Win­ning recipe with dash of flair

Bul­lock makes waves in Oceans fran­chise

Sunday World - - Life - By Ma­pula Nkosi Nkosi was hosted by the Chi­nese Em­bassy.

On a re­cent visit to China, it was ex­cit­ing that the last leg of our two week trip was go­ing to be in Hong Kong for sev­eral rea­sons.

While main­land China uses the yuan, Hong Kong has its own cur­rency – the Hong Kong dol­lar. By the time our jour­ney reached its 7th day, we were all fa­mil­iar with how things worked in the East. We had also per­fected Ni Hao’s (hello’s) and XièXie’s (thank you’s) and hav­ing fully ac­cli­ma­tised, were start­ing to have fun.

Our vis­its to Bei­jing, Shang­hai and Shen­zen in­cluded lots of bus trips, train and plane rides, but the high­light was when we moved from Shang­hai to Shen­zen via a Ma­glev train from Longyang Road sta­tion to Shang­hai’s Pudong In­ter­na­tional Air­port.

To be light in our travel, our bus driver pro­ceeded to the air­port from the sta­tion with our big bags as we got into the fastest train in the world. The Shang­hai Ma­glev (the mag­netic lev­i­ta­tion train) can reach top speeds of up to 430km/h. By any means, this 30km ride will take you an es­ti­mated 20 min­utes in good traf­fic, but our ex­hil­a­rat­ing ride took just un­der eight min­utes. It was al­most as if the driver of the train was warned that there were ea­ger vis­i­tors on board as he pushed it to 431km/h.

Though Hong Kong is un­der Chi­nese rule since the Bri­tish handed it over in 1997, mov­ing from main­land to the is­land still re­quires one to drive through a bor­der post.

Hong Kong re­mains a cap­i­tal­ism en­clave of com­mu­nist China, and that is felt im­me­di­ately on ar­rival, as the city feels more fa­mil­iar.

We checked into East Hong Kong Ho­tel in an area called Taikoo Shing to amaz­ing sea­side views. The higher your room, the more ma­jes­tic the views. Part of each ho­tel room fac­ing the sea has a whole glass wall where you are lit­er­ally look­ing down at the sky­scrapers. The rooms have clever space-sav­ing tricks where your main art piece for ex­am­ple slides to re­veal a plasma screen. Var­i­ous draw­ers house help­ful travel tools like an iron, adapter, plugs etc.

It usu­ally saves so much time try­ing to fig­ure out where to shop when your ho­tel is con­nected to a mall. East Hong Kong is con­nected via a safe walk­way to City Plaza, home to 170 shops and many restau­rants of­fer­ing both Asian and Western cui­sine and this was our home for two nights.

We first vis­ited the site of the July 1 1997 han­dover, mark­ing the end of Bri­tish rule. From afar, it looks like a flame but upon close in­spec­tion, we re­alised it is the na­tional flower of Hong Kong, which is of the Bauhinia genus, cap­tured as a big gold statue.

The tallest build­ing in Hong Kong, is the In­ter­na­tional Com­merce Cen­tre, which stands at 484 me­tres and has an ob­ser­va­tion deck on the 103rd floor. It took us sec­onds to be whisked up the el­e­va­tor to the floor. On the day, colour­ful Lam­borgh­i­nis were dis­played out­side the deck at­tached to a bar and res­tau­rant.

But the coolest part is their toi­lets, which also have a view­ing glass. I found the fea­ture wasted in a toi­let. The mall at­tached to that build­ing houses shops such as De Beers, Chanel, Rolex, Pi­aget, Chopard etc. We all looked to­tally out of place among the rich.

Lunch at a lo­cal res­tau­rant called Yum Chá in Len­hem Place Mall came to the res­cue!

Here the food is as pretty as it tastes, with dumplings and desserts cre­ated to look like small farm an­i­mals such as chick­ens and pigs. I en­joyed crispy dumplings that looked like chicks only to nib­ble on them to find pork fill­ing in­side. Hmm, that was sneaky.

In our quest to sneak in some shop­ping, tour op­er­a­tor Eva Chan took us to Mong Kok district af­ter lunch where we lost our­selves in rows and rows of street hawk­ers for a fran­tic shop­ping spree. Ocean’s 8

Sandra Bul­lock, Ri­hanna, Anne Hath­away, Cate Blanchett, El­liott Gould

Ma­pula Nkosi

Hav­ing fol­lowed the Oceans fran­chise, the most ex­cit­ing part of the project is bring­ing all these big names to­gether un­der one roof. Add a slick rob­bery and heist to the mix, and a dash of re­venge in the plot, these movies have al­ways been a win­ner.

The all-fe­male cast takes its cue from the orig­i­nal, with Sandra Bul­lock mak­ing a big screen comeback lead­ing a band of rob­bers who com­mit a brazen heist at the Met Gala.

It’s a clever way of main­tain­ing the glam­our as­so­ci­ated with the fran­chise. With Bul­lock as Deb­bie Ocean, the sleek mas­ter­mind be­hind the heist, it is a per­fect date movie. Life of the Party

Melissa McCarthy, Christina Aguil­era, Matt Walsh, Molly Gor­don and He­lena Bon­ham Carter

Ma­pula Nkosi

Melissa McCarthy and Ben Fal­cone have given us Tammy and The Boss as a mag­i­cal comedic writ­ing and pro­duc­ing duo.

Life of the Party, though, feels like they were just go­ing through the mo­tions to sat­isfy a stu­dio deal. Af­ter her di­vorce, McCarthy goes back to col­lege where her daugh­ter is also study­ing to un­wit­tingly be­come the most pop­u­lar stu­dent as she tries to re­claim her dig­nity in life.

There are typ­i­cal slap­stick mo­ments and eye­brow-rais­ing lines, but McCarthy is luke­warm at best in this of­fer­ing or her brand of hu­mour here fails to light up.

Rooms at East Hong Kong ho­tel of­fer amaz­ing view.

Dec­o­rated dumplings and other good­ies at the Yum Chá res­tau­rant in Hong Hong.

/ Getty Im­ages

A worker cleans the plat­form be­side a Ma­glev train, also known as the mag­netic lev­i­ta­tion train, at a sta­tion in Shang­hai, China.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from South Africa

© PressReader. All rights reserved.