Healesville

Oh gosh. There is a place on God’s earth that doesn’t have warp-speed Wifi.

Innocent Bystander, who posts the only wifi sign I can find, makes their own beer and bread. They’re a big, high-ceilinged restaurant with color magna-doodle that Rockstar absolutely loves. I have never seen color magna-doodle before. And their internet speed is so slow I can’t even get to ECPod’s upload page.

How do these people do it? There’s not a single laptop in sight, all 3 times we visit. No one whips out their cellphones to send a text message, not even teenagers.

It’s hard to believe we are the same species.

Rockstar in the garden of Black and White on Green, our rented home in Healesville.

At 2.15pm Healesville/ Melbourne time (12.15 noon HK time) Rockstar unexpectedly crashes. Exiting the animal hospital after watching a pair of dingo puppies try their darnedest to escape their nursery and on our way to see the koalas, he wants his nap. Now. So we camp out at the cafeteria for 2 hours.

And- and- and – Oh gosh. There are TWO places on God’s earth that don’t have warp-speed Wifi!!!

When I find my seat, I have a serious problem sitting still. It’s too quiet. Also, it’s usually time to whip out my cell and check my email or read a babycenter article about flu prevention/ 5 new power foods to feed a toddler/ raising a gifted child…

(Oh come on, first time parent, can dream about child and the Olympics, can’t she? When JD (the soap star, not my dog) does it on Scrubs it’s entertainment. When I do it I get branded PsychoMum. Call it the mummy version of a double chocolate chip caramel sundae when you’re on a diet, even as I keep my feet firmly on the ground so I don’t mess my son up for life.)

Not. That I have ever dieted in my life despite padding on 45lbs during pregnancy – I’m a believer in lifestyle choices not crash diets. But I had some help – 7.3lbs of that was an actual baby they pulled out of me.

(But seriously, I never diet. I think dieting makes it harder to burn off future pounds. I dropped the full pregnancy weight gain over about 3 months substituting stuff like bacon and cake for veggies and eggs. I ate more than I did pre-pregnancy (gradually cutting down), walked double the distance with JD (no gym), pumped milk for about 3 hours a day before and after work.)

Anyway. The old couple manning one of the exhibit booths tells us their son in law works for National Australia Bank and has just been transferred to Hong Kong. They’ve been to Singapore too. “At least there is a place with no graffiti,” they say rather unconvincingly. “And it’s illegal to chew gum there.” (They were amazed to find you are allowed to chew, but not sell gum there.)

Their daughter lives on Robinson Road, Hong Kong Island. That means like many HK apartment blocks her main front door probably opens right out onto a busy road. I try to imagine this old Healesville Sanctuary couple in busy, bustling, crowded Hong Kong. Probably cooped up in a tiny (by any other standard except Hong Kong’s) apartment the way our parents are most of the time they visit.

Reminder to self: Never complain to your average Hongkie friend that your apartment is small. Because they likely live in something smaller. Kings had a middle-classed Hongkie classmate at LSE who lived with his parents, brother and grandma in a 700 sq foot apartment. They hung laundry everywhere.

Old Couple Manning Booth must have been flabbergasted. (Quite as scandalized as I was to discover the one place in town with public Wifi doesn’t have an internet speed fast enough for me to post blog entries.) Really don’t think they liked it much. (Actually they didn’t sound like they liked Singapore very much either.) Yes, nor do our parents like visiting for long periods.

Healesville Sanctuary is something else though – they have signs reminding drivers who come across dead marsupials to “check in the pouches for babies.” They even recommend carrying around one of those boxes with holes for capturing injured animals to bring them in for treatment.

How un-Hong Kong-like. (See how I just coined the understatement of the century). It’s illegal to feed Hongkie pigeons because of birdflu. Learned that the hard way after discovering Hong Kong Park near my (then) office and rushing there on my lunch hour with a giant loaf of bread (thought it would be good stress release) only to find a sign forbidding feeding and park wardens who diligently make sure you don’t.

Here’s to driving all over the Aussie countryside feeding pigeons. (Oh wait that one’s an Emu.)

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About Aileen

I blog about living and raising my son in Hong Kong - where toddlers have entrance interviews, parents keep test score spreadsheets, private school debentures can trade for more than half a million USD. Raising Rockstar's the most important thing I'll ever do. We show our true colors by the choices we make in bringing up our children. My blog is a message to my toddler son, about what the world and his parents are like today - for when he becomes a teenager and knows everything.
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