Posts Tagged ‘hong kong’

Going On My First Trip to Asia

A month ago, I made the decision to go on my first official trip to China…to Asia actually. Back in January, I had a near meltdown because I read that Stephen Chow was doing a 20 city road tour in China to promote Mermaid and I so wanted to go. However, the nature of my job does not allow for me to go on vacation in February so I was incredibly disappointed, not to mention depressed. I damn near quit my job! I desperately wanted to quit my job, cash out my vacation pay & my sick pay and buy a ticket to one of the cities Stephen was going to be at and just enjoy it. There’s nothing I wanted more than to see him in person. I mentioned how much I wanted to quit my job so much that people started getting concerned for me and began to message me privately asking if everything was okay. Of course at the time, I wasn’t really sure if it was my job that I hated or the fact that I really just wanted to go on vacation and was upset that I couldn’t. Eventually, some old friends came through and talked me through an otherwise senseless action and I ended up not quitting and bearing it. The good thing is that I got to reconnect with a friend I hadn’t seen since 1995 and we talked more than we did in high school, ironically.

Anyway, a month ago, I came across an article that talked about a new Stephen Chow-themed restaurant that opened up in Shanghai. He doesn’t have anything to do with it but that was the tipping point for me. They were fans and I need to be among my people! I decided to go to Hong Kong & Shanghai.

I had asked two of my best friends that I usually travel with if they wanted to go but they were not able to go until possibly 2017. Alas, tomorrow is never a promise, so I decided to go on my own. After telling some people that I have decided to go possibly in May, a friend of mine told me he was going to be in Hong Kong in April as well as another mutual friend of ours who expressed interest in going. I figured it’s probably best if I could see friends at least one day out of my whole trip instead of being a solo traveler the entire time so I decided to go in April as well. I’m so excited I don’t even know where to begin with my itinerary. Luckily my mother told me about getting a visa for China. Otherwise, I would not have thought to get that in time.

I bought two Lonely Planet books, one for each city and I have to say, I am incredibly overwhelmed. So much that I don’t even know how to start figuring out my itinerary. I have so many questions but my main concerns are

A) What should I see most?
B) How do I eat vegan over there?
C) Are there really huge cockroaches flying around? Ick!!!
D) How much money do I really need?
E) How will I find my way around in Shanghai? I don’t know Mandarin.

I guess i should check out blogs and vlogs and see what others have said. I have one month left to figure everything out. Currently, I don’t even know where I’m staying at in Shanghai as I decided to do AirBNB and the owner has not given me the address. Hmm. Hopefully, I will get it before I leave for Hong Kong. As for now, the Asian adventures await…

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No One Can Compete with Stephen Chow

For the past five weeks, I have been watching Stephen Chow’s movies/TV shows every week, hence, my lack in blog posts. Who is Stephen Chow? Only the best Chinese comedian/actor/director in Asia in my humble opinion. I still remember the very first time I learned how to use the internet back in 1995. One of the first things I remember looking up was Stephen Chow, which brought me to his IMDB page. I didn’t know about web addresses yet, only the search engine which at the time, was Yahoo as the home page at my college. I recall emailing my Chinese friends some instructions on how to get to his IMDB page and telling them which movies they should check out. What a great way to learn how to use the internet!

While watching his films, I would notice a lot of similarities such as scenes that involve eating noodles. Then I read an article that gave a biography of Stephen’s that said that his mother used to make him a bowl of noodles everyday when he came home from school. I also noticed that a lot of the stories he’s done are about the lower class of people and I read that he grew up in a single parent household after his father left when he was 7 years old and his mother held two jobs to raise their family of 4 as he had 2 older sisters. So it’s really nice to see him putting little elements of his childhood into the movies he does.

I really love this guy. The more I read about him, the more I appreciate his work as an actor, a writer, and a director; especially as a director. I find that if you read interviews where they have asked him about his history, you’ll find quite a genuine soul who believes that the “true heroes are the workers.” So in a lot of the movies he’s done, you will find that hero to be someone you wouldn’t normally envision as a hero. The hero in his films are usually the underdogs of society; the poor, the seemingly weak, the ones who are not universally considered attractive, desirable or smart. The heroes in his films are the ordinary people like you and me. In addition, he created a whole new genre of films called “Mo Lei Tau” which basically means “nonsense.” His movies came out at a time when the young people of Hong Kong had no voice and he gave them a voice to speak with. They became inspired by him and everyone fell in love with his films. At one point, Hong Kong’s top five movies that were out in the theaters all had Stephen Chow in them! Who can do that?!! Astonishing.

Anyway, I am excited to watch his new movie, “The Mermaid” come out this year. It is being released in Asia on the first day o Lunar New Year, 2/8/16. I was thiiiiiiiisss close to quitting my job and cashing out my vacation pay/sick pay and flying off to Hong Kong just to watch the movie in case it doesn’t come here on the same day. I eventually came to my senses and realized that a movie ticket costing over $1000 is never worth it…unless Stephen Chow is sitting there right beside you.

My favorite movie of his is “All’s Well, Ends Well” but it’s not online unfortunately except for the trailer.  However, if anyone is going to check out a Stephen Chow movie for the 1st time, I would start with “All For The Winner” which was a comedic parody movie of a Chinese drama movie called “God Of Gamblers.” Only problem is, Stephen has such an outstanding command of Cantonese that his improv involves a lot of Cantonese wordplay. So while his comedy is funny, there is actually another level of comedy that most of us can’t comprehend unless we were familiar with Cantonese! For example, at around 1:25 of All For The Winner below, the english subtitle says he is calling the vending machine, “Mr. Machine.” In Cantonese, the phonetic words he is using is gei lou. In Cantonese, the word “gei” (机) also sounds like the word “gei” (基) which when put together with lou (佬) is the words they use to call someone gay. It’s actually a rather vulgar term and used only in Cantonese. However, reading the English subtitles, that joke would have gone right past you. Anutha level, bruh. Anutha level.

If you’re interested, here are some comedic scenes Stephen has done in the past. Enjoy.

King Of Comedy (1999)

Kung Fu Hustle (2004)

Magnificent Scoundrels (1991)

Compilation –
All For The Winner (1990)
God Of Cookery (1996)
Magnificent Scoundrels (1991)