Thursday, November 03, 2005

Thursday Thirteen - Jet Lag edition

Thirteen Things about Jessica

1. I probably should have done this in the middle of the night when I was wide awake when I should have been sleeping. Now all I want to do is sleep but I'm at work and falling asleep at my desk would be bad form.

2. At least blogging looks like work.

3. Will someone please tell me why my Amazon link to Devil in the White City suddenly changed to a travel guide for Macau? And then when I refreshed the page, it changed back to Devil in the White City? Weird.

4. MIM - I promise you that I will do that meme, just as soon as I'm able to keep my eyes open for more than two minutes at a time.

5. There are apparently certain places in Hong Kong that have a problem with picture-taking. I can understand why the vendors at the markets don't want pictures taken - they don't want any evidence of their rampant trademark piracy. But, I got in trouble taking pictures on three occasions that seem odd to me . . .

6. This is the departure area for the helicopter to Macau. They have lots of food and a cool espresso/coffee machine. Right after I took this picture, one of the ladies ran over to me and (nicely) said "No pictures." What's interesting in this post-9/11 world, is that we were able to take as many pictures as we wanted inside the helicopter. We sat right behind the pilot and took a bunch of pictures of the controls and no one said a thing. It could be that the pilot had no idea that we were taking pictures considering how noisy it is in there and he had the standard huge headset on . . .

7. I thought it was interesting that every Starbucks in Hong Kong looks exactly like every Starbucks I've ever been to, with only a few exceptions. First of all, of course, there's Chinese lettering on everything. In this picture on the left, you can see a basket of small, white napkins - apparently some people don't like the brown napkins that Starbucks uses. You can also see the bottle of sugar water on the right that some people prefer to granulated sugar. As soon as I snapped the picture, the barista waved her hands at me hissing "No pictures!" Someone suggested that maybe they don't want competitors taking pictures of their set up. But this is Starbucks, people. It's not like they can't protect their trademarks and it's not like competitors don't know what every Starbucks in the world looks like.

8. Here's a picture of the girls in a big, comfy chair in the lobby of the Peninsula Hotel in Kowloon. We went there for high tea - it's on the list of things you need to do before you die. After tasting the pastries, I can see why! Again, after I took this picture, someone admonished me. Some people have suggested that it's an issue of people not wanting their picture taken because it steals their soul or something. But that's clearly not it. This is a picture of my own kids and the other two pictures are of inanimate objects.

9. Maybe it's an issue of courtesy to others. Hong Kong is an incredibly crowded place. I can see where it would get annoying if you have tourists taking pictures all the time. If you have a basic prohibition on picture taking, you can at least keep it to a minimum.

10. Since I'm on a roll with the pictures, here is one of my favorites. It's a fish monger showing the girls a live fish. Right after this was taken, one of the fish tried to make a run for it and jumped out, landing on Big D's foot.

Before we went to the Chinese school, our hosts walked us through a traditional Chinese market where we spent time walking through the fish market. It was amazing. Every stall had live fish flopping around in pans of water. You select your fish, give it to the fish mongers and they filet it in front of you. In some stalls, they had freshly filleted fish on ice - they were so freshly filleted, the hearts were still beating. Seriously. It was unnerving. We passed a stall where a woman was preparing frogs. When she skinned a frog in front of us, one of the boys with us gasped. The woman (and the people in the surrounding stalls) thought the squeamish Americans were hilarious.

11. Now that I had a story published, you would think that I'd have more confidence in my writing. In fact, I have less confidence. I have ideas bouncing around in my head but whenever I sit down to write lately, I freeze. Even blogging has been more difficult. Granted, I haven't had much time for writing and I'm out of sorts from jet lag. Maybe I shouldn't be so hard on myself. Maybe I should tell my internal editor to shut up.

12. One thing that struck me about Hong Kong was the clusters of identical high rise buildings. Driving in from the airport, I was amazed at the clusters of 8, 10, 12 identical 60-story-plus towers huddled together along the highway. It's like they decided on a building design and they just keep replicating it. Knowing how small the usual Hong Kong apartment is, the number of people living in each group of buildings has to be staggering. Hong Kong is easily the most crowded place I have ever been.

13. Seeing A-Girl on stage was incredible. I know I sound like a total stage mother when I say this, but that kid is talented. Seeing her back stage getting ready for the show was even more incredible.

Here she is preparing for the second show last Sunday. She's getting her microphone ready. I followed her around as she prepped herself. No one had to tell her where to be or what to do. She went to "hair" and then got her leotard and shoes on and then got her mic and then went back to the hair guy to get her mic taped on. I'm 41 years old and half the time I have to be told where to be and when. And I'm still late most of the time. She's 8 and she knows what she needs to do and where she needs to be. She's somethin' else.

Links to other Thursday Thirteens!
1. Leanne
2. Jen
3. Sleeping Mommy
4. Squashed Toad
5. interstellarlass
6. Renee

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It's easy, and fun! Be sure to update your Thirteen with links that are left for you, as well! I will link to everyone who participates and leaves a link to their 13 things. Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted! (Even though I have no idea what pings are).


Jen said...

Wow! That is really neat!

That's so interesting about the pictures, I wonder what it is?

Here's my 13

Sleeping Mommy said...

That really is weird about the pictures. Makes me almost want to research and see if it is a cultural thing for the area.

And that's great that you got to go see her in her show over there.

Here's the link for my 13:

I've got yours linked.

SquashedToad said...

Love your picture! Here's my 13!

InterstellarLass said...

Those are great pictures. Weird how they didn't want you to take them.

Here's my 13!

landismom said...

Cool pix! I love the one of your daughter getting ready the most.

That is weird about the pictures, but I know that in the 9/11 world, there have been some prominent instances of foreign tourists being told not to take pictures around here. Although the Starbucks condiment bar does not seem like an extremely likely target to me.

Renee said...

cool pix! I dunno why they didn't want you to take them either...especially when they come to the US and take tons...or is that Japan?
In Korea it was weird too, but not with pix. There if you stand in front of a shop/cart/anyplace selling something it's a "sign of protest." (I learned this later) I got hollered at by a lady because I was standing in front of her stall when I was waiting for my friends in the stall nextdoor. I also got some free extras at a sunglasses booth because some friends came up to talk to me after I had made my purchase...they guy gave me a case, and then a eyeglass lense cleaner and then told us to move on because he didn't have anything else to give me. LOL!