Saturday, November 19, 2011

Things that children like to eat in Hong Kong

Hi there - I know, back so soon? I had to write as today we had dumplings for lunch. Theo is a huge fan of dumplings, but he is very particular about his preferences. His undisputed favorite is xiao long bao which are special as they have soup broth inside.

To eat them you gently lift them from the top with your chopsticks and put them in your Chinese soup spoon. Carefully poke a small hole with your chopstick in the side and let some of the broth drain into the spoon. You then eat the broth and dumpling together on the spoon - delicious!

I have long known that Theo is a dumpling gourmet. What surprised me today was Quentin. I ordered a side dish of shredded seaweed and tofu served cold with red chili oil. Quentin tried a taste and simply loved it. Between us we had three - yes three! - plates of red chili tofu and seaweed. By that point my mouth felt a little bit numb but little Quentin, who I would add ate far more than me of the dishes - was still asking for more please!

As we ate Quentin kept asking for 'more please' interspersed with vehement shouts of 'no, Mommy, no' whenever I tried to sneak in a bite (as he didn't want to have to share it with me). I would dole out bites to his wide open mouth and like a baby bird (think raptor rather than songbird) he would close his mouth and then slurp in the rest of the green seaweed and brown tofu reminiscent of a bird slurping in the rest of the worms left dangling from his mouth after the initial bite. Neptune would be proud to see the amount of sea plants consumed by Quentin this lunch time!

Friday, November 18, 2011

where has the time gone!?!

Dear friends and family -
There is so much to say - I have been long delayed as I did not know where to start! This has been a transformative year which has gone from knowing nobody here and feeling incredibly unsettled, working hard to make sense of and find our way in this foreign place to finally really loving our lives here. It is a bit like falling down Alice's rabbit hole (with the added challenge of a baby and the asset of having a preschooler who does not hesitate to ask 'why'); there have been times I've felt very large or very small (interestingly, sometimes at the same time like being surrounded by a crowd of mainland Chinese blatantly trying to photograph the children at Repulse Bay beach or walking through the literal wave of people at the Chinese New Year flower market in Kowloon where I towered over most people but had to go with the flow of the wave); and, we have certainly met interesting characters along the way. Now being in Hong Kong is a bit like living life like it is an ongoing party - we are at the Mad Hatters tea party but we understand (most of) the rules so can enjoy the revels rather than feeling flustered by them.
This has truly been a year of tremendous changes, travels and adventures. I'll endeavor to write both about what is going on with us now and also provide reflections on what happened during the time where I did not write - a time in which we lived in 4 different apartments (5 if you count the summer in London), Theo has attended 3 Hong Kong and 1 British school, and Quentin has gone from a baby to a proper toddler who now races around and has started saying compound words (mooncake was his first and his most recent is the carefully spoken pine-apple).