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    Notes from THE HAVEN
    Thursday, February 12, 2004

    Morgan’s office got broken into one night so she went to Stanley to buy a new computer with her Money Series after she revolved around to Repulse Bay for arctic wetsuit Baptisms. She took pictures with a New Second Hand Camera so they can be posted on the new Website can its sweet as Honey. To end the week on a high note she accessed the non-stop flow of chocolate on dessert buffet display. Amen

    Have finally unwound from my trip to Shanghai and my brother and his wife’s trip down to HK. I am terribly happy to announce that they are pregnant and will be expecting sometime in September/October this year. Major relief as this takes off much pressure from me. When they were here, we had a huge family dinner in Mei Foo. The food was wonderful and I hadn’t seen that side of the family for a while. Much Lai See was collected to contribute to my plans to get a new camera. After dindin we went up to an Uncle’s house and had the tea ceremony there which is tradition for newly weds to do for their elders. Let me explain some of my family to you. I am the bottom of the heap. I have uncles who are 3 years old. And I have many of them. Even my mum’s sister is a year younger than me. So theoretically, my bother and sister in law had to offer tea to all 32 of them in the house. But they limited it to the proper elders. Lucky them, I reckon when its my turn one day, I will have to offer tea to everyone.. lord bless my future wife. The major blessings they received from the elders of the family was to have a fei-fei bak-bak baby soon. Low and behold, they are now pregnant.

    One_Eighty started a new series on Money and to kick-start Bob got Jeff Ryan in from Morgan Stanley’s private banking division to talk to us about ‘Managing your Assets’. Goodness me, this guy was good. I will find some time to post my notes. I am so excited about this coming week as Andrew Gardener, the guy that locals point at and say “Uncle Joe”, will be speaking on ‘Spending’. Have you ever had that tingly feeling that just tickles you enough to give into a wee smile in anticipation for something very, very good…

    Injury takes much out of anyone, especially those whose interests lie in physical activity. Thankfully, Jacinta has bounced back from injury and has resumed Revolve. We had done little since Gabby went to Hawaii, she’d be thrilled that she missed less than she could have had potentially. We are now dancing to a LibertyX song, cannot recall the name of the song but it really encourages shaking of places that old people would turn away from. It felt good to shake again. We have a new member of our team, Andrea, who was an HKISer and went to the same class as Bethany. Its really cool to have people keen about Dance as a ministry. Most of the old crew was there, we missed Yugo and lil Renee, and Jenny B got the first 2 bars even though her nose was as red as a ripened tomato, after she saw it the first time. Naturally, I was very confused with the first two bars, the Dancing Queen choreographed moves that were opposites to natural human behavior. As my monkey body is not quite natural, I should have had little problem. Perhaps I am more human that I thought. Amen?

    After a wee Kebab at the pirated Kebab place near the studio, I went on home, caught a couple episodes of The Shield’s second series… possibly the best cop series yet! Went to the fringe and caught Jeff Ryan.

    It has been a while since I had had dinner with the lads and lasses after 180. But I jumped to the opportunity for a bit of Chui Wah which contributed well to the padding, strategically found on the side of my abs. I have found, over the years that this padding comes in very handy when it is a cold day and you are wearing cut-off T-shirts. Other than that, they are useless. More importantly, Nate, Amy and I (it had been a long time we hadn’t hung out) hiked over to Pacific Place to catch Jessica Alba bling bling on Honey. Priscilla and her mate from KGV joined us. I have to say, this is the first time I actually hung out with Priscilla and she is really nice, not that anyone doesn’t know that but I am just confirming. If anyone tells you that I was dancing in my seat all through the movie and voicing cheers when a good dance move was showed up, it’s a dirty communist lie!! Goodness gracious me, this is the best move in the world and I will have no one tell me otherwise!! I bought the soundtrack and ordered the original DVD from HMV, that’s right! No pirates for Jessica. In the mood for clubbing, Nate, Amy and I turned to cards instead at The Haven. They tried to explain this complicated game called 99 where you have five cards and you have to get to a certain number of things and some cards do other things and not what they simply represent.. monkey brain could not comprehend, we played big two instead, I lost.

    Early next day, I was at Church, it was packed. I don’t know if you have ever felt so fulfilled when you pull out the last chair the church has to offer and go to sit on the floor in front because there are no seats left… baptism day. The temperature reading in Rep Bay was 6 degrees. The theme for the baptisms was Bravery!! I would have waited a couple months for the minging heat to come back but these two brave souls really needed to get dunked. After wonderful testimonies and even more wonderful bus seating arrangements where I think that the result of my stealing Sarah’s seat inflicted much pain onto Bethany’s legs (Sarah is apparently not very light). And much listening to Bounce Bounce Back, we arrived at the wonderful beach. It was a miserable day and everyone was merry. The elders actually took a vote and they voted that they will not have to get into the water as there are two senior pastors who grace our church. Tony and John turned up in their wetsuits Gary and Clara shivered on the side.

    Pizza hut was packed out by Vine Addicts, happily inhaling pizzas. We had much fun and much to talk about. Hauling my body home for a lay-in to watch some more of The Shield proved difficult as the minibuses to Causeway Bay decided to be full. Poulet Kazakhstan and I were quite tired from the 20 minute wait. I was invited, that evening by Janice Li to go to a dessert buffet at Grand Hyatt, Priscilla got a special arrangement that allowed discounted access to non-stop chocolate. Though many bailed, Abby, Priscilla, Brooke (who came to The Vine that day) and myself had a no holds bar session on the sweets. Goodness. Padding around the waist area dramatically increased by 13.87290% the very next day. Amazing!

    Monday I had to stay in at work till about 8pm to sort some computer issues out. That very night, the office got burgled into. The poor robber were so cold they switched on the heater!!! They tried to get into the house but I reckon the dog barked and they split. They stole the lap-top computer, a couple of briefcases and the digital camera. The terminals and the printers were unscathed. Our company laptop is stored in the type of metallic briefcase used occasionally to transport millions of dollars in cash. It has a tricky lock which takes good maneuvering and skill to open. My boss predicted that they actually did not know what was in the briefcase but took it anyway. The police inspector and his sidekick were over for inspectigation (it’s a word now) and I had to split to go to a hotel fair to do some networking. Passed by Central to pick up my fixed rangefinder who was taking double exposures on every second roll of film. I had been contemplating for the longest time on buying a new camera. My old Canon did not do what I really wanted it to do and it was pathetic when taking sports photos, I decided I wanted a camera that will last me at least ten years so I was looking into Contax which is like the Jaguar of the camera world. But one new lens would cost me more than the camera body and I gave in and settled for a secondhand Canon EOS 5. 5 shots per second caught my eye and I paid half of what I would have for a Contax for a better camera. I will work on getting a better lens soon. When I paid for the camera, I remarked that if there was a problem I would bring it back after a couple days. I was informed by the old glassed bald owner that he did not guarantee the camera, even if it was for 2 days. You know when all the blood rushes to your face and it starts giving off heat…. I felt cheated, and after so much research on which camera I was going to buy, the old man really made my purchase a very unpleasant one. Thankfully, the camera works well and I even got a couple good pics from when I was messing around with it.

    The hotel fair was appalling but I bumped into some people I know.

    The plus prayer walk and meeting was cancelled because of no shows. Chirstine Liu, the new leader for our group and I were the only ones there. After prayer, we had dinner with Andrew and Chris Gardener and a new vine addict, Bob from the states. It was a nice end to a tough evening.

    The next day I went to TST’s Star House to get a replacement for the Sony VAIO we got stolen. We have theft insurance so it is all good. Got a couple other things like a USB hub for meself. Caught the end of the prayer meeting at the church office and then lunched with DPMA. Got home… finished the second series of The Shield, attempted to play basketball and then Bubble tea with a friend. Bumped into Linnet and Caroline who just came back from Australia. Chatted for a few minutes, hiked on home, bumped into Suki and Ben at 7-11. It was a good day…. People asked if I ever worked.. my answer is ‘Yes, I do’ and it depends on what you mean by ever.

    This morning, we got a phone call from an English bloke who lives somewhere in Sai Kung (same as our office) and he talked to my boss. He found a briefcase that he thought would contained millions of dollars in cash, fiddled with the lock a wee bit and then opened it to find a working laptop. As the laptop name had our company and bosses name on it, he looked up online to find us and gave us a call. We retrieved our company computer, and were also able to return the new one we got the day before. God is so good.

    After that, I hiked on down to the hotel fair to attend a food and beverage forum with some big speakers in it. I was interested in the speakers they chose to discuss alternate concepts in today’s market. I was not too interested in this panel but was happy to go and see Alan Zeman the owner of Lan Kwai Fong. Turned out to be one of the better panel discussions yet. I addressed a question to Annabel Jackson, a food and wine connoisseur and writer and her answers confirmed my suspicions about the HK dining market, something that I will no doubt, bore you all with one fateful day. I quickly had lunch with someone I placed in a great company and then hiked back to the next forum. There were some heavy hitters there. Raju Harilena of the Harilena group, in its prime, owning 38 restaurants and bars across HK. Paul Siu of Elite Concepts who own 1/5, Klong, White Stag, Kokage etc.. and the Food and Bev dude from Kowloon Shangorilla. They each had 10 minutes of presentation and I can tell you it was bad. If anyone would state the obvious more, it was this lot. Pure waste of time, I even walked out. Walking out to meet a friend, I was able to take her around the fair and explain the various components of the restaurant business. She and her future husband were happy to learn, I just babbled on.

    I do not know how many of you know that it is in my dream to own my own restaurant and I have the business plan ready to approach investors. The panel discussion in the morning confirmed many of my suspicions on why my concept would work and actually be sustainable. After my tour with my friend, I went to meet a potential investor. The meeting was very favorable in the sense that I am certain that I would regret working with that particular company. To get myself out of the meeting, I caught Annabel Jackson in the corner of my eye and told them that I needed to meet someone and then leave. Excused myself and proceeded to Annabel’s booth. She thanked me for the questions I asked in the morning which I felt was bizarre as the reason was because she had found it hard to be asked a question that was difficult to answer. I brushed the dust from by jacket and checked my polished nails. So we got into some discussion and got interrupted here and there by people passing by, and a phone call from a client thanking me for some work I did that he was happy with.. see I do work. And then she told me she worked at the Mandarin when I was there. You know the feeling you have when you think you know someone but you think its because you saw a picture of them somewhere.. my credibility started shooting with her as people that we both knew passed by and exclaimed, “I didn’t know you knew eachother!” at a quiet moment in between distractions, I asked whether my concept will fill a gap in the market, her pupils dilated and face lit up. I had my answer. I went home a happy camper. Soon you all will be dining at my restaurant: ‘Meaning’

    Love you all… Christian Christian