Saturday, October 30, 2010

I got 99 problems and the steps aint one...

{for our viewers who have been watching-- there was a short leave of absence due to Big Brother watching. mainland china is for the birds!......jk...[crickets]}

one of our typical tourist days included the trip to see the Tian Tan Buddha. big ol' buddha is sitting up on top of a mountain in Ngong Ping. lucky us, we can either take a bus up and around the mountain that will make you yak or take the cable car:

this is just the tip of the iceberg of the Jessliisactuallyasian Theory i'm testing. before you are only two snapshots of our scenic journey up the mountain out of twenty-seven taken...

upon stepping out of the cable car we discover there are bridges of fire to cross to get to Great Giant Buddha on Mountaintop- starting with:


then an onslaught of terrifying roundeye things like starbucks, pizza, and furries:

(that child is weeping.....with delight i presume)

our next test of endurance came the educational segment of our tour...The Twelve Divine Generals (a.k.a. The Twelve Heavenly Generals/Juni Shinsho/or more broadly, Yaksha). these dozen of dudes historically show their roots are from hinduism and they are meant to represent deity warriors protecting Yakushi Nyorai (Medicine Buddha). later, some clusterfuck happened and they became associated with the animals of the chinese zodiac. [google, you're my homeboy] so more photo opportunities ensued as we travelled down the walkway to The Enlightened One, and we resorted to this:

the ratfink herself:

(also note: there is literally a rat on top of this dude's head
*there's a joke in here somewhere*)

and for some reason, the Li's decided to do a "Life imitates art" theme:

the dragon lady:

onward and upward-- literally. uncle no.547 had informed/warned us before hand this attraction was also known as "The 99 Steps to Buddha". i have some issues with this: 1) this is not the buddha known as "The 99 Steps to Buddha" 2) the "The 99 Steps to Buddha" is the Ling Shan Great Buddha in Mashan, China 3) i discovered this information on this site on the 10 largest buddhas on earth

[sidenote:the aforementioned site- mildly interesting. what caught my eye however, was salacious no.6, "Great Reclining Buddha and Standing Buddha" in Monyma, Myanmar. now, am i wrong that its image shown here:

reminds me of this image here?

i really don't think i'm alone on this one.]

and 4) this was not 99 steps.

(i briefly considered having a cigarette before embarking this trek)

(i briefly considered putting a lit cigarette out in my eyeball)

(i briefly considered lighting that furry i saw in the village on fire)

dad took a u-turn at step no.12, sat his ass down, and looked up at us and laughed from his ivory bench. mama li was crowned victorious in the end though:

the "Offering of the Six Devas" surround the big guy and are putting on their sexiest myspace pouts and poses:

we began our downward spiral. mom joined dad on the sidelines while i explored the Po Lin Monastery (a.k.a. "The Big Hut"). i did my best to resuscitate my career as a national geographic photojournalist:

(the construction crane did not help my endeavors)

(there is a dead frog floating in this fountain
...i know because i tried poking it with a stick)

(crazian stuff)

(more crazian stuffs)

(this crazian is done taking pictures of crazian stuff)

later that evening...

we made another trip to mong kok and decided to have hotpot for dinner. now i friggin love hotpot. it's easy! pick yo broth! pick yo fixins! have fun! play with your food! blahblahchingchongblah!...i'll be damned- we decided to get something different by ordering "turtle soup in herbal broth" as our base and we were stumped:

now that my friends is a whole farking turtle they dumped in the pot. somewhat putting on a front after looking this in the eye:

(i think mom almost cried)

i ate this:

ignore the bowl (it's scallions and fried garlic if you must know). they told us the whole turtle is edible. and for some reason insisted on emphasizing its health tonic for women. "eat the shell!" they said, "shell is for sucking!" they said. i did it. i also threw up in my mouth a little. then i ate that bean-looking thing. it wasn't a bean. it was a turtle egg. i threw up in my mouth a lot. and then i ate another. ralph and rally my friends!

we went to another street market to buy more tchotchkes. it can be pretty repetitive with the 7,000 "real authentic imitation" products. but the jewels are frequent enough:

(spot it?)

let's use the zoom effect:

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Drinking outta teacups. Not me. No way.

we. have. dim. sum. every. day.

dad seems to think there's 87 of us when he orders. so this is a typical spread (plus more food on the way). most anyone who reads this has done the dim sum thing and/or chinatown treks to moon villa/apollo/peach farm so i'm skipping past posting the general fewds we get and getting to the weird shit.

(and now for our close-up:)

duck feet. i made it through 2. slather anything in enough sauce and i say anyone could pretty much eat anything. verdict: tastes fine but lotsa soft, chewy bones- too much work, not enough reward. 

i believe this to be billed as "beef with organs"- the actual concept of it getting somewhat lost in translation. it's beef marbled with intestine instead of fat. SOLD! add mustard, two slices of rye, and some kraut and i will eat the f**k out of it.

from right to left: 1) chinese BBQ version of pigs in a blanket. 2) chinese version of mystery meatloaf atop ricebed. verdict: the good never tastes bad but could be really ugly.

[note: the blob at this point is taking a turn into Little Golden Books style with all the pictures and fewer words-- think of it like "The Poky Little Puppy" that got boxed up, fedexed, and sent to China to be made into a kabob]

shopping has turned into a daily activity as well. the apartment complex is attached to a mall. the mall is attached to the metro. the metro is attached to the city. the city is attached to a hole at the bottom of the see...get a nurse. so the first shopping venture is to the world of Sasa's (think sephora for asians). mama li likes to get all the fun kooky asian cosmetic treats. i don't wear makeup- so i like to take pictures of nutty products until salespeople yell at me.

china clearly did not get the memo from japan ( that link really beats me to the punch- but does anyone really want to smell like coke, shame, and herpes that much?!

mostly this was taken in tribute to jackie, and our career in portmanteauism...not buying into the gimmick of making my eyes look dramatical- i did however purchase this:

i won't get into the details- but let's hope that the end effect of this product doesn't make me look like a ladyboy prostitute from thailand that has on too much makeup like a certain counter at macy's made me into. true story.

and since all females do is wear cosmetics and grocery shop (i'm kidding!)-- we went to the supermarket...

i'm not even going to say anything. but D- i'm lookin at you.

and then, because i'm not a total perverted, immature monster, i took a photo of those very pretty, finely detailed rose dumplings. their rice dough skin was delicately molded and carved into beautiful flowers. think of them as the yin to my octopusballsinmahmouf yang.

(if you can't tell, this is ice cream the Wine Lee company)

going clockwise starting from top left: red raspberry chardonnay, royal white reisling, ala port, and peach white zinfandel. despite my protests, my mother bought the ala port. upon consumption, she noted the graininess in texture from the freezer burn. i no likes. it is not the freezer burn.

this is fa yeung gai (flower garden market in mong kok). this picture might as well have a friggin tumbleweed go by because i took it in its ONE split second of an eye of the storm. as far as being a claustrophobic goes it is my own personal hell. the smell of nag champa forever fills your nostrils, there are people snotrocketing next to you, and one is terribly astonished at how brazen the sticky pork-bun-fingered chinese toddlers will dawdle up to you and grab on to your leg for dear life. despite this- i got all your souvenirs here. including this:

jackie, it's no frederick's of hollywood- but all their shit is made in china anyway and i thought you could really add some color to your wardrobe.

exhausted from avoiding boogers my mother and i were homeward bound to meet the patriarch for supper. never one to disappoint- he ordered our first dish:

...the better to peck you with my dear!

pigeon. gone in 60 seconds. the chinese don't use napkins (essentially the tablecloth really is one giant napkin anyway) so this was taken care of medieval times style. papa li is a native, and i think i might have even impressed him with my squab-eating finesse...onto the portion we like to call "Headlines":

this is the restaurant which we supped at:

and that is the only sign they can spell.

there are over a 100 different species of snapper. federal palace had 11. all 11 labels varied from "African Brown Stabber" to "Humpback Red Stabber". magical.

Friday, October 22, 2010

"Hang-ah ROOSE!"

this post actually continues right along where i left off. we got off the plane and it's morning in the kong. we take a bus from the airport right up to our doorstep and begin our day......again.

settling in to our digs- i find 3 guys waiting for me in my HK bedwomb. their names are Fuk, Luk, and Sau:

DMFP- if you're out there listening, think of them like the kitchen gods. but for your house. or your mattress rape room in the hobo basement- whichever. fuk is good fortune, luk is prosperity, and sau is longevity. i hope they will watch over me and my nutritious eating habits...speaking of!-- the view from my bathroom:

a view of unka's apartment right across from ours (the tall buildings to the left- i think his is the 3rd column from the right and the 37th story up.....see it?????? just kidding):

every single building i see when i walk out the door is so huge and ridiculous it's stoopid. so we march on and subway it from tung chung (where we are) to mong kok to go check on unka congo's pad. the public transit is awesome here. i don't have to look at homeless men pee themselves, there are no caffeine-saturated HS students screaming "N!&&@H!" at each other, and i don't feel an urge to curbstomp some BU undergrad wearing uggs and a northface jacket. it's ever-present, fast and clean (i know so cause there's a million of them orientals in face masks). that being said-- we made a short snack stop.

for anyone who knows me- i enjoy a tasty beverage. several. smoothies, ICED TEA, grape drink, coca cola, ginger ale, the list continues....this balanced out the fact that this snack stop was a sweet snack stop. jess li does not enjoy sweets (a phenomenon yet tbd as to why). thusly, we ordered an iced mango slush thing and an iced coconut slush thing. mama li loves mango/coconut iced things. so do i- it runs in the family. to the left, i ordered the least sweet thing on the menu: black sesame pudding and tofu bean curd. verdict: gross. it looks like the la brea tar pits and i should find a teacup t-rex swimming in there. everyone else enjoyed it. papa li ordered the mango dao fu fa (bean curd) with fresh mango chunks on top (dish on center). and mama li ordered the mango glutinous rice dumpling in coconut (dish on right). blech.

so, we're in mong kok. this is it harborside. a bunch of ships and shit. it's pretty crazy since this is only a small portion of the harbor. let's make this educational, shall we? fact: mong kok has the highest population density in the WORLD at 340,000 per square mile according to guinness world records (and/or wikipedia). mong kok is also like times square. but with markets. and residents. and schools......mong kok is not like times square. but it is really effing cool. carrying on....

on our way home we stopped by "the ding store". my parents gave it this name since we purchase a lot of microwaveable glutard fewds for my mother. i snagged some shark fin soup for myself and, of course, some congee. booyah.

it's business time. (cue music, disco balls, and new zealanders)

(that was for you karnes)

i had my first chinese brew to accompany dinner. it was better than high life. and cheaper.

"in chinese culture first wife washes the dishes at the table and pours tea even at restaurants" (mom). np mom, less work for me. we have video of my witnessing this for my first time and my father calls me by the dog's name by accident. at their protests, i am no longer posting said video. if they're lucky- i'll bury it with the archived footage with me in a gold unitard and whore shoes doing the "single ladies" dance at a house party.

papa li knows what he's up against with me at the table and ordered a whole fish. my memory evades me but i believe, with careful wikipedia research, this is opakapaka (hawaiian pink snapper). it was dressed with green onion and ginger and was friggin tasty.