a cargo ship leaving Hong Kong through the East Lamma Channel
It's very strange weather outside, rain and haze over Lamma island, sunshine here on the Peak, and thunder rumbling at steady intervals since early this morning. We have had visitors during the last week, but they have left for New York this morning. I am staring out of my bedroom window looking at the container ships leaving the harbor wondering if those containers are carrying the belongings of all the lovely people who are unfortunately leaving Hong Kong this summer. I have never been here this long during summer, I have always left right after school's last day of term along with most of the expats on this tiny magnificent rock.
Many friends have left over the years which has been hard for me and my children. My son's best friend in Primary 4 left for Australia, his new best friend in Primary 5 left for Japan, and his most recent best friend in Primary 6 left for Korea. Mine have been going as well, and with it comes the dread of having to make new friends who may very well also leave Hong Kong again. A while ago I walked into my daughter's swimming lessons without my very close friend (who had moved to Australia) and I saw two women who I knew a bit from school. I was so relieved to see their daughters would be in our class, so that mine wouldn't be the only girl. Have you ever done a really spontaneous "so happy to see you here!" to two pairs of totally unresponsive unfriendly eyes? Making new friends as an adult can be just as daunting as making new friends as a teenager. I am still not good at growing thick skin but am making it a goal for the rest of 2014. That's why I like to make a big effort with newcomers, I know how scary it was to come here from England five and a half years ago. Aside from its transient population, this island's energy is intoxicating, and every single day I drive from the Peak down to Central I look over the city and its vast Kowloon territory across the harbor with tireless awe.
My helper* is going on holiday soon, and I will be washing, cooking and cleaning for myself, which I am looking forward to with excited curiosity. I used to be an absolutely rubbish housewife in England, but I think I may be better now with bigger children and a bit more experience. I have decided I am going to learn how to make Dan Dan noodles, which are my husband's favorite. I am planning to do a post every single day this summer, so please keep reading. I may find myself locked into my room at the sight of my first roach (I know there are millions of huge ones everywhere), something I have been shielded from by the very lovely people working in my house. I hope you are all having a lovely summer so far xxxxx Dianne
and life goes on - another cargo ship full of people's belongings arriving in Hong Kong
*In Hong Kong it is so common to have live-in housekeeping help, that rental houses and apartments are all equipped with additional bedrooms for such "helpers". Most helpers come from the Philippines and Indonesia and are an absolute godsend for us. My lovely helper cleans and cooks for us, and I am very sorry for my children they will have to start eating my food in the next coming days.