Saturday, August 7, 2010
I'll be occasionally blogging on another blog, which, if you know us, should be easy to find.
Anyway, Hong Kong for now is the psuedo-home, until nyc reclaims us.
Friday, February 12, 2010
Saturday, February 6, 2010
Wednesday, February 3, 2010
Well, a few weeks into teaching and I'm starting to remember what it was like last year. Yes, that confused, fuzzy look staring back at me from all angles. Grading and powerpointing late into the night (currently working on 'marketing mix--pricing methods' a must read for all A-level Business Studies students!...in my class). Teaching Shakespeare and Mary Shelley to Korean and Hong Kong kids? Er...No, no. Can't resort to Leo and Claire Danes version. How to explain "her chastity was well-armed?" or "I'll chop off their head, or their maidenheads."
I'll have more photo fun time w/ my school and kids but since half of them are native speakers, I might have to be a bit more discreet, lest they find this rarely read blog (hi, my five readers!).
Anyway, times are a' busy here. Still honing sharpening my completely inappropriate submission materials to the MFA. Is using "motherf'er" in a personal essay about writing craft a good idea? Wha? No?
Monday, January 18, 2010
Tuesday, January 12, 2010
Let's start there; it's as good as place as any to catch up to the last 2-3 months.
"What am I going to eat?" I continued on. And that wasn't the only problem with going to Bangkok for a month.
Actually hold on, before that let me quickly say that look here:
my dad visited us! That's him on the right. To his left is Aunt .... and Uncle ..... (I'm horrible, but the names don't really translate), then my grandmother on my mom's side, then Uncle Kenny (or Uncle #2), cole, and me--all out to dinner in Kowloon somewhere, though I remember the name of the restaurant was Sportful Garden.
Ok, back to where I was:
So after my dad's visit, I told cole:
"...and not only that, but doesn't Bangkok have the potential to be really awful?" for all the reasons that you're probably aware of. But there wasn't any other choice really. To have a chance of teaching in Hong Kong, I needed a CELTA, and the closest cheapest option was Thailand. I applied to the program, got in, booked a serviced apartment (more on that later), got a flight, and off I went.
This picture pretty much sums up my experience in Bangkok: Down-to-earth, friendly people (honestly, the friendliest of anywhere I've ever been), oppressive ridiculous heat, and in general much much more than I expected, in just about every way. But...
Two blocks to the right on this street food?--Patpong: ladyboys, pingpong shows (need I elaborate?), smartly dressed men handing me cards while addressing me in Japanese (because in Thailand, I look Japanese). Wandering through--groups of scumbag expats, and yes, there are many, and it can all be so much of a soul-sucking, anger-inducing wasteland that you have to just remind yourself that this isn't it, not really, and next time, remember to take the long way around to the ramen shop, because this is just the 0.1% that ruins Bangkok, and it's not that hard to avoid it. Yeah, the gogo bars aren't going anywhere, but at least if I pretend they don't exist, then Bangkok can stay amazing in my mind.
In the end though, 99% of my time was spent here:
Doesn't look like much, and the same holds true for the inside, but this was the Celta training center. I would get up around seven every morning, shower, get dressed, take the sky train two stops, from Surasak to Sala Daeng, grab an egg sandwich from a guy on the street (20 baht), and then start my lessons at school. Our lessons lasted all morning, then we had lesson-planning, lunch, and the afternoon was spent on teaching practice.
And then, we're back in Hong Kong again, back to our little corner of Aberdeen. Thanks to cole's sister, Amy, and her parents, I now sport a kindle. Despite my old school publishing tendencies (real books will never die!!), I'm finding that I carry around the thing everywhere. Reading food and travel writing has never been so convenient. It'll take awhile though, for me to make that leap to reading fiction electronically.
So what else? Ah yes. The whole professional-life-you-mean-I'm-supposed-to-be-doing-something-with-my-life? thing has gotten a nice kick in the ass, in the form of a real teaching gig at an international school. That's right, teaching actual English classes, not esl. Who knew? They even gave me an A-level class (like AP in the US but not really)--Business Studies.
And soon I'll be a grad student at Hong Kong University to study for my education degree. (oops, check that, didn't make the cut. Not native enough perhaps?? still waiting on the mfa --ed, aka d-ah, feb 12,2010).
And after that I'll maybe/probably start my MFA (masters in fine arts in creative writing) at the City University of Hong Kong, the inaugural class.
So much stuff, and things. Two words I remember my high school English teacher hating, ni hao Senor Dunn.
Ok, that's it. No promises on future posts. I'll try.
Sunday, October 11, 2009
Anyway, this duo was by far the worst act I have ever paid money to see. Words cannot express, so this video must do:
Luckily, we didn't have to wait long for British Sea Power. Honestly, before this, I wasn't their greatest admirer in the world, but I had all their albums, and liked most of their songs.
As for band availability in Hong Kong (slim pickings in general), I knew this was about as good as it was going to get, so despite the ridiculous ticket price (really? almost $50? that's like going to see Billy Joel at MSG in 1997 or something [I'm looking at you cole], or what I imagine the ticket price for a reunion Pixies tour to be, or even a 90s era Dave Matthews [I'm looking at...me?the shame]).Anyway, the place was full of brits w/ a strange mix of locals and misc foreigners. Still, the vibe was decent, and by the end of the night, after multiple stage dives and encores by the band, I was a much bigger fan of British Sea Power.
A short clip: