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Wednesday, November 25th, 2009
10:33 pm - Gift Ideas
If, this Christmas, you wanted to spend money to get Fuzzy or I a gift, we have a particular request: gift certificates for Leon's Furniture, any value.

You see, our couches are close to giving up the ghost, and we want to buy a brand new set. We've tested out several stores, and found the couch set we like most at Leon's. We were also most impressed with the shopping experience at Leon's - it was the only furniture store where the sales people were visible, walking around and offering information and answering questions, but otherwise leaving us alone to browse in peace.

Of course, we'd welcome any gift or well wishes regardless of it's nature, value, or the like. We're just tired of people asking us what we want for Christmas and not being able to give a decent answer.

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Friday, October 2nd, 2009
6:38 pm - Requesting votes!
Go forth and vote for me so that I might win prizes and accolades!


Seriously, they installed photoshop on my computer and I spent several hours this week screwing around trying to learn how to use it (do you believe that I've never before photoshopped in my life?) just so that I could put in a submission for this thing?

Of course, I've killed a ridiculous amount of time playing with my new toy!

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Wednesday, August 26th, 2009
6:44 pm
The packing! It has broken me!

I bought a scale today - just a plain bathroom scale, spent about $15 CAD on it, and I plan on abandoning it here in HK. I just wanted to see how much my bags weighed so as to avoid any nasty surprises at the airport. I'm limited to 50 lbs per bag, and the overweight fee is $150 US per bag. *NOT* worth paying, IMO.

So instead, I've blown the money on the scale, and sure enough, one of my bags was about 75 lbs, while the other one was really light. So I shuffle a bunch of stuff around and manage to get both bags weighing in at approximately 50 lbs, and a bunch of stuff strewn about my apartment that I can't fit in.

OK, fine, so I pick through my crap pretty ruthlessly and determine what I don't have to bother bringing home. Considering I've already done that once, it wasn't pleasant and there wasn't much I could pare down. I also received gifts today. Very sweet gifts, and a tasty dim sum lunch, but it's additional weight of things I don't want to leave behind.

So I went out and bought a new carry on bag for about $50 CAD - a 50 litre backpack. I shove some of the heavier stuff in there - some breakable but heavy presents and the like, plus a bunch of books and so forth. I think I've managed to get everything squirreled away such that I'm taking home everything I want, leaving nothing behind that will hurt, and fitting within guidelines. I may be a couple pounds overweight when I check in, but I've got crap arranged so that the things I can most cope with leaving behind are easily accessible and I can pull them out and thereby bring my weight down right at the counter with a minimum of fuss. I may end up giving myself a hernia carrying around my exceedingly heavy backpack and laptop bag, but there's no exact weight limit on carryon, only size limits, and I've got that covered. Worst case scenario, I toss a bottle of wine, a raincoat, and maybe a beat up pair of shoes and still come in under $150 USD spent in the effort.

In other news, I have only one day of work left! This is good, because I've pretty much run out of things I can do from HK. My agents are trained, my admin work is caught up, and there's a landslide of shit that isn't worth doing until I get home because of needing more 1-on-1 time with my manager. I've mostly been reading, chatting, and helping agents figure out answers on the fly, plus a few odds and ends. Got plenty of banked overtime from earlier, so I've been leaving early too.

But, with not much to keep me occupied, and such a short time remaining, I've been driving myself absolutely freaking crazy! I just have no motivation to be in the office. Plus, my chair is broken or something, and I've got this horrible pain in my lower back from compensating for the tilt in the seat. I *really* don't want to spend 16 hours on airplanes with a fucked up lower back. Although I suppose at least the seat will be level...

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Saturday, August 22nd, 2009
10:51 pm - Note to self upon rereading the last entry:
...if you must spend all day absorbed in Salman Rushdie novels, and insist upon writing in a public forum immediately afterwards, at least have the decency to detox with some lolcats or the like before inflicting that writing style upon the innocent public.

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10:27 pm - The final week
I am in my final week in Hong Kong. I've been counting the days until I can finally go home, eager and excited to get back to my own life.

Tonight, however, I'm a little sad, and a little scared.

Hong Kong has been good to me. My work has made a real difference, and I have garnered much public appreciation. I've heard 'secret' talk about a planned appreciation and farewell dinner in which there will be performances (the manager apparently has a different definition of 'secret' than the rest of us), and I've received an invitation to return in December for the Christmas party. I've even felt the not-so-subtle hints that I would be welcome to stay permanently.

I've enjoyed my explorations through the city, to be sure... but explorations are only interesting when shared with others; unfortunately, I have had no one to share with. I miss my Fuzzy desperately - I have even degenerated into a pathetic farce of calling him nightly, sometimes two or even three times a day.

I miss my friends, such as they are. I may not be as close a friend to each of them as I perceive them to be for me, but they are the bricks and mortar that make up my life, and I am lacking without them.

I am becoming more and more aware, however, and nervous of the impending culture shock I do not doubt I will experience upon my return. I've spent a quarter of a year away, and things have changed and moved and grown in my absence. How will I fit back into a hole that has been distorted by this much time away? I have been eager to go home, thinking about how much I miss my life, but I know that when I get there, the life that I have been missing will be irrevocably gone - changed into something new that I must work to fit myself back into.

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Sunday, August 2nd, 2009
4:40 pm
Walked pretty much the entire length of Fa Yuen Street today, from Prince Edward down to Yau Ma Tei, cruising the markets. Up in the Prince Edward end, I found the veritable motherlode of Engrish. I went a little crazy buying t-shirts for myself and Fuzzy.

Further down in the Mong Kong area, I bought some trinket-y stuff, and by the time I got down to Yau Ma Tei I was exhausted. It was really much hotter today than usual, even the locals had beads of sweat standing out on their faces and were fanning themselves and complaining about the heat. I got accosted by a chick shilling for a massage place, which is pretty common. I actually gave in this time, however - I was tired, my feet were sore, my shoulders and back have been killing me for over a month (the office has no ergonomic desk setup), and she was nice, spoke decent English, and promised a/c and water.

The massage was pretty decent - hardly professional calibre, but I only paid $200 HKD for one hour including body and feet. I'd been meaning to check out a place for the past few weeks anyway. And, as promised, it was nice and cool and they gave me lots of water.

After that, who would want to go continue shopping? I hopped the MTR home, stopped to pick up my laundry and a chai latte, and my plans for the rest of the afternoon include nothing more than mimicking a vegetable slacked out on my couch with my internet and a book and music playing.

In other news, I have started a countdown: T minus 26 days and counting until I go home!

Also, if anyone wants anything in particular from HK, please speak now or forever hold your peace.

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Saturday, August 1st, 2009
7:19 pm - More Hong Kong Wanderings
Oh gods, my feet!

Ngong Ping and Tien TanCollapse )

Mong KokCollapse )

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Tuesday, July 21st, 2009
12:48 am - &*^$#$%...
...alternatively titled "Dear Gods, Women, Were You All Raised In Barns?!"

I am living in a nation full of hoverers. Women know of which I speak - some of you may even be hoverers. Men - just be glad you can pee standing up.

I mock hoverers, because I think you are all paranoiacs, yes. But I usually don't swear at you and threaten serious bodily harm such that you will never reproduce nor pass on your vile paranoiac habits to offspring, because usually it's not that bad. Usually I can leave it at 'ok... weird, but causes me no undue inconvenience so why bother caring.'

Not now. I mean, seriously - first of all? In no logical universe should a standard Western-type toilet such as every toilet in Hong Kong appears to be actually require a mounted sign in two languages behind every commode instructing the user to flush when complete. And in no fair universe should I be required to wipe down the seat before I pee every single time. To the tune of looking in every stall before having to choose the least pissed upon to wipe down.

And I ask, oh ye hoverers, if you are so deathly afraid of accidentally sitting on someone else germs (caused by one of your own kind pissing on the ^%$#$% seat) such that you will not let your sainted ass touch the seat... why will you not do the rest of us normal people a favour and just lift the goddamned seat up since you won't be using it anyway?

Seriously. If you're not going to make the &^%&^ effort to clean up after yourself and wipe your own piss off the seat, at least attempt to not be a fucking pig and avoid the mess in the first place, hmmm?

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Thursday, July 16th, 2009
8:03 pm
I have done battle with the evil forces of Access 2007, and I may or may not have won! Hard to say for sure, it looks like it'll work well, but I was too freaking exhausted to test it today, so...

Somehow I keep managing to inflict new databases upon myself. I must truly enjoy it, despite the cursing and vile implications about the program designers' ancestry. It certainly is guaranteed to keep me engaged all day instead of falling asleep at my desk.

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Saturday, July 11th, 2009
6:17 pm - Damn you, Robyn and Trevor!
I bought shoes today. I had to, my only comfortable but decent for work shoes - those camo ballet flats - are beginning to fall apart. So I found this little store that had reasonable shoes at a reasonable price.

And now, I'm thinking of going back. I'm contemplating buying unnecessary footwear and it's all your fault! You've broken me!

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9:44 am - Make it STOP
Aaauuugghhh. They're doing some sort of construction or remodeling or something in the back stairwell of my building and they've got frelling JACKHAMMERS going non-stop and it's SATURDAY MORNING and I'm HUNGOVER, and for the gods' sakes MAKE IT STOP!!!

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Monday, July 6th, 2009
7:49 pm - Macau!
I worked on Wednesday, which was a stat here in Hong Kong as well as in Canada. As a result, I took Friday off instead, and ended up going to Macau for a couple of days.

I didn't expect much, everyone told me Macau was all about gambling, and I wasn't really feeling the love. Nonetheless, according to everyone in Hong Kong, Macau is the vacation destination.

My Friday started extra early, as I met up with my director and the two new country managers who were also heading to Macau for business. I took a taxi with the to the ferry terminal, where we encountered one other coworker also on his way to Macau for work. Our company has another office in Macau, and many of these guys shuffle back and forth during the week.

I was pretty tired, so I grabbed a can of iced coffee from a convenience store in the terminal. Bad idea. It came right back up on the ferry, despite me not being terribly prone to seasickness. I blame the milk in the coffee - milk and I just do not get along at the best of times, and it can only get worse when you add rough seas into the mix. Thankfully, the ferry provides vomit bags in every seat.

The ferry ride from Kowloon to Macau is about an hour long. We arrived, piled into two taxis, and headed to the Macau office, where I met several of the people I've communicated with only by email for the past three years. I was sat down in an office with people who spread out my map and told me all of the places I should go, gave pointed directions, etc. Then I headed out on my own.

First stop was Senado Square, where the Portuguese tiled the entire plaza in beige and black wave patterns. Very cool, big tourist area, lots of shopping. I bought myself the coolest t-shirt ever, which proclaims "I'm a queen of the magical forest". How could I not buy it? I also had lunch here.

Then I wandered off down a street, and found myself staring up at the ruins of St. Paul. This was, apparently, a big Portuguese cathedral of which all that remains is the front wall. Nice, but not the most interesting thing. Really lovely statue in the square in front of it though.

Next to St. Paul was a path marked 'Ruins of Fortress Wall'. It wandered off through jungle-esque gardens and banyan trees, so of course I wandered off with it! I do adore the banyans. It turned out to be stairs winding all the way up to the ruins of the old Monte Fortress. Very cool - I spent a ridiculous amount of time just wandering about the cannons and banyans.

Finally, I wandered off down another street to gods only know where, and caught a taxi to head over to A-Ma-Gau, or A-Ma Temple, the place whence Macau gets it's name. Very cool. I wandered about the temple for a while snapping a ridiculous amount of pictures, before finally deciding I was done stewing in my own sweat and catching another taxi to my hotel.

I stayed at the Casa Real, a casino on the edge of the old Macau strip, right near the ferry terminal. It's a nice place, and it's where everyone in the office stays when in Macau. Most importantly, it had a pool. After checking in, I immediately changed and headed down for a swim to cool off. Not a large pool, but very nice, with a perfect temperature, waterfalls filling the place, and I had the entire room to myself while I floated and swam and relaxed.

After a while, I headed back up to my room, intent on a shower before heading out for dinner. Instead, I spotted the bathtub with glee. I haven't had a real bath in over a year, so I took full advantage of the opportunity to boil myself alive. They even provided bubble bath! As the tub filled, I watched Animal Planet on the giant flat screen TV by the bed (a show called Groomer has it - kind of like the Apprentice for dog groomers). Then came the boiling myself alive while I read my novel and listened to music. It was fantastic!

Eventually, I got out, dried off, and decided to try one of the big casinos on the Cotai Strip for dinner. The people from the office insisted I must, so I headed off to the Venetian Macau.

Holy crap. Macau is the Las Vegas of Asia. Not like the Asian kid brother to Vegas, but just as big and fantastic as Vegas itself. Holy CRAP! In particular, all the tourist rags were touting the Venetian as the biggest and best of them all - just as big and insane as the Venetian in Vegas.

There's the giant casino, of course. Then there's a huge floor of shopping - any brand name you can think of. They even had a Lush! And the place is HUGE.

As I came in the main entrance, I noticed a box office right up front - the Venetian Macau has it's own permanent Cirque du Soleil show, Zaia. It's a show that only plays here.

Through the main floor, the ceilings are all painted with murals and frescos and Italian art.

I wandered around the shops for some time - they are in Venetian styled building facades lining the halls, and overhead is a backlit blue sky with big fluffy white clouds, that honestly confuses your mind into believing you're wandering about outside. Kinda disconcerting at 9pm, when you know it's dark out! Down the centre of the halls are honest-to-god canals. You can even get a ride on a gondola, with a gondolier singing Italian tunes to you!

I ended up eating at a restaurant called 3 Monkeys. It was awesome! Serving Asian, American, and Mexican food, the first thing I noticed were the waitresses, all clad in one-shoulder zebra- or leopard-print tunics. Very nice! I headed inside on the advice of the English-speaking Philippino waiter (or maybe Singaporean? who knows), who said they were playing cartoons. They certainly were - Cars, in English! Inside, the seats are all leopard print, the tablecloths were all zebra print, and about half the tables were "pre-seated" with a giant stuffed gorilla in one spot. Of course I sat with a gorilla! The walls were literally covered with murals of monkeys and apes in every conceivable pose, and every available shelf or counter surface was covered in stuffed monkeys and apes of every size and type. Like, literally covered. It's amazing they didn't all squeeze themselves off. One corner of the floor had a two meter high stuffed monkey standing there - an Asian father kept freaking out his very young children by patting them on the head with its hand.

I, of course, loved it. And the waiter was great, he kept coming by to take pictures of me with my gorilla buddies - he actually brought me a second gorilla buddy from some other table. He chatted, we talked about where I was from and what I was doing in Hong Kong, he even asked if he could apply. I gave him the manager's email address and said we definitely needed fluent English speakers. Apparently he's just finishing his nursing certificates and doesn't want to be stuck working in a restaurant.

Of course, before I left the Venetian, I bought tickets for Zaia for the next day - as if I'd pass up a chance to see a Cirque du Soleil show live! Then I headed back to my hotel to sleep.

I very nearly slept all the way through breakfast on Saturday morning. Only the construction on the floor below woke me up and informed me that it must be 10:00, since that's when the concierge said construction work started, and the free breakfast ended at 10:30. I did catch breakfast - it was a pretty decent buffet with a mix of Asian and Western foods. I was most pumped by the bananas - nothing quite beats a real banana which hasn't been injected full of steroids and growth hormones and pre-ripened for shipping. It was lovely.

My plan for the morning after I checked out of my hotel was to head down to Fisherman's Wharf, but it was raining when I stepped outside and I just didn't feel like it. Instead, I caught a taxi and headed down to the Venetian again in preparation for my Zaia show. Of course, I had five hours to kill, but that's not all that difficult in a place like that! I checked my bag with luggage services so I didn't have to lug it around all day, small though it may be, and off I went.

I had some vague plans of maybe blowing a little bit on some blackjack (being the only casino game I'm reasonably decent at), but when I checked out the minimum bets, it was equal to the amount I was willing to lose all day, and why bother throwing that money away on only one hand? So I headed back up to the Grand Canal Shops instead. I did end up buying a souvenir shirt for the Venetian Macau - a long sleeve goth-looking thing that I quite like. In the same store, I eyed up a gorgeous globe - I have a huge soft spot for globes, they're some of my favourite things ever - but decided against it due to the price.

The Venetian has something they call "Streetmosphere Performers" - little groups of performers roving the Grand Canal shops and doing little shows. There were chamber music groups, opera groups, a lovely display of live puppets, and even a human statue.

I spent about an hour in a Haagen-Dazs cafe, having fantastic ice cream and reading my novel. I shopped around for a pair of shoes since my other shoes are already falling apart, but of course everything I found was more expensive than I was willing to pay, and kind of mostly stuff I wouldn't be caught dead in anyway (what is it with Asian women and wanting big floofy things hanging off their feet?). I spent another half hour in another cafe, reading and drinking what was possibly the most fantastic coffee of my life. Around 3:00, I headed downstairs to the Blue Frog, where I had dinner - a salmon steak that was so impeccably grilled it melted on my tongue and I had little food orgasms.

Then off I went to see Zaia at 5:00, and it was everything I had hoped it would be. Long live the Cirque du Soleil!

After that, I bought myself a Cirque t-shirt just for fun, and decided I'll probably only be in Macau this once and could afford to enjoy myself, so I headed back upstairs to the shops and bought the beautiful globe after all.

I picked up my luggage from the concierge, took a free shuttle bus back to the Macau ferry terminal, and hopped the next ferry back to Kowloon - thankfully without the unfortunate vomiting this time.

If you're interested, pictures are up on my Facebook.

So... how was your weekend? I must end here, for my favourite Chinese historical drama soap opera is on, and even though I don't understand in the slightest what's going on, I've been following it for a couple weeks and starting to pick out story threads here and there.

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Tuesday, June 30th, 2009
8:41 pm - Irritations of the day
I don't know why, but some things are really pissing me off today.

1. I truly truly hate it when writers use the terms 'brunette' and 'blonde' to refer to men. These are feminine terms, dammit! Use the *&!#@*& masculine versions! I've been seeing this in a lot of fic, and it jars me right out of the story.
*Note: It only bothers me when writers do it. General people writing standard blog entries or whatever, I do not care. But when someone is trying to pass themselves off as a writer who is worth writing to an audience, they should know of which they speak.
**Other note: In case you were curious, the masculine versions are 'brunet' and 'blond'.

2. I've got some sort of a zit on the end of my nose, and it's exceedingly irritating. Especially since it's not a real zit that could be popped and then go away, it's a sore red spot that makes me feel like @!*#@$ Rudolph.

3. My camo ballet flats are starting to seperate and will likely have fallen apart by the time I leave Hong Kong. I've grown rather fond of them (or rather, I've grown attached to the description someone gave me as looking like a Rambo ballerina) and would like to see more than a couple months of wear. That's what I get for buying cheap shoes at Payless, I suppose, and then wearing them just about daily in a city where I walk everywhere. And unfortunately, I can't find them on Payless' website, so I can't just order a new pair.

4. Livejournal keeps advertising the Good News magazine at me. Why? What have I ever said or done or clicked on or provided for marketing purposes that would give them even the slightest reason to believe I might be a good and possibly receptive target for JW propaganda?

How's your day?

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Sunday, June 28th, 2009
8:51 pm
Dear gods, there's an obese Chinese man in full polka-dotted drag lounge singing on my TV. And before that there were three obese Chinese men in skater clothes and make-up rapping on my TV.

... this makes the movie about the talking insects and the Japanese a/c commercial with the puppies with water drops for heads and even the breakdancing jumprope performers look positively sane in comparison.

I haven't yet decided how I feel about the Chinese Michael Jackson impersonator. He did have a mighty impressive moonwalk.

...and it gets worse. There's now a Chinese woman in construction worker drag (complete with the most amazing scraggly beard and madly flailing sledgehammer) shouting at a pony-tailed guy wearing a green Che t-shirt and playing guitar while his vaguely Roy-Orbison-lookalike-but-Chinese drummer makes eyes at her. And now she's picking her nose while green-Che-shirt guy says something about cosplay which is apparently hilarious according to the live studio audience.

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Monday, June 22nd, 2009
8:08 pm
Having students terrifies me. I was never meant to be a teacher.

Also... when I'm terrified of said students, I speak too fast. This does not go over well when the students are slow in spoken English. Somebody at work may find it amusing to share that tidbit with Mercedes (I don't mind that part being shared). Her QA used to constantly go off on her about speaking too fast, way back when I was her supervisor, and I was the one who was coaching her on trying to slow down!

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Saturday, June 20th, 2009
3:28 pm
I swear this city is conspiring to kill me with heat exhaustion.

Slept in this morning, and did some cleaning when I got up before taking my laundry out. Then I headed down to walk along the Avenue of Stars/Tsim Sha Tsui promenade.

Beautiful spot. It's a walk along the Victoria Harbour waterfront - actually, it's more of a walkway built on top of the water. Quite lovely views across the water to Hong Kong Island. Along the way, there are plaques in the pavement every couple meters commemorating the biggest stars and directors of Hong Kong films, statues, and information boards. The plaques are kind of like in Hollywood, where if feasible, the person's handprints and signature are embedded in the cement. Being as it was only built six years ago, of course many of the stars are long since dead. I got photos of the stars for Bruce Lee, Jackie Chan, Chow Yun Fat, Jet Li, and John Woo.

Speaking of John Woo, simply being here in Hong Kong is giving me a hankering to read some Once a Thief fic, and I'm slightly irritated at myself for binging on it last year to the point I think I've read it all. Ah well, some of it was good enough to warrant a re-read.

Anyway, beyond that I've had a mediocre lunch, picked up some minor necessities and my completed laundry, and found the funniest Engrish t-shirt ever (to me at least). I can't even remember what all it said, but there was a cowboy boot and the words Cal gary (space included), and a lot of random gibberish roman letters. I would have bought it if it weren't sized for an anorexic midget. I did buy another one with random 'words' that aren't quite english and a lot of butterflies.

And now I am home, suffering from quite the headache from the heat, and relaxing in my recliner reading fic and listening to a random Chinese orchestra on TV.

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Monday, June 15th, 2009
7:18 pm
My knees inform me that I have neglected to bring calcium with me. This could be painful.

Anyone know how to ask for calcium tablets in Cantonese? Or even where the hell I would find calcium tablets?

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5:31 pm - Day 1...
Go figure... three months go by without anything from me on LJ, and now something like 6 posts in four days. Guess I just needed something to talk about and no one to talk to.

Does that mean that everytime I post on LJ it's because my life is sad enough that I have no one else to talk to? Bah, nevermind, that is neither here nor there. What is interesting is that today was my first day of work in Hong Kong.

I have to admit, I still have this general overriding anxiety that I'll screw this whole thing up somehow, come off as a completely unprepared idiot, and make my whole office look bad. It's completely unfounded, but there nonetheless.

That said... I feel good about how today went, Gir.

Everyone was very nice, I got introduced around the office. They took me out for dim sum for lunch, and I had chicken feet for the first time. They were good enough, but not really worth the effort, what with all the bones and cartilege. Dessert was mango pudding, served in the shape of Hello Kitty, which was certainly kind of cute. The pudding itself was rather gross though. I'm not much of a pudding fan - gelatin makes me shudder.

I spent most of the morning discussing how the Calgary office operates with the new manager, J, reviewing my materials, updating things, sending tons of requests back to home office for things that seem to be missing. Then lunch, which the director, L, paid for for everyone (cool!), followed by an afternoon of meeting with J and L and planning out how this week will go, giving them the overview of the training programme, etc.

I forgot to hand out cheap Canadian trinket gifts today, so I'll go in tomorrow with maple caramels instead, and save the trinkets for Wednesday when the two new supervisors start. Or maybe vice versa? Who knows. Hardly the most important thing to be obsessing about.

I'm definitely feeling a lot better today than yesterday or Saturday. A little bit of a remaining headache - I definitely need to drink more water, I think I'm still a little bit dehydrated. No puking, certainly, most of a good night's sleep (even though I was up at 5:30 this morning). My rule for tonight is that I'm not allowed to go to bed until after 10 - hopefully that will help me sleep through the night.

The office manager also offered to contact my landlord and ask about my only remaining questions - what the hell do I do with my garbage, and where do I find the laundry place. Which makes mission 3: finding the laundry a moot point.

Huzzah! All missions accomplished!

(Is it wrong that I have the Final Fantasy music when you win a battle playing in my head right now?)

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Sunday, June 14th, 2009
6:55 pm
Mwahahahaaa! We have music. I repeat... we have music!

You see, apparently my work-issued laptop has no speakers. My old mp3 player crapped out a while ago. I've been going absolutely crazy with the silence in my little apartment, but not quite so crazy as to require random fuzzy Chinese TV as background noise.

Anyway, I just finished copying all my music on to my new Zen, and turned it on for a test drive. One of the reasons I wanted the X-Fi in particular is because it has a speaker on it. And thus... no more going crazy in silence!

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5:01 pm - Mission 2... Accomplished!
Yesterday's nap time turned into a brief puke into the toilet followed by sleeping like the dead until midnight, and then sleeping fitfully until I allowed myself to wake up this morning. Not sure what caused the puking, but I believe it may just be a combination of exhaustion, lack of food, and heat.

I managed to eat a decent meal this morning at some shop, then made my way around most of Tsimshatsui in search of my mp3 player. I ended up at what might take the cake for hugesat mall ever, Elements. I've been to West Ed many times, and it is definitely huge, but this place had me astounded by size.

Anyway, found my mp3 player (16gb Creative Zen X-Fi, thank you!). I wanted the 32gb version, but I guess no one is really selling it yet. Ah well, I'm going crazy without music. In the mall there was also a grocery store, which allowed me to also grab a drink and mission item: dish soap.

Headed back towards home, and picked up the last few items on my list: an umbrella, a face cloth (with Snoopy on it), and a cheap watch.

Decided I was exhausted and took another nap, feeling kind of icky again but atleast without the puking. Was smart and set my alarm for two hours first. Figured I'd push off mission 3: find the laundry place until another day.

My plan for tonight: wash up the dish I dirtied yesterday, make some food, fiddle with the mp3 player, watch Chinese TV, and read until bedtime.

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