Now You Know What We Did Last Summer Part II

**The unedited post below was mostly written before school started, before what was supposed to be a routine check for JD is now waiting by the phone to see if she pulls through. In and out of the vet's for a few days. Then one night I carried my best friend of almost 15 years, clothes drenched in lung fluid and a little vomit, to the 24 hour east island animal emergency clinic. 

"Those who dance are considered insane by those who cannot hear the music..." - George Carlin

Rockstar does not believe in dance for recreation. So of course I signed him up for K-Pop and Hip-Hop dance sessions. Y'know, because you figure out what your kid is most likely to run screaming from and then you pretend you didn't know it's like pulling teeth for them  they think people die from dancing they... don't like it very much.

(The receptionist mentioned the first kids' K-Pop class had filled up within 20minutes of registration opening, so I was curious, and we waitlisted for the second class. Rockstar says I should change my nickname from Sarcastic Mum to Sadistic Mum)

why do it. One of the reasons was in case someday he needs K-Pop or Hip-Hop-related neurons <sheepish> I believe in the value of seemingly unrelated stuff outside your comfort zone somehow enriching your abilities to be a better coder/ computer game designer/ trader/ standup comedian etc - one of the most brilliant derivatives structurers I knew had two Phds - one in Maths and the other in.... English Literature. Another "superquant" we knew, a blonde-and-blue-eyed French native, once impressed some of my Taiwanese RMs by writing "Collateralised Debt Obligation" in Chinese on a bar napkin over drinks "...And then I got here and realised everyone just calls it a 'C-D-O'😀

Anyway, Rockstar and K-Pop. Add to that, the instructors were frequently substituted. Especially disastrous horrendous hilarious horrendous -

Because the flip side of ShinEE... (pic frm Pinterest) Crayon Pop 😀 (pic from

And the last minute subs invariably took it in that direction.

Me: (in broken Cantonese, after Rockstar awkwardly sits out some of the moves) Erm.... d'you maybe have an alternative dance move that might be easier for some boys? 

One of the Subs: <cheerfully, bouncily> Oh, ri-ight! (probably thinking: Who died and made you Queen Of What Boys Can Or Can't Do In K-Pop? Boys can do anything girls can! You go right on and pop that hip boy, more the power to you!)

Therefore some days we had a Plan B.

Some of the mums of kids in the class before ours would ask the instructors to run through all the moves and record them on their cellphones so their kids could practice at home (yes really) so we always got a preview before our own class started.That worked out so well for both of them because on occasion the Queen stood in for her bro. (By which I mean "enthusiastically pranced about, limbs flailing wildly, with huge smile on her face").

Hip-hop was a bit better. Rockstar tells me one day he turned around at the end of the class to see his 5th Dan (trans: very senior) taekwondo instructor watching from the door with barely-concealed amusement.

That's how we heard about the K Tigers (more, Far Below*)

And Then The Kids Went...


... to ESF Multi-Sports Summer Camp for a week. Both kids insisted. The mix allows them both to attend together, they have different favourite sports there. By now they also meet friends from the previous three Multi-sports holiday camps, all coming back.

Now she's better on a board, no thanks to almost every pool in our neighbourhood, all of which don't allow the large boards humph

Now Dive Sticks

(Note all the action of the swim clinics and (I think) various secondary school-aged team swimmers tearing up and down the lanes, the pool is a real hive of activity over summer)

Then to the Courts. Head Coach to all the groups before they split up: "...I have 2 rules: Safety First.... and Have Fun." 

Brings back fond memories ....of one of my most beloved bosses (long retired in his native Brisbane now) in the first private bank I worked in when we arrived in HK. Dryden, Prudential, once upon a time. His 2 rules were No Regulatory Or Compliance Issues Ever ("safety") - you got fired really quickly for that - and Other Than That I Don't Care How You Make The Money ("fun"). As a result Relationship Managers slouched about in sweats and bunny slippers when they weren't out meeting High Net Worth clients - expensive suits hung in their cubicles, next to personal tvs and massage chairs..... and it attracted some serious talent, many of whom were semi-retired, and already self-made, themselves. ...And then Dutch Fortisbank took the fun out of our day by buying and merging it humph

But, I digress:

There's something the Queen especially needs from team ball sports - we hope it'll help improve the quality of her hearing, her ability to listen to everything going on, and filter what she needs, to play well on a court or field.

In this one you have to sneak up to the ball from across the court, freezing when the coach looks around. The Queen got sent back to the start quite a few times, before she learned to not flail about or stomp, and finally steal away her prize-she-can-barely-run-with

waitaminit was she minding the goal on one occasion with a guarding block?

The large hall is especially challenging for her, in terms of acoustics:

"What's the time, Mr Wolf?" is a little chaotic... (pic frm

Steal the medicine ball looks a lot like a battle for Middle Kingdom

"Someone's talking - you have to go to the back"
Queen E: I didn't know you couldn't talk.
Coach: I said so.
Queen E: <obediently goes to the back>
Other Little Kid: I see you (moving)!
Much Older Kid: Darn <obediently goes to the back>
Double loves! Again, very good for building the confidence particularly of the younger ones, so they speak up.

This is like Space Invaders (fine, it's "Cowboys & Indians") with the coaches close by to make sure the littlest ones don't get hit too hard by any over-enthusiastic older ones

"Where are my dragons horses?"

(Note to self: Feedback to ESF Multi-Sports that they need to get horses.) 

Camp was shortened by a HK Observatory rainstorm warning that disappeared as quickly as it was raised however...

And that's how we discovered Verm City

The last poles are a little far apart for her little legs to climb on though..

So many ways to dangle your kids from high places, so little time...

Ends. -  

*Far Below 🙂 Remember K-Tigers?


Yes some martial arts blogs really flame them for the dancing; well some of the K Tigers in interviews describe themselves as actors and performers (who also have black belts) and personally I always respect hard work,* could do without the smouldering looks when they wear their belts, and am glad they don't wear uniform for some of the dances in this demo at the 2017 Korea Open). Oh, and there are kid K Tigers in the demo too, minute 6+; website says they train 2-3 hours daily around school.

*Learning, knowledge, is the thing no one can take away from you - it's yours, through countless boss and employment and school and class changes, what your brain has learned to tell your limbs to do to the tune of Ring Ding Dong* stays with you. (In other words, I don't follow the "I did so much more work than the others and we're all going to get the same grade it's not fair" argument. The point was not a good grade on a project, it was what your brain now knows how to do, and to use in multiple unforeseeable scenarios. And it WILL show in your abilities, and teachers, bosses can see that. Somewhere at the back of my mind is also the thought that your ability to apply your new skills in many different ways is somewhat diminished if you simply honed the same reading, writing, arithmetic skills from putting pen to paper instead of through a (much more fun) school project of seemingly unfathomable purpose.

*Ring Ding Dong is the "boys' alternative" that the sub instructor showed us:

Apparently Ring Ding Dong was voted #1 Banned Song During College Entrance Exams in 2015. One Netizen was quoted, "It's the devil's song, it make(s you) fail English". We had never heard of Shinee until the K-Pop teacher showed us the Youtube as an alternative to the girl K-Pop moves, all we can make out in the video is "Cray-zeeee".... "Bay-beeeee"...."Cray-zeeee".... "Bay-beeeee".... and a lot of stomping in puddles which both kids love <hides>

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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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  • Aileen

    Thank you, Elle. I cried loads for the first few days, and then she got a lot better… only to get a bit worse today.

  • Elle

    I pray that JD will be ok. Biggest hugs to you.