Nene was sick for about two weeks. First he had red eyes, but it wasn’t itchy or runny so I ignored it but it got progressively worse so I took him to the doctor and he had a slightly stuffy nose so the doctor says it’s an infection and gives antibiotics. Now, this doctor gives antibiotics at the drop of the hat, so I’m reluctant to give it. We decide to use the eye drops and wait for a day, and I take him to another doctor who prescribes eye drops but no antibiotics even though she checks his throat. But that night he develops a fever and the next day we spot white spots on his throat – which is the first time I’ve ever been able to (I remember when I was a kid, my mum would make me open my mouth and peer inside but I’ve never been able to see anything when I did the same, until now!). So we decide to give the antibiotics, but basically he has a fever for three days and no progress, so we go back and the doctor changes the antibiotics and drops, but after another two days, he still has a fever. Now, some people are recommending I take him to the hospital but I decide to go back to the doctor and he gives yet another antibiotic.

When there’s no change overnight, I take him to the hospital and the doctor takes one look and says she thinks it’s adenovirus because of the eyes and asks me if I want to get a swab test. Which was my aim of going to the hospital. The next day we get the results and it’s a virus. Not the one she suspected, but a virus which means the antibiotics were pointless – except probably preventing a secondary bacterial infection. I’m pissed for listening to stupid doctor.

So after a week, the fever has gone, but the eye is still bad and he has a cold again. He’s been out of school for a week, and fortunately had a midterm break after so he had time to rest. Take him back to the pediatrician at the hospital and she now thinks the eye is an allergy as is the cold. She prescribes a nose spray and drops for the allergies. I give it a day or two,  go to an opthamologist, who agrees that it’s allergies but prescribes steroid drops. This finally seems to be showing some results but considering the strength of the medication, his eyes are still reddish.

I feel so sorry for my boy who has borne all of this stoically. After the opthamologist appointment, I take him to a cute little cafe in Mong Kok, just a few streets away from the craziness of the Ladies Market. In a cafe with numerous coffee choices, I pick Earl Gray and Nene has a hot chocolate. We split a ciabatta and fish and chips. The flavours are unusual, but I’m surprised that Nene tastes and likes them all. We have a lovely time decompressing and go home. I decide that I need to do a date with each child more frequently. V tends to favour cha chaang tengs for meal stops with the kids, but I’ve noticed that they do appreciate places with nicer ambience.


We’re into birthday season, kicked off with V’s. This year was a big one and though he insisted he wanted nothing better than to be left in peace, his sisters decided to surprise him with a trip to HK. They are the fun loving types and I warned them that he would not want to anything crazy. Unfortunately, V ended up seeing their messages on my phone and the surprise was out of the bag (though he still pretended for their benefit). We had a lovely dinner at one of our favourite Chinese restaurants on his birthday and ice-cream cake which he requested. Then it was four days of basically non-stop shopping madness with the sisters-in-law (i.e. they proceeded to buy up half of Hong Kong; we watched in bemusement and were sometimes plied with the spoils). We also had some intense conversations, and ended up sleeping at 2 am almost every night. On the weekend, we went out for a drink with friends, the boys left after a couple of drinks and we proceeded to party till 3 am. I pretty much only go dancing in Hong Kong when the SIL is in town, and though I turn my nose up at the crazy of Lang Kwai Fong, it is pretty much the only place I know to go dancing properly (rather than shaking a leg to some uber trendy stuff). It took me a week to recover from the four days that the SILs were here.


In between, I’ve been trying to revise and submit a paper. I had submitted a manuscript to a journal a year ago, it came back with tonnes of very useful feedback from the reviewers, requiring major revisions. I asked if there was a hard deadline, and was told that there wasn’t. One year later, I get a note saying that my submission will be deleted if I don’t resubmit within 60 days. The fact is that I would have preferred to resubmit a little later on once I had finished writing a chapter or two and got my thoughts straight in my head, but I do understand that a year is a long time. Having gone through the process halfway, I couldn’t let it go either even though there is a low chance of acceptance. So I scrambled and wrote basically a whole new paper in about a month.


That’s what I’ve been up to. I have a birthday coming up, then Nene has his, and then we’re off to India in December. In between, I need to write a chapter of my thesis. Oh and did I mention, I’ve started Mandarin classes?