Day #9 – An Angry Letter of Complaint to a Bee (of all things)…

Dear Ingeborg “Apidae” Trunchbull the Bee,

Yes, I know that isn’t your real name.

In fact, since you are just a bee that lives around Centennial Garden I don’t even need to make one up for you.

But I’m doing so anyway to make me sound less crazy when I am personifying and writing a letter to a freaking insect.

Ingeborg by the way because it was the most random girl name I could think of starting with an “I” (since I assume you are a worker bee which are all female, and the letter to stand in for Insect, just because). Apidae for the taxonomical family you are in (along with all other bee species).

As for Trunchbull… well I needed a last name and your threatening buzzing around in my hair reminded me of Agatha Trunchbull’s words (clip from the 1996 movie) from Matilda by Ronald Dahl.

matilda_and_the_trunchbull_by_piano_kun-d309n7n
Thanks, GreenGlassesGirl from DeviantArt! 🙂

Anyways…

Hi! I’m Rebecca.

You know, that girl who shows up in Centennial Gardens a lot to help give recorded feedback about friend’s spoken English for a school project?

The one you keep following for no good reason?

Yeah.

Hi. I’m not happy right and want to talk, Ingeborg.

Please… sit. (or hover menacingly, I don’t care as long as you listen)

I’m not sure WHY you keep chasing me in particular, maybe it is my hair scrunchies that you keep mistaking for flowers or the new shampoo I’m using or whatever,

But please:

For the love of all things holy…

STOP IT!

This is nearly the 4th day in a row now.

And its always me specifically.

Not the person I’m tutoring, not the other students near me, heck not even the dozen or so other people milling around the park at any given time!

No, it’s always ME.

And you have some weird obsession with my hair.

I get it.

You are a vital part of our world’s ecosystem and have a job to do so you don’t starve over the coming winter months.

Maybe you are behind on nectar collection and need to work overtime.

Or maybe I’m giving you too much credit.

Maybe you just want to imitate Barry B. Benson from the Bee Movie (2007) by falling in love with a female human, accidentally altering the world’s ecological balance, before stealing a party float, hijacking a plain and saving the world’s flowers.

Or I’m galactic royalty and you are acknowledging it like I’m Jupiter Jones in Jupiter Ascending (2015).

But today…. TODAY….

Today was the last bloody straw.

Today, you held my freaking laptop hostage to get my attention.

Bee
Caught in the act!

You forced me and my Tutee to relocate to the stairwell of Hoi Oh Chow to continue our recording (which is much louder than the gardens).

Heck, you showed up at Happy Park today to annoy me while I walked around different booths learning about service opportunities.

Don’t you dare deny it! I’ve got a good half dozen witnesses!

Like that’s not even part of Centennial Campus!

What the HECK, Ingie??

(unless it was one of your friends/sisters in which case, tell her to stop as well)

So yeah.

If I haven’t made this abundantly clear by now….

Piss off, Ingeborg Trunchbull the Bee!

Stop chasing me around and messing with my hair, or… or… [Insert statement here that a bee would find threatening]!

Ha!

Signed with (heavily sarcastic) love,

Rebecca

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Day 21 – Scampering Around Trying to Sort My Life Out (A Filler Post & Rant)

Yesterday, I said I would be doing Snacks: part 2 today, but given the title, you can probably see where this is going.

Just as a heads up tomorrow will also be a filler one, since I am going to Ocean Park with some of my school friends, so won’t be back til late (and need to sleep earlier today), so if any of you are waiting for the snacks post, see you some time after day 23 (because I really need a few days of doing nothing and relaxing right now)!

On to the prompt! Which is…. * drum roll *

Scamper (July 2)!– (It showed up earlier than normal, so I can actually do today’s prompt, rather than yesterday’s one)


Scamper!

That word just about sums up what I’ve been doing for a while now.

Scampering from one project to another, one idea to the next.

Thought after thought fills my mind without pause, from the moment I wake up to the second my head hits the pillow. Even my dreams are sometimes filled with tense situations that ask – nay – demand my attention.

I’m being pulled 90 directions, trying to make the most out of “the best 4 years of my life”.

Trying to:

  • figure out how to apply for exchange
  • look for internships
  • decide my next semester’s classes
  • type up blog posts/Camp Nanowrimo
  • list textbooks on Carousell
  • catching up on books I need to read

On and on the to-do list grows…

But above all…

Trying to figure out what I want to do after I graduate university. 

It’s not a controlled run, where there is a goal in mind and a pace to be set.

It is a frantic grasping of straws, attempting everything at once and getting nowhere.

And I am EXAUHSTED.

Pure and simple.

Because I JUST DON’T KNOW!

I don’t know what I’m doing, I don’t know how or what I’ll get a job in (Ecology and History not really known for tons of jobs) and I don’t know what the future holds for me!

If I did, it would be simple.

Just complete the skill tree that leads to me following my career path (which at this point, is more a meandering stream). Unfortunately, it’s not.

The fear of the unknown causing is to dart off wildly in an unclear direction right now, and I hate it.

All that build up of my life til this point and this is what I end up as.

A tense, anxiety ridden mess, reacting to things rather than proactively planning a course of action

Though now I think about it…

I guess that is the feeling that a cockroach gets when I suddenly switch on a light!

So much change has happened, but no time to plan.

In that instant, just one action comes to mind…

SCAMPER!


Thanks for taking the time to read my semi-rant 😛

Rebecca

Day 14 – Return of the Wifi

And the wifi is back at home! Whoop!

Bit unsettling how much I rely on it these days… Like it truely is something you don’t realise how much you use, until you have to switch over to your phone’s 3g 

But yeah once again it is getting late (28 minutes to finish this post) and I am frantically typing away. I really nees to work on my planning for these things.

As I was typing this date out, I just noticed that tomorrow will be the half way mark to completion of this challenge.

Still not sure how I’m going to end this thing off, though I have a few ideas based around some of the reoccurring themes that seem to crop up in my posts (late minute typing, book and or greek myth references, talk about Austin/HK etc). We will see though! 

Been thinking (or more accurately worrying) about my uni scores (coming out soon) and just my general life goals and where I will be in 5 years time a lot in the past few days

Not sure why, I guess it is a combination of meeting old secondary school friends and realising that I am not a kid anymore. Like my future is quite literally in my own hands and I can’t really rely on those childhood fantasies of hidden innate talent or a dream of being famous without effort now.

And that I am behind, like so many other people my age not only have done something, they’ve succeeded ans made a carreer out of it. Heck many people younger than me have won olympic medals or acted in shows that will continue to be seen years from now. 

In comparison, I’ve… gotten into uni I guess? Doesn’t seem the same does it…

I don’t know, it seems like all the young adult fiction books have the heroes doing something fantastic with their lives by the time they turn 16 or 18 at the latest, no one really talks about being there at the cusp of adulthood and teenager years. Maybe I just need to read more books XP

Well I’m running out of time (11 min now) and still need to put tags on this thing! More tomorrow!

Rebecca

Day 8 – Filler post: Why is it so hard to get rid of textbooks in HK?

Because no one likes to here excuses about why the promised speed cubing post isn’t out yet, quick fire round of the excuses reasons why there is a filler post today:

  • The speed cubing post started to get longer and longer to the point where it really was better off if I split it up into different posts, which requires some editing
  • Posts with photos of things just take longer to do and I was out all day at Kadoorie Farm and Botanical Garden (yup, combined with the LBJ garden reference from the last post and your assumption that I am a massive biology geek is 100% accurate)
  • Considering it is 10:30pm right now, there would be no way I would finish it in time, and I’d rather not lose my streak on day 8, especially since I posted a few days ago about how easy it was so far

So instead, you are going to get a filler post of sorts, where I ponder something quite pointless in the hopes of giving “future me” enough time tomorrow to finish it up (or come up with another post on why I’ve delayed it again)

So on to the question…


Why is it so hard to get rid of used textbooks in Hong Kong compared to in the USA?

And I don’t mean that rhetorically either, I am genuinely curious about this, and if any of you have the answer or any theories, I’d love to hear them in the comments below!

All the normal places you would think to sell textbooks turn out to be dead ends:

  • Websites like Slugbooks or Chegg are USA + Canada based only, and even if they weren’t you run into shipping cost problems
  • Amazon forces you to either sell on the Mainland China market (where the demand for English language textbooks is extremely low) or find a way to sell on the USA/Canada one (which while I get past some issues since I’m an American, customs, shipping time problems, and extremely negative opinions on things sold from Asia by some Amazon users make it not worth it). Oh and currency exchange issues as well
  • All second hand book stores I’ve checked explicitly ban textbooks (don’t blame them, otherwise there would be no room for anything else)
  • Public libraries won’t accept them (same issue as above)
  • The various other charities are want textbooks for younger kids, not the Year 12 & 13 books that make up most of the clutter in my room
  • No luck with my school’s second hand books facebook page either, everyone already seems to have bought their books new already

So right now I’m flogging them off on Carousell (the Asian equivalent of Cragslist but an app). Several weeks in so far, and still no bites, but we will see…

But I can’t for the life of me figure out why it’s so difficult compared to the US.

(Or at least my experience spending a summer selling textbooks online or donating them to the numerous second hand books stores before moving to HK)

Tons of people are selling their books for half the cost of new books in perfect condition, yet no one is buying second hand books for some reason.

Is it just that Hong Kong has more of a throwaway culture compared to Austin?

I’m not so sure. While it is the argument often given time and time again by newspaper opinion pieces, to me it seems unconvincing, as the recent phenomenon of replacing rather than fixing isn’t exclusive to one place.

Perhaps new textbooks are cheaper here, thus there is less of an incentive to buy used?

Possibly, though again, since pretty much all of my textbooks are in English with a international curriculum, the cost should be more or less the same and a quick Amazon scan confirms that theory. While some are indeed cheaper (I’m guessing because the textbook industry here isn’t as powerful as it is in the US, though don’t quote me on that), its still a huge amount of savings buying used compared to buying new.

A question of storage space and convenience?

This is my leading theory, that expensive land prices mean that there is an incentive:

  • not to take up space with big bulky second hand textbooks that might never get sold/ get sold for far less than other books that could take up the same
  • to just order and have them shipped to the school then placed in a locker, where they never have to take up space at home (until the end of the school year where you fall into the same situation I’m in with a tiny room overflowing with textbooks and no way to get rid of them

Or maybe HKer’s just like new textbooks 😛

I mean you should see how carefully some people wrap their books in plastic and use only sticky notes that won’t mark the pages, being careful not to crease the cover…

then again is an equal amount of people who highlight, annotate, make up and dog ear pages to the point where the book is unrecognizable ala “Half Blood Prince Potions Book” (minus all the magic, then again chemistry might as well be potions considering how little of it I understand at times )

But yeah..

Makes you wonder why there are thousands of books about how to buy things in different places or organise them in your home, but no books on how to get rid of stuff in different cities… maybe increased consumerism is the right answer all along?

Who knows? All I can tell you is that my old textbooks have staged a coup d’etat and invaded large parts of my room, so if anyone has advice on how to fight back against the hoard , I’d love to here it!

Rebecca