A Star Nosed Mole

A Star Nosed Mole one of the stranger creatures on our beautiful planet


January 2013 marked 11 years since my family moved to Hong Kong for the second time. And although it’s just my mum who lives here now, and I’ve lived in Sydney, Australia for four of those years and Toronto, Canada for two, Hong Kong feels the most like home. Perhaps that is why, I always feel like I’m re-finding myself when I am here. This is the city of my first true love, my first night out, some of my oldest and closest friends. I can be away for a year and a half, and still navigate myself around like I never left. I think I walk these streets in my dreams, and years melt away when I see those familiar faces. Expat brats are one of a kind people.

It’s probably unsurprising then, that I value the advice I get when I’m here. There are a lot of older and wiser people than me, who’ve led very interesting lives that live here. And I’m lucky enough to be surrounded by love and by people who want to see me succeed, and only want the best for me.

This evening I went for a few cheap cocktails with Miss J. I met Miss J exactly ten years ago when we were both in High School and when we both signed up to do the Hong Kong Youth Arts Festival production of ‘Footloose’. What an experience. Forty five of the most frustrated Drama/Musical Theatre geeks from all the different High Schools in Hong Kong, thrown together into one huge all singing all dancing production.

We spent hours together at rehearsal, and hours hiding in the bowels of the Shouson Theatre in Wan Chai. We were just kids, chasing our passion and singing our hearts out. Bonds were formed that have continued to this day.

So back to the cocktails. Miss J has her head screwed on pretty straight and to me, it seems like not much fazes her. I could say “J, i’ve decided to sign up for the Mars cruiser expedition. I’m leaving in 8 years and I’m not coming back” and this girl would take a breath, think about it and then say “Ok. great.”

She rocks.

So tonight when we went for a few drinks and I was telling her (for the 100th time) that I don’t-know-what-I’m-doing-with-my-life, and-I’m-24-and-OMG-who-am-I?-And-I-Like-Toronto-But-what-about-London?-Or-New-York?-Or…

And after listening to me rant for a little bit, sipping on her Lychee Bellini, she put her hand on my arm and said “Paris…do what you always do…just Improvise.”


I felt like this girl had just transfigured into Buddha at the Bar and an ethereal light was beaming out of the top of her head and bouncing around the room.



Life is a series of Improvisations. Things happen, you go with them, you make decisions and you get on with your life.

I never realized that was what I was doing. I kind of thought things were just happening in my life that were a random series of events. Which is kind of what happens in Improvisation, an offer is made and then you run with it. There is no saying no in Improv, you can take what is offered and transform it into something else, but you never just stop.

That isn’t how life works.

Okay maybe it was the three (very strong) cocktails, but something suddenly clicked in my brain.

I’ve decided to go with the flow and continue to accept the offers that open to me and not put too much pressure on the way the story pans out.

After all it’s all just a bit of fun.


University words of Wisdom

My littlest brother is flying out of our home town of Hong Kong in a few short hours, to start his University journey.

I know my Mum is sad, and proud, at the same time. What an achievement, three kids through high school all by the tender age of 42.

Littlest brother is excited, and nervous, as we all were when we packed up our rooms to head to our new lives. Like I did when I hit 18, LB (Littlest Brother) is flying 9 hours and half way across the world by himself to start his higher education. Luckily we have a network in Sydney which will scoop him up and hopefully set him in the right direction.

I wish I could be there to help you in this exciting time, but sadly I am on the opposite side of the globe.

But what I can give him are some words of Wisdom from my own experience, and Canadian boyfriend is here too, and he wears glasses so he must be smart.

Eat the meals provided at College, but make sure you work out.
‘Fresher Spread’ ‘Fresher Fifteen’ ‘Freshman Fifteen’, these are universal. First year Uni students living away from home get fat, they eat crap and they drink loads of booze. Eat the free food, because you’ll be broke, but just make sure you exercise/eat a salad occasionally, because those Kilo’s are hard to shift. Trust me. You can eat cheap Thai near the Uni and get cheap deals on campus.

(Canuk Boyfs advice): Wear Condoms.
Self explanatory. As the only gay in the village, you won’t have to worry about getting girls knocked up (yay for you), but STD’s are for life man.

Have as much fun as you possibly can.
Say yes before you say no (not to drugs obviously), embrace every challenge and new opportunity. The University years are short and fleeting, but they are fun and amazing. You are not only there to learn things from books, but also to learn things about yourself and others, to learn discipline and independence. Make sure you have a good time.

(Canuk Boyfs advice): Time Manage.
Personally, I started my assignments the day they were due (I used to run to the drop box at 4.55pm because I knew they closed at 5pm and start them at 6am). But CB’s advice is work hard play hard. Get shit done and get shit faced. Or if you do it last-minute like me, then make it look good by throwing in loads of citations and fancy schmancy words.

Don’t get involved with someone you live with unless you’re prepared for the drama when/if it all gets fucked.
Loosely summarized by our mother as “Don’t shit where you eat.” At college you live with 250+ people. You see them every day, at every meal (unless you become a troll hiding in your room), so be careful. It can get nasty.

(CB advice): Talk to your parents often
Let them know how you’re doing, they are the reason you are there and they care about you. (awww! isn’t that sweet)

Get a part-time job – you’ll have the time.
Seriously, you’ll need the money for extra booze when there aren’t organized parties and to go to the local bars. Never underestimate the $5 goon sack. Also, as great as a degree is, having work experience on the resume is awesome too.


And that’s it from me, older sister done with Uni, as you start your journey. Remember all the good things – like be true to yourself and to study and shower occasionally, etc etc.

Love you lots little pants