Wednesday, December 12, 2007


Having had so much teaching last term, these past few days have been a blissful contrast, where productive work has been accomplished at home in a quiet and relaxed environment (well at least until, 15:15 when the kids get home from school).

Apart from marking a whole load of assignments (I am surprised at how much progress some of them have made), I also managed to finish fleshing out the table of contents of my about to be written book, all typed in pinyin ladies and gentlemen! I hope you are all very proud of me. Also managed to get up The Hill on a fantastically warm, dry, sunny day. It must have been at least 10 months since I last dragged my arse up there. I have almost forgotten how stunning the views are and how lucky we are to live near it.

Now a quick change of subject to an interesting little story.

Yesterday I went to the kitchen to retrieve some tiger prawns I bought a while ago. These are rather large ones, a good nine inches each I'd say. Anyhowse, as I took the bag out I found that there were only eight left, even though I had bought ten. So I asked our helper "have you cooked some of these?" she replied, after a pause, "yes, I cooked one". "Just one? There should be ten, now there are only eight" I asked, puzzled. "Yes just one, ma'm, I cooked it on..... last Saturday".

So at this point I thought either she was lying or I had cooked one myself without remembering it, or the person who sold them to me has ripped me off without me knowing it....or did the missing prawn manage to escape in a frozen state? but how could that be? etc... I was too busy questioning my own sanity and so left it at that.

I pottered around a bit and as I emerged from my room, she held up a piece of paper in front of her face, on which was written, "sorry ma'am I was lying I ate two of the prawns please forgive me".


I said "it's okay, I don't mind that you eat them, I just wondered where they have gone"

By now she was in tears and she reached out her arms, she wanted to hug me so I gave her a hug. Now she was sobbing.

I was somewhat lost for words and all I could say was "it's okay, it took great courage to tell the truth! .... so, were they nice?"

She replied, still sobbing, "I'm so sorry... that's why I'm so sorry, yes they are very tasty... I ate two even before you tasted them!"

Now to be honest, I am not very Christ-like and of course I was pissed off that she ate them without telling me. Especially after how she did that inexplicable thing with my two x'mas presents which btw still haven't arrived (see previous post). I don't think she had any intention to tell me she ate them until I asked her. Now these prawns are not that expensive as my friend got them for me from her brother who is a wholesaler, but the point is, I only had 10! What if I was going to cook them for when my family visits only to find that there weren't enough to go round? Not the end of the world obviously but hardly ideal.

I cannot fanthom what the hell was going on in her head. My only explanation would be that her mind was really somewhere else.

The important lesson is that I am glad I did not explode when she lied to my face. I didn't explode when she told me what she did with the presents, either. There is some consolation in realising that I am capable of not exploding. I dare say there is some hope for me yet. Amen.

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