Saturday, August 16, 2008

In My Element

Another thing that adds to the fact that we are leaving Hong Kong, is that yesterday was my last day teaching a jewellery making class. I can now pack away all my tools and beads like the numerous times I had done so in the past and wait for the day to take them all out again. This time I wonder how long its going to take before I get to use them all again.

I started teaching jewellery making last year after a suggestion from Ragamuffin Girl. She teaches cooking at the YWCA and mentioned they're always looking for more teachers and classes to offer. I thought why not, met up with them and the next thing I knew, my name and course description was up on their site and people started signing up! Although I didn't teach a whole lot of classes, I felt great teaching it! I was totally in my element.

Above was a picture taken during my class at the Y. In addition to 2 classroom type classes, I also hosted a trip to Hung Hom to show students where you can buy beads in bulk. That was quite a popular class and was always full or close to it. It felt good being able to offer something people actually wanted.

I also taught 2 sessions at student's homes. Some wanted to learn more, so I was asked to come in and teach some more advanced skills. If only I thought about teaching jewellery making sooner! I could have been doing this long ago and making some money, then Hubby would have been happier.

So anyways, I'll have to pack up all my gear now. I'm sad its all over, but hopeful I can continue this after we get to Melbourne. Chris' mum has already told me there's a bead shop not far from our house. She said she'll check it out soon and ask if they offer classes that I might be able to teach. Sounds hopeful!

So in the meantime, I'll go hoard some more beads before we leave and hope this hobby will finally turn into a cash cow after we settle in Melbourne!

Thursday, August 14, 2008

The Countdown Begins!

I haven't posted about this yet because it's just so hard to accept it... We're leaving Hong Kong! I have exactly 30 days left before I take the kids and fly off. We're going to the US first to visit my family while Hubby attends a meeting and a conference elsewhere before we all meet up in San Jose then fly to Melbourne.

Our house is currently under construction, so we'll be staying with Hubby's parents. Boy Wonder has already been accepted by a school near our future house and Hubby is all set to transfer offices. I'm currently finding new homes for all our unwanted furniture and running around buying things I know are cheaper here and would look good around the new house.

I'm trying to keep busy as the days dwindle away because I don't really know how to feel about leaving, again! I catch myself getting just a twinge of emotion meeting up with The Thursday Group for lunch and am amazed I actually had to fight back tears once already. I'm going to be so sad leaving behind such a great group of friends, but I think I'm more sad because I have to start the friend making process all over again. It was so easy forming a group when I moved to HK, I highly doubt its going to be as easy in Melbourne.

And heck, what am I going to call my blog after we're in Melbourne??? From the M to the HK to the OZ? Oh my god, its going to be tough. Any suggestions would be great.

So anyways, I'll try to document the whole mad process of relocation as often as I can. I'm hoping this is the last time I'll have to move!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Another Milestone

My grandfather celebrated his 90th birthday over the weekend in the States. Most of our relatives made it except for 2 other cousins, their dad and me. It's events like these that make me sorely miss living in the same country as my family.

The last time my grandfather had a big celebration was when he turned 80. He and my grandmother had a double celebration and I made it that time. This year was much smaller but they somehow managed to book a dance hall all to themselves with a karaoke machine. Maybe it was good I didn't make it after all.

They had a big dinner...

Did a lot of singing...

Danced on the roof???

Had cake...

And sang till the wee hours of the night... well, I think that's what they did.

They also found time to pay respects to my grandmother before all the festivities began. It always gets emotional when the family gets together to do that. I'm glad they all seem to be in good spirits this time.

My cousin Mabel flew in from Chicago with her husband. Her brother Kemble whom alot of the relatives, including me have not seen in years also came from Los Angeles. He had a falling out with his dad, my uncle, my mom's brother. So although there are the usual family dramas still playing out within the family, it was great that most everyone was there this time.

I was almost crying and smiling at the same time looking at the hundreds of pictures my brother and cousin took over the weekend. I hope in a few years from now when all the cousins are done with school and I'm no longer in between countries that we can get together again and make it a true reunion.

Saturday, August 09, 2008

Olympic "Madness"

So we stayed up until midnight last night to watch the opening ceremony of the Beijing Olympics. Hubby needed ALOT of alcohol to get through the whole thing. And I only stayed up because Hubby got me interested to see who will be lighting the final flame. I wanted to know if China could come up with someone more historical and symbolic than Mohammad Ali. Then the moment came and of course they chose their own Li Ning. I didn't even know who the heck he was until Hubby gave me a brief background. How unexciting. After the whole thing was over, my brother emailed me, all excited about the opening and asked me how it went. I said it was quite a waste of money and too much hype. I think China should have spent the money on helping their own quake victims instead.

I have to admit, I don't know much about the Olympics. This is the first time I've actually watched an opening ceremony. I think the whole spirit of the olympics, what it stands for and the history behind it is great. Although I don't know what other countries did when it was their turn to host, all I can say is that the excess of the whole event last night was maddening.

All the unnatural plastered smiles on all the performers was scary first off. A commentator even said all the women looked exactly the same to him from his angle. I can see why. Everyone dressed the same, hair the same and the eerie smiles... can anyone say Botox? Then there was this little girl who sang some song. Scary! She was like a Chuckie doll, with her over exaggerated smile, frozen on her face throughout the song. There was no emotion whatsoever.

A large part of the ceremony featured all the inventions that came from China. Although it was great and all, I wondered if it was necessary. It was almost a justification of some sort. I didn't feel it was a celebration, but a blatant, arrogant show, so typical of China. I thought the Olympics symbolized so much more and instead I saw a 4 hour self-proclamation. Were all the other opening ceremonies like this as well? Because if it was, I'm glad I never bothered watching any of it.

Then when my brother mentioned China had spent $300M on the whole thing, I felt the whole thing was such a waste of money in light of the recent earthquake. If China really wants to prove to the world they are stepping forward, advancing and show they aren't all that bad, then they should have cut off a lot of the hooplah during the ceremony, spent the money on all the quake victims and explain to the world how they have decided to simplify things in honor of the quake vicims. Now think about how wowed the whole world would have been had they done that. But heck, who are we kidding?

So now Hubby and I are just interested to see how all the athletes from the non-polluted parts of the world fare against the 600 plus Chinese athletes who live on the pollution. Let the games begin!

Monday, August 04, 2008

Will You Be My Friend?

So Facebook is all the rage nowadays. And nothing more can prove that point than the fact that even Hubby has an account. Sometimes I think he's more into it than me. I like it more than Friendster now because sadly Friendster has turned into a flashing ad board the few times I've logged on this year. But although Facebook is reuniting me with lot's of old friends, I've realized its also a gauge as to just how much of a friend someone considers me and vice versa.

When I first signed up on Facebook, I was eagerly looking up names of friends I've lost touch with for years. There was one particular person I was so happy to find. I had looked her up on pretty much every other people search engine and turned up nothing. So when I saw her name AND picture on the results page, I was elated. I quickly sent her a message and added her to my friends list. She added me a few days later and said hi and the usual questions and stuff. I wrote her back quickly and asked her how she had been the last few years, what she had been up to, etc. and told her what I had been up to. I was totally expecting a reply with updates on her life and have a sense that she was happy to be back in touch with me as well. But nothing. I got nothing back. I wasn't really heartbroken, but just disappointed. I had considered her a good friend and she clearly didn't consider me at the same level.

Since then I've found other long lost friends as well and added them to my friends list. I tried a few times to get back in touch with them and see if any reconnection could be made, but all unsuccessful. But being the usual sucker that I am, I'll keep trying as new "friends" come out of the woodwork. At least I can say I made the effort because although we had lost touch, I often thought about how they were doing.

I can't help it. So many things I encounter, or things that I see on tv or a song I hear somewhere, I'm reminded of random people whom I've met through the years. I don't expect these people to be my best friends once they've been located, but it would be nice to be acknowledged more than getting no replies to my email.

So what have I learned? First of all that I'm still a sucker for friendship, that Facebook can be a great thing, a frustrating thing, a reality facing thing and thankfully stalkers can be deleted easily thing. Just hope some of these people don't think I'm a stalker! haha! I haven't been deleted... so far.