Old Octopus

Today’s museum post is a “figure out what to bring back to the U.S.” edition: an old yellow-colored Octopus card.

I found this card many years ago, I think on the floor of the lobby in my aunt’s flat. I brought it with me every time I came back to Hong Kong, but once I started living here I realized that it’s too old to work with the Octopus app on my phone, meaning that I couldn’t keep track of my daily Octopus expenses. It’s been sitting in my drawer ever since.

Old Yellow Octopus

I thought about keeping the card because it has some old logos on the back, but now that I’ve posted it to the museum I think it’s OK to return it to the MTR. Unlike my Sega Genesis games, I don’t think I’ll regret getting rid of this card. Enjoy the museum!

Old Yellow Octopus - Back

Kirin Nodogoshi

Kirin Nodogoshi

Couldn’t really sleep despite feeling tired tonight, so thought I’d get out of bed and post this “beer” that I found at Circle K yesterday. For a while I stopped checking because I pretty much tried all the available 500ml cans, but for some reason I decided to check yesterday and there it was. Amazingly, this is the beer that is featured in a commercial that we saw during Tokyo 2012, the one where the guy takes a huge gulp after eating some okonomiyaki and then yelps in pure joy. How interesting that I didn’t try it then in Tokyo and that it now appears in a store across the street from my place in Hong Kong.

The reason I call it “beer” above is that apparently this drink features no malt. It tastes and looks like beer (I haven’t opened it yet so that remains to be seen) and is made with fermented soy beans instead. Wow!

With less than a week in this place that I’ve called home for the past 2.25+ years and just over a week left in Hong Kong, I’m undoubtedly feeling pensive tonight. Without work to use up my energy, it’s harder to fall asleep after consuming caffeine, and I keep forgetting that I actually don’t have to go to sleep early because I don’t have to get up early. I definitely have some work withdrawal going on right now.

Kirin Nodogoshi – 1x500ml for $16.90

29 Gallon Work Tank

I’ve been seeing a lot of this tank in my desktop slideshow so I figured it was time I kept my promise from this other post.

As I mentioned in that other post, I kept this relatively small tank at work after I was no longer allowed to keep the 50 or the 75. In retrospect, it was pretty awesome that I was allowed to keep fish tanks in the office at all in the first place. Unlike those other large tanks, I kept this one right next to my desk, so whenever I needed a break from staring at a bunch of monitors all I had to do was swivel right. If I needed even more of a break, I could grab my bucket and do a quick water change.

In terms of balancing maintenance and viewability, the 29 gallon tall might just be the sweet spot. Once I’ve settled down back in the U.S., I will strongly consider getting another one.

Hope you enjoy these photos.

29 Gallon Work Tank
The firemouth in his cave. He’s always renovating (digging).
29 Gallon Work Tank
Common guppies and rummy-nose tetras round out the short list of inhabitants.
29 Gallon Work Tank
Sometimes the tetras use the cave, too.
29 Gallon Work Tank
Like a squadron of fighters…
29 Gallon Work Tank
The tank during one of its cleaner stages with plants nicely trimmed and glass free of algae.
29 Gallon Work Tank
Closeup of one of the two common guppies.
29 Gallon Work Tank
They are hovering at 90 degrees to one another.
29 Gallon Work Tank
Tetras with Java Moss in the background.
29 Gallon Work Tank
Another nice photo of the entire tank. I don’t remember why I left it partially unfilled.
29 Gallon Work Tank
After a hard week, I might sometimes skip a tank cleaning and let nature take its course.
29 Gallon Work Tank
Up close with a rummy-nose.

Prejudice

When I was in line to buy an Airport Express ticket today, there was a tourist in front of me doing the same thing, except this tourist spoke Mandarin and was obviously from the mainland. The clerk wasn’t particularly enthusiastic towards her. When it was my turn, I spoke in local HK-style Cantonese to him and there was a marked change in his attitude and behavior. It was almost like relief on his end, glad to finally be interacting with his own kind, and he was much more friendly towards me. To be completely honest, I was glad that he treated me this way. I experienced no majority guilt. I think I’ve mentioned it before; it’s nice to be part of the majority after being a minority for over two decades. I know what it’s like to be discriminated against.

The fact of the matter is, prejudice is everywhere and cannot be avoided. We may dance around the issue with political correctness, something that is superficial and invented by politicians in an effort to gain more votes, and we may think that prejudice in society is gone, but if we truly do think that then we are fooling ourselves. It is animal nature to be prejudiced. Lab mice who got electrocuted when they go after a certain food will start avoiding that food even when the electricity is turned off. When the news reports police discrimination time and time again, people learn to be wary around them. When a big percentage of crime is committed by a certain demographic, our awareness level increases whenever a member of that demographic enters our vicinity, even though rationally we know that not all of them are like that. This is millions of years of evolution, of learning how to survive. Fool me once, shame on you – fool me twice, shame on me.

As humans, we are (theoretically) able to suppress our animal urges to behave in a civilized manner. I do try to live my life in this way, treating all people, regardless of their race or class, in the same way. Sadly, many people think differently than I do. My problem with people has always been, what the fuck did I do to you for you to treat me in this manner? Every new face to me is a clean slate. I will give you the benefit of the doubt until you show me otherwise. Why can’t everybody be like this? I guess the answer is, see the paragraph above.

Couldn’t Wait

Pho in Hong Kong

Although we’ll be returning to Oakland soon, I couldn’t help but crave and get pho this afternoon. As I’ve mentioned before, most of the pho places we’ve been to in Hong Kong suck. This place is the closest thing to being quality pho, but as you can see it’s not entirely flawless as the beef arrived mostly cooked already. 🙁 The broth was rich though so it wasn’t a total loss. HKD$40 at 老趙 in Jordan.