東宮西宮 East Wing West Wing & Les parlementeries

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Quebec: Les parlementeries

Les parlementeries is a mid-late-90s comedy show that marked my youth growing up in Quebec. Two dozens of stand-up comedians would play the roles of fictional politicians in a parliament context, often based on their own trademark character.

The “Parlementeries” title is itself a play on word, being a portmanteau of “parliament” and “lying” in French.

One of the YouTube videos I found featured an insult match between both “black” and “white” parties and their representatives, all pretty much household fictional characters impersonated by the best comedians of the time, many of which are still active today.

After a ten-year hiatus since 1997-98, Les parlementeries came back to the theatre in 2008, although received a bit of lukewarm welcome from reviewers. You can find many clips over on YouTube.

Hong Kong: 東宮西宮 East Wing West Wing

東宮西宮九/十大九官inception:looks like a comedy show poking fun at the govt (guy at far right is chi ef exec Donald Tsang)

A little by chance, I saw this bus stop advertisement at Central Piers on 東宮西宮. After figuring out the characters and googling, I realized that this was in fact their ninth edition already!

This is a trailer made for their next show coming in late September. The advert is a spoof of Inception, but I don’t know what the show will contain. The title for this edition is 十大九官. Literally it means the ten big nine officials. But apparently the two last characters 九官 (nine officials) is the name for mockingbird in Chinese!

The big difference between 東宮西宮 East Wing West Wing and Les parlementeries is that the former involves real-life politicians from the executive council. Hong Kong might not have universal suffrage, but it can poke fun at its top politicians! Perhaps because of that, the focus is perhaps a little more political and focused on real-issues (rather than being of death matches between comedians on general-interest topics).

You will find lots of videos of this comedy show on the Internet. The ubiquitous figure with the bow-tie is Donald Tsang.

In previous years, real-life progressive legislative council member Tanya Chan even participated in the play. You can think of her as the darling of social liberals. She played a leading role in the play in September 2009.

東宮西宮 East Wing West Wing also has a Facebook page.

Manila hostage tragedy in Hong Kong newspapers this morning

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South China Morning Post: Tsang slams siege tactics
South China Morning Post 南華早報: Tsang slams siege tactics

Ming Pao 明報
Ming Pao 明報: 菲警無能 康泰團8死 / Philippine police incompetent, Hong Thai Tour 8 Dead

Apple Daily 蘋果日報
Apple Daily 蘋果日報: 港殤 / Hong Kong Death (Tragedy / Premature death) (NextMedia video)

Oriental Post 東方日報
Oriental Post 東方日報: 馬尼拉大屠殺 / Manila massacre

Hong Kong Economic Journal 信報
Hong Kong Economic Journal 香港經濟: 馬尼拉血腥十小時 八港客慘死 / Bloody ending to ten-hour siege, eight Hong Kong tourists killed

Hong Kong Economic Times 香港經濟
Hong Kong Economic Times 香港經濟: 菲營救嚴重犯錯 害死8港人 / Filipino police rescue crew made grave mistakes, 8 HK people left dead

Beijing Youth Daily 北京青年報
Beijing Youth Daily 北京青年報: 香港游客在菲遭劫 8人被杀 / Hong Kong tourists hijacked in Philippines, 8 people killed

Wen Wei Po 文匯報: a Kee Wah bakery ad
Wen Wei Po 文匯報: (had an upscale bakery advertisement, full-page…)

Sing Tao 星島: a Citibank advert
Sing Tao 星島: (a full-page Citibank advertisement)

The Sea Superb 海永: A new ship on the Lamma Island ferry service

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Sea Superb 海永 and its yellow streak

Rear deck of Sea Superb 海永

Onboard Sea Superb 海永

Onboard Sea Superb 海永

Onboard Sea Superb 海永

Washrooms Sea Superb 海永

Sea Superb 海永

Lamma Island has a new ferry ship! HKKF, the company that runs the ferry service between Central and Lamma Island has a new ship on this route. I don’t know when it first sailed (it could have been off rush hour), but I took it on both Thursday and Friday mornings at 8:20AM from Yung Shue Wan pier.

According to the ship’s manufacturer Cheoy Lee Shipwards, the Sea Superb (or 海永 / Hoi Yong / “Sea Forever” in Chinese) is different from other catamarans operated by HKKF on the Central-Yung Shue Wan route and also built by Cheoy Lee. It is 32m long instead of the 28m basic models, like I think the Sea Superior and Sea Smooth are. The rear deck of the Superb is indeed noticeably longer.

Now I wonder what they will do when the second boat arrives too. Is HKKF going to reassign the other boats to different routes from Central, or are we going to see the reappearance of a night ferry

Sea Superb 海永 plaque

Sea Superb 海永

Sea Superb 海永

Rainy Lamma Island

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Trying to predict weather in the summertime, especially in a tropical region, sounds like a daunting task. It was perfectly sunny in the morning of Wednesday, and at lunchtime when I went out on my lunch hour, and just slightly cloudy when I got off work.

Thus my tweet that day: “Good thing I left my umbrella at work; good thing I decided to take it home. Thunderstorms in the Harbour now.”

Once I boarded the ship, thunder started lighting up the skies, and rain was hitting hard on the hull. Once we were on Lamma, many people obviously forgot their umbrella somewhere, and were stranded at the Yung Shue Wan ferry pier while the storm was raging. As I finally decided to brave the ten minutes between the pier and my home, a man came rushing by with a large orange parasol, which could have been more suited planted on a sunny beach or on a terrasse than between someone’s arms.

I walked through the village. I came home early that day — it was just 7PM when I arrived on Lamma. Many shops were still open, but their owners were busy looking at the rain, chatting with each other from across the street.

It rained and thundered for the rest of the evening, but I was happy to stay home, coding away on my computer. It turned out that it was not one of those dreaded black rain storm alerts, although it made it to TVB’s late evening report as a red rain storm alert, the level just below.

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Le défi Octopus: un mois sans utiliser d’argent sonnant

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Octopus

La carte Octopus (lien Wikipédia) est la carte à puce rechargeable sans contact à Hong Kong depuis son lancement en 1997. D’abord utilisée comme mode de paiement dans le MTR, le métro et réseau de trains de Hong Kong, l’Octopus est devenue presque de la monnaie électronique. Dans les points de service du MTR, mais aussi dans n’importe quel 7-Eleven ou Circle K (des dépanneurs) de la ville, on peut recharger sa carte avec de l’argent comptant.

Et on peut aussi l’utiliser presque partout, que ce soit dans les restaurants, au supermarché ou même chez le coiffeur, tant qu’ils sont munis d’un terminal Octopus. La firme qui a créé l’Octopus est une joint venture entre les cinq plus importantes compagnies de transport de Hong Kong. Octopus Cards Limited s’est d’ailleurs retrouvée dans l’eau chaude cette semaine, lorsqu’elle a reconnu avoir vendu des données à caractère personnel à des compagnies, qui les auraient ensuite repassé à d’autres.

(Avec les Octopus personnalisées, on s’en sert aussi dans les écoles pour prendre les présences à l’entrée, et dans certains complexes résidentiels pour la vérification à l’entrée.)

Comme résident de Hong Kong, je peux « personnaliser » ma carte et l’associer à ma carte de crédit. C’est l’Automatic Add Value Machine System (AAVS). Lorsqu’une transaction amène ma balance sous zéro, le système le détecte et charge automatiquement 250$HK (33$CAD) sur ma VISA.

Donc, je me lance le défi de ne pas utiliser d’argent sonnant durant tout le mois d’août. Je vous dirai au courant du mois ce que ça donne…

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(I’m going to try living without ringing cash in August, and just use my Octopus or bank cards. I dedicate this to our collective hatred towards having those cupronickel $5 and $10 in our wallets…)