Thursday, December 11, 2003

Family Meals

It's been a week of fun-filled mayhem in Chungking. The excitement was sponsored by the Kwai Chung mental hospital who decided to do release their Nepali patients in bulk last weekend. I had known that a few of the fixtures of Chungking were in there and I had been meaning to call the hospital to find out about visiting arrangements.

Instead, one of the hospital residents burst in on us on Monday morning in a black and white jogging outfit and a matching puffy black and white fake Dolce & Gabbana jacket. This was a big improvement on the last time this guy entered the flat wearing nothing except a pair of running shorts. The children's program was on at the time and one of the kids was temporarily taken hostage!

This might all sound a bit scary but this guy is a good friend and arrived on Monday with all kinds of gifts, including a coconut for each of the staff of the organisation where I am volunteering. I had that in mind as I wrote the organisation's Christmas newsletter this week. I included a section about their lunch program and as I wrote I realised that there is a real family atmosphere to the meal that we have every day at two o'clock. This is despite the fact that there are usually about twenty people from almost ten different countries eating together.

Among the mix, there are three working ladies who come up from the ground floor. They sneak up at about quarter to two each day in time for our time of singing before the meal. They come up one at a time so their boss doesn't get too suspicious.

In other news, I am going for my interview for a real job with the new organisation tomorrow. I hope to blog again soon to let you all know how it went.