Monday, July 6, 2009

Short summer vacation - Part 1

We managed to squeeze a quick 4-day vacation to expose baby-G to the world of Disney in Tokyo... though I've never been to the one in HK, everyone is telling me that after Tokyo Disney, there is no need to step inside HK Disney (which is an investment by all taxpayers!) Talk about lucky - we arrived at Narita & it was drizzling, overcast and just miserable. By the time we got to the hotel, it was 6pm and no use going anywhere...

Next morning when we're wide & wake with full gear running, the blue skies shone brightly as we opened the shoji curtains in our Hilton Tokyo Bay "parkview" room. YES!! After a quick breakie down in the Starbucks, off we went on the Resort Line to Disney. Baby-G's body was in awe of the crisp air, and light breeze...he was actually breathing clearly! As soon as we stepped inside, we were greeted by the famous ducks - Donald & Daisy and their canine friends Pluto & Goofy. We scanned around & saw the line up to the famous rodent - Mickey. Snap Snap Snap...a few pics with the characters whom G has never seen before, and we rushed in.

The Japanese, as organized as they are...was in full mode here in Disney. I was amazed at the number of babies & toddlers present...but more importantly at how organized the strollers were parked!! Throughout the 3 days we were here, I did not encounter one piece of garbage on the ground nor did I smell one nasty bathroom! I felt safe to actually sit on the toilet...but of course, disposable toilet seat covers were always in stock in every stall (unlike most HK toilets!)

We were amazed at how many rides baby G managed to get on! We started with a Pirates of the Caribbean ride...but then again, he wouldn't know the difference between a pirate and a normal man, I guess. The only time his heart somewhat pounded extra hard was in Alice's teacups -- thanks to daddy turning the wheel to make the cup go faster! In the end, our brave boy shed no tears & actually managed to smile a bit leaving!

More to come...stay tuned.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Life is so unfair

Yesterday's news about the FEDEX plane that bounced up & down Narita's runway and then bursted in a ball of flames sent shivers down both mine & my husband's spines. Why? Almost every month, I go down that same runway and in the past few months, the turbulence as we near Narita has been pretty bad. That wind shear could have affected any aircraft... now I will make sure I do follow instructions and buckle up when I'm supposed to. I feel badly for the widows of the two pilots who braved the terror. Life was just too short for them...may they rest in peace and may their families eventually find peace without their loved ones.

Why do bad things happen to good & decent people while the crazy Austrian incestual, abusive father stays alive & have the opportunity to live in a cell? At least he's still living. So unfair...but his daughter and children need to live with this horror for the rest of their lives.

On another scale of evil are the greedy AIG executives. Now that they're willling to give back some of the money, I think they're doing it out of fear. Fear that they will need to repay in "other means"... these greedy bastards don't realize how many lives they've affected directly and indirectly. The list could go on forever about the implications of greed. That could be my next blog topic.

Musty March

Spring is dawning upon Hong Kong and you could surely feel it in the air. It's about 90% humidity level, drizzling, and all you smell is mustiness. I dread this time of the clothes don't dry properly so we spend a fortune buying disposable dehumidifier packets for the closets! Otherwise, mould will start to form & the next thing you know, we have to throw out clothes/bags that are speckled with green fungi!

Still contemplating whether we should cut my son's hair -- it is getting a little long, however, he looks so cute. I don't want him to have the short buzz cut (though practical in this weather) because then he'll look like the rest of the boys in his class...I guess all mothers want their children to be special?

Speaking of children in HK - I never thought I would succumb to the craziness of toddler interviews, however, my 2-year old has gone through 2 rounds of interviews already and he tasted his first mouthful of "rejection". Well, not total rejection -- but he's on waiting list for the NURSERY (yes, i repeat...NURSERY) of his choice. We like that one because it's only a 15 minute walk from our home and just extremely convenient! Plus, the reputation is quite good. Now we'll have to cross our fingers that they will end up with some space by May or June. Nonetheless, i've applied for another two -- unlike other mothers who apply to about 10! Guess I'm still not that crazy.

The reason for this craziness is that it is ultimately very critical they get into a good kindergarten because that could dictate the type of primary and then high school they get into! Sigh...I wish I could just throw him into Canadian International, however, my husband is against it and wishes for him to experience the local education system. Moreover, it is very valued in our family that we keep our mother tongues.

Keep everyone posted on the outcome of the interviews...

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Behavioral-based interviewing...for a 2-year old?

It never fails to shock me that the education system in HK is so f**ked up. My little one is going to nursery in September this year -- and to me, nursery is not all that important. However, it is quite the contrary here in HK. Nursery is an important stepping stone, not only for the development of the child, but MORE IMPORTANTLY a stone to get into a good kindergarten and thus, a good primary school.

The pressure starts now...being a working mom and quite oblivious to the requirements, I managed to miss most of the nursery application deadlines. Now I'm left with two choices ! I could stick with the playgroup kindergarten however, I'm not willing to fork out close to HKD6500 for NURSERY! For Chrissake...all they do is play, sing songs and learn the simplest of words. 6500 could feed alot of people...and buy quite the number of necessities.

Anyways, after submitting the application, I was informed that I would be notified when the interview is. Interview??? What on earth could they ask a 2 year-old who barely speaks, and in front of strangers?? After asking some more experienced parents who went through this nonsense...all said that it is rather subjective and it is by luck. Luck -- because it depends on how your toddler feels that day. G-r-e-a-t. So, my son's future education will be based on how he feels that day of the interview. I guess there is no need to role-play an interview questions... so much for pre-training!