Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Early bird

The attentive reader will have noticed that back in January, I made a resolution to start getting out of bed before 10am. This has mainly manifested itself in me waking up, checking the time, feeling pleased that I've woken up at 7.30am, then turning over and going back to sleep.

Tomorrow, however, us Honkers are celebrating the Tuen Ng festival. Some celebrate this by racing dragon boats. Others, by sitting around on the beach, watching the dragon boaters whilst drinking beer. As I am more inclined towards the beer drinking (plus I'm convinced that my bum is really too big to fit into a dragon boat), I will doing so only from a junk boat, on a safe distance from the sweating and racing.

The boat leaves at 08.45. So it seems I'll be dragging myself out of bed before 8am at least once this year.


Tuesday, May 26, 2009

I'm ill!

I've been struck by what is commonly referred to as a Marie-cough. It tends to happen every two years or so and sticks with me for months. It sounds terrible, it hurts terribly and it gives my voice a very "Louis Armstrong with a bad cold"-esque zing to it.

In these times of H1N1 hysteria, I have been asked if I have a pig cold, trotteritis, porkmonia, bacon flu, and S suggested getting some oink-ment.
Oh, the fun never ends!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009


I have finally found a place in Mong Kok that sells Fish Head Bento boxes. Yummy!

Mother and the black man

Mother has been to a fortune teller. I know something is up when Mother calls and in one single breath says:

- How are you, good, yes, Stinky & Smelly are ok and the weather is hot, right, what are you doing, do you want to hear something?

She then summarises the why and how she met with this fortune teller, followed by a run-down of predictions for various family members.

- Do you want to know what she said about you?
- Do I have a choice?
- Well, if you don't want to know...
-'ll tell me anyway!
- You're going to have babies!
- Ok. That's reasonable.
- With a black man.
- ...there are very few of them in Hong Kong.
- But isn't it fantastic?
- Well, this black man, is he nice, intelligent...a good father?
- Oh, what does that matter - BABIES!

Ever since she has been obsessing over this black man who will father my children.

- What have you done this weekend?
- I went to a party on Friday.
- Was the black man there?
- No. I went on a date on Saturday.
- With the black man?
- No.

She's insane.

Plain speaking Part 2

This morning I received the following comment to the entry below.

The blog post "Plain Speaking" is transmogrifying, albeit partiallyfrasmotic. After a diraspoculate period of pericombobulation, I willtest run the maristostriculations, probably intrafrastically.

I understood very little of it, and could find few of the words when resorting to google. I did however find frasmotic, which for now is my new favourite word. Accoriding to the Urban Dictionary it means:

To be woefully incapable of expressing your sincere apologies for worrying you to the point you are furious enough to rip the testicles off a wild bull, with your body wrapped entirely in red satin.

This is so useful I don't see how I've lived this long without knowing it.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Plain speaking

Next time you're having an argument with your partner, try saying:

You know, your attitud of floccinaucinihilipilification towards me is really unfair. I am nothing but honorificabilitudinitatibus.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

(S)c(r)atching on

On the MTR (the tube, the metro, the subway) yesterday I saw a man scratch his nose. This immediately made my nose itch. As soon as I had started scratching mine, the woman opposite joined in (scratching her own nose, not mine), and her movement was imitated by the man sitting next to me.

Reading this entry will be your biggest waste of time today. So now things can only get better!


When you want a Hong Kong mini-bus to stop and let you off you should say something like su-poi. I never do, I use English.
My co-worker, on the other hand, makes a real effort speaking Cantonese. He knows about 10, 15 words or so and uses them to express pretty much every wish and feeling. When he wants the mini-bus to stop he says du-pai. Du-pai means pork chop.

Pork chop, please! This is my stop.

It still seems to work.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Smoked or fired

From BBC

A Chinese county has rescinded a rule urging its government workers to smoke more in order to boost tax income.

The authorities in Gong'an county had told civil servants and teachers to smoke 230,000 packs of the locally-made Hubei brand each year.

Those who did not smoke enough or used brands from other provinces or overseas faced being fined or even fired.

But the government has now backtracked from the policy, after a report in a local newspaper generated criticism.

Hiking with Mother

I hadn’t heard of the concept hiking until I moved to the US in 1996. I was fascinated by this hiking activity that everyone was talking about. What was it? What did you need to do it? I had been camping of course, but although this hiking seemed to involve an awful lot of equipment, tent or sleeping bags were not requirements.
I remember my disappointment after my very first hike, up the Diamond Head Crater.
So it’s like a…long walk, really?

Growing up in close proximity to forests, it had never occurred to me that people planned days out to walk through them, bringing picnics and purposely designed shoes. The forest was to me a shortcut to the supermarket, a playground, the arena where “Who Can Stand Longest on Top of an Ant Hill” was decided between my brother and the other boys.

The only longer walks that I remember undertaking, was when Mother dragged me off into one of the darker corners, only to announce that she was now lost and I had to lead the way. These little games of her's were designed to make sure I could always find my way back home. I am sure they contributed not only to my very good sense of direction, but also my general self-confidence.

As devoted Mother was to making sure I would never be lost, by the time my youngest sister were born, she was tired of pacing off into the woods with a feet-dragging child behind her.
It shows too! My youngest sister may be the brainiest of us, but she can get lost in broom cupboard.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

On hobbies

I have thousands of hobbies.
My whole life is a bit like 8th grade’s “Try-an-Activity Day". One week I’m a tennis player, the next a sailor, the next I’m a wine sommelier or a kick boxer.
I’ve been criticised in the past, for never sticking with anything, but I’m actually sticking with being constantly curious.

Monday, May 4, 2009


I've started painting. Oil and canvas, turpentine and mess. Mainly abstracts since I can't draw to save my life. Big, painful blurs, as I don't know the first thing about colour composition.

I sold a painting. I sold it to a guy who needed a wedding present for his brother. I've come to suspect that he doesn't like his brother much.

So I thought to myself; hey! this could be my niche.

When I got married I received a hideous wedding present from my former step-mother, a woman who doesn't like me much. It was an acceptable gift in terms of value and quality. The evil woman would know very well though, that I would crinch at the sight of a heart-decorated glass bowl.

Save-face wedding presents for people you despise is a very marketable concept. With a fancy frame added to my colour blobs, you can with a perfectly clear conscience hand it to that best friend who stole your boyfriend, or the annoyingly perfect cousin.

The paintings I can't sell, I shall simply give away to people who are too polite to say "No thanks, it's hideous".