I started this post ages ago but felt like I should be spreading the love, not using the blog as a forum for venting my frustrations. BUT, having been introduced to a new concept through the world of blogging, Listography, and seeing a bunch of others out there doing just that, I thought I'd finish it and post it. So here goes...
I try to be polite and diplomatic when I'm posting but lately I've been feeling the strain of holding back. I need to get a few things off my chest. The following list is in no particular order and does not refer to specific genders or nationalities, but you may notice some of the items are unique to Hong Kong (not always sins committed by locals however...). My top 5 pet hates are:
1. People who smoke in places where people are eating (especially when there are children around). I don't care if it's legal in many countries, it's quite simply bad manners! I hate smoking in general (filthy habit) but breathing in cigarette smoke while I'm eating makes me really cross. When we were in Bali recently a couple sat a few tables away from us chain-smoking during lunch and I wanted to go over and ask them politely to refrain (i.e. punch both of them). One of the girls had a leopard-print tattoo all the way up her arm, and looked a little scary, so I sulked in silence, from a safe distance. Why anyone would smoke at all is beyond me, but if you must do it, have the decency to ostracise yourself and do it far away from me.
2. Bad manners. On this sub-list I include things like: not saying please, thank you, excuse me, beg your pardon etc; not giving up your seat for an elderly/infirm/pregnant lady anywhere in public (high school students plugged into PSP's at the MTR station, this means you!); people who push past you to get onto the MTR, ignoring the instruction to "please let passengers exit first."; and people who pretend not to notice you as you struggle to open a door and push a stroller through it while juggling shopping bags. Public displays of bodily functions (snorting, spitting, throat clearing, nail-clipping, nose hair plucking, wiping the sweat from your forehead onto the seat in front of you on the ferry) are not cool under any circumstances. Save them for home, not the daily commute.
3. The current "fashion" trend of wearing big black plastic spec frames without any lenses in them. As someone who has worn glasses, real ones, for nearly 20 years I find it offensive. And I think it looks absolutely ridiculous! It drives me so crazy I just want to walk up to these people and poke them in the eyes.
4. Domestic blindness. Yes, I am referring to the man who claims to hate clutter but seems strangely oblivious to the clean clothes on the bed/toys on the floor/cereal box still on the kitchen counter at midday/pile of bills with his name on them gathering dust on the dining table etcetera, etcetera. If you need to step over something to get where you're going you should probably pick it up and put it away, darling.
5. Unsolicited opinions/criticisms/helpful suggestions about my parenting. I take my job as a mummy very seriously and I criticise myself more than enough. Anyone making the slightest suggestion that I should perhaps do something differently, unless I've asked for advice, is going to be permanently struck from my Christmas card list (or run down the next time I'm out and about in the VW and see them crossing the street - no I haven't given it much thought at all!). This goes for friends, family members, neighbours I run into on the street and little old ladies on the ferry; I know when J is tired, hungry, cold, impatient, ready to be toilet trained/weaned from his dummy/taught to use a spoon, and do not need to be told. Chances are if I'm not doing something I "should" be it's because I'm comfortable with the way things are, and don't have the time or the patience to clean spaghetti off the walls every night. I take particular issue with others who are openly critical about the parenting choices of others, when their own kids are far from perfect... unlike mine. If you want to be helpful, tell me how adorable my son is and how much he looks like me.
I know I said there were only going to be 5 things on my list but I have to add a few extras; when people forget that they've met me several times before and reintroduce themselves; when people I know well misspell my name (Dad...); junk mail; jackhammers; spending a fortune on a haircut and hating it; leaf blowers (seriously, what's wrong with a rake?); selfish drivers who take up two car parking spots; when I have lipstick and/or food in my teeth, or panda eyes, a button or zip undone, and no one tells me; people who've lived in HK for several years and have made no effort to learn the language or engage in the local culture in any way but feel they have the right to complain about the place; and finally, I hate the fact that it was so easy to come up with a list of things I hate. I may not be spreading much love with this one, but I feel so much better now! Feel free to send me your own lists x