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10 things i miss about Montreal

9 Jan

My journey in Hong Kong finally came to an end and as i am waiting to board my flight at the airport i couldn’t help but feel torn. In one hand i will miss Hong Kong, but on the other hand, I am happy to be going home . This inspired me to write this post about the things that i miss about Montreal. And soon, i will write about the things i will miss about Hong Kong.

1- The Old Port

The old port is my far my favourite place in Montreal, walking there takes you back to 1800’s French Quebec. Beautiful buildings and waterfront view make for a perfect evening stroll. It is also a favourite because i can go skating there in the winter or watch the fireworks in the summer.

The Old Port

The Old Port

2- Mont Royal

This place is also one of my favourites,. I miss going there for picnics in the summer, especially on sundays when the TamTams are happening. But even in the winter, we can skate at the beaver lake or simply enjoy a scenic top mountain view of the city.

Beaver Lake at Mont Royal

Beaver Lake at Mont Royal

3- Tim Hortons

Why would you pay 4$ for a coffee when you have Tim Horton’s ?! It is by far, the national coffee in Canada and every student’s best friend. I miss grabbing my morning coffee there and taking study/work breaks with friends.

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Chinese Traditional Dinner @ Tai Chung Wah

6 Dec
Tai Chung Wah is perfect for group dinners

Tai Chung Wah is perfect for group dinners

One thing you learn living in Hong Kong, is that you never east just one dish when you go to a restaurant! It is all about Sharing. Chinese prefer to dine out in groups, order a lot of dishes and share everything. I came to like this style because sometimes i just can not decide on what i want to eat so i want to have it all.

A local friend recommended trying Tai Chung Wah for dinner. This place is huge (400 seats) and really popular among locals. It located a little bit further from downtown, in Sheun Sha Wan area.

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Tai Chung Wah

The Restaurant is within 5 minutes walk from Sheun Sha Wan MTR station and is located at 539 Fok Wing Street. At dinner time, it is very busy so you have to make a reservation ahead of time (9045 4863 / 6096 0082). Once you go to the address indicated above they will give you a menu and an ordering sheet and instruct you to go to another entrance one block away. Once You get into that side street, you will see first different kitchen stalls, everyone specialized in something : BBQ, seafood, fried rice, etc… After that, on both sides you will see several restaurants almost all full of people. They are ALL Tai Chung Wah. I was really impressed by the scale of the place. Continue reading

Chinese Calligraphy Workshop

6 Dec
Guidelines and instructions for the workshop

Guidelines and instructions for the workshop

We all know the saying “When in Rome, do as Romans do”. So in Hong Kong, I wanted to try more local traditions to lean about Chinese and Hong Kongese culture. Luckily CityUniversity Run Run Shaw Library offers Chinese Calligraphy workshops few times every semester. This fall they offered 3 one hour workshops where you can learn the basics of the calligraphy. And the best thing, they were FREE 😀

We started with a quick introduction of the history of calligraphy and a 10 minutes video about famous Calligraphy artists in China and their schools. It turns out they are very few people who are considered masters of Calligraphy and they are very picky in taking in students to teach them.  The video covered also the process of making calligraphy paper and brushes. The paper is usually made from rice through a process that takes days. The brushes body is made from bamboo or sandalwood (am sure other materials are possible too) and feathers come from a variety of animals including horses and ducks. The process seemed very complex as every hair has to be picked manualy.

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The Ink and brush used for the workshop

Following the video, the instructor explained to us how to handle a brush and the right way to hold it. One big mistake most beginners make is holding it like a pen. And as we focus on other instructions we tend to forget about the brush and go back to holding it like a pen, i guess it is habit. another important point is that you need to hold the brush vertically when writing.  Continue reading