I have always wondered what the many ladies in HK who don't work and don't have children do all day. Very early on in my stint in HK I was at a dinner party (I was still playing the corporate wifey at that point and attending work functions with the Boy). At the dinner party I met a lady who, to all intents and purposes, spent all day pottering around. Her husband had a busy job and travelled all the time, she had no children, and did no charity work. We were sitting with a couple who are rather high powered lawyers and we were all a bit drunk. As a newbie to HK I was asked what I did, and we had a nice chat about the difficulties of setting up a business and the legal system in HK. Then the attention turned to the lady in question, and the perfectly normal question of "so what do you do?". Without a moments hesitation she told us all about her days spent at yoga, pilates, she was learning to play tennis, lunches with friends. Growing ever more incredulous, the lawyer lady cut her short with the question "but what do you actually DO?". After a further explanation, I was still at a loss to understand how this lady filled her days and found meaning in her life.
Anyway, I took a day off last week and spent it pleasing only myself and living the life of one of these ladies. Initially I had no idea how I would fill my time. Without meetings or calls or deadlines, how would I structure my day? Would I end up having endless hours sitting doing nothing - and could I cope with that?
It started off with me leaving the Boy (who was off work ill) at home and pottering into the centre of town for a croissant and cup of hot chocolate. When there I spotted a nice exhibition of items from the British Museum over at the HK Museum of Art so took myself off to have fun looking at random cuniform stones and the odd statue. Before I knew it, it was time to come back to town to go to my antenatal yoga class. Normally I go on a Saturday, mainly with other working ladies, but midweek I found myself with an entirely different set of very lovely ladies who were friendly, amusing, funny and we exchanged phone numbers and promises to meet up soon. After all this chat, I was nearly late for my special pre-natal massage (generously given to me by my wonderful friend R), where I was pummeled and stroked on a strange bed with a huge hole in the middle - more of that in another post.
It was then that I realised I hadn't had lunch, so just had time for a quick bite to eat before meeting the Boy for our visit to Dr D and then an early supper with another friend.
I didn't manage to do half the things I had planned for - I failed to make it to the baby shop to buy unmentionable items to cover my leaky bits after the birth, I failed to take something the Boy wanted to get fixed to the relevant shop, I even failed to go and buy the pair of very lovely Alexander McQueen shoes I have been coveting for a couple of weeks.
In fact, I had almost no "down time" at all.
The next day it was back to work and I found myself twiddling my thumbs a bit.
Perhaps I could take to the expat wife life more easily that I had initially thought. Let negotiations with the Boy commence.
Analogies of a sort
1 week ago