I AM A ROBOT. 00010101 0101010 1010101010 01010101.

What I mean is, I’m working a bunch, and that’s about it. I am very much looking forward to my mother’s visit in early March when I’ll get a few days off to show her Hong Kong and Macau. But until then, my teaching hours are increasing because students have May/June exams to prepare for, I am bearing down hard on two deadlines for the editing department, and, currently, progress reports are due.

I did have a brief break for Chinese New Year. During those three days (Jan 23-25),  the city emptied out as people hunkered in out of the cold with their families for this special holiday, and I wandered the barren streets reveling in free movement. No crowds pressed me shoulder to shoulder, and I didn’t have to watch out to keep my purse from bumping into anyone or vice versa. I miss trees, clean air, and, as the Dixie Chicks would say, “wide open spaces.”

On the last day of that long weekend, I went to Sha Tin to see the horse races. It was cold (not Northern Michigan cold, but a chilly 40F) and drizzling rain. We sipped drinks through straws and huddled into our coats and cheered as the horses from three separate races pounded past us on the green below. It was lovely: their shining coats and undulating muscles. I got a kick out of the fact that in the last race, the number 4 horse won–which meant the odds on that one must’ve been great since very few Chinese people would vote on a number 4 anything. The word “four” in Chinese sounds very similar to the word “death” and is considered very bad luck.

The weekend after that I took a ferry with a friend to Cheung Chau, one of Hong Kong’s outlying islands. We wandered around the streets and onto empty beaches (it was again chilly and a little drizzly), found a candy store, ate cheap seafood near the dock, visited a temple, and fed leftovers to the abundance of stray cats nearby before heading back.

I’d post pictures of these two events but I put my camera in the ocean because…it seemed too dry? Because it worked TOO well? Who knows. I dried it out but it still has a lens error and won’t operate correctly. This, as my mother would’ve said to me if I was much younger (and which she kindly refrained from saying on Skype when I told her), is why I can’t have anything nice.

Happy Valentine’s Day, soon! ❤


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