Thursday, 22 December 2011

Dragging something from nothing

I am determined to enjoy the lovely festive season.

First stop, I take the kids ice skating in the Elements Shopping Mall.

Shut up about how ice is kept sub-zero in the sublime retail experience of the air-con sub-tropics.

Remember, now is that special time, when we ignore the bleeding obvious, perform acts of self-defeating stupidity, commit ourselves to wilful blindness, and basically lie while paying for the privilege of doing so. I have to find a happy Christmas somewhere.

And of course I'm not ice-skating, so don't ask whether my Christmas joy extends there. It does not. I haven't grown to my wise old age of fifty-plus by thinking it a good idea to strap metal blades under my feet and try walking on frozen water.

I push off to Starbucks with the rest of the expat home ed mummies, where we grumble about Christmas in Hong Kong, plus the fact that we'd go home, except you English people are inconsiderate enough to have an economic crisis and are only offering work that doesn't pay enough for ice skating down at the Elements Mall.

Apart from paying through the nose to trash the environment, give the kids something else to complain about, and find a therapeutic outlet for my misery guts, I decide to extend my complete enjoyment of the festive season by walking the children across Kowloon in a spirit of happy trial, from east to west.

Yes, I know you said it was a stupid idea and that my sense of direction is so bad I seriously have trouble finding my way out the bathroom. Shut up.

Alright, I ended up two hours later hopelessly lost before realising I was in Mong Kok, having negotiated a flyover and a building site, but I blame the map, which had a ruddy great hole thanks to Squirrel leaving a chewy sweet on it.

If only we'd brought the jumbo, we could have got out of here

Despite that minor three-hour setback, it remains a celebratory day suitable for a Christmassy outing. I did not weep and the children did not fall to fighting (well, only once).

Indeed, there are many successes. We saw a tortoise walking down the street (I was not hallucinating); I found a cook's shop on Shanghai Road selling spoons with long handles (needed round here); we met Daddy Dig for the exhibition on imperial examinations; ate at our preferred down-market, formica-table Indian restaurant; and finally went shopping in Temple Street Night Market, where I threatened Dig with a Chinese burn unless he bought me a medallion of Alice in Wonderland to use for my book art.

There. A day of profound success. I am counting it all joy. Maybe I can now feel the Christmas spirit begin to overwhelm me as I type.

And shut up about the Merlot as well.


sharon said...

Hope you got the toppings for the jacket potatoes ;-)

Grit said...

ha ha! yes, we have! we just went shopping for the baked beans, cheese, tin of tomato sauce and packet of crisps with e-numbers. tiger said she did not want the tin of pineapple chunks this year. maybe next.

Rachel M. said...

I feel like I'm there with you, probably something to do with having done that last bit with you. Things have calmed down here, the biter now has food and he's tucked into his high chair.