By letters

Things I miss about Vancouver
My family
My friends
The mountains
The ocean
The smell of the forest after it rains
Kicking around that piece of ground in my home town

Things I miss about Quebec
The people
The people
The people
The deep grip of winter
Cross-country skiing out my front door
Ice skating just down the street
Montain biking in the Laurentians
Fairmount Bagel
Radio Centre-Ville
The Record (Yes Rita, sometimes it’s true.)

Things I miss about Hong Kong
The food
The food
The food
Being on television every day (It was hard work, but lots of fun)
Junk trips
Hiking in the New Territories
Riding my bike up to The Peak and back
Gazing at the skyline
The frenetic pulse of Central
The bird market (the old location)
Flying into Kai Tak airport (if you missed it, you missed it)

Did I mention the food?

Things I love about Germany
My wife
My daughter
Our family
A job that gives me ample time to enjoy all three
Liberation from the hassle of owning a car
My bicycle
Clean North Sea air
32 days paid vacation
Still no Sunday Shopping (but for how long?)

© 2007 lettershometoyou

26 Responses to “Vancouver, Montreal, Hong Kong, Hamburg”

  1. February 20, 2007 at 7:31 am

    Though I am from Cincinnati I actually miss something from Quebec!

    I used to listen to the Northern Quebec Service of the CBC, which gave good reception in Southern Ohio. Favorite program (this was the early 80’s) was the Royal Canadian Air Farce. It was hilarious, even for someone with little knowledge of Canadian politics. I don’t know why we could get it in Ohio – I always thought it was intended for the Eskimos up north.

    Germany: I think the Sunday shopping has already started.

  2. July 8, 2007 at 5:27 pm

    Re: Vancouver
    Seawall (Stanley Park). I was so sad the storm a while back basically wreck my beloved seawall and the trees very badly.

    Re: Quebec
    The people (Montreal)
    The people not (Quebec City)
    The people, when I spoke French (Quebec City)

    Re: Hong Kong
    What did you do on TV?
    Flying into Kai Tak airport (love looking into someone’s kitchen and watch them cook (smile))
    bird market (oh, they moved. Hmm, a fancy bird market is no bird market, IMHO.)

    Re: Germany
    Everyone gets window office too, right?

  3. July 8, 2007 at 8:50 pm

    hi kempton,

    I was in Vancouver only a couple of weeks ago and was amazed at all the devastation in the park. We wanted to do the seawall but it was closed. They are still clearing away debris many months later. It was a very destructive storm.

    In HK I did the Financial Report for TVB. Were you in HK too?

    Haven’t been back since 1997. I hear the bird market of Yau Ma Tei (?) is no more, which I agree is kinda sad. It was very atmospheric in that old neighbourhood.

  4. July 24, 2007 at 12:00 am

    Hey Ian,

    I grew up in HK. The HK gov has the mentality of lets tear old and established things down and build some shinny new buildings up and that will be better. Not that I am an architecture expert (OK, may be I am having a Prince Charles moment here) but the new Star Ferry Pier and the Disneyfication of the building design just make many HK people who has a sense of history cry.

  5. July 24, 2007 at 7:57 pm

    Hi kempton,
    The whole area is in a building frenzy – the old saying for HK was, “it would be a great place to live, if only they’d finish it.” Construction everywhere, constant jack-hammering. Did you ever see Macau before they went crazy with the reclamation projects? They filled in this beautiful sweeping bay and put in a LAKE. I hope to have a photo post one of these days on how Hamburg has managed to preserve old buildings by putting life back into them.

  6. July 24, 2007 at 11:50 pm

    Hi Ian,

    I visited Macau twice I think, once was as a kid and only briefly. The other time was worst as I was filming my documentary and didn’t even leave the terminal.

    I heard from my friend who has family in Germany that the way they preserve old buildings are great. If I am not mistaken, company have to have insurance to rebuild old buildings close to they were before even if the building gets burnt down by accident. Any truth? Plus, in Germany, everyone who works will have a window office?

  7. November 26, 2007 at 1:37 am

    And what my biggest challenge is to convince my Irish/Canadian husband that he’d love living in Europe.. But where? It won’t be Switzerland or France, but of course I still have hope..

    Possibly the draw to the Netherlands and the North Sea will help.

    I love your sustainability clause… love it!

  8. February 13, 2008 at 11:57 am

    Radio Centre-Ville! Fairmount Bagel Bakery! Saint-Lawrence Bakery! Waldman’s! Warshaw’s! La brûlerie Saint-Denis.
    (but February? Not at all.)

  9. February 13, 2008 at 6:01 pm

    Yes, Lee – February can be cruel in Montreal, but after all this time, I’ve forgotten the awful cold and remember the beautiful days cross-country skiing in the Laurentians and the Townships, skating on the old Olympic Rowing courses on the river, and the feeling of Spring when it finally comes. Thanks for dropping by!

  10. February 14, 2008 at 1:13 pm

    Oh, I like this post a lot and think I’ll do something similar on casa az soon – there are always things you miss, aren’t there?

  11. 11 alwaysthatgirl
    February 21, 2008 at 10:46 pm

    Ian. Like this post, Love your blog. Thanks for visiting mine and the excellent wisdom. 🙂 I like the simplicity of how you miss Vancouver. When asked about why I loved it, those are my friends, family, ocean, mountains, air, smell of the rain. Sometimes we need few words to describe our passions.

  12. June 5, 2008 at 1:37 am

    I miss no shopping on Sunday.

  13. 13 sevensisters
    August 21, 2008 at 3:01 pm

    Hi Ian,
    I used to buy a sinful pastry called a “Religeuse” at the Patisserie Belge on my way home from McGill – a delicious calorie- laden afternoon snack. Loved the “deep grip of winter” in Montreal. That always meant evenings in a café with a glass of warming cognac, and visits to the cinema in Outrement to watch arty movies.

  14. August 21, 2008 at 3:58 pm

    Ah yes, why waste six months of winter at 2 degrees above zero when you can freeze the lakes a foot thick and go skating for weeks at a time? For the cozy side I used to enjoy lounging around a spacious magazine store just down the road from Radio Centre-Ville, a half-dozen bagels in a paper bag waiting for the kitchen table. Can’t recall the name of the place.

  15. February 5, 2009 at 5:00 pm

    Add one more to this Hong Kong / Canada dialogue… although I know I’m months late. Ian, you left a comment on my comment at The Task At Hand, regarding your stay in HK. I spent my first 14 years of life in HK, but that was decades ago. So I don’t suppose I had seen you on TV then. But just curious, which TV station and program did you appear in? I moved to Canada with my family and settled in Calgary ever since. I haven’t been to Hamburg, but have visited other European cities a few times… enjoy your London posts.

    (BTW, you left a comment in my blog post on “Petra” when I found out my post was being copied. You gave me a link to deal with that. Thanks for the info.)

    • February 5, 2009 at 6:54 pm

      Hi Arti,
      In the mid-90s I worked for TVB Pearl, first off-air, then on. I wrote, packaged and presented the Financial Report, and when they started a new weekly show I worked on that as a producer as well.

  16. 17 Firerocket
    February 17, 2009 at 2:08 pm

    Hahaha. I love Hong Kong!
    I’ve been living here 7 years now. :]
    And I completely agree with everything you said.
    (Except the being on television.)
    Unfortunately, I missed the old airport. Shame.
    But the food, the food, the food!
    Last November, we did a charity trek for autistic children in Hong Kong, and we started the trek at the peak and it was a 50km trek, all along the Hong Kong Trail. It was amazing!
    But yes, Hong Kong = best city in the world, hands down. (in my opinion, of course.) xP

  17. May 27, 2009 at 9:52 pm

    Vancouver quite simply has the best Crepe bar I have ever been to, somewhere off Burrad if I recall correctly.

    I only wish Cincinnati had such a wonderful thing as a late night place where you could mingle and enjoy gourmet crepes.

  18. 19 jesicom
    October 14, 2009 at 7:02 pm

    What is the original Chinese for “Coco Cola bring ancestor from dead”?

    Coco Cola in Chinese is 可口可乐 – joyfully delicious

    Would like to learn from you more favor Chinese translation.

  19. 20 voyance
    November 6, 2009 at 7:54 am

    i just needed to tell you that your blog is awesome

    thank you so much

  20. November 24, 2009 at 1:39 pm

    Hi Ian,
    After reading your post, I think I wasted my time (11 years!) with being in Quebec City – people are certainly not the reason I stayed here. I started thinking seriously about moving to Montreal next year, and then to Germany sometimes later. And I WILL NOT miss the winter, I swear! After 5 years of shoveling mountains of snow for almost 6 months I can imagine being happy with 2 degrees winter 😉

  21. 23 mamadou
    July 26, 2010 at 1:06 am

    Oh dear. The plight of expats and the great travelled man !

    Things I miss about Hong Kong: Nothing at all.

    Edit by ian in hamburg: I am publishing your comment hoping people will see the IP address that came along with it:
    Readers, please be advised this IP has been flagged and is on blacklists. Details here:

    I’m sure Hong Kong doesn’t miss you either, bud.

  22. April 23, 2012 at 12:22 pm

    Re: Vancouver
    Summer here in Vancouver is just unbeatable 🙂

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