Monday, November 05, 2007

I'll Be The Fat and Red-Eyed one

Recently eaten: fish balls and pig skin
Recent annoyance: smog makes my eyes dry

Full day number one in Hong Kong. I slept about 4 hours last night...

This morning, the mom and I woke up starving at around 7 AM. She sent my uncle, and her younger brother on his bike to find us some food...and quick. Thank goodness for my mom's seniority in the family. He returned with a morning favorite: little rolls made of rice and water in soy sauce and peanut sauce. See pic below.

Mom and I are staying in a house that my family built when my grandfather was still alive. Most of the houses around here are mostly made of concrete and tile. Seems as though most houses are constantly in a state of either construction or repair. One nice change is that there are many fewer stray dogs running around. When I visited as a child, one of my greatest scares came from stray dogs running through the streets between the houses and barking ym cousins and I. I was probably about 13 or 14 when I found out that you could thoroughly confuse a charging dog by opening an umbrella in its face.

After our early breakfast, Mom, two aunts and an uncle went to dim sum. if you've never been, there is an art to it and especially in Hong Kong. Dim sum may be eaten at almost any time of the day, although the earlier yoou go, the older the crowd is. When you sit down you get one pot of tea and an empty pot. The empty pot is for the tea yoou use to wash your plates, bowls, cups and chopsticks. This is not considered rude, but a necessity in a aplce where the running water is not sanitary. The plate is for your cup of tea and any bones or wrappers you discard in the course of the meal. And for god's sake, do not leave your chopsticks crossed on the table or stuck in the middle of a plate of food. It is all right to use hands for buns etc. but you should grab that with your chopsticks first. These rules can be more lax when dining with family.

Eating in Hong Kong is like a religion. There are as many if not more small cafes and restaurants lining the streets as shops and stores. My mom asked me if I was full after brunch, but noted that we would probably just eat later before dinner anyway. Sounds about right.

I also snapped a pic of this odd toilet in the tea house before we left. The toilet seat had an automatic system to put a seat cover on it and it was possible to have the seat heated. Pretty posh.

We stopped at the train station to get some fare cards and I noticed this disturbing ad for a weight loss system of some sort.
I'm not exactly sure if the weight is in pounds or kilograms or whatever, but if I weighed 120 anything, I'd be jumping for joy. 120 stone, 120 bags of flour. I have already been referred to as "big-boned" numerous times by my relatives and my mom. Apparently, I am quite the oddity. My cousins noted my "broad shoulder" but stopped short of calling me fat. Nice to know that I would have to get down to 105 boxes of butter before I could fit into any jeans sold here.

While walking back from our afternoon snack of sweet tofu and fishballs and pig skin, my mom saw a bird she had never seen before. She asked my aunt what kind of bird that is, to which she replied, "the kind that tastes good in soup." Gee, I wonder where I get it.

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