Tuesday, July 31, 2012

London Opening Ceremony

So, what did you think of the Opening Ceremony of the London Olympics? Unlike for the Beijing Games, my dad and I watched the whole thing live on the computer in my grandparents' home in Oregon. Just for good measure, we watched much of it a second time when NBC finally got around to broadcasting it that evening. 

I've shared my impressions of the production in a guest post for The Displaced Nation. Please take a look and let me know in the comments what you thought of the show! 

I've been watching as many Olympic events as possible this weekend, but I've discovered that it's very frustrating to look at the news or check Facebook because everyone keeps giving away the results!

Are you watching the Games? What's your favorite event?

Saturday, July 28, 2012

It's Olympics Time!

It's finally time for the London Olympics! I've been eating, sleeping and breathing the Olympics over the past two months as I've been spreading the word about my mini travel memoir The Olympics Beat: A Spectator's Memoir of Beijing. Now it's finally time to sit back and watch the Opening Ceremonies on TV. I'll be watching from my grandparents' farm in Oregon and tweeting my thoughts @ShannonYoungHK. Let me know what you think!

I also have two new guest posts on some cool book blogs today. 

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

3 Days Until the Olympics!

Hi Everyone! I'm writing from my grandparents' home in beautiful Bandon, Oregon. We've all gathered to celebrate my grandpa's 90th birthday. My family members have arrived from Arizona, Colorado, Alaska, Kenya, the Philippines, and of course, Hong Kong. We've gone crabbing, played at the beach, pulled weeds around the house, and eaten lots of big, happy meals together. Coming up on the agenda, we'll be watching the Opening Ceremonies of the London Olympics together. I'm preparing for one final publicity push for my Olympics e-book, The Olympics Beat: A Spectator's Memoir of Beijing. If you'd like to help, you can tweet, Facebook, or even blog one of the links to my book.

To learn more about my family history in Asia, check out this interview with Susan Blumberg-Kason.

To see all of my pictures from the Beijing Olympics, visit ShannonYoungWriter.com.

To read my travel memoir about the Olympics, you can find it for $0.99 on Amazon, Nook and Kobo. There are now 8 reviews on Amazon if you'd like to see what other readers think about it.

What are you doing this summer? Where will you be watching the Games?

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Bookspotting: San Francisco

This week, I wrapped up the end of the school year in Hong Kong and headed off to America! Before I left HK, I spotted two people reading Kindles on opposite sides of the same MTR car. I spotted an additional Kindle in Hong Kong International Airport. The woman next to me on the plane was reading The Sunday Philosophy Club by Alexander McCall Smith on an iPad. A gentleman nearby had what looked like a thriller. I didn't notice any other books because I slept for ten of the twelve hours we were in the air!

I spent a few days in San Francisco with one of my best friends from college. It seemed like there were a lot of readers around town, but I didn't get a chance to write down many titles. We spent a little time in this lovely bookshop in the Ferry Building. When I made it to SFO, I visited another busy bookstore and spotted a woman reading a book by Anne Tyler and two more e-readers.

Last night I arrived at my grandparents' farm in beautiful Bandon, Oregon. The rest of my family is on the way from Arizona, and we'll be spending a glorious two weeks here.

San Francisco

Can't believe it has been three years since we graduated from Colgate.

Bay Bridge



Thursday, July 12, 2012

Interview with a Hong Kong Book Blogger

This week I was interviewed by a fellow Hong Kong-based writer and book blogger, Laura Besley. She reviews great books, occasionally shares pictures and anecdotes from Hong Kong, and writes a cool flash fiction piece every Friday. If you like A Kindle in Hong Kong, you'll love her blog.

Today, Laura shares her thoughts on The Olympics Beat and asks some great questions, mostly about the writing life in Hong Kong. Here's a sample...

Have you always considered yourself a creative person?

Who, if anyone, has influenced your writing?

What are you working on now? - I'm very excited about this answer :).

To read the rest, visit Living, Loving and Writing and follow the blog while you're at it!

It's only 15 days until the London Games begin! I'm in the midst of end-of-the-year activities at my school. These include cataloging every book in the English Room and preparing a group of seven-year-olds to perform The Ants Go Marching in the school variety show. I'm taking a red-eye to America on Saturday!

Monday, July 9, 2012

Bookspotting and Birthdays

This weekend I celebrated my 24th birthday with karaoke and Hong Kong's best Mexican food. It was a nice reminder that I've been lucky enough to find a terrific group of friends in my two years in Hong Kong. One of them showed up to the party with a brand new Kobo e-reader she bought at Swindon Books in Tsim Sha Tsui. It had a pretty lavender cover and she asked that it be included in this week's bookspotting post. It's fortunate that she mentioned it because I didn't spot any book titles this week. I only spotted three Chinese books on the MTR.

In other birthday news, my fiance came back from a business trip to London this week with some Olympics gifts for me. These included Wenlock, one of the London 2012 mascots. Wenlock and Mandeville are meant to be drips of steel from the Olympic stadium. They're a bit scarier than the adorable Fuwa from Beijing, don't you think?

In less than a week I'll be heading back to the US for a month, so expect bookspotting posts from California, Oregon and Arizona. What are you all doing this summer? What are you reading?

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Walking Tour: Junk Boat

This Sunday was the 15-year anniversary of the establishment of Hong Kong. Hu Jintao was in town, and there were fireworks and protests galore. My friends and I decided to celebrate the long weekend (which also happened to be Canada Day) by going on a junk trip. Junk boats are a favorite expat activity, especially when the weather is as beautiful as it was this weekend. This walking tour doesn't actually involve much walking, but it shows yet another side of Hong Kong life.

For me, the day started at the Star Ferry Pier in Central.

I hopped on the ferry and headed across Victoria Harbour.

It was early and the top deck of the Star Ferry was pretty empty.

I took my usual Harbour-crossing pictures of Wan Chai...

the ferry...

... and Tsim Sha Tsui.

I noticed a flotilla of boats in the Harbour...

...all decorated with the HKSAR flag...

...and a lone Chinese flag on top.

The ferry maneuvered through the boats to dock in TST.

On the public pier nearby, we met up with our junk boat...

...and a motley crew of friends in sunhats, swimsuits, and sunscreen.

We loaded onto the boat with our snacks and beverages...

...and set out into the Harbour.

Ours was a pretty wooden boat...

... with plenty of space for everyone.

There was also a kitchen and cooler to keep us fortified for the day.

We traveled west out of the Harbour...

...past more flag-decorated fishing boats...

...and the views of Hong Kong Island.

The city stretches far along the edge of the Island...

...and we settled in for the ride.

The boat was manned by two local men...

...and it had lots of nooks and crannies to explore.

I went up on the rooftop to enjoy the sky...

...and the views.

We headed around the edge of Hong Kong Island...

...and sailed toward Lamma Island.

We ended up in Turtle Cove on the south side of Lamma.

There were only two other boats nearby.

While we were swimming, one of them...

spotted the shark!

It was a 12-foot (harmless) whale shark. Of course we all hopped out of the water...

...and tried to get pictures every time its tale or fin broke the surface of the water.

Naturally this meant that we and two people on the beach...

...spent a lot of time staring at the shadow moving beneath the water.

Another boat arrived and took pictures that ended up in the Apple Daily.

We settled in on the roof deck to enjoy the sun without any swimming.

Eventually we decided to up anchors and head for a different bay.

We passed through a major shipping corridor on our way to...

Repulse Bay.

We settled in here for another swim.

Until it was time to head home.

For the video of the shark made by a nearby boat, check out my Sharkspotting post.

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