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Monday, March 03, 2008

HK Workshop - Day 0: Off to HK Office

Off to Hong Kong for my department's regional engagement workshop on the 4th Mar 08, I was tasked to hold a session on Enterprise2.0 and draft out a roadmap for its implementation to increase awareness of Web2.0 and improve knowledge sharing. This trip was pretty last minute, I was alerted less than 2 weeks before, it clashed with my planned Japan trip with Snoopy, lucky we were able to work things out eventually ^^V

Okie, back to the HK trip - Left darn early in the morning for the airport (hey I am taking off T3 for the first time!), thinking that it is not peak hour (6.30AM), I could probably get a cab easily from my place. Man, I was so so so wrong - I waited like ages, in the end up calling for a cab (even that is not an easy task - no cabs, lines engaged), I finally got my ride 30min later. I noticed that by 7AM (start of peak surcharge), there were tonnes of cab coming out. I seriously think there is some wrong with our taxi system here, hopefully our well paid, newly appointed Transport Minister will do something constructive about this real problem and not coming up with silly rules like no stop by the roads in the city (if you are reading this - it had been proven time and time again that raise fees DOES NOT solve the problem!)

I was on the same flight as JY, AL and Starris. I caught a movie onboard - Juno - an Oscar nominated film. Very interesting and funny, but since Miss Juno have a smart-ass mouth, you will to be pretty good in English slangs to catch their jokes.

Once we are at HK airport, I was pleasantly surprised to see Summer waiting for us there, she was on a earlier flight from Korea. Too bad, not much chance to catch up with her, I need to rush to the HK office to attend some meetings.

So off I go on the HK cab to what will become one of my most expensive cab rides to date - HKD400! (the rest of the folks took an airport shuttle to the hotel) Well to be fair the office had been relocated to, Tai Koo, an off city area which was much further than before. The new office is a huge shopping city, I think it is easily bigger then Suntec!

Anyway, meetings went okie. Actually one was very fruitful, glad to know we have understanding people around the company.

Met up with Marco and Wayne from HK team for dinner, my first meeting with Wayne, I always get this "OOhh-so-u-are-the-person-in-the-email" everytime. In this digital world, you are so used to dealing with faceless people behind the email, that you forgot how a really good face-to-face meetings are.

Marco and Wayne are wonderful and funny gang to hang out with. We went back to Park Lane Hotel in Causeway Bay to check-in and off we go to explore the area. With them leading me through the small lanes and turns, I find myself at a loss of direction and finding HK streets very complex.

We decided to catch up on work-talks and other misc crap over dinner and ended up in one of the well known, long established place, Tai Ping Koon Restaurant, that serves Hong Kong styled western food. Their star dishes are Swiss-sauce Chicken Wings and "Soffie". The Chicken Wings tasted like my mom's stew chicken wing, not so special to me. But "Soffie" is something special - we ordered and was told we need to wait for 30mins since it is freshly baked. The wait was well worth it, I have never seen or tasted a dessert quite like it, it looks like a GIANT muffin but when you dig your spoons in, it is so soft - like cotton candy. It has this slight sweet egg-pudding taste to it. A must try for people going to Hong Kong.


Wayne, Marco and "Soffie"

Then it is time for us to call it a day - I still have a very early workshop the next day.

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