I leave for Hong Kong tomorrow evening to handle some business and take a short vacation in one of my favorite cities. Although I was in Macau about a year ago, I haven’t been in Hong Kong for a very long time – the last time I was there I couldn’t speak Chinese, as a matter of fact. I’m looking forward to returning and getting a chance to reassess the city with a new perspective. Being able to communicate with people this time will help, although it’s an uncertainty as to how much that will actually help since the language they officially speak there is Cantonese.

In preparation for the trip, I finally made a purchase which I’ve had on my mind for years. A wide angle lens for my camera. Not only is it the first piece of photo equipment I’ve acquired in 4 years, but it’s a lens that I’ve been yearning for ever since I tried it out on my last trip to Macau. It’s a wide angle lens, so the range is 12-24mm and it’s made by Tokina. I bought it second hand from a local guy that I know here for 2,600rmb, approx. $370, which isn’t a bad deal. I was considering getting a similar lens, a Sigma, for 2,500rmb but my reservations there were related to shipping the lens, not being able to see and try it before I buy it, and it being a Sigma lens (I’d prefer the Tokina). I’ve traveled around Hong Kong with my camera before and I can’t wait to do it again with this new lens. It’ll work especially well in crowded urban areas. Here’s a snapshot I took outside my house yesterday afternoon:

I’ll probably be in Hong Kong/Macau for about a week this time. As soon as I get back I’ll be going to a new apartment which I’ll sign the contract for tomorrow morning before I leave. Can’t wait to get outside of Chengdu and travel a bit, it’s been too long.

One more photo of the chess game which I lost today. Click on the photo to enlarge