Prima Pearl morning alarm

You know those days when you really want (and need) a good sleep-in and chilled-out late morning? Today was that day for me, except that I woke up at 7 am to the sound of fire alarm and “this is an emergency, evacuate” repeating over and over again.

The timing couldn’t have been better (insert sarcasm), since only yesterday I found out that for some unknown reason my insurance company had denied the prolonging of my travel insurance, thus leaving me un-insured. They did send a letter to my address (in Helsinki), so I suppose they just presumed I would eventually find out I am a hazard on my own. Getting an Australian insurance: 140 dollars per month. Getting a travel insurance from an international company: Something between 600-1000€ per year. Nice.

Drama in Prima Pearl tower.
Drama in Prima Pearl tower.

As I woke up to the alarm and my brain started functioning, I got a bit anxious. I remembered all the fire drills I’ve had, and tried to think of what to do when on the 22nd floor. I was not panicking, and my roommate was calm as a hindu cow: she took the time to put on some make-up and had a decent effort trying to find her lipgloss before heading out of the apartment. And against what I was taught before, we took the elevator (there was a cute and fit guy in it, so I figured I could get stuck with him and be all alright) downstairs, where all the residents who had woken up were standing in their pyjamas. Later on I found out on Facebook that not everyone woke up, or bothered to go downstairs. We did get to see the whole show with firemen (men in uniforms!!), but apparently it was a false alarm. I guess I got lucky. Good amusement for the day, at least!

Shock-recovery pool time.
Shock-recovery pool time.

Tomorrow I will be moving to my “own” place, which I haven’t actually seen yet. Oops! I will be sharing the place with some (hopefully) lovely people, and share the room with someone so far lovely. I am a tad anxious, since I don’t have any experience in this kind of situation before, but at least it’s a learning experience!

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Week END?

Constantly building something, view of Admiralty
Constantly building something, view of Admiralty

My last weekend in Hong Kong couldn’t have been better, even if it had been sunny instead of raining! On Friday we had a delicious, (almost vegan) dinner in one of the best Thai restaurants in Hong Kong (Cafe Siam).
The following day, I ventured to more art and explored an area I hadn’t been before; the industrial, artsy Chai Wan hosted Chai Wan Mei, a satellite event to the megalomane Art Basel.

Master chef at home
Master chef at home

Part of Chai Wan Mei included Bread Elements, a new – you guessed it – bakery. This company’s bread is not the pillows and other “breads” you find in the supermarkets; it is real, rustic artisan bread, hand-made from premium ingredients. I was lucky to visit the open days of the old factory premises, and talk to the master chef and cookbook authorGregoire Michaud, who previously worked for for example The Four Seasons hotel for several years!

Gluten-free raisin loaf, made with rice -, and tapioca flour
Gluten-free raisin loaf, made with rice -, and tapioca flour

It was truly inspiring to exchange ideas and opinions about the essence and quality, or the lack of quality bread, and the methods of making bread. We discussed the current gluten free trend and the reasons for the increase of gluten sensitivities (low quality, processed wheat was the chef’s suggestion). What comes to bread – it’s my Achilles heel. I think that bread should always be highest-possible quality, made without any additives or enhancers. At Bread Elements, I got to see the Mother of the breads, the sourdough starter, which makes yeast unnecessary. And I got to say, that oh man these French know how to bake a baguette!

Now Bread Elements only supplies to high end hotel chains and restaurants, but maybe soon Hong Kongers get to enjoy real bread from normal stores, too! Oh, yeah, there was other stuff than food in Chai Wan, too. Like 3,000 red-covered diaries from the Revolution era.

The Governor?
The Almighty Governor?

Saturday was topped off with some more art, wine, tapas, cocktails and dancing the night away in some of the fanciest clubs in the city with some rather interesting new friends.

Chilling at the gym
Chilling at the gym. Notice the mosquito-eaten legs!

Sunday dawned too cloudy to go to a beach, so I opted for a gym and rooftop pool instead. The sun even peaked out to say hello!

I could do this more than once!
I could do this more than once!

Summa summarum: the weekend definitely left a positive feeling and good memories about Hong Kong. Who knows, maybe this won’t be the end for me.