It has been another long day and a mixed bag at that. Working in another country is always going to be an exciting and challenging experience. It is inevitable that you are going to have as many highs as you do lows and taking on a strong sense of humor becomes mandatory. Cultural differences and the language barrier are only some of the daily obstacles that you encounter, which is why it is of great value to take each day with a grain of salt and keep in mind a little phrase that is one of No.13’s favorites. “If it was easy, everyone would do it!”.
While I was sitting at my desk this morning preparing for my day, I started to hear this noise…’clip’ ‘clip’. It took a while for me to work out what it was and where it was coming from. After standing up and snooping over the cubicle dividers I realize that Bozo is clipping her nails (all 10 of them) into the bin near her desk. Quite a balancing act if you ask me. I think I was more impressed than disgusted (and for those of you that know me…this kind event would usually set me off). At this stage, she had one foot hanging over the bin, bagel in her mouth (the whole bagel…not just a bite of the bagel) and with her hands somehow balancing the bin to catch the foul clippings. What a multi-tasker…a DIY mani-pedi over breakfast. The girl (gender debatable) is a genius.
Not long after this the front reception bell rings and in comes a delivery man with a huge woven, grass looking box. Everyone in the office looks up and start to jump up and shout in Cantonese (not sure what though). As the box passes me, I can hear things inside it scratching around. The package is signed for and the box is opened. I have never seen a bunch of grown men and woman (maturity/age debatable) so over excited…I was convinced it was full of diamonds. Nope…diamonds don’t make noises…they were crabs…sooo many crabs.
It is Hairy Crab Season here in Hong Kong and the locals go nuts for them. Most Restaurants do deals on them and apparently you can get them delivered to your office…still breathing. My colleagues (now starting to resemble monkeys at feeding time) were grabbing their shares and placing them in plastic bags under their desks. Hours later, I assume they took them home and ate them.
You can honestly get ANYTHING delivered in Hong Kong. Last weekend No.13 and I had a large night out and were feeling sorry for ourselves the next morning. We decided it was going to be too painful to leave the apartment, at least for the next few hours but we were STARVING. No.13 decides that pancakes are on the menu. Two Hot Cakes, one Sausage & Egg McMuffin, two Iced Coffees and an Orange juice later…McDonald’s had paid us a visit. It truly is one of life’s evil goodies…can’t make it a habit though.
Back at the office this afternoon, the Director’s had gone to a meeting and the girls in the office got a little rowdy. It was the first time that they had involved me in their antics and one (the accountant who gave me the orientation with the toilet paper) started giving me hair style tips, while the others decided it was time for me to start learning Cantonese. Every day I am to learn at least one ‘useful’ phrase. Today’s phrase; “Sek-fan-la” translation? “Let’s go eat rice!” Apparently this is a ‘must learn’ as I am to be invited to eat lunch with the girls more often now that I have learnt how to do my hair properly and shown an interest in their language. According to the ‘Head Teacher’, my pronunciation is spot on…that’s a start I guess.