Though today is a major holiday in the USA, it's nothing special in Hong Kong for obvious reasons. Still, I wish all my American friends and family a happy turkey day today. I write this in the middle of a stretch of eleven straight weeks with no days off save Sundays. This is part of my excuse for being less consistent about posting here. Also, now that I've been in Hong Kong for several months, I have fewer touristy discoveries to report. Still, I think that on this Thanksgiving Day, I'll do another sort of 'day in the life' blog post, much like I did several months ago.
6:30 am: Wake up and get ready to begin the day.
7:15: Board the minibus to Choi Hung. The bus I take nearly every day now, this relatively quiet and cheap 16-person bus winds through the hills by the water of Clearwater Bay. It's a relaxing way to start the morning and minimizes the time I spend on the MTR, which is insanely crowded in the morning. On the ride over, I listened to The Go-Betweens on my iPod.
7:35: Take the MTR four stops from Choi Hung to Kowloon Tong.
7:50: Enjoy a 'chocolate hazelnut pillow' with some ice lemon tea from Pacific Coffee Company in the Festival Walk mall while relaxing on their comfortable red couches.
8:20: Arrive at work (right next to the mall), change into my uniform and prepare for the days lesson. This included practicing my own ukulele arrangement of 'Turkey in the Straw' in celebration of the holiday. As my school is an American school, we were encouraged to find ways to celebrate, which is obviously fine by me.
9:00: Begin the first of my four consecutive morning classes. Today, I had the students make turkey handprints before we feasted on food that everyone brought from home. It wasn't turkey or mashed potatoes, but various cakes and crackers are enough to make me happy. The Cantonese phrase for tasty is 'Ho mei!'
12:00 pm: The fourth class ends and instead of getting lunch during my break, I just socialized with the teachers a bit in the staff room before going up to the empty playroom to read a few pages from The Help on my Kindle. I even had time for a brief nap, something that almost never happens. With all the food in the morning, I did not need to spend any money or time on lunch today. For this, I give thanks :)
1:30: My first 45-minute prep period of the day, where I began this blog post for lack of anything better to do.
2:15: Teach two more classes. These consisted mostly of eating more food and trying to convince children that the paint on their hands was not scary. Some cried hysterically when the paint brush touched their palm, for whatever reason.
4:00: Go back to the staff room for my second prep period. Here, I began working on my D.O.L. or Demonstration of Learning. This is a bunch of photos of my students doing some activity from my lesson, like, for example, sticking straws on PVC paper. Unfortunately, the computer was so slow that I got extremely frustrated and left work in a rather sour mood.
5:30: Take the MTR to Mong Kok to this inexpensive suit shop where I exchange my recently purchased white shirt for the pink shirt I had originally requested. Earlier this week, I bought a tailored Chinese-style suit for my school's tenth anniversary dinner next week. It cost me roughly $80 US for everything and I plan to keep this suit for a while. Gotta love Hong Kong and its cheap stuff.
7:15: Arrived home in Chan Uk Village after taking the double-decker bus from Diamond Hill. Again, I love taking busses to avoid the MTR rush hour crowds, AM or PM. About twenty people ride this bus despite its capacity of 100.
7:45: Walked down with roommate Ben to our neighbor Glenn's house where we played Wii Sports video games to burn off some steam. I lost at just about every game, but it was nice to catch up with Glenn and later on, his housemates Katie and Angela. These three Westerners (American, English and Canadian) go way back with Ben and were some of the first people I met in Hong Kong. After only four months, they already feel like old friends.
9:30: Came back to my flat where I turned on my computer and finished writing this blog. My Facebook status is currently, "Happy Thanksgiving! I probably have more to be thankful for this year than any other. Love to you all." It's a true statement. Particularly if you care enough about me to finish this entire post. Have a sane black Friday tomorrow!