Dragon Dash and Ramen Noodles

Whaa… I apologize for not blogging in the past days. I have been very busy with activities, Quan Cais and homework. Of course, since we are at a UWC, there was much more to do that. Together with a few fellow LPCers, I volunteered at “Dragon Dash”, a fundraising event that is supporting “Feeding Hong Kong”. Feeding Hong Kong is a food bank dedicated to redistributing surplus food to people in need. By providing a bridge between the food industry and the hungry of Hong Kong, they provide a solution that simultaneously cuts food waste and feeds those most in need. Dragon Dash is a little harder to describe: It is an urban treausure hunt and team adventure race to ‘The Dragon’. The Dragon could be literally anywhere in Hong Kong– up a tree, at the top of a hill, in a cave, floating on a pontoon…. who knows?… Participants have to find the elusive creature only by solving clues who are hidden all over the city and completing a series of exciting challenges.

Dragon Dash was conceived in 2010 by a group of young professionals in Hong Kong. The idea was to create an event that promoted the discovery of the rich culture and history embedded in Hong Kong’s urban environment, to encourage working professionals to escape from the repetition of their normal weekend rituals, and to throw a great party at the end of it all, with all proceeds going to charity. The inaugural Dragon Dash was a great success, with over a hundred participants, and over $30,000 raised for the Hong Kong Children’s Cancer Foundation.As volunteers we were responsible for providing the “dashers” with clues that would lead them to the next place in the city. Belce, Joseph and me had to sit on a park bench in Lok Fu and wait for the dashers to find us, because their clue was to “find the unusual person”. Of course we did not just sit there, no we were dressed up as SpongeBob! I was quite amazed by the concept of Dragon Dash. Not only did groups in red T-Shirt and sometimes even incredibly cute and creative costumes take over the city, looking for the next hint, no, everything was coordinated through technology: after finding a clue, the participants had to check-in on the Dragon Dash App before continuing their scavenger hunt!

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We really enjoyed watching the groups run through the city and see the big smile on their face when they found SpongeBob handing out the next clue hidden in the Hong Kong magazine. While waiting for the next teams to arrive, Joseph gave Belce and me Mandarin lessons and read out of his favorite book.

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After all teams had passed us , we decided to go out for lunch in Mong Kok. Joseph took us to Ajisen, a Japanese ramen noodle restaurant. Together with several cups of hot green tea, we enjoyed our spicy noodles that came in a huge bowl, together with a big wooden spoon, which is used to help pick the noodles up with chop sticks. I ordered “spicy beef ramen” with extra chili-  it was delicious, bursting with thousand different Asian flavors. Yummy. I have to admit though, it’s not an easy food to handle graciously. Knowing how to elegantly eat a bowl of ramen with chopsticks is quite a skill.

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Since our noodles were spicy, we were craving something sweet and decided to walk around Mong Kok a little bit to find the desert we were looking for. Did I mention Hong Kong street food in one of my previous posts? I think I did. Did I mention egg waffles? Hmm… probably not. Hong Kong food trends literally bloom and burst faster than Hollywood romances, but for decades one particular street snack has stood the test of time – the humble “gai daan tsai”, or egg waffle. My local friends had mentioned them a lot, yet I never had time to try the waffle balls. Especially when they are served hot, they are wonderful, because the innards remain light and fluffy but the shell is crispy.

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Our next stop was the final station of Dragon Dash, were all “dashers” were supposed to meet and have an after-party. But since we were in Mong Kok, Joseph wanted us to have a unique and very Asian experience: a Korean photo booth! They are very different than the ones in Europe and allow you to take incredibly crazy, funny and cute photos.Squishing into the little colorful booth with three people and trying to take photos while the entire menu is in Korean was quite a fun experience.  Once we finally more or less managed to figure out what backgrounds and designs we wanted, the  real fun began: we imitated the positions a charming lady on the screen was showing us – in limited time! Then we got to customize your pictures, put words on their photos, draw/write things on them, add little shapes and borders, and so many other things. 

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On our way to the final dragon dash station we got a little confused and thus walked in the wrong direction. Luckily we realized that none of the street signs was showing a name that we had seen on our map, so after walking about 3 km, we decided to go into another shop and ask for help. Two hours late, tired but happy we arrived at the after-party where we were greeted with music and the smiles of our co-years. The day  ended with lots of laughter, dancing and a long MTR ride  home. We were happy about the fact that we supported a good cause and got to try something new! And we even made the night news, fast forward to 16:50!http://programme.tvb.com/news/newsat730/video/649/152249

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Back on campus we celebrated Brenda’s birthday with lots of cake and then had a roomie dinner with more noodles and soymilk. If I learned one thing about food at LPC, it’s that you never run out of it.

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Stay tuned, my next post about the “Initiative for Peace Training” will be up soon!