Sunday, September 13, 2009

So, this blogging thing...

yeah, turns out i still kind of suck at it. sorry about that...

i have some pictures that need uploading, but i think i'm going to just be uploading them to my flickr acct. and linking them here when i do. maybe i'll do a fancy sidebar or something!

the boys started their swimming classes last week. Miles can put his face in the water, and can swim pretty impressively with a big flutter board. Asher has yet to actually touch the water during class (though we can barely keep him out of the pool at the apartment- go figure).

we have our apartment mostly furnished, though i desperately need more workspace in the kitchen. also, i'm still getting used to the gas stove- i really hope i don't blow anything up...

a few random things:

- the wet market- where you can get all manner of fruits and veg, very fresh fish (i.e. still wiggling) and cooked meats, and somewhat puzzlingly, various hardware bits- is called the wet market for a reason. it's advisable not to wear your nice leather sandals. yuck.

- also, the wet market is especially crowded in the mornings, and there seems to be an unofficial direction of movement. going against traffic is probably not worth the effort.

- if you're listening to music in crowded places (such as the aforementioned wet market), tuck earphone cords safely away, lest you snag them on some poor unsuspecting woman's pretty blouse buttons. i'm just glad i didn't accidentally cause her to flash herself at all the fishmongers.

- speaking of music, i had several episodes of The Vinyl Cafe podcast backlogged on my ipod. i wasn't sure why i didn't feel like listening to them, but i figured it out today. apparently, it makes me stupidly homesick. i discovered this standing in the middle of japan home centre, trying not to cry while listening to the weakerthans. sigh, really?

- speaking of homesickness, i just finished reading two books by an author from Parkdale (the neighbourhood where i grew up). her name is Pat Capponi, and the books i read are from her new fiction mystery series. check her out, they're quite good (and thanks for the rec. Nancy).

- people here don't seem terribly bothered by heights, or the fear of falling to your death (like i am). this was evidenced by the air conditioning repair guy who hoisted himself out our 25th floor window, with nothing but a very rudimentary harness around his waist. (incidentally, when i mentioned this to my new local knitting friends, the only thing that surprised them was that he was actually wearing a harness).

i think i do better writing this stream-of-consciousness style. i'm definitely incapable of sticking to one topic, or having any sort of consistent theme.

p.s. i'm not proofreading this, or capitalizing anything that i don't have to. my brain is just not up to the task these days.

love you, miss you, wish you were here (if only to commiserate about the heat!)

Monday, August 17, 2009

days like this...

whew. today was just unbelievable. so much accomplished, yet so much more to do...

we started the day by looking at apartments. one was really good. most of them are about the same size (977 sq ft) but how they choose to distribute the space seems to make a huge difference. this one had a nice big living area, and still managed to have a decent sized master bdrm, and even a tiny storeroom (for yarn?!). the kitchen needs a good cleaning, and there are a few doorstops* missing, one of which is in the bathroom, and would prevent the door from hitting a full length mirror, so it will need to be replaced ASAP.

between apartments, we picked up M's school uniform and some registration forms. We also got A's school interview done, picked up his uniform, etc etc etc. all of this stuff is needing to be paid in cash at the moment, because our HK bank account won't be fully set up until the end of the week, and nobody likes our visa card very much (actually, that's not true, the electronics store, Fortress, has no problem taking our visa. go figure).

so we finally decided that we should just go with the 'good' apartment, rather than keep looking for days for a 'better' apartment. we meet the landlord, we sign papers, make arrangements, lo and behold, the visa doesn't want to work for the real estate agent either. to make a long story short (too late) we have a place, we have the money to pay for it, but we don't have any way to access the money at this point. i think we're going to be doing some sort of wire transfer with my ILs, so hopefully this won't actually be a huge deal.

So on to other things. both kids start school on Wednesday (though M just for an hour, kind of an introduction day). the schools seem much more structured and official here (or maybe the schools in Kingston were just really lax?) but i think it will be good (I'm sure Miles will cope, not so sure about Asher, but here's hoping).

We got home from our trip out at about 6pm and we all just passed out, didn't even eat dinner (the boys both had some bakery treats on the way home though). Hence why i'm up at 4:30...

we're all well, though tired and smelly. i still haven't found the usb cord for my camera. pictures forthcoming when i do.

miss you all!

*the word 'door stop' is apparently not in the chinese english vocabulary. there was a fair amount of pantomime (and a few sketches) necessary to get the point across. we all had a good laugh once it was sorted.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Now with twice the Honk!

Hey! So I haven't blogged in a year or so...ummm, my bad.

Our family has just moved all the way to Hong Kong (or as Asher likes to call it, Honk Honk). Things have been crazy hectic, but I really want to get back to the blog, if for no other reason than it's a crazy convenient way to keep people up to date on our lives out here!

So it's Sunday, about 8pm here, so most of you are just waking up on Sunday morning. We've been here since Thursday. The first few days were just a complete whirlwind of hauling bags around, trying not to fall asleep mid-afternoon, trying not to collapse from the heat (currently 30/86, feels like 43/109) and about 17 trips to the tiny park'n'shop downstairs- they sell everything in small packages because of the small kitchens, small fridges, etc. But when you have a 4 year old who eats very little besides peanut butter sandwiches, you start to wish for full sized loaves of bread already!

Major successes so far:
- Chris and I both managed to get cell phones (his is rather pathetic, but it was really cheap. he's such a luddite).
- ordered Miles' school uniform, and discovered his new teacher is from Toronto!
- made a million appointments with real estate people. We're well on the way to getting a permanent place by Sept. 1st.
- discovered that it doesn't really matter if you're constantly sweaty and gross, because everyone else is too!

Random stuff:
- we lost one of Miles' sneakers for about a day and a half. it turned up just before we bought new ones (which is a nice change from the murphy's law). it was in my knitting bag. wtf?
- we're still trying to figure out the medical stuff so that we can get Miles' cast looked at, and hopefully get him a waterproof one now. there are lots of neat swim/water play areas, but the poor guy can't make use of them yet. boo.
- Miles has inherited his dad's dislike of sweet/savoury food combinations. so that's a no on the chicken teryaki.
- also, Miles still hasn't really warmed up to any type of noodles. I still blame the manchu wok noodles he had at Ohare airport in may...
- I'm really liking the bottled sweetened milk tea (cold). it sounds weird, and it is, kinda, but mmmmm...

Hopefully next time I post I'll include pictures or something. Right now I am just too damn lazy to get up and find all the camera bits.

We miss you all terribly, and we hope you're well. Please post a comment to say hi if you want, or email, or whatever.