Hong Kong food & Taiwan

Posted on Leave a commentPosted in Travel

The Cantonese are major foodies. I mean this in the sense they really care about the food they eat. They scour the globe for the choicest foods: live crabs from Cornwall, rock lobsters from New Zealand, sea cucumbers and abalone (sea snails) from South Africa and the infamous shark fins from whoever will sell them this illicit delicacy. (WWF has just persuaded the government to outlaw serving shark fin soup at its receptions). Frozen seafood retails at a fraction of the price of live food so where possible these items are flown in, chilled but alive, at tremendous carbon and financial […]

Shenzhen & Hong Kong TV

Posted on Leave a commentPosted in Travel

You can be forgiven for never having heard of Shenzhen. Before Deng Xiaoping created this Special Economic Zone at the doorstep of Hong Kong in 1979, it was just a series of sleepy fishing villages known as Bao’an County with a population of 300,000. Now it has a population of 10 million. Below are a couple of photos shot from the same vantage point shown by Jeffrey Sachs in his excellent recent presentation at LSE about the challenges facing the world.           If you’re a sucker for this sort of thing here are some more before […]

Learning Cantonese

Posted on 2 CommentsPosted in Travel

It’s my fourth week of learning Cantonese. There are two schools of thought about how easy it is to learn Cantonese. There are some people (my Cantonese tutor) who say it’s easy to learn. There are others (the rest of the world) who say it’s very hard. My tutor explains: “The grammar is easy. The future tense is the same as the present tense so no need to learn different verb endings.” That’s nice to hear but there is a good reason why English has the future tense; it’s actually quite useful being able to tell her whether I have […]

Arriving in Hong Kong

Posted on 5 CommentsPosted in Travel, Uncategorized

Prashant in Hong Kong….for half of you this will be a “What the Hell….”moment and the other half will be wondering why it’s taken me so long to write. This is my fifth week away from the UK. I’ve been working for three weeks but more about that in a later letter. I’m staying in a small studio apartment in Soho….the HK equivalent to London’s Soho I guess. My home, unusually for somewhere so central, is just three stories and there’s a bust of Sun Yat-Sen, the famous Chinese nationalist over my door. It’s quite possible this is the HK […]