Wednesday, 7 December 2011

Not so cruel

I think a lot about Britain.

I hear the old place is set for trauma on a new scale, as this week it is to be destroyed by weather. Not enough then, to be squeezed in the grip of the Heartless Tories, froze to death in the winter dark, and generally forced to suffer under the iron fist of Christmas Shopping.

Because we are bathed in a warm golden sunshine here in Hong Kong, and I have a bedroom view of green woolly mountains, I sometimes feel it is incumbent upon me to do that expat thing I see done in the comments following British national misery news. Where someone with a name like Imaluckybleeder cheerily pops up under the latest crisis to gloat that the sun is shining where they live, they have a cold beer, and they couldn't give a toss because they hated Britain anyway.

It is unnecessary, isn't it? My heart and my sympathies lie really in England, even though the sun is very warm and the mountains very beautiful. So I would like to reassure the people of Britain that a temporary expat life is often not as wonderful as Imaluckybleeder suggests. Crap local beer aside, here is the misery from this particular exile. Let this hand hold with yours.

1. La famille Grit is soon to be living in Hong Kong without income. This is a remarkable feat of financial management and household planning. I would like everyone to think of us as smart-arsed tax evaders as we swank it up in one of the world's most expensive cities. In actual fact we are mostly incompetent, and will probably be living from now until March on Pot Noodle.

2. My stomach ache is worse. Next week, thanks to a contract ending, Dig loses his comfortable access to medical services. This means, until we return to Blighty in March, we will officially be in Hong Kong as tourists. Since I might be heading for full-scale Ebola by the weekend, I have clearly timed my need for expensive medical treatment, perfectly.

3. The phone camera is bust. The damn thing won't switch on. I have done the usual: left it alone to consider its options, prodded it, shouted at it, bashed it on the table, and threatened it with fire. It ignores me and mocks me with its little blank screen. Obviously it wants to die. Whatever, let the little bastard suffer, see if I care. It has pictures of Squirrel from today's home education outing. Cycling with a group of kids at Kowloon City Park.

4. We are at the brink of war with the neighbours. Give it a couple more days and we shall actually be at war; I shall be pouring bleach into their balcony plant pots and they will be shovelling dead geckos through the letterbox.

War is happening because when Shark, Squirrel and Tiger play, the neighbours complain. At first I was sympathetic - they have A BABY - but then I wondered if they were ringing the doorbell right at the off because they simply don't like the sound of kids playing and want to shut them up. Maybe they want to complain because they feel like it. Maybe the baby won't play with Mr Froggy so it must be our fault. Even Dig, who does not usually take my side over anything, is beginning to be a little fed up with them.

5. I have done nothing for Christmas. NOTHING. Apart from procuring two moose heads in a wreath. It will all be as last minute as last year. The only gift items I can think of for the dear daughters is an envelope full of cash apiece. But given the circumstances we are soon to find ourselves in, I'll be asking for a loan come January.


Nora said...

I hope you will actually get the medical care you may need if you continue to stay unwell. That does have me concerned a bit. I hope things aren't as dire as you make them sound, but are they? How much are you kidding and how much is real? XOX

Grit said...

i will be fine, nora, because grits always are.

i just need a bit of sympathy sometimes ;)

...but yes the phone camera's bust, we and the neighbours have had enough of each other, christmas is just around the corner and dig is an independent sort of person who leads an adventurous career. xx

Nora said...

I will assume you mean you have 'true grit.' You can have all the sympathy you want. I have more than enough to go around. I wish I could give you real help and new neighbors. I hope Dig is resourceful as well as adventurous and independent. XOX

peapod said...

Sending you an awkward but well- meaning hug (because I think you're probably not a hugging strangers kind) from myself.
I really hope that the next few months don't turn out to be so dire. From my own experience earlier this year, there is a positive side to austerity - when you conquer it and find ways to live through it without feeling completely desperate, the feeling of fortitude is intensely uplifting. And from what I read, you have fortitude in barrow-loads. :)