Monday, November 30, 2015

Home Again

Lily & I are back in Hong Kong. We left Tokyo Friday night, landed in Hong Kong very late Friday night and got home after midnight. We both had to work on Saturday, but I was lucky enough to work Saturday night. So I got to sleep a little. Lily had to wake up Saturday morning, so she only got to take a little nap.

Neither of us like going to work right after we come back from another country. I like to have a full day off between the airport and work. But sometimes you want to stretch out your vacation as much as possible. We could have left Tokyo earlier, but that would have meant leaving earlier. As it is, we were only there for 7 1/2 days. That's not nearly enough time for a city like Tokyo.

The weather was pretty good while we were there. The last time we went to Tokyo was in August, so it was hot and humid, just like Hong Kong. This time, we got a little rain and much cooler temperatures. It was never cold, but it was cloudy enough most of the time. Anything not humid is good.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Thanksgiving in Tokyo

We're going to Tokyo tomorrow. We went back and forth about which neighborhood to stay in, but eventually decided on Shibuya. We stayed there last time, so we talked about going somewhere else, but we want this to be an easy trip. In any other neighborhood, we'd have to look at hotels. In a city like Tokyo, that can take a while. The only hotels we know in Shinjuku are ridiculously expensive. For Shibuya, we already had a hotel in mind. They had rooms available, so we took it.

Had we planned this trip ahead of time, we probably would have picked a different neighborhood. Tokyo is the kind of city where it's best to stay in one area and then see another part of the city another time. You're never going to get to know it all in one trip. Since we stayed in Shibuya last time, it would make sense to stay in Minato or Chiyoda this time. But we did everything at the last minute, so Shibuya is easier. We can still spend as much time as we want somewhere else since our hotel is right next to the JR station, but it seems like we'll mostly be in Shibuya. I'd rather walk around the hotel than spend all day on a subway.

The original plan was to go for a long weekend. Since my birthday is on Sunday, we were always going to be there for my birthday. Then we shuffled some of our days off, got a few extra and decided to go a little later and stay a little longer. Now we will be there for my birthday and Thanksgiving. Japan might not be the ideal Thanksgiving location, but neither is China. Eating a Japanese Thanksgiving dinner will be a nice change of pace from our usual Chinese Thanksgiving dinner.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Tokyo Birthday

Lily & I are going to take a little trip to Tokyo. We haven't taken a vacation together since we went to Tokyo last year. Our last big trip was Paris, but that wasn't a vacation. We just went to Taipei last month, but that was a weekend in a city an hour away.

We both managed to get a few days off at the same time and wanted to go somewhere close, but definitely outside of China. Tokyo is an inexpensive and easy trip, and Japan is not at all Chinese. It might seem strange to call Tokyo inexpensive since it is such an expensive city, but flights from Hong Kong are cheap and only take about 4 hours. We thought about Thailand and Korea, which are also pretty close, but went with Tokyo for a variety of reasons.

Neither of us has been to Korea. We would both like to go some day, but since we've never been there, we would have to look up too much information for a quick and easy trip. We know what we need to do for Tokyo, and already looked into a few different neighborhoods before we went the last time.

Thailand is pretty easy and cheaper than Tokyo, but we like the weather in Tokyo better. Thailand is always hot & humid. The only change of seasons are from wet to dry. The wet season just ended, so we wouldn't have to worry about too much rain, but we both like actual seasons. If we want hot & humid, we can stay in Hong Kong. It won't snow in Tokyo while we're there, but at least it will be noticeably cooler. We'll probably be in Hong Kong all winter, so this might be our only chance to go somewhere that gets cold.

We're not actually taking the trip for my birthday. That's only a coincidence. We'll both be working a lot more during Christmas/New Year, so now is the time to go somewhere. After the New Year, which I think is in February next year, we'll have more time to take a bigger trip.

Sunday, November 15, 2015

#J’en ai ma claque

Everyone stands with Paris. That's great, but maybe it's time to do something about the murderers who stand against us all. Lowering flags, lighting buildings, Twitter octothorpes and blog posts are all fine and dandy, but they do nothing to stop any of the terrorists who have declared war on humanity.

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Dating in Hong Kong 4

Something I'm learning about the wide world of expat relationships is that there are entire books full of rules. You're supposed to do this, you're not supposed to do that. He should wait this amount of time to call, she should wait that amount of time to answer. Now there are even rules about Facebook and Twitter. The good news is that I don't do Facebook and I haven't logged into my Twitter account in at least a year. Search it all you want. There's nothing embarrassing there. Mostly because there's nothing there.

In addition to not knowing the rules or, more accurately, not wanting to know the rules, I also don't seem to know anything about modern communication systems. My phone was made in 2009. That wasn't really a long time ago, but in the world of cell phones, that was an eternity. My phone is not smart. It's not especially stupid. It can squeak by, but there's no way it's getting into a decent college.

Most people already know the rules, but everything is new to me. Back in high school, we didn't play so many games. That seems backward, but I'm convinced it's true. Everything seemed more genuine then. Now, everyone is trying to play some game or another. I don't like games, unless there's a board and dice involved. People always ask what women want. Here's the answer: honesty. It's the single most important quality as far as I'm concerned.

Pretending to be whoever you think the other person wants you to be, even just a little, is always a bad idea. Sooner or later, whoever you're lying to is going to find out. It might not be the end of the world, but I'll bet it will be worse than if you were simply yourself the entire time.

If your main goal in life is to have sex, there are ways to do that without being a liar. If you're lying to get some then you obviously don't care who you're doing, as long as you're doing it. There's no need to lie if that's the case. Someone somewhere will want to have sex with the real you. If you have to lie to get laid, that only says horrible things about who you are. If sex is just a conquest to you, you're doing it wrong. And I bet that's the reason you feel so empty.

Maybe there are more rules than I thought.

Monday, November 9, 2015

Rainy Days and Birthdays

Last month was Ryan's birthday. I know I'm not supposed to talk about him. Everyone I know has told me not to talk about him. And it's not like I mention him every day. In fact, I rarely mention him at all anymore. But this was the first birthday since high school that we did not at least talk to each other. It was not always possible to spend any time together on our birthdays, but if nothing else, at least we talked on the phone. This year, nothing.

This month is my birthday. I need to find something to do to keep my mind off it. I'm not always a big celebrator on my birthday. Sometimes I'll go out to dinner. We had a surprise party last year, but I knew about it. Sometimes my birthday is on Thanksgiving, but not this year. I think it's a few years away.

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Dating in Hong Kong 3

The reason I started talking about dating in the first place is because I've decided that it might be time to start thinking about considering whether or not I want to entertain the idea of maybe contemplating the suggestion that I go out on an actual date.

Finding people outside of high school might be harder than in it, but it turns out it's actually pretty easy when you're newly single in a city of 3 million men. Even when you eliminate coworkers, married men, men who are too young or too old and creepy dudes online, there are a lot of men out there. Thinking back, I've been getting offers the entire time I've been in Hong Kong. I simply forgot about them because I had a boyfriend.

A friend of mine is currently trying to set me up with a friend of hers. We've never met each other, but she swears we'd be perfect together. That's a huge red flag to me. Very few people have the same definition of perfection. It's also a horribly bad idea to go on a blind date with such unrealistic expectations. I'd rather hear, “You might work out. Who knows.”

Monday, November 2, 2015

Halloween 2015

We had our big Halloween party on Sunday instead of Saturday because too many people had to work Saturday. Saturday night might be a better time for a Halloween party, especially since most people don't go to work on Sunday morning and Halloween was actually on Saturday, but it's because most people don't work on Sunday that we did it on Sunday.

We had a lot of people in costume this year. Sometimes as many as half the people show up in their regular clothes. Dressing up for Halloween is not exactly a Chinese tradition, so a lot of our guests didn't grow up with it the way we did. But you can always count on the foreigners to go nuts.

You can also tell which movies are popular by what people wear for Halloween. When all those Pirates of the Caribbean and Harry Potter movies came out, most of the costumes were pirates and wizards. This year, it was all comic book superheroes and Star Wars. The Star Wars movie hasn't even come out yet, but all the nerds are a flutter. There were also a few zombies. There are always zombies.

Lily, Kevin and I were Colonel Sanders, Ronald McDonald and Wendy. Everyone got Kevin's Ronald costume right away. Put on a yellow and red jumpsuit and most people automatically think of that clown.

Lily's Colonel confused a few people, even though KFC is the single most popular fast food place in China. Someone thought she was 1970s Steve Martin with a beard. I thought that was funny. A few people pointed out that she didn't have a red apron, since that's the new logo. When I think of Colonel Sanders, a red apron never even crosses my mind.

Almost no one got my Wendy. Everyone thought I was Dorothy Gale. They do pretty much look the same. But if I'm standing next to Colonel Sanders and Ronald McDonald – instead of the Scarecrow and Tin Man – it should be obvious.

Maybe next year I'll wear the same thing and they can get a couple of Oz costumes.

Something I miss from real Halloween is all the children knocking on the door begging for candy. No one does that here. We had plenty of candy, but no children at this party. That's probably for the best since one Canadian dressed as Jared Fogle.