Monday, November 9, 2009

Yet another reptile post

This post was supposed to be about the gecko I found on my bathroom ceiling one night. The night I was alone and nearly broke my arm getting out of the bathroom so the thing didn't fall on me. It was supposed to be about how two security men from our building came up with their makeshift broomstick/towel weapon to take care of it. How I wouldn't let them out until they searched the entire bathroom and bedroom to make sure the reptile had definitely escaped via the bathroom window and was absolutely, positively gone. How everyone in my exercise class the next day made fun of me because "geckos are cute" and "wouldn't hurt me".

Then another reptile -- a 12-foot long one with a penchant for eating cats, came on the scene and my gecko story seemed suddenly irrelevant. Police here caught a 12-foot python on our street two weeks ago. Apparently two helpers spotted it earlier in the week eating a cat. (I'll spare you the photos of that.) Why it wasn't caught then I have no idea. A few days later it was caught which was caught (pun intended) on camera:

Now I find myself back in that petrified place, fearing that every movement in the grass is a python and freaking out if Victor tries to do his business off the beaten path at night. A friend of mine said, 'Don't worry, if you ever find yourself being attacked by a python just calmly unwrap their tail from around you. They're not poisonous so the bite won't harm you." Are you kidding me?! I actually have to know an "if a python attacks you" survival tip?! And my vet tried the whole "they're more afraid of you than you are of them" tactic, which I just had to call bullshit on. He claims that the cat must've been sick before it was eaten by the snake because a cat should've been able to outrun the snake. He was telling me this to assure me that nothing like could ever happen to Victor. Yeah right...

Oh New York City, I miss you! I'll trade pythons and geckos for rats and pigeons any day!

Damn the Brits and their God forsaken language!

I know I complain a lot about TV here -- the old programs (Charlie's Angels and Mad About You!), delayed seasons (just finished up Season 4 of Top Chef where Stephanie won it all), lack of product commercials, etc. But this one really REALLY gets me.

Since Hong Kong was ruled by the Brits for many years, their culture here is as vibrant as the Chinese. While in many ways this is a comfort, the one thing I absolutely cannot take anymore is their so-proper-that-what-they're-saying-doesn't-even-really-make-sense language in commercials. Since they play the same commercials every break for an eternity (there are program commercials still playing that were on TV when I moved here a year ago!), it got to the point where Vin and I could recite them and realized they made absolutely no sense.

Here's the direct and complete voice-over from one commercial:

Be empowered by John Dykes and his guests.
With the vision to achieve the profound examination of the world of football.
Football Focus every Wednesday at 10pm.

HUH???? "the vision to achieve the profound examination"??? what in the hell does that mean?

Here's another one and I bet you a million dollars you won't have any idea what the show is about:

All across Asia one common essence exists.
Where the diversing cultures converge.
Sharing the same beliefs.
Speaking the common language.
As we get behind the supporting and supported.

Please tell me what you think this show is about based on that commercial (of which I've left not a single word out.) Is it a makeover show? A cooking show? A news program? Nope, it's a soccer show called Football Asia.

Dear God, help me because I am going to lose my mind.

Chinglish Names

It is common for Chinese people to have English names in addition to their given Chinese names. In fact, all forms here have blanks for both Chinese and English names (for the same person). For such a common custom, though, these people pick some uncommon (translation: bizarro!) names.

This first came to my attention at the grocery store when the check-out lady's name tag said, "Cinderella". Strange, I thought. I shared it with a friend of mine here who clued me in that the majority of Chinese people's English names are taken from cartoon characters. She told me her husband worked with a Chinese guy named -- get ready for it -- Chewbacca! I kid you not. Can you imagine having to say things like, "Hey Chewbacca, can you send me that report when it's ready?" Or listen to the guy answer the phone every day, "Morgan Stanley, Chewbacca Ling speaking."

My friend surmises that Chinese kids are allowed to choose their English names in first grade. It's the only thing that can explain why people would have such queerball, juvenile names. Although let's be honest, even if I HAD picked a name like that in the first grade, I would've made sure it was changed to something more sensible later on in life. And who are these parents that allow their kids to choose such silly names? I guess you can't really inject reason into something so insane.

Lest you think I'm making all this up, I took a picture of a real estate circular we got in the mail recently. Check out the name of the agent (it's under her picture).

Ice Ho. She is one tough bitch!