The less than shiny life

The shiny new life awaiting in Hk has turned out to be less than shiny.  Started off well enough with a smooth flight, taxi home and a kind driver which helped me with the luggage down the dreaded concrete steps for a handsome tip.  A warm welcome from the three dogs especially the black puppy who has grown a lot in the last two and a half months.

So far so good until I opened the fridge and freezer to find an infestation of fruitflies and their larvae and the most pungent of smells that I almost puked.  Welcome home.  On top of that my local sim card ran out of credit and the number no longer exist and to add insult to injury it is stuck solid in the tiny slot so I’ll have to fork out for a new one, which will be a large expenditure.  But that’s how people communicate in HK and I’ll need it to contact my parents.

The most devastating of all is to find on the next morning after recovering from jet lag that the family with three kids that I had taught had found a new tutor, despite having promised to wait. Nevertheless I can continue to teach the younger two and will be given less hours than before.  The optician who had given me my first break doesn’t need my services at all as his daughter has already taken her exam and is back with the tutorial centre.  That’s Hong Kong, people are very pragmatic, feelings and friendship don’t come into the equation, just what counts what them.  I guess I was naive to expect anything else except now I am in a panic about how I am going to make ends meet. 

I am gutted that I have to start from scratch having worked so hard to get enough pupils to know I can cover the rent and have a little left for food.  The rent is the tricky bit since it is a fixed lump sum with a deadline whilst I can always eat less and not eat out and if I put my mind to it the food bill doesn’t have to cost the earth.  It is cooler now so today I have begun to walk to the train station where the nearest shopping centre where my local is, that will save me $11 return daily and it is good exercise.

I am trying very hard not to panic and get myself into a state; the mantra is I have survived on very little, I can do it again.  Still very scary.  As soon as I have sorted out a new mobile I will stick an ad up on the posh supermarket’s noticeboard and see if any of the other former parents still need me to tutor.  Fingers crossed.

On the plus side it is nice to return to a cooler but warm and less humid HK and feel that I’m home.  I was dreading feeling alien here and needing time to get used to it but it was unfounded.  It was nice to see familiar faces especially the ones at the cafe and to know they were happy to see me.  I forgot how lovely and spacious my flat was and how fond I am of the dogs.  The feeling is mutual as I have started feeding them twice a day not forgetting the large bowl of water.  They sleep outside my front door which is comforting and sweet, at least the security still works whilst the fridge and mobile don’t. 

Nothing much has changed round here.  It is Sunday and the landlord Mr Leung is here regular as clockwork indulging in his love of DIY and the Filipinos are partying into the night.  It is good to know that there are some constants in this world.

Lots to sort out once business opens as usual tomorrow.  Fridge may very well have to be taken away for repairs thank goodness the guarantee is still valid.


About cho wan yau

Teacher by day poet/writer by night. Words have been my first love and will be my last. As a child I locked myself into the toilet devouring books which transported me to distant lands. Poetry shared penned from 2009-2010 in a titanic struggle to stay sane at Heartbreak Hotel. Please check it out on Any comments or feedback welcome. Why not share your story with me, because we all have one, don't we?

Posted on November 24, 2013, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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