Home is where the congee is…
HOME IS WHERE THE CONGEE IS…
“Home is where the congee is…”-Nathan To (yes, my quote! don’t steal it without citing me. haha)
It’s been about a month since my last blog piece. Clearly, I didn’t write a word while I was living it up in Hong Kong. Not only was I livin’ it up, I was eating 3-5 times more than I usually do in London, and certainly, feeling very much at “home”, since my Dad was there along with some “relatives” (in quotation marks, because it’s the “Chinese” sort of close relatives, but not blood-related…too bad no sibling or sibling-in-laws, but we’ll conquer the UK in March!).
Graciously housed by the Lau family in beautiful Tai Po, New Territories, I set to embark on a month-long feast in early December. For those concerned about my health from such month-long gluttony, Don’t worry. I only gained a miniscule 5 lbs, thanks to Uncle HF & Auntie Emily’s gym in the clubhouse. Pretty good considering how much I apparently shrunk after 3 months in London. Shrunk? Yup–I was actually surprised that everyone who saw me was shocked that i had shrunk so much horizontally since my 3 month stay in London thus far (Shrunk? “Horizontally?”….just think about it. Email me if you’re still confused 😉 ). Apparently I inspired my “cousin”, Kara (Chinese style “cousin”, you know), and so, in addition to being a Food Critic, Tourist, Amateur Trigger-happy Photographer and Eating Machine in Hong Kong, I also served part-time as a “personal trainer”. Who knew I shrunk so much?!? I guess staring at myself in the mirror, it’s difficult to see your own shrinking. I still have some shrinking goals before I hit 30 (Our 30’s are the new 20’s, right?), so we’ll see if I shock anybody back home in the summertime. …(Completely RANDOM Aside: While writing that one sentence, I thought of Milgram’s infamous “electric shock” experiments on obedience to authority figures. For those who don’t know, this social psych experiment took place sometime in the early 1960’s. Brief summary from wikipedia (naturally!):
The experimenter (E) orders the teacher (T), the subject of the experiment, to give what the latter believes are painful electric shocks to a learner (L), who is actually an actor and confederate. The subject believes that for each wrong answer, the learner was receiving actual electric shocks, though in reality there were no such punishments. Being separated from the subject, the confederate set up a tape recorder integrated with the electro-shock generator, which played pre-recorded sounds for each shock level…Some test subjects paused at 135 volts and began to question the purpose of the experiment. Most continued after being assured that they would not be held responsible. A few subjects began to laugh nervously or exhibit other signs of extreme stress once they heard the screams of pain coming from the learner) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Milgram_experiment )
Great! Now you’re reading to continue listening to me talk about all the food I ate in Hong Kong.
HK Food eaten highlights:
Congee, of course! Peking Duck (lots), “Fortune/Wealth Chicken” (though, historically called Beggar’s Chicken, I’m told), Teppanyaki, Siu Long Bao (lots), Squirrel Fish (sweet and sour), Ha Gow, Siu Mai, Chicken Feet, Congee!, Soy Chicken, Awesome Chinese Egg dish thing, Massive amounts of seafood, Wonton noodles, a wonderful buffet on top of a Revolving Restaurant, a wedding banquet, Haagan Daas ice cream…and lots lots lots lots more food. Those are just the ones I can remember! Thanks again to everyone who treated me to a wonderful Feast or Special event and/or packs of haw flakes–DAD, Uncle HF & Auntie Emily, Kev (“Cuther”) & Shu Ying, Kara, Uncle CY & Auntie Alice, Jason, Uncle Yiu & Auntie Pat, and everybody else! I hope I did not forget anybody?
Thanks also to all my old friends (you’re old, not because you’re old, but old because I’ve know y’all for a long time), who hung out and/or treated me to good food. You know who you are. I’m gonna advertise you, so that others from Vancouver can come visit and g
et the same treatment from you. wwahaha 😉 Chinese Eric, BonBon, JoeJoe (and your hubby), Adela Hamburger Helper, Karenlo (and Sam and little baby Evan). Please contact them if you want a feast too.
Mainland Trip Highlights
Now on to one of the best trips I’ve ever been on. I went on an awesome trip to Xian with Dad, and a pretty good Chinese Tour, I gotta say. Funny tour guides and a good group of people touring along. Xian was breathtaking! I’m just gonna list out some of my highlights, and not describe as much, b/c words can’t do the experience justice (and, again, I’m feeling a bit lazy. haha)
*Terracotta Warriors (wow. I stood there for like a total of an hour..not at once, b/c I also had to follow the tour around the exhibition, but I went back later to the primary viewing area of the warriors and just stood there, gazing. I dreamt of coming here for maybe decades after realizing it existed…<maybe during elementary school?>). Click here for links to info about Terracotta (from China Tourism site)
*Hua Shan (Amazing mountain range, and made extra famous by its being mentioned as the site where these awesome powerful martial artists had a legendary, powerful battle…Of course, this mention came from a martial arts novel by Jin Yong, “Legend of the Condor Heroes”. The timing of our visit was perfect. It had just snowed on Hua Shan before we arrived in Xian, but was really sunny when we made our own visit. As a result, the snow adorned the mountains beautifully, and the clear, sunny skies just made for an amazing view of the whole mountain range) Link to Hua Shan page.
*Huaqing Hot Springs (site of Lady Yang Statue) Link
This was a pretty cool place too, being the site famous for Imperial Bathing Pools of Royalty and royal ministers and officials, if I’m not mistaken. It’s also famous for having a large nude statue of Lady Yang Guifei bathing in a pool. Naturally, there were a lot of folks posing with the statue. Oddly, there were an awful lot of Mainlanders in leather jackets surrounding the statue, taking pictures and posing with it for excessive amounts of time. And if one group left, another group came to do the same thing. What does that mean? I’ll leave that to you. All I know is that they were Happy. Quite Happy. ….That’s just an observation 😉 hahaha.
Hmm…I think I’ll just list the rest of the sites I visited + links, and link to a picture album a bit later, b/c my dissertation is calling me 🙂
*Mausoleum of Western Emperor Jing, Liu Qi. Apparently, it took 28 years to put this together Click here for link to info about the Mausoleum.
*Big Wild Goose Pagoda. Link to info
*Small Goose Pagoda (lots of cool older folks exercising in various forms of martial arts around the surrounding park. Some folks did a form of “Badminton Tai Chi”. Actually looked pretty neat. Will try to remember to comment on this later) Link
*Tang Dynasty Music & Dance Show (this was pretty fun) Link
*Stele Forest Museum (Giant ancient stone tablets with Chinese script and records) Link
Ok….there’s a lot more too we went to, but I gotta look through the pictures again and sift through their Names and compare that through research with my tour book and the Chinese tourism site…which takes too long. haha. So, let’s just say I went to a lot. Perhaps when I post the pictures, I’ll offer some more detail.
…ahhhh.. Home is Indeed where the Congee is.