Sunday, November 28, 2010

 

See the good in flu

Flu season is starting. I am away off to have my flu jab this week, and I'm looking forward to it, as last year I had Swine Flu, which was shite, and the year before I had the seasonal flu - which was actually worse than the swine flu. Flu jabs make you feel rough for a day or so, but I cannot afford to have flu again as it means I cannot smoke, and that is tedious.

The best thing about having flu, or thinking you might have flu in this country, is facial medical masks. Hong Kong scared the living daylights out of itself with SARS a few years ago, and since then the whole business of hawking and spitting is out of fashion along with coughing, sneezing and other involuntary spasms of the upper respiratory tract. If you have even the faintest sniffle, custom dictates that you have to hide your snotty face behind a blue paper, chin hugging yashmak.

Facial medical masks are a really good idea for the ugly, as they conceal a large portion of the face - really only the eyes are visible. A mask would also be a great help if you had a really big fight and split your lip and bust your nose, as no one would know, and you could wear the medical mask and just sound a little husky and throaty. But most of all I think a mask would be useful as I want to go to work wearing a set of vampire's teeth. Now, I am not stupid and I know fake pointed teeth could be misinterpreted and could make me look either not-very-serious or even creepy and mental. I think the way round this is to start sneezing one afternoon, just before I leave, and then to return the next day, with the vampire teeth and the medical mask over the top. Any difficulty posed by the vampire's teeth in speaking could also be put down to the flu. So there is my positive thought for all of you dreading a dose of the flu. Facial medical masks are fucking ace.
Noreen

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

 

The Worst Chinese Laundry In The Middle Kingdom

The woman in the Dry Cleaners is getting on my nerves. Every time I go in there to fetch my clothes, she gets the massive arse at me about my poor organisation. "Where your ticket?", she shrieks, like a bad extra in a Jacky Chan film. "Where's your computerized record system?" I josh back at her. She still hasn't got a computer, the tight wadded cow, and I would not mind her giving out about my lost tickets, if I did not have to wait an entire week, for her to dab cheap chemicals crappily and ineffectively and very, very fucking expensively at my work dresses.

I was under the impression that laundry service was a bit like rice in China - cheap and available all over the place. In fact - in most public spaces there are signs forbidding the drying of clothes. I was impressed by the need to legislate against public clothes washing, as if the nation, when not watched, just turn every nook and cranny of the place into one great big washeteria, scrubbing away on washboards and wringing the skid marks out of knickers, and huge, great sheets, white as corpses, flapping away on their illegal washing lines, strung between see-saws and joss houses, and the Bank of China tower. Not so in my corner of Hong Kong island - it's just the shittest place to get anything cleaned, in the entire world. The only reason I can think, that it takes a whole week for this particular dry cleaning shop to clean anything, is that the owner is outsourcing my smalls to the fucking Spratley Islands. On top of this, the lazy cow in the wash house tries to steal my clothes. "You sure you bring dress here missy?" she says to me every fucking time I go in there. "We not have black dresses here". The fucking neck of it!

Most of all, though, I resent being talked to in her dicey pidgin, as it's an absolute show, to try and wriggle out of not washing, and then trying to steal my clothes. Just the other day I walked into her shop when she was very busy and hadn't noticed I was there, and there she was, this one, talking to some expat wife's Filipina servant in BBC English. "Awfully sorry, old thing. Must be some kind of mix up. Perhaps you took madam's dresses to the other dry cleaners over the way. We don't have any black frocks here, I'm afraid."

The lazy, thieving, plum-in-the-mouth bitch.

Noreen

Monday, November 08, 2010

 

Famine: Not Just For Africans

"Let's go to Cambodia for Chinese New Year", said my husband. "Are you mental?" I said "That's a fucking long way to go for a week. Think of the jetlag". "It is not a long way" he said "It is just around the corner. Get a map"

After I had told him to fuck off, I did have a quiet look at a map and I was flabberghasted, just astonished to see the place is quite close by, squatting over Vietnam to the south east and getting the ride off Thailand from above.

The main reason for my amazement is because of all the killing and famine and almighty row made about the place during the seventies. I remember watching that awful Protestant programme, Blue Peter, and there being a great pressure on small children to collect the lids of milk bottles and old pieces of tin foil, to send to a warehouse and turn into rice. I just assumed the place was in Africa. I also thought Nicaragua was in Africa until I met a Nicaraguan a couple of weeks ago who kept harping on in Spanish and giving it "Latin America" this and that, so I managed to avoid getting the old foot stuck in it, for that one.

I was telling someone at work about my Cambodia mix-up as I thought it would make me come off as self deprecating and humble, but she just looked utterly horrified and reminded me that I work for an international organisation. She didn't say "Get a map", but I could see the thought passing through her head, and the words struggling, elbowing each other, to get out of her mouth, but with her being all self controlled and making sure she was not "being offensive" or "not being inclusive" she held it in.

And then this other one overheard me doing my part for humility and being inclusive for ignorant people, and he piped up "Have you not seen that film The Tomb Raider. That film is set in Cambodia" so I had to point out that I am not interested in films about cretinous computer games, featuring women in their underwear, scaling old, crumbling buildings and fussing about collecting artefacts, as I am neither a wanker nor a cunt.

Computer games, drawings of people in their bras and pants, non-African famines, fuck you all.

Noreen

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