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Discovering motherhood…one poopy diaper at a time.

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Archive for February, 2008

*edited so that the link works again* 

I just saw this commercial parody from SNL for Annuale and laughed hysterically. Tina Fey cracks me up. The only thing I think may be funnier is Amy Poehler and her lady garden commentary (which I cannot find right now, but if I do I will link to it).

I have had quite a busy, eventful day and I intend to share it with you but not right now. I am too tired right now…

I haven’t mentioned this until now because I thought it would change, but that isn’t the case thus far.

While we were away in the U.S. for Christmas a friend of mine took Pixel to her flat to look after him. She updated me frequently as to his wellbeing and mentioned several times during the latter two weeks I was away that he seemed to be sleeping more and eating/drinking less. She was concerned that he wasn’t taking in enough food or water.

I made several suggestions, even going so far as suggesting she take him to see the vet for additional advise.

Upon my return to Hong Kong, she dropped him off to me and I began watching his behavior to make an assessment for myself. I noticed exactly what she has said, he wasn’t eating or drinking much and he seemed considerably less active. He also seemed to be urinating less, which goes with the territory. He is getting older and I thought this may be something natural. I watched him closely, showed him the water and food yet nothing changed. I thought perhaps he was just stressed from being moved around and being in a strange environment while we were away.

Then I saw him attempting to drink from the water bottle. You know the type with the silver ball at the base of a tube that moves and releases the water when an animal licks it? That is the type he has.

The reason for his sickly, strange behavior was due to the fact that he was not able to retrieve any water from the bottle. It is apparently very sensitive and must be setting at a precise angle in order for the ball to release the water. I know this for certain, because I tried it several ways.

I wet my finger, put it in front of his nose and he went desperately crazy for water. I did this until he was satisfied with the amount of water he took in.

I felt like the worst mom/person in the world. He is desperate for water and I didn’t know. He is completely dependent upon me to be sure he is safe, healthy, etc. and I failed.

So, getting to the point…There is both good news and bad.

The good news first. He seems to be fine now and is eating, drinking, running, urinating, and in general more alert.

The bad news is that now he will not even consider the water bottle and will only drink from my finger. This means I have to give him water twice per day when he is awake. It is a pain in the ass, but he is worth it.

“The night walked down the sky with the moon in her hand.”
~Frederic Lawrence Knowles

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Night shot taken from Lantau Island overlooking Hong Kong Island and Kowloon.

Check out the Tokidoki collection I am accumulating!

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I seriously cannot resist these bags, they are really cute.  I have already worn one out (not shown) and I have these three.  Of course, I saw  one today that I LOVE! but it was on someone’s back, so unless I see it again (not likely) in a shop or stall for sale then I suppose I am SOL.

I am sure there will be more…

I purchased a Tokidoki bag for both of my nieces but I have no idea if they really liked them or even knew they had a name, well the design has a name.  We also brought one back to the U.S.  for a friend of ours and she loved it.

They haven’t been crazy-popular in the U.S., at least not like they are here in Hong Kong, but I did notice something similar in design at Wal-Mart.  I am assuming it is an off-brand, but I didn’t look closely.  The ones here may be fake (of course, you can get the real thing too — but fakes are on every street market and ridiculously cheap), but the fabric is the real stuff as is the design.  The fake bags use leftover fabric, fabric stolen from the manufacturers, and seconds/mis-prints.

This (the fakes) is not my problem, but the bags sure are cute.

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We tried a Pine Bud Drink, which seems fairly popular, in Seoul, South Korea this past October/November.

It smells and tastes just like a pine tree smells (and presumably tastes, although I have never opted to chew on one). I likened it to that of licking a pine scented air freshener. Good stuff.

And it is in the cutest little narrow can.

Yesterday I caught two cats along the harbor and took them to SPCA for de-sexing.

One little male and one female that has mothered at least three litters that I know of.

It was a good day.

They recovered well and are back on the harbor.  I will be back out there every Friday until we make a dent in the cat population.  It won’t be long before all the females are in season again and knocked up.  Hopefully that won’t happen again.

I haven’t, however, had any luck catching Mr. Moostache and getting him to a vet.  He has eluded me about 5 times now, yesterday being no exception.  I haven’t even seen him today…

I will eventually find him and catch him.

I have either acclimated or assimilated to a lot of things in Hong Kong.

To list a few: weather, metric system, public transportation, humidity, mosquitoes, ferrying, NOT driving, being unemployed, not living near family/friends, 13-14 hour time difference, money exchange, being a minority (sad, but true), language barriers, walking a LOT, umbrella abuse, cultural differences, no dishwashers, teeny little ovens/stovetop, and much more…

Okay, you get the picture, right?

There is one thing I will never be able to acclimate to. Seriously, I think there is a law about this one that states that if you were not born and raised in Hong Kong, then you are thoroughly screwed on this particular point…

The smells.

Hong Kong is an odoriferous place. I mean hit you in the face and beat the living hell out of you kind of smells. The kind of odors that make you want to cry, seek therapy or at the very least vomit.

This is not everywhere nor all the time but the odors hit you when you least expect them and it can happen anywhere.

There is no hiding your inability to tolerate these kinds of smells, they are not the least bit friendly. Even the iron-clad stomach types (that would be me) can’t tolerate them. Cybr and I (who rightfully earned the self-proclaimed title of Mr. and Mrs. Grosser-than-gross) had to stop eating an ice cream cone and walk back the way we came to escape a stench before we could continue to eat or I guarantee that one of us was going to spew. All the while, local HK people are eating in open-air restaurants or walking with their ice cream cones chowing down completely unaffected by the stench.

I swear that the only way you can be immune to the variety of pungent odors in Hong Kong is to have lived with them your entire life.

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I wish I could.

I would be asking a furry, feral friend of mine who hurt him.

Mister Moustache (pronounced MOOS-tache) appears to have been harmed by a human. Specifically, his face has taken a severe trauma and is noticeably damaged and he is having difficulty eating.

I have been feeding him boiled chicken whenever I see him and I hope to be able to scoop him up into a cage this week for medical treatment. Unfortunately, if it is really bad, he will be euthanized. If he is hurting badly or will inevitably suffer a slow death of starvation, then I would prefer this outcome; however, I find myself very attached to Moustache and it breaks my heart to think of him hurt, dying or that someone did this to him…especially knowing that he still comes to me when I call him.

You can break his face, but you cannot break his spirit.

I have to be honest. If Mister Moustache could tell me what happened and finger the asshole that hurt him, it would be a bad day for that person. I would get in trouble. I would hurt that person. I would not hesitate.

So, it has been a crappy week here in Hong Kong.

I am still battling the flu, it has settled in my lungs (but don’t worry, I’ll be fine).

Keep your fingers crossed for Mister Moustache that he comes through this okay. He isn’t a true feral cat. Someone dumped him outside without having de-sexed him first. He definitely belonged to someone and had a warm, dry home before that irresponsible pet owner dumped him out along the harbor. Probably had to move from Hong Kong, maybe just didn’t like him, maybe just didn’t care…who knows. Either way, he once knew love from humans and now has been physically harmed by one.

I swear, I like animals much more than I like most people and this kind of thing is the reason why.

Here is a photo of Mister Moustache taken in Discovery Bay, Hong Kong in 2007. This is pre-facial damage, he is such a sweet and handsome little guy. He knows his name, too.

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On second thought, let’s not.

I have been sick for a week. Really sick. I felt fatigued for about 3 days, then last weekend I ached severely all over and developed a fever in the evening. It has only gotten worse from there. Top that with some girly-issues, unexplained disappointment, vomiting, and a cough that could peel paint off the walls…well, let’s just say I’ve had better weeks.

I thought that I would try to make up for the lack of attention to my site by offering you a bit of Hong Kong Fact.

I don’t know how many of you ladies out there feel about giving up your surname when you get married, which is tradition in the U.S. as well as many other countries, but I have to say that I struggled with it.

I guess I am proud of my own surname. It is who I am, from whence I came, and the name I have carried throughout my life so far. I know most guys when asked if they would forfeit their name for the sake of marriage would respond with an emphatic “Hell, no”.

I feel the same way, which is why I did not give up my name when I got married. I did compromise with Cybr by taking his name, but I was not willing to part with my own name. This process involved a lot of paperwork and a day in court to get it done the way I wanted it (I didn’t want to be hyphenated, I am personally not a big fan of the hyphen. Parenthesis I could have accepted, maybe even a semi-colon, but no hyphen).

Anyway, I am not sure that Cybr understood my decision but he certainly backed me up. I asked a female friend who is actually from Hong Kong (not just passing through) how names and marriage worked here and this is what she said:

Specifically, I asked her if women are expected to give up their surname and take their husbands’ name and she responded with a face distorted with shock and appall, “No WAY! No Hong Kong woman would give up her name, that is crazy”.

This is how it works here. Surname comes first, then given name (example: Cheung Lai-ming) and it is not appropriate to address someone by their given name unless you have been asked to do so or you are very close to that person, therefore making it assumed to be okay. It would be appropriate to address a woman as Miss Cheung. When a woman marries she takes her husbands’ name, keeps her own as well and is not to be addressed by her married name, it would be considered rude to do so. She would still be addressed as her maiden name, Miss Cheung (yes, Miss or Ms.), in day-to-day business, although her full name would now read Wong Cheung Lai-ming. It would also be considered rude to mention or dwell on her marital status.

Then the Western names come into play in Hong Kong, since English is the second language here. Then my make-believe persons name would read Lisa Wong Cheung Lai-ming and it would be okay to address this person by her Western name. It would also be more likely for a Hong Kong person, most especially the younger generations, to have a more outrageous Western name such as: Gforce, Milk, Polaris, Napoleon, White, Open, Cream, Jackal, or even Hitler.

I am totally serious about the outrageous Western names. Milk is actually on the name-tag of the young lady at the local FotoMax that prints a lot of my photos for me. See? Not making this up.

It is also perfectly acceptable and very common for a Hong Kong person to change their Western name periodically, as they have the free will to do so as often as they please as long as it isn’t registered with the HK government. If I were from here and could change my name at will, I would totally be sporting the name Kitty…yes, then everyone would see me and say, “Hello, Kitty!” and this would make me smile every single time it was said.

I just thought it was interesting how different something as simple and common as a name can be depending on region and culture.