Bradbury School, an international school on The Peak on HK Island. It's one of 19 schools scattered across HK, both secondary and primary, all using the British curriculum. Bradbury is one of the main primary schools of ESF (English School Foundation), the largest international educational body in Asia. Most of the teachers are from overseas, mainly UK, Canada and Australia, and the student body is a pot pourri of local and foreign students, all of them button-nose cute!
To get to work, I have to take a ferry and then a bus, so basically this translates to about 90 minutes of commute time each way door to door, which then means rising at 6am, something that i'll have to discipline myself for. Still, i prefer to live in 'remote' DB than on claustraphobic HK Island; it's just nice to be able to walk out and not have to immediately weave your way around hoards of people, cars, buses, etc. Not to mention the choking fumes.
On Saturday i went to substitute teach at Blink Think, the other part time job I've taken up. My first class was a girl of one and a half years old, no joke. Her nanny sat beside her the whole time. It took a few minutes for her to warm to me but by the end of the 90 minute session, i was truly impresed with her knowledge of the ABC's and 123's, not to mention her ability to focus and sit still for such a long time!
The rest of the day i had a range of 3-6 year olds, all keen and eager, with even keener and more eager parents. Instead of jumping straight into the lesson and for them to get used to a new face, i spent the first few minutes just talking and asking them general questions, like what they had for breakfast and what they have done/will do the rest of the day. Every child, i kid you not, replied by saying that they were on their way or had just come back from, piano/phonics/drawing/karate/swimming/mandarin/math lessons. Only one girl said she might go to her friend's house to play. This type of lifestyle for a 3 year old is normal here in HK. And yet, with a schedule that is nothing short of extraordinary, these kids have boundless energy. I almost forgot how exhausting they can be, running and screaming for hours on end. There has got to be a way to harvest all that energy, i swear it could run a small village.
One of the things that are on most expats' list of things to do when they live in HK is to row in a dragon boat. I've always loved watching the races either on TV or in Toronto during the summer. And chance has come my way, I've signed up on the mixed beginners dragon boat racing team here in Discovery Bay. On May 31st, DB will host its own dragon boat race, all in the name of community spirit and fun, with contests for best costume, best cheer and a big party at the end of the day. Our team had our second practice yesterday morning down near the Marina Clubhouse and it was exhilerating and terribly exhausting at the same time. Now, i rowed competitively in highschool for 2 years but i don't remember ever getting so worn out after just a couple minutes of hard rowing (a dragon boat race usually averages two and a half minutes). It's a completely different technique and today my back and shoulders are just killing me. I'm just hoping it'll get easier with time. I've also got to remember to wear my bathing suit as you tend to get absolutely drenched in the boat - go figure.
After a good practice of ultimate frisbee last Thursday in the rain (not as bad as you think, it actually keeps you cool), i met up with a friend and some of her colleagues in this cute little cafe in the Soho district called Joyce Is Not Here Cafe. It was jam night and anybody can just go and fool around on the keyboard and/or guitars. It felt more like someone's living room than an actual bar, and the fact that some French guys played my favourite Ben Harper song made my foolish incident of leaving my cell phone in a taxi 2 hours earlier a lot less painful. Yes, I've done it again. Gone are all my pics stored on the phone and all my contact numbers, arg. So i have now progressed to my 4th phone in this past year, not to mention ever in my life. So here i am, proud owner of a cheap, no-nonsense Motorola.
Last piece of news to report is that we've bought ourselves a motorbike! Yes folks, we are no longer bound to the schedules and crowdedness of HK public transportation. After seeing the Yamaha Dragstar bike last night, which was in great condition and with only a little over 6000 km on it (over a span of 9 years!) we have purchased this little jewel in order to expand our horizons by being able to venture out whenever we want into the remote hills and beaches of HK. The only little issue is that we have to park it outside of DB because nobody here is allowed to drive their own vehicles. So it's locked outside the DB tunnel and everytime we want to use it we'll have to take a 3 minute bus ride to actually reach it. Little sacrifice for many days of exploration and adventure ahead!