Monday, February 28, 2011

Hong Kong : Day 002

day two has been adventurous! our day started at 3:36 a.m. (shoulda kept my blogger shut), included no less than 3 breakfasts, playing at 3 different playgrounds, a trip to an international market (found all sorts of treasures here, including BABY WIPES), a trip to lamma island, and a trip up to victoria's peak.

our jet lag challenges were both better and worse today. the kids were perkier and happier most of the time, but both have given us some EPIC fits, too.

our trip to lamma island turned out to be very educational. we hiked out to the house we had seen online and that looked too good to be is. it turns out the reason that it has been empty for 8 months even though it is spacious and has a very reasonable rent is that it is in the middle of nowhere. it's about a 30-minute hilly, winding hike from the nearest store and restaurants (there are no cars on lamma island, and our bike/trailer would not fit on the path). while it would be great to have the space, lower rent, and to be on the beach, it is just too isolated. we met an expat family from scotland while we were on lamma island, and we got some good info about other apartments on the island, so that's the direction we are looking in now. we also are considering a couple of different areas on hong kong island.

we had a DELICIOUS lunch while we were on lamma island, and we made friends with a stray puppy that thought the kids were her personal playmates. she looked like a rottie mixed with a poodle (rottie with short, curly hair)...very cute and very friendly.

it is, once again, time to get the monkeys to bed and hope to god they sleep later than 3:30 a.m.! tomorrow promises more adventures, but also some mundane stuff like getting our ID cards in order, looking into medical insurance matters, looking for cell phones, and looking around for apartments.

random...we have been snapping lots of pics of the kids and our surroundings, but we have yet to find the USB cable we need to download the pics. stay tuned!

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Hong Kong : Day 001

we are here! we arrived in country around 7 in the morning, got through immigration and luggage without a hitch (except that we stole someone else's luggage and left a piece of ours (this turned into a multi-hour deal of josh getting on the phone and then back to the airport to right the wrongs)), and then rode a cab to our temporary apartment. i have to say that sitting in a moving vehicle (80 km/hr) with Q in my lap and both of us belted together...not my idea of a good time. we will avoid cabs as much as we can.

we have spent the day fighting jet lag (4 hour nap!), exploring the area around us, and getting our temporary digs set up. i know that we are spoiled rotten when it comes to our house in pville, but wow did we take that space for granted. the apartment we are currently in is no bigger than the playroom in our house in pville...minus the closet. the space here is delineated nicely...we have 2 bedrooms, a living room, a kitchen, and a small's just that everything is TINY.

we have had fun exploring some stores and restaurants around us. so far, we have not been able to find baby wipes, but we have found a market full of VERY fresh meat, fruit, and veggies. i could do without the meat, but the fruits and veggies look DIVINE. we made sure to get some of that amazing looking fruit.

we are in an area of hong kong called happy valley. it's supposed to be popular with expats, but we have seen very few westerners. i asked josh about that, and he reminded me that the expat population is relative to the very large population in Hong Kong, so seeing around 10 westerners in our explorations today is "normal."

we went to two different parks today, and so far, our very outgoing olivia is being pretty shy. today was a very intense day for her in terms of fatigue and missing her home and friends; she is not on her A game when it comes to socializing today. ironically, Q, who is typically much more shy, marched right up and said hi to a little girl in the 2nd park we went to. hmmm...will be interesting to see how this shakes out.

it's now 10ish something at night here, and we must get the monkeys to bed. considering that every time Q sits still he falls asleep and every time she sits, livie tries to flop over and fall asleep, i think that bed time won't be too much of a challenge tonight. let's just hope they aren't up at 3 a.m. ready to start their day.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Food Policy

i like to eat. i am an adventurous eater. i will eat anything that's not nailed down...for the most part. my food policy has always been this : don't tell me what it is, and if it's not looking at me or trying to get away from me, i will eat it.

i think i might need to revise my food policy in 1 week (gasp!). i can mostly trust the FDA (bawahahahaha...did i really just say that i trust the FDA?!?!), but the FDA isn't coming with me to china. from what josh has told me, buying/eating meat is a whole different ball game in china than it is here. apparently, you meet your meat while it's alive, name it, watch it be murdered and prepared, wait for it to be cooked, and then (gulp) eat it. hmmmm. i think my omnivorous status JUST changed to herbivore....maybe pescatarian depending on what i find out about the pollution in the area. i think i will be eating a LOT of rice. mmmmmm, rice! good thing i like it ;-p

in case you were wondering, YES i am bringing my own spices. i will be packing my foodcase to the brim with them. watch me. i WILL make sure there is tex mex in least at my house ;-p okay, so it might be tex mex minus the cheese, sour cream, and salsa....

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Last Grocery Shopping Hurrah

it occurred to me today as i was doing some grocery shopping at mal-wart that grocery shopping is about to get VERY different. i look forward to the new challenge as i have grown to love grocery shopping, but i know that i am going to miss the one-stop-shopping convenience that the big chains in the u.s. offer. i am very carefully rationing and enjoying my last few diet dr. peppers as i am reasonably sure that they will not be readily available in hong kong. i also spent some time admiring the several-yards-long row of bread items at the mal-wart...i know that won't be available either. hmmmm...i can't wait to see what IS available!