Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Hong Kong Chronicles: Translations

A chronological review of the last 24 hours.
Strong Tropical Storm Koppa
We had a T-8 typhoon Monday night. It was coming off the Philippines as a Tropical Cyclone (Pacific equivalent of a Hurricane). Koppa sustained a T-8 status for over 15 hours, and we were only on the periphery of its track. Aiya!
Typhoons cause a significant fuss. The storm was brewing all day, culminating in being sent home early from work. It's the Hong Kong equivalent of a snow day in Dallas. I always loved snow days. They were "bonus days" and catch up days. The thing is, with snow, it's quiet. Brew hot cocoa. Watch Star Trek. Read a book. Typhoons? Not so much. They're a bit noisy. And this being my first big one ever, and first big one in the new digs, it was a nail-biter. I thought I was being a nervous nelly, but one of my friends who's been here for three years was also scared.
Anyway, I did get some bonus time, coming home early. Some of the bonus time was also borrrowed at the expense of sleep, but there have been a bunch o' shop updates as a result.
Molly's New Outhouse

I told you we were upscaling! Even Molly's toilet is luxurious. Too bad she's more interested in pee-mail instead of scenery.

I guess the dogs don't need to worry about spelling.

Molly has also been making new friends. We started off a little rocky...Molly was a little threatened, but with some Cesar Milan mommy-training reminders, we've been able to reassure her that she's okay. She's befriended a sweet little Yorkie named MoMo. MoMo has black poodle brother, named Baby, who is a wee bit aggressive but is settling down. There is a gorgeous Samoyed who is incredibly well-trained and calm. She's really nice to Molly and this is the first big dog Molly is warming up to. Then there are two, teeny little bits of Yorkies (I think they must 3 or 4 pounds). The male is friendly, but, I have to work on keeping Molly calm. She gets a little overexcited with the smaller dogs. Unless they're calm and laid back, she's a little intimidating. I didn't get the male's name, but the female is named QingQing. I love the Chinese familiar names...

Storm Prep

Preparations for the large plate glass windows in the lobby. A little intimidating for a newbie to typhoons. You'd think I'd be calmer after Texas weather. But tornadoes are over relatively quickly. Closet quaking is temporary. Although the high-rises are built to withstand a strong storm, I think what concerned me were the windows. If the wind took those out, then it would be a wind alley. (Sorry for the blurry photos...taken while walking...)

Brewing storm clouds...

Bowing palms...

The Sass-a-Frass Malt

After the storm...I wanted to capture a picture of what I leave behind as I leave each day for work...the adorably cute face (attached to the adorably cute dog) and the stunning views. I forgot I had my camera on a high white balance setting and it washed out the scenery. But, I caught a funny Molly sequence that gives you a smidgen of her personality.

Winding up...[head cocked to the left]


Caught in the act!!!

The sass-a-frass attitude after mama shushes her. (She always has to have the last word.) [Head cocked to the right and turned away and one last "yipf".]


Some wind damage of young trees outside the office. Most of the time the majority of the damage is to the low-lying areas with poorly built homes.

And finally...


I've invented a compound English grammar word. Not just a compound adjective like fan-tabulous (fantastic + fabulous). Ah. Language. It's such a living thing. And messing with it is so much FUN!

Shrizzled = Noun + Adj compound = a frizzled shrew

Yet another Shrizzled was in the bankline today. I could see the wind-up coming as I got in the queue. I think she was at 70 decibels when I arrived. By the time she was taken away (management finally came to assist), she was at 120 decibels and was drawing the gapers block. At least now I know it is EOG (equal opportunity gawking). I give the teller a lot of credit. She was handling her with great equanimity. I have no idea whether the teller was bureaucratic as this was conducted in Cantonese.

A side note on filling out online forms in person: one advantage of filling out forms is that the tellers know the forms well and how to fill out efficiently. You don't have to struggle with reading the form and figuring out what to do and where to sign. Yes...the tellers fill out the forms for you. Nice, eh? If I'm going to trade off the convenience of doing this online, might as well have a convenience to replace it! I was observing some of the other transactions to see if this had anything to do with me being a westerner, but this was happening with all the bank patrons. Sweet!
Wow. That was a lot for 24 hours!


  1. Glad you survived your first typhoon - sounds scary but also a bit exciting at the same time. Molly is so cute - sounds like you have lots of fun together.
    I hope the weather stays calm
    Kristin :)

  2. Yes, this was the first one! HK Observatory is predicting "fine" weather in the next few days.

    Molly IS cute and funny. She had a good round of "puppy crazies" this morning where we play Maltese tag...she runs around the table, into a room, does a "yipf", I let her out of the room, she runs around the table again, into a room...and repeat until tired. This little girl is almost 11!!! She's a fun little buddy to have here in Hong Kong.