Well… here it is… my one month anniversary with Hong Kong. And as predicted much has changed… Seeking new outlets and becoming more official everyday.
I am still enjoying life here, though have been here long enough to have developed a few pet peeves as well. (People walk really slow and just randomly stop… and British people are really working my last nerves about speaking American English rather than “correct” English… )
Teaching kindergarten is good and bad. The kids are SO freakin’ funny… and they love me (now that they are not scared of me) so that is better. But I have to say, it gets a little b-o-r-i-n-g… Ah well, still no papers to grade and no real lessons to plan. We actually had school cancelled (for half a day?!) on Monday because of Typhoon Damprey. The government posts an alert and then… no school. But then they can change their minds I guess ’cause we had to go in the afternoon. I was always glad when school was closed for snow in Nevada, because once they made the call they had to go with it. Interestingly, it was typhoon 3 and it was worse when we went back to work than it had been in the morning. [Insert your big government joke here.] The typhoon scale is also funny… it goes from 1 to 10 but they only use 1, 3, 8, 9, (and I guess 10?) because they are lucky/auspicious numbers.
On that subject… I am finally getting a land line in my apartment… and I too have a very auspicious number (I really am liking that word – auspicious -) so that is good… I was told it translates to something like long-lasting or recurring protected wealth… or something… 2716-9868. The reason I was able to get the phone line is that my working visa was approved (yay!) so I am one more step closer to getting a Hong Kong ID, which in turn means I can get braodband in my house and FINALLY get out of internet cafes… oh, after I convince a parent or two that I will not make it without a computer that they really want to buy for me.
So, I celebrated my birthday in Hong Kong last week… turned 35 in Tsim Sha Tsui. Went to the Peninsula, a signature hotel, with high hopes for the bar, but Felixes was lame. Then went on the hunt for a bar called Kiss Bar that one of my favorite professors absolutely insisted I find… but it has closed… so wandered into Ned Kelley’s Last Stand. At first we were not sure about this place… but it turned out to be quite a time and I was the celebrated guest of honor which always makes an old girl feel good. Many rounds of Happy Birthday from a large jazz band, (and one large Cathay Pacific employee) and many rounds of, well, I don’t know. Many rounds. It was all good until I found myself in kindergarten the next day. ROUGH.
On Friday I finally met up with one of my parents’ friends over here and he took me to a very chi-chi wine tasting thing. We met some people in Wan Chai and then headed to Deepwater Bay for the event. It was some sort of private wine auction of South African wines that are not available to anyone but members of private wine clubs. Would have been much more into it if I was not so hungover and knew ANYTHING at all about wine. But I got to taste a lot, and they had great snacks. (I tell you, unless you want to spend BIG dollars, good cheese is very hard to come by here, so needless to say I made good use of my time at the snack table.) The funniest part of the evening was my Sideways flashbacks and watching really sophisticated people spit huge amounts of wine into large vats of grossness.
I met a couple of other really interesting folks there though… one a lawyer with her own firm (wowsa) and another an American who’s brother teaches at UNR… how weird is that? Both invited me to “lunch” and whatnot… so I will be having some over-30 company for a bit which will be good.
Tonight, I went to a lecture with one of the aforementioned folks at the Royal Geographic Society. We listened to (and saw some great photos and video footage of ) Annabelle Bond, who is the only woman to have summitted (can you verb that word?) the highest peak on every continent in under a year. It is an amazing feat… Everest, Anconcagua, Denali, Vinson, Elbrus, Kilimanjaro and Kosciuszco. [Test your knowledge and see if you can match each one to the seven continents. -Ever the geography teacher…] Oh, and she is totally hot. Next week I am going to go and see Jan Morris… you should look her/him up.
On the way to the MTR tonight (I took a taxi because of the weather) I met Hubert, the driver, who wanted to take me all over Hong Kong and was disappointed that I only wanted to go to the Lok Fu MTR… so he gave me his phone number and told me to call so we could go out. Is that weird?
And so after a month… things are settling in nicely. I am more comfortable getting around now, so have taken to bringing my iPod with me… don’t feel the need to be on constant alert that I will miss the bus/train stop… Find myself absolutely cracking up at the slogan t-shirts that are everywhere… I wonder if people know what they say/mean, I guess that is what we are all like in America wandering around with Asian characters tatooed on our bodies and on our jewelry and clothes. Still had to wonder when I saw this short little thing (who was not so slim and about 70 if she was a day) trucking down the street in a shirt that said “PHAT FARM” across the backside. One of the other girls I work with saw someone’s grandmother in one that had a boy on it peeking around the side of the shirt and the caption said “I like to watch!” Hmmmmmmm……. (saw another one on my way home… young intellectual looking guy with a shirt that said – in a kinf of hello kitty font – “Heart of Dixie! ALABAMA!” No stars and bars though…)
I am hoping to post pictures of my students tomorrow, so stay tuned.
Cheers from Hong Kong…….