Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Sesame Street in Wan Chai, Hong Kong

Day 12 - Sunday 8th August. We found the Catholic mass schedule on-line and selected a church nearby in Kowloon (e.g. a 15 min taxi ride). It was called the St Ignatius Chapel and was affiliated with a local College. It was an extremely large chapel (bigger than our Church in London) and the English mass was very full. Aside from one other woman we were the only non-Asian people at mass. It was a somewhat weird experience and people stared at us openly. The church was not particularly friendly - after mass started they projected a sign that said parents whose children were "having a tantrum were encouraged to take them outside the building". Then, during the sermon the priest literally stopped and then said to a family with three young children whose middle child (who was only probably about 18 months) was making some minor sounds 'I see he wants to escape from mass early'. And didn't start again until the father took the child outside. I thought it was a terribly un-Christian way to engage with families. So by that point I felt not only out of place but I felt mortified at the thought of the priest stopping a sermon to tell me to take my child out of mass. Of course Quentin started to to get fussy and just as I was taking him out the priest said the same thing to me - I was mortified and felt so unwelcome. I felt that the approach of this priest was totally against the teaching of Jesus (who when he preached to crowds surely had children fuss sometimes). I told Martin that we'd never be going back to that Church as we needed to find somewhere more welcoming and Christian in their interactions with people.

The rest of the day was much more fun. After a relaxing lunch and a short relax we went over to the HK Island side to the Arts Center where we saw a Sesame Street live show 'when Elmo grows up'. Theo was absolutely delighted. Quentin also enjoyed it but I think became over-stimulated and then fell asleep for about 2/3 of the show, waking in delight to watch the final scene. As we entered the Arts Center one of the ushers looked at Quentin and said 'minimum age 1 - how old is he?' Thanks to his size my pleasant response of 'he'll be ok, he's almost 1' seemed to suffice once I showed her that, yes, we had purchased four tickets and were not trying to sneak a baby into the show. She then said that she was worried that the flashing lights would scare him - his ability to sleep through most of the show demonstrated that this was an unnecessary concern. Someone I met here told me that Hong Kong is full of rules but that really anything is possible in Hong Kong (e.g. that the 'rules' often get broken). When Quentin gets bigger I'm sure that he'll be delighted to know that at just under 5 months (and toothless) I was able to depict him as 'nearly 1'. We have no babysitter right now so if we wanted to see the show as a family we needed to all go together.

We briefly visited the pool but then had an early night as Theo starts 'summer camp' tomorrow.

1 comment:

  1. What a let down that priest was, but i see from wikipedia that there are another 40 churches, 32 chapels and 25 halls of worship to try out, it will while away your time there. Any recommendations from the club?
    Good luck from Ella for Theos summer camp. She now picks out high rise buildings in her 'you choose' book as the best place to visit because Theo lives there!
    Love to all,
    Julia et al xxx