Monday, October 27, 2008

"I Climbed the Tallest Mountain in Hong Kong Saturday, You?"

A person's nickname can tell a lot about who they are. Sometimes it arises from a shorter version of the full name. Sometimes it comes from a funny incident. Sometimes it comes from yO face.

I've had a couple of nicknames my twenty one year of life. There's "notorious B.I.G.," the one my cousin gave me after seeing my baby pictures. There's the ubiquitous "janjann," short for my full name. I only like it when close friends call me that. There's the affectionate "Clumsy," the not so affectionate "Klutz," the self-entitled "Dinosaur" and so on and so forth.

I can now add another one to the list: "Athlete." Bestowed upon me by my cousin Cissy, I earned this title because I am, apparently, the only one in the family who actually exercises. I like to lace up my tennis shoes once in awhile. I like to stretch. I like to frequent the gym. I like to hike and stuff.

Tai Mo Shan provided just the trail for Val, Jeff and I. It was a foggy day but our sing-alongs, constant jokes and crazy picture-taking skills brightened the day up a whole lot.

Besides the dreaded speedy cars zooming past us every once in awhile, the only other danger we really encountered on our trek were of the moo-ing kind.

And as usual, nature provided the greatest sights that can soothe any sore eyes.

I can't get over the change that came over me this past year. I still remember when I came to Hong Kong two years ago and my friend Heidi was also in town. She called and asked if I wanted to hike the highest mountain on the island with her and my first reaction was, "are you crazy? In this heat? Hiking? I wouldn't even walk across the street if I could help it!"

True, it is a whole 10 degrees celcius cooler now than that summer but I've also become fond of walking, jogging, hiking. I like appreciating nature and breathing in fresh air and huffing and puffing and sweating every once in awhile. And I think my body appreciates me for my change of heart as well. Thank God for that!

Friday, October 24, 2008

I Miss...

...good old-fashioned letter writing.

The postal system needs a good work out and I'm willing to give them one.

You can help me out too!

Janice Jann
R.C. Lee Hall, 6A Sassoon Rd. #1517
Pokfulam, Hong Kong, Hong Kong

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Everyone Poops

... Except when some of them are on vacation...

There's been a long decision process that was undergone in determining whether to discuss this topic on a blog on the Internet where anyone can just read it, store it, blackmail me in the future for it.  But in the end, a decision has been reached. The subject must be mentioned. After all, every does it. 

It consumed much of the trip.  Some did it way more than others.  Some did it right after every meal, and who can blame them when the food looked like this?

Various Filipino cuisine from a buffet dinner 

Chocolatey chocolate cake for Will's birthday

Fire grilled kabobs and fish


Famous dish, chicken adobo

...And tasted just as rich, creamy and abundant?

Alas, those who did it were a lucky bunch.  They didn't have to suffer with a bloated stomach, the discomfort of constipation though they did have to endure listening to those who couldn't do it, just couldn't's whines and complaints. (Thanks guys!)

The constipation streak ended right when Hong Kong island was reached.  But it worries me to no extent because it's a regular occurrence on my vacations. Why why why?  Is it nerves? Is it the dirty toilets? Is it the lack of privacy? Lack of time? Lack of space? Why why why?

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Day in the Life in the Philippines

...spread out over 3 days though.

Badass (ok, really dorky) Henna tattoos before breakfast.

Swimming with the fishies (wanted to eat them for breakfast)

Long-missed South of the Border treats to fill the tummy

Sore butts and torn swimsuit shorts 

Where in the World (is Boracay Islands?)

Boracay Islands is a famous little hideaway. Those who wish to catch a glimpse of the crystal clear waters have to do a bit of traveling to get there. It pretty much took us a whole day to get there and back. On our way to the island, we stopped in at Manila and on the way back, at Clark. In between consisted of a lot of bus tickets, tricycle and boat rides and...sitting. Talk about playing hard to get! Below, my lovely volunteer Jessica models for us the way to get to Boracay.

First up was the ferry ride to Macau. Everyone managed to start snoring 10 minutes in on the ride despite the freezing temperature inside the boat.

After flying in a standard sized Tiger Airways plane and staying the night in Manila, we boarded a teeny weeny little propeller plane to the Island. When Jeff saw this, he said, "uh oh. This was the type of planes I was trying to avoid." Despite such an ominous statement, our flight was smooth and peaceful.

After reaching the Island airport, we rode off on one of these babies, gliding through the waters. Though the quarters were cramped, it was a neat experience.

Finally, we landed at our dream destination! But one more ride was still to be had. In Philippines, most people either rode these carts, known as tricycles, or "jeepneys," long, metallic, often gaudy, hearse-like vehicles. The tricycles were bumpy and cramped to the max but it got us where we needed to go!

The final destination?  Yea, definitely worth the sore butts, dry mouths and static hair.

Paradise Found..and Lost

It gets really sad when you start prioritizing your blog over your essay due in less than twelve hours.  For my blog, I set deadlines for myself and don't move until I finish a post. For my essay, I wonder aimlessly, snack alot, I even went to the airport to see my aunt off just so I wouldn't have to face that Word document.  

Now, once again, I am choosing my blog over my essay.  The latter I will finish tomorrow morning, race to the printers and slip it in just before my 1 o clock class.  The former I will recount right now because...who doesn't love pretty pictures? I know I do. I'm just sharing the beauty.  

And how beautiful is Boracay, Philippines?  We went during off-season so the shores were pretty much inhabited only by us and a few Korean couples in matching couple outfits. (Apparently, this is quite a hotspot for my chingoos. I couldn't help but be a little jealous, they all looked like they were shooting a korean drama!)  

Talk about pretty, right?  I couldn't believe my eyes every time I stepped out onto the beach.  It was a picture times a thousand. It was Switzerland times a hundred.  It was a dream come true.

The rest of the Philippines (we also stayed at Manila and Clark) was not quite as nice.  Philippines is still a very poor, developing country and trespassing through the shadier streets and forlorn countryside was quite an eye-opening experience.

Many a times, we would be walking down the street only to have small children, all under the age of 6, harass us for money.  They begged, they pleaded, they'd cuss and some even got physical in an attempt to get some change out of us.

The thing is, I would gladly give them all I have.

In fact, I did. Just once, it was at the airport and it was to this old man with no limbs, playing a harmonica.  Can you even imagine such a sight? I figured it was okay to give him money since he was actually performing for me so it was kind of like paying for him to do his job.

But with the kids it's different.  Supposedly, gangsters would force these kids and paraplegics to beg for money since people would be more likely to give them money.  The more we give, the more the gangsters would push others to do this.  It's like feeding the system.  

So what to do? Only cast my eyes downwards and walk fast, clutching my purse tightly. I felt like such a jerk. 

It's astounding to be in the same country and be faced with completely different landscapes.  God created so much beauty in this world but mankind keeps screwing things up!  Only we have the power to turn things around.  To change things. To hope for a better world.  Vote for Obama!  Hahaa....jk. Vote for whoever you want.  I'm completely out of it.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

So I was browsing through my old roommate Dorothy (a.k.a. Dessertobsessed)'s old blog entries and I realized that I had totally been tagged to play this game but forgot about it.  Since reading week has put time on my side, I decided to dig into my soul a little bit and pull out some random facts about myself.  I'm the type of person who hates saying things like "I'm the type of person who hates saying things like..." (He he... my last sentence is so ironic and totally intentional) so this game was a bit hard for me.  

A lot of thought went into deciding which of the many facets of Janice Jann would make it into the six bullets so take your time reading and getting to know me a little better! (Unless, of course, if you already knew all these facts about me in which case, good for you!)

Here are the rules for the game:

1. Link to the person who tagged you.
2. Post the rules on the blog.
3. Write six random things about yourself.
4. Tag six people at the end of your post.
5. Let each person know they have been tagged by leaving a comment on their blog.
6. Let the tagger know when your entry is up.

Six Random Things about Meee:

1).  My best friend is my superstar little sister, Jessica.

2).  I'm always a little too smart for my own good.  Like, I'd freak out about losing something only to find it safely stored somewhere because earlier on, I knew I needed to store it away so that I wouldn't lose it.  Like what just happened with my watch. I stored it in my backpack, knowing I'd forget it if I left it in the hotel room only to forget and then think that I had left it in the hotel room. I called the hotel room 5 minutes ago, they said it wasn't there, I shed a few tears then started cleaning out my backpack and found my watch safely tucked away in a pocket.  Oops.

3).  I ain't sayin' I'm a gold-digger.  But any guy I'm serious about can't be a total loser.

4).  I like to run. A lot.

5).  Libraries make me drool.

6).  I have this annoying habit of always wanting everyone to like everything I like. People have different tastes! I need to learn and accept this.

*note: Oh gosh, I can't follow rules. You're supposed to tag people! hahaha...Ok...I'll be tagging!

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

My Parents Rock

"The reason I say yes to your HK trip. It reminds me 30 years ago a young man went to USA with nothing but a young heart. Find the way to live with it, not just to complain it. I knew it is tough to live in a new city but it makes you more mature to think about how to survive in such big city with little time, little money for high presure, high demand. Tell me after you find the answer."
-Fred Jann

My dad is a cutie.  This is his response to my bratty complaints a couple of weeks ago over Hong Kong's crappy school system (which I still stand by, mind you.)  

I had a very sheltered upbringing.  My parents worried about the tiniest things.  I've only been to two sleep overs in my youth. My sister, zero.  My mom and dad always stayed up until we got home for the evening.  If I wasn't invited to something at least two days prior to the event, forget about it, I wasn't going.  

But my parents have always been supportive of everything I've done and wanted to do.  Yes, they would discourage me from taking certain paths and forced me to do other things but in the end, they always just wanted what was best for me and to see me happy.  

I'm writing this because I know none of my travels would have been possible if my mommy and daddy didn't 1) allow and support me to go on them and 2) financially help me out.  They knew they weren't going to see their elder daughter for a good half a year but they still bought my plane ticket.  They knew I would be spending a lot more money overseas but they still wrote the check.  They knew I was growing up and enjoying a world without them in it 24/7 while they're still back at home tending to things but they still helped me pack my bags.  I am one lucky girl.

I think about this every time I step out to Lan Kwai Fong for a night of debauchery.  I think about it every time I have that last chapter of Econ (oh, darn Econ) to read.  I think about it every time I swipe my credit card.  Am I living this experience to its fullest potential? Am I growing up? Am I taking responsibilities for my actions? Am I becoming more cultured and wise?  Am I being productive?  And I hope the answer will be a resounding "yes" every time.

There's still so much that I want to do but the clock is surely ticking away.  I have to act now!

Sidenote: I realize I'm kind of anti-social sometimes. Sometimes (like today) I just want to hole up at the library, take a nice jog by myself and then curl up into bed with a book in my arms.  I don't call anyone, I don't strike up a conversation with the friendly bloke sitting next to me, I don't even crack a smile to the bus driver.  It's not 'cause I'm unhappy, it's not 'cause I'm emo, it's just cause I'm thinking and I have all these thoughts swirling around in my head they're making it hard for me to carry on social routines.  Go figure.

Monday, October 6, 2008

One of my favorite apartment memories last year was when Dorothy would bust out her baking pans and pounds of butter and create magical concoctions that just also happened to be super good to eat!

Eventually Kelly got into it and would help Dorothy decorate and I always tried my best to take the prettiest pictures ever so we could post them up on Facebook and make everyone else jealous that we had the yummiest (though piggiest) apartment ever.

We bought some scrumptious "Dam Tats" (egg custards) recently and I just snapped a shot before I took a bite (and then another and another and eventually, it was all gone) but this picture reminded me of my former roommates. 

We resembled egg custards in some ways (oh boy, here comes some 9th grade English flashbacks).  We are tough on the outside but very fragile and soft in the inside.  We crumble at times, we wiggle, we flutter, we even jiggle (sorry Dorothy)! We're yellow. We're light brown when we tan (though none of us ever want to) and we even burn sometimes.  We smell great (especially Kelly after she showers) 

Ok, it really is getting late so I shall head off to bed.  I didn't really have anything important to say. I just wanted to show off this picture and say I miss my roommates.  =) Toodles! 


It's 5:50AM here and I can't sleep so let's do some counting.

25  the number of times I've been called mixed or half white here.  (And this is only after I started noticing I got mistaken for that a lot that I started to count)

2500  hong kong dollars that I've spent shopping for pure  clothes and accessories and toys for myself

6 pounds I've lost since being here for one month

5 number of times this one girl (we'll call her "D") has introduced herself to me.  She never remembers my name and continually thinks we've never met every time I see her

8 pairs of shoes I've already bought here

2 pairs of shoes I've already broken here

50 HK dollars that I plan to spend everyday on food only so that I can budget and save money for trips and shopping

7AM is usually when my roommate goes to bed every evening- I mean morning

13 mosquito/bed bug bites I've received on my limbs

51674835 my Hong Kong phone number. Now I must remember it, dammit, so I don't keep giving out the wrong numbers to people!

4 times I've had 3 AM dim sum and loving it every time I go

 1 time I've gone clubbing completely sober and found out it is (and I am) not as fun. =( Why does alcohol have to rule my partying life?

3 more months left!

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Cut it Out!

When I woke up this morning to find my hair resembling something found in "The Lion King," I knew it was time for a cut.



Thanks Paul from "Mina Dev Wil" salon!  You've made my split ends disappear, my neck a little colder and my hair a little healthier!

Mina Dev Wil, Causeway Bay, Hong Kong

Friday, October 3, 2008

I Give Up

I completely have senioritis.  I wonder how it will feel like to fail a midterm.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008


Dang, Hong Kong sure has a lot of holidays.

I thought school had just begun, but already, we've had two national holidays.  Then, in a couple of days, we're leaving for Reading Week.  This is not school, this is vacation!

I'm so excited for my travel destination the first half of reading week that instead of studying for my first Econ midterm like a girl good, I'm googling up pictures of our vacation paradise.

Please excuse the poor picture quality.  I promise you better ones (taken by yours truly) will pop up in a couple of weeks!

Any guesses on where this sweet looking beach is?