Monday, January 06, 2014

China, part 4: Hong Kong

You didn't really want to see "My Favorite Scene," did you? I hope to restart it in February. And now, back to the Big Trip.

I guess it's because I was born and spent the first eight years of my life in Hong Kong when it was still a British territory, but I never think of Hong Kong as being a part of China. I don't think it's a part of my bias when I say that Hong Kongers have a very different mind-set and exhibit different behaviors than people we met in mainland China. But that's too long a story to get into here.

My sister found us a pretty cool hotel in Hong Kong. It was situated very close to a street my family had lived on once upon a time (Fa Yuen Street). This is the view out our window:
One of the best things about being in Hong Kong was seeing relatives I've not seen in 26 years. AND, I didn't have to make all the decisions with my dad when it came to meals and I could speak the dialect so trying to communicate wasn't so painful.

We had a dinner with one of those sets of relatives, my dad's oldest brother's widow and her kids. I spent a lot of time with this aunt and these cousins when I was young. They are the nicest people, and I had such a great time with them. Here's some of the food we ate that night:
Chinese people like to serve their meats with the heads in attendance. It's a little reminiscent of being served the head of John the Baptist…but we're used to it.
A family photo of me, my cousin (who was my BFF when I was little), my sister and my aunt.
Best tasting marshmallow bunnies ever! Dim sum can be fun.
This is, I think, Fa Yuen Street. Apparently, I used to live here when I was little with my mom and dad. It's a bustling market street. Lots of fun to wander and shop.
My dad's older brother and his wife kindly took us to various places to eat and sight-see. It was fun spending time with them.

One of those places was by the water in the New Territories. There were a lot of seafood restaurants all displaying a lot of wild and wonderful (and edible) sea critters:

One sunny day, we went to Hong Kong from Kowloon via the metro. It was lovely and not too hot (a nice change from the muggy days of temperatures in the mid to high 80s Fahrenheit).

Saw the funkiest caterpillar there too:
After going back to the Kowloon side, we watched the cheesy Symphony of Lights at Tsim Sha Tsui Harbour:
At a market we wandered into, we found a stall of gorgeous pressed ducks, something that I really, really miss from my youth that I can't get here in Indiana.
And speaking of missing things, after my last visit to Hong Kong in 1987, I never thought I'd say this, but I actually have missed Hong Kong. It's no longer the same since many of the people I love and associate with Hong Kong (e.g. my mom, her best friend who thought I was something awesome (which I'm not, but everyone needs an unconditional supporter)) have died. But, it brought back such vivid memories of my childhood, which were really pretty happy days on the whole.

Here we are at the airport, preparing to head back to Vancouver:
I think one of the thing hubby will miss most is…beer, darned cheap beer, out of a vending machine, at an airport, no less! (8 yuan translates into about $1.20 U.S.)
It was nice to be able to get beer at the airport, especially if you're stuck there for 9 hours like we were between flights.

And that's pretty much it for our trip. Next time, I'll share the hilarious signs and posters we saw in English while in China.

"I may not have gone where I intended to go, but I think I have ended up where I needed to be." ~ Douglas Adams