Tuesday, April 05, 2005

An evening at home

It's amazing how little it takes to restore sanity. I took a trip to the New Territories last night to go for dinner at Bee's house. His mum is an excellent cook and I couldn't believe how relaxed I felt after getting away from Kowloon for just a couple of hours. That and spending time in a real home. When I arrived back in Saigon St I whinged to Daisy that as much as I love my room, it really is just a place for sleeping. Daisy promised to invite me for dinner with her and Joseph if I didn't mind all the dogs and cats at their house.

I spent about an hour hanging around Daisy's shop before I went upstairs to go to bed. The usual gang were all there; Jacky, shy Ling, the new shop assistant with hardly any teeth, Jess (the other new super efficient shop assistant), Daisy and also Ali (the young Nepali girl who lives above the shop) who was strutting around in silver high heels. She had matched them with a tracksuit-material skirt and was announcing to all that her mum had bought them in Singapore and they had cost $1000.

The focus of everyone's attention was the removable wooden platform that Jacky had built in order to extend Daisy's shop 50cm further into the adjacent alleyway. Jacky had been busy with a saw for the last two days, drinking a lot less than usual and constructing a range of storage and display items for the nearby shops. Some of them were better than others and don't think he made them at anyone's request. Still, it was touching to see how much everyone praised and thanked Jacky for his hard work.

I joked with Jacky that I wanted him to build illegal dwelling for me on the flat roof of my building. Daisy said I should ask instead for him to construct a second story on the shelter he has made himself in the alleyway. At that point, Jess noticed the package of sweets from Taiwan that Bee's mum had given me. I gave one to everyone and even forced Ling to take a mango pudding. I realised that it's nice to have people to share stuff with.

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