Wednesday 9 February 2011

Babies babies everywhere

As my doctor told me not long ago, Hong Kong has a very high pregnant population, relatively speaking. I was reminded of this fact while I was waiting to see said doctor yesterday, so she could double my thyroxine meds (here's hoping I don't become as hyperactive as Felix as a result). The clinic, a certain Westerner-favoured clinic in Central which shall remain unnamed, was chock a block full of pregnant ladies, couples coming to see the fertility specialist for whom the place is renowned, and a variety of newborn-to-toddler aged muchkins.

It was weird. I was there alone, since J&F have recently had contact with a little person who has hand, foot and mouth disease; although they are totally fine, I didn't want to further the outbreak. I was torn between two very odd emotions.

On one hand...
I felt like I wanted to tell everyone there that I AM A MOTHER TOO, I felt so left out. And God knows it took me long enough to feel that that statement was true. And of course, none of the kids there was as completely adorable and unspeakably cute as my boys, so essentially I just wanted to show off. This is very reminiscent of every time I hear someone speaking French in the street, I just desperately want to go and tell them that I speak French. WTF? Ridickerous. What a strange impulse.

On the other hand....
I felt like a total sheep. I realised that I was wearing trailing spouse uniform, looking utterly predictable. Dark jeans, a top that I never would have bought in the real world (ie the UK) because it needs ironing, big ray ban sunnies that Bink and I would have called goggles back in the day, a big tan leather handbag, discreetly feminine flats. As I sat there brandishing my smartphone, arranging playdates and updating my Facebook status, I felt distinctly uncomfortable. Everyone's at it. And I wanted to be different. But I also want to fit in, just a little bit. One of the reasons I love living here is that I am the same, but different. We still pay the rent, Ross works (as do I - more on that later), we get drunk, we go out for dinner, we try to save money, we watch crap TV...but we do all those things in Hong Kong. Which somehow makes everything so much better. I wonder how long I will think that? I suspect it'll last approximately as long as we have a live-in helper.

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