Wednesday, July 07, 2010


Frankly, I've been shocked today by how helpful everyone has been. It's meant that little tribulations like the buttons on the back pockets of my trousers getting trapped in the vents of my chair and tearing off have seemed like the trivialities that they are.

Today I got a mail from a Swedish friend who happens to have studied both linguistics and linux, giving me some helpful pointers on my grand language project, and thus chopping out several weeks of effort before I even needed to spend time on it. I suppose it's not that much of a labour for somebody to find a reference to a pdf on string manipulation and email it to me, but a small act by her was a big boost for me.

Then I went to pick up some shelves and a microwave oven today from a pair of Canadians who were fleeing North Point for Vancouver/Zhuhai and they not only helped me carry the items I'd purchased at a knock down price down to the street, and hail a taxi for me, but they also didn't complain when they managed to get locked out of their flat when they only had 24 hours left to finish packing. What nice people.

And finally, when the taxi deposited me on the wrong end of my street and I was left struggling with four wooden shelves, three bits of metal and a microwave and no hope in sight of getting them all down the street and into my building, a miniature lady appeared with her shopping and offered me help. She said she'd been watching me and wondered if I needed help. (I guess I could have got cross and said she could have spent less time watching and more time helping, but you don't look a gift horse in the mouth. Even if you're sweating like a good'un.) I'm a big old chap (especially in Hong Kong) so I should be carrying heavy baggage for small women, not the other way round. But not only did she carry the microwave as far as my building, she carried it down the roach-infested alleyway of suspiciousness, and at this point I was embarrassed enough to tell her she didn't have to carry it up the two flights of stairs, but she did that, and held the lift doors open while the guard rushed to give me my signed copy of the contract, and came all the way in the lift to the twelvth floor to hand me the microwave, shelves and assorted metal struts.

I'm gobsmacked. After two years of putting up with people barging past you when you're heavily laden, not opening the door for anyone and generally operating 10% more rudely than anyone needs to, to have people actively go out of their way to help is really surprising.

Perhaps it was karma repaying me for giving away a whole bunch of books today.  I suppose I have done one good thing today.

Though it is a bit annoying that nobody has offered to sew the buttons back onto my trousers for me.  Tomorrow, maybe.


Post a Comment