Friday, July 30, 2004

napping is good. these places should be everywhere.

Monday, July 26, 2004

yesterday I thought I saw smoke coming from the high mountains across in China. but it could have been low cloud. today the city is covered in what I hope is smoke - if it's smog it's the worst I've ever seen, even flying into LA. and across the street, two people are flying a kite from the roof of a 20-storey building, using the north wind to send a red paper hawk bucking and kicking through the air.

Friday, July 23, 2004

why does google keep not noticing the wonderful silas carson coates?

Tuesday, July 20, 2004

HK is officially bilingual, but Cantonese rules. still, it's often not necessary to hear the English version. When the Tannoy makes an announcement 15 minutes before the pool closes, it's saying "the pool is closing". When the sign in the shower is in black with highlighted sections in red and blue, it's saying "turn on the cold water before the hot". When a bloke in the market knocks a vendor with his goods trolley, she says "look where you're going" and he says "your bum is sticking out too far" and everyone laughs. when the girl at the fish stall talks to the baby, she's saying "you're cute" and when he then cries, the blokes on the stall are saying "ha! even the baby's scared of you"

I haven't picked up any spoken words, but I can now read "warning", "fire", "person" (a generic two-stroke figure that is paired with other symbols to make man, woman, many people etc), "lift", "exit", and "just" as in only.

so we're settling in - at the same time I'm plotting a trip home, whether or not Qantas will give me a seat on points. I miss Melbourne, friends, the dog, the space, the baby's friends, the Vic market, the cold...

Thursday, July 15, 2004

Sunday, July 11, 2004

Okay, I take it all back. About the shopping, I mean.

this afternoon I walked into a store and walked out with, among many other things, a perfect pair of black linen casual trousers. the right length. in Australia, this just doesn't happen. everything is made for five foot ten women and the rest of us are supposed to "just take it up", which of course is annoying and usually would ruin the cut.

but here in the land of smaller people, the length is right. I just fit into their "large" sizes but hey, no complaining.

also, courtesy the summer sales, I have a bag full of bizarre and interesting designer (Mossino, Armani Junior) clothes for all my friends' kids. cheap, yes. the credit card took quite a hit, all up. my tendency when stuff is good and cheap is to buy heaps. if it's expensive, I just buy one. either way, I spend about the same, just that today I got more bang for my buck.

I'm seeing HK through a fog of sleep-deprived exhaustion. so forgive me for the lack of scintillating posts. as a resident rather than a tourist you tend to notice minutae instead of the impressive features of a place.

like: the way there is a United Nations of Coke in the supermarket. for a premium, you can get Japanese Coke, Korean Coke and so on. it all tastes the same - kind of like Australian Coke really.

like the bizarre swimming pool protocols. the rules are the same - stay left, swim in the correct lane for your speed etc - but in practice, everyone cruises along doing breaststroke in whatever land and whatever side of the lane they feel like. in Melbourne, I'm a slow swimmer. here, I'm Ian Thorpe. no wonder they had to give their female swimmers hormones to get them medals.

predictably, the Olympics are everywhere. with the next games after this years' in Beijing, Olympic themes are appearing on murals, in advertising and on (Chinese) Coke cans.

last night we saw Spiderman 2 across the road. we learned that you need to book early to get 2 seats together. and I learned the Cantonese symbols for "person(s)", "thank you" and "just" (as on only, merely). also that as far as English movies go, Melbourne is about ten times better than "international" HK. the only movies are big blockbusters, and even the sole arthouse shows Robert Altman - interesting, but not exactly out there. and baby sessions? nonexistent. sigh.

Thursday, July 08, 2004

hong kong is a shopping paradise and hell. lots of cheap no-name and name brand stuff. almost none of it fits. and I'm not huge, just a size larger than last time I was here. gorgeous silk Max Mara top for $120au? wow. doesn't fit. and so on. and why, in a city that is like a sauna, is half the stuff nylon and polyester?

Thursday, July 01, 2004

the Post (sorry, no links until I learn to zip around cyberspace on the Mac better) has a daily horoscope for western stars, Chinese years and an entry from the Tong Shing, an advice almanac. today's colour is pink, and I happen to be wearing a pink top. maybe I'll subscribe to the paper and check the advice before getting dressed each day. as long as there's no yellow. I don't look good in yellow...