Friday, April 29, 2011


Sometimes in China you find a lady wearing only a furry vest while starting a fire on the sidewalk.

In her defense, it was a bit chilly that day.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Why knowing even the tiniest bit of Canto is important

I was on my way to the market today when I heard the people behind me say gweilo ("white person". Well, technically, "white devil"). I couldn't understand what else they were saying, but looked back and they were looking at me. So I walked a bit slower, and as they passed me I said (in Cantonese) "I understand Cantonese."

I didn't have a clue in hell what they were talking about, but they looked horrified. Very satisfying.

Want to learn a bit of Canto? Go here. Or here.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Brunch cures everything

After a late night in Lan Kwai Fong we needed, well, help. So we bussed it to Causeway Bay for brunch at TOTT's. And yes - it was the cure for what ailed us. (The endless refills of champagne didn't hurt. At all.)

Plate one - salmon with champagne cream and fennel; kobe beef slider; salad; rice paper roll; crab legs; prawn; roasted red snapper:

Plate two - pasta salad with asparagus; lamb; rice paper roll; salad; oyster with mignonette; seared foie gras; stilton:

Plate three - crab legs; beef with horseradish cream; chicken with ratatouille; cambozola; braised beef cheeks in port wine; crayfish; oyster:

Plate four (things were starting to get a little fuzzy at this point) - brie, goat cheese, and stilton; creme caramel; berry tart; coffee tart; a strip of bacon; salmon:

Plate five - chocolate mousse; caramel cheesecake; chocolate pecan pie; raspberry mousse; chocolate covered pineapple:

And yet more food...


Crab legs, oysters, prawns, caviar, clams, crayfish:

Sushi and sashimi:


Various cheeses and meats:

And the most beautiful thing I've ever seen - a contraption that holds a huge hunk of cheese under a heat source where it melts and is then scraped onto a piece of bread for you:

I wept.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

More Chinese cats

First, Seng Nin - otherwise known as "Fat Pharmacy Cat". He lives at the pharmacy next door:

I've gone to visit him so many times that now, when I walk into the pharmacy to pick up a medication, they immediately say "Seng Nin?!" and run to the back to get him if he's sleeping.

And more cats around Hong Kong and the mainland....

A mother with kittens along the Tuen Mun promenade:

Cat and his chicken friends in Guangdong province:

A market kitty in the mainland somewhere:

For God's sake kitten, wipe your nose. Have some dignity:

This cat much fatter than he looks. He lives in Lo Uk Tsuen. Why is this text underlined? I don't know.

And this little buddy is my favorite. He lives at the Tung Chung ferry pier. Here he is getting in trouble with one of the pier workers for bothering fishermen. The worker was trying to keep him from running onto the pier:

After he evaded the guy and ran like hell onto the pier, he got in trouble so he got put on a leash and tied to a chair in an office:

Look at that face!

I kept sneaking in and petting him, so the guy brought him out and tied his leash to one of the seats in the ferry waiting area instead.

I love him.

Friday, April 15, 2011

The Noble Path

My sis is visiting Hong Kong and I am, of course, taking her to all of the high points.

Today we took the ferry to Lantau to visit the Po Lin monastery and the giant Buddha...

...but we just ended up drinking beer and watching this trampoline hip-hop performance instead.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Wedding bells and sea cucumbers

On Monday Kelly and I attended our first Chinese wedding. In many aspects it was similar to American weddings - the church, the dress, the reception. In others, it was quite different - the fake wedding cake, the start time of 2 p.m. and end time of 12:30 a.m., the fish head with fangs...

But let's start from the beginning.

Kelly and I got all cleaned up...

... and headed to St. Margaret's Church in Happy Valley.

It was a Catholic service, so there was lots of standing up, sitting down, standing up, praying, sitting down, communion, standing up, etc. But a very touching ceremony.

Next was a reception at the Hong Kong Cricket Club, with pâté, gravelox, crab samosas, mango cheesecake, sangria, and other goodies.

The next scheduled event was mahjong and cards at the Peninsula, which a few of us skipped. We went to The Pawn instead - an excellent bar in Causeway Bay.

And on to the Peninsula for the wedding banquet. The place was gorgeous:

The wedding cake, which was fake but still beautiful:

And now to the 12-course banquet...
Course one - barbecued suckling pig:

Course two - sauteed sea cucumber with vegetables and sweetened walnuts:

Course three - deep-fried crab patties with conpoy and jellyfish:

Course four - stewed green vegetables with bamboo pith and Yunnan ham:

Course five - bird's nest soup with seafood and fungus:

Course six - braised sliced abalone with cloud fungus and vegetables:

Course seven - steamed spotted garoupa:

(and the garoupa's head, which was placed on our table, and whose cheeks I ate):

Course eight - Cantonese-style deep-fried chicken:

Course nine - fried rice with diced roasted duck and taro:

Course ten - braised e-fu noodles with black mushrooms:

Course eleven - sweetened chestnut cream with rice dumplings:

And course twelve - Chinese petits fours:

We got home around 2 a.m. I think. It's a bit of a blur.