Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Monday morning I did another gender training workshop, then had lunch with the ladies in the hotel next door. After that I went to the gym in Tsimsi, and did my usual thing on the treadmill.

In the gym, it was quiet as usual, everything looked clean and everyone looked friendly. Probably becuase I didn't have my glasses on. Towards the last ten minutes of my 10k run, I started feeling this itch all over my body. By the time I stepped off the machine, I knew something wasn't right. I saw these huge mosquito bite type things developing on my arms, my legs, and I could feel them on my face and neck also. Uh-oh, it's that, again. This happened to me once before, a year or two ago, also after a run.

After I finished I looked in the mirror and did not recognize myself. Hey all my wrinkles were gone! cos my face was so swollen! I thought about rushing myself to hospital? or rushing to the nearest pharmacy and get myself some over the counter something? I thought about covering my head with the smelly towel I was holding. Fortunately I still remembered that last time this happened, the swelling died down after two hours or so. So I said to myself, calm down, no one is looking at you, even though you looked you have just been stung by ten thousand bees. Walk to the shower, cool down, and proceed as normal.

Which was what I did. Since I wasn't wearing any glasses I couldn't tell if people were staring at my fat head or not. It was all good.

To take my mind off my sad state, I decided to nip down to the new H&M store in Central. In case you haven't heard, over the last weekend, this cheap and cheerful/nasty Swedish import has been attracting hordes of Hong Kongers queueing to get in. Why? I guess it is because the publicity machine has been describing H&M as some kind of hip store for young trendy types, when in fact it is more C&A than Top Shop, in my view.

Anyhow, that didn't stop me from going. I got there just before five and there were five security guards outside, holding ropes. There was no queue though, but they obviously knew what they were doing because by the time I got out (6:30pm!), there was a long queue outside. People patiently, desperately, waiting to get in.

The store was big, four floors, and it was messy. Stuff was everywhere, and there were very many people (95% women) inside. I picked up a skirt and a couple of cheap T-shirts and then spent quite some time in the kids' section. They do have some cool shirts for kids though.

I also bought some hairclips. Some were ridiculously big (size of my palm). I do look somewhat insane wearing them. Keeps me hair in place though!

I had to queue up for more than twenty minutes to pay. As I waited I thought about the previous hour in the store, and felt a bit sorry for myself. There I was, all swollen faced whilst pathetically rummaging through piles of cheap cotton lycra mix T-shirts made in Turkey, along with hundreds of other women doing the same.

Well, it is important to mingle with the masses every now and then, I guess. If not in the name of research, then at least for the sake of catching their germs so as to give my immune system a wee boost.

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