My monster-in-law is moving in with us.
In less than 450 square feet, and I have no choice.
No more loud music. No more walking around in my underwear. No more privacy.
On the other hand, my wife is happy that I've agreed to help look after her mother, who doesn't speak English. At least my Cantonese will get a workout.
It's not ideal, nor is it my first choice, but such is life.
If Mom is happy, then Mabel is happy; if Mabel is happy, then I'm happy.
We bought a new Simmons Serta, nice and firm, to shore up our aging spines.
It's a queen, and it eats up the entire bedroom.
The aforementioned big honking refrigerator has been cleaned and is sitting in the kitchen, where I moved it. I spent the rest of the day cleaning and rearranging the contents of our flat.
Between lugging around two mattresses, moving three refrigerators, two racks of clothing, and various other heavy items, my back is fried.
Let's see: tired + sore back + new mattress = the ultimate test.
One of Mabel's relatives is moving and thus we've inherited a refrigerator.
That now gives us three fridges in less than 450 square feet of living space.
What the heck is this, a showroom?
I've discovered green tea goes through me as fast as beer does. Maybe faster.
Um ... I'll be right back.
The one thing lacking in Hong Kong is rampant excessive commercialism. People are bombarded with advertising every day of the year. There is no additional glut as in North America. That's refreshing.
I have one question: what the heck is Santa doing pulling his sled with a bicycle??
I've learned the Cantonese translation of the phrase let me go is give me run. That's close to give me the runs.
I don't know about you, but I'd do anything to avoid that.
Hong Kong cinemas serve some nasty snacks.
I'm not talking about popcorn; I'm talking about the nauseating reek that emanates from packs of dried seafood that Hong Kongers like to eat.
Two young women sitting in front of me ripped open and shared a bag of crispy squid as the movie started. There is no smell on Earth like the skanky stench of the squid they were shovelling down. I was treated to the disgusting stink for five minutes until the air conditioning dissipated it.
I'm glad I don't have to kiss them.
Talk about crashing the party!
V-Mix, a 24-hour karaoke bar with 150 rooms of bad singing held its Grand Opening.
At 5.30am, someone drove a truck through the front entrance, damaging a marble column and a marble staircase. A masked man jumped out and ran to a waiting getaway car.
Police say the truck's ignition had been jimmied with a screwdriver. They believe it was a triad attack, likely extortion related.
Either that, or someone snapped after hearing Guantanamera one too many times.
One of the funniest things in Hong Kong is watching the drama that unfolds when the bill is delivered to the table at the end of a meal.
Chinese culture is the reverse of North America; people try to outwit one another to see who can pay the bill first. I watched not one, but two people scuffle with a man who had paid the tab for the entire table. One fellow tried to steal the bill from the first man, followed by a woman who tried to force money on the guy who paid. He refused to take it.
In Canada, everyone pulls out calculators to determine their share plus appropriate tip.
The Chinese system is more entertaining.
Teaching English can be a lot of fun.
We were discussing words relating to sleep when I had to explain the slang phrase the snaps.
The snaps happen when you're sitting in a boring lecture or class and you keep nodding off to sleep, suddenly waking, lifting your head, then nodding off again. I demonstrated it.
The students became excited and laughed and twittered in Cantonese for a moment. Then they told me their description for it is fishing, as in falling asleep while fishing, then getting a bite on the line. That's cute!
I love teaching English; I learn things too.
My doorbell rang at 11pm.
The woman at the door began extolling the virtues of cable television. I told her I didn't have a television set, just my computer. She replied that I could get cable for the Internet. I told her I already had cable Internet access. She replied that if I signed up for cable I could save $50 per month on Internet cable charges. When I repeated that I didn't have a television set, she peered through the gate into my flat, as though I was lying.
Seeing no television, she said I could watch cable television on my computer monitor. I told her I had no interest in television.
She went away perplexed.
I woke from the weirdest dream.
I was asked (by some invisible person): "If you could choose a celebrity to cook for you, who would it be, and what kind of food do you want?"
I asked for Szechuan food prepared by Jackie Chan. He then appeared from the kitchen of a Chinese restaurant, grinning his wide Jackie Chan grin, as I was seated at a table overflowing with eight large Szechuan dishes. Since it was obvious I couldn't eat all of it myself, I invited Jackie to join me for dinner.
I didn't have time to consider what this dream meant. Was I hungry? Am I destined to have dinner with Jackie Chan? I couldn't tell, because as Jackie sat down to eat the tiger prawns he'd cooked, a ringing telephone woke me.
It was my grocery delivery from Park 'N Shop; food brought to me by a Chinese man.
No one promised real life would be glamorous.