Friday, November 23, 2012

Hong Kong

(Causeway Bay)

          Hong Kong - woow. It's a cooool city. I have been here two and half weeks and I already feel established; have new friends, plenty of activities - I can't keep up, interesting & informative internship, nice people, great weather, delicious inexpensive food, easy clean public transportation..... unique surroundings... I could go on.....

(Traditional Hong Kong meal (vegetarian style) and soooo good)

I came to Hong Kong for an extension of my 6-month co-op in New York. There, I worked for a design and wholesale manufacturing company, Nation Design. I came to Hong Kong to intern at two companies Nation Design manufactures with. I work five days a week, Monday thru Friday. So far, I have worked with the design team and fabric technicians. The company is called Tungtex (Holdings) Co. Ltd., it is located in Kowloon, Hong Kong.

At the end of this week I will visit Tungtex's factory in mainland China, where I will apply and hopefully receive a multy-entry visa at the border of Hong Kong and China. I am very excited to visit the factory in China... I have a few ideas of what it will be like, but am really unsure if it will like I am imagining... China and Hong Kong are now one country, after Hong Kong was given back from the UK in 1997. They now operate as one country but under two governments. Hong Kong is more much more liberal than China. The people in Hong Kong have the opportunity to vote for leadership roles, like we do in the U.S.  But China does not, a couple girls from my internship told me that unfortunately there is no chance that China will ever gain voting rights. China also bans Facebook and Google.

(Lunch with co-workers from Tungtex)

When I first arrived to Hong Kong, I stayed two nights in a hotel in Causeway Bay. Causeway Bay, Central and Tsim Sha Tsui (everyone calls it TST) are the most centralized areas young expats to live. There are a lot of restaurants, bars and shopping in these areas. During my first days I found an flat to stay in for the first month. I was advised by friends and family to wait until arriving in Hong Kong to visit the apartments, before putting a deposit down. Often times the photos online do not represent what the apartments truly look like. Finding an apartment was the most difficult task.. there were several challenges. And it took several realtor agencies and serviced apartment companies before finding the right one. But I eventually found an apartment with a great location, good price, nice young flatmates and clean. It took me one week to adjust to the 12 hour difference from Philadelphia (now 13 hours. My first week was tough... But now all worth it!)

(Views from my hotel)

(Outside my apartment, daily fresh food market)

            There is a great international website you should all check out. It's called, created by an American guy. I have joined a volleyball, tennis, hiking leagues and ballet lessons, all through this site. It is very popular in Hong Kong with young people and has been a great way to quickly get involved and meet new people! Most of the events take place after work and on the weekends. And there are groups for everyone! It's a ton of fun and we often go out after the meetups.

More to come...!


Thursday, November 1, 2012

Local Attractions: London, UK

London, UK
October 3-10, 2012

     Some of the best museums in London are only a ten-minute walk from my flat. Two museums that I have been to for both leisure, and for class research on multiple occasions are the Natural History Museum, and the Victoria and Albert Museum. The Natural History museum contains exhibits of dinosaurs, the human body, and all the animal kingdoms. The Victoria and Albert Museum has numerous exhibits focusing on the history of design through a plethora of cultures and time periods. I have been to the Victoria and Albert Museum many times with my History of Modern Design class to look at exhibits featuring British Designers like William Morris. We also saw an exhibit on Ball gowns and British glamour since the 1950's.

Natural History Museum

       This is a picture of the entrance to the Natural History Museum. The museum is huge, and it's even free. Part of the museum is restricted to scientists who are actually doing research on some of the objects at the museum in their archives. The museum is a great place to get lost in for the day, and it's also a great place for people watching. Soon there will be a holiday ice rink set up outside the museum when it gets a bit colder.

Dinosaur Skeleton

   This skeleton was just one of the many remains in the dinosaur exhibit. As a kid I had a fascination with dinosaurs. Their fierce size and exotic figures really captivated my creativity and me. 

Interior Hall

      This is a picture of the grand hall as you enter the museum. The architecture is beautiful, and it is spacious enough to display a complete brachiosaurus skeleton, one of the largest types of dinosaur. These museums are so crowded on the weekends; it's unbelievable how many people are concentrated around the handful of museums in the area.

Mechanical T-Rex

       This Tyrannosaurus Rex looks like its straight out of a Jurassic Park movie. I read a fact in the museum that if a T-Rex ever tripped and fell, the forced of the fall would either kill it, or immobilize it. I never knew how tiny their arms really were. Any way, this dinosaur moved and made accurate dinosaur sounds, it was unbelievable how real it looked. 

Mechanical Velociraptors

       These two Velociraptors also moved and made sounds. These were always my favorite kind of dinosaur, but after seeing Jurassic Park they terrified me. They were so life like in the museum, it creeped me out.

Human Body Exhibit

      This is me inside of an exhibit showing the parts of the human brain. The human body portion of the museum was surprisingly interesting to me. It was cool to have interactive exhibits where you can do some hands on learning instead of just reading informative plaques.

Historic Ball Gown Exhibit

       This Alexander McQueen dress was on display in a Ball gown exhibit in the Victoria & Albert Museum. It was very interesting to see how the styles of dress evolved overtime, and how class, society, and pop culture played a role in their evolution.

Modern Art Exhibit

        This piece of art was in the modern art wing of the Victoria & Albert museum. I didn't notice it at first but it was too funny and creepy to not take a picture of t. Many of the pieces focused heavily on shock value, as does this one.

         On my way home I stopped at a local falafel house that I have formed a deep relationship with. I don't normally go out of my comfort zone and try new ethnic foods but London is full of diversity and I tried it out one day. Ever since, I've always stopped in for a lamb shawarma, pita and hummus, or maybe just some baklava. I think I may have to go get some after this post ha ha. The food tastes amazing, and the desert is fantastic.

 Local Baklava