December 25, 2019 – Hong Kong Follow-up

It has taken me a while to finish up my travel journal for China. There are several reasons. First, by the time I got to Hong Kong, the last stop on my tour, I was tired and grumpy and didn’t want to write any more. Second, I forgot to finish: I reviewed my entries a few weeks after getting back and noticed I’d left things hanging. Some excuses: I was pretty jet-laggy when I got home, and then I was sick. It took me a while to feel back to normal, and then I was enmeshed in my regular routine. Unfortunately, my regular routine doesn’t include writing, apparently.

Anyway! Hong Kong.

Hong Kong: November 7-9, 2019.

There was a long day of travel heading to Hong Kong from Yangshuo. There were two trains involved, and once were were settled on those everything was fine, but there was a lot of waiting before and in between. The station where we transferred was huge (I don’t remember the city) and we had time to walk around and find a snack while our guide watched our bags. (He did that a lot for us. So nice to be able to wander without having to lug around my suitcase).

According to my ticket, we transferred trains in Shenzhenbei!

We found McDonalds and a few of us ordered Happy Meals by accident and got toys promoting the movie Frozen 2, but also got a wee cup of corn as the side dish.

The last train, thankfully, was only about half an hour. Then things got bewildering.

First off, we got off underground, so that is disorienting anyway. Then we had to go through border control, which was located right there at the station. That was just like passport checking and customs like at the airport (or any other land border crossing, just part of the underground station), and I’m good at that and I was the first of our group through. Then we walked underground a while longer, and the station turned out to be a transportation hub for the city’s subway as well. When we got outside again we were at the end of the street where our hotel was located.

I found that all baffling at the time, but now that I think about it, it was all pretty straightforward, and our guide was with us the whole time to help us through customs, and through the underground station. It was, however, a long day of travel, after almost three weeks of the tour. I was tired in lots of ways.

That night was the last official day of the tour, and TV group had a farewell dinner. It wasn’t much different from all the other dinners on the trip, because we mostly always all ate together. But, our group leader ate with us, which he didn’t usually do, and we had a bit of a debrief about the tour after we ate. There were positive reviews all around, and of course a few suggestions for improvement (mostly just wanting to spend more time in some of the locations… and to not use the guesthouse on Emei Shan where we’d ended up in our backup plan). We had many compliments for our group leader, and he gave us gifts of wooden bookmarks he designed himself. So beautiful.

Gift from my tour leader. That’s Confucius at the top, then one of his sayings: “Isn’t it a great pleasure having friends coming from afar.” The two wee symbols are my name in Chinese characters. The circle at the bottom is a character that is a blessing for happiness.

That was my last night sharing a room with my roommate. We didn’t talk about it at all, except to mention that I might leave my bag there in the morning if my room wasn’t ready. I was staying one night after the tour, she was staying 2 or 3 days longer than that.

There were a lot of us staying at least of the Friday to explore Hong Kong before flying out at various times on Saturday. Most everyone staying planned a day of seeing the major sites of the city. That seemed a little much for me, (being tired, grumpy, and fed up with touristing around in a group) and opted to wander alone not too far from the hotel. I found a Marks and Spencer foods, which had a very similar selection of quick foods as found in England, and that cheered me up. I also went through the Museum of Hong Kong until it was overrun with really loud school children. Holy cow! There were so many! I had to get out of there.

It was really warm in Hong Kong- around 25 or 26 degrees in the day, and just a little cooler at night. So nice. It made me dread getting home to whatever weather was going on there.

I rested in my hotel room for a lot of the afternoon, napping and packing.

I joined up with the group again in the evening. We were meant to go for dinner at some point. First we went to the nightly light show at the waterfront at 8pm. The buildings across the water were lit up and flashed along with music. It was about a 10 minute display.

While we were watching, or as we were waiting for the show to start, we started to hear chanting somewhere behind us. We got a little nervous because we were on alert for protests. The group had caught the tail end of a skirmish between protesters and police earlier in the day near a government building. They chanting continued a bit during the show, and we went to check it out when it was done.

We were on a walkway just above a park area, where there were protesters moving. They were dressed all in black, and some had masks on – many didn’t. We gathered information from member of the crowd observing with us: it was a memorial, and I found out the next day that is was one of several that took place around the city. A protester had died as the result of allegedly being chased off a parkade by police. Protesters/mourners were laying flowers and lighting candles at the base of a clock tower. They sang for a bit, and chanted.

A few of the older members of our group got nervous and headed back towards the hotel, three of us stayed to watch for a bit longer. We didn’t see any police, but it was a memorial, and also, it was a very touristy area. But there was a large block of protesting individuals standing at attention – like they might react harshly if anyone messed with them. We stayed only 10 or 15 minutes longer.

After that we still hadn’t had dinner so we walked and looked for a place, but nothing suited so we ended up at a McDonalds. McNuggets, fries, and a chat.

It felt weird that night sleeping in a room on my own!

My flights the next day we’re uneventful, and I spent most of my travel time just maintaining my sanity after having travelled so much. The only good part was the private transfer I booked to get me to the airport. It was a super fancy car and a driver who was right on time. I had time to hug my travel buddies goodbye and that was the actual end of my tour.

2011 by Lindsie

January.
Nothing. I don’t remember. No wait. I started a new job. Did I report on this last year? I started a new position with Liquor Licensing (BC Gov) on Jan 4, 2011, the same date I started with them in 2008. It was a pleasant reunion with everyone (there was hugs!) and I’ve had a good year working there. It’s nice to have a permanant job*.

*For now**

**Mum doesn’t like it when I add that part. Hehehe.

February.
Nothing. February sucks.

March.
My birthday. Everyone celebrate!

April.
Nothing. Oh! Except I moved at the end of the month, so I spent most of April worrying about that and packing. Fun story: on April 29 I decided that I Would Watch The Royal Wedding (as this is something that Lindsie is meant to do, having memories of the other royal wedding that happened in 1981). In order to stay up that late- the thing started at 2 in the morning or something,-I needed to keep myself occupied. As I was about to move, the kitchen needed that end-of-occupancy clean out, so I watched the wedding coverage while scrubbing out my fridge and pulling out the stove. I made it all shiney. My landlord was super impressed, and also amused with my Royal Wedding Story.

May.

Dance recitals. I was in two this year, since I was doing classes with two studios. Fun and all but I’m only at one studio this year so hopefully only one recital. This year I did tap with the teacher I had in Duncan (Nanna!) at a new school. We danced to Michael Jackson. That show was at Victoria Event Centre, where they serve alcohol. Note: performing at a place where they serve booze the whole time makes for a fun show, especially if you are late in the line-up. The other show was at the Royal, which isn’t as intimate as the other place, but has a really nice backstage area. Mum and dad came and watched, and my friend Susan, as I did some flamenco and ballet. Good show. We went for dinner afterwards.

June.

Nothing. Actually I think in June I went to Vancouver to see Wicked. That was with my friend Julie, who is my musical theatre friend. We both bought t-shirts even though neither of us meant to. P.S. I love musicals. They make me cry and want to sing along and I love them.

July.
I watched the whole of West Wing and Knitted. Summer! Also, my friends Amber and Mia visited. In our second annual summer fun time, we did fancy dinner, and took double decker busses, and went Craigdarrough castle. We also ate cupcakes.

Aug.
Some summer dance workshops. Some moping around. Went to work. Benefitted amply from the wealth of my dad’s garden. (Speaking of which, did you know you can buy green beans at the grocery store? Both fresh AND in cans. *Why Would Anyone Do This*? Doesn’t your dad grow way too many and make you take them?)

September.
Whined a lot.

October.
This wasn’t that long ago. I should remember. I got sick around Thanksgiving, which was also exactly when I took my vacation time. I didn’t have any big plans or anything, but I was Quite Annoyed. All year my health has been really good. My doctor suggested, though, that I’m now just catching everything I hadn’t caught yet. I’ve also figured out my asthma so that it’s under contol. I puff a puffer twice a day, with an “emergency” inhaler for when I need it, most importantly, just before my dance classes. Breathing Lindsie is happy Lindsie.

November.
Seriously. I bought flamenco shoes. I don’t have a couch yet, but I do have flamenco shoes. Priorities. I realize that this letter is rather dance-centric, but I think about it a lot. That and how I’m going to feed myself around all my dance classes. Two of my favorite things are dance and eating. Another favorite thing is watching TV but that’s not really something one writes about in their Christmas letter. However, I’m only writing this right now because there’s nothing on to watch.

December.
Hasn’t really happened yet. So far so good. I just vacuumed a bit. I’m trying to make my house clean and tidy before putting up Xmas decorations.

January, 2012.
This hasn’t happened yet, either, but I want to keep going….

February 2012.
I’m going to Spain to take some flamenco workshops. I’m also going to drink sherry, and do other Spain things. Spain has never been on my radar of somewhere to visit so I don’t know what to expect!

And here is a bonus story .

Did you know I still have a LiveJournal account?  I didn’t!  It was where my online diction was kept from 2005-2007 or sortof then.  I pulled it all into wordpress (here) at a later time.  The biography I have written there goes thusly:

“Was consistency expected? I hope not, for I have already failed. Shoot: Violins are playing and I forgot my sheet music. Biography followed by various punctuation. I only write this here because the main page is for specific things, like overcoming chiche. Yeah? “I have an elaborate system of little pieces of paper ripped off the edges of newspapers and subscription cards. When I say “system” I mean “chaos”” Remember when you were in grade 12 choir and could sing either on key and quiet or off key and loud? You wish every day that you went with the latter, don’t you?
(Update, 2007: EVERYTHING IS THE SAME.)”

I’m going to try to delete this account.  I wonder if I remember the password?

Edit:  Yes, I do remember the password.  Account deleted!

I’ve been reminiscing about the past lately.  Not in a pathetic wish-I-was-still-there way (not this time, anyway) just thinking about it.  Perhaps encouraged by Kimberly, who had a facebook update about past Septembers and the beginnings of school.  It got me to realizing that ten years ago I was getting ready for my fourth year of university.  A few years ago I was a little annoyed and freaked out that it was going to be ten years since I got my degree.  Not I’m not too bothered by it.  Maybe I’m a little agrivated that it will be a decade since I started at Camosun (I liked my time there a lot).  There is no theme to my agrivation.  No reason.  I had no goals when I started these educational projects: just to finish.  I never expected to be able to support myself as a writer, especially when I realized how much work I would have to put in to do so.  And even then: no promises.  Same thing with art.  I just like doing these things.  I’m glad I have the credentials I do, and whether I’m using them or not, I’m pleased with my accomplishments and where I’ve come since then.  But then, i don’t feel I’m entirely done, either.  I’m pretty ok being settled and having a job and everything.  Money is great.  I enjoy that there is still potential for more- education, not money.  I don’t see myself making more money than I’m making now.  It would be nice if I could make the money I make now and also do something that is arty, but I’m good for now.

The past.  The years 2005 through 2007 are muddled in my head.  Maybe because somewhere in here I entered the non-school years, so there’s nothing concrete for me to attach dates to.  I guess I was working at a school for some of it, but apparently this doesn’t count (as it doesn’t help me remember dates.)

Meh.

My parents are in town for the weekend.  They picked me up today at 3 and I got home at 10:30 ish, drunk and full of Greek food.

New Year’s!

I am making resolutions.  They are as follows:

1) Be nice

2) Travel

3) Wear skinny jeans

4) Write in my blog every day more than last year semi-sporatically.

That’s all I can think of for now.  Last year I made a springtime resolution to be brave, and that went well.  So you know, I’ll set goals as they come to me.

Valerie (Naomi’s mom – N’s blog is listed at the side) invited me to Vietnam, so I could go there.  I want to learn some things about it first.  Like, anything that isn’t war related, because that’s the only reason I’ve ever thought about Vietnam, and even that isn’t very much.  More passive paying attention (media) than active engagement in the topic.  Not like when I visited England, which I spent much school time studying.

I’ve been in Duncan since December 24.  Mostly eating.  I also went through all the junk I have left here.  I have three piles now: take with me, keepsakes, and recycle.  Mum says I’m just like the shows on TV.  I say those shows are just like me.  My recycle pile isn’t as big as I’d like, but to be truthful, much of my stuff was already pretty organized (by me! previously) and just needed a little consolidation.  What I had to go through were the boxes that Mum dumped my stuff into when she emptied my room.  (Which is where I finally found my tiara!) I have now a bunch of stuff to take home with me to use up (things I’d abandoned when I moved and hadn’t gotten around to again).  I feel consolidated.

Other places I want to travel to:

France
China
Antartica
Italy/Greece
New York/Eastern US

Places I don’t want to travel to:

Outer Space

Places I’d like to return to:

Austria
Finland
England

Nov 3. At the intervals of plays, young theatre employees come into the audience with trays of ice cream to sell and audience members traipse down the aisles to purchase a treat. Not me though because I’m allergic!!! Such a party pooper. This evening the young blond woman near me is yelling “Ice cream available to buy here!” and I am tempted as it is warm in here and the aisian women in front of me are sharing a lite tub of choco icecream that looks lovely. They eat it with a little plastic paddle. In other news, there are two asian ladies sitting in front of me at this performance, which means I can see over their heads to the stage. I am grateful for this.

It has been nearly twenty years since I last watched Phantom. (I realized this with a pang of horror before the performance began.) I have changed a lot since then. For example, Mr. Phantom makes me a little uncomfortable with his domination and power over Christine. Contol freak asshole. Get back in your hole. I did not think this way when I was 13. I just thought he was cool and romantic. I was thinkig that maybe I’d switch theatres at intermission and go to the end of the ballet for which I have an unused ticket. My secret adoration of melodrama and a cool riff shall keep me here, however.

“Puffy” is a word I should probably stop using to describe people. But I didn’t start it. I got it from the movie “Grosse Pointe Blank”. Joan Cusack describes the people at her ten year high school reunion as just the same as they had been in high school, only puffier. That’s a good movie. I own it on VHS!

Did I tell you about that time… I probably have already, I find the story quite funny:

This one time when I was working at Wal-Mart (and you just know this os going to be a pretty great story with such an opening) these two women asked me for help in the girlswear department. They were sort of staring at me, agog, which isn’t strange– I mean, a helpful walmart employee? I’d be surprised, too. So I didn’t think too much about it. “Stupid customers” is what I no doubt thought to myself. Just after they left, however, I realized that they were two girls I knew from high school but I didn’t recognize them because they had become so puffy!

Right? Right?

None of my coworkers thought that this was as funny as I did. Maybe they hadn’t seen “Grosse Pointe Blank”.

I hope it really is a day off today because I’m so not prepared to go anywhere. Except maybe dollar giant.

I mailed some letters yesterday and since it’s a long weekend and no pick up until Tuesday, I am imagining my letters all alone in the mailbox still, waiting.

The book I am reading now is “The Gargoyle” by Andrew Davidson. All the reviews I have read of this book said it is good, and I concur.

I would like to note that this will be my first use of the word “concur” having only recently fully believed that it means “agree.” I first heard it used by Taylor at Camosun. He said “I concur,” and I was like “Oh good… Wait… does “concur” mean “agree?”” Apparently, it does.

I fixed my fan yesterday. At first I thought I could just “hammer” out the solution, but in the end I went to Home Hardware and purchased nuts. I fastened these the the screws in the base of the fan, and now my fan remains upright indefinitely. Opposed to before yesterday, where it would stand for a while and then decide to lie down.

P.s. My goddam awesome new phone isn’t connecting so I can’t goddam change my facebook status on it. This isn’t a problem as I am not actually anywhere away from my home computer, right? But I want it to work since yesterday I finally switched off my mum’s plan and have to pay for the GD thing on my own now. POOP in a HAT.

I just just just talked to Mom and Dad Simpson via Kimberly on facebook. I feel like I’ve been hugged and am very happy.

Mom and Dad Simpson are of course Kimberly’s parents. I send them my x-mas letter if I write one and the occasional issue of T.S. (the one titled “Kimberly” for example).

They used to visit Victoria when Kimberly lived here, and when K lived in Victoria she lived with me! They would camp on our living room floor (first in our cluster house in res at UVic, and then in our apartment on Belcher) and I have been assured that this is what they are doing now on a visit to K in Quesnel. Once they made a big dinner of spaghetti and while we were eating it, Jordan and Alli showed up and there was of course enough for them as well. (Even though Jordan and Alli were most polite and declined at first.)

Another time, in res, Kimberly (or Tanya I don’t remember) had a sheet that we hung on the wall and we all drew on it with crayola markers. Mom and Dad S were there and they were excited about it and it was a party.

I don’t have any crayola markers at the moment. Maybe that’s what my life is missing.

Anyway. They sent me hugs and kisses over the internet. They laughed when I told them that my cure for my hangover last weekend was to go to ballet class. That started because Dad S said that he used to party Fri and Sat night when he lived in Victoria and then go for a walk on the beach on Sun. To which Mom S replied, the walk was to get over his hangover.

They also laughed when I asked if they had made food for Kimberly while they were there, but I guess they went out for dinner instead, which I guess is pretty much the same thing. (This is what Mum and Dad — no initial needed — do.)

I told them how pleased I am with myself, working and dancing and making new chums.

I’m tired tonight. I already had a nap after dance class. Dance class kicked my ass, but I felt strong and not tired so that’s getting better. I’ve decided not to participate in the end of year shindig, just because I don’t really want to perform this year. Last year I was, of all things, annoyed that I had to get up in front of people. It was fun in the end, but maybe I need to not perform this year so I will like it again next year? I don’t know. I’m a big fan of dance class, where I don’t have to perform, just get my ass kicked. Although maybe I’ll change my mind. In class today, after I’d spoken to my teacher of my decision, I was thinking to myself, shoot, maybe it would be fun. But then the real reason I don’t want to do it is because I will either be without a job at the end of the month (stressful) or starting a new job at some point (also stressful) and I don’t want to anxiety myself into sickness or breakdown. Also, I have technically requested holidays for the middle week of June with the original intention of skipping town and going to hang out at the Carlson’s recitals like I always do. But you know, if I don’t get those holidays due to only being extended to the end of June I could always do the end of year shindig with my own dance school.

This is how my head is circling. It’s not a manic circle! It’s just circling. But my first choice (because in reality I Always know what I really want to do) I want my vacation days and I want to go to Duncan for a week and watch dancing. I just keep having to have back up plans for everything. Arg. But I’d rather do the prep work than snap.

I had English Breakfast tea this morning.  It didn’t taste how I thought it should.  For a time I was drinking it often.  This was when I was at Camosun and we would have a class break everyday around 10 or 10:30.  Ralph would say “it’s time for a tea” which would prompt me to want tea, and I would go with whoever was going down to the cafeteria and buy a tea.  I liked English Breakfast because it wasn’t herbal and it had a nice hearty taste to it.  The tea I had this morning didn’t have that hearty taste to it.  This surpized me because it was Twinnings brand and I, I don’t know, thought that it would taste the same or better than whatever I had before.  Or maybe the brand I had before was wrong!

The Camosun tea time is also when the following memory stems:  Robin complaining how putting mil in tea was just putting milk into hot water, so really all you were drinking was weak milky-water.  I don’t put milk in my tea in restaurants or cafeterias and so didn’t feel that this comment applied to me.  However, when I at home, making my own weak soy-milky-water, I remember it.