No Kitty!

                                                                                                    17 March

Today I was doing an Appraisal for L in her chatroom class. It was a very fun class! 

L was very good and so much fun to watch as she acted out words like swim, picnic and flowers. For growing flowers she started by crouching down and slowly ‘growing’  up, finally throwing her hands into the air to show that flowers bloom in spring. I was trying hard not to giggle watching all of this. 
However, the best thing I saw all day was her one little kid Tin Lok. Tin Lok started as a nightmare child last year when I first started, he went away during summer and came back a whole new child!We constantly joke with our colleague Cormac that he is Tin Loks’ dad. 
Today a girl called Kitty was not in class, apparently they have a budding romance! 
Tin Lok wouldn’t sit in the single empty chair next to the rest of the kids because he wanted a chair that Kitty could sit next to him. He was extremely adamant that it was Kitty’s chair.
I’d like to just say that Kitty was not in class today.
However, this did not phase Tin Lok who kept stroking the chair and saying ‘Kitty’, as soon as anyone even looked at the chair.
Come table time, he needed to have ‘Kitty’ next to him.
If you tried to move the chair he got very upset and said ‘Kitty, Kitty Kitty’ louder and faster.
So there he was sitting with Kitty and L played along, asking if he would give Kitty a colour to do the craft and up pops Katie, who was thoroughly confused at this point. She looked at the chair, looked at Tin Lok and finally at L and said, but No Kitty! L laughed, I laughed and Tin Lok just glared at Katie, it was hilarious.
Up to mischief

Hugs for Teacher

                                                                                                              11 March
Today I had Bruce and Joseph but no Timmie in a Phonics class, just the way my boys like it. As much as Timmie has grown on the boys they do prefer it when she isn’t in class, probably because she shows them up a little hehe.
They were super cute!!! They were very excited that I was back after my short holiday and Bruce decided during singing time that he had to climb on my lap and hug me tight. 
This then, of course, meant that Joseph had to try do the same thing. I say try because he is taller than Bruce and we didn’t have much space. He hugged both Bruce and I, all while singing the song I might add, and semi successfully managed to balance on my leg. 
I don’t even know what he was thinking but a few minutes later Joseph was trying to climb up me (I mentioned the no clue part right?) and ended up knocking my glasses off and then Bruce kicked over the pencils, at the exact same time.
It was hilarious, all I could do was laugh.
Bruce then slipped off to pick up the pencils (I have taught him well) but got stuck because Joseph was still clinging onto him and onto me. So I had Bruce making his usual distressed noises, half on and half off me, Joseph slipping off me but clinging on for dear life and I was just laughing, which had them laughing.
After that though we had to actually stop and do some work, but it was a good start to our lesson.
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Fireworks – CNY 2016

Who doesn’t love fireworks? I always feel guilty when I enjoy them, I remember all to well how my animals reacted to the noises, but I just can’t help watching them. There’s something about the lights, the colours, the sounds and even (if you are close enough) the smell. It seems to fill everyone who watches them with joy and wonder, no matter how many times we may have seen them.

Now CNY fireworks are definitely something to behold, I mean Disney is the only rival I have seen to the magnificent display that the HK cultural board put on this year. People could hear the bangs kilometres away and it lasted a good 20-30 minutes. Unfortunately, as we all now know S and I have terrible luck, we did not manage to see a large portion of the fireworks. You will see what I mean in the photo’s we took.

S had a friend visiting and we had to rush her to change and get out of the house to make it to TST in time. They closed off Nathan road, for those of you who don’t know, it is pretty much the main road that goes from the bottom of TST all the way though to at least Prince Edward. They only blocked off a few blocks but still it was very impressive.We got there and pretty much all you had to do was follow the immense crowds who were strolling

You doubted me - Photo by Simone VanHorick

You doubted me – Photo by Simone VanHorick

towards the waterfront , but when you got to the crossover we couldn’t get through to the

actual harbour :(. Now while the Flower Market had huge amounts of people, they were all in movement, here they were not. We were pushed, trodden on and leered at; ok that was just me and it was by a creepy guy who kept moving closer and closer…shudder!

 

 

IMG-20160210-WA0026I’m sure if we had just been a few feet to the left or at the harbour we would have enjoyed it a  lot more than what we did. My advice to anyone who is considering being here for 2017, make sure you get a harbour view be it TST or Central! What I could see of the fireworks was spectacular, the length of time that the display took was very very impressive! The experience in itself was great, other than creepy dude! The aaaaahs of admiration and energy coming from the crowd was very invigorating!

After the fireworks we walked to the harbour to have a look at the Monkey Lantern display next to the Cultural center and took some lovely photo’s of the harbour lights. Of course this time we were the fish swimming up the stream instead of down *facepalm*. We ended that part of the night by going all the way to Ozone bar, when I say all the way what I mean is that we took the long MTR way around. The view was spectacular the drinks prices even more so and the cover charge had us wanting to cry, but we got some nice pictures I guess and for S’s friend it was especially nice.

Our final end to the New year celebrations on the official New Years was to take S’s friend to LKF and let her enjoy the novelty of drinking on the street. We attempted to go dancing but Solas had closed and everyone was in Bungalow, there was no standing room and it was like we were being crushed by a bunch of really rude people! eish! Never again!

 

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Flower Market – Chinese New Year 2016

Wow, it has been a while since I have written anything. So much has happened and now I need to write about it. I believe my family and friends think I was abducted by aliens I have been so quiet! 🙂

Welcoming in the Year of the Monkey……

Buildings are swept and apparently smoked out as our smoke infested flat indicated, everything is cleaned and then decorated. Sweeping out the old to usher in the new. It is actually a lovely celebration with many

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Red packet from Nespresso…..

different facets. You will see tress with Red packets and often family members will get red packets or even teachers, we do enjoy those. My dearest Stella was a fount of knowledge as usual and was so sweet she even gave us a red packet! So the red packets are normally given from an older person to a younger person and can have anything in them, well money is the more common filling but not necessarily the only one. You can put messages and poems in them as well and then give them in these packets wishing you happiness and wealth for the coming year.

Courtesy of Jayden

Courtesy of Jayden

From my cute Jayden

From my cute Jayden

Mandarin Oranges,Plum Blossom branches/trees and orchids are big symbols of the CNY celebrations and have some auspicious meanings to the Chinese..When you see the photos of this time of the year you will see these a lot and they are not just for aesthetics.

In Chinese the word Tangerine has a similar sound to LUCK while orange is similar to WEALTH, along with the sounds the colours of the fruit can be seen to symbolise the colour of gold. Giving an orange or tangerine like wishing a  profusion of happiness and prosperity on the person or to usher in prosperity and luck.Potted plants, especially Mandarin trees are often found in the Lobby or doorways of many shopping centers and most buildings. We had a few in our center as well as a few in our apartment complex.

You will also see huge Peach/Plum Blossom trees in many shopping centers and banks, HSBC had a lovely tree up with red packets all over it (empty of course, I saw that excited gleam hehe).I can’t tell the difference between the trees but then up until writing this I thought they were Cherry blossoms. I should really learn more about the stunning trees here.If you are really interested in more detail have a look here CNY Flowers.

So anyone who has lived in Asia, well in and Hong Kong in particular, will know that Chinese New Year (CNY) is a big deal here. In China they seem to get almost a month off at the schools while in HK it depends on the school. It was a very empty month at my center with kids not turning up for lessons and chat rooms or classes down to one or two students. I cannot tell you how tiring that is!

We had a very busy 3 days off, yes you read that right 3 days only as opposed to our counterparts in some other language schools and normal schools. To be exact I had 2 days off as the one day fell on my usual monday off, the frustrations!  There was a ton to do, but we only did some of it due to the days the rest of it fell on. I went to the Flower Market at Victoria Park with S and L who recently moved to HK, we also watched the fireworks and saw the set up for the parade.

The Flower Market was insanity, thinking back to it my mind is still blown. I have never in my life seen so many Orchids in one place and the people, a never-ending stream. The MTR was running to all hours during February for all the markets  as they were open to all hours as well. I swear we must have spent a good 3 hours just walking up and then down 2 of the 4 corridors. I remember being overwhelmed and feeling slightly claustrophobic by the sheer number of human bodies that surrounded us.  I am glad that we got to go though as we walked off with 3 Orchids, a Plum Blossom branch, 2 tulips (S is Dutch so she had to) and then tiny cacti and on minuscule terrarium.It was an experience, I think next time if I am here I will try one of the other markets as well.

Try to imagine rows upon rows of orchids, different sizes and colours in one stall, then you leave that stall and you see more and more and more. then there were the rows and rows of Mandarin trees; in stall, after stall, after stall. Then long rows to walk up and down, with people who don’t follow very clear instructions and must force their way down the wrong way and a chill in the air as winter was still upon us. Walking for hours, struggling around people who stop in the way suddenly, shove you and elbow you out-of-the-way. All those people and that energy, it was incredible and insane.

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And rows and rows of Bamboo

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Simone VanHorick

People By Simone VHorick

Simone VanHorick

People By Simone VHorick