Monday, 11 May 2015

Why is the Grout Moving?....and Other Questions in Hong Kong.

Why is the grout moving?

I wondered this as I waited for the toilet tank to fill up so I could flush.  We could not simply leave the water on to the toilet because the valve had broken causing the toilet to simulate an indoor water feature complete with a waterfall and the plumber who was sent to us broke it more instead of fixing it.  When the plumber came to look at the kitchen sink he had this question, "Do you have a screw driver?"  Which lead to me thinking to myself, "Aren't you a plumber?  Why don't you have tools?"  The second time he visited was when he broke our toilet more and told us to fix it ourselves.  The third time he visited he finally fixed the valve.

To answer the original question; it was not in fact the grout that was moving, but a plaster bagworm, a small grey cocoon of a worm that would eventually turn into a moth. Apparently they frequently like a change of scenery so they drag themselves along in their little grout-coloured, flattened-rice-shaped mobile homes. Needless to say I did not feel very hospitable towards them.  I prefer my grout to not wiggle.

Some other questions that I have only ever asked since being in Hong Kong are,

"Why does it feel like 100% humidity?" (It actually is 100% humidity)

"Why do two year-olds have to do an interview to get into kindergarten?" (They have to get into a good kindergarten in order to get into a prestigious primary school, which they need to get into if they want to get into a good secondary school that will hopefully open up a spot for them in the better university that will allow them to obtain a well-paying career so they will be able to pay for the best kindergarten for their future children.)

"Why do I have to write a reference letter for a four year old?" (See above answer)

"Why won't my clothes dry outside on the line?" (See other above answer)

"Is that mould growing on my walls?" (Yes)

"Why is there mould growing on my walls?" (See above answer)

"Why do people walk so dang slow here?" (Everyone has a smartphone or two that they have their eyes glued to, sometimes playing games, sometimes texting, sometimes watching TV.  Also, they are fully clothed in pants and sleeves, sweaters and jackets.  If they move too quickly they will sweat.)

"Why does the a/c  have to be 15 degrees Celsius below the outdoor temperature?" (People are fully clothed in pants and sleeves, sweaters and jackets.)

"Why is this sick kid, who is sneezing and coughing all over me, here?" (See above answer about kindergarten)

"Why did I just high-five a kid who just pulled their finger out of their nose?" (I have no answer, except that I deeply regret my actions)

These along with many other questions have appeared in my mind as I live life in Hong Kong.

This is a baby bird that was chilling beside me at lunchtime.  It's parent swooped at me for getting a little too close.

Saturday, 28 February 2015

Update for Nana's Birthday

This post is dedicated to my favourite Nana for her birthday.

A lot has happened since I posted way back in November.

To highlight a few things:

  • I had my second Christmas away from home.  I got to celebrate with my good friend and fellow Monkey Tree-er from the States who is also the oldest sibling of a big family, so she understands the "magic" of Christmas and all the "little kid" traditions like waking up early and tearing open stockings and even leaving out cookies for Santa. 
    I baked Christmas cookies with a good friend
    from church in my itty-bitty toaster oven!

    Christmas in Hong Kong with Emily, complete with
    stockings, tree, and "fireplace"

    Christmas Eve at Ned Kelly's, Asia's oldest jazz bar.
    Photo credit to Rachel. 
    Live jazz band at Ned Kelly's.

    I got my mandatory mall-Santa picture for my mom.
  • I celebrated New Year's Eve on a yacht in Victoria Harbour to watch the spectacular firework show at midnight from the water.

  • At the end of Jauary, I moved from Monkey Tree accommodation in Tai Po into a village house in Pai Tau Village in Sha Tin.  
New huge bedroom!

Breakfast in my new kitchen.

View of monastery on way up to house.  

Living Room.

New kitchen with Laura working hard during her visit.

View from my roof top.

  • The last weekend of January/first weekend of February I went to the Hong Kong Swings Festival, danced for hours and was pushed to the limit with the workshops I got to attend on Sunday afternoon. 

  • Finally, I was promoted to be the head teacher at my language centre!