Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Shears and Shingles

Before anyone becomes alarmed by the name of this blog post, this post is about shears and the kind of shingles you have on your roof.

Just kidding. I really do have shingles.

And you can thank my husband for the cute and clever name of this post. He's so smart.

Before I get to the shingles, we'll talk about the shears. But actually, before I get to the shears, I have to talk about a million other things first. But don't worry, they're all fun and interesting things!

We celebrated my 24th birthday at iCaramba! Mexican restaurant where the burritos are 20$ USD but they're more than willing to give everyone free tequila. It got to the point where I had to tell the waitress I was pregnant so she would stop trying to force me to take shots of (what I would imagine... I don't drink) the cheapest, crappiest tequila known to man. 

But we had a really great time. It's so nice getting a lot of attention and a lot of candy. 

My birthday booty. 

The restaurant had these really cool space lights for the table that we were all pretty enthralled with. 

And I was joined by a lot of people I love. 

A few days after, Sam and I used one of my days off to hang out at The Hong Kong Wetland Park, which happens to be only a 10 minute walk from our apartment in Tin Shui Wai. Sam had been before but I was a first timer. 

They had this really awesome maze that was just tall enough for a 4 year old to see over the hedges. 
If you're wondering what that tiny speck is in the center.... just have a closer look. 


Ah! It's me!
I was on my knees, in case you were wondering. 

If you don't know much about wetland reserves, here's what the wikipedia page has to say-

"Hong Kong Wetland Park is a conservation, education and tourism facility, located at the northern part of Tin Shui Wai, in Yuen Long. It was to be an ecological mitigation area for the wetlands lost due to Tin Shui Wai New Town development. The Hong Kong Wetland Park comprises a 10,000-square-metre (110,000 sq ft) visitor centre, Wetland Interactive World, and a 60-hectare (150-acre) Wetland Reserve. The Wetland Interactive World has themed exhibition galleries, a theatre, a souvenir shop, an indoor play area (swamp adventure) and a resource centre." 
So there you go. 

It was really beautiful and full of exotic birds, which Sam just loves. 

I made him take this photo.

And inside the center, there's a very small aquarium/zoo. I'm a little bit anti-zoo so I wasn't too thrilled about hanging out in there, but I did find a friend. 

I didn't name him because I was already so depressed while watching him try to desperately escape from his cage for 10 minutes. 

We kept running into this one couple who I'm guessing were from Mainland China (because they spoke Mandarin. Not because of their behavior.). The man was taking photos of the woman, who posed with every single statue, live animal and trash can they saw. The woman tried to take some photos with us but we swiftly ran to the next room. We couldn't escape them because while they were taking hours to photograph everything, we were reading about Chinese Pond Herons and Eastern Cattle Egrets.

Shortly after my birthday and just a few days before Chinese New Year, Sam braved the crowds and came to see me perform in the new show I've been subbing for. And he swears he'll never do it again. But he got some great photos! 

Miss Kitty, her handsome friend Sam, and her very talented band. 

And here's Miss Kitty with some new friends who didn't understand a word she said. 

AND.... He filmed the whole show. If you've got ten minutes to spare, I promise you won't be disappointed. We do the Hokey Pokey. 

And on that note, Miss Kitty got to meet Olaf and he was just adorable. I couldn't not share this photo. 

So I guess now we get to the meat. There's a bit of news that I've been putting off sharing. I know my husband has made a public announcement already, but I've been waiting for the right time... I guess. A few weeks ago, I was offered a small extension of my current contract that would keep me in Hong Kong until July 27th. After a lot of careful thought and consideration, Sam and I decided to take it. Then, just last night, the entire cast of Golden Mickeys was informed that after nearly ten years, the show will be closing on the 26th of July to make room for a new show to open at The Storybook Theatre this November. Even though I was already planning to leave Hong Kong at the end of this contract extension, the news comes with a lot of mixed feelings... mostly sad ones. I am so incredibly grateful that I was given the opportunity to be in this cast at this time. I'm sad that so many others will miss out on the experience I've had with Golden Mickeys, but I know the new show will bring with it similar life-changing experiences for those involved and a new family of performers. It's an exciting time at Hong Kong Disneyland and my heart is so full of love and optimism; not only for myself but for the people I've grown to love so much over the last 17 months. This will be the beginning of a new chapter for each of us, wherever that chapter will take place.

Okay, now that I'm crying a bit, we'll talk about Sam's absolutely terrible haircut. 

Since Sam and I will be returning to the states the end of July, we have about four weeks to put together our wedding, which will be the 29th of August. We're doing as much of the planning here in Hong Kong so that I don't end up throwing myself out a window the week before our wedding because nothing is done. All of the planning had to begin with some "engagement" photos, which should have been done last August. Oh well. 

So we scheduled a shoot with a friend of mine here at Disney. Our work schedules made that difficult. We had to book less than a week out and it happened to be the week after Chinese New Year. CNY is an exciting time here in Hong Kong and it's regarded as more sacred than Christmas. So everything is closed for like six days, including Sam's hair salon. We waited and waited and two days before our shoot, it was still closed. We decided to try a different salon... and... it... it was bad. 

To make a long story short, we had to send Sam out to a friend of ours who lives on the other side of Hong Kong to have her fix it. And he had very short hair for the photos. But they're still cute!

Just a little preview... 

These photos will be forever cherished for a few reasons. It's the culmination of my time here in Hong Kong, which has forever changed my life, it holds the brief memory of Sam's 5 year old Chinese boy haircut, and (though it can't be seen in the photos) I look pretty average in them, despite the fact that I have a rip-roaring case of the shingles. 

I thought I just had a weird rash that I was going to ignore because weird skin stuff isn't abnormal here. But then my lymph nodes above my thighs swelled to the size of golf balls, so I went to the doctor. It took all of five minutes for Dr. Yeung to diagnose me. Then prescribed me some ridiculously expensive pills and told me to go home and sleep, which I did after I got a burrito down the street.

So this last weekend, I laid in bed eating pizza and watching a whole lot of Vice documentaries. I returned to work yesterday, which I was thankful to be able to do, only to be asked every five minutes to see my rash; which is on my butt. The term Shingle-Belle was also coined. Thanks, Raymond. 

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