[chinese blood, irish heart] - DEFUNCT: November 2005

Monday, November 28, 2005

People's Mardi Gras against WTO

The 'People's Mardi Gras' celebrates the solidarty of the Asian Migrant Workers in Hong Kong. Groups from the Phillipines, Nepal, Indonesia gathered at Star Ferry Pier (Central) and marched to the Central Government Offices to voice their frustration. Chanting the universial 'Junk WTO', a grand display of tribal costumes and papier marches danced through busy Central amusing the thousands of bystanders.
Rey Asis, one of the organisers of the event, explains that this is a warm-up to the much larger upcoming protests during the People's Action Week (11th-18th) when the WTO talks are held.

For more pictures visit my Photo blog

Bruce Lee statue unveiled in Hong Kong

It's about time Bruce Lee was honoured. In conjuction with his 65th birthday, a bronze statue was unveiled today at the Avenue of Stars in Tsim Sha Tsui. Guests included Lee's younger brother, Robert.

Originally an idea by Vesilin Gatalo, a Bosnian ethnic Croat, he wanted to erect a statue in Mostar. He says Lee is a 'symbol the whole community could rally behind; one of "loyalty, friendship, skill, and justice." It was unveiled just 24 hours before Hong Kong.

Visit the Bruce Lee Fan Club for more details on this week's Bruce Lee Festival.

Saturday, November 26, 2005

Karena Lam- at the Photo Imaging Asia expo


She really is such a beaut. Lousy tabloids keep ranting on about her slight 'overweightness.' Still not bad for my first celebrity sighting in HK!

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Best pic I've took in ages! (Causeway Bay- Happy Valley) Posted by Picasa

I like big buns I cannot lie... Posted by Picasa

Apartment construction so far.. Posted by Picasa

Festival Walk shopping mall Posted by Picasa

Arty photo? Posted by Picasa



Saturday, November 19, 2005

2 weeks till full recovery!

Well my skin condition has improved considerably in the past 2 weeks. The Chinese doc's medicine really is worth the 5 hour coach ride! And that's only a single journey, also through China's treacherous roads.. any Irish driving instructor would have a heart attack if they saw how these people drove. My mom went with me too for the craic. Even though she wasn't sick or has any ailments, she went to for a check-up with my doc and found out she has some problems with her kidneys- apparently she's at an intermediate stage of kidney failure! Doc said she was lucky she came early to see him or else the damage would've gotten to a stage where she needed a kidney transplant or something.
Just came back again from the doc's to get 2 weeks medicine, which he says will take me to full recovery, so things are looking bright!
So anyway, the WTO people's action week is just around the corner and I've finally made contact with the Hong Kong People's Alliance on WTO, arranging documentation work and of course making new contacts.
The new apartment's looking real nice now, most of its built up so all that's left to do is choosing wallpaper and installing the doors. Should be all nice 'n cosy by the end of this month, unfortunately my mom will be leaving before it's all completed.
So all in all I'm preparing to shed the horrible memories of the past 3 months and prepping myself for the WTO events, it's gonna be one helluva week.

Monday, November 07, 2005

Is Feng Shui for real?

My uncle here in HK is a real expert in Feng Shui. It is a Chinese 'ethnoscience' that is based upon how buildings, ie homes are designed. By aligning household and other objects in a certain way, it allows 'qi' or energy to flow harmoniously, therefore providing fortune and luck for those in the building.
But Feng Shui encompasses many different fields of study, such as astrology or fortune telling. My mom designed the interior of her restaurant according to Feng Shui: which direction the main door should be facing, goldfish for luck, small lion statutes for protection etc. Although recently we have suffered periodic bad luck- three break ins in three months, but luckily only a few hundred euro were stolen.
Now considering how bad my life has been this half of the year, he explained to me that according to his astrological chart I'm suffering from severe bad luck this year, in particular the second half. Which is very true.
Take for example the first sign in June: failed to get a US visa for New York's summer job- costed me time and 80 euro. Over the next 3 weeks I tried twice, failing again. In total it costed me 240 euro and shattered my immediate plans. And all due to minor and unfair technicalities.
Then came July when I returned to my old job at Iron Mountain- nothing special there. But then the blisters appeared like a tidal wade and engulfed my right foot causing such pain and incovenience yet I still worked.
Went to a Chinese herbal doctor in Dame Street and had to drink such bitter medicine for 4 weeks. All seemed to go well until it the blisters reappeared with a vengance and worse still it began growing on my left palm, yet I still worked under these circumstances. Couldn't type well and couldn't do any warehouse work since I was limping.
In mid-August I went to a GP's and was diagnosed with Pompholyx eczema. Both gave me steroid-based creams but didn't do the job. Went for a blood test yet everything was normal, which added to the confusion of what I really had.
Went to a job interview with Concern which I thought I did really well. Next day I flew to Hong Kong, thought a little vacation may cheer me up. Planned another to Beijing and Shanghai with the lads, anticipated much fun and cultural shock. But after 2 days in Beijing my hand hurt like hell and plus I was pissed off the way I was being ignored (and bad mood), so I had to fly back to HK. I called the tour operator and and changed my schedule to fly home, I know I would lose out on the Beijing to Shanghai flight but I had to cut my losses. Got to the airport behind schedule and the fucking flight attendant said she couldn't find my details so I had to *buy* a new ticket for like 250 euro. The goddamn flight only had a dozen people you figured they'd let it go cheaper.
So finally got back to HK at 2am. It was pitch black yet it was fucking 30 degrees heat, sweated like a pig dragging my luggage up to my relatives.
So the next few days I went to see my dermatologist and underwent UV therapy for two weeks. Each treatment lasted for 15 mins and costed 30 each time, in total costing over 200 euro. I had to apply topical steroids but that seemed to cause an allergy and it wasn't working anyway, had another outbreak soon after.
So my relatives recommended me to a Chinese dermatologist, he said I had Tinea Pedis, which is Athlete's Foot so he gave me different medicine. Had to order this 'snake' ointment from China which came in little cases, each costed about 7 euro and lasted only for a couple of days. I've bought more since, in total costing me about 300 euro so far including the doctor's fees and other crap. Yet the damn blisters came back.
At this point it was late september and I knew I couldn't go back to Ireland to take the Concern job, even though it was another lifetime opportunity. Had to pussy out by emailing them.
Went back to my Western Derm and did a skin biopsy to test for fungus, which would confirm Tinea Pedis and surprise surprise they came back negative.
I've been on the Chinese Doc's medicine for about 5 weeks now and my last outbreak was over a week ago.. Probably another one coming soon seeing how things how are panning out.
So as in my last post I went to see another Chinese Doc in China and ho ho another surprise, says I have a completely different situation so i've been taking his shit for a week now and there are still blisters growing albeit in smaller doses, but they always start out small before erupting into a big cluster-fuck. Right now I'm in an OK situation
So they're the biggest points I had to make. There must've been dozens of smaller instances of bad luck in between, in most cases for things that shouldn't have happened, bad timing, problems that rarely happen, forgetfulness, accidentally hurting myself and of course the classical unexplainable sleepless nights. Patience is a virtue but this is ridiculous. Three different diagnoses and still I haven't got one straight answer as to what I'm suffering from. Some tell me this is a test, I say it's unjustified punishment for something I don't know why, just like how I don't know what this goddamn condition is.
It's early November now and there are two big upcoming events that again would test my luck & patience: graduation on the 5th December and the WTO protests on the 11th. Both require me and tip top shape but considering all that shit I wrote about up there you will see for yourselves if I am truly suffering from some horrific bad fate this year if I can't attend them. Could be that my skin condition worsens, some fuck ups with the airline or I get struck by lightning.
Then we shall see if Feng Shui is for real.

Friday, November 04, 2005

My quest to find a cure for my skin condition led me to Chichou province in Southern China. A relative of mine specialises in taking Hong Kong patients to see this doctor, those whom couldn't be cured in HK.
After a gruelling 5 hour bus ride we made it to Zhongshan where the doctor is. Actually we had to further take 45 min taxi ride in the most dingy vehicle, felt like it was gonna fall apart.
Arriving at the doc's, my first impression was how rural the place was, but of course the surrounding farms and runaway hens gave it away. Even then there were about 60 villagers ahead of us which ended up in a 2 hour wait. Luckily my relative knew the doc's family so were able to chill upstairs in their spacious apartment.
While others waited in line for us I tagged along to the local marketplace. I tell ya, any hygiene or health officer from any Western country would have a heart attack if they saw this place! One butcher didn't wear any aprons, gloves or mask, the meat was on this rusty wooden chopping board with flies hovering around, plus he was smoking! Yet since they've probably been buying meat like this from hundreds of years, alot of them would've died from some sort of food poisoning.. but hell I wouldn't buy it.
So it was my turn to see the mystical doctor. Took a few glances at my palms & feet, took my pulse, muttered something into what my relative translated as 'material poisoning' and that he couldn't do anything for me... my heart just dropped. Firstly because of his diagnosis, but also because I had always thought I had some sort of Tinea or Eczema so that added to the shock. But eventually he decided to give me some medicine for it. But after that you can see my pessimism towards this treatment if he didn't want to treat me at first. I consulted my dermatologist here and she followed up by saying it's a form of Contact Dermatitis and recommends for a patch test.
So once again I'm back to square one. I was so sure it was Tinea, maybe because I know it's easiest to cure, but now with this new situation (which i'm not still not 100% sure) I feel like as if nothing's been going right for me all this time since these damn blisters appeared. It's always hard to know if any particular type of medicine's working for these blisters/rashes come in cycles, so I'm not always sure if the medicine's working or just the phase itself. Luckily time is something I have for the moment, I'm sure most Hong Konger's don't have the luxury or time to treat such a condition. So i'll just have to start over again.