By James Chow

Protected: Wei in Hong Kong

Guess who was in Hong Kong last week!

Wei was in Hong Kong to visit me (the last time we were both here was in 2013) and also to visit Disneyland!

20150308_113858(1)

This was my third time visiting HK Disneyland, the first time was in 2005 with my family, the second in 2008 leading a Tourism Club trip.

IMG_6710

The Sleeping Beauty castle is under renovation and will for a few months look like a Minecraft castle!

IMG_6581(1)

We watched the Festival of the Lion King show (for the third time for me) – my favourite attraction in the park.

IMG_6598

Mickey’s Philharmagic for the songs…

IMG_6724

… and checked out some of the newly added ‘Lands’ in the park since the last time I had been here. New areas include Toy Story Land:

IMG_6614

Mystic Point – the Mystic Manor ride was super cool…

IMG_6610

… and Grizzly Gulch, a wild west / gold rush setting.

IMG_6607

Grizzly Gulch also hosts HK Disneyland’s second roller coaster – Big Grizzly Mountain Runaway Mine Cars! We had to queue for quite a long time to get on as it was rather popular.

IMG_6638(1)

In my opinion, this was easily the most exciting ride in HK Disneyland. But with only Space Mountain as the only other proper roller coaster contender, that’s not saying much. Nevertheless, it took some persuasion to get Wei on the ride.

IMG_6639

The rest of the park was just as awesome as I was expecting. I should probably mention that although there were crowds here and there, the park wasn’t too crowded.

IMG_6587(1)

Also another new ride – It’s A Small World – based on that epic childhood song.

IMG_6695

As night fell, we head on to Tomorrowland. I always reserve this section of the park to after dusk. It just feels more real.

IMG_6744

We’d never miss Space Mountain of course. And here’s Autopia!

IMG_6765

It wasn’t the best time to watch the fireworks this time around as the minecraft castle was even more cubicle against the dark night sky!

IMG_6727

But who cares… fireworks!

IMG_6804

**********

As part of her trip, we also did a lot of other stuff but I’m probably not going to blog all them.

IMG-20150312-WA0009(1)

After all, it was mostly eating and drinking and chilling.

IMG-20150102-WA0026

Oh but we did go for a hike on Lamma Island!

IMG_6872(1)

The weather was cool which made it perfect for a long walk.

IMG_6878

Wonderful landscape! This didn’t feel like HK at all. 🙂

IMG_6882

IMG_6926

IMG_6876

IMG_6973

IMG_6952(1)

IMG_6983

IMG_6998

We also sat around the pier and just talked, as this was the second last day before her return flight.

IMG_7030(1)

Will miss you Wei! Hope to see you again soon!

IMG-20150314-WA0005

View More
By James Chow

Protected: Beginning of Another New Chapter

It’s that time of my life when I begin another brand new chapter.

IMG_6551

After spending almost two years in Accenture, I left the firm to embark on a new journey in a new company, in a new, but familiar country – Hong Kong.

But I am not the only one – Wei has also got a new job as a flight attendant in Guangzhou, China. She left in mid-December, a whole month before me, and has since been enjoying her one-month flight attendant training. 

IMG-20150112-WA00002

Leaving Accenture hasn’t been easy. Despite the incredibly hectic deadlines and stressful work that comes with a working in a consulting firm, I really loved my job.

And most of all, I loved the people whom I work with – my incredible team of Accenturians who never took no for an answer, and always delivered the best work in the face of tremendous difficulty.

Together we got through the most challenging part of our careers, working 80 hours a week, forfeiting sleep and weekends and holidays just to deliver results as a team. Getting through all that forged a really strong bond among us. 

20141231_145306

And of course, there are my incredible clients, with whom we have established more than a just a professional working relationship, but also a fun, humorous, and casual friendship.

The past few months have not been easy for us from both the consultant’s and client’s side. There were frustrating times, joyful times, confrontational times, emotional times, and entertaining times. It was with both joy and sadness that I had a final farewell lunch with them knowing that it would probably be the last time we’d see each other in a while.

20150113_151820

The toughest part of the project (since June last year) has passed and if all goes well, the final deliverable will be launched in a matter of weeks. I had hoped to personally witness the fruit of our labour before I leave, but unfortunately the timing is not something that I can fully control.

So I’ll say this: farewell, Accenture! You have been a great teacher, trainer and disciplinarian. Although it has only been two years, I really think that I have been moulded into a different person with a very unique work ethic that will be noticed by all my employers to come. That will be your legacy in me.

20141231_181123

*********

For obvious reasons, I had kept this planned transition as discreet as possible. And when I finally announce it to my friends, I was left with mere days to really say my farewells.

IMG-20150104-WA0019

So here we were in Hong Kong on Thursday greeted by our dear cousin Jacqueline at the airport. The last time I met her was in early 2013 when I had just returned from the UK.

IMG-20150118-WA0005

So throughout the next few days it has been a non-stop meet-the-relatives marathon. We also got to taste a lot of great food!

On the first night we had roasted pigeon which is pretty famous in Tai Wai.

IMG-20150117-WA0009

Then, we met up with aunt Christina who brought us all the way to Lau Fau Shan, a small village far up north close to the Shenzhen border, for some of their famousoyster and seafood!

Standing at the edge of the quaint fishing village , you could actually see mainland China across the Deep Bay.

20150117_140734

Then of course we had to meet with my mum’s sister my uncle (cousin Rebecca’s parents) for some dim sum!

IMG-20150117-WA0012

On Saturday we met up with the wider group of cousins and aunts. It was a very awesome gathering as we had not met for a great number of years!

Everyone seemed to remember me from my childhood days in Hong Kong and kept reminiscing about how notoriously playful and noisy I had been as a kid. It was more than just mildly annoying as I have zero memory of all that (that was over 20 years ago) Smile.  

IMG-20150118-WA0006

Anyway, I am glad that our family here in Hong Kong stays well in touch and are close to each other.

I will be having my first day at work tomorrow and I’ll need to sleep early. Update soon!

View More
By James Chow

Protected: Mamma Mia! The Musical

Yesterday I attended the Mamma Mia! The Musical performance at the Kuala Lumpur convention centre.

20141221_224657

After Jersey Boys in May and Snow White The Musical earlier this year, this is the third Broadway / West End musical that I’ve attended in Malaysia this year. I am very glad that this sort of performance is picking up traction in Kuala Lumpur!

I had to choose between Mamma Mia! and Phantom in for my first West End musical back in early 2011 but chose the latter. This is my opportunity to finally watch the glorious musical after listening to ABBA songs since my teenage years and watching the movie in 2008!

20141221_200351

I attended the last of seven shows in Kuala Lumpur and the seats in the auditorium were completely full. This didn’t happen to Jersey Boys though. I don't know smile

I got my tickets pretty late as it was a last-minute decision. They were quite expensive but we got a pretty decent seats on the front row of the Grand Circle.

IMG-20141221-WA0009

Of the three musicals this year, I think I enjoyed this the most! The performers were brilliant, the songs magical, and the venue outstanding.

Actually perhaps not the last. The hall was a tad too big for a musical of this nature. Most of the voices that we heard were the product of an amplifier. While inevitable, the large hall does diminish the sense of authenticity a weeny bit.

20141221_223943

Okay… I’m just trying to be hippy. Hot smile I’m no acoustic expert and I don’t know how different halls affect the quality of music. But once the performance started, it was just super awesome!

The prologue was a great warm up, and when “Honey, Honey” kicked in, we were just really thrilled and having a hard time not to just sing along! From then on it was just a familiar hit after another and we were simply breathless from excitement all the time.

jj

My favourite songs are “Take a Chance on Me”, “Does Your Mother Know”, “Gimme! Gimme! Gimme!” , “Money, Money, Money” and “The Winner Takes it All”, which has been my all time favourite for over ten years!

Then of course, who can not adore the universal favourites “Dancing Queen”, “I Have a Dream”, “Lay All Your Love on Me” and… “Mamma Mia” itself! They are all just absolutely explosive. Open-mouthed smile

20141221_200401

It was however a little unfortunate that the performer playing Tanya had a pretty hoarse voice (this was the last show after all) and her “Does Your Mother Know” was absolutely cringe-inducing. Confused smile

So after an exhilarating night of ABBA songs, we headed to Skybar at Traders Hotel just next door for some drinks to celebrate the great night.

SkyBar

The window seats facing the Twin Towers in Skybar are notoriously difficult to get, especially on a weekend when they are all fully reserved.

However, thanks to a bill of almost RM800 and the fact that there was a girl around (yes it helps) we managed to get a couch right next to the pool with a view of the KL skyline!

IMG-20141221-WA0032

I had just come to Skybar with Steffen and Henrike a few weeks ago and all we got was a small table in the corner. Sad smile

The theatre tickets plus expensive drinks did burn a hole in my pocket but… not matter, due to reasons that I will disclose in future blog posts, this was probably one of the last times that I will be here anyway. So let’s drink to that!

20141222_005159

A huge transition is coming up in my life and I am really excited! Wait for it!

View More