Hong Kong Airport Review

Airport Link = Arrival Hall

Well, my first experience coming to Hong Kong Airport was forgettable, but this experience was stellar.

When I got off the train, I literally walked 15 meters and I was greeted by an open-air arrivals terminal.  I thought it was spectacular to connect the train and even passenger drop-off (vehicles) directly to the arrival hall.  There were literally buses and vehicles just above the train, which is unbelievably efficient.  Not to mention that I got to the airport taking two trains across four islands in 30 minutes.  HK has the most efficient train system (that I’ve personally been in) in the world.

In Bangkok, check-in would have about 3 people.  With lines of 75 people, there would still be only 3 check-in queues, which is repulsive.  However, Cathay Pacific and HK Airport had 12…speeding up the lines and never being a problem.

Immigration

After going to Malaysia and being in line for 45 minutes, I realized how pathetic it was.  Hey, Los Angeles Airport, for visitors outside of America, is an absolute DISASTER! The lines are sickening! However, for American citizens, it’s a breeze.

Well, HK Airport was also a breeze.  The lines for “visitors” was a bit long, but only about 10 minutes.  When I came here, they didn’t have 2 officers per 75 people like KL Airport has.  They had 12-15 officers…speeding up lines considerably.

So real big props to immigration in HK!

Hot Place To Eat – Beef & liberty

Hands down, the best place I’ve ever eaten at since the taco house at San Francisco Airport.  Delicious beef burger (but without the fries) and a freshly squeezed juice.  This was just after immigration (on the same level).  I was a bit worried, because the worst experienced I ever had was at Vientiane Airport.  Luckily I had eaten at a family-owned soup shop before heading to the airport because there wasn’t a single eatery inside the airport.  Always do a little research before checking in.  At Bangkok Airport, I always get the usual pepperoni pizza (ridiculously delicious) at Dean and Deluca.  That’s another must have.  If you’re not a meat eater, these shops have a great variety of vege dishes.

FYI – If you go there, make sure you get someone who’s “non” foreign.  Apparently the foreign waiters and waitresses have terrible attitudes. LOL

Scenery

As I sit here, I’m looking at clouds blanketing the gorgeous green hills that are off at a very-close distance.  Skyscrapers, and I mean a many of them, are just before the mountains, some of them even on the mountains.  Cathay Pacific jets are coming in and out of the gates with yet again, a very efficient ground-working crew at the bottom.  This restaurant, which has a spectacular view, has great jazz music playing and wonderful decor.  What fascinated me the most was the girl who was sitting across from me.  She’s absolutely American (with a Chinese heritage) because she didn’t pull out her phone once and had only a book.  I miss those days.  Just to the left of me is a businessman making a powerpoint and another guy on his phone.

All in all, this is my second favorite airport.  I still think Bangkok Airport is quick with checking in, security and immigration (at times).  However, there’s a massive separation between 3 and 2/ 2 and 1 — 1 being Singapore Airport.

Nonetheless, I’m so grateful for having gone on this trip and I hope you guys enjoyed all the content I put out.  What’s next? Not exactly sure.  Have to handle some documents and get a new visa, and if I do, I might take some time off until October/November.

Traveling Pod #8: Esther Inspiration, Chinese Food, CBD, Mid-Level Escalators & The End + YouTube Video

Here I was before my travel vlog sitting in my hotel when I met a girl named Esther.  Esther is a teacher who wants to become so many other things, and hearing what she had gone through was utterly heart-breaking.  From physical abuse, to verbal abuse at a French school.  So many different things have happened in her life for years — and most of them bad.  However, the brilliance of this young individual and the ability to still be grateful — is amazing.  In the wake of so much that has happened in my life, and not trying to compare my life with hers, but how could I complain about the things I’ve been through when others are enduring in so much more pain and anguish.

When the evening rolled around, I met up with her and we had an absolute blast.  I had my first Hong Kong dish, and it was pretty good (although I prefer spicy because I just love Thai food so much now).  I noticed that the way people talk to each other is amazing. LOL! They scream and look angry all the time.  Well, not scream…those are the native Chinese, but even hearing some of Esther’s stories about the dispute because the two countries, was saddening. The way Chinese people are treated here is deplorable; and the way Hong Kong people are treated in China is worse.  Why can’t we just get along?!

After the restaurant, something caught my attention while walking.  There was this open area situated between gorgeous buildings, so I pointed to that area before walking there.  There it was!

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Here I stood in awe.  It felt like Sydney, Australia all over again, but with an insane amount of humidity.  This vibe and the energy that was in this square was something I’ve never felt before; and at the moment, I said, “oh boy, I hope Hong Kong isn’t growing on me!” Ha!

Mid-Town Escalators

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I’ve always wanted to see these things.  Because Hong Kong is a vertical city in its own right, they make it easier for people to get up hills (rather than going up the traditionally and stupendously hard way) by building escalators all around the Mid-Level area.  These escalators were rows of three, and apparently there are much more stretching all around the city.

Colonial Square

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Now, you guys already know how I’m not so particularly fond with the British (mainly because they’re deemed as gods in Asia for whatever reason), but this colonial (what looks like French to me) square at the top of the escalators, was amazing.  Groups of three sitting down and laughing, people doing their hair, taking pictures, and of course, it’s never a square without seeing a foreigner with his two children, frowned out of this world and angry….sitting down. LOL!

In that moment, everyone was enjoying but he wasn’t.  People simply miss out on life so much and it’s a damn shame.

We walked through some of buildings and found a quaint cafe situated just on the left side of where the picture was taken.  Filipino girl with top-notch service got us some drinks, and then I saw a guy who looked like an islander.  After having an amazing conversation, I wanted to ask him if he was Samoan.  First, I asked him where he was from.  He said the Philippines.  I said, “hmmm, big and with that hair?” He then went onto say, without me even asking him, “my father is half-Samoan.”

BOOM! I win!

All in all, I was walking home and captured one final photo before doing a podcast interview with an ecommerce entrepreneur.  That was the end of Day 2. Day 3 was just a relaxation day + the harbor.  The trip is officially over, unfortunately. So many more to come though!

Podcast

 

YouTube

Traveling Pod: Episode 8 – Head-Scratching Trip

Boy, documenting means everything because I can show everyone what I see what my own eyes.  Hooves of pigs hanging from shops, chicken feet right there on the sidewalk, an dan insane stench around every corner of the street.

What I just realized is as I’m writing this, I see a puff of black smoke that was let off by a passing by ship.  This relates to us descending in Hong Kong just yesterday.  As we were going down, we were going through a heavy amount of yellow smoke.  I thought it was dirty clouds (lol), but in fact, that was the smoke either from China, or the pollution from these ships.  AMAZING.

I walked into McDonalds (yes, after seeing what I mentioned above, I just want something that’s familiar) to buy some food and they were acting very odd.  I mean you can’t expect much apparently with customer service in any part of HK or China in general, but the cashier was so terrified to touch my hand when I was giving her change.  She pulled back her hand more and more and I was just dumbstruck at the whole ordeal.  After that, there was a man behind the counter who slammed my soda and my bag on the counter before slamming the piece of paper.

Just weird stuff. I’ve never seen any of this happen before in my life.  It’s all very new to me.  It doesn’t make them good or bad people, but after that happened, I sought refuge at my hotel and didn’t leave for the rest of the night.

I’m a little scared to go around at the moment, just because the amount of weird looks and things I’ve been seeing in general.  So, to reset my mind and everything that has happened, I decided to stay in for the evening and just relax. I don’t want to see anyone or anything for the rest of the day, do some meditation and working on me — just as I do continuously out there in my home in Thailand. So, let’s hope the next one to my travel blog is much better.

Traveling Pod: Episode 7 – Cathay Pacific, Hong Kong Impressions & Hotel

After writing blogs, posting videos, running into a student, and so many other things….including a big, succulent slice of pizza, I went to my gate and they were already boarding.  Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the 5-star airline they call Cathay Pacific.  The efficiency was magnificent getting on and we left right on time.

Aircraft A330-300 – an aircraft that flies middle-distance flights, was on hand today.  2-4-2 seat configuration with a fair amount of space was decent.  This was a bit different from the previous once I’ve flown before on Singapore Airlines.  Flight attendants were attentive and cooperative.  What was really fascinating was the Thai flight attendants for Cathay are very proficient-speaking compared to others.

Immigration — Racial Profiling Hell

Yikes.  This was definitely the worst I’ve ever been profiled since maybe America.  Sure, some instances had risen in Thailand where immigration profiled me, but it was just a dirty look.  When they got the information, they couldn’t do a damn thing but give me back my precious, American embedded document.

However, Hong Kong has its own share of racial profiling.  Upon leaving the airplane, I past two immigration officers before one asked me some dumb ass questions while I was walking in about a 15-second “wtf-are-you-serious” walk.  So, that was the beginning. They went to an Asian and a few others, too…so I felt better.

Boom, got to the long immigration line and was standing before an Indian man with a Chinese passport.  Didn’t really know what that was about, but then I got to the immigration counter, just before the Indian guy who was standing there for some time…and just like that, the immigration officer signaled a girl over and I guess they had to do a thorough background check on him.

The immigration officer then asked, “are you with him?”  Ummm….fuck no? Wtf? No…bitch.  I’m America. You’re going to put some respek on my name.  He cleared everything quickly and then I left to get my baggage.

This was the ugly part.  At the “do not declare” zone — a green zone where people go not declaring any goods — an immigration officer picked me out of the entire crowd, looked at my luggage and gave me passport to another filthy officer who then asked me to put my luggage through the scan.  No one else around.  I was trying to fester up the words at that moment to sarcastically destroy such a repugnant human being, but I kept my cool and said, “ok, you guys win this time.  Those were two quick, idiotic profiles….I’m coming with an insurmountable amount of heat, sarcasm and smiles next time.”

I know, “Arsenio, you will never win an argument.”  Completely agree.  That sense of peace and standing up for all colored people by telling white-media driven hooligans at immigration that what they’re doing is wrong — priceless.  That’s true fulfillment.

Critical Stage

Do two, racist, vehement government enforced monsters represent an entire nation of people? Absolutely NOT.  Can’t allow dumb shit like that control your mind, people.  This stage is very important because I know a lot of us, including myself, hold an entire country accountable for a pair of jackasses.  That’s unfair.  I’ve met some amazing Thai people….should they be held accountable for others’ actions?  Nope.  Completely unfair.  Now, of course the media demonizes the hell out of black people saying “one bad apple spoils everything.” Just because they do doesn’t mean everyone else should.

Let it go.  Let ridiculous situations go and never take it so personal because it’s not about YOU! It’s about what the media has made it, twisted it, and impressed on the minds of those who are completely weak and unwilling of having their own opinions.

Hotel – Lackadaisical Staff

The reviews were a whopping 8.7, but very sub-standard.  Hotel staff were unhelpful and the wait was ridiculous.  However, there was one lady who was friendly, so I’ll point that out.  No amenities, pools, bars, or ANYTHING.  So there’s no way I can give this place anything above a 6-6.5 because they lack everything.

As the days progress, it will get better. I’m sure of it.

Stay tuned!

Podcast

Next Trip: Hong Kong & Macau! Pre-Bookings & Efficiency!

Oh, how unbelievably elated I am to announce my first ever trip to HK.  I was suppose to go there last year on a layover, but I cancelled my trip back home to America (for so many different reasons).  So, discussion ran rampant in class one day and I was trying to tell my students to list the pros and cons of going to specific countries and it went a little something like this.

First, when deciding a flight, always look at multiple sites.  I’m telling you this because I almost paid $450 USD for a flight that was jut under $300 USD on another website — a whopping 33% difference.

After searching for flights, and with along some other students at another location, it came down to the Philippines and Hong Kong for my August travel (and again, hopefully this is the last travel until October/November).  After reviewing the metrics and figuring out what Manila had to offer, of course I went with Hong Kong, a city that has so much more to offer and a ferry ride to Macau.

So, here I am on the cusp of going to Hong Kong, a country I never thought I’d go to while highlighting one of my goals on my 101 goals list (flying 5 ***** Cathay Pacific) and I’m just amazed how I’ve kept at my goals and aspirations.

Travel Blog: Episode 3 – Traveling Dates For This Year – Finally Set: Super, Beast, Trifecta, Australia, Hong Kong & More!

Barring any setbacks and leaving of the country, this is what my travels look like this year (roughly).

Now that I know my future and I’ve finally let go of the past, I can focus on one of the most exciting times and live ahead.  This has been my dream – to teach everywhere, speak when I want, go to conventions, be my own boss, have a team develop content, teach, and travel the world.  Sure, sounds a bit hectic, but inspiring while visiting places that might change who I am for the better is simply life-transforming.

Earlier this year I made a podcast and goal-list to inspire myself to reach higher.  Because things got sour and I had to close out a toxic workplace, I had to wait and see what was going to come into my life in terms of micro work, first.  Now that it has happened and I’m able to project what’s culminating, I can refocus on what I absolutely LOVE TO DO!

First Travel: Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

This is going down NEXT WEEK! Spartan Race, meeting with a team member, and a wedding – all within a couple days.  Just booked out! Is it going to be possible to get some entrepreneurial work done while I’m there?! Nonetheless, Malindo Air (and lots of blogs to follow) is on the way.  Stay tuned!

Second Travel: Ho Chi Mihn, Vietnam

I miss Vietnam and the unbelievable friends I have there.  I even met a brilliant Thai speaking national at the airport when were were standing around, incredulously, wondering where the hell our plane was.  Vietnamese Airlines for $121 dollars RT?! Pfft, you crazy.  In America, you can’t go from Los Angeles to Las Vegas without spending $130 minimum.  This is why I emphasize that living in Thailand is so centrally located to everything.  3-4 days in the heart of June!

Third Travel: Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia – Spartan Beast + Trifecta Achieved

This might be the most heartwarming and emotional trip ever! Achieving a goal that I set out to achieve in the early stages of last year has to be claimed! Achieving what’s going to be my first trifecta while going through an unbelievably amount of pain, wanting to give up every second of the way is going to be the pinnacle of it all.  The 2005 regional championship race is going to come back when I’m ready to give up, and that’s when the overdrive will takeover.  I’m beyond ecstatic.

Fourth Travel: Bali, Indonesia

I HAVE TO go back to the place that almost made me cry when I left (in a good way).  The banjo playing “la bamba,” serenading at the entrance of the plane almost reduced me to to bawl mode.  From staying at the Sintesa Jimbaran, to meeting a wonderful Australia family at a safari.  This was one of those moments that I will cherish forever – but I need to create more memories by going to UBUD.

Fifth Travel: Hong Kong/Taiwan

It’s a hard choice in between the two, but I need to go to uncharted territory once this year.  I can’t continue going to the same places.  Vietnam and Indonesia was 2016 and Maldives was last year.  I have to keep it going.

New Years – Australia?

And, of course, I’ll have to FINALLY do something good for New Years.  There’s no better place to go then going back to Australia…..but again, this could or could not happen based on my status here in Thailand.

TOEIC: Conditionals II

I wanted to do another rundown of conditionals so you all have a more thorough understanding. If you understand conditionals, not only will it improve your score by about 5-10 questions on Part 5, but also improve your writing – enabling you to use complex structures rather than simple structures.

Conditional sentences contain two distinct parts: the if-clause (condition) and result.  In both of these parts, the verb forms change according to the time.

Real Conditions

  • For a real condition in the future, the verb in the if-clause is usually in the present simple tense, while the verb in the result clause is in the future or imperative form.

– We will need to borrow money if taxes go up.

– If anyone calls here tomorrow, please take a message.

  • Will is sometimes used in the if-clause when it is used as a synonym of want.

– If they won’t compromise, we will have to cancel the negotiations.

  • For a real condition in the past, the verbs in both if-clause and the result clause are in the past.

-If they were waiting for a counteroffer, they were wise.

Unreal Conditions

  • For an unreal condition in the present, the verb in the if-clause is in the past form, while the verb in the result clause is would or could plus the simple (base) form.

-He would ask for an application if he wanted the job.

-If I earned more money, I could buy a better car.

  • For an unreal condition in the present, the correct form for the verb to be in the if0clause is were, no matter what the subject is.

-If she were easier to get along with, she would have more friends.

  • For an unreal condition in the past, the verb in the if-clause is in the past perfect tense, while the verb in the result clause is would have or could have plus the past participle of the verb.

-He would have made a better choice if he had listened to our advice.

-They could have finished the project sooner if they had made a better work plan.

  1. I thought by now we would have learned the lesson that if we ignore overhead, we _______ our expenses.
  1. underestimating
  2. would underestimate
  3. will underestimate
  4. have underestimated

2) If the yield _________ up from 2.1 percent, it would have been the highest average yield since 1854.

  1. would go
  2. has gone
  3. will go
  4. had gone

3) They will import 250,000 more cars a year if international quotas set by the ministry ______ lifted.

  1. are
  2. be
  3. will be
  4. have been

4) If the government __________ an import fee, as it has threatened to do for years, prices of consumer goods will increase by at least 10 percent.

  1. will impose
  2. imposes
  3. has imposed
  4. is imposing

5. Their monetary unit _________ strong if they did something about their deficit.

  1. would be
  2. can be
  3. should be
  4. will be

6. If there had been benefits, such as options for savings and stocks, I __________ applying for the position.

  1. could consider
  2. considering
  3. would have considered
  4. will be considering

7) If the wage parity agreement _________ approved, there might be a big problem.

  1. was not
  2. is not
  3. had not been
  4. will not be

8) The boss will offer James a huge promotion if he ________ to be more punctual.

  1. will learn
  2. had learned
  3. should learn
  4. were learning

9) This purchase __________ a poor decision if it had been made for investment purposes only.

  1. would have been
  2. would be
  3. may be
  4. was

10) If he had taken this particular train as was arranged for him in the original itinerary, he ________ on time for the meeting.

  1. arrives
  2. was arriving
  3. would have arrived
  4. arrived

YouTube

PDF

Conditionals

Traveling + Fitness Goals = Malaysia/Singapore Spartan Is On The Board!

There’s been some hard decision-making going on my end, but I’m finally kicking off my travels this year with a minor bang.

Like I told you in the beginning with my blog, outlining the possible scenarios of traveling….it’s now evident that I will do a small travel at this juncture of the year, basically due to the fact that work is fluctuating like crazy at the moment.

Since I got some excellent feedback with crazy jobs, big projects and not quitting my main job (fully), I decided to go through with it.

I stated that I would be completing the trifecta this year in Spartan: sprint, super and beast being the races I would need to compete in to obtain that unique medal.

So, if I can take a pre-workout with the sprint in Malaysia/Singapore come March/April, compete in the Super with a massive team in May, and top if off with the Beast in Australia come November = WIN!

Now that I’ll be on a visa that enables me to travel every 2-3 months, I have even more opportunities to visit the likes of Jakarta, Bali (against), and hopefully fulfill that fantasy of doing a Tedx in Morocco later on this year.

The Problem

Airlines going to and from both KL and Singapore are infamous.  Air Asia, being a low-budget airline, forces passengers to pay for extra luggage.  Not only that, this airport is no longer in the vicinity where I live.  I would have to trek to northern Bangkok, stay at a hotel in the weeeee hours of the morning, then check in at 5:30am.  That’s a pain in the ass.  Furthermore, I have to pay for luggage and fly to the dog-house (KLIA 2 – the airport that smells like URINE – LOL).

If I go to Singapore, I can fly with scoot, who’s known for cancelling flights (like Australia’s Tiger Asia).  I get free baggage, but I might not get there.  Plane tickets are around the same cost….but Singapore’s hotels are more expensive, and the day of the race requires me taking a train and a cable car to Sentosa Island, something I seriously don’t want to do after a race.

So with the ridiculous but manageable problems, I decided to make a podcast that was just about everywhere in terms of information and throwing my arms in the air.

Podcast

https://www.spreaker.com/user/thearseniobuckshow/traveling-fitness-goals-malaysia-singapo

 

TOEIC: Incomplete Sentences + Text Completion

Welcome back to a full-on blog and episode (in the YouTube video down below) about the two areas of grammar that’s features on the TOEIC test.

Without further ado – let’s get into it.

Directions: Select the best answer to complete the sentence. 

  1. The Stock Market falls when the unemployment rate ____________.
  1. will rise
  2. rises
  3. risen
  4. have risen

2. The company plans to issue ____________ for the first time next quarter.

  1. divide
  2. dividends
  3. divisive
  4. divider

3. Hix & Co. will announce sales figures from the last quarter which __________ expected to be low.

  1. will
  2. is
  3. are
  4. were

4. It is up to the head of the division to use the ___________ funds.

  1. discretionary
  2. discreet
  3. discretion
  4. discreetly

5. His budget always tends to be ____________, which protects his department from unexpected costs.

  1. inflation
  2. inflationary
  3. inflate
  4. inflated

Text Completion

Park, Lee and Associates started as ______6_____ two-person firm more than 75 years ago and has grown into South Korea’s largest Independent Certified Public Accounting firm.  _____7______ got that way by focusing on the special needs of our clients.   

We always put the client first.  We offer traditional accounting services such as audit and tax services.  We also act as consultants and can provide a number of new, innovative services such as fund start-up services. 

We help business owners save money and protect themselves from risk.  we help individuals protect ____8____ assets, plan for the future, and minimise taxes.

____9____ services set us apart from other firms.

6) a, one, this, the

7) They, She, We, It

8) our, her, its, their

9) this, that, these, the

 

YouTube

PDF

TOEIC- Incomplete Sentences + Text – PDF

TOEIC – Incomplete Sentences #5 + Podcast + YouTube Video

Welcome back to another edition of incomplete sentences.  If I’m not mistaking, this could be the very first blog I’ve written along with the YouTube video and Podcast for Incomplete Sentences.

Anyhow, here’s a breakdown of gerunds.

Gerunds are verbs in their base form + -ing, e.g. doing. Infinitives are verbs in their base form + to, e.g. to do.

Short Exercise

Match the sentences (a-f) with the rules down below. 

a. That will give us more time to go running.

b. I’d be interested in finding a new pair of shoes.

c. I don’t like doing homework.

d. I think cleaning will change over the next few decades.

e. You use a fridge to keep your food chilled.

f. That’s easy to fix. 

Rules

  1. We use the infinitive/gerund after prepositions (except to)
  2. We use the infinitive/gerund immediately after adjectives.
  3. We use the infinitive/gerund with go to talk about physical activities.
  4. We use the infinitive/gerund after verbs of liking or disliking (except would like).
  5. We use the infinitive/gerund to explain why we do something.
  6. We use the infinitive/gerund as the subject or object of the sentence.

 

TOEIC EXERCISE

  1. Although I advised her to go by train, she decided _____________ instead. 

A) drive     B) to drive     C) driving     D) drove

 

      2. He was out when I called, but the receptionist kindly offered _________ a message for me.

A) to take       B) taken     C) took      D) taking

 

3. It appears that our competitors are considering ____________ our takeover proposal. 

A) to accept     B) accept     C) accepting     D) accepted

 

     4. When buying a new car, it is advisable to __________ the best deal you can find. 

A) go through     B) look for    C) get into     D) fill out

  • If you take a look at the sentence, what verb in the answers is closely related to the word “find?”

 

 5. We are ___________ on you to make a good impression at the conference next month.

A) taking    B) counting    C) putting     D) picking

 

 6. After waiting for more than thirty minutes for my entree to arrive, I asked __________to the manager.

A) speak    B) speaking    C) spoken    D) to speak

 

Podcast Link 

https://www.spreaker.com/e/DNmcCSXeUJ8

 

YouTube Video