Polaroids from my first party! Jersey Shore themed with plenty of fine guidos and guidettes #birthday #myevents #jerseyshore #models #guidos #guidettes #polaroids

Party favours #boom #jerseyshore #party #firstevent

Come at me Bro. Custom made wristbands for the Jersey Shore party #myevents #jerseyshore

Melbourne @moyasauce #boom

#boom  

Why herro @moyasauce #melbourne #graffiti #love #alleyway

I do the ChaCha… for the Chaca

There’s yet another new Mexican joint to hit the streets of Hong Kong, in what 2012 has shown to be the city’s latest restaurant trend. Introducing: el Taco Chaca. Now I’m a sucker for food, but an even bigger sucker for all things Mexican (guac? Please slowly lather my whole body with it). So I really can’t think of any better addition than Mexican to add to Hong Kong’s already never ending line of restaurants..

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I was bouncing like Flubber when a friend told me the news that a.) he discovered Taco Chaca a few days ago, and the better news that b.) it’s right around the corner from where we live. Amazing? A-fucking-firmative.

So it was only a matter of minutes before my munchies led me to what will now be my favorite fast-food American-Mexi joint here (based on convenience, taste, price and convenience, convenience, convenience).

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It’s not to say it’s a grandiose of a place like Socialito with the pretty red lights, the spiffy bar and the sickass margaritas. In contrast it’s pretty grungy, taking the Brickhouse approach but without having the hired decorator of making grunge part of the décor, it just happens to be an actual hole-in-the-wall located on the corner of Second street. They may not make margaritas but hey, they’ve got patron so in my books, it’s an upscale hole-in-the-wall.

Now to the food. I’ve read some negative reviews of the place, not to say scathing but your typical, I’m American (better yet, I’m from California), thus know my Mexican food and thus can be Hong Kong’s Anton Ego. Well, here’s me trying to neutralize that shit.

The first time we went was for dinner, the place was packed which… for what I’m guessing is a 15-sitter, doesn’t seem like it would be too hard to do. There were some underage kids drinking their brewskies, a couple on what looked like a slightly awkward first date, and a large group of estrogen waiting for their takeaway so they could go home and pig out guilt-free without the prying eyes and jaw-dropping of strangers.

We went pretty extreme with our dinner order, ordering shamelessly and without a slight flush of embarrassment. Our bill ended up with: the Stuffed Cheese Platter, Monster Nachos, Carnitas Taco, Burrito Carne Asada, and two Coronas - a grand total of about HKD 270 – not too shabby for bursting our bellies.

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The Stuffed Cheese Platter were finger-fucking-licking good. First off, you really can’t go wrong with cheesy anything and second, you really can’t go wrong when they give you three different types. Que? Yes you heard me right fellow fatty, not just six jalapeno poppers of the typical mozzarella filled ones. No senor, this motherfucker has three different kinds. One being your Average Joe mozzarella filled popper, one with (oops I forgot) cheese and pepper, and the finale being a jalapeno stuffed with cheddar cheese.

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Now to the Monster Nachos, yet another order you can’t really go wrong with. Topped with cheese, sour cream, refried beans, salsa and some guacamole, I was definitely a happy camper nomming the evening away when this fat boy came. However, if I were to switch my annoying American Anton Ego side on, I suggest they un-laze the fuck up and make some dank homemade guac – that would knock this now-bad-boy out of the park. Oh, and it never hurts to go with “more is more” when it comes to Mexican food… AKA load up on that cheese, sour cream and guacamole, the portion of refried beans was definitely USA-quantity, but now the other sauces (which were Asian-quantity) need to play catch-up. To experience this Hapa monster you only need to fork out HKD 78 and bam, calories served straight-up.

Finally, our last dish for our devouring were the Carnitas Tacos (HKD 42). What I thought were meant to be soft tacos were described as soggy hard-shell tacos in one review… whether or not I was just still a dazed, hungry, hungry hippo who mistook the softness as sogginess.. the tacos seemed pretty good for their price. As always, pile on that guac, sour cream and Frank’s Red Hot Sauce and eat your heart out.

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Now our second adventure to Taco Chaca was for lunch, which I might advise against if you have plans later on because… a food coma will definitely ensue. This time round our order came up to HKD 286, and we got the Veggie Quesadilla, the Pollo Enchilada, the Carnitas Burrito and the Stuffed Cheese Platter… and of course two Coronas to wash our palates in between dishes.

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The Veggie Quasadellia was pretty good, especially considering it was only HKD 48. It was stuffed silly with cheese and had just the right amount of veggies so as not to overwhelm the cheesy delightfulness.

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The Pollo Enchiladas, on the other hand, was like a limp dick - weh - it was definitely the flop of the meal. I guess if you come from California (oh GOD did I really just pull that card?!) you have some idea what enchiladas should taste like. Although they looked delish to the eye, the tastebuds were unfortunately severely let down. So when it comes to this dish, say ext-nay on the enchiladas-ay and just skip it.

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The Carnitas Burrito was pretty decent. Stuffed purely with rice and pulled pork, and custom topped with sour cream, guacamole and Franks Red Hot Sauce, no complaints came out of my mouth… actually come to think of it, nothing came out of my mouth whatsoever. Nothing was given the chance to accidentally escape through a talk, cough or sneeze, shit was on lockdown as I chowed down the beast.

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While some reviews thought the staff were unfriendly and untrained, I have to say I thought they were chill. Well as chill as they could get in a space less than what looks like to be less than 400 sqft.

They weren’t hovering helicopters, which to me, was like striking gold. I hate, I mean extremely dislike, hovering anything’s, this goes from butterflies to people. So when the staff stayed behind the counter, only venturing to the tables to serve the food, I couldn’t have been a happier customer. Make sure you check this little Cholo treasure if you’re ever in Sai Ying Pun, you’ll definitely get the bang for your buck without having to have an hour long’s conversation with over-friendly staff.

Website: www.tacochaca.com
Address: Unit F, G/F, Tung Cheung Building
1 Second Street, Sai Ying Pun, HK
Contact: 2599 9519

S x

"Tattooing is about personalising the body, making it a true home and fit temple for the spirit that dwells inside it" #michelledelio #quoteoftheday #tattoos #earlymornings #blackandwhite

Tremors

Did you feel that? There was a tremor through my skin
A tingling sensation, coming from within.
The vibrations of music, rippling with the bass
I always thought the game, was all about the chase

But now that I’m here, I feel the music chilling down my spine
And all that I can think of, is how to make you mine.
But my eyes just can’t seem to focus, with this eruption of feeling,
They say that music is feeling, but it’s through the magic of hearing.
They might be right, but these needs have moved to physical healing
See I’ve suddenly got tunnel vision, and it’s toward you that I’m steering.

My hands are getting clammy, but my vision is getting clear
All I know right now is that I need you, I need you closer than near.
Closer than close, close to touch,
I need it right now, and I need it so much.

Did you feel that? It’s a tremor through my skin
This tingling sensation, coming from within,
The vibration of music, now tickling my bass,
Sometimes the game that we’re playing, doesn’t need the chase.

Just a touch, just a kiss, just a small simple stroke
You’ve got my body convulsing, craving to be choked.
Breath’s getting shallow and emotions dripping thick
See these pills that I’ve taken, have given quite the kick.
See my frequency is rising, and I think yours is rising too
So I’m watching your body, and I’m waiting for your cue.

Did you feel that? There was a tremor through my skin
A tingling sensation, coming from within
The vibrations of music, weaving in and out of the bass
I now see the game that we’ve been playing, was never about the chase

- Samantha Vaughn x

Drinking in China…

After being back home for two weeks, I have finally gotten over my China hangover and am able to write this post. So here it goes, drinking in China…

There are very few times in life, well thus far in my 22-years of existence, that gives you the opportunity to realize that you’ve made the right choice (career, relationship, school, the works) and are on the correct path.

Going to China for my very first business trip, the constant wine and dining with family friends and potential clients made me realize… that I may actually be on the right path. It’s custom here in Chinerland, and in most Asian cultures, to drink like a proud alcoholic during dinner. Luckily for me, my drinking CV has built up quite a rep the past seven years of my life.

Who knew the countless nights spent curled up by the toilet, puking the two bottles of Jim Beam that I’d down within minutes during my n00b years as a 15 year old, would prepare me to impress my potential clients years later. In the past I usually received comments of caution on my drinking (what young’in doesn’t right?). However, upon my arrival to China, my mom and my brother were boasting like proud parents of my drinking capabilities. I realized then that damn, all of my drinking, hangovers and blacked out nights have prepared me to do business in Asia… and that I just might be on the right track.

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See, in Chinese culture, or at least in Weifang, one does not merely sip and enjoy your drink freely as is custom in most Western cultures. Instead, we “gan bei’ - literal translation being dry cup, AKA down the drink. Whether it’s wine, beer or ‘bai jiu’ - literal translation ‘white alcohol’ (which can be over 60% alcohol content), one does not sip unless specified by the individual giving the toast… And one does not refuse a drink, unless you want to lose face and look like a p***y. Even my mom - who hasn’t been much of a drinker since her hay days - drinks during these outings. It’s basically mandatory drinking and stuffing your face, and it happens every time you go out for lunch and/or dinner. Talk about some major first world problems.

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Take for example when I had the pleasure of meeting Mr Ma, a man who owns a hotel in Shandong and a chain of famous hot pot restaurants. We all met exactly at noon at his hotel for lunch, and by the time we were done (three hours later), faces were red and the jokes were on. We then continued to a tea house to sober up and talk some business, before heading back out to have dinner at one of his hotpot restaurants… where of course the drinking and gan bei-ing resumed.

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It’s funny how it works out here, but people really do look at you with more respect if you can drink, especially when it comes to bai jiu - which happens to be one of my new-found specialties. See, I don’t really drink bai jiu unless I’m in mainland. However, I quickly discovered during my first visit that I can drink the shit out of bai jiu and still be kicking it just fine. However, whether you’re a badass drinker or Mr Weak Sauce, one thing you must always remember is the drinking etiquette.

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There seems to be several different rules that accompany drinking at the dinner table. The ones that I learned in Shandong were that first: don’t touch your drink unless you are being toasted to. The second thing to remember is that the host does the first three toasts, and that the three to follow are done by the person paying for the meal (sometimes these are two different people, otherwise just three toasts).

The main two guests sit on either side of the host, who are the third and fourth people to toast everyone during dinner. After that, individual guests are allowed to toast whomever they want. If the person giving the toast is a drinker, you can bet your bottom dollar that they will end their toast with, “hao ne, gan bei!” And unless you want to lose face and/or be disrespectful, you better drink till not a drop is left.

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All in all, I’m glad to be back home where I can sip, down or refuse to drink at my pleasing, and the pressure of giving a toast in Mandarin is nonexistent. But to tell you the truth, I am definitely looking forward to my next trip out to the mainland.

Cheers,
Samantha x

Changes

It’s been more than a minute since my last post, which I ironically had promised I was back in action. Well, we all say shit and accidentally don’t follow through right? Sometimes we just need a little push from someone to get back into things, and thankfully, I’ve been rightfully shoved :) So now I’m back into the deep end of blogging, back and hopefully with no more delays.

The past month itself has held quite a few changes, I had my first holiday in four years in which I was finally a tourist and, oh yeah, I’m now platinum blond.

So let’s start with the biggest change in relation to me shall we? I’m now a fucking blond. No, not fucking one, I am one. Now, I don’t know about you, but I’ve always been proud of having my brunette/strawberry/whatever-color-it-was hair. But, come one morning waking up hungover and watching some old No Doubt videos, I decided I was going platinum. After telling my old flatmate and some friends and getting them hyped about it, well, there was no turning back (I’m not one to go against my word).

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I’m not really sure if it was Ms Stefani who sparked my need for a physical makeover, or me being bored with life, but, all in all, I’m glad I did it. It was a change that could’ve gone disgustingly wrong (I’ve never been blond before), but thankfully, it went alright. I’m not going to lie, while I was getting it done I felt nauseous and at some points thought I resembled Legolas (which was troublesome since I’m an Aaragorn fan - not a fan of blondie). However, when the final touches of toner was rinsed out and my hair was blow-dried I breathed out a big sigh of relief. Although it did take a while for me to get accustomed to my new hair, I must say I’m starting to dig the new locks and am not sure when, or if, I’ll ever be going back.

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I guess what I’m saying is, is that change can be one scary fucker. Most of the times we say that we love surprises and changes in our lives, but do we really mean that? I mean, honestly, we only like the good surprises, the changes that we know that we’ll enjoy. Going platinum was like taking one giant leap into open space blindfolded, and I’m thankful to say that I landed semi-safely on the platinum side, thanks to Hong Kong’s Toni & Guy.

The next big change is my change in heart where home might be in the next few years. After moving to Hong Kong four years ago I thought I found the place that I would permanently reside. However, after my holiday in Sydney, I’ve got to say: I’ve got a change in heart. I don’t know if it was the holiday air or what, but I fell in love with the city and its architecture; the weather and its mellow residents (minus a few drugged-up crazies).

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The one week that I was there, we were able to go see the kangaroos and komodos at the Sydney Zoo, check out the hipsters in New Town and make semi-friends at the Bill&Toni’s around the corner, which I was pretty much at every morning. OH, and on a gloriously hungover afternoon, we got to check out the Fish Market where I was able to stuff myself silly with oysters. And no, it doesn’t stop there, I also got to see my very first live basketball game ever with the Sydney Kings versus the Melbourne Tigers, check out the Opera House, have drinks at the revolving bar located on top of Sydney’s Tower, and got to be part of a perfect Aussie night in with finger-licking good BBQ, great beats through a sick sound system, and amazing company. All in all, it was the perfect holiday away from Hong Kong, and who knows, maybe home in the future… now talk about some big changes.

Till All Hallows Eve
Samantha x

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