What the Fortune Teller Told Me and What I’m Doing

(I wrote most of this on Monday. Finished it late Wednesday night. Publishing on Thursday.)

Most people know that fortune tellers are con artists. It doesn’t matter. They’ve been around for centuries and when they’re good at their craft (and it definitely is a craft), at the very least it’s entertaining.

On Sunday night, my wife and I went up to the Temple Street Night Market. I love coming here. It’s always the same and hopefully it will never change.

First, you make that right turn from Jordan Road onto Temple Street and there are a couple of cheap shops selling just about any hair care product you can think of.

Then you get the four streets of stalls, selling any and every kind of cheap crap that they think someone will buy. I picked up a couple of USB cigarette lighters for US$6 a piece. No fluid, no gas, charge by USB, flick them on and a coil heats up enough to light a cigarette (but not large enough for a cigar), rechargeable, windproof, dozens of styles.

When you get to the garage, the south side has Nepalese people selling all sorts of crafts and religious statues. Along the west side are stands selling sex toys and personal grooming items. The east side has fortune tellers and stands set up for people to come along and pay some makeshift band so they can do karaoke-style Cantonese opera. The north side has more fortune tellers. Then there’s the park.

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Photography: Seven Days

I got tagged on this Facebook “seven days” thing.

Seven days.
Seven black & white photos of your life.
No people, no explanations.
Challenge someone new each day.
I was challenged by …
I challenge …

I couldn’t go out and shoot anything new because my priority at the moment remains my job search. This meant I had to dig into my archives. The “no people” part was especially challenging since I love shooting musicians and street photography is generally shots of people.

I did come up with seven photos. Now that I’ve posted them all on Facebook, I thought I’d share them here.

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My Hong Kong Airport Adventure

I know I don’t come off looking too great in this story but I’m going to share it anyway. (In my defense, I will state that my job search is still unresolved and I was leaving Hong Kong thinking that it could be a very long time until I return. I was distracted and feeling semi-depressed.)

Monday night was my night to fly back to Manila from Hong Kong. Over the course of the past six months, my routine has gotten pretty fixed. I always take the last flight out from Cebu Pacific – it gets me back to Manila after midnight, so usually the traffic has died down a bit and I can get home pretty quickly. I leave our apartment in Wanchai relatively early so that I can take my time in the airport.

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Hong Kong – Wan Chai Restaurants

For the past 5 months, I’ve been dividing my time equally between Manila and Hong Kong.

In Hong Kong, my office is in Wan Chai, our flat is in Wan Chai, and I very rarely drag my butt out of Wan Chai. My wife works in Wan Chai as well. She gets a dinner break at 9 PM each night that’s just 45 minutes, so we have to eat in places close to her work.

What’s great about Wan Chai is there is such a wide range of restaurants and cuisines. You can go old school Hong Kong for relatively little money or you can drop a month’s salary on fine dining (no, I still haven’t been to Fook Lam Moon), and plenty of choices in between.

I thought people might find it useful to get my guide to places I’ve eaten in the area. I did a similar piece once but that’s more than 4 years old so hope you don’t mind an update.

After living in Sai Kung for 5 years and Lam Tsuen for 2 years, being back on Hong Kong island and having hundreds of places within a 15 minute radius is spoiling me like crazy. When we were living in the New Territories we had to get in the car for just a can of coke or a pack of smokes. The convenience of having so much within walking distance almost makes up for the tiny apartment.

This is not meant to be a comprehensive listing. Open Rice lists well over 1,000 restaurants in Wan Chai district. In this post I’ve mentioned roughly 70 places.

Spoiler alert: My #1 favorite spot at the moment is a relatively new tapas place called El Cerdo.

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Catching Up – Some Music Pix from Hong Kong

Believe it or don’t, I didn’t go out at night (aside from dinner) that much during my recent two weeks in Hong Kong. But I did get out a few nights and usually had my camera with me. I can’t begin to tell you how much I’m enjoying shooting with the Fujifilm X-T2. I just love it. Aside from everything else, some of the below photos were shot at ISO 12,800, something I wouldn’t have even attempted with my old Nikon D800.

The photos are all after the jump:

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Back to Hong Kong Today!

Just a quick note in case you haven’t seen it elsewhere yet … Flying to Hong Kong today and I will be there for approximately two weeks. Hoping to see a lot of friends, meet a lot of recruiters, attend some great networking events, see some live music (and take a lot of photos).

If you’re in town, hit me up, let’s get together!

Riot at Rio

Riot being the name of the band playing at the Rio Club in Wanchai, Hong Kong. Here’s some shots of them in action – getting used to shooting with my Fujifilm X-T2, taken with the Fuji 23mm and 56mm lenses.

(This is one of those places where the stage lighting changes color every second, washing out photos with deep reds, greens, blues, purples, oranges. I wonder if one day they’d let me shoot the band with just “normal” lights in the club.)

Playing With the Fujifilm X-T2 (And Some Random Photos)

I’ve had the Fujifilm X-T2 for almost two weeks and the more I use it, the more I get used to using it, the more I’m convinced that I made the right decision in selling off my Nikon.

My initial fear was that this camera was going to be too small for me to comfortably hold but that didn’t turn out to be the case at all. It’s a great fit, almost as if they had my hands in mind when designing the camera.

My next realization was that with easily accessible and clearly marked dials for ISO and shutter speed, and aperture rings on the lenses I purchased, plus the “assist” I can get from the two command dials, I’m possibly thinking about settings more than I did in the past, and manually bracketing a lot of my shots as I continue to try to find out what works and what doesn’t work with the camera.

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