Archive for February, 2008

Outing Jae

First off, a history.

When I first joined MM back in April 2007, I was a sad, morose, lonely girl who was trying to adjust to having just moved to another country, raising a baby with no family (and a lot of times no hubby) around, and having zero friends. I was a grumpy person to say the least. Shortly after joining I “met” Jae, who was also from CA and living abroad in Sydney. I like to think that we hit it off immediately, but I could’ve just been blinded by love. We traded stories, and while we had a lot in common — traveling hubbies, crazy boys, anti-social tendencies, shoe sizes — I always knew she was waaaaay much cooler than me. She helped me A LOT those first few lonely months — I don’t think she actually knows this — and not so much in terms of advice, but it was good to feel somewhat normal again and like I had actually made a friend.

If you’ve noticed her around (and really, how could you NOT notice her), you probably know her as honest, sarcastic, hilariously funny, snarky, intimidatingly gorgeous (with perfect eyebrows), uber-smart with a twisted sense of humor. I’ve probably missed something, but that’s the general impression I have of her.

So now I’m outing another side of her — she’s a total softie, super thoughtful and incredibly sweet.

We both have this recurring problem — overly traveled hubbies — and frankly, it sucks and it gets pretty lonely and depressing sometimes. In fact, we’re both single parenting this week (as she so eloquently put it, the men are work-menstruating together). A little after lunch, I got a call from a delivery guy saying he had some chocolates and he’d be here in 10 minutes. I knew it couldn’t have been from Mark because he just doesn’t think that way so obviously I thought he called the wrong number. Then I had a good laugh at the thought of me eating someone else’s chocolates. Well lo and behold if I didn’t get a box of chocolates from Jae delivered to my door.

I was just really overwhelmed by how selfless and sweet this was (the gesture, not the chocolates, although they are EXCELLENT). Never mind the fact that she has it harder than I do at the moment — me at least having a helper while she is alone and works full time. She still sent me chocolates to cheer me up. So I just wanted to send a big old THANK YOU her way and let her know that she rocks my socks off.

And on a serious note…Jae — you know how much this pains me to say, but seriously, I love you man. (Don’t freak out! I will never say this again. Relish it.) I feel so lucky to have met you and I can’t wait to meet you in April. Thank you!


February 26, 2008 at 10:51 pm Leave a comment

Bad Acting

I know, I know…I’m completely abusing YouTube right now and sharing too many videos, but I had to post this one as well. As usual, it’s of Noah. Showing off his bad acting this time around.

February 22, 2008 at 10:54 pm Leave a comment

Photo Challenge: The Indian Edition

I managed to miss every single photo challenge journal this week — partly because I was traveling and partly because I’m a spaz. So now here’s one week’s worth of challenges in one convenient journal entry.

Photo Challenge: Sky

Mumbai’s skyline as seen along Chowpatty Beach.

Photo Challenge: Hearts

Not a heart, per se, but where you need lots of it. The building is the Haji Ali Dargah, Mumbai’s most important Muslim shrine and the stone causeway leading up to it is lined with beggars. It is truly a heartbreaking sight to pass the dozens of desperately poor families — made up of women, children, babies, the old and the lame — sitting on this causeway and to know that there is very little that you can do about it.

Photo Challenge: My Moment Wednesday

A quote by Mahatma Gandhi hanging at the Mani Bhavan — a small museum dedicated to Gandhi, housed in the building where he stayed whenever he visited Mumbai. In case you can’t read it, it says,

“To call women the weaker sex is a libel; it is man’s injustice to woman… If by strength is meant moral power then woman is immeasurably man’s superior… If non-violence is the law of our being the future is with women.”

Photo Challenge: Love Thursday — Valentine

Me and Mark at dinner. Some things of note…my arm is red because I was being eaten alive by mosquitoes. And the photo was taken by Mark’s colleague, Catherine, who joined us on our romantic Valentine’s dinner. Mark felt bad that she was spending Valentine’s Day on a business trip in India so he asked her to join us.

Photo Challenge: Weekend Fun

I couldn’t decide so I’m using two pictures. This first picture is of Mark and Noah at the SpiceKing — a stall at Crawford Market devoted solely to spices. Mark is smelling the different curry blends while Noah looks on. We ended up buying 3 different curry blends, 3 masalas spice blends and a buttload of masala chai.

This next one is Noah playing on some very expensive persian rugs. I don’t like persian rugs — they remind me of my parent’s fussy decorating and they’re just not my thing. So naturally we ended up buying two because we couldn’t decide which one we loved more. Noah was our quality control guy. Thank goodness they love kiddos in India.

February 17, 2008 at 11:01 pm Leave a comment

For Jess, Who Hates Laundry

It could be worse. Seriously. Like, you could be in India and have to do laundry for a living. Kinda like these guys:

These are Mumbai’s traditional washerfolk — or dhobis — at the Dhobi Ghat, the world’s largest outdoor laundry, next to Mahalaxmi train station. There are some 5,000 dhobis here who spend their days collecting the city’s dirty laundry, washing it, and returning it neatly pressed.

According to my Lonely Planet guide:
“Laundry is an art form in India and dhobi-wallahs employ a secret system of ‘dhobi marks’ to identify the washing from individual addresses…Dhobi marks continue to play an important role in Indian forensics — many crimes are said to have been solved solely from the dhobi marks on victims’ clothing.”

And if the sight of the washing pens (each with its own flogging stone) isn’t enough to make you hug your washing machine, then maybe these will do it:

February 15, 2008 at 11:03 pm Leave a comment

My Trip to the Flower Market

Thursday is Chinese New Year’s, which you probably already know, is a really big deal here in Hong Kong. In fact, it’s such a big deal that every year, they set up a huge Flower Market for the six days leading up to CNY so people can buy all the lucky plants they could possibly need for the New Year.

On Friday, I took Noah to the Flower Market on a class field trip. The market is normally packed (as is most of Hong Kong), but because it was the first day and the middle of the afternoon, it wasn’t too crowded:

Compare that to the massive crowd when I went back five days later. Keep in mind, this is the afternoon and still well before the peak times (6 – 9 pm):

Anyway, we had a blast. The market was amazing. While it’s called the Lunar New Year Flower Market, half of it is dedicated to stalls selling balloons, toys, souvenirs, CNY decorations and of course, food. It’s got such a carnival-like atmosphere though — with the food, the amazing colors, the shouting and bargaining going on around you — and while it was uncomfortably packed at times, it was still a lot fun.

Seeing as I am a glutton for punishment, I went back a couple more times to take some pictures. I wish I could’ve captured the beauty and the excitement of the market, but it was really hard to get good pictures with so many people around. Here are some pictures anyway…

For some reason, one of the stalls was selling nutcracker toys:

One of many pinwheel stands:

Noah, testing out his new toy:

Orange trees, which are considered to be auspicious CNY plants:

I have no idea what these are (because all the signs were in Chinese). But I just liked the colors:

Tinted pussywillow branches:

I have no idea what these are even though they were everywhere. They definitely aren’t lemons though:

And they also come on the branch:

My bargain buy. I went back on the last day of the market when they had slashed all the prices and picked up some Narcissus (Narcissusses? Narcissi? Who knows…) and some orchids. Here are the bargain basement orchids that I picked up for US$10:

February 6, 2008 at 11:05 pm 1 comment


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