesn't really bother me seeing nekkid chicks -- I went to an all-girls' school for a while -- but I felt sorry for the other guests who were clearly shy and were trying to shower while wearing their underwear. I used to be shy when I was little (which is weird because it's not like I had anything to show, although I don't really have much now either) but that was cured by visits to hot springs in Taiwan where the mean-ass grandmas minding the pool would chase you around shrieking that you had to take all your clothes off because clothes aren't hygienic. If you are a fellow survivor of ghetto hot springs, you know that being chased at age 10 by a naked 90-year-old lady who ends up grabbing your underwear and pulling it off makes you lose all sense of modesty, not to mention dignity.

 The other funny thing was that the floor was angled away from the shower drains so that the water was pooling in the corners of the stall. I guess no one thought about it. Anyway, as far as I know it's all been fixed now. I was one of the first people to use the group shower facilities so I got to write down all my comments.

Because I know people love looking at pictures of nondescript toilets, here are a couple. Wow, it's been so long since I've posted...I don't even look like that anymore. I cut my hair to my shoulders and grew out my bangs and have a more vintage look going on, I guess. Anyway, what does anyone care about this old lady's vanity?




This room is supposed to accommodate two people, so it's reasonably spacious.

Another thing that happened was that the airconditioner started blowing hot air, so we had to get the maintenance dude to come and take a look. He was really puzzled and was like, "It works, doesn't it?" And I had to explain that it was supposed to blow cold air, not hot. Aw, poor dude.



But holy crap, that is one gorgeous dining room.

And the food is really good! It's strong on the fruit and vegetables and all the vegetables are grown onsite organically. It's basically home-cooked style and made by a really awesome auntie who makes sure you get enough portions when you serve yourself.

Yes, eating here with this ambience is as awesome as it looks. I felt like I was in one of those wuxia movies where I'm like this lonely swordsman with a dark past traveling around and having to stay in taverns when it's raining because the rain makes me think of this dangerous woman I regret and I have this half-hope that I'll run into her again.



This is one of the morning rooms or public spaces. We had our conference here and then lunch! I'm sure I asked if they ever still used this hearth to cook, but I can't remember what the answer was.

Our lunch (or for some, sex partners)! Sweet potato, corn, cucumber, tomatoes from the garden. Pork-stuffed zongzi that was so fucking delicious that some of the guests asked the auntie if they could buy more from her to take back home. I was stupid and didn't ask so I went home empty-handed.


I love the wooden tiles.

They had to get some Tibetan dudes who were learning crafts to fix the roof glass later because it started leaking. They were the only dudes who weren't afraid of heights.

Right by the water, how gorgeous is that?

And thus our journey -- and this entry -- comes to an end.