Saturday, November 29, 2008
Mother advises to fill the void with Christmas decorations.
Friday, November 28, 2008
Wednesday, November 26, 2008
I don't worry about getting older, really I don't! I like the wisdom and respect that each year brings.
My subconscious seems to be in a state of alert, however, and keeps popping up to make me aware of the fact that I am about to add another year to my age.
Wherever I look, something or someone is there, suggesting disadvantages to growing old. One of my students asked me not IF I was going to go on botox...but WHEN. One suggested that if I really feel the need to tell everyone how old I am, perhaps I should lie about my age by some 5 years. Outside my front door, the hospital opposite has hung an enormous sign celebrating the plastic surgery department's 10 year anniversary.
I don't care. ID Marie should shut up. Marie Super-Ego is 32 tomorrow and happy about it!
Tuesday, November 25, 2008
What an amazing conversation starter that would be.
- What do you do?
- I'm a Guru.
I wonder what the going rate for a Guru in Indonesia is? The position is listed as "entry level" so clearly you don't need much experience of guru-ing (?). I'm so applying!
[Upon further research, the word Guru in Indonesia is often used for a teacher. This particular Guru-job is as Maths teacher...so if I should ever want to be a Guru, there are ample opportunities.]
Peter Englund is a brilliant Swedish Author and Historian. In a recent interview he was asked the standard likes/dislikes question. His reply for favourite beverage was:
Tea. If I drink alcohol I do so to get drunk.
It reminded me of an old friend, who would refuse to go to a parties with us if we weren't on for a full night of drinking.
He used to claim that he lived according to a Yoda-esque philosophy on life; you either do or do not, there is no trying.
I used to claim that he was a bloody alcoholic and just wanted to drag the rest of us down with him.
Monday, November 24, 2008
There are many advantages of being a head taller than everyone else. You don't, for instance, find yourself breathing into someone's armpit while travelling on the underground.
One problem, though, is the Chinese insistence on stopping in the middle of the road. If you are walking down a crowded street, you have to keep walking. If you really need to stop, you move to the side before doing so. Everyone knows this, surely!
It seems I'm completely out-of-sync with the Chinese walking style. I walk much faster and because I'm tall (and often have my head in the non-literary clouds) I don't notice much what goes on at ant level. When someone stops right in-front of me, I inevitably walk straight into them. This happens every day, sometimes more than once. It's frustrating.
Sunday, November 23, 2008
My cousin is the youngest female airline pilot in the world.
She claims that's not the case...there's at least one who's younger. I don't care! She's 23, and really hot, and she can fly really big planes...so cool!
I don't even have a driving license.
Friday, November 21, 2008
Thursday, November 20, 2008
If you find that a conversation is moving in a direction you're not entirely happy with, you can keep the advantage by using a technique I call deflection.
This is easier done on men as their response tend to be more predictable (apologies for generalising).
There are 4 deflection techniques that I frequently use:
1. Move the attention away from yourself by providing a worse example.
- So you've spent five years and thousands of pounds on a university degree to end up in a job you can get qualified for through a two-week course in Thailand?
- My barman is a Neuroscientist! (this is true, he is!)
2. Change the topic of conversation to one he could not possibly win.
- Marie, have you SEEN the credit card bill this month?
- Does this dress make me look fat? Be honest!
3. Use sex to make him lose focus.
- Marie, how many pairs of shoes have you bought this month?
- You know how you were saying that you'd like to me to get one of those slutty nurse's uniforms...
4. Run away
- We need to talk
-Wohoooo...there's my bus, gotta run!
Wednesday, November 19, 2008
Tuesday, November 18, 2008
Today's teaching material is on workplaces and prepositions. I work in a hospital, on a farm etc. In addition to a long and useful list of examples, the authors have added in a mine. This is good-to-know stuff but I promise that not ONE of my students will know what a mine is. This is Hong Kong...if you ask someone where gold comes from they'll say "the shop".
I'm simply going to claim that a mine is where Prada handbags come from.
Monday, November 17, 2008
The irony is that only a week ago I commented on the fact that HK men are so used to women taking the initiative, you'd even be grateful for the attention of a stalker!
Well, be careful what you wish for, I say! As of Friday evening I have one. In my defence I want to point out that I did nothing to encourage it. It was a brief bar conversation that unfortunately had me reveal where I live in enough detail to work out the exact address. My stalker was also cunning enough to get my phone number of someone in that bar. It's not a well-guarded secret so there are plenty of suspects!
Some 15 text messages, 5 phone calls and one early Sunday morning knock on my door, have left me feeling a little bit uneasy about the whole situation. Especially as my Sunday morning "No, you can't come in. I don't drink coffee and I don't like people just showing up at my doorstep" did nothing to discourage him.
Saturday, November 15, 2008
The ironic thing is that P always used to say "you're not exactly Sjarapova". Well, it seems some people think I am! An ugly version perhaps, but still!
I had a great time that day and I've been meaning to do it again ever since. Well, it's happening tonight! Thanks to my job, it only took some 15 years to organise the return to the bowling alley.
Friday, November 14, 2008
Tonight, however, this round featured faces of 6 females and 3 males, engaging in sexual activities.
The question was: Of the 6 females, which ones are getting it anally vs vaginally? Of the males, which ones are giving it to a man vs a woman?
Apart from laughing my head off, I did get four correct answers.
Thursday, November 13, 2008
Canada, Slovakia, Belarus, Hungary and Philippines
After a long, warm shower you slide into clean, crisp bedlinen under a duvet just warm enough to keep you perfectly comfortable. Every tired part of your body relaxes; from your heavy eyelids to your silly-shoes-maltreated feet. Sleep is only seconds away.
This is when you notice that despite having already flossed, a tiny bit of a strawberry is still stuck between your teeth. Do you get up?
Wednesday, November 12, 2008
So why travel all the way from Topeka, Kansas to spend only 30 min at the picket line?
I have some theories:
a) Sweden is just one of a long list of countries that God hates.
b) They have tickets to go see Mamma Mia.
c) They need to get their drink on.
d) It's too cold to be outside (yah big girls!)
e) They are secretly scared of the girly-man King, who after all kills wolves with his bare hands.
I have intentionally put their name in the blog heading, hoping that they might find my blog (while searching for Firewomen pictures) and either damn me to hell (again) or perhaps explain why they think 30 min is enough to do the trick.
Ps. I like gay people!
Monday, November 10, 2008
The singer in Tonix is the father of the girl I was best friends with in school. This is how I ended up on the door VIP list during numerous Tonix gigs at the mere age of 14.
I don’t remember it being much fun hanging around a bunch of drunken adulterous grown-ups. It was more the case of popping in to get a hot dog, then going back out again where cool teenage boys on mopeds fed us beer, often followed by some snogging-behind-a-tree.
Those were the days!
Sunday, November 9, 2008
This is so incredibly funny that I almost think he's someone I know, taking the piss!
"Ouch, ouch! Get me out of here, man. I'm frying!"...but in Chinese, of course!
Saturday, November 8, 2008
It has been pointed out to me that:
"Mark Six has 49 numbers (1 - 49), not 50.
The statistical probability of picking 6 randomly drawn numbers from 49 are 1 in 13,983,816 against 15,890,700 for 50 numbers.
Your readers deserve quality fact checked journalism!!!!!!!!!!"
I apologise! The "word of the week" in my training centre will next week be "pedantry". You inspire me in so many ways ;)
To get a seat by the bar, I asked an English guy if he could possibly move down one step. He informed me that this was the second time he had seen me in that bar, and both times I had asked him to move.
As far as conversation starters goes, he thought it was an unusual choice but much more original than "do you come here often".
That the Hong Kong Chinese are racists is never more evident than whilst travelling on public transport. The seat next to me is always the last to be filled, with some even opting to stand rather than to sit down next to an evil white person.
I'm used to this by now and don't think much of it. This morning, however, as I looked up from my book, I was surprised to see about 120 people standing, but the seat next to me was still empty. I looked down on the seat to see if there was actually something wrong with it. There wasn't. I then glanced up at the person sitting on the left of the empty seat. My eyes fell upon the smiling face of an Indian man.
- Do you think it's you or me? he asked.
It's a shame that there wasn't a black guy around as well so we could have had the whole train to ourselves!
Friday, November 7, 2008
S emailed me re So how did you guys meet? with his own suggestions for far worse ways to meet than online:
- She was my arresting officer.
- I picked her from the catalogue of "Beautiful Tajikistan Brides-4-You (2008)".
- I woke up and she was just...like......there.
- In rehab.
- At a Ferret Fetishists Meeting.
I'd like to add:
- We met at a nudist summer camp. It was love at first sight!
As I arrived at work this morning I found the topic of today's workshop to be "Text Messaging". Dreading the answer, I asked myself if it could really be the case that I am to be teaching the language bastardisation that SMS English is. It was "yes", naturally.
When it comes to this linguistic abomination, I'm a dinosaur. I write my text messages in complete and correctly punctuated sentences. I find it off-putting to read messages with 4, U, C and whatever else lazy people write. Nor do I understand the abbreviations. I have to Google most of them. It's only a few weeks ago that I found out what "lol" means. Twice I have asked my brother "what do you mean, brb?", only to get annoyed that he has left the chat without telling me.
However, as I am now to be teaching this, I decided to dive into the world of one-letter words and searched out a list of those commonly used. I have to admit that some are rather clever. I am also amused at the originality of rude comments. The list is, in fact, so full of rudeness that I felt compelled to check with my manager that it wasn't too much even for one of my classes (I never shy away from teaching "conversational" English ). He was kind enough to point out that I might want to remove the ones that I don't want to have to explain in class. Hence btycl (booty call) quickly disappeared!
Thursday, November 6, 2008
At first I thought that she bumped into it whilst cleaning, but I am slowly starting to suspect that she does it on purpose. When the right leg is bent, it's whole height is carried by the left leg and the strings.
As eli-on-strings is an antique, and really very heavy, I worry that the strings will break one day and send him into a floor-bound free fall. Perhaps this is Juliet's cunning plan to get rid of the evil-looking puppet.
Wednesday, November 5, 2008
1. First time I heard of the concept “mock Tudor” I thought it meant "bagpipe player".
2. In Russia I had a pet cockroach called Igor.
3. It takes me 22 min to get ready in the morning. If I’m in a hurry I can cut the time down to 10 min – this still includes a shower.
4. I have 84 pairs of shoes…not including boots or trainers.
5. I take the radio quiz Melodikrysset almost every week.
6. I was once invited to join my friend the Prince of Congo to a bbq at Gordon Brown’s house, but I didn’t go because I had a really wicked hangover!
7. I’ve never attempted a handstand, not even against a wall.
Tuesday, November 4, 2008
I lost my passport in April or something, and since I can be a bit procrastination-prone I had not bothered getting a new one.
Come July, an unexpected trip came up, so I finally made an appointment with the Consulate.
I arrived and started talking to what actual turned out to be the Consul General herself.
Me: Hi, I need an emergency passport.
Stupid Diplomat Woman (SDW): Did your passport expire?
Me: No, I lost it.
SDW: Have you reported the loss to the police?
Me: No. Eh, not yet!
SDW: When did you lose it?
Me: Some time ago.
SDW: Was it stolen?
Me: No, it went missing when I moved.
SDW: It went missing?
SDW: Have you looked for it?
SDW: But you can’t find it?
SDW: You really should make sure you know where you have your passport.
Me: Yes (love being lectured). But now I need an emergency passport.
SDW: You need a police report first.
Me: There’s no time. My flight leaves tomorrow.
SDW: You’ll have to change your flight.
Me: I can’t
SDW: Why not?
Me: It’s an emergency, hence the need for an emergency passport.
SDW: Well, I can’t issue an emergency passport if you have lost yours.
Me: Of course you can!
SDW: No, we need a police report.
Me: I got an emergency passport in March while applying for a Russian visa. I didn’t need a police report then.
SDW: That’s different.
SDW: You hadn’t lost your real one then.
Me: If I was at Arlanda airport, about to go on holiday but I had left my passport at home, I could get an emergency passport!
SDW: Yes, but you would know where you had your passport.
Me: Ok, so let’s say I know where it is but my flight is leaving in two hours and I haven’t got time to go home to get it.
SDW: But that’s not the case.
Me: Let’s pretend it is.
SDW: No, you’ve already told me that you’ve lost your passport.
Me: Ok, can I leave and come back in five minutes to give someone else here a different version of events?
Me: So what are my options? I have to be on that flight.
SDW: Well, I suppose we can’t deny you a passport. Here, fill out this form.
I still haven’t got a real passport. This is why I need to revisit the mad-house. I do however have a police report now.
The Chinese find it difficult to cope with "Marie". Imagine the confusion that would follow if I were to adopt S's suggestion.
I wasn't planning on changing my name again, but perhaps I ought to. One could have all sorts of fun with it.
Donalds (my initials are MC)
Urderer (my students are easily frightened)
Swede (as if it wasn't obvious enough)
Monday, November 3, 2008
I've just had a brief chat about whether or not people should have cover stories for how they met, if it happened to be online.
I think that online dating is probably the most honest way to meet someone. You exchange a few emails, meet up, hopefully have a nice evening and become at least friends.
Owning up to the fact that you met online can in no way be more embarrassing than hooking up with someone in a bar, get drunk and end up in bed with a guy you don't know the first thing about.
Or even worse, meet someone at say, a Tory Party event, get drunk and exchange phone numbers...who would ever want to own up to meeting like that?
No wait, that's how I met my ex!
I've had my family over for a week. It's been really nice to have them here, although a bit of a challenge speaking Swedish every day (I'm crap!).
My auntie is a frequent reader of this blog. This means that whenever I start telling a wee story about something that's happened to me recently...she already knows! It's nice but rather strange. I have decided to hold back on some stories for next time so I can have some original material for her.