Monday, August 17, 2009

I prefer "stay-at-home wife"

My Hong Kong Identity Card lists my occupation as "housewife." And, well, I guess it's true. This morning I ironed my husband's shirt, then asked him for money to go to the grocery store.

Later I'm going to do laundry and then do some knitting - maybe a nice scarf. Or a noose.

But I'm not all alone here. I’ve made good friends with the lady who disinfects the elevators in our building (yes, they’re disinfected three times a day). She doesn’t speak English and everything she says to me sounds like “hai!”, and of course I don’t speak Cantonese, and I’m pretty sure everything I say to her sounds like “blarbul,” but oh, we have a good time. Our typical interaction goes something like this:

Me: Blarbul! [waves]

Elevator Lady: Hai! [waves back]

Me: Blarbul blarbul blarb.

Elevator Lady: Hai! Hai hai hai, hai hai. Hai!

[Much laughter]

Me: Blarbul, blarb!

Elevator Lady: Hai!

It’s really nice to have someone to talk to when you’re in a strange place.

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