Cockroach CSI: Death by Coffee Drowning

As mentioned before, I am a total cockroach magnet. At my old job, the cockroaches LOVED my corner cubicle and now, we share our tiny SoHo office space with a very fertile family of miniature roaches, who have been spotted anywhere from my desk to the cubicle walls to the secretary’s phone.

Luckily, the mini roaches mostly come out at night when we’ve all gone home for the day, but sometimes the next morning, we’ll find them in the strangest places — like in our coffee mugs. Yup, one morning, I found two dead roaches in the bottom of my coffee mug when I was rinsing it out, and I’m guessing it went a little like this:

Big Roach tells Little Roach how nice it would be to go skinny dipping in a creamy cup of Hong Kong style coffee.

Little Roach struggles to keep afloat in the coffee, while Big Roach relishes in the fact that there’ll soon be one less mouth to feed in the “megaherd” of roaches, meaning more crumbs for him!

Big Roach loses his footing while laughing and slips into the coffee as well, where both of them die a slow and painful death since they are highly caffeinated and do not slip into unconsciousness until about an hour later.

Moral of the story? Roaches should wear slip-resistant footwear when walking on slippery surfaces like coffee mugs. Crocs, take note, you’ve got a new set of customers (with six feet each)!

Have fingers, will make FIMO

Dance when you still have legs, eat crab whilst you still have teeth … make FIMO while you still have fingers! Yes, these are the types of thoughts that swirl around in my head at 2am in the morning, especially when my palm continues to throb after today’s traumatic experience at work.

You see, after one year on the job, I’ve learned to be quite careful when it comes to opening press releases in the mail. Since I don’t have a letter opener, I usually rip the envelope open with my thumb, take the folder out and flip through carefully to not get cut by the crisp sheets of paper.

Today was no different, and I thought I’d done a pretty good job being all delicate with the papers. That is, until I decided to re-seal the envelope before throwing it into my makeshift recycling bin. As I slid my fingers across the top of the envelope, my palm was sliced open by a protruding staple, which nearly severed my thumb off and left a big, 2-inch bleeding gash.

After staring at it and screaming silently for a few minutes (we work in a quiet office), the pain set in and the not-so-silent whining began (which, as you can tell by this post, has yet to end). In any case, I’m very thankful to still have my thumb attached, and while it’s still here, I have decided to reactivate my Etsy page and resurrect my hobby of crafting tiny things out of FIMO.

Billy the Bolobao, Jacky the Jaa Leung and Harry the Har Gow

If you’ve never heard of FIMO, it’s this awesome coloured clay from Germany that you can shape things into and bake in the oven to set permanently. For those who DO know what it is, I realize I’m not eight anymore but hey, didn’t anyone tell you the ’90s are back? And I’m bringing FIMO back with it! Keep an eye out for new additions to my Etsy store once my thumb is healed, oh and feel free to place an order if you see anything you like! 🙂

Fruit Fail

Each week, my company hands fruit out to us in the form of a couple of bananas, tasteless water pears, crater-faced oranges, battle-scarred plums and the like. Even though I don’t usually enjoy being treated like a caged zoo animal, I’ve learned to start looking forward to the arrival of the mystery fruit each week on my desk.

Today was one of those days. I could hear the thunderous wheels of the trolley coming down the hall. My mouth started to salivate at the thought of sinking my teeth into a juicy apple, plum or pear. This time, it didn’t matter as my stomach had been growling all morning. I watched in eager anticipation as the tea lady bent over the cardboard box, picked up a piece of fruit and walked over to my desk.

This is what she gave me (with a hearty cackle on the side):

I’m a fruit, eat me!

At first, I was slightly amused. It seemed to be some kind of Asian pear / orange wrapped up in a netted foam jacket. But then I proceeded to hold and touch the thing and it turned out to be a stupid-useless-waste of trees-post-it note-THING in the shape of an orange!!


Surely, this was a joke right? What happened to the fruit? Does the company think this is funny? Srsly? And do we really need another stack of useless post-it notes (no matter how cute)?! The more I looked at it, the more I craved fruit, whether it was a sweet juicy orange or dried up plum. Sadly though, this was no joke, and the tea ladies cackled their way out of our office, on their way to disappoint (or delight?) the rest of the floor.

Me vs. Tea Lady – Round 2

The latest battle between me and the office Tea Lady came about after yet another cockroach decided to rear its ugly face on my desk. This time, a rather large, yellow roach was caught creepy-crawling on my office telephone receiver. But by the time I hollered “ROACH!” at the top of my lungs, that little bastard had disappeared, making me look like a total idiot in front of all my colleagues.

For those who know me, you know that I’m a magnet for cockroaches. Somehow, they always seem to pop up around me, no matter if they’re on the street, outside my door or crawling on my cubicle walls. So, it’s totally not my fault that I have cockroaches on my desk.

However, the Tea Lady thinks otherwise. She had already been commenting a lot about my eating patterns, for one.

“Eating AGAIN?” she’d say every time she saw me take out a snack from the fridge. It didn’t matter if it was a box of blueberries or a small cup of yogurt, I was still a pig to her.

“Make sure it doesn’t spill!” she’d say if she saw me reheating a cup of milk tea in the microwave. *rolls eyes* “Yes, ma’am…”

This morning, she cornered me in the pantry and told me how she had sprayed my cubicle down with insecticide and wiped my desk off with bleach.

“Do you know how much crap fell out of your phone when we turned it upside down?” she exclaimed. “You’re eating too much! So many food particles came out!!”

“What!?” I said back. “What are you talking about? I don’t eat over the phone! Plus I keep everything I have in sealed bags!”

Wanting to prove her point, she grabbed onto my upper arm with a death-grip (I’m SO not kidding, her bony hand closed in on my arm like a cold, mechanical robot’s) and led me to my cubicle.

“Look! All this FOOD fell out of your phone!” she said. I looked down into the waste basket and saw what appeared to be black bits of crap, sort of like coffee grinds.

“What?! That’s not food, that’s probably cockroach eggs!” I shouted at her. “How could you think this is food, geez, I told you, I don’t eat stuff over my phone! Ugh!” At this point, she was still gripping onto my arm so I pushed her hand off me and said, “LET ME GO!”

My arm felt properly bruised and I had to rub it for the rest of the morning to get it feeling normal again. I can’t believe her! Wtf!

Where’s mah fruit?!

It’s amazing how quickly we get spoiled in Hong Kong. I mean, do you ever find yourself saying:

“What? I need to wait FIVE WHOLE minutes for the MTR!?”

“AW MAN!! The escalator’s been turned off and I hafta *gasp* WALK UP!?”

and of course:

“Wat the hell?! I didn’t get no fruit today!?”

(Yea, that last one was me today…) I remember the first time I saw the fruit ladies come around the office. I could hear the loud chatter of two middle-aged ladies from afar coming closer and closer until suddenly, a pair of semi-bruised bananas landed on my desk with a THUD.

“Eat up, lenglui. It’s bananas today,” said the permed ladies who worked as a team. While one of them pushed around a box of bananas on wheels, the other one tossed the fruit onto our desks.

I couldn’t help feeling like a monkey in a zoo. (‘HOO HOO HAA HAA! What’s it going to be today, lady?’ I’d say while scratching my armpits and banging my keyboard against my forehead. ‘Please oh please, toss me one of them yellow things!’)

Nowadays, I’ve learned to look forward to getting my weekly dose of fruit. The fruit ladies have been kind, and sometimes bring us exotic varieties like longan and asian pears (ooOOoo).

But you know what? I got into the office a little later than usual today and my fruit basket was totally empty! Either somebody stole my bananas, or they simply decided to skip me! Bahhh..damn you fruit ladies!!

Chinese Halloween

They came like a swarm of bees. Loud, chattering and giggling away, a pack of 10-15 HK girls flooded our office, rushing towards all married people and asking for red pockets (lai-see).

“JOIN US!!” they squealed in high pitched voices, tugging on my arm as I sat frozen at my desk, eyes staring widely back at them. “C’mon!! Come with us!!” Before I could respond – off they went, swarming towards the other end of the office to pounce on all the other married folks down the hall.

A few minutes later, my colleague throws down a stack of at least 10 red pockets on my desk. “See what you missed out on??” he smirked, before taking his earnings back to his desk. Another male colleague raced by, laughing, “It’s the duty of us unmarried people to take money from the married ones, muahaha!”

I shrugged, not feeling all that comfortable at the thought of asking strangers for money, but at the same time feeling a little gypped for not having tagged along.

The next day, I put aside my Western ways and went along with a few other colleagues who hadn’t collected their red pockets yet, and got a good portion of red pockets myself =). Apparently, it’s very good luck not only to take red pockets from the married people, but they too like passing them out. Every time we approached our ‘victims’, s/he always had a stack of red pockets ready to go. In a way, it was quite similar to Halloween, only, the “candy” was money and instead of costumes, all we had to say were some nice lines like “Stay beautiful all year” or “Earn lots of riches!” or “Best health to you”, etc.

Wah! So easy ar!!

A Weekend with Work

When I first saw the email, I must say I was shocked. Office teambuilding, over an entire weekend?!?! O_o The whole thing was very mysterious at first, and none of us were told where we were going or what the activities would be until the very day.

No wonder. The first night, we were told to walk on fire.

To be honest, I was somewhat curious but I definitely didn’t feel that it was ever something that I had always wanted to do… I had heard that it was a magical experience, “mind over matter” and everything, but that didn’t stop me from feeling the fiery hot pieces of blazing wood sear right through my foot soles. I actually ended up with four mini blisters!! 😦

Biggest takeaway? Fire is HOT :p

The rest of the weekend was spent in Macau, where we went on a treasure hunt (similar to the Amazing Race), got to know each other better and drank/gambled at night. All that “work” has left me in ruins on this weary Monday morning…

PS. This morning the HR lady writes to me:

HR lady: 昨日有無暈船浪 (Did you get seasick yesterday?)
Me: no, i was okay, how about u?
HR lady: come back HK meeting billows
HR lady: Mary & me spew

Lol… yuck!