SPIEL '07 i Essen 18-21.10

Årets spillmesse er over, og her er en liten rapport fra Essen.


Messa åpnet kl 10 torsdag den 18.10. En god del folk har møtt opp, det er kø til bilettkassene.



Dette går superraskt, og om litt er vi inne, hvor det er høy aktivitet. Det første vi ser når vi kommer inn i hallene er Kosmos forlag med en stor Catan-Plakat.
På utstilling her finner vi årets vinner av den tyske spillprisen, Pillars Of The Earth.





Alle spillebordene er allerede fulle, og folk har også slått seg til på gulvet for å prøve ut årets nyheter, spesielt Klaus Teubers Anno 1701.



Når vi snur oss står vi ansikt til ansikt med Iorek Byrnison og Lyra, som tårner over spillebordene hos kosmos.



Det er to Golden compass spill: et fra boka, og et fra filmen



Vi går hallene bod for bod, og overallt er det stappfult på og rundt spillebordene, akkurat slik det skal være.
Det er ikke bare t-skjorter blandt mannskapet:



Noen boder er mer fantasifulle enn andre:



Andre bruker menneskelige blikkfang: Valley Games har med seg flere ting til messa enn sitt nye spill Container: Die Macher, Hannibal Vs Rome, og Miss Canada... 2008?





Vi fortsetter vår vandring gjennom hallene for å få oversikten.
Mange steder ser vi fantastiske messetilbud, og det er på et av disse vi finner ut at vi burde ha tenkt på å ta ut penger.
Tid for pause, og minibankkø...



Gode grunner til å finne en minibank FØR man kommer til messeområdet. Til og med imperiet må stå i kø.


Inn igjen, og vi rekker å titte innom Settlers-mesterskapet.



Det er en del større og mindre messeturneringer, blant annet Liebe &Intrige og Go



Zooloretto, som vant den tyske spillprisen i 2006 er blant disse.





Vi rekker ikke mer den første dagen, det er nok å få en oversikt over nyhetene og de forskjellige hallene. Med fulle hoder drar rett til hotellet (som har en veldig koselig pub).
Fra Essen selv er det lite å melde, for å være ærlig så vi vel ikke annet enn det vi gikk forbi på vei til og fra messa. Det eneste virkelig iøynefallende her var hotell Arosa



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De neste dagene kan vi messeområdet, og vi har noen ideer om hva vi vil.
Ved hjelp av tålmodighet og gode øyne får vi prøvd en del spill.
Noen ganger har man flaks og dumper borti små gullkorn, som If Wishes Were Fishes.



Her er det travelt hos Rio Grande Games. Bortsett fra If Wishes Were Fishes spilles blant annet Hamburgum, Vikings og Cuba.
Cuba fikk vi også prøvd.





Spilling på messe fungerer mye bedre hvis man sørger for å være sosial. Slik fikk vi også et godt slag Zooloretto, og en hektisk runde Amyitis.







Ystari har laget mange gode spill, og til Spiel07 bragte de med seg en pen versjon av Caylus



Dette var ikke den eneste påkostede utgaven av spill, blant annet Tunnelz hadde en gigantversjon





Heidelberger Spielverlag (Se Fantasy Flight Games) holdt sine spillbord fulle under hele messa.
Her fikk man prøve, foruten utvidelser til Arkham Horror, Descent og WoW boardgame, nyutgivelser (og opptrykk) som Khronos, Fury Of Dracula og Beowulf (som er laget av Reiner Knizia).
Knizia hadde også et spill hos Ferti: En Garde.



Den nye utgivelsen av Talisman fikk ganske mye oppmerkomhet:





Det lønner seg å ta seg tid til pause, og i så måte kan det nevnes at messeområdet har dårlig med minibank men et par geniale snarveier, kjipe spisesteder men nydelige crepes, bra toaletfasiliteter, og en super kaffebar.
Det kan også lønne seg å gå ut en gang i mellom, for å få frisk luft, og for å se på folk og rare dyr. Et veldig vanlig syn uansett tidspunkt man står utenfor messelokalet: folk nedlastet med brettspill i esker, sekker, kofferter, poser og på traller. Mange går og laster fra seg for så å komme tilbake for mer.



Vel inne igjen kan man huske på at det lønner seg å ha en plan, men at man må regne med å ikke få følge den.
Vi kom oss innom en del spill bare pga tålmodighet, andre ved planlegging, og flere ved ren flaks.

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Lørdag er messens store dag. Selv om klokka nærmer seg 11 er køen til bilettsalget massiv. For oss, som kjøpte full billett på torsdag, er det bare å gå smilende forbi alle metrene med folk.



Inne er det frenetisk aktivitet. På vei inn i hall 9 bare stoppet vi opp og gapte:



Man lærer seg raskt å gå i sikksakk, og det er mye moro å se på, spesielt rundt hallen med våpen, klær, og diverse liveutstyr.



Noen stiller seg gjerne opp for fotografering...



Her også har noen lagt mer vekt på boden enn andre:



Noe av det første som møtte oss på lørdag var disse:





Ved Kosmos' stand kunne man møte Klaus Teuber. Vi tittet innom på lørdag, og som vi tenkte var det ganske stort påtrykk. En lang kø av Settlers-fans samlet seg rundt forfatteren av Catan-serien.





Det var flere signeringer på messa, vi rakk å få med oss Wolfgang Kramer hos Days Of Wonder. Her var det mange utgaver av Colosseum å se.



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Søndag er ikke like folksom som lørdag, men det er en god del frenetisk aktivitet både rundt spillebord og salgsboder. Mange drar i løpet av dagen etter å ha fylt kvoten og tømt lommeboka. Vi henter koffert og sekk ut fra oppbevaringen, og bruker litt tid på å spille tetris med alle spillene vi egentlig ikke burde ha kjøpt. Endelig klarer vi (såvidt) å få plass til alt, og så snur vi nesen mot Düsseldorf flyplass. Det siste inntrykk fra Tyskland i denne omgang består av en gigantisk giraff, og en surrealistisk bilutstilling.





Her finner du en liste over nyheter.
Her er en liste over nominerte til årets brettspillpris.

Flere spill:
Saba
Mouse Chaos
Stonehenge
Theben
Utopia

Flere boder:
Amigo
Catan frenzy
Horn
Sjonglering
Queen Games
Rio Grande


-Astri Mari

Hong Kong recap day 7 & 8 & 9

Hi guise, well I kinda didn't update the last 3 days there as I wasn't in the mood to spend time online when I could be out and about in one of my alltime favorite cities in the world.

Anyway day 7 recap:

It was a late morning and we missed breakfast but given it was only a couple pieces of toast and a glass of juice it kinda didn't matter.

Magne was gonna do his thing and I really didn't have anything in mind myself so we split up cause he wanted to go buy souveniers for friends and family back home and I'm not much of a souv shopper. Leaving him at the MTR (subway) I kinda just wandered around for a while taking it all in. Stores, people, adverts, tvscreens, you know, everything.

Not having eaten breakfast I went to a small place I just stumbled upon and ate some pretty average baguette and orange juice.

Feeling refreshed I got some more walking done and found a few internet gaming cafees but none of them had any european games, only asian online games. It was great fun because I saw several people multiboxing (playing several characters at once on 2-3 computers) and also saw people sleeping in their chair while their character just stood there being afk in a city etc.

Then I went to the biggest arcade I know of and got some gaming done myself. I spent more or less the entire day down there playing these games:

Hyper Bishi Bashi Champion (basicly 3 buttons and push them as skillfully as you can)

Initial D 3 and 4. I was ultra beaten by the crazy kids who spend all their time there.

House of the dead 4, Norway needs an arcade again... I was totally out of shape on my games.

Time crisis 4, again.. I didn't get very far.

Gundam Wing, I wish this had been in english cause I tried it a few times but in the end I had no clue what I was doing. I spent quite some time looking at the other players trying to figure it out.

King of fighters and tekken 5. These games are fun but kinda limited so I didn't spend too much time on them.

I played a drumming game, kinda asian drumming oldschool style on big drums. I don't know the name but I'm sure some of you know what I'm talking about. (not drum mania, this was just 1 drum).

Played some card game where the point was to get rid of all your cards and you have 2 opponents. No idea what it was called but I kinda got into it.

I played more games but I can't really remember them all, I think I spent like 500HK$ there :P

Meeting up with Magne again for dinner we we're kinda blargh to the whole idea so we found a cinema and watched a crappy crappy movie called "Chuck & Larry". It's supposed to be a comedy but it totally failed for me. I didn't even chuckle during the whole thing.

Dinner and back to the hotelroom for an early night.

Day 8 recap:

Met up with Charlie again to go shopping this time. We had the obligatory breakfast



and then Magne went to Macau to take a look at what's now a bigger gambling city than Las Vegas.

I met up with Charlie and we went to ship the clothes off to Norway from the store I found them at a few days earlier. (They've already arrived in Norway and should be out i the store for sale early next week)

We then headed to a wholesale area of hong kong and I just turned into the biggest kid in the best candystore in the world. We went from store to store and I picked out anything I could think of that would sell well in the stores. I won't reveal too much but there's a very big chance that we will get these in the store during this fall.



There are also tons of other items that I have incoming but I don't want to reveal too much too early ;) Half the fun is that people have to come to the store and actually find things for themselves. We spent half the day doing this while it was raining heavily. I'm saying heavily but it was only a Typhoon rating 1 (they go up to 12). Charlie then brought me to a mall to eat and they had a sit down area and like 15 different "restaurants" you could order from. I got some veggie ramen cause I'm very very cautious about eating meat in foreign countries. My tummy is really sensitive to these things

Charlie got some crazy things like crispy fish skin and things I couldn't even identify :D

Being soaked and knowing that Magne was on his way back from Macau (also soaked as he didn't have a umbrella either), I fixed the last details with Charlie and went back to the hotel. I don't know why but I just fell asleep right there and then and when I woke I saw magne sleeping in his bed as well. I guess the weatherchange and the 92% humidity (seriously...) just got us really knackered. Woke up and went out to eat and just relax. I tried to get Magne to play some arcadegames but he wasn't interested so we kinda just walked around looking at stores and we also went to buy magne a tripod for his camera.

Charlie had told me about a "techno" mall where they sell everything you need computer, camera, tv, dvd etc crap. In the end we found a highclass tripod for less than half the price of what it costs in norway and Magne was very happy about getting it. He took some awesome pics later that I might get from him to post here.

I also found these



They were both almost as tall as I am, I'm guessing 160cm tall. I wanted them.. badly!

Day 9 recap:

Last day, wanted to do everything, ended up not doing much really :P

We woke very late and again skipped breakfast. Feeling kinda naughty we ate cake for breakfast, which actually worked out very well as I got a high sugarlevel and felt hyper all day ^_^ I'm not sure Magne agrees that me having a sugarhigh equals "working out" but hey :P

It started raining so we went to watch a movie and ended up watching the new King movie, 1408.

I was seriously jumping half the movie and magne was cursing under his breath everytime something scary came on screen, which was like every 5 seconds. It wasn't a great story but it was scary enough to get my blood pumping. Then we just wandered aimlessly around and I picked up a few last day items I knew I wanted to get but wasn't sure if I could fit into the suitcase.

I ended up buying some belts at 20HK$ a piece and another hat just because I wanted it. Magne also bought some more souveniers for friends and it was really a short short day without much happening. It was semi raining the entire day and it was kinda gloomy allover. It was also a holiday of some sorts where everyone eats something called "mooncake" and then go out to dinner during the evening. Also alot of fireworks and the like all over the city.

Met up with charlie to get a Louis Vuitton fake vallet he'd gotten for me. I'm serious, I've seen a few fakes but this one is so wellmade it even had the "original" box they come in. I paid very very little for something that looks to be a 100% original.

He also had a prada bag but it really wasn't my style bag at all and he had other buyers for it so it was all good. We made an early night of it since we had to be up at 8 the following day to travel all the way back to norway.

Travel day:

Early early up, got all my postcards sent and then headed to the airport. At the train station where the airport express leaves from you could actually check in your bags and there was NO line to do it. We giggled all the way from the trainstation to the airport because we'd already checked in. At the airport we laughed at all the people standing in endless lines to check their luggage in and we headed straight for passport controll. 10 minutes later we werepast security checkpoints and ordered a breakfast burger :P

Planeride HK to frankfurt = 12 hours with shitty food, except they gave us noodles as a snack and that rocked. Watched shrek 3 which was even more boring that looking at the clouds thru the window.

frankfurt airport was boring as hell and then plane to oslo was just less than 2 hours. I was home at about 1 at night tho my head was still set on hk time so it was really 7 in the morning for me. travelled for almost 22 hours with the waiting at all airports etc.

I leave you with a few pictures from the Victoria Peak :)





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hong kong day 5 & 6 recap

Hong Kong day 5 & 6 recaps:

Trying to get up to date by doing two days in one! /gasp I know.

Anyway, day 5 first.

Magne and I split up as he wanted to go to the big buddha and do the tourist thing. I wanted to shop some clothes and thus the day began with a breakfast at the hotell.

I went to a few shopping malls I had spotted out while looking for toys the previous days to buy some clothes. It turns out that most of the places I wanted to check out didn’t open till like 1 – 2 in the afternoon. I dunno why but I’m guessing that since their main target customer are school/college students they don’t really have to be open during the morning. To make up for lost time they stay open till 10 – 11 at night so it all evens out.

I ended up at a starbucks waiting for the malls to open and while there I wrote down some ideas I have to the store when I get back. I think I’ll do something for october and halloween, we’ll see ;)

An hour or so later thinking and scheming almost cackling maniacly while drinking my orange juice (and getting some looks) I went back to the shopping centre called Chic to get some clothes. The stores we’re still just opening and loads of them were still closed. I did find a couple open ones and I just went in to browse a little. While browsing I got a sms from Magne at the buddha, he was really angry because his camera was screwing up only filming total white. It had worked like 20 minutes before but just as he got to the buddha it started filming white. It turns out he had managed to turn ”night vision” on and that overrules all other functions on that specific camera.

At least he got it right and filmed stuff at the buddha. His camera is too new so I don’t have the software nor could I find the download for it so we won’t be able to upload any video like we initially wanted to day by day.

In the first store I was in I found a pair of pants that just downright rocked. They’re doing a thing here with them that makes them look very very wrinkly and it’s a cool look I totally fell for (don’t tell anyone but I’m going back if I can fit any more in my suitcase).

The 2nd shop had 2 tshirts that I just had to buy. They were about 80HK$ each but I couldn’t live without them. It turns out when I got back to the hotell that the woman at the store gave me the wrong tshirt. The one I got had a collar on it which I’m not really a fan of. I might just rip the collar off and make the tshirt look rugged, which I think will work very well.

A few shops later I had purchased a lot more and the total came to

3x pair of pants that I wouldn’t get anywhere in norway.

2x tshirts I could only dream of finding elsewhere

1x belt, this was very standard and low quality but I broke my belt last night changing pants. It was only 40HK$ so whatever, as long as it holds till I’m back in norway.

1x suitcase to fill with more stuff :D

I then went back to the hotell cause I was absolutely beat and the heat was killing me. I normally do very well in heat but this is hard when you’re doing as much shopping as I’m doing. Back in the room I decided to finish my travelbook I brought and I’m very pleased with it. If you want a very good fantasy book from a up and coming author you should really check out

Scott Lynch’s Locke Lamora. The 2nd of the series is out as well and is called Red Skies something something. I can’t remember but I’ll definetly pick it up when I’m back home.

At about 5 Magne was back from the buddha thing and he was very happy with the trip out there. It beat stanley market by far apparently J

We hung out a while so he could get cooled down and then went back out to do some more eyeshopping. We came across a toystore that had a crazy window display filled with designer toys from asia, europe and usa. They even had a 6feet tall Optimus Prime oldschool style in there. Needles to say we spent a lot of time just oogling that window J

I bought a Panda Z tshirt that’s absolutely amazing but I think I have to handwash the bastard cause there’s some plastic on it. It really doesn’t matter cause it’s ultra cool.

After that we went to mcdonalds near the hotell to eat and back to the room to sleep. It doesn’t sound like much but we’re doing a lot of walking down here to find cool stores and it’s very exhausting because the heat and humidity are so intense. (Totally worth it tho)

Day 6 recap :D


We were discussing what to do over breakfast (hey, I had to pay extra so I’m gonna eat as much as I can!) but we couldn’t really pinpoint what to do. Magne suggested we check out a few japanese malls he’d read about and since I couldn’t come up with something better we took off. After travelling and changing a couple of subways we got to the first mall, called Sogo. It was a let down hard style. The only store that kinda peaked my interested was the Superlovers store but they only had girlfit tshirts so no go for me.

We then spent like 30 minutes trying to find a mall that should be almost across the street from the other one, in the end it turned out it had been demolished along with the 3rd and last mall we were going to. Bad luck huh?.

Annoyed that we were out of a plan yet again we looked up at the sky and realised it was very clear, almost no pollution. What gave it away was yhou could actually see the blue sky, which was a first for our stay here. It’s been sunny before that but just a grey haze where the sky’s supposed to be. We decided to take the peak tram up to Victoria Peak since our previous plans had been foiled.

Another half hour trying to look for a crappy bus we didn’t even need because while looking we found a sign pointing to the tram for pedestrians. It was less then 5 minutes walk and the bus would probably take longer since it was at a point further away. We got to the line which was about 20 minutes but the sun was mercilessly grilling us during 18 of them. I was soaked on the back but at the end of the queue they had a fan and that dried me up for the tram ride up the mountain.

If you’re norwegian and been to Bergen you will recognise the whole thing as they have a similar tram up the mountain there called ”fløyen”. I recommend both the victoria peak tram and the one in bergen to anyone as they are very cool and give you a great view of the cities.

One thing I want to emphasize at the victoria one is that you buy both the tram ticket + the combo to go to the sky terrace. If you don’t you’ll end up buying it for 5 HK$ more at the top. We did, even tho we were very set that we wouldn’t before we got there.

Up on the sky terrace we took infinite pictures and the view really is the best I have ever seen overlooking a city. We got to see more or less all of hong kong island as well as what surrounds it across the water. We saw stanley market on the other side as the peak is located directly on the mountain pass. I didn’t think I would like it at all going there but when I got there it was more of an ”why the hell didn’t I go before”.

Awesome as it was it was also insanely hot on the terrace and you couldn’t go back in and come back out without paying again so we stayed until we had taken enough pictures and got some filming done. Back innside we went to a restaurant called Bubba Gump (from forrest gump) where they served a lot of shrimp dishes as well as the best lemonade I’ve had in ages (could be the heat playing with my mind). We both got the burger of the house and garlic bread to start with. It was actually A LOT cheaper than what we paid at stanley market and so much better.

If you’re doing 1 thing in hong kong I think I would have to say go to Victoria peak.

Spending most of the day up there we finally headed back down via the tram. We walked a few blocks to go to a shopping street made of escalator type pathwalks. On the way there we passed a mall withonly high class stores like Prada, Gucci, and all those and I saw the biggest Louis Vuitton store I’ve ever seen. It kinda puts the rest of them to shame. Btw I’m getting a fake LV wallet from a chinese dude I know later during our stay, I’ll be paying 120HK$ for it. That’s like 3 times as much as the ones on the market but this one is even made on the same place as the real LV ones and it’s totally authentic except for it being fake ;)

Day 6 was a long one, after the shopping street of escalators we went back to mongkok, stopped by a cake shop for refreshments and a piece of yummy chocolate cake.

Out on the street again I couldn’t resist anymore. Ok, ok I had to.. I bought the frigging Domo-kun plush. It fills my entire suitcase and I have no idea how the hell I’m going to get it back with me… but at least I have it!!! :D

I was going for a smaller one but that was actually TWICE the price of the bigger one because the bigger one was on sale :( Also bought another tshirt.

Day 6 purchases

1x big ass domo kun plush I don’t have room for

1x cool tshirt, it’s girlfit but it was big so I think I can get away with it. If not I’m sure I’ll find someone to donate it to.

This is michael signing out day 6. a few days left but trust me, I haven’t maxed out my card by far yet and I know I might go totally insane the last day just spending whatever I can ;)

Hong Kong day 4!!!

Hong Kong day 4:

Stanley market was, as last time, a dissapointment. Basicly if you read a guidebook it will tell you to go to stanley market or you’re missing out big time on cool stuff to do in HK. Wheny ou get there it’s this small market, probably half the size and twice the price of those you can find many of in mongkok and the areas surrounding it.

Anyway, the best part, and that’s actually quite cool, is the bus trip to and from stanley market. You pay 8HK$ to take a 20 minute busdrive, and the trip itself drives past some cool views of Hong Kong, you get to see Happy Valley from atop a mountain before youdrive over the pass and down on the other side which is kind of the Beverly Hills of HK. Houses and apartments are superhigh quality and heavily guarded. I saw and advertisement for an apartment priced to 46million HK$.

The market itself is a tourist trap, has crap items like chopsticks and fake jade figures and the like. It didn’t take us long to get bored but since we’d taken the drive there we wanted to get the most out of it. There’s a few westernly pubs and restaurants but the prices are also very western compared to elsewhere in HK. A beer was easily the same price as norway and the food was worse.

We didn’t stay longer than about 2 hours at the market, in the end Magne bought 2 souveniers, 1 for his mother and 1 for this brother and that’s all we bought. Oh wait, I actually bought 5 Final fantasy keychains at like 5HK$ each

Taking the bus back we got on the ”wrong” bus, this one went thru the tunnel back to HK and tho it was much faster we lost the view we had hoped to see on the way back.

Well back in the city we took the subway to Olympic where we came into the olympic shopping mall from the subway. It was a neat and clean big mall and on the ground floor they had a lot of ”new talent” singers perform on a stage. It wasn’t half bad until this a cappella group slaughtered whatever they were trying to do.

I found a toy store and picked up a few items from Kidrobot that I’d never seen before. The figures are totally awesome. Then we went to the hotell to sleep an hour (this has kinda become a routine because walking the entire day in 30+celsius is very tiresome).

Rested and ready we went back to the shopping area surrounding Langham Place and mongkok MTR. Found so many cool items but I just couldn’t buy them in the end because I’ve alrady filled 1 suitcase to the brim and will have to get another for all the things lying around the hotelroom floor right now. Windowshopping and walking for a couple of hours I ended up buying

1x super mario tshirt blur (insanely cool. I wanted a black one but they were all sold out)

1x super mario trailer hat blue (kinda matches the tshirt)

2x Bomberman keyring (I regret not buying more already L )

2x super mario keyring

I really should buy more but it’s like, you walk around and you become blinded by it all. And how many keyrings can one person have? I probably have 100 of them now considering how many I bought last time I was here. I seriously don’t have that many keys so 100 keyrings may be a bit overkill J

Having walked all day and not actually eaten any food since breakfast we decided that steak would be nice. We went to Langham to find a restaurant we’d seen earlier but decided we’d eat at leater. They served a 3 course meal for less than 100HK$, the meal itself wasn’t really noteworthy but it wasn’t bad either. Probably about the same as a homemade meal.

The day was quite long but very eventless since stanley market was such a let down, I was hoping for more cool things (tho I had been there once 2 years ago I was hoping it had improved).

Tomorrow Magne will go see the big buddha statue and I will go out to shop some clothes. I saw some really cool stuff when I was walking with Charlie the other day and I am sure I will find some great stuff no one else has in Norway.

This is Michael signing out for the day.

Hong Kong Day 3

Hong Kong day 3:

After an early morning and breakfast I was heading out to meet up with a guy named Charlie who’s kind of ”our guy in hong kong”. We were going to spend the day looking at different things that I might be interested in importing for the store.

Looking out the window I could tell it was sunny but it doesn’t really show that well because of the polution here. Looking out the window it’s kind of a haze and semi foggy if you’re trying to look into the distance. When you’re out on the street you can also tell because the air kind of stings your throat, which is pretty hardcore. Magne was in Mexico last year and he feels it’s more polluted here.

I met up with Charlie at noon at a subway station close to the hotell and he was like ”Are you hungry?” Since I’ve had an early breakfast I was starting to feel hungry again but before I knew it we were on our way to have Dim Sum. I have to admit I’m quite picky in what I eat and I very rarely even consider eating seafood.

Walking down the street, Charlie suddenly turns into a doorway and waits in line for an elevator. I followed looking kinda puzzled and I think he caught up on that because he told me this is where we’re gonna eat.

Up a few floors and out of the lift we walked straight into a long long line of people waiting to get seated at several dim sum restaurants. I would never have guessed that the doorway down on the street would lead to restaurants like these. And they were packed! Apparently noon till about 2 in the afternoon is kind of the Hong Kong siesta. It’s pretty hot outside and people grab their friends or coworkers and go for dim sum.

Charlie ordered a few different things but I really had no idea what he was ordering. All I managed to get out before he was finished was ”please no seafood” and he just grinned saying I’d have to try it first. Right… well, ok.

The food arrived and the first was a kind of porridge with ham in it, this tasted good but the consistency of it was kind of weird to eat. Then we had something that reminded me of spring rolls only mushy and soft rather than the hard shelled rolls. This also tasted excellent. Our first real meat was some pork that had way too much fat and bones in it for me. The meat itself tasted great but the fat and bones didn’t work for me. Dim sum is kind of like tapas only chinese style food so you get a lot of different small dishes that you share.

Next up was something I can’t really describe and it was kinda tasteless but the last thing on the table was kind of a prawn donut thing with some chillisauce and that was awesome. I do not eat seafood but I would eat more of that. Too bad I have no idea what it was called :P

Having done our ”siesta” we went to my ”mall of 1000 shops”, the original and I showed charlie some awesome clothes I had seen earlier and after about half an hour of negotiations we now have a supplier who also designs the stuff we’re going to import. I can drop some hints to what kind of stuff and we’re looking at hoodies in different colors and stripes with different animal type ears on the hoods. They look awesome in my opinion.

We’re also talking cool gothic style bags, and I think I managed to land that we try a few gothic & lolita type dresses. No idea what the price will be yet but it shouldn’t be too frightening.

We then did a 1000 store type mall with electronics only because Charlie was looking to get a psp (and they are sooo cheap down here and they will hax them to bits for you if you want them to). We didn’t find any he wanted but it was great fun to look at all the hong kong techno geek stores. If I had a lot of money I would lose myself in places like that mall.

Apparently I was just generally unlucky last time I was here since I only found one of those type malls, with Charlie they seemed to be everywhere and he took me to the coolest one so far. They had a Domo-kun that was about 2 feet long and only cost 400HK$. I am really annoyed I didn’t buy it but it wouldn’t have fitted my suitcase. They also had some huge totoro’s and tons of gloomy bears in vinyl and plush.

Time to hit Starbucks for some awesome coffee/liquor chocolate cake and orange juice, and damn that cake was good. I would have ordered a 2nd if I wasn’t so full from the dim sum.

The rest of the day was spent showing Charlie what kind of items we’re looking to import to the store. The biggest problem is that when you walk around down in the shops you’re already looking at things that are out of production and it can be very hard to get a hold of it again. Thus I could only give him the general idea of what kind of items we want to import.

I know a lot of our customers are becoming vinyl junkies (basicly they collect vinyl (plastic) collectors figures like those from kidrobot), Apart from the clothes and the vinyl toys I’m hoping to get there’s also a couple of other items that I won’t reveal just yet. We’ll see ifI do or if I just surprise you all when we get them to the store.

I didn’t shop too much but I’m starting to understand I can’t buy everything I want to ;) In the end I did get

1x movie – Bourne Ultimate (30HK$, that’s like 5USD or 25 NKR).

A lot of different styled Pocky chocolate for my consumption :D

5x really awesome hats that look like pandas. They really are cool and I am never gonna share!

Day 4 will reveal more shopped items and also a trip to Stanley Market (the biggest timewaste so far on this trip ;)

This is Michael, signing out.

PS: I really apologise for not posting pictures yet but they are too big at the moment. (like 2 mb pr pic and I have tons, the upload on the bad hotell line would be forever). I also apologise for a lot of the spelling mistakes but my word is set to norwegian so words like hotell will have double L etc. I cba to change it.

(no subject)

Hong Kong day 2:

Woke up pretty late but still in time for the included breakfast (this was one of the things that I was sure I didn’t hook off when I made the reservation online but when we got here I still had to pay for).

A few toasts and scrambled eggs later we headed out without any real goal for the day except to find new cool toys and stuffs to buy. Magne wanted to check out a techy part of town to find a tripod for his camera so that’s where we went, Took the tube and got off at Tsim Sha Tsui station, immediately after walking off the station we realised that this was hong kong’s tourist trap no. 1.

We were approached by man after man trying to sell us ”copy watches” or leather jackets and the likes. The temperature was 32celsius so I can’t really imagine anyone wanting to buy a leather jacket. Anyway, we walked around a bit and Magne realised we were close to this chinese garden on top of a mall so we went and it was very relaxed. You couldn’t hear the city even tho it was a small small park and more or less anywhere you looked someone was doing Tai Chi or playing Xiangqi. At the middle there was a shallow fishpond with small turtles and fish annd people were just chilling out.

We then headed to the harbour to check out the view to the bank area which supposedly lights up amazingly at night. We will go back during dark to take some pics etc of the lightshow.

Having done the tourist part of the day I now wanted to get some shopping done and we tookt he tube to Wan Chai (not to be confused with the end station called Chan Wai). I knew of a small street with some better deals than the touristy haggling street I bought the boxerbriefs the day before.

I ended up buying more boxers and this time I paid 15HK$ pr… so basicly I am now getting 20+ boxers for the price of 1 in Norway. I’m not really bummed because they were cheaper here because they didn’t have the same colors so I would still have bought them for more because of the designs varied. So I picked up

9x calvin klein boxershorts/briefs. I’m a sucker for these :D

1x ”Nohohon Zoku – Broccoli type” which is a small happy dude all green like a broccoli who’s tilting his head continously. It’s driven by solar power so he can basicly keep going as long as the sun’s around.

1x Naruto figure. This comes in a box where you don’t know what you’re getting. I love this but a lot of people in Norway actually won’t buy something they can’t see what is.

1x Transformers figure. Same box type as above.

1x Something I’m not really sure what is but it was supercute and definetly something I’d like to import to the store. Same box type as the above.

It seems Super Mario is hot as hell down here so I had to pick up

1x Super Mario keychain with Mario on.

1x Super Mario keychain with Mario, a coin and a small square that lights up when someone calls (wohoo)

1x Mushroom keychain from SMB that doesn’t really do anything but it looks cool :P

2x Gloomy bear keychains, I bought some of these last time as well and I will buy more before this stay is over.

1x Death Note Keychain with L figure and a tiny Death Note. So far I haven’t seen much Death Note stuff but I hope to find more. One store did have 2 big figures but they were like 50 USD so I won’t be buying them.

1x Keychain, totally plain but the old one I had was starting to wear out so I needed a new one.

After all this we went back to the hotell to eat some noodles and get an hour of sleep. We were still jetlagged and really needed it before we went back out.

We went to Langham Place, up the street and found the market street where I bought the 10 first boxerbriefs the first day. If you walk behind all the stands there are actually loads of more shops and we walked this bit to try and find more cool stuff. I found a Domo-kun bag but in the end I didn’t buy it as it didn’t have shoulderstraps or anything.

In the end I only bought another of the solar powered head but this one was styled more in a Kozik or Deady the bear kind of way. They had many but it’s still just day two and I already need another suitcase…

There will be pictures of all this but I still haven’t found a picture editing program that really works for me. Suggestions appreciated ;)

After a long long day of walkind around we went to Langham Place to eat as they have a lot of western style restaurants and I’m very picky on what I eat. In the end we found a great tiny italian place who served up the food like 1 minute after you ordered it. I think we’ll eat there at least one more time before we leave.

Anyway, gotta get some sleep, signing out

Hong Kong day 1

Day 1 in Hong Kong:

Sitting in the hotel after what seems the longest day in ages, but it was a good day. Very good J

Our travel started yesterday noon-ish. We had some strange coincidences like we arrived at the airport the exact same time even tho we started out different places and used different transportation. I walked up the escalators from the train and when I got to the top Magne walked into the airport from the bus stop.

The second coincidence was after we had bought batteries etc and finally sat down our flight hadn’t been announced yet. A few minutes later I started to look around for information about our flight and it turned out we were sitting at the gate our flight was leaving from.

Well, an uneventful planetrip to frankfurt a couple hours of waiting and then a loooong flight to Hong Kong overnight we arrived at HK airport. The passport control was relatively fast except when they were dealing with families.

Anyway, took the airport express to Kowloon and a cab ride from there to the hotel. What’s cool about HK taxis is that they start at 15 HK$ (about 2 USD) but when they start to drive they actually start at 0 even tho the metre says 15. So basicly you get to go 2 kilometres on the first 15 HK$ and then the metre starts going. Our trip was about 40 HK$ because they charge 5 extra pr luggage. Still, one of the cheapest cabrides I’ve had.

Got to the hotel and of course something’s messed up with the booking and I end up paying about 1500HK$ more than what I had expected. In the end I just went ”whatever” and used my card because I’m really not going to stand in hong kong not having a hotelroom.

Finally able to chill out for a second we realised we were totally messed up from no sleep on the overnight flight and agreed that we sleep for 1 hour and then head out. 1 hour turned to another half and then another hour before we felt fresh enough to get going.

First stop tok us to Langham Place where we browsed the 14 floors of high end shops like Armani and the likes. Some really cool shops included a silver store called ”Just 925” (let’s see if you get that one ;). Another store was called, and I have to type it like it was written outside the store,

Unus
Ually.

They also had a really cool plush store with fluffy animals. We didn’t do the 4-5 basement floors as they carry more electronics and cameras.

Out on the street again I realised I found my ”mall of thousand shops” (some of you may recall that from my trip in 2005). The vinyl toy store was gone and so was the main toystore I was going for but I found some cool gothic clothes and bags stores and that’s definetly something I will try to bring home to Norway.

The temperature and humidity was a punch to the face today with a temp of 30celsius and 83% humidity, it was also one of the more polluted weeks of hong kong in years so didn’t stay in the mall for long as it was hot in there as well.

When we got out again it had turned from day to night in just like 30 or so minutes but we wanted to go to a small market street just up the road from Langham and the Mall. That whole area is run by the triad in HK but it’s actually one of the safer places to be. HK is also one of the safest cities in the world when you compare crime rates pr resident.

Did some shopping both at the Mall and the market. Haggling is a big thing at the market but in shops it’s not something you do.

I bought (pics to follow at bottom)

9x Calvin Klein boxerbriefs and 1 Tommy Hillfiger boxerbrief for 320HK$, which I think is about 250NKR and like.. 40 USD. Trust me, that’s a very good deal. For a norwegian like me it’s actually quite literally 10 for the price of 1.

2x anime paw things, something I don’t really need myself but I want Outland to import these, these weren’t terribly expensive.

1x Super Mario Bros. Mushroom plush, this rocked and it is definetly something we’ll try to import.

Lastly I bought a Armani hat/cap/something and it was like 50HK$ so I just took it even tho I know it’s fake it still looks nice.

We went to mcdonalds on the way to the hotell just cause we really couldn’t be bothered with a sit down and spend 2 hours meal. We just wanted to get to bed. Stopped by 7/11 and they of course had pocky and other cool snacks like moomin bisquits and hello panda stuff.

Tomorrow is another shopping day and the day after I’m meeting up with people to go and look at things I want to import.

signing out...