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Archive for the ‘Q & A’ Category

That is what I need.

As I inch my way (with a reluctance I cannot completely shake off) into motherhood, this is what I need help with:

How do I become a better mom in the sense of rolling with the flow, soaking in the good moments and letting the unpleasant ones roll off?  How do I get to the place where the screeching, whining voice of my hungry baby (as I am making her bottle) doesn’t rake every last nerve in my body the wrong way (imagine stroking a cat backwards…this is my nerves)?

These are my million dollar questions.  This is the goal(s) I am striving for.  I am not certain if it is attainable, so if it isn’t…well, I guess I really need to know so I can adjust my thinking.  If it isn’t attainable to not be annoyed, then I can strive for handling my reaction better.

I suppose (wow. irony.) I just solved my own problem with my own answer in the last sentence.  Interesting how writing helps my brain function more smoothly.

Well, I still would like to hear answers to my questions posed above from anyone who is willing to offer…uh, allow me to rephrase…if you are a parent, then I would love to hear your opinion, advice, answers or hysterical pointing and laughing…all other opinions will be read and discarded because you know NOTHING of parenting unless you are one, trust me on that.  Although, feel free to entertain me…

Same as previous Questions (see post below dated 25 Jan)…

But consider yourself having fertility issues, being high risk for carrying a child full term, and only having insurance that will NOT cover maternity or fertility assistance out of the U.S. (which leaves me with one option in HK and that is the public health system — which is technologically advanced, but would require that I have different docs every visit).

Considering this, what do you think?? I am curious if this scenario alters any opinions…

Jan
25
Reader Poll

Just curious of any/every one’s opinion while preparing to make a HUGE decision as whether or not to stay in Hong Kong beyond our original contract date of 2 years:

What do you think of having/raising a child in a foreign country?

What do you think about having a amah living with you and caring for your child?

Any comments, opinions, questions, concerns or thoughts are welcome.

Aug
21
Q & A Time.

Mutha asked me a few questions about the foster cats:

  • Where do you find these kitties? They are everywhere, all over Hong Kong and all its outlying islands. It is a problem, they are breeding like rabbits. The colony that I am feeding and trapping for de-sexing is right along the harbor walkway just outside our building.
  • Can you describe the area? It’s quite a long stretch of sidewalk and I have to jump the fence a lot for trapping. When I feed them, I just put food down over the fence…well, through the fence. Sometimes I do jump over to clean up empty containers that nice people put down with food for the cats. They are trying to help but they leave a mess behind and Cat Colony Care Providers (CCCP), like myself, who are registered with the SPCA can get fined for littering. Stupid rule. It is incentive to clean up after people, though. I don’t want a fine. I put enough money and time into it.
  • How far from your flat? I start feeding the first colony just outside our flat and to the left where the harbor is and there is a little patch of grass. It is where you can see the view of Central and Disney without being inside our flat. There are a lot of colonies and they are like wild cats, they have territories and do not cross into others’ territories without a fight. I walk along the harbor and then up the street a short ways to the flower nursery, which is close by the stairs we walk up when coming off the Mui Wo ferry. The last colony that I feed lives in the nursery.

So, I may have already mentioned it but as a CCCP I feed once a week, I trap cats and take them for de-sexing, pick up cats after they are de-sexed and release them into their colony, trap kittens for fostering until a permanent home is found, and even foster some myself. It is of utmost importance that they be returned to the proper colonies or they may be killed by other feral cats if they are released to the wrong colony, especially since they are recovering from surgery. It helps that a few of us CCCPers know all the feral cats and where they belong, we even have names for many of them. As far as fostering, the two sweeties I have now are much better than the last six I had. Those kittens were wilder than wild.

It is very hard, very rewarding volunteer work. It makes me proud to be helping the fuzzy kids. I would save them all if I could…I wish that was possible.

Another good question, Heather!

Cybr and I read some customs and etiquette books before we ever came here. One of the things we read is that Chinese people are quite often misconceived as being rude. This is often a perception based on behavior. Westerners tend to perceive many behaviors of this eastern culture as being rude.

When we first visited here last year, I did not stay long enough to encounter this “rudeness”. I was only here ten days, during which I found most everyone to be pleasant and extremely accommodating. We received a few stares when we would enter “local” restaurants and be the only white faces amidst a sea of Asian faces, but these were not uncomfortable stares nor did they last more than a moment.

During our visit I spoke to a native Australian that had been living here for a decade and she asked where we had been during our visit and the “local” dining came up in conversation. She was shocked and appalled! She said “We just don’t do that”, meaning that if you are not “local” then you don’t dine with “locals”.

This struck me as odd and rude. Beyond rude, really. I mean, the food was good. The people were nice. So why not? The only answer I have is…we just aren’t like the “everybody else” that she lumped into “we”.

What I learned from this is that “locals” are mostly very considerate and accommodating. I have seen some “non-locals” behave in rude and appalling ways. Mostly Europeans, Americans and Australians to be specific.

During our initial visit, I did not experience any “local” rudeness; however, since living here on a day to day basis, I can honestly say that there have been moments that it was made clear that my presence was nothing but an annoyance. But mostly, there is just the realization that it is okay to butt in line if there is a gap between people and it is okay to sit at an already occupied table in a restaurant and it is okay to push your way down a crowded street if you are from here. It is not rudeness, just the way things are done here.

These have really been few and far between, though. Overall I would say that strangers in St. Louis have been more rude to me than anyone here. Hell, I have had so-called friends and family treat me worse than any of the locals here have!

More than likely, after adapting to life here, we will ourselves be considered rude upon returning to the U.S. and butting in line or pushing through a crowd. But we won’t see it that way any longer, hehe! Our horizons have definitely been broadened in this area.

Thanks for the question, Heather! This is a really fun question to answer…

LOVING:
1) The sea
2) The simple fact that I finally moved out of Missouri
3) The food
4) The breeze coming off the sea
5) The idea that (HOLY CRAP!) I am in freakin’ China
6) The cultural differences…too many to mention
7) The wet markets/cool shopping for food, clothing, etc…
8) The flowers
9) Tao Ti Apple Green Tea. Mmmmmm….
10) Extreme diversity
11) Not having to work right now.
12) How safe it is in our community, kids are able to roam unsupervised without danger. I know, impossible to believe unless you see it first-hand. Part of this has to do with the cultural belief that children are EVERY ONE’S responsibility and therefore perfect strangers look after children that are unattended. I swear that as crazy as it sounds, it IS SAFE.
13) Outdoor seating at many restaurants so you can take your dog with you.
14) The local pub cat that begs for food at our table while we dine and is ALWAYS there…has a big belly, too!
15) Trying new things constantly
16) Meeting really nice people from all over the world
17) Our view of the water with Disney fireworks across the harbor
18) Exploring “local” areas
19) Walking/riding bicycles as transportation and efficient, cheap transportation everywhere you wouldn’t want to walk or ride
20) Everything that is Hello Kitty…and there is soooooo much


NOT LOVING:
1) Missing my friends and family
2) Being so far away in case of emergency
3) Being so far away all the time, especially on holidays
4) Not working right now (yes, it is a love/hate thing and I am exploring my options thoroughly)
5) Not having a Cecil Whittaker’s
6) Not having a car/driving
7) No IHOP
8) How long it takes to get to certain areas due to public transportation
9) There is no “one-stop-shopping” here
10) Not having a yard for the fuzzy kids to run around in
11) No WalMart, Target or Kohl’s
12-20) Missing my friends and family a lot…

I have actually tried the fuzzy pork. I didn’t like it and won’t do that again.

I refuse to put 100 yr old eggs anywhere near me. They are black and have been buried in dirt. I thought eggs went bad if you didn’t refrigerate them and after a certain amount of time they went bad anyway. So to me, a 100 yr old egg is not a delicacy but more of a rotten egg. Ewww.

Anything that involves chicken feet. Need I say more?

Runny scrambled eggs…I just can’t handle the runny-ness, it is like snot. That seems to be common here at any place that makes breakfast or egg as the main course dishes, they often seem to be a bit runny.

Ox tail. Won’t even try it. It sounds like butt to me.

Shark fin soup, which is very popular, but I can’t do it based on principal. I would probably like it, I just can’t eat it. They catch the sharks and hack off their fins and toss them back in the water, or at least that is what people say. If it is true, I do not condone it and I will not eat it. Until I know for a FACT that this practice is NOT occuring, I will have to avoid it.

That is all I can think of for now…

Thanks for the question, Yoshi. Please refer to Cybr for this question, as I have had no such experience.

He had a scene be filmed in the service apartment he stayed in before I got here. I don’t know much else other than that but I am sure he would LOVE to tell you about it!

The only answer I have is…

I questioned how we handled shipping our pets, but I am not sure there is a better alternative even though I hated how stressed they were.

I have thought it may have been better if Cybr didn’t leave 6 weeks before I did, that he would have been able to help out more…but in truth, his being gone gave me quality time to spend with family and friends, it kept us from having our stress take it’s toll on our relationship, and in all honesty I think I got a lot more done on my own than if he would have been there.

Other than having questioned those two things, I don’t think I would have done anything differently.

Great question, though, it really made me think. Thanks, KD!

I loves me some kimchee. This is odd because I hate cabbage and that is all kimchee is, but it is so freakin’ good!

Red bean paste. Sounds odd, looks gross, tastes excellent. I have only eaten it in pastries and haven’t been brave enough to try it in a beverage, since it looks a bit like vomit when it’s in a glass.

Tofu Fa, or soy milk curd. Served cold looks like tofu snot, but tastes delicious. I could have eaten two. It also comes served hot, but that looks even more disgusting.

Sweet potato paste, also served in a pastry, and I wish I had gotten more.

I had this local treat and I have no idea what it is called, but it was sooooo good. This little old man stands on the street with a cart and takes these little crispy, wafer-y looking things and sprinkles them with what appears to be a cinnamon/sugar mixture and wraps it in a tortilla-like thing. Mmmmm…whatever it was, it was delicious.

I am really not a picky person and will usually try anything once. Anytime I hesitate to try something, it usually has more to do with texture and I will at least try something once. I even ate deep fried shrimp heads once. See, not at all picky. There are only a few exceptions, but that is a whole other post.

thanks for the question, Yoshi!