Posted by: Sam Olsen | September 21, 2011

Spooky night in

It’s not often I get on here these days. When I feel compelled to write, someone else has done a few ready drafts and suddenly I lose the will to go on! Looking at our viewer stats, perhaps you do too?!  But I have been specially asked this evening. I am sitting on the sofa at home having been for a trot round the block and eaten a delicious Thai curry (homemade and not by me). Sam out, Lawrence asleep, and think Tessie is too.  Just now I was watching Spooks, on the BBC Entertainment Channel. No, not THAT series of Spooks, that all you lucky people have vying with Downton Abbey for your attentions on UK TV. But I think by a trick of fate, that it is in fact a series that was on while I was in the USA so it’s all new and exciting.  Something rather yin and yang in that. The telly here is dire, really. We signed up for all these exciting-sounding channels like HBO and Discovery not to mention the Chinese ones that Sam was keen for.  But the films seem to be on a permanent loop with a lot of Harry Potter, and otherwise, it’s CBeebies or Sky News. 

I don’t have much to report. Today my colleague took me to a Sichuan restaurant hole-in-the-wall type of place called Mum Chua’s or something. It was really really spicy. I mean, not quite blow your brains out but it’s the sort of chilli that can travel in the air, doesn’t even need to be in liquid or food from before your nose starts running. Tasty though.  

I keep meaning to add a note about some of the funny ways of the locals. That sounds really patronising but I mean the real westernised folks that I work with, who, despite years of employment in the UK or the States or at the very least in an extremely multicultural environment, sometimes have to face different challenges and attitudes. A girl at work, Shirley, a real high flyer, has three kids and a mother who lives with them to help with said kids. The sister-in-law announced at dinner recently that she thought Shirley should also make space for the parents-in-law to move in with them, simply because it is traditional for them to live with the oldest son (to whom she is married). And yet neither Shirley, the husband, nor the parents have any desire to do this! This is the same girl about who my colleague announced, as we all studied the menu together; “Shirley will order a lot, she is quite fat at the moment. To which they start hollering a bit at each other good-naturedly and Shirley is lamenting the fact that she is about a UK size 12 at the moment (which is indeed quite round compared to most of the HK skinnies).  Colleague then proceeded to point out how much better-looking Shirley’s husband is than her. And vice versa, don’t feel sorry for the underdog as our Shirl gives as good as she gets, reminding colleague that she looks like a thirteen year old, etc. etc. Can’t imagine us Brits being quite so… frank? Rude? 

Tomorrow we are going to stay with the Patersons in Singapore till Sunday night, so postings may be sporadic! 

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