Friday, July 02, 2010

Children, air conditioning, inexplicable rage

It was another sunny day in Hong Kong, but I spent all but fifteen minutes of it in the office, wildly gesticulating at my screen, while my computer emulated a grumpy teenager, sullenly refusing to respond to any of my commands.

Perhaps that was the problem; commanding children is unlikely to be a successful parenting approach. Then again, my other normal methods for dealing with problems (leave it for six months and see if it gets better on its own, which works for damaged camera lens and ill-maintained dehumidifier units, and spray it with WD40 and stick it down the shed, which has varying success rates within the realm of bicycle maintenance) are unlikely to count as good childrearing either.

Ah well. Lucky for my non-existent children that they don't exist, I suppose.

Unless I do have some kids and I don't know about them, which implies a level of carelessness, forgetfulness or associating with women with no understanding of modern communication technology. Or all three.

Not quite sure how we got onto that. Anyway, I did make it out into the rich surroundings of Hong Kong for a little while, and I took full advantage of this. To go to Pret a Manger and buy exactly the same sandwich I could have in London.

On the way back, I had a moment of beauty. As I stood on the street corner, waiting for the traffic to stop, I became aware of a cool breeze. It was at least 30 degrees today, but I must have been in the path of an ill-configured air conditioner, because as long as I stood just by the curb, fresh, cool air washed over me as the sun shone down. All was right with the world for that magnificent moment, neither too hot, nor too cold. A step to the left or right, a few inches back and forth, and incessant heat returned, but in that one special spot I was somehow blessed.

Which was nice.

I went back to the office and, suffused with the calm that this serendipitous moment had provided, spent the rest of the afternoon ... calling my computer four letter words under my breath.

I'm such a terrible father.

Today I also tried to cancel my PCCW internet service, without much success. It's incredibly difficult to terminate, unlike the gas, electricity or water. It's almost as if they think that the service level doesn't matter, because if it's impossible to get out of your contract without filling in a carbon-paper form in triplicate (this is for *internet* provision, remember) then your customers will probably stick with you no matter what.

There's a lesson there. I wonder what it could be.


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