Sunday, December 31, 2006

Happy New Year from HK

All Systems Are Go

...And we're back! Well, our internet connection magically reappeared late last night, so all those delightful Christmas posts I'd been working on during the internet interim will be trickling through to a computer near you very soon. Hope you all had a very Merry Christmas and see you all in the New Year!

Thursday, December 28, 2006

The Internet is Broken

Due to the earthquake in Taiwan 2 days ago, the internet is broken in Hong Kong and other surrounding areas. It's nuts! People here are not very happy with the situation, but then who's ever happy when an earthquake strikes? Ever so often we can log on but our service is sketchy at best. Somehow all things Google seem to be working moderately well, but who knows how long that shaky truce will last. So, no posts from me until this problem gets sorted out. Oh, and I haven't been able to check my email the past few days either. It's not the most efficient way to reach me right now. Here's hoping the internet keeps working long enough for me to post this...

Monday, December 25, 2006

Merry Christmas!

We wish you a Merry Christmas!!!

Matt and Erika

"And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, "Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger." Luke 2:8-12

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Christmas Comes Early

Just over 2 weeks ago we got a fabulously bizarre package in the mail.

Back in Lawrence we were part of a colorful Bible study group from church. We'd meet every week for a Bible lesson followed (or intermittent) by lots of laughter and goofing off. At one point we dubbed ourselves the "Renegade Splinter Cell", figuring that at any moment we were liable to be kicked out of church if word got out about how much fun we were having. Not to mention that our conversation topics often dabbled well outside the realm of the general study topic. We always had a fabulous time and not being part of that group anymore is one of the things I miss most about Lawrence.

Our fabulously bizarre package was from this lovely bunch of folks. Jake, Amber, Chad, Kim, Beth, James, Pat, Kristin, Dillon and Cara all put their heads together back in October and each contributed a few things. (Although shipped in October, we received it in early December! The US post office ain't kidding when they say 6-8 weeks. Beth told us it was stuck in California for almost 3 weeks.) The package contained the following items:

-Mini Green Flashlight
-Chocolate Brownie Mix
-Caramel Chocolate Balls*
-Cheese Pringles*
-Bouncy Balls
-Bronco Bob's Roasted Raspberry Chipotle Sauce (makes everything tastier!)
-USA Map Puzzle
-Halloween Pumpkin Party Plates
-Halloween Pumpkin Party Napkins
-Set of 3 "Ice Cream" PlayDoh bins
-KU Koozie
-Pair of Sticky, Oozing Eyeballs
-Hair Goo for Erika
-Hair Goo for Matt
-A Pen (that used to belong to us)
-"Instant Messages from God" Book for Guys
-"Instant Messages from God" Book for Girls
-Several Misc. Ads/Newspapers/Pamphlets from Lawrence, KS
-Several Goofy Pictures of our Friends
-Matt's favorite coffee from La Prima Tazza
-Bible Study Booklet about Calvin
-Framed Picture of the entire group holding papers spelling out "WE MISS YOU!"
-Individual Letters from each person (the Best Part!)

*This item was consumed before the picture was taken

God Bless 'Em. They put huge grins on our faces. We miss them all very much!

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Street Doctor Update

I've been putting it off, but I finally took to the streets to find a doctor. Ironically, I found a little bitty sign for a doctor on the 10th floor of the building RIGHT NEXT DOOR to the pharmacy where I first went. Surely Mr. Not-So-Friendly Pharmacist could have said "go next door." But to go the extra mile would've put him in the friendly category, which he clearly isn't. Oh well, it's not like me to hold a grudge so I'd better work on getting over this one. My appointment is tomorrow.

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Working Woman

Did I ever happen to mention that I got a job? Well, 2 jobs, and a volunteer position, so I kind of have 3 jobs. Those of you who know me well, know that I prefer part-time jobs to full-time positions. Even if I end up working the same number of hours (which I usually don't, thank goodness), I just like knowing that I don't have to do the same thing all-day, every day. I like a little variety in my life. Oh, and I like staying home, too. You get to do that more often when you're a slacker like me. Fortunately, I've been blessed with a very supportive husband who doesn't mind that I pursue my dream of being a super-duper florist (which currently pays peanuts) while he works hard to bring in the majority of our income.

So, as I started to say, I finally got a few jobs. I'm working about 15-20 hours a week at a hip little flower shop in Causeway Bay (on Hong Kong Island). They also specialize in some designer-y home decor items. I would love to mention the name, but as I may want to talk about work every now and then on my blog, it's probably in my best interest to keep that information to myself. I met the shop owner at a floral workshop I attended back in October. We sat next to each other, and when she found out I was looking for a job she told me to stop by the shop and check it out. And the rest is history, as they say.

My other part-time job is working with a friend I made through church who owns a silk-flower export business. I help her a few hours a week updating and re-decorating her showroom. She's sort of created a mini-position for me, which is great, and over the next few months we are going to try to create some new products. I'm basically her "trend watch" person--I scan the magazines, internet, etc. to spot the upcoming color/pattern/etc. trends.

And my volunteer position is at a local bookstore. It's a teeny, weeny storefront crammed with English books in the heart of the expat neighborhood. The owner can't afford to hire any help, so I go in for a few hours every week and help him sort through his books and find a place to shelve them. I LOVE to organize stuff, so it keeps me happy, and I get to choose a book to take home every week. That makes my book-worm husband very happy.

So that's how I've been spending my time lately. It's nice to be busy and have a regular schedule again. And during my spare time I stay at home and chill with Quincy and sew curtains. I love my life.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Big, Fat, Lame-O Excuse

Whoa, I can't believe it's been a week since my last post. I'm really sorry to all of you who faithfully read my blog. Really, I don't know what's come over me. In fact, I've been a complete and utter blob when it comes to responding to my emails lately. I don't think I've responded to any emails from my lovely friends and family in something like 2 weeks or so. Once again, I'm really sorry. I haven't even been busy...just lazy. And a little homesick. You think being homesick would encourage a little contact with those back at home. I'm such a dope.

So, tomorrow I promise to write a new blog post. And answer lots of emails. And maybe if I've still got some gumption after all that effort, I'll make a few phone calls. I miss you all and thanks for not giving up on me. I'm still alive (and kickin').

PS If I could, I would send you all a big bouquet of orchids like those in the picture to show just how sorry I really am.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Prescription Conniption

The good people of Hong Kong try so hard to follow the rules. Well, some of them do. Tonight I stopped into the pharmacy around the corner because there are a few prescriptions I need to fill. I waltzed up to the friendly pharmacist at his little window and asked him if he could fill a prescription from a US doctor.

"Absolutely Not!," he said. (I no longer regarded him as a friendly pharmacist.) "All prescriptions must come from Hong Kong doctors."

Darn. How am I supposed to find a doctor? I'm sure you all think I'm a dope sometimes (no drug pun intended), but seriously folks, this city doesn't have a yellow pages. I can't just look it up. And a google search is often hit or miss. I've searched the internet for many HK shops/restaurants on Google, only to find out they have closed, or sometimes never even existed.

I questioned the not-so-friendly pharmacist about what I need to do next.

"Go to a doctor," he says.

Right. Even I can figure that one out.

And I innocently ask, "Where can I find a doctor?"

"You can find one on the street", he answered smugly.

I'm not joking. This man just told me to go find a doctor on the street. Ok, Mr. Pharmacist, I'll go do that. Punk.

So just to test my luck a little further, I poked my head into a nearby dodgy medicine-y looking shop and asked if I could get a prescription filled. All I had to do was open my mouth and he would sell me whatever I asked for. Unfortunately he didn't carry exactly what I was looking for, but if he had, I would've been all over it. It was the real deal, too. Everything on the shelves was in the proper packaging. No luck this time, but I will keep this shop in mind for the future.

Like I said at the beginning, some people in Hong Kong try so hard to follow the rules, but in a city like this, teeming with fake Louis Vuitton bags and Rolex watches, it's hard for an honest man to stick to his guns. Oh well, I can respect that. I still don't have what I need, so perhaps I just better buck up and do what the rule-abiding man said and quit trying to work the system. Wish me luck...I got a street doctor to find.

Monday, December 04, 2006

Agitated Kitty

Quincy has been freaking out all day long. He's been nervous, not napping, pacing around the house, breathing funny, and just recently he yakked all over the couch. Poor little kitty.

Today is the first day that we've done laundry since Quincy came to live with us and Matt put his finger on the problem. The washing machine sounds like an airplane. This crazy Italian machine takes 3 hours to wash a single load and has many different cycles, and when you listen closely, it makes all the same noises as an airplane. Our dear little feline friend must be having horrid flashbacks of his journey here.

While discussing this on the couch with Quincy nestled between us, Matt said that maybe he'll get so used to the noise that his flight back to the states will be easy. Quincy bit me. I've always been suspicious that he understands English, but now I'm sure of it. I'll be sure to speak in pig-latin the next time I need to take him to the vet.

Sunday, December 03, 2006


A few nights ago Matt said to me:

"You know what made me miss America?"

Which I heard as "You know what made me Miss America?", and in my snarkiest manner I promptly replied,

"Your platform on world peace? Your excellent showing in the swimsuit competition?"

By this point we were both laughing so hard I don't think we ever found out what made Matt nostalgic for the good ol' USA.

Ahhh, it's the little things that make this marriage so much fun...