Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Parental Invasion: Part IV

Extremely observant readers may note that the captions and pictures in the most recent post do not line up. We're experiencing a technical difficulty, which doesn't allow me to see the photos on which I am commenting. So now, I will continue to guess...

At this meal, which may or may not appear to be at an Outback Steakhouse, the manager offered a free brownie dessert if I would sing in Cantonese. I obliged and drew a crowd of servers and patrons alike:

We went to the Man Mo Temple, and hit a drum and a bell. Paloma demonstrates well:

The Mothers:

When dining on the streets of Hong Kong, you are always provided with toilet paper and an attractive backdrop of hair dryers:

We ate at this fabulous Thai restaurant a few hours before a typhoon. The Parentals slept through the strongest typhoon of the year:

You know it's a Thai restaurant because there's a picture of the king and queen of Thailand. The, Dad, loves a good monarchy:

More yet to come...stay tuned to see what happens when the parentals go to a former Portuguese colony.

Parental Invasion: Part Tres

Spirits were high when we met Uncle Man at the Kowloon Walled City Park. He rips paper into amazing works of art. He also plays the flute and tries to match his clothes to The, Dad:

Olympic spirit is fervent yet!:

The likeness is uncanny. However, it also looks like all of The, Dad's look-a-likes, most especially Captain Ahab:

Uncle Man insisted on taking many photos of us. He was our Wednesday Hero:

He got really into it:

After such excitement, Paloma, Mama, and I took the Star Ferry back to Hong Kong Island as my parentals went for a white suit fitting:

Don't be deceived with the ending of this post; the misadventures will continue for several more days...but for now, I have to actually go to work. We recorded all the music for the new elementary school show yesterday. Today, we're preparing music to record tomorrow.

I got my hair cut last night. I like to practice my Cantonese is every situation, so I told the stylist, "I like your hair," only I think he understood me to say "Cut my hair just like your hair". And then as I was going home, I saw two mulletts. I've seen only one mullett since moving here 11 months ago. Two in one night, within the space of an hour, was an epic experience.

Parental Invasion: Part Two (in pictures)

Let's begin this pictorial review with a classic shot of the parentals trying desperately not to look awkward with a wax statue of Michael Jackson:

Usually, when I made them wait, this is what it looked like:

As much as Barack Obama is trying, some things will never change.

Dad impressed the masses with his new-found prowess on a digital camera:

We took a somewhat dubious sampan (boat) from one part of Cheung Chau to another. The Mother was not in attendance for this segment:

This was taken by our single-serving Texas friends. I somehow was stuck talking to the Texas Dad for an hour while his hottie sons entertained my parents. When will the injustice cease?:

Paloma and her mom arrived and the first thing we did was go to this place. It's very famous:

Hong Kong is full of frightening dragons:

Blogger is experiencing some problems, so I'm prematurely giving up on this post. Stay tuned for Part Three.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Parental Invasion

Alert readers may be aware that the Carpenter parental units recently came (and more recently left) my sphere of reality in Hong Kong. They required a little extra care and supervision than most travellers, which left no time for blogging.
In short, they did quite well--after the first few days.
The, Dad had a white suit tailor-made for him. This is the start of a new career as a Mark Twain impersonator.
The Mother learned that she cannot stand "the heat" --or uneven walking surfaces, or long-distance walking, or standing in an immigration line for an hour. Travel really is all about self discovery.
It was fun to have them here and show them off to various friends--it was particularly grand when two amazing ladies from Spain were here, Paloma and her mom, Maria. One special moment was when we wanted to try bamboo juice, only I didn't know the word for 'bamboo' in Cantonese, so I kept asking the people at the juice bar (in Cantonese, aiyah!): "You know pandas? Pandas eat this. Panda food juice?"--all the while using my fists to create panda ears on myself. Eventually someone in the next stall intervened and we got our juice.
I'll put up a pictorial review of the last 2 weeks as soon as I feel like it.
Now I have about 2 weeks until I get my own vacation: Zurich to see Alison, photographer extraordinaire, Scotland to visit Mark, witty and stylish pilot/cineaste, Chicago for an epic roadtrip with The Mother and anyone else brave enough to endure such an escapade, South Dakota to visit the Grandys and many dear friends, and finally Phoenix to see Kristen and Kent, cancer researcher and professional trumpet player, respectively--and newly engaged. All that packed in less than 2 weeks. Should be grand.
But until then, I'll keep you abreast (hehehe) of happenings in Hong Kong and a retrospective look at the Parental visit.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

It's a Grand Illusion

It seems as though the people of Hong Kong have little or no interest in the American Independence Day. You'd think Americans would have a kinship with Hong Kongers--ah, yes, we've all been a British colony at one point--but no. The only evidence I saw of 4th of July festivities was a severely drunk woman wearing a foam Statue of Liberty hat, stumbling home (I assume and hope) at 10am on July 5th.

I spent the day at a bookstore doing a performance of "Penguin". I had to wrangle innocent bystanders in--even a former student, Baloo the Bear, was in attendance. There was one unruly audience member who kept shouting things at us, like "Punch him out!" or "The smoke is coming out of the pipe! Just turn it off!"--There's no pipe, kid, this is theatre, it's smog caused by human activity, come on! I think my favorite was when he told Eric, "You look like a girl!" Which, in Eric's defense, he was not in his usual attire, but in a dress and curly blond wig.
After the show, he was being annoying again, so I made him deflate our giant globe, which he couldn't do properly, so as I helped him, I asked him his name and how old he is...the answer "10.9"
In my family, we have a running list of traits of annoying kids. Declaring an age using fractions (and, let's add decimals now) is on the list. I mentioned something about his birthday must be fast approaching and he said, "November! Come to my birthday party!" And after more banter (mostly my attempt to observe more traits), he had to leave, which of course he refused to do until McDonald's was used as leverage, and upon his departure, "Don't forget to come to my birthday party!"

The Parental Units arrive on Friday night this week, and the suspense is unbearable. In case they're reading this, I attempted to email both your itinerary and character sketches of people you will meet, but my gmail will not open, so I will send them first thing tomorrow morning (Tuesday night for you)...print and memorize.

As for other news, I have travel plans--Switzerland, England, Chicago, South Dakota, and Phoenix...between August 5 and 17. It shall be a whirlwind, but worth it to see friends, family and hit restart before coming back to Hong Kong for an extremely busy fall season of TIE (all the shows postponed due to the PANDEMIC and rehearsing with the new actors)

Also, have I mentioned that whenever I tell a Hong Konger that my surname is Carpenter, the response is always along the lines of "We've only just begun" or "Now and Then." I think The Carpenters are better known here than Elvis.
Or maybe despite the fact that I live in the future, pop culture from 1970s America is just now hitting in Hong Kong.