Thursday, December 22, 2011

Hong Kong Day 13-14: Bling bling

Here's how you know Hong Kong loves horse racing: the literal translation for the Chinese name of one of their two racecourses is "Horse Racing Land", but the English name they actual give it is "Happy Valley".  In other words, they translate horse racing to "happy".

I visited Happy Valley for the first time last night, and it was a pretty spectacular view from where we sat.
The view to the left from our seats.
This is the view of the finish line from our seats in the members stand.
The view to the right, which also gives you a look at the walking ring.

Sadly, I could not reproduce my horse racing magic from Macau and lost bets in all eight races.  It goes to show that even I can't be Chantastic all the time.

Today began with dim sum at 9 AM with my dad's old business partner and a business associate of theirs.  First off, Chan doesn't do 9 AM.  I'm surprised everyone didn't get that memo.  Second, my dad was in the jewelry business in his working days, which means all of his business associates are also in the jewelry business.  I was told that after dim sum, we were going to visit the business associate's factory where the jewelry is designed and made.  I wasn't sure what this place would look like, but I sure didn't expect to see what I saw.

We walked in, and there were a bunch of people at workstations making jewelry.  And oh yeah, there were diamonds and gems everywhere.  I repeat, everywhere.  Apparently this former business associate owns one of the most respected unique jewelry companies in the world, and the factory I was visiting specialized in custom-made, expensive jewelry.  And to make that happen, you need a lot of diamonds.

I'm from Edmonton and even I think that that's a lot of ice.

Not only do you need a lot of diamonds to make custom jewelry, you need some gems.  Some over-the-top, bigass gems.
The coin is used to demonstrate how big this emerald was, which is apparently worth a quarter mil Canadian.  Also note the bling randomly strewn about in the background.  It was like that everywhere.

And not only do you need bigass gems, you need different types of bigass gems.
Pearls with small diamonds surrounding the entire necklace on the left, two diamond rings (each roughly 6-7 karats) on the right.

Throw those altogether and you accumulate a pretty decent jewelry box.
I call that thing on the right "The Bracelet of Champions".

Well, that was definitely some kind of factory tour.  Next up, we were supposed to stop by my mom's friend's workplace to pick up her daughter's wedding invitation.  I was not aware that she worked for a radio station. Photo op time!
I clearly do not need a co-host.

After my radio career came to a premature end, it was time to go for dim sum for a second time - I'm still on pace to come home a fatty when this trip is over.  But not before we made a brief detour to my uncle's jewelry office.
I'm no expert, but I don't think these come cheap.

And with that, my day of jewelry ogling came to a close as well as the jokes about what types of jewelry I should be giving to the FMC...

Upcoming for Day 15-18: Day 15 will be for collecting my Hong Kong ID card and possibly going on some kind of cable car ride up a mountain, which should be fun for someone who is afraid of heights.  Gulp.  Day 16 will be my cousin's wedding, followed by my triumphant return to Macau and its 5-star extravagance along with some more poker, with a return to Hong Kong on Day 18.  Since I'll be arriving on Christmas Eve and leaving on Boxing Day, I look forward to playing more poker with clueless tourists.

Actual hugs 3, non-hug greetings 22

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