Luxe life

The reason for not posting for a while is not that I did not have anything to write about; quite the contrary. Last week’s Friday I got to see my mother for the first since leaving to Japan! The last week I left Paul Yee Mansion and moved to The Luxe Manor in Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon island.

Beautiful decor in Luxe Manor
Beautiful interior in Luxe Manor

 

Even the toilet in the hotel room was bigger than the room I live in! Besides the luxurious room, there was a rather satisfying gym, and very fulfilling breakfast with a lot of things I didn’t expect! And since my mother came from Finland, I got some souvenirs…

Finnish twist to Hong Kong breakfast
Finnish twist to Hong Kong breakfast

I didn’t think I missed something from Finland, but oh man, the rye bread was something divine! And let’s just say that the souvenir salmiakki I brought to work didn’t last more than 15 mins. I was not the only one enjoying it, though.

 

Dada bar with dada drinks and decor
Dada bar with dada drinks and decor

 

This week I did, saw, experienced and ate a lot of things I haven’t done, seen or tried before. Just to mention a few:

Hong Kong from the Peak
Hong Kong from the Peak

 

Viru beer in a triangle bottle in the highest bar in Asia: Ozone, 118th floor
Viru beer in a triangle bottle in the highest bar in Asia: Ozone, 118th floor of Ritz Carlton

 

 

Lamma Island, almost deserted with beautiful nature
Lamma Island, almost deserted with beautiful nature

 

 

Horse races. To be honest: horses were not the main point in Happy Valley that night
Horse races. To be honest: horses were not the main point in Happy Valley that night

 

 

Tai O: fishermen's village with a lot of character (and gooey, smelly, purple shrimp paste)
Tai O: fishermen’s village with a lot of character (and gooey, smelly, purple shrimp paste)

 

 

Vegetarian sushi. I know
Vegetarian sushi. I know

 

 

Oh yes, these past 10 days have been exquisite – I even got to be a pincushion, aka try Traditional Chinese Medicine and acupuncture. I will not do that 3 times a week as advised. This evening mom left back home to freezing Finland, I came back to my home to sweating hot Wan Chai, and started munching on the salmiakki I hid for this kind of situations. Homesickness? Nah. But there is quite nothing like being with family. And we were home, or at least I was. I think mom was happy to go back to the peace and quiet.

 

Oh, I will miss these pillows and everything that came with them
Oh, I will miss these pillows and everything that came with them
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Homesickness

Some time cliches are true, like in the case of New York being a melting pot for different cultures. Cultural diversity brings extra spice to life in the city, from the vast variety of restaurants to the different looks of passers by.

In here it is ridiculously easy to try out new things, such as Japanese inspired hot dogs, or Korean infused tacos. But what happens when you want to feel like home, not like you’re in the promised land of happy hour oysters? Homesickness can be easily cured in a place like New York, even if you’re not from China.

If I was from Alaska, maybe this store would help me when feeling low

 

The British have their pubs, but also a cute store with a nice tea corner, perfect for eating shepherd’s pie and reading about the Royal Family.

God bless America, or how was it?
A cup of silver tea with some biscuits, and the world seems brighter again

 

There are of course restaurants dedicated to almost every possible cuisine, and some cultures have their homely pubs with their local selection of drinks. Sometimes feeling like home takes more than a pint of beer, though (sometimes the pint is not even necessary).

Probably the strongest Finnish fashion brand, Marimekko, can be found in few locations

New York has the H&M and Ikea we Finns are so fond of, even though they are Swedish brands. Sometimes Sweden is close enough, though.

 

Sockerbit – piece of sugar – brings the sweet side of Sweden (and some Finnish Fazer treats, too) to New Yorkeans

I have seen “salty licorice” in few candy stores, but have not dared to try it. Now, as my Turkinpippuri (Turkish pepper) stock has run out, I might have to turn to some of the more hard core treats in here.

If my chocolate stash runs out, I can stock up in Sockerbit

 

Tasting salmiakki candy results in faces of disgust with most Americans, but the other Finnish pride, rye bread, has received more enthusiastic attention.

New Amsterdam market on Sunday. Rye bread is sold (and tasted) in Union Square on Fri&Sat, other locations and times are unknown

Real Finnish rye can be also purchased in Dean&DeLuca and Whole Foods.

Ruis meaning rye

Finnish rye vs. American rye.

American “rye” bread

Yes, this is probably the only thing I am truly proud about in Finland. We have real rye bread. Thank god we are trying to tell you about the greatness of it, too.