Thursday, September 8, 2011

Random Observations of the Week (9/8/2011)

  • One of the key benefits of being on sabbatical half-way around the world: it’s much harder to be sucked into mindless internet surfing. As it’s the middle of the night in the U.S. when I’m most likely to engage in this behavior, there’s nothing to see. No new e-mails, no Facebook updates. So far, it’s made me fairly productive; we’ll see if it lasts or if I find some new form of distraction.
  • Last Friday, we left the neighborhood to try a different restaurant. We went up a few stops on the public transportation and tried a nice Indian restaurant. The town we were in (Yuen Long) had two MTR stops, so we decided after dinner we would walk through the city from the stop where we got off to the other one. Of course, a few blocks away from the restaurant, those plans were dashed as Berkley pulled a classic kid move – the “I have to go to the bathroom this instant.” If you think those words are a pain in the U.S., try hearing them in the middle of an unfamiliar city half way around the world. A quick decision was made to change course and head back to the original MTR stop (all of which have public restrooms). So, we made an unplanned detour down a side street. Unfortunately, it was the wrong side street to choose as we ended up walking through the – ahem – adult district. No – it wasn’t shops. It was women – all sorts of women, hanging out on the street, looking for some action. Fortunately for us, the boys were CLUELESS about what was going on, but it made for some uncomfortable moments for the grown-ups.
  • Berkley had a pet for a little while this week. Monday morning when Doug went into wake Berkley, he found a little lizard about a foot away (on the bed) from Berkley. The lizard scampered away when Doug when to check him out, only to be found by me on Tuesday. I managed to capture him in a glass (that's him below) and set him free, but not before the boys BEGGED me to keep him as their pet.
  • I know I posted this on FB, but not having a dishwasher really sucks. Typically, we have at least three, if not four, loads of dishes a day: breakfast, our lunch, the boys’ lunch and dinner. We can’t skip one as we only have enough plates/bowls (4 of each) for one meal, and there’s no room to actually make a meal if there are dirty dishes around. Sigh. I guess one of the points to this whole adventure was to learn how most people live, so this is part of that. And believe me, I am learning my lesson. I may hug my dishwasher when I get back.
  • I’m somewhat jealous reading about the crisp fall weather many of you are experiencing. We are still in the brutally hot phase, so a drop in temperature would be appreciated. Of course, I probably won’t feel that way in November and December when temperatures here are supposed to be in the upper 60s/low 70s.
  • We interviewed several babysitters this week – all of them local students. I’m not sure any of them will have the fortitude to stand up to our boys. Quin and Berkley may end up chewing up and spitting them out. I’m thinking we may have to look to international students to manage them.
  • It's hard to get used to the different style of dates around here. Yesterday, I looked at an expiration date on some tortillas I bought: 4/11/11. April 11th? Nasty. Then I realized that meant November 4th. Ahh - much better.


  1. Just remember- April 4th is a very good date! Love the random observation as it gives us a snapshot of every day life for you. Can't believe you have been there less than a month. It seems a lot longer than that. Miss you all. Judy

  2. Ha - you just made me realize I typed that wrong. It should have been April 11th - edited to fix that! I guess I was subconsciously thinking about your birthday!

  3. Good luck with finding a sitter - it would be nice for you and Doug to have some time together. Love reading about all you see and do! And yes I agree a dishwasher is one of the best things invented, ours needed a part and waiting for it seemed like foreverL

    Aunt Cheryl

  4. I knew the boys would try and coax you into getting a pet! even it is "just" a lizard. I am sure they (and you) are missing Zoey as much as they are missing all the family and friends.

    We may be having some nice days ahead of us but the past 3 or 4 weeks have been horrible with all the rain and flooding we are having in NJ. I am looking forward to the nice cool days of autumn as much as you are.

    Hope the sitter works out! I have started with "nana" day care for Emmet and will start for Sydney next week.

    Love to you all

    Aunt Trish

  5. Just wanted to let you guys know that we're having a great time following this. I sympathize with the dishwasher ordeal - that's culture shock! Tell Quin and Berkley that Luke says hi and that he misses them.

    Will Higgins