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The China Adventures Of Arielle Gabriel

Hong Kong Travel Diaries: Tuesday August 9th 2005

Thank God for the Internet, the last bastion of Original Thought.
I was certainly shocked by the American right-wing philosopher Ann Coulter, until I realized she is a long tradition of shock-them-and-make-millions American media stars.  Referring to Hollywood stars who unthinkingly embrace liberal causes as worthless silicone nothings seemed to heading along the right track towards genocide.
Still I intend to read her books, for the small priceless gems of free thought that sparkled though her misanthropist tirades.
She is certainly right that the way people are speaking and talking on the Internet have nothing to do with our Approved Intelligent Free Thinkers in the Western Media.
I am in love with a man of another race, and do my best to study the music, art, customs and psychology of the Han Chinese, but woke up today with a great feeling of utter boredom at the thought of the last decades of my life being spent trying to prove myself as a White Person in a Foreign Culture.
And you always know when you have been slightly hurt in a Love Affair, that that feeling of boredom is akin towards a window magically opening on a stuffy room, and letting in some welcome ocean air.
It is not with my boyfriend that I have been hurt, for he is ever mild, and cordial, and essentially a sweet-natured and sombre Chinese male.
It is with the weightiness of Chinese culture, its longevity and its depth, and also feeling that if I were perhaps a British male in Hong Kong, I might be ten times more welcome than a Canadian female: their ads in the newspapers freely state
Preference will be given to British applicants.
* * * * *
Still, I went off to teacher's training, and met some wonderful teachers from around the former British Empire, and they were very helpful to me.
We touched upon a poignant aspect of Hong Kong Culture I was unaware of:  group teen suicides at a charcoal-burning house on Cheng Chau Island.
Why is that? I wondered
The class was animated on this topic, and going in all directions suddenly, in Cantonese and fractured English.  My friend, a congenial teacher from England, explained it had to do with scholastic pressure as well, though the Chinese mentioned young couples, boys and girls.
I didn't know that it was bad here like in Japan, I said, I don't think the Chinese pressure their children that much?
It would be better to have your child alive and doing not too well at school, than dead?
There was talk of some special house on this island where people went to die, it sounded most haunted and cinematic.
The boat ride to this island seems romantic and serene, and yet young people from alluent families, who should be full of hope and joy and health and energy, take a one-way ticket.
I had a good afternoon and was happy to be back with Chinese students, and other ESL teachers.
The heat was more than oppressive as I went outside, and found many small stores sellling goods of interest to me:
vegetable chips, made of tomato, carrot, turnip, similar to potato ships, and equally delicious
honey in jars with the honeycomb still intact
freshly made aloe vera juice
purple dragon fruit with scaly sides, looking like they came from another planet, Planet China
I wandered exhausted into a huge neon-lit corner cafe with nothing but soup on the menu.  I ordered a large bowl of shrimp dumpling soup with broad white noodles, and an iced tea.
Joe was too ill and running a fever to make it as far as the restaurant and went to meet me in the lobby of the hotel rather than the lobby of the school.
Frankly, the weather and the crowded streets here do get to you after a while, and that while can only take an hour or two.
One good thing: the stressfulness is causing us to sleep a really solid eight hours.

Lamma Island * Lantau Island * Cheung Chau Island
Hong Kong * Mui Wo * Peng Chau Island
Tung Chung * Shenzhen * Nanning * Hunan Province
Bobcaygeon * Pointe Claire * Montreal
Peterborough * Lake Sturgeon * Ontario
Vancouver * Richmond * British Columbia

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The China Adventures Of Arielle Gabriel

Bobcaygeon, Mui Wo, Lantau, Tung Chung
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Pui O, Chep Lap Kok, Tai O, Quan Yin5,
Cheung Chau, Lamma, Peng Chau,
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Hong Kong, Shenzhen, China,
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