Thursday, August 31, 2017

New home, New hobby, New life?

I have been meaning to get this thing back up and rolling. I mean I have written a bunch of blogs but none I want to make public. I hope my internet security doesn't bug me out like the last time I started writing blogs. Which was back in March in an attempt to keep my BFF in the loop of all of my surroundings and new discoveries. I have since found the world of video blogs. Yes, I became a youtuber! haha

Not a serious one at that, but definitely enjoying the process of making videos and sharing them with people back home. I needed another way to keep not only my parents in the loop but also my nieces and nephews. Let's face it... with all the writing I do I would loose them all. You, Shorty are probably the ONLY one who would read every one of my words and for that I love you and that is why you are my BFF. Thank you!

So if you stumble upon this blog, and would like a glimpse of my vlogs, go check it out.

Click here; Mario and Tere's Day 1 in Hong Kong

Tomorrow is September 1st, 2017, which means we have been living in Hong Kong for about two weeks! Two weeks that seem like they have flown by but also feel like its been months since we have been here. I think a lot of that mixed emotion has to do with the fact that we literally arrived, and hit the floor running. We arrived on Thursday, with enough time to just run to the nearest supermarket and pick up quick meals to make in our hotel room. Mario insisted that we start living like locals.... and refused to order room service or go out for dinner, even though his company would cover our charges. I fully supported that, especially because I am not fond of the typical food here. Dim sum, is alright but lacks taste... What I mean is that its bland, and we are used to tasty food loaded with spices, and hot peppers, and cheese, gooey,  melty, savory CHEESE!!

OMG! Why did I go there.????... My mouth just got all watery.  

After making a quick sandwich and sharing the most spicy ramen soup ever... YUP!! we did! .... we forced ourselves to go to bed. (Jet lag is real!!!) Mario had scheduled an appointment at the DMV of Hong Kong, I am sure it isn't called DMV here but, we went to go apply for our ID. You need that thing for everything.
After filling out forms and going through an interview like process, we got our receipt and tomorrow we get to show up again and pick up our actual ID cards.

After getting our IDs we spent the weekend apartment hunting and looked at different areas of the city. There was also a lot of thought that went into picking a location. We had to take into consideration the travel times on trains for both Mario and I. We soon realized that we had to find a middle point between Shenzhen and the district of Kowloon in Hong Kong.

Before we left the US, I took a job with an English Learning Center. I was able to sign a contract and I got all of the documents needed for the Chinese work Visa apostille, authenticated, and motorized by three different sources. Which would have been nearly impossible to do after our move. I am glad I didn't listen to Mario. He didn't want me to take the job just yet. He thought that I could find something better once here, but the paperwork process was a complicated and would have been unbearable to deal with once here.  It was a hectic ordeal that made me appreciate all of the people who handled all of Mario's work and visa permits. His company handled everything ... LUCKY!!!

I managed to hand deliver my documents to the agency and was told the visa process takes up to 21 days to go through. So September the 5th will probably not be my start date, like I had been told.

On Saturday we settled on the Sha Tin District and decided to go venture out and located a leasing office. We walked into one, where there was a young guy but surprisingly his English was not very good, and our Chinese is well.. let's not go there! He took our info down and I think he got the gist of what we were looking for.

Just around the corner there was a Century 21 office and we walked in. Bennie was one of two people in the office and he gladly invited us in. Little did we know he would be taking us to his own apartment complex and that a few days later, we would be block neighbors. After a brief meeting about our needs and wants of an apartment he sent us to go have lunch while he looked at his listing and our needs/wants.

After walking around the neighborhood we quickly notice how uncrowded it was and both Mario and I felt good about the place. Kowloon and all its fancy hotels/shops is nice but we aren't really big on crowds and felt more at home surrounded by less people and mom and pop shops. To add to its potential, the MTR Station was close by and exactly where we wanted to be as far as convenience and time travel. Mario ended up getting a haircut, and THEN we found a nice quiet restaurant where we ate pasta, and found ICED tea... yes! We were told it would be nearly impossible to find ICED TEA in Hong Kong, and we though it to be true because Mario always asked.. only to be told.... "no no not cold, hot tea good for you."

If you follow my snaps you would have seen this!

Tower 1 of  5 - Where we live! 
Long Story short, we were showed several apartments, and we made a choice that day. Bennie brought it down in price for us which was the only thing that had us a little worried. That and the fact that it only had a washer, not dual machine that washes and dries. (Laundry deserves its own post! More on that at another time!) Bennie is the MAN!!! also the Landlady is the man for agreeing.

Prima Villa = Home for 2 years! 
Though it took an entire week to get deposits and utilities all squared away. We have an unfurnished apartment, but have great views enjoy. After 3 trips to IKEA and countless minutes spent telling Mario that we weren't going to find anything cheaper than IKEA, he caved and we ordered furniture that will be arriving Saturday! Can't Wait!! The best part is that we are on the 13th floor. Well technically the 12th, Chinese cultures bands the number 4 at all cost.. so there you go.

I was thrown off for a bit. I came down with something. I don't know if I was dehydrated, exhausted, ate something bad, etc... or maybe it was all.. But I lounged around for about 3-4 days. Yesterday was the first time since Saturday to do anything. I finally got to working out again and of course make Mario breakfast and made sure to have dinner ready when he got home. I am enjoying this off time for now and spoiling him rotten because I know that once I get to working myself, this won't be our daily schedule. Though I am sure if it were up to Mario, that exactly what he would want me doing.

Thanks for reading! 

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Wednesday.. Hong Kong Story

So it's Wednesday March 15, 2017...

I had plans to go and explore some more today.... Found an apartment near by and wanted to check it out.. I was really so glad Mario sent me a message saying we were having lunch with his supervisor..

I was so glad because I was really fearing having to get on the Metro on my own.. Phew! that was close..

I ended going to see an apartment... I got to the doorman and he shooed me away.. lol!

I found the building the apartment number was 44
Door man was on second floor.. when I asked to see apartment  he said "I no understand.. no English" and waved me
I need to make an appointment before I just show up wanting to see an empty apartment.. Well, it was baby steps.. I wanted to see if I could figure out where to go for a specific address. I did! I walked back to the area of our hotel/ Mario's HK office and sat at a Starbucks and waited for Mario.

We went to Outback Steakhouse. Mario says that its the place they all like to go to. I was so glad it was only Mario's supervisor.  He had a lot of insightful things to say about the culture.

I wish people would stop asking me if I have any questions about the idea of living here. I mean of course I have tons of questions but none worthy of asking at those times.... The H's (family who just left HK assignment) also wanted me to ask them questions the other night when we met for dinner.

The questions I had then are simply and silly... things like.. What kind of cleaning supplies are there...will I find fabuloso? How does the dual washer dryer work??? Where can I get some jalapeƱos? Cheese? tacos?

jaja.. no seriously.. I feel like the questions I do have, I'll figure out with time.. If I ask these questions, people will laugh.. and I am going to appear ignorant or apathetic.

After lunch I decided to walk to the Museum which is like a 15 minute walk. These are some of the sights I captured on my walk there...
In awe of how close these buildings are built! 

You would think that there aren't any green areas between all these buildings  and asphalt streets... but there is plenty..

Museum entrance.. - There was a TOY exhibit 
Lanscape is gorgeous! 
One of my favorite was their depiction and explanation on a wedding ceremony... reminded me of my church wedding. Found common ground..

Here are some pics of that visit ..

Fishermen preserving fish with salt.

Being carried to groom's house.. by her Mother in law I think.. 

The bride is sitting on bench.. 

Really nice colors right?? Wednesdays most of the museum exhibits are free.. It was pretty hectic.. I did end up paying for the voice over translations.. which I hardly used.. most of the exhibits had captions written in English. 

Any who by the time you read this it will be your BDAY! I hope you enjoy it and have a great one! 

Take care! Say hi to you hubby for us.. and give your beautiful angel a big ol kiss from me! 

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Truth be told...

So here is another post.

I want to call you and tell you all that I am seeing and experiencing but you are asleep and texting you this would result in a horrifically long text message..

Thank you for your sweet words.. that is why you are my best friend and will always be. I have to tell you though that this trip wouldn't have been possible if it weren't for Mario's Company paying for just about everything.

Mario and I have always talked about traveling and exploring new places. Even early on in our relationship, as two broke college students, we quickly found out how well we can manage trips. This, however is beyond our wildest dream. That is why I feel like I need to give credit where credit is due. I am sure my posts on social media are leading people, Some, people to believe that we have tons of money, or that we are extremely well off. Though we aren't struggling financially, and live rather comfortably, I know that we would never spend this much money on a trip like this.(Even if we did have all this money, we still wouldn't spend it on us like this.. we would probably still find a way to travel cheaply.. staying at hostels but never this nice! ) I am so grateful for this opportunity and for all the things that have led us here. Mario says this trip is special because I am the focus.. and I wish they hadn't spent all this money on making sure I would like it.. I already do!

I know I will miss my family, my nieces and nephews, milestones, holidays and dropping by your house whenever.... those are the things I don't want to think about because they are important to me but in reading "The Alchemist" I realize that we have been given an opportunity that we would be foolish not to take on.

You know me, I brought books to read... 
Two Mexican kids, from humble beginnings, in a whole new world...Everything in this world is attainable... I am so grateful I gave into this "thing" with Mario despite my reservations at the beginning. I pray so much for him, for us, and for everyone who has a significant other to find what I have found in our relationship. We aren't perfect.. and you of all people know how hard it has been because I have wept, laughed, and shown every level of frustration with you in regards to my marriage. You also know about all the joys and I have experienced too! Though my prayers remain in that we continue to grow together stronger as a couple, they too have also evolved into something greater; making sure we stay humble and show the outmost gratitude for all of our blessings.

I know that for those who aren't religious (this includes Mario too - Praying about that) will say that its hard work that makes things like this happen to people like us. Though yes its true... I know that blessings from up above are sent down because of prayers, service for others, and showing honor to the one who created everything, God.

Lastly, I just want to say Thanks for cheering us on.. thanks for being in my life.. Thanks for the endless favors you have done for us when we aren't home... I love you Chortie! (thats the way my mom pronounces your nickname by the ...) I am so sad I'm going to miss your bday but I promise to make it up to you!

Want to know something funny?  We had been so excited for this trip that we both forgot our anniversary.. I was so swamped with making sure my sub plans were in order and packing that it completely slipped my mind.... Also because I like to go by our Church wedding date... (the one that really matters to me..)

Please enjoy these pictures... 

Garden on the rooftop of our hotel.

The pool is gorgeous..

Hotel dining area.. 

We met up for lunch and had some more Dim sum 

This captures the shops on first and second floor.. the rest of the buildings are apartments.

This was Victoria Park on the Island.. When we got there they were closing but loved the flowers.. Maybe I will swing by again .. 

Blurry because there was a huge double decker bus approaching... just liked that way this building look at this intersection 

Monday, March 13, 2017

Hong Kong Visit Day 1

Though it has not been a full 24 hours since we have been here... I am already in awe of how awesome this place is. I plan to keep lots of notes while on my two weeks here.. My blog post will be a good way to relive these experiences and also keeping people updated.. Here we go...

Our Flight...

I love flying! The 17+ hours went by so fast. My butt was sore and  I couldn't find a comfortable position to sleep so I didn't. I think this is why I'm not suffering form jet lag. I might have dosed off here and there for about 30 mins. We were very close to the RR and a HUGE advantage was that we sat alone. This was key because I was able to get up as many times as I wanted without being embarrassed to disturb the strangers next to me. I remember my flight to Peru. I sat mostly and didn't get up because I was unlucky and got assigned a seat in between two people and I hated asking them to get up. This was not an issue this time! So, Thanks to Mario's Company who booked our flight and chose awesome seats.. They had to have charged a bit more.. but I am so GRATEFUL!

American Airlines, Good job for providing so  many movies, music, games, and TV shows to watch! This came in handy when boredom struck...

Our CAB ride...

So weird when the driver's seat is on the right.

Bless this man! There were a few things I did understand but for the most part he talked about politics.. and had us listen to him sing some Johnny Cash, and other American music. He wasn't bad! He was extremely SLOW though... every one was passing us by.. Mario was irritated by this.. but I decided to enjoy it!


One of Mario's collegues was waiting for us to go have dinner. We had a bit of  a delayed.. Our first room wreaked of cigarette smoke. We were certain they had given us a smoking room. Mario saw my face and didn't even let me jump in the shower (That is all I wanted to do after so many hours on a flight!) We went through the trouble of rolling down all 5 suitcases downstairs  instead they had given us a smoking room. The attendant was so apologetic.. Supposedly the previous room was a non-smoking room but she explained that sometimes their Chinese guest don't follow rules. She felt so bad she brought us to our new room and kept apologizing. She wanted to make sure it was to our liking. I am so glad we went through the trouble of getting a different room.

After a quick shower, we walked to a restaurant for dinner. It was small and quaint, and served dim sum (dumplings are the IT thing to eat here.) That and stuffed rolls. I am more of a dumplings fan than rolls.. They were so yummy! As we walked to and from the restaurant I couldn't help but note how familiar it felt.. and I quickly realized that it reminds me of MEXICO. The only difference was the language I heard,  and face features I saw...

After dinner, we went straight to bed.. exhausted and ready to rest!


Unfortunately, Mario had to show up to work today (Monday, Hong Kong Time).. So I woke up early and ironed his clothes. I also woke up to a very crowded hotel room. This frustrated me because I hate Clutter.. After seeing Mario off, I jumped in the shower and had plans to tidy up the room. Mario forgot his passport. He was headed for Shen Zen, where he needed to present his passport.

I felt help less.. I wanted to meet him half way but realized I'd probably get lost and just waited in lobby for him to arrive.

Breakfast was so nice. Buffet style and lots to choose from. Mario left too early to eat with me but hopeful to share breakfast with him when he works out of HK. His company has office space here in Hong Kong but, today he was headed to their other work space in Main Land China..

After breakfast I tidied up the room and decided I would venture out and find cornstarch so that I can iron the rest of Mario's clothes. I wasn't too happy with the result of ironing without cornstarch..

Not going to lie, I was pretty nervous. My biggest fear was getting lost. After walking into several stores.. I found a market which had cornstarch.  Walking alone I took advantage and snapped some pictures, for memories but also landmarks. (you can see most of this on Snapchat! ) Communicating with some of the clerks at the stores I stopped was an adventure too. Luckily the "Handy Phone" the hotel provides allowed me have internet and I was able to use the translator to communicate what I was looking for. Not going to lie, some of the clerks appeared to be rude. I say appeared because after watching them interact with locals... their behavior was just as "rude" towards them. So I came to the conclusion that its part of their culture, the way they talk and communicate here is different than what I am used to and therefore I can't take things literal or personal.

Walking back to hotel room I realized that a lot of different people live and work here. It is very diverse. I see myself here already! It is very exciting. Two years will fly by but I am ready for the move and very glad Mario's company gave me the opportunity to come check it out before we fully commit to making the move.

Some of the things I know I need to get in the USA before we move are....

-     FLAT shoes! tennis shoes. ......................... Lots of walking will be done.... and fast too!
-     Re-useable bags for groceries.................... They charge you for plastic bags.
-     Leggings... Lots of them....
-     Hair Cut............The humidity here is ridiculous... shorter hair will be more manageable... I think!

I am sure the list will grow..

For now I am just going to leave it at that.. Going to get ready to go and get a closer look at the Harbor. Mario was't kidding when he said that its always very cloudy .... he says its contamination... and I am starting to think he is right especially because people walk around with face masks.... wondering if I should add that to my list of things to get.

Enjoy my pictures..

The Royal Garden, Kowloon, Hong Kong

Our view
Roaming around..

Looking for market.. 

Led me to plenty of water fountains.... 

Getting clear... 

Only thing on the menu I recognized! :( 


The smell isn't very pleasant..

But the view up close is worth it...