I got a 9 am wake up call from Uwe today, passed out again for an hour and a half and now can't sleep anymore. I may as well attempt to remember what transpired this week. Although I'm not sure if my brain is fully functional yet, I will try.
The Boys got in on Sunday while I was working, and upon completion of the day, I ran to their hotel. I waited in the lobby for them to come down, and after a half an hour the Dr. called to find out why I wasn't there
As it turns out, there are two branches of the hotel in Kowloon and they were at the other one. If I didn't adore that good Dr. I would have shot him. Instead, I hopped a cab and headed over to meet them.
When I arrived, the Dr. got his big hug as did Siva. I even gave one to his friend. Well, we had already waited long enough, so what is 5 more minutes. A bit longer and Konstantinos came down. This was cute. A handshake was given as we were introduced, and I just couldn't stand that. More Hugs it was.
They were hungry, I was starving, we headed out for some food. Panda's friend wanted Chinese, and as funny as this may sound, I had to call around to get a good Chinese restaurant. (I don't eat Chinese if I don't have to so asking me for a place is pointless) Back in a cab and over across the harbour we went. We did Chinese, had a bit of wine, a lot of nice conversation and went home to get ready for a week of work
. Oh, did I mention I spent the entire dinner trying to break the new v-cubes?
Monday I headed over after work~around 4 pm or so...I was just finishing some marking when I got this call begging for a certain brand of KO cubes. Apparently while I was at work two Greek bulls went rampaging down the aisles of the Toy Fair looking for copies. Now If you haven't met these two, you probably can't picture it, but I was in stitches
I did what I do best and called over to a guy I know to get those copies. As usual, I was greeted with "I'm not sure....." But Rox works miracles when she wants to....
I headed over to the fair, was given the booth number that was too insulting to let pass and tried to finagle them out of a cube. I was told they didn't bring enough samples to sell me one, so I placed an order to get one on the last day of the fair. To get that, I had to place a fake call to the good Dr (which he had difficulty following at first) I did a quick run over to Lucky Dog Creations only to find out that Mr. Tangle wasn't in that day.
Up to the 5th floor to wander around a while and then back to the booth. The day was too short for me (2 1/2 hours max) so I didn't see much at all.
Well, since I didn't manage to snag the cube at the fair, we went over to visit that guy I know and pick up those KO's that were needed. Since the shop I was heading out to was close to the HKTGF, we took the tram over there. A bit of old transport for Pandas friend, and a beautiful way to see that section of HK at night. Dinner at the outback and after far too much wine for this little girl we said our goodbyes and headed home.
Tuesday morning I was back at work but only lasted for an hour of my class. Back over to the fair for more fun and games. Again, no Mr. Tangle, but I did meet up with Uwe and Mark Setteducati for a late lunch (3 pm) Mark has designed this really cool jigsaw puzzle that I'm going to purchase this week. (I know-jigsaw???-but it really is great. You take your photo, send in the link, and it sends you a 'map' of the pieces to use to design your photo. 200 identical pieces with slightly different coloration to it) I think he told me it will be distributed by Milton Bradly or Hasbro this coming year. It's already out in Japan though. Before heading out to eat, Mark and Uwe stopped by the Mindstrat booth and Panda demonstrated the All for one puzzle.
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Now I want to interrupt here and give a bit of background. I've 'known' Konstantinos for about 3 or 4 years via email and have never met him. I've known Uwe for way too long to remember and adore him. There is no need to discuss my admiration and the trust I have in Uwe. I listen to what he tells me because I've learned over the years he is seldom wrong. Apparently there was some bad blood between Verdes innovations and Meffert's puzzles (I'm sure we've all read those posts) He warned me the previous week to 'be careful because young Verdes is a bit of a hothead'. This put a smidgen of fear in me and I was honestly and understandably afraid of meeting Konstantinos. Almost as much as I was excited to meet him!
Well, after getting a bit tipsy with him two nights in a row, I figured anyone who would drink and smoke with me couldn't be all that bad. Add to that the wink he has with that twinkle in his eye and I was hopelessly lost in friendship. (I listen to others, but make my own judgments) I knew Uwe was coming to the booth so I warned Konstantinos-nay begged him-to behave himself. He did great! The two talked and shook hands. Uwe spoke a bit, and I was afraid it what was said would be taken badly but that 'young Verdes hothead' controlled himself. Mind it may have had something to do with my claws digging into his back, but I'm not sure
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As we left each other, Uwe reminded me to be careful and have a fun evening. (very sweetly, I was also reminded I had his number if I had problems getting home!
Have I ever mentioned how much I love that old fellow?) Tuesday night was our puzzle meet up, and it was great fun. Matt and the bug came along. The guys were interviewed during dinner, and there were quite a few puzzlers from HK there as well. I brought some puzzles, Panda brought some puzzles, the kids from HK brought some puzzles. It was a puzzling evening.
I can't remember all what was on the table, but there was a bit of cash value to it all.
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Jay Horowitz from American Toys Company joined us and we got to hear stories of all his purchases and a bit about what is coming in the future....
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And bless Matt, he enjoyed the evening as much as I did. He was caught in the above photo Playing with a toy!
something I can almost never get him to do. Panda has the magic in him!
We were going to go out for a drink with Smaz and AJ, but it started to rain while we were waiting for AJ to check into his hotel so we jumped a cab and went back to their hotel for dessert and a night cap. Got home late as usual, drunk as usual, and exhausted as usual.
Wednesday I managed to get over to the fair around 12 (I had to sleep off the night before) and Panda and I went on a toy hunt and rushed over to meet Mr. Tangle.
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Konstantinos and I did a walk about to see if there were anymore KO v-cubes out. I knew where one was so I took him up, and when he explained himself, the guy just took it off display. So much for the hothead I was hoping to see!
That evening we went to Sevva for dinner and to watch the light show. Hong Kong is a beautiful city at night, and it's even more beautiful when you're with good friends.
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After dinner it was up to Lan Kwai Fung for yet another drink and more chatting. Panda, Siva, and Panda's friend decided they had had enough, but the night was still young so Konstantinos and I stayed behind to talk a bit more. This was a night of adventure....food on a stick, fruit markets, crazy taxi drivers, and Rox being a harpie in Cantonese! The rest is not a story for the telling.
(get your minds out of the gutter!) It was just funnier drunk than it is three days later and sober.
We woke up at around 12 on Thursday and headed back to the fair. Shopping day! I went down and got those cubes from that booth, but the jerk wouldn't sell me the box
I must say, this year was a disappointment for me. I didn't see anything new, and really didn't leave with many toys. I was told people are becoming more wary of KO's so most business was happening at the main offices.
I met Hanover (the um...inventor of the platypus-a story I will never tell) and got a bit more 'puzzle currency' I did get an interesting puzzle. Da Seng. It's just another 3x3x3, but the difference in this one is that the holes on the pieces are all on the outside edges. All the bits are capped outside. I'd heard of this but never saw one so I was glad to get it. The only problem I can see is if you set it down too hard, the pieces fall out. I have to hunt for two lost bits today. Miss N. dropped it and around 20 of them popped. I snagged the rest of the Crystal puzzles and even managed a prototype Saturn from them. Sweet men they are as well.
We closed the booth at 5:30 and Konstantinos and I headed over to the attorneys. WOW!!! what a business lesson that was for me. Enough said. Dinner was in a traditional Chinese Tea house. 1930's if I remember right. Back to his hotel to pack, and it was a sad evening for me to see him jump in that cab. Hothead indeed!
I'll miss the lad.
Friday morning Siva left early so I said my goodbyes to him the night before. I went in to work, taught a class and then met Dr. Panda and his friend at the Art museum. We enjoyed an exhibit or two then headed over to the Tangle gallery. Via star ferry. Not being a boat person, I didn't take many photos of this bit of the weekend.
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Panda got a bit tangled up
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And he just wasn't strong enough to pick up the rock
That evening saw us at Ambrosia in TST. A beautiful view it has. We went to dinner with Jay Nuts from new Zealand (I wrote of him 3 years ago) and had a great dinner. When finished we headed back to HK Island and took the escalator system to the top of Mid-Levels then walked back down to Soho. Panda and his friend headed back to the hotel and I played hostess to Jay. (There seems to be a recurring theme going on here doesn't there? Panda and his friend going back to the hotel, Rox staying out and getting plastered
Saturday we went to Windows of the world in Shenzhen. Dung Mun was first as I wanted to show them a 'typical shopping district' but before we did that, Rox had a mission. I had to stop by a little shop and purchase a few KO's with boxes and receipts. As usual, It worked!
Photos were taken, receipts were given....BUSTED!
After Dung Mun we jumped a cab and headed to the other side of Shenzhen. What a ride that was! Harpie came out of me again as I shouted for him to slow down and stop driving like a jerk! In and out of traffic with out even looking in his mirrors. We wanted Splendid China, but got Windows instead. Oh well, that is an adventure in itself. This is a miniature world tour. we saw St. Marks square next to the Taj Mahal, Next to the Sydney opera house, next to dutch windmills, all with the Eiffel tower rising majestically in the back ground
Panda kept saying how wonderful the work was and yet how disgusting it was because of the lack of thought in the layout. Having seen it before, I attempted to take photos of the absurdity of the place.
I don't think I did it justice.
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A height perspective shot that I just couldn't resist!
As usual, all photos are on facebook.http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=2081944&id=1138673266&l=0fa195c954http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=2081948&id=1138673266&l=ece5965aaahttp://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=2081949&id=1138673266&l=95183d8996http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=2075748&id=1138673266&l=b08dd6797b
This years fair was more one of meeting up with old friends than it was puzzle hunting. As usual, I'm glad to see it end, and at the same time sad. I look forward to the next one.....
And I do believe Tony that I
have now used up more than my quota of smilies!