Coffee Assembly, Hong Kong

Took us a while to locate this quaint and cosy little cafe situated somewhere in the mid-levels, or actually I don’t really know which area of Central that is considered. Its address said Elgin Street, but we were not able to find it despite walking to the end of Elgin Street and seeing a unit number that was larger than what the cafe is. Turns out the street continued further down, not directly across from an intersecting point but a little off the main Elgin Street that we were walking on. Talk about being confused by the myriad of criss-crossing streets in the SOHO area!

So anyway, it is on a second level, and there is a small signage that you could easily miss if you are not keeping a lookout for it. Turns out, this cafe opens at fairly weird timings. The day that we decided to pop by, which was a Thursday, it supposedly only opens its doors for business at 1pm. It was just about 1pm when we knocked and a lady, presumably the boss, opened the door to greet us and welcomed us in, but informed us that there was no food available.

We were fine with that since we thought about getting food later on, post-coffee that is, and since we were all still quite full (except me perhaps) from the morning’s food.

These were our drinks. Flat white, soy latte and cappuccino? Or perhaps there was a mocha instead of the cap. The latte art showed the painstaking effort put in by the lady boss to make it good. But our only gripe was that it took a little too long. The interval between two beverages could be 10 minutes, or perhaps more. And we were the only customers. At least when we arrived it was just us, then another two pop in and one lady got really frustrated waiting for her coffee.IMG_1468

I suppose maybe the main intent of this cafe wasn’t for the sake of profiteering but probably it grew out of a passion for coffee and managing a cafe? Although it was stated that they open at 1pm, it was pretty evident that nothing was really ready at 1pm. It took a long while to set things up, to prepare the coffee and froth the milk for the latte art. For holiday-makers like us without an itinerary and a rush for time, we were quite alright with waiting as we chatted and caught up with each other. But for people who are there for a post-lunch cuppa, I think the pace here would take a toll on the customer who may be strapped for time in needing to get the coffee and head back to the office.IMG_1469Nevertheless, we still enjoyed ourselves, basking in the enjoyment and idyllic wait of people on vacation, so this would be a good spot to visit if you have time to spare and wouldn’t mind just sitting and waiting as you tuck into the selection of magazines available.

Spontaneity

And so it was a very last minute decision, as usual, that took me to Hong Kong last month. Some people probably think I’m nuts, for in 2014 I had already made 2 trips to Hong Kong, albeit fairly short ones, the first over a long weekend during Good Friday in April, and another 4-day trip in the middle of December. So why did I go to Hong Kong again just barely a month after?

It was a trip that started out planned for 2 persons and I was just the extra party who butted my way in because it seemed like such a great opportunity to rebuild a lost connection and forge something new among 3 friends, as well as an excuse for me to travel again. I really miss travelling, which is pretty evident from the several short trips that I had done over the course of 2014. No doubt that most were very short holidays and booked on the spur of the moment, they nevertheless betrayed my growing desire to hit the road once more.

Some people say, “Be careful what you wish for” and perhaps that is indeed an apt description for what happened to me. I got tired of it at a point, it wore me out and I wanted out, and I did get out. Yet just shortly out of it, I already started to miss it and the feeling just grew and grew.

Anyway, it was a trip characterised by a slow and easy pace. We didn’t do much other than just laze the days away in cafes and eateries, even though we did not eventually check out as many cafes as we might have liked to. We did finally do something new though, like visit Tai O for a short couple of hours, a small village located somewhere to the western part of Lantau Island. It’s thronged with visitors, possibly mostly tourists so it might have lost its once initial laid-back charm but as compared to the areas of Hong Kong we frequent, this definitely contrasts starkly. The weather was still nice and cool, cold even for me, but generally fair and dry, perfect for traipsing around.IMG_1456What I realised though, after the trip, as well as from other similar experiences, is that once something is broken, although it can be mended, things will never be the same again. There would always be that scar and blemish of cracks that can’t be healed and restored.

Looking at this picture and reminiscing the holiday, wanderlust is striking me once more. I probably need a protracted period of rest and break to get my jive back. Whatever that is. I want to feel my passion to write and the words to flow once again, but the effort seems too great these days.

Weekends are supposed to be…

Happy times. Yet this weekend somehow didn’t start out well and didn’t really proceed well.

When you get used to something and that something somehow doesn’t happen, it’s a disappointment that I can’t really conceal yet it hurts pretty much. That you don’t really matter.

When what you thought would be a good catch up ended up in a bout of frustration because everything said seemed to earn a cutting rebuttal that slices deep, making me feel small and insignificant, petty and whatnot.

What happened along the way. What is all this I’m going through? Yes it is tiring and I do wish I can put an end to everything, once and for all. I’m tired too, consciously or not.

gaining and losing

As time passes and life events occur in an individual’s life, some people who are not going with the usual flow of things inevitably get left behind.

Sometimes it does indeed feel that way.

With some, we try to reconnect and are successful for a while, with others it just becomes futile.

Happy 2015

Happy 2015! Though it is a little late in coming. This blog isn’t dead. Not yet anyway. I still think I have a love for writing. It is just that.. these days I cannot seem to muster the effort and energy in me to write. I want to write and post some nice pictures but I don’t have much of the latter, other than the usual same old food that I eat which I flood my Instagram account with. And I don’t want to just type in a barrage of words here that get lost in cyberspace as I rattle on endlessly and start to go into a downward spiral of grouses and self-pity.

Anyway, yes 2015 has dawned upon us, and how apt to have this picture taken on an early morning. This was in December 2014, perhaps on Christmas Day or Boxing Day, while I was in Bangkok for my final holiday of 2014. 2015/01/img_1187.jpgMy most enjoyed and anticipated time of the year came and went so fast that I didn’t even have the time to slowly savour it. I seem to have gotten myself lost in a whirl of rushing from place to place that I don’t know if I have already lost everything.

2015 is a new start. It is the year of restoration and I have seen one tangible restoration already. It happened but perhaps with His prompting that I did it. It is not always the case that people walk out of your life and chance back on the journey again, but there are some who have indeed got off and have hopped back on again, and I am thankful for that.

I would like to get myself restored as well. My peace of mind and my love of life, if I have ever felt that. I want meaning back in my life, and kick that negativity and passive-aggressiveness out for good.

December 2014

 

December 2014 was and is a good month. It is always the best time of the year for me, whether in terms of how I feel with the festive vibes reverberating all around or the gradual cooling off of the temperatures albeit with a greater volume of rainfall that could cause some inconveniences on and off. It is also the time of the year when activity at work tends to slow down as many people choose this time to clear their annual leave and jet somewhere for year-end breaks, vacations and holidays, leaving the activity to those of celebration and mirth, shopping and gifting. Gifts have become somewhat of a rarity these days since gatherings and the likes have taken a backseat, as friends whom meet-ups are done tend to be a small select number, and larger group gatherings and gift-exchanging have become a thing of the past for me. Maybe it is just a phase that I have morphed into and whether it will be something to stay remains to be seen. After all, we never say never about anything, because changes do happen all the time, expected or otherwise.

Nevertheless, today being the last day of December and also the last day of the year, it probably calls for a sort of look-back and review. I did not make any conscious resolution for 2014 because I find it pointless that year after year my resolutions tended to be similar and there are always some that I always fail to keep or just roll forward to the next year. I just wanted to stay happy and contented with life, but the simplest of resolutions are the hardest to keep, and it is with a heavy heart that I have to admit that I was not very successful in this area. I have not been the happiest person in 2014 due to a variety of reasons, known or not to me. Sometimes it is weird that we don’t feel happy but somehow we don’t really grasp the cause.

In 2015, I still want to work towards being a happy, peaceful and contented person. It is tiring to feel unhappy. And it must be tiring for the people around me who care and who often have to sit by and listen to my incessant whining and lamentations. I am thankful for the few friends who have stuck by despite the apparent toxicity in me from these frequent gripes and I do hope as well that as I become a lighter and happier person, I will be able to bring a brand of sunshine and cheer to their lives too. Friendship is a two-way traffic and I want to be a good friend too.

Visited Hong Kong twice during the year, once in April and another time this month. April was a hectic 3-day trip that was mainly about eating and shopping (not so much for me as for my travel mates) and the weather was a little erratic, being the change of seasons between spring and perhaps summer. December was a much slower and relaxed trip, with a cooler climate. It was all about coffee and indulging, and I really enjoyed the long chat sessions over coffee and cakes, the long walks from one eating place to the next. Holidays do not have to be about rushing from location to location and ticking off to-do lists and to-visit places, for me, they are about relaxing and breathing in the sights and sounds, doing what we would usually do in our own home cities but in a different locale. At least that holds true for me.  /home/wpcom/public_html/wp-content/blogs.dir/452/2193806/files/2014/12/img_1047.jpg

Latte and Piccolo Latte at Coco Espresso in Sheung Wan, a tiny hole-in-the-wall cafe that I noticed last December when I visited Hong Kong and stayed with my friend in her service apartment in the area. Coffee was decent and as usual pricey (as compared to Starbucks) but my friend seemed to feel that the quality has deteriorated slightly from before. I wouldn’t know but I think it’s an ok place to hang out for a bit, if it doesn’t get crowded. We sat on counter seats, since there were probably just a couple of small tables within the cosy cafe. There were other places we visited, such as 18 grams in Sheung Wan, Coffee Academy in Causeway Bay, Fuel Espresso at the Landmark, Elephant Grounds at Gough Street… with many more that I would love to check out the next time I am in the busy city.

After returning from Hong Kong, another couple of weeks thereafter, it was off to Bangkok for the Christmas break. It didn’t really feel like Christmas in Bangkok despite the numerous Christmas trees decorating the malls, the festive lights and yuletide tunes. Even the slightly cooler weather on some days didn’t seem to inject that Christmas vibe that I felt in Hong Kong. I don’t know why, because even with the warmer temperature as compared to what I could ever remember of Bangkok particularly with the freezing cold malls, I just felt like it was a normal vacation at any other time of the year. This was yet another relaxing, chilling out trip, more so than Hong Kong perhaps, because we did not even do much walking around. It was just sitting from place to place, drinking coffee or eating and I felt like I had eaten so much in just those 4 days that I was there. But it is always about the time that we spend with people that counts more, and it was an enjoyable holiday over Christmas for me. We didn’t do any countdown, and we also did not wish each other Merry Christmas, but we all know that we are thankful for some things in our lives. Yes, even as we complain about many things, we also give thanks and appreciate the good things that some other people may take for granted./home/wpcom/public_html/wp-content/blogs.dir/452/2193806/files/2014/12/img_1048.jpgFor the angels in my life, Thank You all for being there. I love you all and I wish you a very Happy 2015 ahead. Have an enjoyable New Year’s Eve tonight and Best Wishes!

Starbucks Christmas delights part 6

As we near the end of Christmas, I promise that my postings on Starbucks Christmas delights will also be nearing their end. I have tried almost everything that I wanted to from the local Christmas menu so there also isn’t much else to go on about. Just bear with me for a little while more!

This year, I noticed that they introduced a couple of savoury scones. I’m not sure if there were similar items in the past years but if there were, I did not give them a try. I decided to go ahead and check them out this time round, since savoury scones are not something that I would expect; they are meant to be buttery and sweet, but I guess there is no stopping the introduction of a savoury taste. Besides, there are also savoury muffins and waffles, which I have yet to try because I think those would be weird. But then again, we never know, they could be just as, if not more, delicious./home/wpcom/public_html/wp-content/blogs.dir/452/2193806/files/2014/12/img_1024.jpgOne of them was the Green & Red Pepper Scone with Cream Cheese. It actually was nice and didn’t feel weird at all, because the peppery flavour lent by the green & red peppers were not overpoweringly strong so they gave a different dimension of taste to the buttery item. The cream cheese used also made a difference, because it didn’t taste like the regular ‘creamy’ cream cheese, rather it was a slightly milder form I think, so the tastes were complementary instead of contrasting. The colours here are a little too vivid to see the scone and cream cheese properly but its wedged into the middle of the scone like a burger and for me, at just the right amount though I would think cream cheese fans would feel it’s too little.

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The other savoury scone on their menu was the Turkey Bacon scone. I was a little iffy about this because somehow this sounds more ‘savoury’ than the peppers but decided to give it a go anyhow. Those are bacon bits used even if from the picture they resembled more like dried cranberries./home/wpcom/public_html/wp-content/blogs.dir/452/2193806/files/2014/12/img_1025.jpg

Similar to the pepper scone, this was surprisingly good. In fact it wasn’t as savoury as I thought it to be, because it was only the bacon bits that were used and other than that, the scone remained true to its buttery origin. It felt more like a normal scone than the peppery scone without the differences in tastes other than what the bacon bits added, and could come across as a little dry as it started crumbling when I put the knife to it. /home/wpcom/public_html/wp-content/blogs.dir/452/2193806/files/2014/12/img_1026.jpgSo there you go! It almost wraps up all of my Starbucks Christmas posts. Almost. Because there is just one last item to go. Soon. :)