Thursday, December 11
Today got off to only a slightly better start than yesterday, with the clock a glaring 4:26 at wake up time. Yikes, when will this get better??
We headed down into the city after getting everyone showered and dressed. We’ve now got it down to a science. Late every day one of us goes to the bakery and buys fresh bakery items (coconut buns for Emily and hotdog buns for Stephanie). Yes, the bakery is open in the morning, but not at the ungodly hour we’re getting up!! So every day starts with buns for the kids and Danny, and some strange cereal I bought after the Special K fiasco for me. This is the local equivalent, about the same in terms of nutritional content. I got excited when I opened the box, because it actually looked more like real Special K, but that’s where the similarity ended. Absolutely NO taste. Oh well, that and instant coffee aren’t exactly exciting me, but they fill the gap.
We went back out on our “mission”. The “daddy-promised-me-before-we-left-home-that-you’d-buy-me-a-new-housecoat” mission. For all the smart-asses reading this, guess how popular fancy housecoats are in Hong Kong (where laundry isn’t easily done due to high electricity prices, and the high humidity). NOT POPULAR. Not easy to find. We had (you’ll remember) already scouted out H&M and M&S, ‘cause they were the spots I thought we might have success. We took the bus to Causeway Bay and went into Sogo. Actually, if I’m honest, we went into Sogo primarily because Emily had to pee, but I digress. Sogo is like a 8 floor department store, only it isn’t one store, it’s a massive collection of small boutique stores. After taking care of Emily’s bathroom need, we went to the children’s floor, and as you can see by the photos, we bought shiny, satin, blue Disney princess housecoats. Yes, two of them. Not to be outdone by her sister in blue satin, Stephanie decided she needed one too. Don’t even ask what I paid, ‘cause I won’t tell you, but let’s just say we did a very large favour to Hong Kong’s economy today!
Back up to the hotel for a bit to relax. This afternoon, we met Danny’s number five aunt and his number eight aunt to go to his dad’s memorial to pay homage. You can see by the photos that the kids did their 4 and 6year old best to participate. Their behavior was a bit dodgy, but not that bad. They had a lot of questions about why daddy was leaving tea, and oranges, and cakes, but that was to be expected.
After that, we dropped into a little dumpling house and had a snack, because we have dinner plans later tonight with a couple of Danny’s cousins. Nice little shrimp dumplings, and not too filling.
We brought Danny’s aunts back to the hotel for a cup of tea and a bit of rest, then used the hotel shuttle to get down to the subway. Subway took us to Mong Kok where we were meeting Danny’s cousins for hotpot. The kids were falling asleep in the subway, so we knew it wasn’t going to be good.
The food on the other hand was really really good. Probably the best hotpot I’ve had. The food was very fresh, and the soup was lovely. You can see how excited Stephanie was with dinner. Yes, she slept through the entire meal. She fell asleep on my lap before the food started arriving, so we grabbed an extra chair, covered her with Danny’s jacket, and that was it for her.
Emily. Oh Emily. Emily has anxiety when people, especially older people, touch her and speak at her in Chinese. In fact, she gets really very upset, and gets upset with me when I can’t stop it. I’m always torn between realizing that the aunts and everyone just want to see the kids, and can’t speak a word of English, and protecting Emily. I had warned her in advance that the aunties are older, so English isn’t an option, but she was still upset.
She really came out of her shell, once Danny’s cousins arrived, though, because they both speak fluent English. In fact, she took the photo of them that you can see, and she was chattering with them and had a great time. She even ate some dinner, so that was a real bonus.
After dinner it was already past 10pm as we got back on the subway. We used a taxi to get from the subway to the hotel, since that’s such a cheap and pleasant option here. The girls and I collapsed into bed within seconds of being back at the hotel, and we called it a good day all around.
Big plans for tomorrow, as long as we get some sleep…….