Hurray! Dann and Daniel arrived last Sunday and it’s awesome to have them around. I couldn’t sleep at all on Saturday night due to the excitement of it all. This showed when we all arrived home from the airport and crashed for 3 hours!
The ride on the Airport Express to pick up my boys!
Daniel was apparently behaved on both flights – they flew Brisbane to Singapore then Singapore to HK. Though apparently he woke up 3 hours out of Singapore and refused to go back to sleep (even though it was about 2am). Poor Dann. Though all Daniel wanted to do was watch TV shows. It’s kind of good that he can enjoy the onboard entertainment these days!
First evening in HK for Dann and Daniel – checking out the Symphony of lights at TST Boulevard.
So the first week with them here consisted of showing them the lay of the land: where good restaurants are (of which there are plenty!), where the good playgrounds are located (there are no bad ones that I’ve found), the nearest supermarket (about 4 doors down) and getting them oriented with the place. Of course, there was the obligatory trip to the mobile phone shop to get Dann connected to the interweb. Pretty much everything that took me about 10 days to figure out, they got the crash course in a day and a half, and every afternoon after I finished up at uni for the day.
School work everyday for Daniel!
For the most part, we’ve settled into a routine. Dann and Daniel walk me to Uni (it’s awesome living 10 mins walk away instead of the usual >1 hour drive commute from Ipswich to Brisbane) and we have a morning coffee before I go to work. Then they both go for a longer walk either to a playground to run around, or to visit a local site or something. Last week they went to the Hong Kong Science Museum. Daniel absolutely loved it, which was awesome. He raved about it for days and days and wants to go back again and again. At a cost of $25 HKD for Dann, or around $3.50 AUD (Daniel is free) it’s pretty good value for money!
Afternoons at Kowloon Park!
After this, they usually head off to have morning tea in town or in the apartment where they then do Daniel’s school work for the day. We were initially worried about the stuff that Daniel would miss at pre-school by being here in HK, but because his pre-school is awesome (I love them and cannot rave about them enough), his teachers put together a heap of worksheets that he can do while he is here. We also have a book that Daniel draws in and sticks all the paper souvenir things he has (ticket butts etc) so that he can take these home to remember his time in HK. In order to keep him and his friends at pre-school connected, I’ve been sending them photos of the things he’s been doing and also a short newsletter-type thing that tells his friends back in Australia all the things he’s been doing in HK.
Following school work time is lunch, then nap. Dann’s been taking this time, as well as the afternoon time after naps when Daniel plays with his toys/on the iPad/watches telly, to do the documentation that he needs to write for the new BMath degree at QUT. He finally finished this yesterday (it was due today), but he had to work through last weekend to finish it. So he’s more relaxed today, and next weekend we can all do something together!
The time after I finish up at Uni are usually spent together at the park. We’re quite frequent visitors of the playground at Kowloon Park these days, as well as the other playgrounds around TST! It’s really, really nice to have them both with me here.
Last weekend (while Dann was finishing the BMath documentation), Daniel and I went to the Hong Kong Space Museum and Middle Road playground. This was a great way to spend a Saturday. On Sunday, we made our way to Noah’s Ark in the New Territories. Again, it was a nice day out for Daniel and me.
Cooking up dinner in our little apartment.
Work-wise, I’m still thinking of way in which I can incorporate Dr Tam’s work into my wayfinding BN. It’s hard as her data is more on levels of service stuff, but I have a couple of ideas which will hopefully pan out. I’m meeting with her and Prof Lam again on Wed morning. In the meantime, I’ve been surprisingly productive doing other things.
I’ve finished all I can do on a paper that the Complex Systems team I’m in are working on. It’s on visualisation of BN model results and is shaping up to be a really nice paper. I’ve also started on my BN methods paper, which is a good thing. I have a fairly solid idea of where this paper is headed (finally), so it’s nice to be able to make some progress on it – even if this progress is just putting my references in BibDesk and summarising the relevant papers to which I’ll be referring!
Anyway. I’ll end this post on some dot points that I’m too tired to elaborate upon (I really haven’t been sleeping well at all and it’s all starting to catch up with me):
- While I love having Dann and Daniel here, I still think that this whole thing has been quite selfish on my part. Uprooting everyone and so forth. I know it’s a great experience for as all, and as Dann says ‘It’s what academics do’, I still feel guilty about it. Particularly when Daniel gets upset and says ‘I miss home’. That gets me every time.
My little boy. I love him so.
- I still have no freaking idea about what I’m doing. Apparently this is a common feeling among academics who aren’t completely up their own arses. Or so I’ve been told. I’ve been feeling this way since I started this degree and it hasn’t stopped. I doubt it will.
- Looking beyond PhD completion, I have no idea where I’m headed. I like academia, but I’ve also seen the bad side of it too (in work and personal lives of others). I guess that’s the same everywhere though. The question is: Can I survive in the real world, and would the real world even want me?! For the first time in years, I actually have nothing in place after I submit my thesis in a few months’ time. I’m at the point of trying to balance my time doing my work and applying for post-doc jobs etc.
That’s it for now. More to come once I get some much needed sleep. Though I’m beginning to think that’s not going to happen until after I hand in this thesis.
Le sigh, le sigh.
Afternoons spent together at Kowloon Park!