Wednesday, November 22



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Today was a really good day! We all got up late, mostly because last night was not so good in terms of getting Emily and Stephanie to go to bed. It was okay, though, because we really had nothing planned. The weather didnít cooperate with our hopes to get to Disney Land today, since itís raining again (or still). Weíre hoping to go tomorrow (our last full day here).

We decided to go do some fun shopping today. We headed down to Ladiesí Market in Mong Kok. Itís a large outdoor market, full of individual stalls and vendors, all begging you to come in and look and all in the mood for serious bargaining. It reminds me entirely too much of Silk Alley in Beijing. We headed out on the subway and bus, which Emily and Stephanie like to do, so we were off to a good start. The only complication came when we got down into the subway station and Emily immediately announced her need to pee. Unlike Toronto subway stations, there are no washrooms--clean, dirty or otherwise--in the Hong Kong subway stations. Danny carried her back up to ground level and watered the planter on the street.

We got to Ladiesí Market and the fun began. Emily had in her mind that she wanted to buy something for her little friend at school (canít say what in case theyíre reading). We negotiated and got a good price on what she wanted so she was happy. Then, she and Stephanie saw some cheap little shoes from China that they decided they had to have. I went through the whole exercise of letting the girl try them on my kids, find the right sizes, negotiate, etc., and when she didnít come down to my price, I walked away. Danny was worried, telling me that I had disappointed my kids after letting them try them on and everything. We got about 10 metres away from that stall and I heard music to my ears, ďLady, lady, come back!Ē How about you pay just $10 HKD more? I said no and stuck to my offered price, which she then decided to take. I had the shoes in the bag, paid the price I wanted to pay, and both Emily and Stephanie were happy. Danny just shook his head. Never sure if heís proud of or embarrassed by my negotiating ability. Shortly after I completed that purchase, Emily asked Danny to carry her, and we all know what that means. She was asleep within minutes.

Danny continued to carry her around while we shopped. I wanted to find a new cell phone and given that Hong Kong is the cell phone capital of the world this is the place to do it. I had a pretty good idea what I wanted, and there were only about 50 different cell phone shops within a two-block radius, so I was able to find a new phone. In the meantime, Emily woke up, again needing the bathroom (and of course there were none) so we held her over a sewer grate. Cell phone shopping was fun, got a new one, and both kids were awake. We were all hungry by this point and not sure what we wanted to eat.

We found a stall that sold grilled meat, seafood, entrails, and other items on a stick. We decided to live very dangerously and have some, so we bought an assortment. As you can see by the photos, we all had some and the fact that Iím writing to you is a sign that we all survived. It was actually really fun. Emily also tried drinking the juice out of a young coconut with a straw. She really liked it, but Stephanie was unimpressed.

We figured any more shopping would be pushing our luck and headed back on the subway. We remembered that the new eyeglasses weíd ordered should be ready, so we walked on over to Hong Kong Optical. Both Danny and I had bought new glasses and we have them now and are quite happy with our choices. Iím certain that everyone in the store was happy when we left, too, since the girls just about took the place apart in the 20 minutes or so that we were there.

After picking up our glasses we went back to the hotel hoping for naps. It didnít look good at first, with Emily outright refusing to nap, and Stephanie not settling down. Finally, though, we did convince them both to sleep, so we were feeling good about dinner prospects. For once we didnít have any big family dinner plans, so the four of us headed out to Little Sheep hot pot and had a great meal.

The girls were really good. They enjoyed eating some green onion pancake, while Danny and I enjoyed lamb meat, beef meat, a variety of mushrooms, huge amounts of garlic, shrimp, etc. The food was excellent and really tasty. You can see the pot full of garlic cloves and other seasoning.

The girls like going to hotpot, most of the platters of food come with orchids on them for decoration. They enjoy having the orchids put onto a toothpick and then they like to use them for hair decorations. You can see how pretty they look.

We hopped into a taxi and came back up to the hotel in time for a little movie before bed. Both girls are hoping (as are we) that it isnít raining when we wake up tomorrow, so we can do Hong Kong Disney Land before we leave on Friday.