Thursday, January 28, 2010

Dromedary To Go Packing

As my mind has been occupied with elephant dances, procrastinating on my family's Christmas Letter, Odd Couple line memorization, and getting the tone of "gau" right, the weblog has been lacking in luster. Let us, therefore, engage in a massive Picture Dump.
As I failed to comment on the events of the holiday season I will briefly divulge. I went to the airport, arriving less than 45 minutes before the scheduled departure of my flight to LA. The Mother would NOT have approved. Rather than sitting around LAX for 14 hours (as I, in my great wisdom, had planned), my compassionate sister booked a hotel for me. Mostly, she did not want me to smell when she collected me at the Sioux Falls, SD, airport the next day. I think I smelled about usual when I arrived an hour late and shoved my bag, overstuffed with Hong Kong crap, into Devon and Jeff's Fit.
The days following involved snow, ice, and eating A LOT of Americanized Chinese food. Also, showing off my Canto skills to the 3 Chinese people in Brookings, SD. Reconnecting with friends was delightful, blah blah blah...I stayed with Grandma, which was AMAZING, although she forced me to drink about 3 gallons of chocolate milk over 4 days.
I must have been so overwhelmed with the warmth of family that I forgot to take any pictures during that period. However, I went to NYC for New Year's Eve. Devon and Jeff allowed me to sleep on the floor of their hotel in exchange for being a really bad tour guide and making them walk a circuitous route in sub-freezing temperatures to eat at my favorite Muslim-Kosher bagel place. Mostly, they rode around on the tour bus while I hung out with my good friend, DeVette:

Another highlight was the Broadway musical "Next to Normal." In case you're wondering, Devon already made the joke that we're nowhere near normal, so I won't include that here, in an effort to make us not be the same person:

Little Italy has the best cars:

All this seems so far in the past, considering the great and many things I have accomplished since returning to Hong Kong. While there are myriad tales from this era, let us linger no longer.

Back in The Kong (as the cool kids, and sometimes I, call it), I attended a live musical performance known as a "concert" of Green Day. Meaghan and I went to vent all that Americana angst we hold. In our excitement, we were a bit early:

The poster proves it was Green Day; it mostly was Green Day, except for the terrible random audience member they brought on stage for one song. She didn't even know the words.

Lindsey and friends attended also. The guy on the left is named Kitty:

My good friend, and parentals' biggest HK fan, Jess had a birthday, Hot Pot style. Hot Pot is where there are boiling bowls of soup in or on the table and you order a bunch of raw meat, dumplings, vegetables, and cook them.
The Pot, close up:

The Spread:

Some Hot Pot participants:

They brought out prawns. On sticks. ALIVE:

They actually were crawling off the plate.

Rachel and I ate them anyway:

The following weekend, after Odd Couple rehearsal, The Penguin made an appearance at a Causeway Bay bookstore (in the neighborhood of the wine bar at which I used to sing). The people at the bookstore were very particular that we were not to have all 3 TIE members in costume there, or else the kids would "get too excited." Heaven forbid children have fun on a weekend. So I said I would go as the Penguin and read a story to them about the environment or something. No. They wanted our script. So I "performed" the whole Penguin show by myself in 30 minutes. Something great that has come from doing this for over a year is the incredible ability to BS. I had a few things planned, but I basically winged it. Fortunately, Karen was there to document the event, by taking over 100 photos (over 2 30 minute sessions). Some highlights:
The beginning. Just warming up the crowd:

I don't know what to do!:

Just smile. The more ridiculous the better:

And cha-cha:

The crowd is thrilled:

Aww, child in awe:

Trying to touch the cute giant penguin. He probably has sticky hands:

Next step is, of course, to strike the cute giant penguin:

In other, pictureless, news, I have been essentially evicted from my apartment. It's not for throwing a pumpkin off my balcony like last time. This time the landlord sold the property and the new tenant wants to move in March 10. I got them back though. Nearly all the lights in my apartment are burned out--they had difficult time showing the place after dark--ha--got them good.
I'd like to think of it as an opportunity rather than a negativity, but I can't. I don't mind switching flats, it's the neighborhood I will miss. I'm a celebrity here now. Especially at my laundry place. They get so excited when I come in. Everyone runs towards the door. If my hair looks good, they ask if I have a date. Then they say, "Bye, Camel!" Because they think my name is Camel. And I'm in with Mai, the girl at the video rental store. She tells me what movies are good and sometimes waives late fees if I make her laugh. Then there are my doormen--they always unlock the door for me before I enter the code now--even the one who snarls at me when I return home after a civilized hour. My favorite doorman says "Nice to meet you" to me every time I see him. It's been nice for him to meet me many many times.

Some astute readers may wonder at the lack of discussion of the commercial. I did it. It will air from mid-February till the end of March or so. It is not likely to air in the US or Europe (locations of most readers), but it may be online. I will advise. I will also delve deeper into this when I can legally post the photos. They didn't want the secrets out before the ad airs. I'm respectful and professional--the irony of which is lost until I can post pictures of my wig.

Saturday, January 16, 2010


Seriously, underagers, read no further. Parentals, you won't like this, but the story cannot go untold.

Today we had a Penguin show, followed by a Q & A session (that's Question and Answer, dad, since I know you're still reading.) During the show and the Q & A, I used Cantonese whenever possible to keep their interest. After several questions, one student asked me, "How did you learn to speak Cantonese so well?"

What I thought I said: "My friends taught me."
What I actually said: "My friends fucked me."

Of course, I did not realize what I had said. After I said it, everyone applauded wildly. I thought they were impressed with my language skills, so I nodded and said, "Thank you." After the show, Zac informed me of what I had said and suspected that all the teenage boys wanted to teach me Cantonese.

Pictures and a report on Christmas/New Years to well as Chinese New Year plans.
J'ville residents: Next Source Article will be in the Jan 28 edition. I might have a byline photo by then.

I've been cast in a commercial!
I will be advertising for the Hong Kong Rugby Sevens. It's probably my favorite sport. After badminton and round-the-world ping pong. Anyway, I'm not sure exactly what I'll be doing, but I'm apparently a main character, business woman-type. Then I go crazy and paint my face or something. HK Rugby Sevens is a drunken brawl. I'm so proud to promote it! Going in for a fitting on Sunday; will perhaps learn more.