For Business & Leisure: Part II, Leisure

Hubby took the above photo of me at The Peak in Hong Kong on the night I arrived. The view from there totally reminds me of our Kartika Review (where I serve as managing editor) anthology cover art. See below:

Kartika Review Anthology COvert Art

Hubby led the way on all our sightseeing adventures, since he’s literate in Chinese. It wasn’t until after the trip when we started looking through the photos that we realized how many pictures we took of Hubby reading a map. See below for 3 of many. Posting them on this blog only because I think they’re cute!

My cousins from Taiwan met us in Hong Kong and we visited Ngong Ping 360 together. You ride a cable car suspended lord knows how many feet above ground to get to Lantau Island. We took the crystal cabin where the floor of the cabin is made entirely of see-through glass. Not for those with a fear of heights!

Hubby made me climb the dozen or so flights of stairs up to see the Tian Tian Buddha Statue at the Big Buddha Temple. In the above right photo, there’s me about to keel over from exhaustion, and in that pic, I was only halfway up!

Admittedly the sight was pretty magnificent once we got to the top…

I wanted to love the Big Buddha Temple, but I didn’t. There was a commercial twang to every aspect of the temple, nothing sacred, nothing spiritual. We saw monks in Oakley sunglasses playing with their iPhones, a VIP room at the nearby vegetarian restaurant (guilty: that’s where we ate), and you had to pay to do or see anything at the temple.

Perhaps the coolest place we visited this trip was the Window of the World theme park in Shenzhen, People’s Republic of China. The theme park replicates the major tourist attractions around the world, such as the Taj Mahal, Mount Fuji, Buckingham Palace, the pyramids in Egypt, Stonehenge, etc.

Hubby, who has a passion for archery, also kicked butt at the mini archery range in the — guess where! — North America region of the theme park, I guess to represent the U.S. Native Americans. I found it an odd choice for a cultural representation, borderline stereotyping. Guess non-indigenous Americans aren’t the only ones guilty of it (E.g., “Redskins” as a name for a football team…).

Cool Asia Observation #1:

Bar none the most fascinating sight at the theme park were the sheer number of high heels we saw.

Keep in mind that all of these photos of high heels were taken at a theme park comparable to Disney World or Six Flags — you know, where even most of us prissy girls are in T-shirts, shorts, and sandals? At one point I sat down and started counting. I got an estimate of 3 out of every 5 girls that walked by to be in high heels. At a theme park!!

When we were at the Peak in Hong Kong and Lantau Island, where we had to climb those flights of stairs to see the Big Buddha, I also saw tons of high heels. Climbing up the temple! Hiking around the island! It’s insanity.

Later friends told me it’s the same throughout East Asia. If you walk the Great Wall of China or visit the Forbidden City, both locations walk-intensive, you’ll again see tons of Chinese women in high heels, often stilettos. Like I said earlier, I was half dead after climbing up those stairs to the Buddha statue, in sneakers. I can’t imagine having trekked the same in pumps.

More photos of high heels, again all taken at the theme park. I planted myself on a bench at one point and just started snapping photos of heels I saw that walked within range over a twenty minute stretch of time.

Now I would like some commentary on this one…

Cool Asia Observation #2:

Boyfriends carrying purses for their girlfriends. Yay or Nay?

All across Asia, it’s trendy for a guy to carry his girlfriend’s purse. I don’t mean she needs to put on her coat so will he please hold her bag for a moment while she buttons up, no. I mean he simply carries it for her. I wish I had taken more photo samples of the phenomenon because from a Westerner’s cultural perspective, it was quite the sight to see grown men carrying these pink designer bags (e.g., in the above-pictured case, Balenciaga, though that one in the photo looks like a fake…thoughts?) with cutesie shmutesie bibelots dangling off it.

Is carrying a woman’s handbag for her some postmodernist form of chivalry? Or are you with me on this one and it’s just plain silly?

Anyway it’s farewell, Hong Kong and hello again, work. Sigh. Vacation is certainly no pause button on work. Rather, it accumulates while you’re away and on the first day back, you have 386 messages in your inbox flagged as “URGENT” or “TIME SENSITIVE.” I also returned from vacay with the worst of souvenirs: the flu. =(

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  • Hanna

    Your husband is so adorable! I was tickled by your observation .. especially the high heel one. First time I went to Europe felt so abashed and humble with their clothes! Everyone looked so pulled together and I felt so conscious for the first time in sneakers and jeans. I personally think the purse is a fake just because who would try to accessorize a high designer piece with a furry, cotton filled item? X_____X

    Welcome back ! I hope you feel better and get tons of rest. =0D I bet you caught the flu for just that reason, don’t work yourself too hard!

  • mrschong

    lol the leopard print leg warmers/leggings look interesting! I’m not a big fan of “high” heels but platforms are ok. Thanks for dropping by!

  • Joey

    Oh, the Big Buddha! That was quite a lot of steps, wasn’t it? I remember being quite excited to see it only because it was in Infernal Affairs. Haha
    Love all the pics. You and your hubby look so cute!
    Oh by the way, I’m guilty of the bf-carrying-my-bag thing. He usually offers when my shoulder starts aching after a long day. Initially, I didn’t want to because I thought it’d be embarassing for him, but after months into our relationship, I was like yeah, why not. Don’t think it’s an Asian thing though because I know of friends who think it’s extremely shameful to help their gfs carry their bags. So I guess it’s different for everyone.

  • AppleSidra

    I think it’s so sweet that your bf offers to carry your bag! That’s why I wondered whether to categorize it as postmodernist chivalry. It’s not “extremely shameful” to carry your gf’s purse, but I must admit it’s not a sight I’m entirely used to seeing either. =)

  • AppleSidra

    Haha “interesting” is a great choice of adjective in place of what we’re both *really* thinking. =D

  • AppleSidra

    Hubby *is* adorable! =D Darn it so it’s an American thing to look like a slob? I do appreciate it when people take the time to pull their style together and go out dressing neat, but 5 inch high heels and a miniskirt at a theme park might be overboard. One should also dress for the occasion. Just as I wouldn’t wear sweatpants, T-shirt, and sneakers to the courthouse for work, I wouldn’t wear a Chanel skirt suit to Six Flags Great Adventure either. S’all I’m sayin’. =D

  • Joey

    Hehe I can imagine it must have been quite a sight especially the guy carrying the pink “Balenciaga”.
    Oh, btw was the cable car really see-through ALL around? I don’t think I took that because I’m sure I’d remember it. I’m too chicken anyway, my legs would prolly turn to jelly :)

  • AppleSidra

    Yes! It was the crystal cabin. There’s the regular one, too, which does not have a see-through floor, only windows. I thought I would be too chicken to take it, but it turned out to be all right. Wasn’t as bad as I thought it’d be. =D

  • Melissa

    what a great trip! love all the pics. I couldn’t stop laughing when I saw the men carrying all the purses. My bf has been carrying mine ever since I got injured and I always joke about how it really suits him lol.

  • Fourth Daughter

    Love all the pics and the comments are hilarious! I can’t see Australian guys carrying bags for their girlfriends!! Asian women are amazing at wearing THE most inappropriate footwear … they can even run faster in stilettos than I can in sneakers sometimes. I have actually witnessed this. Crazy. And the pics of your husband with the map… priceless.

  • Betty Faith

    To comment on the “bfs holding their gfs purse”…yes, it great that they want to do that for their gfs…WHEN THEY TRY ON CLOTHES or something, but definitely not walking around the streets like that. Ladies, the purse that you bought, was meant to be held by you, not the male in your life. What does that prove? That you’re so weak that you can’t hold your own purse? Or “I got him whipped”? All in all, I say, hold your own bag. Don’t show people that you can’t carry something that’s meant to be held by you.

  • AppleSidra

    HAHAHAHA. I heart you Betty. Couldn’t have said it better myself.

  • AppleSidra

    Haha thanks for enjoying!

    Gasp. No way they can run faster in stilettos! I consider myself athletic that day if I can stand on my own two feet and not trip over myself at least once!

    Yep, loved the pics of Hubby holding a map. I don’t know why. It’s such a random think to latch on to. And yet I couldn’t stop fawning over them.

  • AppleSidra

    Haha awww, I hope your injury heals up soon. In your specific case, it’s very, very sweet that he carries your purse. In the above-referenced cases…. er… not so much. =X

  • mrschong

    Hey Sunny, in response to your question, basically I take a lock of hair, bring it to the back by twisting it into a poof. Then I take one bobby pin and pin the poof down. After that I take a second bobby pin and criss cross with the first one to secure it in place. But I’m lazy so I use a clip instead. It’s by the brand Goody and basically bends and snaps. I can’t find a pic but let me know if you’re interested in seeing it.

    : )

  • Crystal

    i love/miss hk! i noticed the same 2 things while i was there too!

  • sukipooki

    I think a guy carrying his girls handbag is silly, I guess it’s sweet in some way but….something is just not right with it LOL I think it’s exceptional in the obvious cases (putting on jacket etc.) but I personally would prefer to carry my own bag (which of course, bf throws in all his valuables in too lol)

    I remember being in HK last year and trekking those steps to see the giant buddha too! It was a lot higher than I remembered 5 yrs ago, when I didn’t even break a sweat, I can see how unfit I am now LOL Oh and ditto for the girls in heels!!! I was in flats all day long,I don’t think I could ever wear heels on vacation or even here, at home lol