Thursday, 29 January 2009

Evil tissue box

It was some time in the spring of 2008 that I made an order to the Park'nShop supermarket in Hong Kong for a grocery delivery. I asked for several boxes of husband's favourite tissues. Instead, I received a few six-packs of these monstrosities. I tried to return them, but the shop didn't want them back - they just sent the tissues we wanted in addition.

The unwanted tissues sat in the utility room, unloved by anyone until..... the movers came and packed them up. The container took about six weeks to reach the UK; the boxes then sat in storage for another couple of months, before emerging, a frightening reminder of mistakes past, onto our kitchen table in Scotland.

Wednesday, 28 January 2009

20th June, 1985

Whilst moving house, I came across a very partial diary for the year that I went to China for the first time: 1985-6. I'll be posting a few excerpts here. Forgive the tone: I was 22, and very young. The first is from before I went -

Learned yesterday that I have a place teaching English in Peking for next year. I have not yet been told if I have a place in Sichuan. But I am going, most definitely going. Spending an hour each day trying to learn Mandarin. Scared, excited. It was a mindless decision, to go to China; I still don't know why, but I shall go. It is a determination with no basis. Will I find myself over the abyss with only a crumbling will to hold onto? A feeling of floating, of baselessness, but of calm. Calm in the long summer evenings. About to go to Edinburgh so stay with [friend] Peter....

We have come full circle: 23 years later it is I who live in Scotland, and Peter who came to visit me just after Christmas.

Welcome to the new blog

Darcy has kindly designed a new layout for me as one of my prizes for Best Geographical Blog of last year. Now that I don't live in China, I'm not forced to avoid the Chinese fire wall by using a less prominent blogging service. I'm still feeling my way round the new format, so please bear with me while I work it out. My old blog is still up.