Saturday, February 28, 2009

Talking to Mother

The beautiful thing about Mother is that when I'm taking the piss, she believes every word I say.

- There's a new stir-fried POODLE restaurant around the corner from where I live. I thought we could try it out when you get here.

- Oh, no...don't take me there. I'll cry. It's horrible! Why would they eat poodles...

However, when I am telling her the truth, she doesn't believe a word of it.

- This blog-thingie of yours. You don't write about me, do you?

- All the time.

- Yeah, yeah, sure you do!

It's a win-win situation really.

Needles and pins

- What I really need is a dirty weekend away, I confessed to my friend C yesterday. I just don't have anyone I want to be dirty with.
- Well, I can be dirty with you. How about Thailand? I was planning to go for this half-day full medical check-up in Thailand anyway.
- You want to go for a medical check-up during a dirty weekend away?
- Eh, yes...I think this is why I'm still single.

This could open up for a whole new type of package holidays. Out with couple's massage, in with side-by-side MRIs. So hot!

Breakfast TV

If you plan to eat ever again, you should not watch the following clip. S sent it to me to enjoy at breakfast.

If, like myself, you are fascinated by the Chinese complete lack of respect for animal life, then go ahead. It does give the term "fast food" a whole new meaning.

I wonder if I should send Mother a link in preparation for her Hong Kong visit?

Friday, February 27, 2009

Missing the point

- Missy, Missy. Can you help?

- My name is Marie.

- ??

- My name is not Missy, it's Marie.

- Oh, ok.

- How can I help?


- Ahhh. Thank you Missy!

- Marie.

- Yes. Thank you Missy.



We came 2nd last night, in the pub quiz. It was about time. We've been suffering through a number of 5th,6th, 7th...last places lately.
Last night also introduced me to the effects of mixing certain pharmaceuticals with alcohol. It was...interesting.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

No, not crazy...backache!

My doctor is a bit of a lunatic. I love her. Not only is she an excellent person, she is also a very liberal drug prescriber. I trust her completely (and I like prescription drugs) so I happily pop any pills she passes my way. Through a slipped disk, acute gastroenteritis and bronchitis, I have munched my way through quite a cocktail.

I recently realised though, that a drug she's prescribed on more than one occasion is an anti-depressant. I had to ask her about it; did she think I was depressed?

-No, no! she replied. But, we all get a bit down when we're not feeling well. The pills will help you relax, sleep a bit better and recover faster.

There was a logic in this. I could accept it.

Suffering from back pain again, I went to see my crazy, beloved GP this morning. Handing me a bag-full of anti-inflammatories she added:

That's all I can do without giving you something that will knock you out. Do you want something that will knock you out? I can sign you off work for a few days.

I must admit that I was really tempted to slip into a drug induced coma for a few days. Work-guilt, however, made me pass on the offer.

-What about at night though? she continued. I'll give you something that will make you sleep really well. Don't take it before you're in bed - it's fast acting...and probably best not to drink alcohol.

-Is this another psychopharma?

- Yes, it's GREAT!

Having googled it, I am pleased to inform you that for the next week I will be sleeping on a highly addictive muscle relaxant, normally prescribed for severe anxiety, but with some pleasant sedative/hypnotic effects. It is also a strong amnesiac so I don't expect to remember much of the week ahead.

Can't wait until bedtime!

Why dead?

I try to anticipate my students' replies and reactions. I often get it right...not always.

To practise improvised story-telling, I typed up a number of silly questions. One read:

"Why are you walking around with a dead fish?"

I expected the story to revolve around why they had A FISH in their hand. Instead, every single student focused on the fact that the fish was DEAD.

Fish mongers in Hong Kong sell fish from tanks, poured into water-filled plastic bags where it can happily (?) swim about until cooking time. An already dead fish would warrant complaints. Silly me!

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Events of the weekend...

I found out that it's illegal to own a pet dog in Reykjavik.

I laughed at S's insistence on calling waiting staff "my dear", be it a male or female waiter.

I OTTed on hiking again.

I decided to spend Easter with C in Sing-a-ling.

That was all!

Thursday, February 19, 2009


Grandmother claims that the only true happiness is the one that comes from taking pleasure in other people's misfortune.

Japanese scientists have now proven Grandmother right (well,-ish). It was previously believed that schadenfreude belonged in the same brain area as jealousy. Instead it's our pleasure centre, the one that's stimulated by sex and good food, that lights up when we are enjoying the failures of others.

So, for those of us who are expecting neither sex nor good food today, here's something to light up our brains with.

People falling over

Tuesday, February 17, 2009


I'm going to the TOP GEAR LIVE SHOW on Sunday. I'm excited as a virgin on prom night.

I am also a bit apprehensive (not unlike the virgin I would imagine) seeing as I know exactly nil about cars. If the show somehow involves the audience, I am destined to be dragged up on stage. They always pick on me - in concerts, at Disneyland...

I like looking at cars. I like riding in cars. I think that it's cool when a cool guy has a cool car. Outside of that, I don't pay attention. I don't know how to drive them and have therefore never owned one. My knowledge of cars ends somewhere around being able to change a tyre (I know I can do this because I have once).

Back when I was "we" and "we" owned a car, I was asked what kind of car we owned.
-It's red; I would say, not in any way trying to act funny.

If, on Sunday, I am pulled up on stage and asked about my favourite car, I have decided to go with a BLUE VOLVO - because blue is pretty and Volvo is Swedish.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Mother's going travelling

Mother is travelling to Australia in March, with a very quick stop in Hong Kong.

From having been at least moderately adventurous, Mother has of late developed a fear of the unknown. For months, she has desperately been trying to find an excuse why she can't possibly undertake this journey- from consulting doctors for her dicky heart, to complaining about the cost.

I think she has actually convinced herself that the trip will kill her off. In her true morbid spirit, she's therefore found it appropriate to phone around to all her kids detailing her newly drawn last will and testament. Adding "is there anything else that you'd like from the house". As all my siblings are used to Mother's insanity by now, I think we all answered something like: "Funny you should mention it. I have been thinking about this since I heard that you were going to Australia. I have a list. It's quite long..."

Other comments made recently:

- About that clear plastic bag. How am I going to be able to use the deodorant if I have to keep in the clear plastic bag? I will have to take it out - will they know if I do that? What happens if they find out?

- I am just going to stay in your flat. I don't want to walk around in Hong Kong. I don't want to catch something. I'll just stay at home with the cats.

- Ok, ok. I suppose I can leave the flat but I am not eating in any restaurants. God knows what they'll serve me. I don't want to eat Poodle!!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Cheap as chips

As a result of the financial crisis, Honkians are selling their private club memberships at bargain prices!

A bulle anyone?

An Australian Marine has been attacked by a shark in Sydney Harbour (while diving). He lived, but that's not why I'm relaying the story.

I read about this in a Swedish newspaper. Reading it, I thought to myself how nice it is when words are directly translatable. The man was a attacked by a bull shark - in Swedish, a tjurhaj. I then started thinking what I might have called it, had I not now known that it's tjurhaj. The most likely option was bullhaj.

Bull, or bulle, is Swedish for cinnamon bun. Suddenly I could picture the shark swimming around with a big tray of buns, offering the other fishes.

The shark looked a bit like Mother.


September time last year, I told myself to take a year off from making decisions.

Not because my decisions up to that point had been bad. In fact, I can honestly say that I have not regretted anything I've ever done or not done in my life. I do, however, think that I jumped before I could fly. So, I reckoned a year of crawling would do wonders.

Being half-way through a year of crawling, I am bored! (as you all expected me to be)! But, I am still having an awful lot of fun.

I need to fly again. though. Not today...but soon!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

No need for slalom

I'm not an adrenaline junkie. I love new experiences and new sights. However, if they involve risking my neck in some way or another, I am happy giving it a miss. This might surprise my frequent readers, but the truth is that I get my kicks in other ways.

I told CH about my plans for another India trip this year. He replied:

India is cool. I like the idea of going to a country where a glass of water or a vegetable can kill you. That's so unlikely in France. Boring. In India I could kill my boss with a tomato!

...and that's spot on the kind of experience that gives me a new lease of life.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Cantonese 101

ding (v) - to heat food using a microwave. 'Ok to ding'. 'I'm just going to ding it'.
ding ding (n) - a tram. 'Please stop at the ding ding terminal'. 'I'm taking the ding ding to work today'.

Saturday, February 7, 2009


One problem, living with two cats, is that at any given point in time, there's an infinite amount of cat hair covering just about everything in my flat. Even after hours of vacuuming, when every possible surface is sparkling clean, there's still cat hair lingering around in the air.

This makes it pretty much impossible to leave my flat cat hair free. One tactic, which works reasonably well, is to wait to the very last minute before putting clothes on.

THIS is the reason why my neighbours can enjoy frequent peep shows. It has very little to do with my exhibitionist side.


A HK newspaper recently reported that a famous local pianist had been arrested under suspicion of domestic violence.

He had responded that, as everyone knows, artists do not hit people, so he couldn't possibly be guilty.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Wraith or wine

I'm not even embarrassed to admit that last night I chose to watch 4 back-to-back episodes of Stargate SG-1 over popping down to my local.

...well, maybe a little bit.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Cause and effect

- Are you scared of snakes?, I asked the student who had just declared himself fearless.
- No, no. I eat snakes.
- Yes, of course, silly me! All kinds of snakes, or do you have a preference?
- Those big ones, that strangles goats.
- Pythons.
- Yes. I had two bowls of python soup every day for 3 years.
- Wow, you must really like python soup.
- No, it's not very nice but it will clear up acne.
- How old were you when you did this?
- Between 15 and 18.
- So when you stopped eating python soup at 18, your acne had cleared up.
- Yes, amazing.
- Yes. New vocabulary to look up: puberty

Sunday, February 1, 2009


Tonight I was told that:
"Now that I've talked to you, I've realised that you're not just a piece of meat. There's actually more to you than just a beautiful face and fantastic breasts."

I really wish someone would take it upon themselves to educate men in the art of picking-up.