Friday, July 3, 2009

peach season

It's been a couple weeks since I've had any students to tutor. All of them, even my 12 year old have been carted off to Korea to attend SAT 'hak-won', a voluntary summer school that lasts all summer (i say voluntary - cause from what I remember when I was in middle school, summer school was just someplace you had to go to if you couldn't pass your classes).

today I took a cooking class to make "chicken a la king". I had no idea what that was til today, but it's basically chicken with vegetables and bechamel sauce. The class doesn't really do much for technique - the attitude is more like a frenetic one of "go free! go! gogogogogogo..." with instructions shouted in both english and cantonese. I sliced my finger within the first 5 minutes of class while chopping carrots, and midway through the teacher's presentation, a huge roach walked out next to my foot, before it was promptly and casually stomped on (by someone else, not me). But I do feel fulfilled, who knew I'd ever learn to make bechamel sauce.. so yay, life goal attained.

I've realized that sometimes I read books that I just don't understand. It makes me feel very stupid, and also somewhat cheated (So much for getting a lit degree. 4 years! *shakes fist*). The most recent book I didn't get was "Everything is Illuminated" by Jonathan Safron Foer. It made me sad because this is a movie adaptation book (which means a lot of people did get it.) And there were so many passages that were so beautiful and others that made me laugh.. I wondered why I didn't understand it in the beginning, and still in the middle - and by the end.. I still hadn't gotten it.

I've been trying to find loans to go to grad school here in Hong Kong. For some reason, it's been a lot harder than I thought it would be. I might as well find a scholarship to go to the moon. I called some bank hotline today and talked to a sweet Southern boy rep who kept calling me "Ms. Chow". "Cho" I'd correct him each time, but I guess he thought it was an echo on the phone or maybe a tick of mine that he would politely ignore, because I remained "Ms. Chow" for the rest of the half hour.
During the half hour I explained that yes, the school I was going to was in Hong Kong. Which was the country name. Yes it is a country. And a city. Yes it is both things... the city is in the country, like New York, NY except that New York is a state. yes and a city, just not a country. rawr.
twenty minutes later:
"Aha! Ms. Chow"
"Yes! I've found some loans I think would help you.. it's for schools in Singapore? Now, is that a city near you?"


My brother is biking across the country for habitat for humanity - my mom calls me every morning to tell me how many miles he's biked that day. "88 miles! Can you believe it? Now what are you planning to do today?"


It's the beginning of peach season here - I ate one today and it was amazing. (haha I could use that as my answer to my mother's question. "i'm going to eat a peach!") It reminded me of a part from 'goodbye to all that' - not really in that context, but still - somehow anything can make you think of new york, even if it's something as distant of not belonging there anymore.

"I was late to meet someone but I stopped at Lexington Avenue and bought a peach and stood on the corner eating it and knew that I had come out out of the West and reached the mirage. I could taste the peach and feel the soft air blowing from a subway grating on my legs and I could smell lilac and garbage and expensive perfume and I knew that it would cost something sooner or later—"

my brother's photoblog of his biking trip :click: