航空公司點評的兩個人一起飛的好處 – perks of flying together and the flight review

And that’s how long your title looks like when you have no idea how to translate your brilliant title to the language you’ve been studying but still cannot master it. image (28)
Anyway, I want to keep a timeline to the trip related posts so I guess it would be perfect to start with the review of our flight with Cathay Pacific and compare it to the flight with Lufthansa in 2012.

But before I start I just have to write about how pleasurable it is to fly with Sing – it’s so nice I could even rent him out. Unless the flight is super long and he get’s the grumpy cat face until the hotel room. I guess it’s always like that while traveling with your partner, but since it’s our first long distance flight together I decided to write down about what I think is a perk of flying as a couple, or more me and him. Cannot speak for all of you.

Why everyone should have her/his own ‘Sing’ while up in the air?

  • You can take 1.5 space than you usually take. Not only you can rest your upper body on him, but he won’t mind your feet flying around his face just for your comfort. Premium economy in the economy class.
  • You can drink a lot and don’t feel weird asking him to move every 5 minutes because you need to use the toilet. Well, I try to stay hydrated but I also like my window seat.
  • Drinks and snacks upon request but you have your father’s ‘face-genes’ and you’re too ashamed to ask? Don’t worry, send Sing – he will come back with 3 types of snacks and asking do you want instant noodles too.image (30)
  • In case of turbulence he can hold your hand. On my flight back I was so scared due to really strong turbulence that lasted really long that I almost asked a guy sitting next to me to hold my hand, lucky him – he was sleeping. And yes, I did cry.
  • It’s more entertaining – you don’t need to have that awkward chit-chat with a random stranger next to you or make it even more awkward by not talking for 15 straight hours. Cards, hangman, synchronized movies – it’s all yours.
  • You have bigger choice of food – from 3 meals they offer pick 2 and share. Try doing this with a stranger.
  • Since we talk about food – who doesn’t love dessert? With Sing by your side you get to eat TWO desserts. And trust me, there’s nothing better to calm your nerves while your ‘auntie is visiting you’, flying for 15 hours in a shaky airplane then two chocolate mousse cakes and two ice creams.

image (29)To be honest I only care about my straight way to the toilet and the desserts. Of course there are things like taking bunch of lovely pictures together or free back massage, but you would lie if you say you don’t want a double dessert.

Now I can share my feelings about Cathay Pacific and the flight itself. Sorry for a low quality pictures, but sadly I’m a really low-budget blogger and iPhone sucks when it goes to taking pictures in dark.

We had a little bit of delay at the beginning, but I cannot blame the airlines, more like people who refuse to follow the rules so the airplane crew had to waste time, although we landed on time so I was pretty happy about it, didn’t want to waste even a minute in my precious image (32)Hong Kong.
Our flight was in Boeing 777-300ER which seats are 3-3-3 and the last row is 2-3-2 so for more intimacy we took the pair of very last seats, 71K and 71H. If you can call being close to the toilet and stretching people an intimate place, but I have to say the choice was not as bad as you might think. It’s perfect for people who need to use the toilet quite often, you have more space to stretch your legs without going out of the seat, it’s close to the crew in case you need something and it didn’t smell from the restroom area. So much win! Even though the seat couldn’t go down as much as the seats in front, the difference was really small and the seats were extremely comfortable which just won my heart, especially the head-resting area.
The food was so-so, personally didn’t like my pasta much, but Sing liked his salmon and the desserts were delicious.
Alcohol is free of charge, but the amount they give is really tiny – hey, it’s still free. Snack you can pick are mini Toblerone, pretzels, dried packed fruits and cup noodles, which in the middle of the flight became very popular.
IMG_0691Big plus are the USB chargers for every seat, Sing even found a laptop charger between our seats and sacrificed himself to take this photo for you. The USB charger in front of you is good enough to charge both iPhone and Android phones but couldn’t charge iPad mini tab.
I like their choice of the movies that include ‘A million ways to die in the West’, ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’, ‘Maleficient’ and lots of Hong Kong movies. You could also update yourself with the newest Cantopop on the playlist or just plug your phone and listen to your own songs. And finally you can use your own earphones! In every single airline I took for a long distance flight – that includes SAS, Lufthansa and Aeroflot – I had to use those crappy ones they give, but now I finally had a choice!
IMG_0669image (31)IMG_0664IMG_0670IMG_0671IMG_0674IMG_0682IMG_0684
Lufthansa on the other hand was on time – German perfectionism. I have to say they beat Cathay Pacific when it goes to the food, I regret I couldn’t find the old pictures, but I remember I liked their food a lot, it wasn’t as plain as Cathay’s and were served 3 times, not two times only. When it goes to the comfort of the seats or entertaining system sadly they lose, I remember I put myself to sleep with old and boring movies, but it was two years ago so they might be more updated now. Big plus of the Lufthansa flight was the fact that their airplane had seats 2-4-2 so I didn’t need to bother too many people going out.
In both flights restrooms were clean and the crew was really nice and helpful – two thumbs up for both of the airlines!

Overall I would chose Cathay Pacific once again and personally, even though Lufthansa did a good job too especially with the food, I have to say CP won this battle with the comfortable seats – I can be hungry but I hate being uncomfotable!

Is there anything you would like to add to the list? Or maybe you prefer to fly alone? What is your favorite airline? Share your traveling experience! :)
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我對香港的印象 – impression of Hong Kong

Little bit over a week ago I wrote that we’re going to Hong Kong and since yesterday I’m back in America. Wow, just wow. It all happened way too fast. I didn’t want to leave, I promised myself next time I’m taking Biscuit image (25)with me and in the worst case we will spend out life at the airport like Tom Hanks in The Terminal. There’s no way I can handle saying ‘Goodbye’ to Hong Kong again.

Before this trip, the last time I’ve been to Hong Kong was more than two years ago now. I often wondered are the memories I have today, are they real? Is the smell I can feel looking at the Victoria Harbour picture really like that? Or maybe I’m slowly forgetting everything and just try to fill up the blank page?

I was both, worried and excited. Worried that I really might start forgetting places, smells, the feelings I had, but also excited that in the worst case I could refresh my memory.

In 2012, when I first arrived I took my luggage to the bus terminal and the heat mixed with high humidity stroke me down. Very specific smell was in the air. I got my Octopus from my soon-husband-to-be and sit at the upper part of E33. I looked through the windows seeing tall buildings, I couldn’t move my head away. Instead of image (27)looking at Sing my eyes were trying to see everything. On our walk from bus station to his family house I was still looking everywhere but at him. That night even though I was tired I couldn’t sleep, I was sitting in a tiny bedroom with open windows and looked at the mountain and the neon sign of McDonald’s. Then for next few months I  was experiencing a whole new life. Crowded, busy, differential. I tried to keep every single day, place, food and experience in mind, but after 2 years people tend to forget.

Now in 2014 I was thrilled to hear that I can actually go back to Hong Kong, even if it’s only for a little bit longer than a week. While I was packing my bags I tried to recall the streets I passed, the things I could smell, the feeling of humid air on my skin. After all the Octopus and SIM card problems we headed the same way to the bus terminal and the same heat stroke me again. I took a deep breath, the air was exactly how I remember it. While walking to the bus A11 I looked at my right hand side to the same station I took two years ago. I remembered everything like I was there the day before. We waited for the bus and I grabbed Sing’s arm, I tried not to cry, but to be honest with you I had tears in my eyes. Tears of joy that I could be there once again and that no matter how much times passes I still know the city by heart.

During my first trip I felt a bit lost in the city jungle, I always followed Sing, the only time I went alone was to theimage (26) TMT Plaza and I came back right away. This time I was left alone for a whole day and for three times that someone asked me if I’m lost, I was lost only once – I just couldn’t find the right entrance to the building, so I consider that as my success. Thank you, handsome stranger, for showing me the way. Hong Kong didn’t seem to be so big this time, it felt much more local to me, I feel like I know where I’m going, where should I get off. I knew the smell of harbour even before I reached the ferry terminal. Even the smell of stinky tofu wasn’t so annoying, not like back then. I took my time to sit down and gather new memories, just enjoy those moments and the warm wind.

I never thought I could get attached to a place, I wanted to call myself ‘a world’s citizen’, but I guess I cannot be a polygamist – Hong Kong stole my heart back in 2012 and it’s just like a crush you sometimes wished to get rid off but it will always have a special place in your heart. Even my own hometown never gave me so much of a mind comfort as Hong Kong, when I walk through the streets I feel like I was born to live there. Just like Sing and I met after fortune’s third shot, that is how I want to be with Hong Kong – next time I’m there, I wish to stay. Even Sing started reconsidering moving back and Momzilla approved it (guess the grandchild argument works in every case – ‘You will be closer to your grandchildren, we work and you play with him!), which was really pleasant surprise for the end of the trip, so I guess wish us luck?

By the way, be prepared for at least 8 more posts somehow connected to our trip, including one more guest post by my husband and how 2 years of not being home made him feel like a tourist, not a local, born and raised. Little bit of traveling advice, little bit of the reviews, little bit of feelings.

Have you ever fallen in love with a place? Do you have other place than your hometown that you can call home? Share your thoughts! :)
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我們去香港了 – big news revealed!

I can’t hold it anymore, it’s too painful, it’s like a night after TacoBell (although I never been to one but I’ve heard some hideous stories)… WE ARE GOING TO HONG KONG! THIS SUNDAY!image (22)You should have seen me doing the happy-victory dance. Why victory? Because it proved my theory that if you complain long enough to your husband, he will eventually make your dreams come true. I haven’t been to Hong Kong since 2012, the same year I feel in love with it and I always felt like I need to go back, even for a short while. Few weeks ago I’ve heard Sing goes to a business trip to Europe and before that he goes to Hong Kong to change his visa so there it was – my evil plan. Honestly, I didn’t believe it will work but as you can see, it did!

I will share my secret with you, but don’t reveal it to your partner or it won’t work. First you need to keep mentioning the thing to your husband. Like, all the time. Even when you play Resident Evil 6 you should be like ‘Babe, I can’t play – even though they say it’s China, the city is based on Hong Kong and I miss it too much’. You can pop out with ‘I can’t play because those zombies were nice clothes and if you have noticed one of them has that beautiful purse I really wanted‘. Then you sigh a lot. Remember about big eyes and a puppy face. It’s nice to do some ‘wallet dance’ like ‘No, we shouldn’t, we cannot afford’ and add few more sighs. Do it constantly for almost two years until one day he says ‘OK, let’s do this but please don’t make those eyes anymore‘. It also works on your husband’s friends, that’s how you trick them into petsitting Biscuit or another one image (19)to make a payment for a visa fee in 7/11 because US embassy in Hong Kong haven’t thought it would be rather inconvenient to make the only payment option in a local convenient store instead of giving a chance to pay online. Conclusion: with puppy eyes I made my husband take me to Hong Kong, I catsitterzoned one friend and another one got 7/11zoned. You better don’t get any close to me, muahaha!
That’s of course a joke, but maybe it will really work out – then let me know! ;)

Anyway, let’s go to the details of our trip: we are flying from San Francisco International Airport on Sunday (23.10) noon and we go back on 3rd of December at night. Still we haven’t picked a guesthouse we will be staying in since family flat is now rented out so if you know any nice and affordable place it will be awesome.

I won’t be blogging in meantime, but I’m taking my good camera with me, a big smile and ideas so hopefully I will have a lot of material for new entries once I’m back (sadly, I come back alone). There’s also a chance I might be alone for a 2-3 days, but that’s not confirmed yet, so maybe I should hold up some Hong Kong Husbands Meet Up? What do you think? I will try to keep everyone updated via Facebook page and Instagram account.

It’s the first time since 2012 we go back and we will visit our old friend – probably as disappointed as Momzilla that we’re not coming with a BB – and I can’t wait to see how many things have changed. We already made some plans where we have to go, what we should eat again, what should I try that I haven’t tried last time, what to buy (sadly, Sing’s interest is in a green tea Listerine. Really.) and since Hong Kong grows so fast it would be awesome if you could give as suggestions or advice on new things worth seeing.

It’s so stupid but I got the confirmation last night and in an hour I booked the tickets, packed my luggage, repacked again and probably I will do it few more times. Untitled2Sing asked me what the hell I’m doing this so I say ‘I’m your PR, I need to look nice for you’ then he was like ‘OK, and what’s the real reason?’. The real reason is that in the end I’m just a female that lives with her natural instinct of ‘I have nothing to wear’ plus due to Hong Kong’s high humidity my hair will look like crap so in case I meet some of you randomly on the street I don’t want to disappoint you too much – 95% of bad impression from my hair will be enough. But if you really see us don’t hesitate to come and have a chit chat! I will be so happy. I already am so happy, I couldn’t even sleep last night. Arghghergher, I look like a psychopath right now due to all the emotions. Calm down, Lina, calm down or they won’t let you board the airplane. 

Long story short: please leave in the comment section the topics you wish I could cover about Hong Kong, your personal advice, recommendation and tell me if you would show up in case any meeting was held up!
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Tiger tail soup書評 – review of ‘Tiger tail soup’

Good thing about being a blogger is that I can write about many things. Few months ago I made a review of ‘Good Chinese Wife’ by Susan Blumberg-Kason and after that I’ve been asked once again to give my opinion about the book. I have to say it’s an honor to me that someone6-Tiger-Tail-Soup has seen a potential in me so I want to thank so much for an opportunity to review ‘Tiger tail soup’ by Nicki Chen – lovely AMWF writer.

Even though ‘Tiger tail soup’ is a work of fiction, the story was inspired by her deceased husband – his early childhood on Kulangsu and the fact that he introduced her to Chinese culture. I have to say that you can see his influence in the book: Nicole writing shows how familiar she is with Chinese language and customs. Somebody might say that talking about ‘amah’ etc. might be confusing to someone has no knowledge about Asia, but I think it’s a great chance to learn something new and that’s never a bad thing.

Anyway, the story of ‘Tiger tail soup’ is set in China in years 1938-1946 which is the time of Second Sino-Japanese war. When the first bombs fall, the main character An Lee is pregnant and her husband is missing so it’s up to An Lee to protect her ‘whole family which includes mother, mother-in-law, young daughter, and soon-to-be-born son. Surrounded by the Japanese military, An Lee struggles to survive, enduring hunger, loneliness, and fear. Then, on December 7, 1941, the enemy invades and occupies their little island on the coast of China, and An Lee’s strength is put to the test.

First great thing about the book is the interesting and intense story. Second thing is the language Nicole uses. Her writing is made of elegant language, very detailed, focused on describing places and feelings. You can see it with your own eyes, you can feel the emotions running through your body. I simply love her narration, through the person of An Lee I can feel fear, I can feel hunger, I can feel the pain.
I also love the character development and the way An Lee is – we see a woman caught up in war, an ordinary innocent person who had to face the unknown future. Someone who had to be strong for her family and handle everything. I’m so glad to read about person so strong.

Besides being a really interesting book I can relate to the emotions shown in the book since my husband’s outside grandparents were image (15)young people during the occupation of Shanghai by Japanese. My husband told me some of his grandfather’s stories how he was surviving that tough time and I guess everyone can somehow relate to the feelings and situations shown in the ‘Tiger tail soup’. World War II was not so long ago, we can still hear the real stories and memories of people who have been there,we might even have them in our own family, including my great-grandmother and I think that’s another reason why this book is good to read for everyone.

I wanted to make a nice conclusion at the end but I think Nicki made the best one: at the front page of the book she left a message ‘In honor of strong women everywhere‘. I think it’s a great piece of writing for everyone.

You can order this book e in paperback and as an ebook from Amazon, Barnes And Noble or you can try out your local bookstores . And for more visit Nicki’s personal site: http://nickichenwrites.com/

About the author
Hi, I’m Nicki Chen, a fiction writer living in Edmonds, WA, a lovely little town on Puget Sound only a ferry ride away from the Olympic Peninsula.
My novels, which travel back in history and across the ocean, were inspired by places I’ve been and people I’ve known. The stories behind those stories are the main topics of this blog.130626aljhchenn_09
I grew up in Sedro-Woolley, WA, a child who loved fairy tales and art and swimming, a teenager who liked boys and dancing. At Seattle University, I studied theology, philosophy and elementary education. My kindergarten students were adorable. My 9th-grade Spanish students were sweet in a teenage sort of way. Soon my husband and I had our own children (3 daughters in 4 years). Then we moved to the Philippines where we stayed for the next 15 years.
Being an expat wife meant ladies’ club activities and school board service, painting and batik-ing, dinner parties and beach trips. I almost finished an MBA. Then I got serious and signed up for an MFA in Creative Writing through Vermont College. We were living in the South Pacific by the time I completed it.
After my husband’s death, I started work on my first novel, Tiger Tail Soup, a historical novel that tells the story of a Chinese woman struggling to survive the Japanese invasion of her homeland. Currently I’m working on a second novel, this one about a woman who in her eagerness to follow the advice of a fertility doctor, convinces her husband to move to a small island in the South Pacific.

So what do you think guys? Would you like to read ‘Tiger tail soup’? Or maybe you know someone who would be interested in it? Share your thoughts about it! 
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家庭主婦的生活 – life of a housewife

Life of a housewife – not as interesting as Life of Pi, I mean, I haven’t seen the movie but I’m pretty sure last 1.5 year IMG_0082of my life wouldn’t win the Academy Award.
I never thought that at the age of 23, the peak of my life, I will be a stay-at-home wife. When you think of interracial and international relationships you see those opportunities that are just a bonus to a lovely partner you have: traveling, seeing the world, meeting new cultures. Yes, that’s all true: I’ve traveled, I’ve seen the world, I met new cultures. But the path we chose and all the back-up plans I had, meant nothing to the reality, law, life opportunities of each other.

I sometimes read AMWF forums and I see people planning their future and taking those plans for granted. I won’t lie, I did the same. I thought everything will go exactly the way I wanted and if not – I had 2 other back-up plans. I was more naive than if I trusted Sing saying ‘My mom won’t come here and stay so long when you get pregnant’.

In the end Sing got a great job opportunity in America which forced me to become a housewife since a spouse of a visa holder cannot work. At least cannot for work money. Because being a housewife is technically a job too. Unless you ask Momzilla – her logic is ‘If you earn enough you can get a cook, a cleaning lady, gardener and even a girl’. You don’t need to work physically as long as it gives an income, therefore me being a small house manager working like a mad dog is just not considered a work.

My mother’s-in-law encouraging words don’t really help me in dealing with this situation. To be honest with you I hate being a housewife. I don’t deny I wouldn’t mind it if it was on my own terms, not that I’m forced to be here, in a middle of nowhere with no one to talk to. image (12)I’m so happy to have Biscuit because I would end up having conversations with myself – now I can personalize me in Biscuit’s body, which is not awkward and weird at all. I’m not so wealthy to enjoy this state – I’m not 太太 who will get tired with shopping in a luxurious boutiques, my definition of luxury shopping is right now is ROSS – dress for less and extra jasmine milk green tea less sweet, that costs 1USD more than the regular once. We have enough money for rent, to go out eat something in a reasonable price 2-3 times a week, we have little bit more than enough for us and the cat, but we also don’t have enough to afford a child so in other words you can see that my ‘entertainment’ is pretty limited. Especially when you live in a town where Walmart and McDonald’s seem to be two most attractive places. To do shopping I walk 2 km to the bus stop, then I take my few kilograms of shopping and I walk back another 2km. Yes, I’m a neighbor of Courage the Cowardly Dog – get it? ;)

Even though, as I said I hate being a housewife, at least I try to give 200% from myself. I’m the leader of the workship, przodownik pracy, 200% normy – the one who introduces superproduction, mainly based on the story of Wincenty Pstrowski, a miner who once achieved 270 percent of expected efficiency per month. That’s how I cook, that’s how I clean, that’s how I do my house chores, 201406231601169575that’s how I plan our budget – I even got a special money book, because everyone knows that the best way to save money is spend 9USD to get a cute notebook from South Korea where you write your spendings. Actually if I worked as a part time cook, cleaner, gardener, delivery-boy and a laundry machine I would earn pretty good money. I always give everything from myself, in anything I do. Even though it feels like everyday is the same: cook, clean, feed the meowing butthole, I try to come up with different recipes, Sing always has few different side dishes with his rice, I bake cookies or muffins twice a week, I test new laundry detergent, look for some deals online. I’m literally managing the house, everything is written down and my receipts and scanned and kept on the external drive. You wish to have me around if you ever have to deal with tax control.
I made our place like a little company. Don’t know how other housewives feel but it makes me feel like I’m doing something extremely important and take my mind away from thinking ‘It’s not how I wanted to live my life’.

I know I might sound as bitter as bitter melon is, but there are also few advantages of being a housewife. Try to find me another type of work where you can watch 5 seasons of ‘Breaking Bad’ in 2 weeks period and then spend extra 3 days thinking how empty your life is once you know the ending. If you don’t have kids you can use that time to study your partners language or do something that is your passion. Not to mention you can take those naps you didn’t want to take while you were in kindergarten. 4PM and I’m out for half an hour. I can take a day off without putting people in trouble, I have time to call my parents.

I also think a big part of accepting the way things are now in my husband’s hands. He doesn’t use words like ‘my/your money’, he doesn’t let me feel the work I’m doing is useless. He will say ‘I’m so happy, you always cook so much food for me’ or ‘Guys at work were jealous of my lunchbox’. It could be much different if he hasn’t been the way he is – I know he likes the whole concept of ‘Me hungry, me bring dinosaur, you clean cave and cook dinosaur‘, but since he knows that it’s not my cup of tea he tries to show me his support.

So girls, and maybe some of you guys, if God laughs at your plans and change your whole world upside down, try to give 100% from yourselves and just go for it. IMG_0131It might not be the happiest period in your life, there are times I sit on my bed and cry because I feel useless, but everything happens for a reason, for me that reason is my husband’s career – in only 1.5 year of working in the company he became like ultra-Mario, leveled up 3 times and now he’s coordinating mega-project. I work hard here, so he can have a strength and courage to work hard for us there. And who knows what kind of opportunities will open for both of us if the project goes smoothly? Today I complain about being a housewife and maybe tomorrow we will be sent to Europe or Asia, because the same way I didn’t plan to be here today the same way I might need to change my life all over again tomorrow.

Do you think you could be happy as a housewife/househusband? Would you mind if your spouse chose that path? Share your view on this topic! We cannot wait to read it! :)
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The Real Asian Style 有大更新了- big update on The Real Asian Style

Some of you might wonder why my already low on updating blog didn’t have a new post last weekend. First of all, it was Halloween so it was just perfect to recall the post about haunted places in Hong Kong. Second of all, I was pretty busy – not only Sing’s birthday is coming next week, but also I finally found a way to get back my old auctions from eBay so I can update The Real Asian Style.

Since I started The Real Asian Style I gained a lot of new followers (and 3 SDC16277kg thanks to my trip back home, love you Mom) and some of you might actually missed that tiny subpage at the top of the screen. The Real Asian style is a tiny project I started in February – I love so called Asian/Korean/Japanese style clothes and their price is usually so ridiculously cheap that my PC screams ‘buy it’. But with great price can come great disappointment. Long story short – I’m reviewing the clothes I buy online. From eBay, from Amazon, once even from TaoBao but it has never arrived.

Let’s be clear – I’m no fashionista neither fashion blogger. Me and fashion is like Sing and chocolate cake or me and Momzilla or Biscuit and not-being-hungry. Two opposite things. I have no knowledge about the brands, I know materials by their way of washing, drying and ironing and definitely I have no style. I mean Sing likes my so-called-whatever-style but he also likes my cooking and that says pretty much everything. It’s just my subjective opinion about what I see and what I get.

I judge the materials quality, does the cloth look anything like in the picture, how fast is the shipping (usually from Asia to the United States), compare the photos I’ve seen to the photos I make. I try to find the good and the bad, if possible, in the clothes I order. Hanging threads, stains and sizes way smaller than described – beware! That’s also a great excuse to keep on doing what I love, online shopping! Don’t pretend you don’t like that excitement when you just keep running to your mailbox to see if the item is already there!

image (12)With Momzilla here I had to hide with the packages – I felt little bit like a sick person trying to hide a thing that makes them addicted, but it’s just not worth to hear ‘I could buy you this in China and take it with me’ for three months. Then I’ve noticed all my auctions in the eBay account were gone and of course Sing didn’t want to admit it was his fault. Finally after more than a month I found a way to get to the old auctions and I spent last week looking for the auction photos, making my own photos and writing down in my notebook the pros and cons of each of the items.

Since yesterday me and Biscuit – very dedicated to do the how-much-of-my-fur-can-stay-on-the-clothes test – updated The Real Asian Style with ten new items so check them out by clicking on the links below or going directly to the subpage!

And fast links to my previous reviews

I promise you since now I will be more dedicated and update The Real Asian Style more often and if you like the thing I’m doing – let me know! It’s a great excuse to buy new clothes!
And be sure to check my normally-scheduled post on Thursday!

Do you have any shop you want to recommend or a shop we should avoid? What is your most often bought item online? Any good deals? Share anything interesting in this topic!
It would be awesome to share this page with your friends, if you like it of course! :)
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對人說我愛你 – saying ‘I love you’

I’m a big fan of YouTube channel called Off The Great Wall – they had a Hong Kong girl, they have a Shanghainese guy and a Cheesy-Mike, all of them make what my husband is. When we watch their videos he often refers to them like ‘That’s what I do‘ or ‘That’s how it really image (4)is‘ or ‘I used to sing this song on karaoke with my dad, when I was young I sang the best when it went to female parts‘. Believe me, you don’t want to hear him singing ‘little sister sitting on a pier’ part in 縴夫的愛. You just don’t.

Anyway, they post many kind of videos, from culture-related stuff to ‘Asian parents vs. Western parents’. Recently they added a really funny and heart-warming video of Chinese kids saying ‘I love you’ to their parents (if you want to see it just click here) and that inspired me to write this post.

Showing affection towards family is like a sky and earth when it goes to my family and Sing’s family.

I’ve always been close with my parents, I hugged and greeted everyone when they came back after work (usually to report house damage before my dad tells my mom how much mess I did), but saying ‘I love you’ or ‘Thank you’ never been a problem. We say thank you for even a small things like if they pass me something or before and after the meal. Now since I moved out across the ocean and I’ve seen them only for a month in past one and a half year, I say ‘I love you’ everyday when we end up a Skype call. Pretty normal, ordinary family, right?

Now you have Sing’s familyI never heard them saying anything close to ‘I love you’ – neither in Cantonese or Shanghainese. Even ‘Thank you’ is like a forbidden word. Mom sent you some pocket money? Nod your head and add ‘mmm’ to it. Your son and daughter-in-law got you a watch as a gift? Keep on punching your son in his arms while you repeat his full name. It’s even more awkward when you actually witness that. I can only imagine my FIL’s reaction to those words since when I say ‘Hi’ to him or whatever he’s just saying ‘Hahaha’. If a simple greeting can make you feel so uncomfortable you can predict how other signs of affection would give.

image (8)I asked him did he actually ever said to them he loves them… His reaction? He made extremely disgusted face and said ‘ Maybe as a child, but now I’m a grown up man and when we grow up we don’t do this, too intimate’. Can you imagine I had to tell HIS mother that he actually LOVES HER. Yes, I told HER.

You think that is the most awkward thing? When she was at the airport in Poland, leaving back to Asia, my parents had to push him into his mother’s arms and they hugged like both of them were dirty, leaving like 30 cm of space between each other and it didn’t last more than 5 seconds. Can it be even worse? From what he told me, this time when she left (I was already in Poland), she just slapped him in the back and ask go to back to work – ‘I won’t see you son for next year, let me hit you’.

No matter how much I try, I cannot accept that part of what he calls ‘his culture’ or just an excuse not to get close to his own family. Maybe it would be easier if he wasn’t so cheesy to me (Linda from Linda living in China can confirm Sing even hugged me once in front of her!), he can easily say to our cat ‘I love you Biscuit, so come here and let me rub your belly’ or even ‘Kocham Cię Mamuś/Kocham Cię Tatuś‘ (the only sentence after ‘Thank you’ and ‘I’m sorry’ he can say in Polish) to my parents but you just cannot force him to show any love. I tried to convince him that even though Momzilla says ‘Study well, get a good life, be happy, that’s all I want‘ it will make her extremely happy if he one day simply told her ‘I love you’ in her face. You could see that in his last guest post on this blog (click here if somehow you made his creative-writing masterpiece, in his mind of course) he had no problems in saying to people he doesn’t really know that he loves his mother, but I think I will die before he dares to say that to her in person.

Why do I even talk about it? Because it started to make me wonder about our future children and how will they show feelings towards us.DSC2021 Don’t get me wrong but after 9 months of sitting in my belly, making me gain weight, throw up further than my sight can reach and feet so swollen I’m close to look like Shrek I want my baby to love the crap out of me. I have so much love inside me towards other people, not to mention a little human I create myself (with some small help from Sing, I should give him some credit for that) and I would never be tired of hearing ‘I love you, mom‘. I cannot imagine my child following his father’s path and just nodding the head or doing ‘mmm’. On the other hand I also wonder will Sing follow his parents path like it wasn’t awkward enough. Imagine that family Christmas meeting where you have like 10 or 12 people and all they do is just nodding their heads. With all the head moving you would have a literal ‘Jingle Bell Rock’.

Do you have any problems with saying ‘I love you’? Is it common in your culture to not show affection to your close ones? Is it different for you to say it to your parents than to a partner? Share your view on this topic! We cannot wait to read it! :)
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老公的第一篇文章:像奶奶的媳婦 – My husband’s guest post: like mother like wife

Finally, after more than a year of blogging I made THE Hong Kong husband to finally stand up and help me like other good partners in AMWF blogging community by forcing him to write a guest post. It’s his first post, if you don’t 10305073_237585606431904_2119263446600673169_ncount those teenage blogs everyone had but no one wants to admit they had because of all the stupid things written there, and I know he’s not as funny and adorable as I am but I hope you will enjoy!

Following last week’s topic: Like mother like wife (or a reason you might find Sing’s dead body in our backyard for comparing me to Momzilla)!

Hi everyone! My wife requested a lazy person like me to write this article, which made me sacrifice a relax night after work. But… since she is so awesome, so she deserves to have a guest post today!
So today I will be telling y’all  the reason why I choose her to me my girlfriend, eventually to be my wife.

Let’s start with my criteria of the girlfriend I want:
5 years old: I want a girl friend to go to playground with
15 years old: I want a girl friend to study with, to show off, to do something behind our parents’ back.
20 years old: I want a girl friend to hang out with, don’t need to think about future, just go have fun and
25 years old: I want a wife, to take care of me, to let me take care of her, so we both have a partner that we can trust for the remaining path of our lives.

As you can see, my criteria changed just like many other guys. At the end, we want to settle with a wife.

Now let’s talk about my mother. She is a tiger mom, which also micro-manages my daily life. When I was in primary school, I always will have enough pocket money with me at school, but I will be asked where I spent the money plus her comments.

image-46However, she took good care of me when I lived with her. I had well balanced meal everyday and I was forced to eat fruits! Look at my meals now, I also have veggie, meat, soup and carbohydrate… and the most important thing is I also need to eat all of them. People at work were scared of my lunch size yesterday because I got two bowls of spaghetti! So this concludes the 1st point: my wife and my mother “over-loving” me! Can you imagine how our child will be after receiving love from both of them? I don’t want to oversize my child!

The second thing I want to point out is they are both very determined on their ways of doing things. My wife has a certain way to fold my pants, so does my mom. They had a fight over how my pants should be folded for a good 15 minutes. Does it even matter? But it shows they are both detail oriented.

The next thing is they are both conservative. I found Polish people conservative. Hard working and conservative. This is very similar to Hong Kong’s hard working spirit in the 1970s. Even my mother in law is a hard worker both at work and at home. To a person like me who spent the most of my adolescent life in “western” countries with laid back/slow life style, I often feel ashamed to see how they take care of their family responsibilities and maintain a fast pace life.

The last point is both of them are good wife material. At least a good wife material in the Chinese standard. This is why I am happy to have them. Their support recharges me for the next of challenge in my life. So I would like to say 真的愛你 to them!image (3)

I wish I can write more than this but I am really not the type of person good at creative writing. If you ask me to write political argument articles, I certainly can write all day long, but articles about emotional feeling is really not my thing. See you!”

As I said not as adorable and funny as me but it was nice to read his cheesy words. Do I consider myself similar to Momzilla? Sadly, I think older I get, more I will be like her (hopefully I will one day weight same as her) – luckily I still don’t have that weird Shanghainese manner while speaking. Oh, and since today you might call my husband Schrodinger’s Sing – he might be alive and might not be while I post this… Nah, don’t worry – I still need him in case you liked his ‘Oh-God-Babe-Don’t-Make-Me-Do-This‘ post again! ;)

Did you like Sing’s first post? Maybe you wish to read him as my guest writer? Leave your feedback in the comment section below, it will help us develope!
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老公像父親 – like father like son-in-law

Last month in Poland passed really fast – I remember when my mom told me she will hide my luggage in the dsc1028basement and by the time she has done that I already had to pack myself. I loved the time I spent in Poland, but after a year and a half of being away from my parents we developed a different lifestyle and habits. And it made me realize that I actually married an Asian version of my father.

My Polish husband? My Hong Kong father? Oh God, no. I never thought I will marry someone like my dad – he’s a great father and husband, but he’s also very specific – that’s a good word, specific person.

When I met Sing I thought about him as someone totally opposite to my dad, opposite to that ‘specific’ part. Not opposite to tall and hairy with a dart board instead of hair. On the other hand my mom made a comment ‘Two Scorpios under one roof – that will be a chaos’ since there’s only 5 days difference between my husband’s and my father’s birthday. Of course since I don’t believe in horoscopes and fortune cookies I just brushed it off. How wrong I was.

I didn’t see that at the very beginning when we started to date – I don’t know if he was pretending or I was blind (-4 in the right eye and -3.5 in imagethe left one) or I just convinced myself SING IS TOTALLY NOT LIKE MY DAD but for a really long period of time I just didn’t see that. Then our life changed – we got married, finally we could move in together more time we spend together I see how similar he actually is to my dad. Trip to Poland was just a confirmation of what I see today.

There are things that make them totally different like love of sweets, Sing hates them and my dad is literally a black hole around anything close to a dessert, or the interest they have in their daily life: one is fishing, the other one pretends he’s Beckham. In real and virtual life. But those are few things they disagree about, there’s much more they have in common. Now when I think of it: no wonder my dad liked him from the very beginning…

  • One joke conversation – both of them are talkative when they are around the closest people but try to go out with them to people they don’t really know and they will open their mouth literally ONCE. To make a joke. They just sit there, think of a joke, wait for the right moment, make everyone laugh and they don’t take a part in the conversation anymore.
  • The only good drivers – everyone around them is an asshole, bad driver and in the whole world only two of them are the good drivers who have to suffer from other people’s stupidity and lack of skills. They turn into a devil once they sit in the car, always making comments, they even have a habit of asking their wives who is behind the steering wheel and of course they always end it up with ‘I knew it’. My little dirty secret: sometimes I lie about the gender or age of the person so I can laugh at his ‘I knew it’.
  • The fashion gurus – Sing is still nice because he just says ‘No’ or ‘Not really’ and just drops the topic but my dad is not ashamed to ask my mom or me to change our clothes because his fashion police sense is at the edge. If he tries to be polite he makes a face like a grumpy cat and adds ‘If you like it…’.dsc1032
  • Ex aequo Number 1 – they have their little world with them in the center where everything is for them and because of them, it’s funny to watch it from a 3rd person view when see themselves so superior and self-confident. I don’t know should I keep on laughing or actually envy how they see their world. I mean – in the end they are happy and get what they want.
  • Asian ‘face problem’ inside a Polish body – if you’re reading my blog you probably also know what is a face concept in Asia, if you don’t know – long story short: social prestige. For Sing it’s just the way he got raised, he has to fight for the check or he needs to show off but in the way other’s can’t tell it’s a show-off and my dad is pretty much the same. He never been to Asia and had no idea about the whole face-concept yet he is always aware of what other’s will think of him. I remember one time my dad sent me an SMS when I was with a friend in a park in front of our house – he asked me to sit straight because what the neighbors will think of me. Not only a stalker but a really weird stalker.
  • Mr. I don’t like that ball of fur but I will love it anyway – my dad hated that every once in a while I found an animal and took it back home with me. Besides a spider and a snake I think I had possibly every animal you can keep at home. He always complained about them, called every single one of them a smelly ball of fur, but I could see how he takes a piece of a carrot for a rabbit or brought corn for my rats. Sing was the same – when I gave him the idea of having a cat he tried to forbid me, but once we picked Biscuit I could see how he falls in love with her.
  • Cold outside, warm inside – in public non of them will show emotions, doesn’t matter good or bad. Faces are like stones (not that funny stone with a face from a drama), but deep in their hearts they have a lot of love and once you close the house doors you will see two huggy and lovey-dovey people. For Sing he started to be like that after some time since we started dating, but longer we are together, especially around Asian community, he won’t show affection in public.

UntitledDo I regret having a partner like father? No, my dad is in the end weird, but pretty awesome, maybe sometimes annoying, like REALLY annoying but it gives me hope that no one will ever take Sing away from me because no one else would spend a single day with him and not kill him or commit suicide. But if my husband keeps going the path my father made I will kill Sing myself, be forgiven by the world and still go to heaven known as Saint Paulina, Patron Saint of Complainers.

It also amazes me how such a different people, raised in different time, different environment and by different people could be so similar and even more amazing how on earth I got two of them.

Is your partner similar to your parent? When you chose a partner do you look for someone similar or totally opposite of your parent? Share your opinion and experience! :)
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奶吧 – milk bars

Argh, I’m so frustrated – it’s almost the end of my trip, I fly back to my cat (and husband) this Wednesday but there’s still so much more I wish to write about. Beautiful places in my city, street art, desserts, places you have to visit while being in Wrocław… Don’t worry – I imagepromised myself  I will write about it when I’m back in America, but I wouldn’t forgive myself if I haven’t write about Milk Bars.

Don’t worry – you won’t milk your own cow to get a drink, but honestly I wouldn’t mind going to a place like that. What is a milk bar then?

Bar mleczny means literally “milk bar” in Polish and it’s  form of cafeteria. But not just ordinary cafeteria. Extremely tasty and extremely cheap. Like American McDonald’s cheap. Although the typical bar mleczny had a menu based on dairy items (now you know why it’s called a milk bar), these establishments generally also served other, non-dairy traditional Polish dishes as well.

Guess when the first milk bar was opened? 1896. Yes, in 19th century in Warsaw and after World War I they appeared all over the country. The role of cheap restaurants carried through World War II.
3afc4bff96_thmb800_bar_mis_logo_jpgAfter the fall of German Nazi regime, Poland became a communist state, and a satellite of the Soviet Union. The majority of the population was poor, contrary to official propaganda, and expensive and even moderately-priced restaurants were derided as “capitalist”.
During the post-war years, most restaurants were nationalized and then closed down by the communist authorities. In the mid-1960s milk bars were common as a means of offering cheap meals to people working in companies that had no official canteen. They still served mostly dairy-based and vegetarian meals, especially during the period of martial law in the early 1980s, when meat was rationed. Luckily for us all today, during the tenure of Władysław Gomułka, the authorities created a network of small self-service eateries. The meals, subsidized by the state, were cheap and readily available to anyone.

What does milk bar serve? Apart from raw or processed dairy products, the milk bars also served egg (omelets or egg cutlets), cereal (kasza) or flour-based meals such as pierogi and today you can eat a meal just like your mom would make – but not grandma, Polish grannies cook the best food. Trust me – if you ever marry a Polish person and meet his/her grandma she will stuff you with the most delicious food like you were a pig.394185.1

Currently every major Polish city has at least one milk bar somewhere in the city center. If you want to check if the city you’re going to visit has a milk bar just click here (funny thing: even Canada has one!) .They are popular among the elderly, students, and working class, but are generally looked down upon by other social classes – you can meet old, young, rich, poor, males, females, children, literally everyone. That’s why I write about them – I know traveling can cost a lot, if you want to eat like a local for a ridiculously small cost chose a milk bar. Not to mention they are always in a convenient area close to the city center.

I want to share with you my favorite one in Wrocław known as ‘Miś’ which means image (1)literally Teddy Bear. Located at Kuźnicza 48 right next to the University, literally 200m from the Market Square. It doesn’t look good, but the food is great. What we call ‘a Sunday meal’ is usually a soup and a second course that includes fried piece of meat, potatoes and a salad. Now here’s the best part: if you look at the price list on the first picture for a tomato soup with rice, fried pork chop, two scoops of mashed potatoes and a sauerkraut salad will cost you 9.71 PLN or… 2.91 USD TAX INCLUDED. Tell me where you can eat a homemade food for such a low cost?! Last time I went there I took half portion of dumplings and half portion of soup and I paid… 2.01 PLN which is 0.60USD. Sounds like a joke, doesn’t it?

I know it doesn’t look fancy or doesn’t encourage you to come inside, a lot of those milk bars look like they were still in the 80s, but you can’t find anything more local and cheaper than this. If you can I will pay you with gold and I will even add Momzilla on the top of that.

My few tips before going to a milk bar:

  • Menu is only in Polish, but since it’s located around universities I’m sure there will be someone who will help you. Who knows, maybe you will meet your Polish partner in the line… ;)z16103297IF,Bar-Mis--Wroclaw
  • Be mentally prepared it won’t be fancy – since it’s so cheap sometimes you might have to share a room with really poor or old people therefore the smell might not be nice. Don’t get me wrong, I have nothing against others but I’m sure you know what I try to say – I’m sorry if it hurts anyone’s feelings.
  • I can’t tell you about other milk bars but in Miś you first make a choice, pay and then you go with your bill to a lady that will serve you the food. After you finish eating you give back the dishes – just follow others.
  • For the ‘save items’ ask for pierogi ruskie – but be sure you do it before afternoon – hungry students will probably eat them all.
  • Be prepared for crowds. But hey, if it’s popular it has to be tasty!

And for the very end my favorite part from a Polish movie also called Miś - I’m glad I could find it with English subtitles, just click here to see it. It’s a great movie exaggerating absurd that took place during the existance of Polish People’s Republic and in this part you can see the scene happening in a milk bar. Don’t worry – it doesn’t look like this today, you can see my spoon was not on a chain and my dish wasn’t screwed to the table!

Do you have places like this in your country? What is a must visit restaurant to get a home-made food like a local? Share your experience with other traveling people! :)
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