It’s been ages since I’ve posted and while the reason is that life with two kids at school (alright one at school and one at kinder) moves at a frenetic pace requiring me to constantly keep running after it administratively (or else sleeping), luckily life in the village moves at a speed inversely proportional and now that I have the time to do a quick general update I find nothing much has changed at all.
The view from the top of our road. A scene snatched from paradise glimpsed from the front seat of the people-mover as we turn the corner onto Chuk Yeung Road at 7.10am and descend into the madness of the day.
Basil Leaf hanging out with Bobby, aka Skinny Bob, the village sentinel. No matter where we end up living or how long I live for, I’ll never forget how rad this dog is. (Bob, I mean. Basil Leaf is awesome too but he doesn’t have too many memorable traits. He’s just…a nice dog. Also in his favour, he doesn’t constantly rut, or transmit rabies.)
We had a biblical plague of fist-sized dragonflies outside the other night, right after a day of really bad pollution from a sandstorm blowing down from mainland China. I don’t know the connection. Surely battalions of dragonflies don’t cross state lines over a bit of sand? Rufus took this great shot featuring a dragonfly next to a plane. For scale. Thing is as big as the prop!
For those of you who originally started to read Jadeluxe because of the helper situation, a quick update. I have plenty to say but unfortunately not the right forum to say it in at the moment.
There’s a landmark case before the High Court at the moment challenging the Hong Kong Basic Law on permanent residency. I forbid myself from blogging about it in order to protect my own visa (because I will possibly be dealing with it professionally as it goes up the judicature) but please follow the news reports if you’re interested.
On a more personal level, I recently applied for a writing job (well, not a job, a regular unpaid online contribution) that would have – I thought – been a good platform for exposure. Not only did I not get the job, I didn’t even get a response to my application. Maybe people really aren’t ready to listen to this stuff. Or, I should remove all the swearing from my samples.
On an even MORE personal level, tonight I got an early birthday card from Lisa, a wonderful steno friend from Canada, enclosing, amongst other things, US$40 for a “helper project”. That’s about HK$300, which by the reckoning of the calculator on this computer (true story) is 15 $20-phonecards. Which I’m going to buy on the weekend and get the kids to distribute to helpers I know get under minimum wage. Hard-working ladies talking to their kids on Lisa’s dime – a great feeling for everyone! Paying it forward not once but 15 times!
It’s all a bit Oprah up in here tonight. No wonder I didn’t get the job.
Mr Kong passed away about 10 days ago. His family have been discharging the Taoist funeral rites for the past week. I don’t want to write any more about it out of respect for his family and especially Mrs Kong.
He was a very kind man and a wonderful “first neighbour” to us in Hong Kong. As his grand-daughter said to me in an email, “My grandad was a real people’s person, he enjoyed talking to people around him and also making new friends, many were also expats living nearby. He never let the language barrier prevent him from making friends. When he came to Oxford, he used to say hello to every person he walked past. He was a very proud, generous and caring family man.”
Finally, to end, one last relic – an ERII mailbox still in operation at Rufus’s school bus stop! You do see these lurking around Hong Kong occasionally. The whole joint is one big colonial reliquary.