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  • Visiting Tianjin

    Saturday, Nov 6, 2010 12:10PM / Members only

    Took a day trip to the city of Tainjin on Thursday to attend the opening of a new polo club.  I'd never seen a polo match before and I was curious to see what  polo match in China would be like.  After all, the game of polo originated in China and Persia about 2000 years ago.  The grounds and club were impeccable, although the buildings were still not finished and the food that was served at the match at half time was amazing.

    The strange thing was that none of the people on the field were Chinese.  Everyone, including the half time entertainment was brought in from Europe.  The polo players were British, the marching band came from Russia and the dancers came from Eastern Europe as well.  There were even Eastern European women hired to stand at the entrance of the polo club to show how "international" the club was.

    We were incredibly lucky to get to the venue at all.  After a 25 minute ride on the bullet train from Beijing (for only 58¥ or about $9) we hopped in a cab to the event.  The most exciting part of our journey that morning was on the way to the event in the taxi.  While on the freeway our driver realized he was lost and instead of getting off at the next exit and turning around, he decided to make a u-turn in the middle of the freeway and proceeded to travel in the opposite direction of the traffic!!!  Apparently this is not uncommon in China, especially in Tianjin.

    After the match we jumped into another cab to town to eat the speciality of Tainjin called Goubuli Baozi, which literally translates into "the dog disregards the dumpling".  I must admit i was a little concerned when i recognized the word "dog" in the name, but i was assured that I had nothing to worry about.

    We ate one of each of the seven flavors it came in and it was easy to see why this dish was so popular in Tainjin.  They were amazing.

    Goubuli Baozi - each dumpling comes in it's own little bamboo steamer.

    This restaurant is well known for their goubuli  baozi.

    Right after we finished eating a young man in a red tunic came to the tables and performed a traditional Chinese rap assisted by clappers called kuaiban or kuai shu.  These clappers have been in China for thousands of years but this particular kind of rapping was developed in Tianjin in the 1940's.

    Rule #1:  When visiting Tianjin, make sure you go to the bathroom before jumping into a cab!

      1,532 views Share    

  • My weekend visit to Taiyuan in the Shanxi Provence

    Sunday, Oct 31, 2010 9:53PM / Members only

    Took my first trip in China outside of Beijing or Shanghai this weekend to the city of Taiyuan in the Shanxi province as a guest of the Through Beijing Film & TV Co., LTD.

    The first night we were treated to an amazing dinner in a private room of a beautiful traditional restaurant.  The food was not just delicious, but the presentation of the 20 or so dishes was amazing.  The company who hosted us also had a division of liquor which was served in huge quantities all night long.  As the guest of honor I was expected to drink a shot with everyone of the 10 hosts at the table.  Being a non-drinker that was just not going to happen.  The peer pressure to partake in the imbibing was something I haven't experienced since high school.  I tried to get away with just touching the alcohol to my lips, but the party came to a screeching halt as the hosts all stared at me and insisted I not insult them by finishing off the shot.  I was torn between insulting our hosts and embarrassing myself by getting sick and possibly spewing the dinner back onto the table.  Luckily my friend, Russell, came to my rescue and offered to drink for me.  Our hosts seemed satisfied with that and I was saved while poor Russell drank double for me for the rest of the night.   As Taiyuan is famous for their noodles, after dinner, we were treated to a noodle making show.

    Of course after the restaurant we went to a KTV (Karaoke) place where, once again, I was peer pressured to join in the singing.  But like my drinking, I stood firm.  I managed to save face when I got up to shake my ass to some silly song about gummy bears though.  The Chinese seem to like the way I dance and they all got up to join me.  Or perhaps they were just helping me save face once again by not letting me be the only one making an ass of myself.

    The next day we visited the new film studio the company is building at Shitai Lake.  We took a ride on one of the boats and witnessed some of the fish jumping out of the water as we rode past.  Of course, one of them showed up on our lunch table an hour later.  Yum.

    Video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yMfJculkeZM

    The studio was quite a way outside of the city and it wouldn't have been such a bad drive except that the Big Boss who rode with us liked to smoke in the car.  It seems that he didn't get the memo about smoking killing not only the smoker, but also the people around him who have to breathe at some point during the 80 minute ride.  I guess living in Los Angeles, where smoking is prohibited just about everywhere, I've been spoiled.   There are still so many smokers in China I'm afraid the world's tobacco industry would collapse if China suddenly decided to ban smoking all together.

    If the smoking didn't kill me, the driving in Taiyuan might have.  At many occasions in the day I'd see cars cross the yellow lines into ongoing traffic, just missing head on collisions by inches.

    The crazy driving in Taiyuan, however, was only one test of my bladder control.There were a lot of squat toilets in the public areas and there was rarely any toilet tissue.  So I found myself holding it for as long as I could stand.  But at some point I had to give in and take the gamble of getting to a bathroom with either Western or Chinese style squat toilets.  I still haven't quite mastered the art of the squat toilet yet and I think my newly purchased boots may have suffered the consequences.  Oops.

      1,092 views Share    

  • Back in Beijing

    Monday, Oct 25, 2010 9:19AM / Members only

    Been back in Beijing for a few days now.  It's taken me a while to get settled in again, but it's great to be back continuing my adventure here.  So many fun things to see and experience in this city.

    Last night I met up with a friend visiting from LA who's been frequenting China since the 80's.  She and a bunch of other Chinese folks took me to a North Korean restaurant for dinner.  I love Korean food, but I've never experienced North Korean cuisine before.  I was somewhat skeptical from the start since North Koreans are not quite known for their cuisine.  In fact, North Korea isn't known for feeding their people at all.  With all the stories I hear of those poor people starving to death, I was really curious to see what kind of food they'd be drumming up.

    All of the waitresses and much of the food is shipped in from NK.  The women who were serving us were apparently the best and the brightest of NK.   Having a job outside of the country for them is a great privilege.  Not only do they get to travel outside of their country, they get to eat all the food from the restaurant while their countrymen are back home starving.  I was told that they are all housed together in the same place and each get paid about $15/month.  They are not allowed to roam about the city freely, but instead have military escorts whenever they go outside of their living quarters or restaurant.

    The interior of the restaurant was sparse and dated.  Lots of formica tables and walls decorated with scant fake flowers and other cheap looking items.

    The meal started with a sort of sweet mochi with sweet bean paste inside.  I wasn't expecting to get desert before the meal but I guess that's what they do in NK.  Then we got a buttery rare mushroom dish, followed by one of the largest lobsters I'd ever seen.  The presentations of the dishes were beautiful, but I suspect it was to cover up the lack of quality of the food.  We had gorgeous sashimi platter but the fish was hard and sometimes grisly.  Then we were each given a huge shrimp covered in cheese.  I'm thinking that might not be a traditional Korean dish.  I would be shocked if the Koreans actually made cheese way back when.  At one point we were served another delicacy of hairy crab.  It's a certain crab that's only available for a few weeks of the year and really has long hair up to about 3/4 inches long on it's shell.  The rest of the dishes weren't too bad except for the super spicy chicken knees.  Yes, I said "knees".  I didn't even know chickens had knees!  It was hard for me to get past the crunchy cartilage to enjoy the little meat there was so I spit it out onto my plate as gracefully as I could without making too much of a scene and covered it with my hairy crab shells while I choked on the whole red peppers.

    Towards the end of dinner we were entertained by some of the singers and a drummer all performing in the tiny space in our private room (which, by the way also included a flat screen tv).  As the singers serenaded us the waitresses handed us well worn silk flowers to hand to the singers when they were done.  It was obvious that the flowers were being constantly recycled throughout the many evenings, but the performers pretended to appreciate them nonetheless.

    Very glad to have had the North Korean experience, but I don't think I'll be asking to go back unless I'm somehow overcome by an overwhelming desire for spicy chicken knees.

      996 views Share    

  • Back in Hawaii

    Thursday, Oct 7, 2010 11:01PM / Members only

    Back in Hawaii to shoot another episode of Hawaii 5-0.  Yay.  the crappy part is that I had to fly myself all the way back from Beijing to do it.  I had only been in Beijing for a few days when I found out that I would have to fly myself all the way back to work.  That's so typical.  In my business the saying goes, "If you want to book work, book a trip."  It's so true, but why does that always happen?

    Ran lines with my very patient friend, Tracy, for a couple of hours last night.  I get all the exposition on this show.  So hard to get all those names and titles right.  At least I'm familiar with the Hawaiian words that come up.  Would be horrible if I had to learn that, too.

    So I took an Ambien (10mg) last night to make sure I would get a good nights sleep for my big day on set tomorrow with all that dialog and I found myself wide awake at 2:00AM!  WTF!  This damn jet lag even kicked the Ambien's butt!  So I figured I'd catch up on some blogging since I'm wide awake anyway.  Been too busy traveling and memorizing dialog to blog in the last few days.

    Can't wait to work again tomorrow with the Hawaiian crew.  Hawaii's such a small place that I've worked with a lot of these folks before on other shows.  I even worked with a couple of them on the very first show I booked as a teenager on "Growing Pains"!  Funny enough, my on set dresser is also my 1st cousin, Michael.  I love having him near me when I work.  The first time he stepped onto a set was when I took him with me to Bulgaria, as my personal assistant and chef, to shoot "The Tournament".  Guess he had a good time because he joined the business when he got home.
    Michael and I looking at the scary house in back of our Bulgarian apartment.

    I feel so well taken care of on set here, better than anywhere else I've ever worked.  I wonder if Hawaiian crews just treat everyone so well in general or if they give me extra attention because I'm one of them.  Or maybe it's because they're just so happy to see a fellow Hawaiian on the show.  Speaking of which, hung out with Jason Scott Lee on set for a bit today.  So glad he booked the show, too.  Only makes sense since he lives here.  Well, not on this island, but in Hawaii.

    I feel so supported being from the islands.  Not just with this crew, but with the entire Hawaiian community.  I'm constantly told by strangers here that they've been watching my career since I won Miss Teen USA (that's a heck of a long time ago) and that they are so happy for my success.  Does that happen anywhere else in the world or is there a special bond that connects us here in these islands?  Do people from big cities like NY get excited when they see a fellow New Yorker get a tv show?  Or do folks from LA care if a fellow Angelino books a huge movie?  Do people from big cities get the kind of support we do coming from small towns or islands in the middle of the Pacific?  I sure hope so.  Everyone should be able to experience what it's like to have a whole town rooting for them in life.

      1,419 views Share    

  • Day 6 in Beijing

    Saturday, Oct 2, 2010 11:54AM / Members only

    Yesterday was China's National day celebrating 61 years since the Founding of the People's Republic of China.  There was a very calm and almost solemn event at Tiananmen Square where tons of government officials from all over China attended.  I wasn't brave enough to check it out live so I just watched the ceremony from my tiny apartment.

    I did brave it out of the apartment to see a couple of lawyer friends in the Russian section of Beijing.  It was the perfect day for having lunch overlooking the park.  After lunch, my friend, Russell and I passed buy the Catholic church in Wangfujing on the way to buy a printer.  Mom will be happy to know that I went to church in Beijing... sort of.

    After we got the printer we jumped back onto the subway at... peak hour.  I didn't understand why the train was so packed since it was a holiday in Beijing and no one was working.  There were actually workers wearing red armbands whose job it was to shove and pack people into the subway, packing their limbs, clothing and bags in as the doors closed on them.  I'm so glad I'm tall in China.  It helps get a bit more breathing space when you're all packed in like sardines. Surprisingly, the Chinese folks were all in very good spirits about it all, laughing while shrieking as they got shoved around and no one got agitated about being packed in like sardines.  It's a good example of the attitude that a lot of Chinese take on in cases like these, "no sense in getting upset when you can't do anything about it." 

    Video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pPcYm_aWPtM

    My friend, Flora, took me to an amazing party last night at the Beijing Film Studio.  It was a birthday party for an expat couple hosted by a wealthy Chinese businessman and there were no expenses spared.  The setting was in an old fashioned courtyard of a Chinese set and the dress was "anything Chinese".  Of course I didn't know that until Flora told me about the party only an hour before so I didn't have the proper attire, but she was kind enough to bring me a halter top that had a Chinese flare.  Would like to have had something to cover up my butt though.  

    We left the party early and entered my worst nightmare... karaoke.  The Chinese are very big on karaoke, dare I say, even more so than Korea or Japan.  The room we were in was huge and lavishly set up with a wait staff of two tending to our every need.  Still, I refused to sing anything but I did get up and shake my booty to some Lady Gaga.  It was a super fun night.

      1,067 views Share    

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  • posted on Wednesday, Jan 1, 2014 8:46AM  [Report]
    Wishing you Happy New Year! I hope all has been well.
  • posted on Monday, Dec 23, 2013 3:22PM  [Report]
    I think that u r very gorgeous + I would very much like to have a sign photo of u! So I am wish u a very Christmas and a Happy New Year.
  • posted on Friday, May 3, 2013 9:56PM  [Report]
    YOU are the MOST BEAUTIFUL woman I have EVER seen, I fell in love with YOU the very first time I saw you!!! [email protected].
    I wish I had an autographed photo of you!!!!
  • posted on Thursday, Feb 28, 2013 2:46AM  [Report]
    Hey Kelly, I'm really sorry that I gave you a very
    'belated' Happy Birthday two weeks late today.
    I hope you'll forgive me for that.

    Best (late) wishes from "QuietLion" aka Danny
  • posted on Thursday, Feb 14, 2013 3:00PM  [Report]
    Happy Birthday!
  • posted on Tuesday, Feb 12, 2013 4:14PM  [Report]
  • posted on Tuesday, Dec 25, 2012 2:14AM  [Report]
    Merry Christmas!!! :)
  • posted on Tuesday, Oct 16, 2012 10:47PM  [Report]
  • posted on Tuesday, Oct 16, 2012 10:46PM  [Report]

  • posted on Monday, Oct 1, 2012 12:20PM  [Report]
  • posted on Monday, Sep 10, 2012 5:24AM  [Report]
    Gostaria de saber, porque você nunca responde aos emails que lhe mandamos.

    Te amo MUITO meu fôfo. Beijão!!!
  • posted on Monday, Sep 10, 2012 5:22AM  [Report]
    Hi Ms Hu.

    Sou Flávio José. Sou apaixonado por você e gostaria muito de um dia lhe conhecer.
    Quando vier ao Brasil, lembre-se de mim. Te amo de verdade.
  • posted on Tuesday, Aug 21, 2012 6:45AM  [Report]
    Hi Ms Hu.
    I am big fan ever since I saw you on "Law and Order" and Hawaii 50. I was not pleased when you got killed off.
    I will be in Vancouver in October for Rotary Intl. Zone Conference. if you are still shooting I would aske you to be a guest speaker.
    If not I quite understand.
    take care and be safe.
  • posted on Monday, Aug 20, 2012 10:39AM  [Report]
    Hi Kelly, my name is Flávio José, I live in Brazil, I am your fan, and I love your work and your serenity a lot as the professional, you are VERY beautiful and it transmits peace in everything that does, it would like one day to know him/her if possible, I will always be sending him/her positive energy for every moment of your life, he/she wants they are good or sad, plus, with this you will always overcome.

    I love him/her a lot!!!

    To meditate: Always have courage to change the things that can; Serenity to accept the ones that is not able to; Wisdom to notice the differences ".
  • posted on Friday, Jul 27, 2012 1:39AM  [Report]
    Hi Kelly, are you still in vancouver filming? if so how long do you anticipate being there?
  • posted on Thursday, Jul 19, 2012 7:07AM  [Report]
    Hello Ms. Hu,

    I really enjoy your acting, was just watching an episode of NCIS. Love your character. I hope all is well :-)
  • posted on Thursday, Jul 19, 2012 7:07AM  [Report]
    Hello Ms. Hu,

    I really enjoy your acting, was just watching an episode of NCIS. Love your character. I hope all is well :-)
  • posted on Thursday, Jun 7, 2012 12:26PM  [Report]
    Saw "Devil's Den" today on Netflix. I would be afraid to run into you...but would do it anyway.
  • posted on Tuesday, May 1, 2012 12:19AM  [Report]
    so how r u?
  • posted on Monday, Apr 30, 2012 2:21PM  [Report]
    It was nice meeting you today at TD’s class. I’m still in awe of your humility and it didn’t really hit me who you were until I was in the parking lot. TD’s great, but if you haven’t already, you should try one of LA’s classes earlier in the day. She’s from HI as well and I think that you’d really like her style. Have a great week!
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  • Hi! This is Kelly Hu! Welcome to my AliveNotDead.com profile page!...


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