The trip to Hong Kong continued and concluded nicely, although each trip is a learning experience and I learned on this trip that a balance needs to be struck that doesn’t have us running from one appointment with friends to another as that kind of wears Tawn out.
On Saturday we met Edward and went for some shopping in Central. There was no specific agenda but Tawn hadn’t had the opportunity to do any shopping the previous weekend when he was here with his parents and other family members. We went from store to store, buying a nice top for his mother at Marks & Spencer and then – shocking – I bought my first piece of clothing from Spanish retailer Zara, ever. This was so notable that Tawn took a picture.
Famished, we climbed the hill to the Mid-levels for dim sum at Super Star Seafood on Wyndham Street. It was really good and our friend Dr. Chris finally showed up as we were finishing. He claims to be dieting because of two and a half kilos gained during a recent trip to Morocco. We did some more shopping, ending up at the IFC Mall where we had tea at Le Goûter Bernardaud, which specializes in a dozen flavours of Parisian style macaroons.
Above: Tawn finds his bearings while we’re out shopping. Edward, Tawn and I enjoy a spot of tea. The multicoloured and very rich Parisian macaroons at Le Goûter. Edward plays with his latte. Chris waits patiently as Tawn takes a picture form the check-out queue at H&M.
Late Saturday afternoon we took a cab back to the Mid-levels to see Dan and Kat’s new baby, Sophie Karima. (Above) She’s only twelve days old and is so adorable. It would have been nice to spend more time visiting but newborns have such a busy schedule: nap, suckle, bath, suckle, nap… No time for visitors!
We were rushing back to Tsim Sha Tsui to meet up with Allan, who had come down from Guangzhou earlier in the day with his wife Valerie and their daughter Emilia. Of course I failed to consider the cross-harbour traffic on a Saturday afternoon and we were almost late. Thankfully, the taxi driver suggest just dropping us off at the Admirality MTR station and we just went the one stop on the train.
Below: Sunset as we drive along the Wan Chai section of Hong Kong Island.
Above: The Samsung building is all decked out to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the handover of Hong Kong from Britain to China. The anniversary is July 1st.
Valerie and Emilia stayed at Allan’s cousins, too sick to join us for dinner but we had a nice dinner at Chuk Yuen, where Tawn and I ate dim sum the previous afternoon. While the dinner was nice, we waited almost 90 minutes for a table with the hostess being continually vague about how long it would be. If we believed her, our table was being cleaned for more than thirty minutes.
Sunday morning Tawn and I headed to the Jordan area of Kowloon to find a wet market. Tawn’s father had a list of things he wanted Tawn to bring back, including Chinese lychee, cherries, and bok choy, all of which are ostensibly better in Hong Kong than the ones we have in Thailand. Canned abalone was on the list, too, but we had already picked that up.
Our final social event of the visit was another dim sum, this time at the very nice Peking Garden restaurant in Alexandra House, Central. Valerie and Emilia were feeling better and joined Allan, and Tehlin had returned the previous day from Manila and had her infant daughter Isabel in tow. I really enjoy Peking Garden as the service is impeccable and the food is wonderful, especially the Peking duck.
Above left: Valerie, Emilia and Allan. Right: Isabel rests on Tehlin’s shoulder.
It occurred to me that the guests at the table formed a pretty accurate snapshot of the circle of friends I have, including a former colleague from San Francisco and his wife who are Chinese-Mauritian (of Hakka descent) and met and married in Montreal, Canada, returning from four months studying Mandarin in Guangzhou, China; and a former Chinese-Filipino classmate from Santa Clara University who now lives in Hong Kong with her Mandarin-fluent Australian husband and two children, talking about an Ethiopian meal I ate the last time I was in Montreal.
A highly interconnected global circle.
Right: Clockwise from top right, Tehlin, Tawn, Valeria and Emilia, Chris, and Allan.
Our return flight was smooth and we were through customs before 8:30 and I was asleep before 11:00. Nice to be home in a king-size bed!