It’s been a while since I’ve posted because I don’t feel like my life is exciting enough to write about anymore now that I’m not seeing a new city every weekend. It was made even less exciting as my students gave me some lovely sickness that lasted a very long time. At least I’m very familiar with the doctors office just around the corner from my place. I have also moved~again~ and now live right next to Time Square which I never thought I’d say in my life.
I have reached a few career milestones. One child cried in a class because I encouraged her to “do your best!”, apparently that phrase equals instant tears. Also, one of my young kids threw up in class. I think I’m a confirmed teacher now. Fortunately, outside of work there’s been much less tears and vomit.
Pearl, Pati, and I cooked my first thanksgiving meal out of the US thanks to Pati’s massive-for-Hong Kong-kitchen. While I don’t think it was as quite good as what my mom, aunt, or grandma makes, it was pretty good for an oven with a door that didn’t properly close, buying the turkey a few days before, and subbing ingredients or leaving some out all together – it is just plain hard to find some things here. It was the most multi-national Thanksgiving I’ve had with France, Mexico, Australia, Hong Kong, and USA showing up. After the meal, we watched Ultimate Beastmaster – like American Ninja Warrior but international – which was a great way to argue which country was best… the winner is clear, of course.
I have done a bit more touristy things as Pearl has had lots of friends come to visit. Pearl is an A1 photographer and Australians continue to be the best people I’ve ever met.
We went to Chi Lin Nunnery and Nan Lian Garden. I loved that while we were still in Hong Kong, there was a space of peace and quiet.
The contrast between the gardens and the city was striking.
We also went to one of the most famous Instagram spots in HK, the Choi Hung Estate. The rainbow basketball court was void of any ballers, but rather was packed with everyone trying to get that perfect angle. Choi Hung means rainbow in Cantonese and is a public housing estate. I’ve read that it was painted to raise spirits of those who live there.
We also went on a evening cruise to see Victoria Harbor and the lights at night. Hong Kong has been much more beautiful than I expected.
The one thing I have been doing a lot of is the thing I’m best at. Hong Kong is chock full of delicious places to eat. Pati Pearl and I checked out the wine and dine food festival a couple months ago that had wine from everywhere, even Georgia (the country) was represented next to France’s 16 booths. Local, Vietnamese, American, Korean, Turkish fare and more is readily available here. I’m only questioning how I’ve made it through life not living walking distance to pho (Vietnamese) for so many years.
Local food is hit or miss for me. Sometimes I love it and others I’m annoyed I spent money on it. One of the dishes is called yum cha, which means little bites in Cantonese. Pork buns, cream buns, dumplings and more fall into this tasty category. The cutest yum cha I’ve had was all dressed up for Halloween.
The thing I don’t like most about local food is that when ordering chicken, 100% of the time there is hidden bones. I hate being mid bite and finding a crunch. I had this at a local market and it would’ve been great had I not needed to eat around bones with chopsticks.
One of the local pastries are pineapple buns. I’ve had a few, but I finally got a buttered one the other day. It’s a sweet roll, soft on the bottom with a harder, sugary top.
I haven’t been able to play very much rugby with my team because of my work schedule, but I am grateful that rugby has connected me with a group of awesome girls. As a team, we walked in a 5k for breast cancer and went hiking where I was promised a beach ending which didn’t happen as we took a wrong turn.
I also went on my first junk boat through my team. Junks are a super popular activity here, maybe even more than going to Raystown at home.
We also just had a Christmas party.
After saying last year I wanted to make it home for Christmas this time, it’s not possible with my job as newbies don’t get their first Christmas off. We’ve got Christmas Day and the day after off which is officially my shortest Christmas break ever. To make up for it, my sister is visiting just after the new year which I’m really looking forward to. As there’s only a few days left in 2018, I will do better about posting next year!
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from Hong Kong!