Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

At the shops

Ready to go shopping?

Great. Here's a tip, though...don't park your car here.

Now, if you're looking for something special to buy for your wife I recommend these products called Wife Cakes.

Alternatively, a heifer might be your preferred way of showing your love.

Keegan likes this Havaianas shop window because of the Australian team colours.

Another interesting shop window.I think they're selling jeans...or elephants...Hey, maybe they have heifers?

This billboard makes me cringe every time I see it because the woman's frock is a journey out of style, in my opinion.

Why on earth?

Why not?

Time for a toilet break...

This is an example of typical Chinglish on t-shirts even in more upmarket stores.

I think the FIFA athletes should adopt the spirit of complacency, don't you?

Craig stopped to admire this cool motorcycle in a store window...

...and then he realised it was a shop for men's lotions and other body products. Good marketing gimmick, huh?

The same shop also had a kids' activity table, so the whole family can come shopping with Daddy for moisturiser.

If you're feeling peckish, perhaps you'd like a chocolate pizza.

Or you could go into a supermarket and look for familiar snacks. On the left you can see our Aussie Twisties and Cheezels, and on the left are the Hong Kong brands.

Hammer pants, also called parachute pants or harem pants are all the rage here in Hong Kong.

Here Elora is standing next to the popular saggy crotch trousers you can even buy for young children. I'll be interested to see if Australia is following the fashion craze.

What a classy name for a doll!

It's better than this "Benign Girl" toy phone. Finally we have solid evidence of the link between brain tumours and mobile phone use!

I'll finish this post with a wedding car I spotted outside the shopping centre. Hello Kitty is so popular here in Hong Kong, you can base your whole wedding on the theme. Or, maybe not.

Monday, June 28, 2010

FIFA fever

Just like the rest of the world, Hong Kong is enjoying World Cup Soccer. Many of the shopping centres have huge displays in a FIFA theme.

Yesterday we saw this 3D soccer show at Sha Tin.

We are unable to watch the matches on our TV at home, but if we wanted to see a particular game we could always go to a nearby shopping centre and watch it on a big screen...

...with a couple thousand of our friends.

If we could actually see the screen past the crowds of people, that is!

This screen wasn't nearly as crowded, but then this game was not playing live.
Another soccer display

One day we bought some paper plates and cups and had a little FIFA-themed party.

Naturally we were originally cheering for Australia, but now Ghana is our favourite. What about your family?

Sunday, June 27, 2010

For the Peet girls

Dear Brianna, Sophie, Millie and Elora...

We've decided we don't really like living in Hong Kong. The apartments here are too crowded and there is a lot of pollution whenever we go outside. We've heard you live in a nice big house in the country. Please can we come and live with you?

Love from...Searena the Mermaid Bear, Lady Lucinda the Bear, Flowerbud the Fairy Bear, and Cha Cha the Ballroom Dancer Bear

Saturday, June 26, 2010

New fruits

You may remember me posting about mangosteens last month. When the Croakers were here, we were more adventurous in buying other tropical fruits.

These are lychees. Jemilla and Keegan have had lychee flavouring in desserts before, but this was their first time trying the fresh fruit.

They are native to China, and now cultivated in many parts of the world. The fruit has a pleasant floral taste and is very sweet, with a texture similar to grapes. Chinese people enjoy using the dried flesh in their tea as a sweetener in place of sugar. They also believe the lychee can relieve coughing and help tumours and enlargements of the glands.

Once peeled, they must be consumed very soon, as they discolour and spoil quickly.

This is called dragonfruit, or pitaya.

They are a type of cactus and a good source of Vitamin C. Supposedly they are sweet and crunchy, with a flavour that's like a cross between kiwi and pear. However, this one were quite bland, so I suspect it was overripe.
Isn't the colour gorgeous and intense?

This website has some great photos of the many varieties of dragonfruit as well as the following story.

The sensation surrounding this fabulous fruit can be attributed to a legend created by ingenious Asian marketers. According to the legend, the fruit was created thousands of years ago by fire-breathing dragons. During a battle when the dragon would breathe fire, the last thing to come out would be the fruit. After the dragon was slain, the fruit was collected and presented to the Emperor as a coveted treasure and indication of victory. The soldiers would then butcher the dragon and eat the flesh. It was believed that those who feasted on the flesh would be endowed with the strength and ferocity of the dragon and that they too would be coveted by the Emperor. It is written that the dragon’s flame originates deep within its body near the base of its tail. The meat from this part of the dragon was the most desirable and most sought after portion. Only the officers of each division would be privy to this cut of meat. The ancient Chinese called this cut the "jaina", which translates literally to “the sweetest and best tasting.” The jaina was treasured by all who were privileged enough to taste it, and it is believed that man’s thirst for the jaina is what led to the destruction and eventual extinction of all of the dragons.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Advance Aust-ranga Fair

Julia Gillard was sworn in as Australia's first female prime minister yesterday after a leadership vote in the ruling Labour Party ousted Kevin Rudd. I’m proud of this sign of Australia’s commitment to gender equality and offering a “fair go” to all people, regardless of their class, gender or race. However, instead of debating her policy positions or proposed changes for the country, the numerous comments online about the leadership coup mostly centre around the fact that Ms Gillard is a (gasp!) redhead.

A carrot top

A ginger ninja


Big Red (as Uncle Evan used to call me)



Copper top

A ranga

The latter nickname for redheads, ranga, is derived from orangutan, the red-haired ape. The term became popular after it was used in Chris Lilley’s ABC television series “Summer Heights High” a few years ago. The following is a transcript from the show:

Doug: “Why did you take his bag Jonah?”
Jonah: “He’s a ranga sir”
Doug: “A what?”
Jonah: “A ranga. He has red hair. People are racist to us sir… so we can be racist to rangas”
Doug: “But redheads aren’t a race Jonah”
Jonah: “But sir there’s heaps of ‘em… they’re everywhere!” 

So Julia Gillard has been labeled “The hottest ranga in Parliament”, and 2010 is now “The Year of the Ranga”. 

Some people accept the jokes as amusing, just part of our Aussie humour. Others find the term insulting and derogatory. A parenting forum I frequent compared the nickname ranga to the N-word used with regard to African-Americans which can be used as a term of endearment or insult depending on who is doing the name-calling.

I am one of the 1-2% of the human population blessed with red hair. Let it be known that the term ranga does not bother me at all. However, I think we redheads are welcome to use the nickname to describe ourselves if we choose, but the rest of you are best to leave it alone. Because you know what they say about redheads and their tempers!

And I seriously doubt that the colour of Julia Gillard’s hair will have any impact on the way she does her job as Prime Minister.

Graduation Day

As the kids' school is on a different education system to Australia, today marked Keegan's graduation from kindergarten.

The K3 class sang a special farewell song...

complete with actions and a funny dance from Keegan...

...and waving good-bye.

The kindergarten staff all received bouquets of flowers for the last day of school.

Here is Keegan with his teacher (left) and head of the kindergarten (right).

The graduating class of K3 students

We're so proud of our big boy moving up into Year One!

Following the mini graduation ceremony, the students decorated cupcakes for morning tea.

Keegan's cupcake is in a familiar theme of green and gold.

How does it taste, Keegan?

Tirzah was allowed to join in too, much to her delight.

Besides farewelling the kindergarten, today was Jemilla and Keegan's last day altogether at Norwegian International School. In August they will begin in Grade Three and Grade One respectively at International Christian School, where I will be teaching. However, we will still have a lot to do with NIS, due to Craig's work involvement and the friendships we have made with local families.