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Happy birthday Buddha 仏陀、誕生日おめでとうございます

May 24, 2007

Today is Buddha’s birthday, so sayeth the holiday calendar. So, happy birthday! This post is a bit of an odd assortment of things that I’ve been meaning to post recently.


Buy one get one
Hong Kong people love their bargains. Quite often, these are to be found at the grocery store. I’m always being told “buy one get one”. Not necessarily for free, mind you though usually at a significantly reduced price. The problem being that I live alone and when it’s foodstuff, even if I get it for free, if it goes to waste before I can actually finish it then what’s the point?

Naturally, the folks manning the till at the local grocery don’t get this and out where I live (in the boonies) English proficiency is a bit of a problem. So, every time I decline their offer they look at me like I’m blue and do what my friends and I have dubbed the “Hong Kong head tilt”. This involves the cocking of ones head to the side (right or left, doesn’t really matter) and fixing a look of utter confusion on the obviously deranged individual in front of you. The recipient of the Hong Kong head tilt is 99 times out of 100, a Westerner.


Illinois gun baby
Aside from the atrocious number of gun-related deaths in the United States, if there was any evidence that the gun laws need to be rethought, it’s this article. It tells of 10 month old Bubba Ludwig obtaining a firearms permit. One of my favourite lines in the article states “The licence includes a picture of a toothless Bubba and a squiggle that represents his best attempt at a signature.” I thought all Bubbas were toothless? (OK, even I admit that was a cheap shot but under the circumstances, well deserved)


I have several friends that have children. Oddly, there’s a group of them that are within months of each other. As of this year, they’re all three years old. When I was staying with my friends Chiharu and Kazu, I had a fabulous time with their daughter Hana-chan. Now, I have seen Hana at least once a year since she was born but she’s getting to the point where the visits are more of an interaction. As far as she’s concerned, when I show up she’s got a playmate for the duration of my stay. She’s quick as a whip and at times you have to remind yourself that she’s only three. Then there are other times when she’ll do something to remind you that she’s definitely three years old. She loves doing somersaults and wanted me to read to her often though when she asked for me to read the English books Chiharu bought her in Japanese, it certainly put my translation skills to the test.


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