Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Somewhere in Hong Kong

I spent the last four days in Hong Kong. Below are two journal entries from the trip. The first is long and a big sarcastic. The second is shorter, but happier. If you only like reading for that warm tingly sensation you get during the consumption of a Crispy Cream donut, skip to the second. If you think complaining is fun and a necessary medium for good literature, read the first.

Friday, January 18.
Wednesday afternoon Laura and I were informed we'd be going to Hong Kong the next day. Coincidentally, that bit of timely information was followed up only moments later with this bit of timely information: we're changing all our classes starting next week. All teaching schemes and lesson plans have to reboot, not the nicest slice of crust to bite into right after exhausting all energies for the past two weeks establishing a teaching routine meant to last six months. But that wasn't the worst of it. Laura and I were to leave for Hong Kong and not get back until our new classes had started Monday A.M.. No time to plan. Great. Or not so. And especially not so great when once we were in Hong Kong and sitting behind a glass booth in the immigration tower trying to get our visas for which we came, the officers told us we could not get our visas until Monday evening . . . after our scheduled return flight to Taipei. Double great. And after we were both supposed to have taught six to seven hours of brand-new kindergarten. Double great, one fantastic. Also, I got sick--another timely thing. So we spent the next several hours in Hong Kong trying to call Frances, our boss in Taiwan, and finally got one minute of conversation time out of $17 H.K. in a subway pay phone booth to tell the secretary to tell Frances to change our return flight and teach 5 billion little Chinese kids English on her own until Tuesday. Suddenly, the pay phone catches on fire and I have to stop, drop, and roll right there in the middle of 30 million Chinese on-lookers. These people are Chinese, they never leave home without a camera. 30 million flashes blind me and I can't see for the next half hour. So the phone didn't really catch on fire, ok. But it should have with all the coins we were feeding it every five seconds. Anyway, we only hoped Frances had got the message and moved on the sight-seeing. But it quickly became too dark to see much except the water front, so we strode down to what turned out to be "Lover's Lane for Asian Flames." Why does every culture feel in necessary to do some major PDA-ing on boardwalks and water fronts? About the time Laura and I had seen enough, the "Most Fantastic Light Show Ever!" started, and buildings on both sides of the canal began flashing lights to the rhythm of some really tacky synthesized . . . noise. It was, in my humble opinion, pretty much the "Most Fantastic . . . " waste of money ever. Except, of course, for the O. J. Simpson trials. And MJ's nose job. So Laura and I traveled home to our humble little hostel where we will be the next three nights waiting for a visa so we can return to our other home in Taiwan.

ps. I found some Triscuits today in a local food mart. No sugar or yeast. Did I mention I'm on a no-sugar, no-yeast diet and nothing, it appears, nothing is accessible to the hungry public that doesn't have at least one of these ingredients? Double great, two fantastics.

Sunday, 20 January.
I love Hong Kong. It is soooooooo great. I saw many really neat things. Chinese people rock. You rock. Pat yourself on the back for rocking. Here, have a fuzzy. Hong Kong is the best ever!! I like Chinese food. Noodles and rice. mmmmmmmmm!! Yeah! Exclamation!! Exclamation!! Exclamation!!

6 comments:

Mary said...

Joseph, did I mention that we missed you? Oh. Well, we did. Thanks for your post. Both parts.

Elena said...

No, I love the first part only. I might be jealousing or something.
Did you get visa at last? How are 5 billion Chinese kids and Frances doing?

thack said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
thack said...

Oh the joy of Asian pay phones, double great, no? But I have to admit that my favorite part was your intense use of Exclamation points. Using the word makes it that much better.
And on another note, don't you just love how flexible you have to be as a teacher?

Sara said...

Okay...so which one is sarcastic? I'm confused...

K. Marie Criddle said...

Oh, all that crazy Asian tomfoolery and those hilarious hijinks! Serious, sweet post. I'm missing Taiwan so incredibly much just by looking at your pictures. Tell all the people in Fengyuan I said hi! Oh, and Preston says "Do what feels good." Xiaci jian!