Friday, December 9, 2011

Hong Kong for Cheap!- A guide

Hong Kong, Asia's world city. How am I possibly going to get by on this city on a dollar and a dream? Don't worry friends it can be done! Compared to other Asian countries, Hong Kong is expensive but no where near Japan expensive. Expect to pay more for accommodation as the hostels here are pretty infamous for being atrocious. HK likes to lean toward the high roller but that doesn't mean you can't find options. I recommend renting an apt for a week as this often cheaper than a hotel or couch surfing in HK, as it has a pretty large community and they aren't pervs or serial killers. Most of the couch surfing homes in HK, including yours truly are traveler who rent their couch out to a stranger just for the sake of getting to know a new friend. (And possibly crash with them later when they travel to their side of the world.)
It may look expensive, but you can do it for cheap!

There are plenty things to do in Hong Kong for free or cheap. You can do SOOOO much more than shopping! (Although, the shopping is pretty damn good.)

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Artist of the Month- Simon Grunberger

This months' Artist of the Month is relatively new to the HK acting community. Here's a little chance to get to know him better. You may have seen him in Coffee and Cigarettes in October. He is a special actor in Hong Kong that is bi-lingual and most of all a nice person!
His self portrait...

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Review- Address Unknown- Hong Kong Microfest

"I have to go home and think whether I like the characters or not."- Tom, Over 50
"A striking balance between good/bad, right/wrong"- Amanda, 40
"Thoroughly enjoyed it."- Adam
"Fantastic piece of writing, handled well."- Paul
Tickets still available, get em while they last!
Based on the short novella by American author Kathrine Kressman Taylor, Dunlop's play addresses the issue of the rise of the Nazi occupation in Germany through a series of letters between two childhood friends. One is living in Germany and one in the US. Both are in the art dealing world; oh and the one in the US is a Jew. Giles Burton's company took it upon themselves to bring this horrifying (but in a good way) script to the stage at the McAulay this week. If you don't have tickets yet, get them! I highly recommend this piece to any one with teens, or teachers who are looking for a piece to supplement their syllabus. This is an excellent piece for young adults to see as it doesn't have any cursing, sex jokes and is about an important moment in history that all kids need to learn about in an accessible way.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

A Conversation with Candice Moore

I was going to go see Iron directed by the delightful, Candice Moore. I always adore her work as a fellow female director so I was totally bummed when I got a migraine and couldn't attend! Again, very sorry!
Candice was really nice and totally took an interview with me anyway. Thanks again!

Iron by Rona Munro debuted at the McAuley. You can find out more about her work at her website, Sweet and Sour productions.

A Midsummer Night's Dream- Review- Theatron

"Can we go home? I'm bored!" Boy sitting in front of Matthew, Age Unknown.
"I enjoy the audience interactions." Daisy, 14.
"I like Mr. Bottom because he's very funny." Amber, 6.
"The rhythms are being thrown off by some of the artistic choices with the slow motion and movement. I'm sure it's a directorial choice, but I don't know what it means and I'm all about the text."- Edward, old as dirt.
"I don't understand it, but the dog was very cute."- Sasa, 20.
Tickets are still available to the Sunday evening performance of Midsummer.

Shakespeare is hard on an artist! I give any actor, designer or director serious props for taking on the beast that is the Bard. Any opportunity we have as a community to show off our chops on what is considered a classic is time well spent and the more audience members we can introduce to the classics, I feel, is the better. Now, let's get down to brass tacks.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

5 ways to be an artist and NOT live in a cardboard box

There are some majors that you can pick in college that come with a free cardboard box for you to live in after you graduate. These are known as the "useless" majors that free spirited minds get for the love and not for silly things like money or food. There was a recent poll in the Huffington Post about the 5 least paying college majors: 5) Art History 4) Philosophy/ Religion 3) Communications 2) English 1) Theatre/Film/Dance

Now, I am here to tell you there is a way you can get that Theatre degree and live a decent lifestyle. Yes, it takes hard work and maybe compromising some of your "ideals" you learned in that fancy school of yours but you can do what you love for a salary.

5) Have two jobs
I know, this idea SUCKS! But a lot of people do a normal 9-5 day job and then spend their nights doing what they really love. Paid theatre and art gigs are rare in this economy particularily for actors so make sure you have a secondary skill like sound engineering, lighting design, stage management or wardrobe. These positions come paid more often then acting or directing. I have friends who are baristas, waiters, data processors and retail slaves during the day and then artists by night. It's a bit like being a superhero. You are under appreciated for your skills and have to realize that you will never get full credit for all the hard work you do for your craft.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Artist of the Month- November- Giles Burton

Our November Artist of the Month is Giles Burton. He is the Artistic Director of the HK Microfest. You can see his work later this month with Address Unkown, Nov 22 - 26 at 8.00pm, Nov 27 (Sun) at 3:00pm at the McAuley in Wanchai!
You can get more info about the microfest and Giles' work in HK at

Friday, October 28, 2011

New Feature- Artist of the Month

We at HKarts want to know more about the pieces that make our community so great! If you like to be featured as a local artist of the month please let me know. All styles and mediums welcome. (Even performance artists... Yeah, I said it.)

If you are selected as an artist of the month, please fill out the questionare below and PM it back to me with an avant guarde self portrait.

1. Name, Birthplace, Age
2. How does where you were raised affect your work?
3. Where did you train?
4. What is your favorite style of (insert appropriate medium here)? Why?
5. What was the best show you EVER saw?
6. What was the best show in HK you EVER saw? (You cannot say your own.)
7.What piece of work are you the most proud of? (please include photo, if possible)
8. What is your process like?
9. What is your dream project?
10. If you could change one thing about the art scene in HK, what would it be?

Why Local is Better than Tours

When you go grocery shopping you are encouraged to buy local as it is better for the environment. It should be the same for art. Local art is greener because we don't have to fly the entire cast and crew in from god knows where to only fly them out a week later. It's not that I'm against tours completely, I have been known to book out 10 events at HKart fest. I just think that we as a community should always try and buy local before buying tour tickets.

Also, if you look at the homepage of Timeout HK, ten shows are featured as editor's picks. 8 of them are tours. How do they know the touring show is better than the local one man show? They don't. They haven't seen it and they may have seen youtube clips (of the famous world premiere cast), but other than that they have no way to judge the quality of the tour. 

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Review- Coffee and Cigarettes- Aurora Theatre

 *This post is written by Guest Blogger and Reviewer, Becky Proudfoot. Only the typos and not the content have been changed by the editor, Meaghan McGurgan*

“Coffee and cigarettes – a series of short plays united by two common pleasures”  – exactly what it says on the tin.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Playwrights wanted!

10 Playwrights wanted for world premiere 10 minute play festival called "I "Heart" Hong Kong"

Must write a ten minute play about the experience of living/experiencing Hong Kong.
In the same vein as Paris J'Taime or New York, I love You the work is to be overall positive and talk about things we love about our fair city. (But don't make them fluffy, just because something is positive doesn't mean it ignores important issues.) Ten minute dance pieces/performance art are welcome but some visual representation must be submitted for proposal.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Review- I love you, you're perfect, now change! Hong Kong Singers

There are scripts in this world that cannot be ruined unless you butcher them. I love you, you're perfect is one of the most hilarious musicals to be written recently and is very loved by the theatre community. For it's accurate and yet hysterical view of men, women and love. Hong Kong Singers chose this as their next show, after producing big budget shows like Oliver and Millie in recent years I give them credit for going back to simplicity. It really showed a different side of them and was a nice showcase of good quality acting and singing in Hong Kong.

Directed by Wendy Herbert she took a really simple approach to directing the piece which I think was excellent. It was beautifully staged and I really enjoyed the black/white grey concept to the show. The pops of red that would show up occasionally were nice highlights to specific moments. Thanks to Marion McDonald for wearing the red lacy number. You made my night girl!

The cast was very talented, genuine, believable and most of all likable! We were rooting them on in all their situations and they seamless changed characters throughout the night. Serious props to the Matthews. (Both of them.) Matthew Gillespie's, The Tear Jerker and Matthew Collingwood's Baby's Parent's numbers were two of the best of the night.

Overall, I believe that the women were better singers but the men were really good at the acting side of things. I enjoyed the various shapes, sizes and ethnicity in the casting. I didn't quite understand why there was a cast of 7. Typically, I love you is done with a cast of 6. I thought maybe it had something to do with the availability of the actor's for rehearsals as one of the actors (Paul Hay) seemed to be in significantly less numbers than the rest of the cast.

Technically it was a good show. There were a few complaints from audience members about the speakers being too loud. Most of the audience members were older than 40 I would like to point out. All of us that own ipods were like, yeah!, crank it up bitches!!!!!
My only technical qualm was Daniel Cheong's makeup. It was signicantly heavier than the rest of the casts and his lips looked super feminine. He should have gone with a lighter color or something a little less shiny. An easy mistake to make, it's a small theatre space and you have to have a gentle hand with the blush brush.

Overall a great show! So happy I got a ticket as the thing sold out super fast! If you have a chance to steals someone's ticket for tonight or go to the bonus performance in DB you should. It's a great show with really talented people who were obviously working up a sweat on stage!
Grade- A+
(Great script, great actors, simple and not over fussed with. Perfection~!)

Review- The Bridge (El Puente)- Stylus Theatre

"Surprisingly Real"- Andrea, 17
"I think I'm too hung over for this play..."- Anonymous Expat

The Bridge is the English premiere of Spanish poet, Jose Sevilla. He has lived in Hong Kong for several years but still loves to write about his homeland. The Bridge was his first foray into the playwriting world, it was first scene in Spanish at the Teatro Sala Muntaner Festival in 2000. I was told in college by a very wise professor that as an artist you need to see one play, see one movie or read a book every month or you're going to become a bad artist. I have not had the opportunity to see Spanish Theatre before. (Zorro does NOT count, sadly.) Spanish theatre is pretty much overlooked in the American Education system: we are taught about Lorca, Arebal and the almighty, Lope de Vega. But otherwise it's ignored. (Which I don't think is really fair, but I'm guessing it has something to do with the readability of credible translations in English.)

Monday, August 29, 2011

Kawaii Korner

While in Osaka, the one thing everyone kept telling me to go see was the Osaka Aquarium. I am a bit of a pessimist because the Atlanta Aquarium where I hail from is the BEST in the world and I was skeptic to think that any aquarium could be as awesome as mine. But, I decided the best thing I could do for research's sake is compare and contrast them!
Me and my new Whale Shark boyfriend!
The Osaka Aquarium is the only aquarium in the world (other than Atlanta) to host Whale Sharks. The largest shark in the world, it is a vegetarian and super cute because it is covered in polka dots. And any respectable girl loves a pattern on an animal!
The Osaka Eye

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Fireworks and Fukushima

After my second day in Kyoto our entire hostel went off to the firework festival. When asking why this festival was happening the answer our host was, "It's summer and fireworks are fun." Reasonable answer, silly me for thinking all festivals have to have a deeper meaning. I must have been living in China for far too long.

We get to the metro to take the train to the festival and the train is SUPER crowded! We are so packed in there that is getting to point of ridiculous. There are many girls in beautiful kimonos and wooden shoes and I couldn't help but feel bad for them. I had a great conversation with a hot guy in a yukata and his very nice girl friend. Here's how it went.
First a little background info, before we started talking he got a text message and read it out loud to his girlfriend. What I heard : "Japanese, Japanese.... I want you, I need you." Girlfriend giggles and hits him.

I have to stand very close to him and say, "Gomen, nasai."
He says. "okay."
"My japanese is terrible."- me
"I speak no English."- him
"I want you, I need you."- me
Girlfriend giggles!!!!!
"Segoi!!!" -him
"Arigato." -me

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Photos of Journies

I made myself pick one photo representative of each country I visited. I am working on a photo exhibit.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Learning by Getting Lost

It's certainly Sesame Street colored!
On day two of my Japan journey I had to hit most of Kyoto in one day. Kyoto is a pretty easy city to walk. Since, I went to bed pretty early the night before I got up at 6 am on my own accord and took off on foot to find Sanjusanjendo Temple in Kyoto. This is the most famous temple in Kyoto for several reasons.
1) It is one of the oldest and most holy places in the city.
2) It is the site of the Toshiya archery contest (where the Japanese version of the Robin Hood legend was born.)
3) It is the temple in "Big Bird goes to Japan" where Barkley was scared of the statues and ran away.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Japan, Aisheteru!

For my birthday this year I gave myself a trip to Japan. I have always wanted to go since I was five years old and saw the PBS special "Big Bird goes to Japan".  In this special he started out in Tokyo and got lost from his tour, then he meets a beautiful woman whom helps him get to Kyoto and then to Osaka to take his flight home on the 15th. So for my trip the number one priority was to go to Kyoto. The easiest way to get there is from Osaka airport. From there you take the JR line to Osaka and then switch to the Kyoto line. This will take you about an hour and a half to do. Thankfully, Air India fed me on the plane and was able to make this journey without my stomach falling out. I have a feeling that a lot of people would be dying of hunger by the time they got to Kyoto.
My first kimono sightings at the shrine

Friday, July 1, 2011

Free tickets to We Won't Pay!

I have some free tickets to We Won't Pay! this weekend at the McAuley in Wanchai.
I have 2 for Saturday night 7/2 at 8pm and 2 for Sunday at 3pm 7/3.
Bring a donation to the food drive, if you want to be nice! But otherwise they are completely free!
Leave a comment and the tickets are YOURS!


Sunday, June 26, 2011

We Won't Pay! We Won't Pay! COMING THIS WEEK!

The Italy Quality and Lifestyle festival present's Dario Fo's We Won't Pay! We Won't Pay! this week! Dario Fo is a Nobel prize winning author from Italy whose work is highly praised for using the clown to highlight human rights and political issues in our modern times. In the case of this play he is talking about hunger issues and the rights of the common man. What's to happen to our society when we we're working really hard but we can still not afford to pay our rent, bills and feed ourselves? Are we to take the matters into our own hands and fend for ourselves or are we to allow the government to take care of us and reform the situation that is broken?
The awesome cast of We Won't Pay!
Fo's political views are always some what controversial. He is very liberal to the point of being a socialist and he does not shy away from shouting his views from the roof top. He loves the proletariat and often makes him the star of his work and the unsung hero who is struggling to make his way in the world.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Review- Luxuria

I stopped by Drop on Friday night to see a cabaret show presented by friends called Luxuria. I love European style cabaret. I spent some time in Paris in the cabarets (avoiding the expensive ones in Mont marte) and I love some Liza so I knew this was a show built for someone like me.
La Chiquitta returns!

Review- Oriano Galloni- Silent Soul

Oriano Galloni's Silent Soul was part of the Italy Quality and Lifestyle Festival that is being presented in Hong Kong this month. It was presented at the Koru Gallery in Aberdeen. It was a little bit out of the way for most Hong Kongers but I live on the south side in Pok Fu Lam, so the location of the gallery didn't bother me to much.
I like when galleries are chosen to be out in more spacious areas because it allows the gallery owner and the artists to typically bring in bigger pieces. No offense to the galleries in Soho, but they are very restricting in size and they limit the type of art that can be brought in due to the small sizes of the galleries. And you can only look at landscapes so much.
The artists at Koru Gallery

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Review- Four Scenes of the World

On May 29th I was invited to attend a showing of Four Scenes of the World by my friend and co-worker Alex Campion. It was presented by PressedON Theatre and all the proceeds benefited a charity called the Bethune House. I am all for cheap, accessible, charity driven drama so I brought down my cast from our rehearsal to see the show. I had a somewhat visceral reaction to the whole thing but it took me a couple days to figure out why this show affected me so greatly.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Packing/Dressing for an ESL Job in HK- A guide

I have been a Children's Theatre director/ ESL through Drama teacher for over three years now. I love Hong Kong and my job. Every year is slightly different, the students are always changing, I get to work on about 10 productions a year just through my job. Something I know a lot of women struggle with when they move here is what to pack and what to wear. There are clothes here that you can never get away with wearing unless you're out for a club night at LKF, this is due to conservative feelings towards showing a woman's collar bone and cleavage here. Most companies and schools have rules barring against cleavage, exposed shoulders and collar bones. When you have reasonably sized tatas as I do, finding shirts that don't show your bra or cleavage can be more challenging.

Review- Pink Dolphin Watching

One of the things I have been wanting to do in Hong Kong for a while but have been waiting to do with someone special was go pink dolphin watching. My mother's visit seemed like the perfect time to partake in this unique Hong Kong experience. The Hong Kong Dolphin Watch is a non-profit organization that gives people a unique view of this endangered animal and supports the pro dolphin legislation in Hong Kong.

Beautiful pinkies on our tour!

Friday, June 3, 2011

We Won't Pay! We Won't Pay! June 29-July 3rd

My newest show is coming to Hong Kong and opening at the end of July. It was produced with the Italian Chamber of Commerce for Hong Kong and Macau and the production manager is Joni Griffin whom you've had read so much about. It opens on Wednesday at 8pm and closes on the Sunday matinee at 3pm. Would love to have all my blog readers attend! It is a great show that talks about hunger issues, middle class rebellion, working hard and barely getting by in hard economic times. Very poignant for today's society despite the fact it was written in the seventies. It was written by Nobel Prize winning author, Dario Fo who won his prize for projecting the ancient clown into modern politics without losing any of the gags for sake of political message. He makes us laugh and he makes us think.

Monday, May 16, 2011

5 Things I Miss- The update

My first post about the things I missed about America was written about three years ago and posted here from my old blog. I've realized over the past three years the things I miss has evolved in some respects. (Others, no... Give me my free refill!) Here is the updated Things I Miss from America list.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

5 backpacker essentials for beginners

Your first backpacking trip you may not know what exactly to bring. I have a kit that I pack every time I go somewhere. I am known as the friend you take traveling who has a backpack like Mary Poppin's bag. Example: a friend broke their shoe on a trip; out I pull super glue and a safety pin. The perfect fix for a broken flip flop! A friend's strap breaks on their bag. Out comes my tiny sewing kit and magical sewing fingers. Now, I do have a bag that is significantly heavier than some peoples. I pack WAY too many clothes because I never know what activities I'm going to do on a trip. (And I'm a girl.) But I typically find that I do use everything I bring and I pick up more supplies on the way, if needed. Most countries have maps at the airport of the public transit systems or city streets: pick one up on the way so you can make the most of your trip. (Or bring that tattered Lonely Planet with you!)

Friday, May 6, 2011

Review- The House of Dancing Water

I was very happy to see The House of Dancing Water on my last trip to Macau. It is infamous for being the most expensive show in Asian History with a budget of over 2 BILLION HK dollars to produce. Created by Franco Dragone; one of the founders of Cirque du Soleil; it is a true spectacle to see. If you want to see a show with a lot of sparkles, shebang and wow factor this is definitely a show for you! Kids seem truly captivated by it when the watch it and it has no foul language so I think it's appropriate for children as young as 5. (They won't understand the sex slave, S&M feel to one of the aerial ballets. They'll just think the girls are really mean and those poor boys are being beaten around!)

We paid to have the expensive seats in the house, one because the cheap seats were sold out and two because we didn't want to get wet. If you sit in the front 2 rows of the stage it is a splash zone much like seeing Shamoo at Seaworld. Bring an umbrella or a plastic sheet to wrap around you and your little ones, or just dress in clothes that dry easy.

There is a lot of artistry in this production. I really like the east meets west feel of the design. It kind of flips between a traditional Chinese architecture and clothing and the Baroque Architecture from the 16th century. The overall feel of the piece is opposites: Ying/Yang, Love/Hate, East/West. It is very simple to understand and there is no talking in the piece. (There are sound effects made by clowns.) Anyone no matter the age or the language barrier can understand the story (what little there is).
The pool with the cover over it


Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Mommy in Macau- prt. 2

We will now diverge into our eating, relaxing and museum portion of the blog. My mom and I went to Macau for a ladies of luxury weekend over Easter where we stayed in a very nice room, ate lots of food and lounged in an amazing bathtub. Let's breakdown the Hotel more for you. I have already talked about the great price and the great staff but let's talk about the room and the food! After all that's the most important parts!
There is gold leaf on my lollipop and I am going to eat it! I feel so filthy rich!

Monday, May 2, 2011

Losing My Religion- Top 5 Temples and Churches of Macau

I don't like labels but I love a pretty church or temple and appreciate the dedication it takes someone to be religious. I myself consider myself to be spiritual but do not define myself into one religious box. It's far too easy for me to do that. People are people and we all want the same things. Different cultures create religions to answer the same set of questions all humans have. So why can't they be the same thing? 

Macau is a great example of a town that is equally mixed, East meets West. You can eat traditional Portuguese and have dim sum all in the same town. I like the fact that Macau has held onto it's history unlike Hong Kong which tears down anything over 50 years for the sake of "progress". And yes, there are some parts of Macau that could use some improvements but their love for their heritage is something to be admired. The Portuguese owned Macau until 1999 so it's just passed it's ten year anniversary underneath the banner of mainland China. They speak Cantonese and Portuguese in Macau. You will be hard pressed to find a taxi driver with great English skills and the buses are only Portuguese and Chinese so make sure you are paying attention and have your map handy. A lot of mainland tourists come over so in the past ten years there has been a huge improvement in those who speak Mandarin in Macau. All the Casinos have English speaking staff because of the tourists from Hong Kong so you'll know you'll have no problems once you enter the casino world.

On our historical tour of Macau, we did a church and temple tour. This is because I love to see Unesco Heritage Sites and Macau has many churches and temples with Unesco stamps on them. Seeing the equal appearance of catholic, and buddhist worship centers it really showed you the east meets west vibe of the city. Here are the top churches and temples we went to. (In no particular order.) I would also like to point out that we were there on Easter weekend which meant we got to see a lot of pilgrimages and it seemed super appropriate to see the religious part of town on this weekend.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Mommy in Macau- prt. 1

The highpoint of my mother's trip was taking her to Macau for a ladies of luxury weekend. I have been to Macau on a couple of occasions but it seems every time I go my friends are not too interested in sightseeing, more interested in partying. Or, I get a friend who is into sightseeing and we get stuck with the worst weather and get stuck indoors. Not that all my Macau experiences have been bad, (GAGA!!!) but Macau and mine's relationship was rather mixed until after this trip. I was given a discount rate at the Grand Hyatt Hotel because we were going to go see The House of Dancing Water at the City of Dreams. We knocked about 1,000 MOP off our room, got free breakfast at the brilliant Mezza9 resteraunt and  got to see the show for free. (A pretty good bargain, but it was still 2,000 MOP.)

I am not doing this in order of what we saw and when we saw it but in an order that makes sense geographically. I have provided a map of Macau for your convenience.

Macau has 3 sections: Macau (where most of the touristy things are), Taipa (where the casinos are) and Coloane which is the sea side area which is similar to Hk's New Territories. Here is a map for your convenience. You can take buses to all the touristy areas from the ferry port and then try to figure out the portuguese writing. Most of the casinos in Taipa have free buses from the ferry port to their location. Also at our hotel they had a free shuttle bus to other points like the airport, china border and the lotus bridge. You can also taxi to an area where there are many things to see, walk around a lot and then take a taxi to the next major destination that is not walkable. Taxis are cheaper in Macau then they are in HK and MAJORLY cheaper than any taxi you will find in the USA. It is really easy to walk in Macau but there are a lot of cobblestones so watch those ankles!!!

The hotel was pretty swanky and they treated us really well. Everyone was really nice and they had staff members that spoke almost every language in the books. The people behind us were from India and even though they spoke English they had someone come out and speak to them in their native language. (How cool is that?!)Unless you speak a really obscure language their staff has it covered they had staff from France, Germany, Holland, America, China, Hong Kong, Macau, Dubai and many other places.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Thirty Years Ago

My mother went to the Peninsula Hotel for High Tea with my father thirty years ago on her first trip to Hong Kong. She told me about it as a child and described the hotel to me as a child. So on her trip she had a list of things that she did thirty years ago that she wanted to do again.
High Tea at the Peninsula Hotel with Mommy (before the incident)

Monday, April 18, 2011

Planning a visit for someone Else!

I don't know about you. But I find that planning a visit for someone when they are coming to see you is much more stressful than doing your own visit. I am a very relaxed traveller. I go where I want when I want. I am one of those people who wanders and then makes sure she has a hostel booked because I don't want to end up homeless on the road. (My biggest fear is having no where to sleep. My first night in Paris was AWFUL because of this mishap. COLD!)

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Review- Konzert de Solidez- City Singers

I'm a bad bad artist.... I admit it, I have a problem. I really don't like classical music. I've tried, I swear! My mother and sisters were all classical musicians and I had a very short/angry relationship with a trombone when I was 11. I think I could still bust out "The Muppet Show" theme on it if I tried! But here's the thing, I like reinvented classical music- you know the kind you can dance too! Or I like pop songs turned into classical music, also you can dance to it. (Can you see a pattern?) But I cannot sit through a chamber music concert without becoming a bad, bad girl...
A fun evening with great local musicians!

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Review- Momix Dance Theatre

The last show of my Hong Kong Arts Festival adventure was a night with the Momix Dance Theatre: Momix reMix. The Momix show was a collection of their greatest hits arranged into a two hour piece. Momix was founded by Moses Pendleton who was one of the founding members of Pilobolus Dance Theatre in the seventies. Momix was founded by him in 1980. Momix has been featured on PBS several times on various dance presents specials.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Finding a Job in theatre

I'm looking for theatre jobs, as a yearly ritual.
I hate how difficult our buisness is!
The economy just made it worse!

Saturday, March 19, 2011

5 Symbols of Hong Kong

Hong Kong is one of the most known cities in the world. It has been made famous in literature and famous photographs. It is the perfect mixture of tradition and modernism in a city. You will see a temple sitting next to a sky scraper. I make this post about 5 symbols of Hong Kong. Things we see and automatically put with our city! Some of new and some are old. But overall they make up the tapestry of our city and I love them for many different reasons.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Top 5 Foods of Hong Kong

The best thing about living in Hong Kong is the food! Cantonese food is really delicious and unique to this area.  I was not a huge fan of Chinese Food in the US, it always gave me a headache and made me feel bad. Probably, because of the MSG used in American Chinese resteraunts.
But when I came to Hong Kong I learned to LOVE Chinese Food. I will never go back to over salted General Tsao's chicken again! In case you want to take a food tour of HK, I demand you try and eat all of these to have the full experience.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Review- Carnations- Pina Bausch

"I am not interested in how people move, but what moves them."- Pina Bausch

The men jumped and lept like bunnies within the field, until they were told to stop by a societal figure.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

A Guide to Mardi Gras

I lived in Lousisiana for two years in Grad school. Best thing about living in Louisiana is the food AND the fact we get a week off in February to celebrate Mardi Gras. Mardi Gras or Fat Tuesday is a holiday that is derived from the French Carnivale. It happens on the eve before Ash Wednesday which is the beginning of Lent for all Catholics. Because Catholics must abstain from pleasures during Lent, Mardi Gras is an evening where one is supposed to revel in pleasure (because you're about to give something up.) A lot of people forget that Mardi Gras is a religous based holiday and it only has such as large base in New Orleans due to the fact that a large population of New Orleans is still Catholic.

Mardi Gras is some form or another is also celebrated in Belgium, Amsterdam and Italy with their traditional Carnivales which happen at a similar time. There is also gay Mardi Gras in Sydney, Australia where they take the day of Mardi Gras and use it as a venue for their yearly Gay Pride festival. 


Top 5 Tourist Moments in Paris

I have yet to do my guide to sightseeing Paris fully. I have talked about the museums, my trip to Versailles, my eating; but I have yet to do the tourist guide to Paris. I have wondered why for a very long time. I loved my trip to Paris, I should want to talk about it. Then, it hit me that it is difficult to write about sightseeing in Paris because it's not a very touristy town. My trip to Paris was about experiences and not so much about making sure to get my picture in front of the Eiffel Tower. My camera even died the last day of the trip so I am missing pictures of some key Paris landmarks such as Coco Chanel's staircase to her apartment and my trip to the Catacombs of Paris. So, I'm going to try and do my sightseeing guide to Paris.

I will be ranking these according to "must see" sights of the city, convenience, enjoyment of the whole family and popularity. The Louvre for example I would think is a must see for Paris but will not be on this list because it's a museum not a sight seeing destination.

One of the last pictures I got before my camera died! Merde!

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Aurora Theatre- Glengarry Glen Ross- Fringe Club

Fringe Club, 8pm, March 15-19. Matinee on the Saturday! Not appropriate for small children...

Top 5 Cupcakes in Hong Kong

Like all good Americans I believe the cupcake to be the perfect dessert. It is supposed to be sweet and creamy with a touch of whimsy that perfectly fits in your hand. In Hong Kong the search for a girl's perfect cupcake is a very personal ones as different people have different needs in their cupcakes. Some people like toppings, some people like tons of frosting and some people want modern flavored cupcakes!

Being a Georgia girl I love red velvet cake so the number one cupcake goes to the bakery with the best red velvet in town!
Red Velvet Cupcakes! GIMME!

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Review- 108 Heroes- Shanghai Theatre Academy

A reinterpretation of the classic Chinese story
When I go to a Hong Kong Arts Festival Show I go with expectations. They are supposed to be the best of the best from all over the world. My roomie Michael and I saw the ads for 108 Heroes: Tales of the Water Margin online when we bought our tickets through pre-sales. It was advertised as a kung fu, rock/roll infused Peking-rock opera. Having seen Peking Opera and Canto Opera before I was excited to see a modern style opera as the traditional ones aren't particularly my style of theatre to enjoy. I wouldn't say that 108 Heroes was a bad show, it just wasn't great... And when I spend money on HKAF tickets I want to see great shows.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Review- Being Harold Pinter- Belarus Free Theatre

The characters are trapped! Very 6 character in search for an author!
Belarus Free Theatre was founded in 2005 by playwright  Mikalai Khalezin, created under a dictatorship everything about their work is daring and about performing as if they will be shot the next day for their work. They create with abandon and with a reckless style which is beautiful and sad at the same time. The performance of Being Harold Pinter was an original work of the Belarus Theatre in tribute to their patron Harold Pinter. It is a collection of monologues and ten minute plays written by Pinter put together with his Nobel Prize Speech for Literature and some letters from some Belarusian prisoners.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Deer Theatre's Frozen

Fellow bloggers can attend for free on March 30th at 8pm! Message me for details

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Review- The Threepenny Opera- Robert Wilson

The Brothel Scene in Act Two, The red boards continued to rise over the course of 10 minutes.
This week I saw the greatest show I have ever seen and I didn't understand a single word of it. My roomie Michael and I went and saw Robert Wilson's The Threepenny Opera at HK Arts Festival. Performed by the Berliner Ensemble, uncut, in the original German it was one of the most visually stunning productions I have ever had the pleasure of seeing.  The only negative thing about it was it took two hours for the first intermission to come and I really had to pee by the end of it! Some audience members simply didn't have the stamina for a 3 1/2 hours of German, avant guarde theatre and left! We stuck it out though and were rewarded with an experience theatrically we will never forget!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

HK Arts Festival

Hk Arts festival happens every year in Hong Kong. It is my favorite time of year because I can see brilliant productions in many languages and expose myself to as many different types of theatre as I can in a month.

Are any of you going to the Arts Festival in Hong Kong?
Or do you hit a theatre festival every year?

This Year's Productions
1. Robert Wilson's "Three Penny" SOOOO Excited!
2. Pina Bausch production
3. A Kung Fu/ Hip Hop Fusion piece
4. Belaruz Avant Guarde Theatre
5. Beijing Ballet
6. Powerplant Visual Art production- more performance art which I typically hate but I'm going to try again.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011


For my fellow travellers and artists who are in on the social media thang (mispelled on purpose). Runaway Juno finally convinced me to join Twitter.
So Twat me, Fools!
@mmcgurgan on twitter

Monday, February 21, 2011

5 Things That Defined Growing Up McGurgan

I love my family. My mother was an incredible woman with amazing strength, patience and love to be able to raise three girls the way she did under the odds she did. My Mom is tough and made me like and respect being the presence of strong women. Growing up in the McGurgan house is something I look back fondly to. I was never lonely as a child because I always had my sisters around. I never felt unloved by my mom and therefore never felt that desire to rage against the machine as so many teenagers like to do so. We are not your typical Southern American home by any standards. Not a single one of us played soccer (the closest we got to sports in our house was my little sister doing competitive gymnastics and my older sister being a JV cheerleader. I never even got close to anything competitive other than public speaking and debate. I'm probably one of the least coordinated, least sports enthused people in the universe! Our house was a place of art and international culture. And in a tiny town like Griffin: it made growing up McGurgan a pretty unique thing.

Mouse Shaped Food and Fun

My friend Juno had never been to Hong Kong Disneyland before. This as an American child was shocking to me, Disney world vacations went hand in hand with my childhood memories. I remember fondly going to both the California Park and the Florida Park on several occasions. Florida is superior because it has Epcot and my family is an Epcot family. But I know some families aren't...
Juno enjoying her ride in a space ship in Tomorrow Land!

Sunday, February 20, 2011

5 Reasons to Work Abroad

One of the best decisions I ever made as an artist was deciding to work abroad, I had originally made this decision strictly because it offered me more money and health insurance. (BONUS!) But as I come upon my third year in Hong Kong as a teacher I have found that living and working abroad has shaped me as an artist as much as university did. I miss my mother and my sisters every day; and I wish I could be closer to them but taking this step to work independantly and create art in a culture completely different then my own was one of my best decisions.

5 Things I Miss About America

Cue the music from West Side story! It's true I am one of those crazy Americans who admits that some countries are superior to us in some ways. But I do love my home nation, and some times I miss things about it! Mainly, I miss my mother but she's only a phone call a way. Here is a list of things that this expat misses about the "home of the free and home of the brave".

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Traveling with Medical Needs

I am not your average backpacker who feels this need to live off the land. I don't go into the wilderness with a bag, a sleeping bag and two pairs of underwear. I tend to over pack, this is due to a constant nagging I was given having to do with my many medical conditions as a child. Don't do this, you'll hurt your this! Don't do this, you might die because of this! I have an increased chance of dying because of many of these things but I try not to let them hold me back or have them lessen my experiences in foreign countries. If the worst thing to come from my travel with my illnesses is an over packed bag and a sore back then I think I'll be okay.

Not your average bear...
I have more than one thing wrong with me. I'm a pretty defective model overall so I'll go through the list and how I cope with my quirks on the dusty road. My quirks make me who I am. I am proud to be flawed and interesting rather than perfect and boring.

Third Largest Painted Ceiling in the World

The Grand Gate at Versailles
One day trip that is highly recommended by all the guide books for Paris is the Palace of Versailles. I am a huge fan of that period in design and fashion. I loved the Marie Antoinette movie and was looking forward to seeing the Palace that Marie and Louis called home prior to the revolution. However, I had an experience at Versailles I would soon not forget and also learned a valuable lesson about hitting popular tourist spots in Winter.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Journies of a Foodie- Prt 4- Talking Turkey

Enjoying honey candy in Kaoshing! Delish!
The food of Taiwan is something very natural and organic. I would find it completely normal to travel there and simply eat my way across the country. The food just like the people are very warm and comforting and also tell you a lot about the part of the country in which you are in. Regional cuisines are very common in Taiwan. Seafood dishes in Kenting, Turkey Rice in Chiayi, Pork balls in Hsinchu, Coffin Cake in Tainan and Suncake in Taichung: just to name a few examples. You can go to a different city and enjoy a different dish in each one. The food is part of the people and they spend a large portion of their lives producing delicous food. Some things that they make are not so healthy for you and some things are fresh, straight off the farm. Street Food is a huge part of the Taiwanese culture, particularily at CNY when a lot of the main resteraunts are closed and in order to feed yourself you must hit the streets and hunt for food among the markets. Avoid the stinky tofu though! It's foul and you can smell it from a mile away!

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Sydney Harbor- New Horizons

Sydney Harbor Bridge, one of the icons of Australia
Last year at Christmas (2009) I went to spend the holiday with my relatives in Australia. My aunt and my two cousins live about an hour away from Sydney. I have been to Australia several times as a child but wanted to go back as an adult to appreciate it as part of my culture. My Father is from Australia and although I grew up loving/appreciating my Aussie heritage there were parts of the culture we weren't taught about or understood. Being from an Expat parent helped make my identity as a person; growing up in the American South people often have similar views on everything. Religion, Politics, Family Values, Food cultures: my home was very different and I liked that growing up! We never had Turkey at Thanksgiving, we had a roast lamb instead. I grew up eating a very different diet I feel, there was a complete lack of collard greens or potatoe salad at my mother's table. I love biscuits and fried chicken don't get me wrong, but my exposure to them as a Southerner is far different then a person whose parents are from the Atlanta area.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Top 5 Brunches in Hong Kong

I am huge fan of brunch! You all know about my obsession with eggs benedict but the thing about brunch is that it's the perfect meal. It's the perfect mix of sweet and salty and often comes with unlimited coffee. Sure, you can get booze but that's not really my thing I'm there for the food! I try to give a variety with this list from those who give unlimited brunch (like Top Deck in Aberdeen) to those who will give you a little something different in your Sunday Brunch.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Sunset and Surfing on the Pacific

Jalishue Beach, Taiwan. Right after our arrival.
I have just finished my trip to Taiwan last week. The first place we were determined to go to was Kenting, Taiwan. I felt a deep connection to Taiwan on my last trip but had felt that I had not spent enough time on the southern tip. My room mate Michael wanted to go surfing. So, we made our plans to do 2 nights in Kenting area.

We ended up staying in Jalishue, Taiwan which is slightly eastern of the town Kenting. It is located inside in the national Park area and has great hiking, views and is most famous for being the best surf spot on the whole island. We took a long distance cab to reach this place because NO buses really go to Jalishue. They will go to Hengchu which is about 15 minutes away by scooter but because Michael did not have a liscence and I have never driven car we could not rent scooters while we were there.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

A Picture Tells a Thousand Words

I am not a very good photographer at times. Often times things are super blurry or out of focus. I have been known to take off some heads frequently or amputate an arm or foot out of photo. But I enjoy taking pictures because I think they are a wonderful way to preserve and share the memories of the places I've been.
I am going to go through all the places I have recently been and choose one photo to represent that trip and coutry.

Monday, February 7, 2011

A Day in Taipei: Kismet and the Karaoke Tower of Doom

Down Town Taipei! Look Coffee!
On our recent trip to Taipei we decided to only spend one day in Taipei. Our flight was at 8pm so we decided to do our last day in Taipei to guarantee getting to the airport on time and because being from a big city like Hong Kong, all cities are somewhat similar. "OO.. Look a big building! Let's take a photo of it!" As you have read in previous entries, I have been to Taipei last Chinese New Year with my girlfriends but this was Michael's first trip and I wanted it to be nice for him. So we made some quick plans.

We arrived the night before after hopping a train from Chiayi. We only had a ticket to Taichung but stayed on and then paid for the rest of the journey when we got to Taipei. We had to sit in between the train cars for a while and also had to stand for a bit but we paid for our full tickets despite having a seat and got to Taipei around 8pm. I was still feeling sick due to my peanut incident. Michael being a man and always being hungry got a small snack from the Family Mart and the 7-11 next to our hostel. Our Hostel was called "The World Scholar House". We were staying in the private room for the price of the dorm because when I called and booked the room I asked if she had a room available she said yes. We got there and she realized she had given it to someone else so we got the private for the price of the dorm. A very happy accident and the private room had one of the most comfortable mattresses in the world!!! YEA! After sleeping on Tatami mats at the Winson House for two nights this was going to feel like HEAVEN! We snuggled into the hostel with our good tv and good bed and free internet and went to sleep.
The ditches in Beitou have steamy hot spring water in them!

Living like a local in Taiwan

A wild turkey in Taiwan. Very noisy!
I have just gotten back from Taiwan for my CNY vacation. I spent days going north and south. I had the most fun in a town called Chiayi. Chiayi is not mentioned a lot in the guide books. It is most famous for being the starting point of the Alishan Rail Way and for being a large bus port for several buses to several hot spots such as: Guaziling (hot springs) or Sun Moon Lake.

I was going to Chiayi to see my friend, Amanda. I met Amanda in Luxembourg after my 10 hour train ride on Christmas Eve. We bonded over a hatred of our Russian room mate and love of Taiwan. She invited me to come back to Taiwan and visit her and my room mate Michael and I took her up on the offer.
In Chiayi with friends!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Our Sister Site- Runaway Juno

Fireworks with Disney moment

For those of you that haven't checked out my Seoul sister Juno's site.
It's pretty awesome, but I'm biased because I get mentioned a lot in it!

Museums for a Museum Addict- A guide to Paris

The Louvre at night time
I love a good museum. My mother raised me taking me to great museums and really cheesy ones. I have appreciation for the super quirky and weird and the beautiful and well organized. The only thing I hate in a museum is badly planned, poorly designed and misinformed. The Hong Kong Museum Art despite being in a beautifully designed building is a perfect example of a badly misinformed museum. I have seen not one but two paintings hanging upside down in my visits there. I informed the curators that they were upside down. The staff now knows me and asks my opinions on the exhibits when I visit. If I am well informed in any subject other than theatre: it is art. (And everyone knows, pop culture.)

On my trip to Paris I went to many museums. Sometimes up to 3 a day. One because it's super cold in Paris at christmas and nothing warms the soul like a friendly Degas ballerina or a warm Monet. Also, because Paris is a renowned Art hub with some of the best known museums in the world. How can you go to Paris and not go to the museums?

Here's a breakdown of the best, the worst (although the worst is even better than the best of HK) and the quirky.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Journies of a Foodie- Prt 3- Seoul Food

One of the best parts of going to Korea last year was eating with my friend Juno! She has a passion for Korean street food and culture and I have a passion for eating! Despite ending up with pneumonia at the end of my trip I had a great time and left with a deep love and desire for great Korean food. Still have yet to find decent Korean food in HK, if you know of a good place let me know! I need some bim bim bop!

I coughed really badly after this photo was taken. I was not aware there was chinese mustard in my bean sprouts!

Monday, January 31, 2011

Top 5 churches of France and Benelux

I spent a lot of time in Churches and places of worship in Europe. Here are the top five I think you need to see in order to study the different styles of architecture and magnificence of the people's devotion back then.

An American in Paris

The Louvre and the Glass Pyramids by I.M. Pei
Paris; the city of lights, the city of lovers, the city of bread and cheese. Paris goes by many names but it is a perfect tourist destination. I spent 4 days in Paris and it was the perfect ammount of time to relax, take in the city and see all the sites. I know if I spent longer than that in Paris I would have gotten bored but with 4 days I got to see everything I wanted to see and got to spend ample times in the cafes reading and drinking coffee, which is essential to the Paris experience, I feel.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Journies of a Foodie- Prt 2

Foodie journies continue in Paris! The must go place for gourmands and choco-philes. I will go through different categories of what I ate on my journey. I believe I gained weight on my trip as my pants were beginning to feel a little tight at the end; however I got very sick when I returned to HK and actually lost more weight than I gained. Oh well! As most good journies, we start with dessert!

Mousse au chocolat was my favorite thing I discovered in Paris. I had it before I went to France but believe me, having it in Paris is a whole other experience. I have never had anything so good, rich or addictive before. I ate it everyday. Sometimes for lunch and sometimes for dinner. Once I had mousse for dinner. Mousse runs for anywhere from 5-8E for a serving with a coffee at most cafes. You can get good mousse from the grocery store for 2E and it has 5/6 servings in it. I prefer the dark mousse but most grocery store packs have a milk chocolate mousse as well available for sale.
Mousse au Chocolat, I ate it every day in Paris!

Monday, January 24, 2011

10 hours to Luxembourg or Why everyone died on the Titanic

Luxembourg on Chrismas Eve
  The Train Ride from Hell
At 8 am I left Ghent to travel to Brussels. After an hour and half wait my train arrived. We boarded the train and by station 2 we had about 30 people in the aisles and standing in the door area. At 7:30pm I arrived in Luxembourg. It should have taken 2 hours, It ended up taking over 10 hours on the train. It included being stuck in Germany in the snow, people refusing to let people in "when there was no more room at the inn" And trust me when I say they were lying. People stealing seats from old ladies and women with babies! The insanity level of the train ride was set at a pretty high level. Hundreds of people crushed on the platform when only 2/3 were let on the train at each car. This ride brought out the worst in the human condition and I now know why everyone died on the Titanic. Because I was on this train where they refused to let babies on the train (when there were seats available!)

I got to Luxembourg very late on Christmas Eve. This was due mainly to the snow issues but also because my train got stuck in Germany. Having lost the entire day on a train with no food, no bathroom and very angry people I had been looking forward to exploring Luxembourg. I could not that night due to the snow and the dark. Luxembourg is not very well lit at night and is built into a mountain, so walking in the dark was hardly advisable. I got to my room to find everyone sleeping. At 8pm. I had also had my pillow stolen by the cranky Russian woman below me. I hung out in the lobby for a while, ate my Christmas eve dinner out of vending machine (Waffle, chips and hot chocolate. A well balanced meal!) I also tried to watch 'Bridge to Terebithia' in Dutch. Didn't work out so well although I've read the book hundreds of times and have seen the movie version before. So off to bed I went so far disapointed in Luxembourg.

I awoke the next morning to an amazing breakfast. Some of the best bread I had my whole trip. I had a pleasant although slow conversation in French with a couple from Swiss. They eventually switched to English when they realized my french was "tres horrible". Then back to my room I went where I ended up meeting Amanda and Sharon of Taiwan! As you know, I have a deep love of Taiwan and we bonded a while over Taiwan before I had to pack up and go. But they were very sweet girls and agreed with me that the Russian lady was crazy and mean... Something about the cold just makes Russian people more unpleasant than the rest of us. It must be a natural defense for them or something.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

my new obsession of travel websites

Walking through Art

The tunnel in Ghent

After Bruges I travelled to Ghent, Bruges. People were telling me great things about Ghent. How I HAD to go there how it was the BEST place in Belgium. When people tell you these kinds of things you should keep an open mind but you should also caution yourself. I did enjoy my trip to Ghent BUT... because people had talked it up so much I left feeling disapointed.

Ghent is the artistic center of Belgium. It's where the art, theatre and dance school is Belgium is located and is the location of Belgium's largest liberal arts university. Therefore the town is hip, young and very artistic. I liked that part about it. There are a lot of eating options in Ghent due to the college, a lot more vegetarian cuisine then I saw in other parts of Western Europe and a lot of green/eco friendly establishments. One of the hostels in Ghent is an eco hostel where everything is sustainable and the entire hostel is run on solar power. I could not stay there because it was full. Wish I could have because my hostel SUCKED in Ghent.
Gravesteen Castle in Ghent.

Hostel de Draeke is one of the biggest hostels in the youth hostel membership club. It has 9 floors and seems more like a college dorm or as I called it, an abandoned mental hospital than a hostel. It was too sterile, too cold and not very inviting. Also, maybe because it was close to Christmas the staff was not very kind, the place seemed overall abandoned and they seemed to take great pleasure in charging me for EVERYTHING from sheets to internet. Hot water also seemed non- existent in this place. I found myself longing for Snuffel and it's walk of shame through the snow!

Friday, January 21, 2011

Journies of a Foodie

I traveled three countries in ten days with my backpacking trip to Europe. My mother is a weight watcher's member and did the points for one of my meals. Apparently, in one meal I ate 75 points. This is enough points for three days according to weight watcher's which is why I probably gained a million pounds in France!
Apple Beneighs in Ghent.

My food retrospective begins in Belgium.

Waffle Van outside the Royal Palace in Brussels
 Waffles can be purchased in many different ways from travelling vans as appears here in Brussels, to christmas market stands (Ala the asian street market style), to out of vending machines as pictured below.
Vending Machine Waffle
There are two kinds of waffles you can buy in Belgium. A square flat waffle known as a Brussels Waffle which is less sweet and not sticky on the outside or a Litz Waffle which has caramelized sugar on the outside which adds a nice crunch to it. You can get your waffles dressed up at street carts but DO NOT do this unless you are a small child or a sugar addict. The caramelized sugar on the waffle is sweet enough, adding the chocolate and whip cream is overkill and makes you look stupid. A waffle in a paper sleeve is the perfect treat to carry around in one hand while your other hand is holding your camera. A christmas market waffle will run you about 2E and a vending machine waffle about 1E but you can go to the grocery store and buy a multipack of 8 for 2E and save yourself a lot of money if you plan on making waffles a major staple of your European diet.