Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Yer Blues
I just read another HK expat blogger's account of her blahs concerning doubts about living here, why she left wherever it was she used to live (North America, I think) how she's repeating the same behavior she came here to change etc etc and damn if I didn't want to make contact and form a support group or something.
I could relate. She's got apartment problems and is having a 3am juju moment. Me too! Me too!
1. Apartment woes. In my case it's two broken air conditioners (crucial to my comfort) that the landlord won't repair because he's ignoring multiple letters and either won't answer or has non-working numbers for the 10 -- yes 10 -- phone numbers that I've been able to compile.
He speaks no English and has two postal addresses, but one is on the mainland. I've had to enlist the apartment management office, the real estate agent who found the place and C to help, but nada. My lease is up in July. Except for the AC snafus, I like the place and am loathe to move. But I've withheld one month's rent as a protest so far and will probably withold the next month's but even if he ignores that it means I'll eventually forfeit the two month deposit I made to get the place.
Meanwhile rent prices are screaming higher and higher for apts that only roaches and colonies of parasitic ringworms would be proud to call home.
2. Pretty soon I'll be the only gweilo on the paper's metro desk as people -- Chinese and foreigners alike -- are fleeing the place like Circle Jerk fans at a Wayne Newton concert.
Speaking of Vegas, did you know that one of the two editors to whom I report is an enormous, long and bushy haired Sri Lankan who wears gold chains and his black Rayon shirts open to his hairy belly and who smells like he's rotting from within? It's like working for a Las Vegas cannibal. And he's the good one. He's quitting soon and going back to Sri Lanka (where there's an endless civil war) to export shirts. Or import arms. Or something.
The other one is a profane, bantam-like strutting Chinese/Portuguese mix who apparently learned the craft and his management style from alkie Aussie hacks circa 1977 and hasn't progressed much since. He's a lifer and will probably die at his desk in fits and spasms and coughing up chunks o' lung while foaming at some hapless newbie to cover a press conference in which a special commission established by the Hong Kong chief executive has confirmed that today is Tuesday, there are 12 months in a year and the sun will probably rise tomorrow.
My career options are pretty limited here and nonexistent back home. But what's out there? Well, one of the best editors I've ever had who was fired in the blitz that began The Standard's current decline is currently considering a job offer in East Timor, which looks remarkably like footage from Baghdad or this week's latest Indonesian disaster the last time I checked BBC TV news.
3. Did I mention that HK income taxes are due soon and my most recent medical insurance claims have been rejected and there's this weird boil on my...ah, never mind.
The sun will probably rise tomorrow. Though due to a winning combo of weeks of omnipresent smog and the monsoon season ("The sky looks like sperm," C quipped recently in one of her better and more poetic traditional Chinese moments) you'd hard pressed to tell. But that's another rant for another time.
Its moments like these, where I feel good living in Denmark.
Denmark! Yes! That's the ticket. Oh, right. I already asked you about that option. Thanks, though, Peter.
Andrea left. Doug is leaving. *Sigh*. Does it tell that The Standard is unable to keep journalists or that freelancing is really that appealing?
justin, you can take over my rent. or share one of the rooms in my house with me. rent is cheap. and i havea mack daddy bachelor pad.

If you want an expats account of living in East Timor at the moment, then search on timor diver
Remeber - this too shall pass!.
I promise it is better there then in the US with the dictator Dubya.

Take care of yourself and C

Don C
"like Circle Jerk fans at a Wayne Newton concert"

I don't even know what that means, but your recount of the office makes me sort of miss the place. Which reminds me, I'm picking up my last paycheque today!

Hope I'll run into you.
...substitute "Blink 182" for "Circle Jerks" and "Celine Dion" for "Wayne Newton" and you'll get the idea.
Anyway, see you soon, Andrea!
Life in the USA is treating me pretty well at the moment. I tell you what: mom and dad have an extra bedroom, a Starbucks just opened up in Granite City, and St. Louis has all kinds of creepy and seemingly unexplainable development happening right now -- which is to say that there's actually a good amount of employment options. So you can come stay here. Rent is cheap, and mom'll let you use the car Monday and Thursday evenings.
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