Tuesday, January 28, 2003

“…one of them has to eat Peking Duck out of a pie dish. A pie dish! How the hell are you supposed to roll the pancakes on a plate with raised edges? It’s impossible! I don’t know how they manage…” My darling mother on our cousins’ inappropriate crockery.
So I finally had a day off yesterday to make up for the 12 day stretch I did over the last two weeks. I spent it well, mainly spending money on a particularly ignoble cause: spoiling myself. And my parents – I took them for lunch in Chinatown and had a merry afternoon in a restaurant where they push the food around on little glass-sided trolleys. The idea is that you spot something you like the look of, flag it down like a taxi, the waitress/ trolley pusher marks what you took on a slip and you pay up for your lot at the end. The food is often lukewarm (or cold), you can’t often tell what is what (especially if everyone seems to speak Mandarin and the stuff all looks a bit murky and dark and generally unidentifiable in their little bamboo steamer baskets), and you often end up eating lots of things that catch your eye but are not necessarily what you were wanting anyway. But it’s quick and good fun and does the job, so no complaints from me.

The afternoon passed in further Chinese pursuits – a haircut and some shopping, the kind of thing a Hong Kong tai-tai would get up to on a Monday, and am feeling much more rested after a rather hellish period of work, work, work, sleep, eat, work, work, sleep, eat, work, sleep, work.

In other news, it will be Chinese New Year on Saturday, hence the Oriental themed day yesterday. Haircuts, flowers, cleaning and a whole lot of cooking and eating are the order of the festival, a lot of incense, lucky red envelopes (Cash! Money! Moolah! Dough! The well-timed rescue from my position teetering on the cliff-edge of my overdraft!)

I have also made a date with some work colleagues to go to a casino which is having a Chinese New Year theme night: one colleague is going for the all night Chinese buffet, another is going for the chance to win (or lose) a million and I am going to find a husband. Preferably a nice boy who is good to his mother, owns his own takeaway (maybe more than one…), is a doctor/lawyer/accountant in his spare time and will give me lots of sons. I *will* go home a winner, I swear.

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