Well, that’s settled.

I’m flying off to Hong Kong this August to work as an English teacher in an international school in Kowloon Tong. Right now I’m just looking for flats; I found these really cheap flats both in Kowloon Tong and Causeway Bay (both rather posh places, and usually very expensive), and I’m just waiting to here from the in Kowloon Tong. The school’s just a minibus away, if I get that flat. I also found some places in Tsuen Wan and Tuen Mun in the New Territories – huge flats, beautiful views, very very cheap, but too far from everything. It would take me nearly an hour to get to school everyday. From Tsuen Wan, that’s a minibus ride then the MTR and a change of trains. From Tuen Mun, that’s a minibus, the KCR Light Rail, then the KCR Railway, then the MTR, one change (I think I’ll be able to see Shenzhen already from Tuen Mun). So I’m really gunning for the Kowloon Tong one (the Causeway Bay is two changes in the MTR).

This also means I can’t do the seminar in ICA (so sorry, Kenneth!).

I’m working on a story I’ll be submitting to Phil. Spec. Fic. 3 on September. It’s going pretty okay. It’s one of those rare moments when I’m actually having trouble keeping it under 5,000 words. Most of the time, with short stories, I hit about 2,000 in a flare of inspiration, then the muck hits me and I have nothing else say, then I have to torture some logical storyline out of the whole thing. For this one, I can see where it’s going; it’s just the presentation that’s giving me a bit of trouble.

Other than that, just keeping up with a few books and movies. One of them I had left behind here in Manila and had been wanting to read is a brick of a book called Ideas: A History: from Fire to Freud, by Peter Watson. A very stimulating read; I’m still at the Prologue.

Another is Harold Gardiner’s Nine Twentieth-century Essayists, which I got from a booksale in UNSW (I think it might be out of print now). G.K. Chesterton was a rollicking read, but I hit a bit of a wall with Hilaire Belloc. He was talking about preserving the purity of the English language, and I just couldn’t swallow it. I think it still had the aftertaste of the Victorian British pride (and jingoism).

I’ve also got the trilogy of David Lodge’s Changing Place, Small World, and Nice Work from the booksale. And the friggin’ title page has David Lodge’s friggin’ autograph! Apparently he had given the book as a gift to a friend (and someone sold it to the booksale).

And to move to something comparably different…I’ve been catching up with some old friends from Beijing and backwards, high school and primary school, from those whom I message with regularly and to those who I only hear from once in a blue moon. I am just amazed at where all of us are now, given whatever period of time we hadn’t seen each other. It’s nearly surreal, how we all changed and relationships changed and what our plans for the future has become. People fall out, get back together, go someplace else. I don’t think any of us really saw us going to where we are now, and looking back is always an unsettling reminder of how little of life is really in our hands.

What is, however, relatively in our hands, is me meeting up with a few sets of close friends before I leave for Hong Kong. Just to make sure everyone is in agreement:

July 28 – Ressie & Co.

July 29 – Tin &…well, Tin

August 3 – Karen & Co.

August 4 – Jo & Co.


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