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Fully Automatic

17 Feb

The Plinkas and I were on our way home from Easter choir rehearsal, and XX was starving even though it had only been 2 hours since lunch (unfortunately, the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree). I’d been wanting to try a new pizza place that sold by the slice, so we popped in and munched together on slices of Hawaiian and 4-cheese.  On Hillwood in Tsim Sha Tsui, it is a typical Hong Kong  local joint open to street level, hardly bigger than a roadside kiosk. We sat all the way to the back at one of only three tables. We were halfway through our pie, when we heard a loud POP. Followed by four more… POP, POP, POP, POP growing increasingly loud. The first one unsettled me because my brain knew what it was but my heart said I was mistaken. By the fifth, I had pushed the twins under the table in front of my legs. Continue reading

Just getting around…

27 Sep

A few weeks ago, I asked someone if they would like to meet for lunch. She responded, “I’m sorry. We have a doctor’s appointment that day.” Genuinely concerned for what would constitute an entire day to be consumed with a doctor’s appointment, she explained that it was just a routine check-up, but that is was “on the island“, meaning Hong Kong island, and we both live on “the Dark Side”, aka Kowloon. I felt a bit dissed but let it slide. After all, I can get to the island by train in under ten minutes. Whatever. “Another time” we both agreed and the subject was closed. Misunderstandings are always opportunities for enlightenment, aren’t they? Continue reading

On being “Caucasian”

24 Sep

I have often objected to being classified as Caucasian. What is it even supposed to mean? I have searched the globe tirelessly for a land called Caucasia and have not found it. There is no documentation of my ancestors originating from a country or region formerly known as Caucasia, either. Near as I can figure, it is just a way for the government to lump all of us crackers together.

But alas, I may have certainly found it! Continue reading

Miscommunication HK Style

27 Jun

Apparently, I burned the shit out of my arm in the kitchen last week. I was taking the lid off of a pan and the handle slipped in my fingers. The top of the very hot metal lid rested against my inner wrist, meanwhile my brain had the “Be right back” sign in the window. Continue reading

FoFo is not a MoFo

15 Jun

When I started this blog, I opened a post category called “Foodie”.  Because I am. In every sense of the word. Living in Hong Kong, I imagined that all of my meals would be inspired – delectable dishes ready to hold their own against the droves of eatery options. As it turns out, that is not the case. I have been met with meal after meal of mediocrity, and have even begun to joke with my friends that the only way to be impressed is to have no expectations at all. Last Saturday, a group of us went to FoFo, by el Willy, in Central. Before the evening began, I teased on facebook, “Tell el Willy that el Izabeth is here and I will be the judge of tapas in Hong Kong…”As it turns out, I was impressed. Luckily, I didn’t spout off any pre-conceived verbal jabs, lest I be left with (62 degree, slow cooked) egg on my face. Continue reading

China smells like Wal-Mart…

18 May

… Luckily, I live in Hong Kong. This past week I took a 15 hour round-trip to the mainland – just across the border to Shenzhen, China. The day included near limitless shopping and closed with 7 hours at the spa to calm the frenzy.  Luxurious, right? Keep reading. Continue reading

Learning the language

28 Apr

Perhaps one of the most daunting, yet important aspects of moving to a foreign land is learning the language. It certainly helps ease the daily grind and maneuver throughout your new homeland. As I learn the language, I thought I would keep a running catalogue of key terms for anyone coming to visit:

  • Removal sale: clearance sale – first on the list, because it just might be the most important
  • Flat: an apartment that is situated on a single floor. This makes me wonder if a two-story unit should be called a stack?
  • Duplex: an apartment that is a single unit made from two individual units
  • To Let: for rent, as in, “I will let you pay me to live in this flat, which I own”
  • Zed: the letter Z. I now have to spell my name out for people by saying, “Elizabeth, with a Zed“, because if I say with a “z”, my name becomes Elicabeth
  • Haych: the bizarre pronunciation of the letter H, with a big breathy “h” on the front. This was met with a full 5 minutes of confusion on my part, as I was sure it was its own word.
  • Lift: elevator – yep, that’s what it does… it lifts.   :-I   And don’t bother asking for an elevator – no one seems to be aware that it is a different word than escalator. You will be directed to a moving staircase.
  • Cooker: the stove top – big brain award for whoever came up with that one
  • When in doubt – just  think of the primary verb that you would connect with an object, and use it as a noun. Someone is sure to know what you are talking about.
  • Hamper: please do not fill this with your dirty laundry. This word is used for both a Christmas stocking and any variety of gift box/basket.
  • Queue: Line, pronounced like the letter Q
  • Loo: toilet. I can’t take myself seriously when I am compelled to announce, “There is a queue for the loo!” Though, I will admit, it sounds better than, “Thays a line fo da baffroom”.
  • If something ends with a “g”, go ahead and spell it with a useless and antiquated “ue” on the end (see how I did that with catalogue at the top?). If it ends in the “er” sound, switch those up and spell it with “re”(kilometre, fibre, and theatre, of course), “or” becomes “our” (as in neighbour and flavour). Replace all zeds with “s” (recognise and organise). It is important to make words as difficult as possible to spell correctly.
  • Never use the Oxford Comma. It is more fun if your writing is ambiguous, mysterious and confounding to the reader. “I dedicate this blog post to my children, Captain and Hong Kong”

Oh, sorry. You thought I meant I would be teaching you Cantonese. Oh no, no, no. That, my dear, is a dreaded task for another day. Let me get the English-English figured out first!

(Wink to all you birds, blokes, and chaps whom I consider mates. I hope you are not buggered by my cheeky post!)

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