Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Aaackkkk! Lizard Attack…

We had our first visitor, or perhaps he/she is merely our third roommate. Regardless, there is at least one lizard living in our modest little apartment with us. We first spotted him on our bathroom wall after we surprised him by turning on the lights when coming home after a late evening out. We got excited, he got excited, we ran for our camera, he ran into a hole in the wall under our sink. We all settled down after that.

One week later during a quiet evening at home, I heard Matt exclaim “LIZARD!” Somehow, our little lizard friend (or possibly his mom or cousin) found his way into Matt’s bag and nestled down inside. We then got all excited again, ran around the room for a little bit, found the camera, and promptly documented the moment (very poorly, I might add). Next we caused quite a ruckus trying to make our new lizard friend climb into a glass so we could capture him and promptly evict him. Our best laid plans went askew and after a fair bit of shrieking (mostly by me) our little houseguest ran under the carpet, up the wall, into the Venetian blinds, and disappeared into yet another hole in our bathroom wall.

No more sightings since then, but I’ll keep you posted. In the meantime, I’m avoiding taking a shower in case he is hanging around. Maybe I can stink 'em out.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Magazines GONE WILD!

Last night Matt and I went to an art show opening/dramatic interpretation at the Fringe Club. It was great! The exhibit was called Wear "Me" Out and the artwork were pieces made entirely out of thin, woven strips of magazine pages. The show itself involved lots of twirling about in magazine-knit clothing and throwing paper bits at the bystanders. One of the pictures shows the artist (the one without all the eye make-up) and her models. The shortest model was no more than 4' tall and was like a tiny typhoon once she got wound up. It was nuts! I've included some pictures from the show. The artist is Movana Chen and you can find out more about her at www.movanachen.com. It's worth a look-see.

Monday, August 21, 2006

Ghost Festival

Those eerie fires were for a reason. This came as a relief as we weren't relishing the idea of hopping over street fires every night on our way home. Apparantly, we arrived just in time for "ghost month". It's similar to our Halloween, sort of, but I guess creepier. There is a certain day or days within this timeframe when the spirits come to lay claim to whatever they want. To appease the evil spirits, and to provide for deceased loved ones, fake money, cars, houses (?), etc. are burnt as an offering. So, this is what those fires were about. I certainly didn't do this justice, so for more complete info follow this link: Ghost Festival on Wikipedia

Um yeah, that does a MUCH better job explaining it. Enjoy!

Friday, August 18, 2006

Day 1: The Adventure Begins...

So today is not Day 1--it's Day 13. But, I took copius notes, so I'm pretending it is Day 1. You can pretend with me. Here goes:

There is this silly model show I've seen on MTV just a few times called "Ocean View" or "Ocean Drive" or "Ocean you fill in the blank" or something. Regardless, it's about these models that have to live together in a lavish apartment and compete for jobs. They are all tall, skinny, tan, etc. And most of them are 15 or something. Right, so they belong on MTV. Not in Hong Kong. Or so I thought. Here I am in the midst of my first day in China--bright-eyed and ready to face the world (after a restful night sharing a twin bed with my tall and extra-long, monkey-armed husband)--and I stumble jet-lagged down into the subway. I expected to see Asians. I was surprised to find myself behind 6-7 tall, modelish girls--all scanitly clad and some wearing the new fad of tall socks with highheels. Not so sure about that trend yet. Then, when I got on the subway, a few more joined the bunch. I wasn't sure what the deal was until I saw they were all carrying binders filled with headshots. Aha! They must be models, I thought. How strange. Honestly, I didn't think much of it. It was simply a bit surreal, and I felt short, not-tan, and poorly dressed. Oh, and old.

Next, my notes say something about walking in circles on purpose. I don't remember what that means. I think I was just lost alot and didn't know how to cross the street (big city, and all), so I must have walked the same streets over and over again trying to get my bearings.

At one point during the day I found myself in a mall (this is easy enough for me in the US, but in China everything is one big mall--often I'm surprised to find that I'm not in a mall!). I wandered in a store and heard Britney Spears' "Stronger" playing. It actually brought tears to my eyes. Someone was speaking my language (literally) --and telling me to be a stronger person at the same time! It did me some good.

On our way back to the apartment in the evening, Matt and I noticed fires burning all up and down the sidewalks in the district where we live. It was a bit bizarre, but it being our first day there we thought maybe that was normal. It was a little eerie. And that was Day 1.