15 February 2008

Valentine's Day Cash Cow

I realize that buying flowers on Valentine's Day is going to be more expensive than on any other day of the year, but this is rediculous!

Roses being the flower of choice, obviously they were going to be pricey. But paying $70HKD per rose is beyond stupid. Even in Canada a dozen roses doesn't cost you over $100CDN.

Needless to say I didn't buy 12. Sorry Mai!

09 February 2008

Chinese New Year "Flower" Market

Victoria Park has a massive market set up every Chinese New Year that consists of everything from tangerine trees to inflatable condom cushions. I still don't see the connection.

This year we decided to go on the weekend, again. A bad decision, again. It wasn't as busy as last time we went, it was MORE busy. The huge crowd made it virtually impossible to see anything the vendors were trying to sell. I think I saw a couple flowers wedged in somewhere.

The only thing I could really get a glimpse of were all the various types of balloons floating around. This year lacked inflatable rats, I was dissapointed. Last year's Pig creations were much more entertaining.

07 February 2008

Santa was taken.

We have some weird names at my kindergarten, but most I have heard before in Hong Kong. There is a new student in the Nursery section getting lots of attention.

His name is Elf.

Indoor Heater

This just in from the Hong Kong Observatory,

"Make sure heaters are safe before use, and place them away
from any combustibles. Do not light fires indoors as a
means to keep warm."


06 February 2008

Excuse me sir, I'm going to have to pop your kid's balloon.

For the Lunar Chinese New Year there are a few flower markets around town. The one in Victoria Park indeed has many flowers, but 80% of what you can buy at this market are inflatable objects. Most of the plastic fun comes in the form of balloonidge.

Today on the MTR coming home I heard the following,

"Please do not bring metal balloons into the train stations, thank you."

If everyone listened to this, the market would lose almost all it's business and the economy would collapse! Oh wait it's already doing that...

It would be fun to watch MTR staff try and enforce the rule though.

Adventures in Mold

I really really miss one thing about living in Calgary. NO mold whatsoever! No bugs, no allergies, no mess at all. When you live in the cleanest city on Earth for 5 years and then come to Hong Kong, it's a bit of a shock. I thought I had avoided the dirtier side of HK quite well the past year.5

I was wrong...

We flip the mattress about every 2-4 weeks depending on if I remember or not. As advised by the manufacturer IKEASS you really only need to do this every 2-3 months. Boy I'm glad I didn't wait that long. It had only been about 3-4 weeks since the last flip, but in that time a nice patch of mold had decided to take up residence underneath the matress. "Ewwwwwww!" = Mai's exact words.

At first I had no clue as to how this happened. I flip it regularly, it's not dirty, it was clean when I last flipped it, we don't sweat THAT much, and I have a mattress pad as well. Also this just happens to be the dry time of the year. It's been raining a little but not that much. It is way more humid in the summer. Still the bottom of the mattress was damp and moldy. Hoooooray!

I moved it to the living room to let it dry out. Once dry I thought I could unzip the mattress and clean the cover. The zipper was completely jammed and the pull thing was broken off. Weird, I have never even looked at it. I thought, "Woohoo! Manufacturing defect, I can return it! Yay no more mold! Lucky me!."


I went to IKEA today to claim that the mattress was faulty due to the broken zipper (not my problem it also happened to be moldy) and therefore I could not clean it so the mattress would be wrecked through no fault of my own. NO I didn't tell them it had mold on it. So the 12 year old working at IKEASS proceeded to call his manager - this took 10 minutes - to ask if he could give me a new mattress with a working zipper. According to them, zippers are not part of the mattress therefore not covered under the mattress 25 year warranty. "How the heck am I supposed to clean it!" was my thought. What I said was the zipper is part of the mattress, the cover and foam are sold as one unit, why isn't it covered?

I got no answer.

They told me to take a picture of the damage and send it to the global IKEASS inquiry email. So in maybe 100 years they'll get to my email and reply, sorry, we can't open jpeg images over 1KB, please send again. Then another 100 years will pass and I'll be told that I'm already dead so I can't claim the warranty. Woooooo!

So now I'm stuck with a mattress that I cannot clean unless I break the zipper. Ok I already broke the zipper, so I can clean it, sort of.

I tried cleaning the cover with the shower by blasting hot water and detergent on it. This sort of worked but the stains from the mold are still there. I'm hoping that I used enough disinfectant to kill the patch of mold that was there. The actual foam inside seems to be perfectly fine, so if the mold gets worse I will have to ask IKEASS for a new cover. For now the stained one hangs drying.

After all of this I'm still angry about why the bed was moldy in the first place. The mold only shows up in the portions of the bed where the most weight is applied. I did some googling and discovered that our "convienently" designed bed was really just another word for "floor" and by being totally flat with no air to go under the mattress, we were doomed from the start. Awesome... So because of 3 small shelves and an empty storage area we have a bed that grows mold no matter what we do.

The only solution is to turn the mattress every 1-2 days so it can dry totally from any moisture created by our weight causing a moisture barrier when it's cold and damp outside. Awesome...

I hate moisture barriers...

Advice: Don't buy beds from IKEASS, don't buy a bed without a frame, and don't put a mattress on a flat surface.