(PHOTO: My emergency DIY anti-roach barrier made out of an IKEA laundry basket top, tape, a hook and a single chopstick)
Too lazy to have an annual recap or any optimism about the year to come. But here's a bit about this year's life in Kowloon City I wrote somewhere months ago: I have a sneaking suspicion that the decrepit vegetable seller diagonally below my unit is using his vegetable shop as a front for Suspicious Activities. Nobody buys rotting pumpkins and long beans at 2am.
But perhaps this is just the tip of the iceberg of the Kowloon City underbelly, where mice and roaches swim in the drains filled with yesterday's beef soup from the shops. For instance, my generally avoidant neighbour suddenly became rather chummy and lied that it was her birthday a few weeks ago. I was the sole guest at her party where she mentioned that her old friends abandoned her because "I was not what I looked like". Then she asked me to be her guarantor for a loan.
I offered her four excuses, none of which were true. Weeks later, she asked if she could borrow money from me. I said no, and feared she would break into my unit when I am not home or actually murder me as she is rather creepy and from my research, HK murderers, though few, are very creative when it comes to the deed. I do not want to be dismembered and hidden in an electronic mahjong table, only discovered when a policeman accidentally hits a button when they investigate the Crime Scene and the table starts arranging my limbs, popping them up in four gruesome combinations of bone, organs, skin, and nails. "Hu" is this, they will ask.
I put an open umbrella against the door for a few nights, thinking that if Creepy Neighbour were to break in, I would somehow be awoken by the noise, and I don't know, jump out of the window with my blanket as a parachute or something. I discussed safety options with Eunice, and we considered scaring my neighbour away, either through a quickie marriage to a triad member whom I imagine sells fruits at Yau Ma Tei in his day job, or telling my neighbour that I am actually a ghost.
There, so that's a bit of '13. My only wishes for the year to come concern the continued success of my DIY cockroach barrier mechanism (see photo; which involves balancing a cut-out IKEA laundry basket top on a hook and a chopstick to cover kitchen ventilator fan, but not touching fan in case continued friction creates sparks and smoke and I burn to death in a fire in my own flat), no increase of rent, and having sufficient underwear.
Thanks for the year, Hong Kong and the rest of you (including Hang for emergency Cantonese translation over the phone when hapless technicians turn up at the door on an NYE morning).