I can't tell you about it because you're a grown-up. Grown-ups can't know about these things.

I'm F...ing Christie Brinkley

There's this old joke that an old jokester once told me. It's about a garmento who is shipwrecked on a desert island. (If you don't know what a garmento is then you shouldn't be reading this blog.) Call him Irving. He's very lonely. He misses home, he misses his sewing machine, he misses his best friend Shmuel. One day, the supermodel Christie Brinkley washes up on the beach. He gives her mouth-to-mouth, she revives, and declares her undying love for him. They set up house together and, true to her word, Christie is madly in love with Irving. A montage follows of them running through the surf (Irving's long beard billowing in the breeze), thatching their roof, eating exotic fruit (it's not Kosher but they're hungry)... You get the picture. Then Christie notices that Irving is depressed. He's mooning around their little island, turning down her offers of sauteed kiwi burgers and late-night star gazing.

So she begs him, "Irving, what's wrong. It's your Christie here. You can tell me!"

"Welllll...," he grumbles, "you vouldn't understand.."

"Please, Irving, you have to tell me, what can I do to make you happy again? You know I'd do anything for you."


"Yes, of course, anything."

Irving brings out a bundle of old clothes and asks Christie to go behind the rock and put them on. Once the clothes are on, he wants her to come out from behind the rock and stand there. She agrees, goes behind the rock and puts on the strange clothes. She emerges wearing a fedora, a scraggly beaten up brown suit, a slightly yellowish white shirt and some scuffed black shoes. Irving's eyes light up. He runs up to her, embraces her and screams, "Shmuel, Shmulie, it's zo good to see you! Shmuel you vouldn't belief it, I'M F...ING CHRISTIE BRINKLEY.."

I love this joke.

I love it because it's so true. Life is depressing without people you love around - people to share the good stuff with. I woke up the other morning and just started laughing hysterically. Peter thought it was time to call 999 which is the 911 of Hong Kong. CHRISTIE BRINKLEY is what I was thinking... CHRISTIE BRINKLEY.

I have been feeling this vague sense of distance the past month. Like everything is blurry, including me. And I keep pinching myself because I have this beautiful family and we live in a lovely place and it's all pretty nice. Mostly I've been feeling guilty because of this undefined but real sense of .... well..... nothing? And then I realized. I've got no one to share it with. Back home there are these incredible people whom I've shared everything with for more than 20 years. And, here we are, and I've got no one to turn to and say, "LOOK AT MY APARTMENT, ISN'T IT WILD? HERE'S MY STREET, ISN'T THIS STRANGE? LOOK AT WHAT KATE CAN DO, ISN'T SHE SOMETHING? LOOK AT PETER AND KATE - AREN'T THEY SO BEAUTIFUL? ISN'T THIS SHIRT COOL? HOW 'BOUT THIS VIEW? HAVE YOU EVER TASTED SUCH A GREAT DUMPLING?" From the sublime to the ridiculous.

There's no one on my island but Peter and Kate - who, in my opinion, are far more perfect than Christie Brinkley. So, who do I tell? Who do I share it with? What's life without a bit of gossip? I'm bursting to open my door and usher in someone who has known me for years and share it all... all of it... every last second of this strange, new place and all our adventures. I feel better for having realized this.

For now, this blog will have to suffice. Until I can get Peter to dress up like Aunt Beena...

Adventures with Princess fill-in-the-blank

When Kate wakes up she lets us know who she is. Each morning it's a different princess or fairytale gal. When we open our door into the market, the women cry, "Who are you today Princess????" And, when she's in a good mood, she will say,"My name is Kate, but I call myself Ariel. or Odette. or Rapunzel. or Belle. or Fiona. or Cinderella. or Snow White.

In a nutshell, our daughter has been replaced by a Disney character.

She is also a Donald Trump accolyte. She makes lots of deals. Many of these deals center around walking (walkies), being held (holdies), and eating (ice pop vs broccoli) "Let's make a deal," she'll say, "holdies down the stairs and walkies in the market." That's a very fair deal. Sometimes the deals get desperate and Donald Trump becomes Donald Duck. "Here's my deal, HERE'S MY DEAL... Ice pop first and then some pizza." "MY DEAL is playing first and then reading and then a bath." "THAT'S MY DEAL, YOU HAVE TO LET A KID MAKE A DEAL..." This last one is usually said from a prostrate position.

So, we finally went to the local Chinese restaurant for my first down home Chinese meal. As soon as we sat down, the waiter removed the luscious condiment tray, filled with sauces of many colors and hotness, and replaced it with a small plastic salt shaker. I ignored this, and everything else, consumed by what we would consume from the 6 page menu filled with the tasty Asian treats of my fantasies. At a certain point, Peter gave up trying to make suggestions and just told me to order. It must have been the fact that I was openly salivating... There I am, ordering up a storm, (completely confusing the waiter who is desperately trying to save me from my own stupidity by explaining in broken English that I'm ordering enough for a family of 16) while Peter seems to be moving Kate around the table. I'm vaguely aware that something is upsetting him, but I can't be bothered because I'm busy doing a mime of someone eating something hot - I want those condiments back on the table.

A word about mime. It's very useful. I actually mimed the following incredible thing: "What do I do if I don't like it and I want to return it? Do I get my money back or a store credit?" I really should get the Academy Award for that one. When the show was done and the question answered, the saleswoman actually applauded me. She even wanted me to do it again for her colleague - but I don't perform on command.

Back to the restaurant. I've finally agreed to order only 5 dishes. Even this much-reduced order is making the waiter crazy. He keeps counting our heads and shaking his own head. But, I just want the damn food. I come back to earth and realize that Kate is now sitting next to me in her makeshift highchair, but she has arched her entire body around to gaze at the television screen behind her. Peter is glaring at me. I turn around just in time to catch a gaudily made-up Samurai plunge his long sword into another Samurai diva. Kate says, "oooooo." I tell Peter that I don't think seeing this violent dance of death is going to scar her for life, but I do think she's going to get permanent neck problems from turning all the way around to watch the show. Peter moves her chair next to him and, while we blow our brains out trying every sauce on the infamous condiment tray, Kate (and all the other patrons of this restaurant) spends the next 45 minutes completely entranced by the Korean soap opera now playing on three television screens.

We took home 5 boxes of leftovers. It felt just like home, only tastier and no fortune cookies!

Mama & Kate

Mama & Kate
What could be more fun than this?

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