Journey To Conrad Hong Kong
I had barely unpacked from Journey To Residence Yasushi when I found myself on the road again. As I hurried through the tunnel towards the plane, I had a distinct feeling of living in a loop. I briefly thought of submitting it as an idea for a Black Mirror episode. Being post-night-shift, by the time I arrived at the Conrad Hong Kong I was completely exhausted. Nonetheless the cheery Christmas décor admist tasteful oriental touches kept my spirits up. When I woke to the amazing harbour view, I felt refreshed.
Bonding Over Good Food In Hong Kong
In our family, food is a language of love. Although my husband & his parents had already eaten beef noodles, they joined M3 & me for second breakfast. As we had risen late, we ate in the convenient & beautifully decorated Pacific Place below our hotel. Presently, we made our way to Landmark and thence to Mak’s Noodle at Central for beef noodles & wanton soup. The chunky prawn parcels wrapped in slippery wanton skin were so delicious, we ordered more after devouring the first lot.
On one of the evenings, we were delighted to meet M3’s classmate’s family for dinner. They hosted us at Dynasty Restaurant 满福楼 at Wanchai and boy did we enjoy an incredible spread. The Bombay duck fish was perfectly spiced & the Wagyu beef had great texture. When I tucked into the tender barbecued pork, I knew I had to bring M5 to Hong Kong next time for she loves char siew. My favorite dish was the clay pot boiled rice scrapings which they added to superior stock. Although this came at the end of a decadent meal, I had 2 bowlsful.
While the girls & their sisters chatted, the parents got to know one another as dinner progressed. I felt extremely grateful for their hospitality and reassured that M3 has good friends in boarding school.
In Remembrance Of Loved Ones
One of the reasons why we were in Hong Kong was so the children could pay respects to their great grandparents. And so we journeyed from the Shangri-La where my in-laws were staying, to Happy Valley where the Catholic cemetery is. Some of the great big trees were precariously balanced on the precipice of the surrounding walls, their roots splitting stones. I couldn’t help but wonder how they would fix the problem as the trees seemed so old & spread out. My mother-in-law feared they might exhume this resting place.
She shared about her mother, Josephine, and how she had died of illness relatively young. Then we went to look for Josephine’s husband’s memorial which was on the opposite wall. It was especially poignant when my mother-in-law spent time figuring out of they could see one another. If the laws of physics that govern light travelling in straight lines don’t apply to the dead, there’s a very good chance they can indeed see one another from where they are. After all, love transcends death.
On the 29th of December, we celebrated our 9th wedding anniversary in the typical way we show love: By eating together. So we started the day with celebratory breakfast at our favorite porridge place in Hong Kong with our girls & an old friend. The warm porridge on the cold morning really it the spot. I had an enormous bowl of century egg porridge & towards the end, felt like I had porridge coming out of my ears.
Later we found a seafood restaurant in a back alley where we indulged in mantis shrimp, whose texture & sweetness made the trek on the nippy night worth it. The large clams in broth and noodle were also very moreish. But the big surprise were the vegetable dishes, which were cooked to perfection, particularly the pippa toufu which were stuffed with shrimp.
After dinner we met some friends for some lovely organic wine at La Cabane, http://www.lacabane.hk/. Although we had a super time, well before midnight, I was ready to head back to the hotel with a sleepy M2. She’s still on California time. I had no such excuse; I’m just old I’m afraid.
What Is Love?
So another couple now shares our anniversary because on that day, after brunch, we actually attended a family friend’s wedding. In fact, a contingent of the bride’s parents’ pals had travelled from Singapore to Hong Kong for this. I know, we’ve almost hit the quote set by the movie, 4 Weddings & A Funeral.
Anyway, this lovely wedding was at a gorgeous cathedral on Cain Road where the archbishop married the couple. I was moved when the father of the bride lifted her veil and tenderly kissed her before giving her away. But when one of the speakers quoted St Paul’s letter to the Corinthians about what love is, I sobbed. The reason is, I thought about my own perception of love for my family & friends and how I conduct myself.
From 1 Corinthians 13, “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.” While I observe most of these attributes, I’m afraid I do have a deep memory of things people say or do, if I feel I’ve been hard done by. But it says clearly that love keeps no record of wrongs.
So maybe it took 2 weddings and a funeral (or at least, a visit to the cemetary) for me to learn this lesson. It seems love might be inexplicably spiritual, transcending death; or plain mundane, expressing itself in routines like breakfast. And love may be illogical, demanding no carefully worded explanation as closure because love keeps no record of wrongs. Maybe sometimes, it has to be enough to accept the apology that was never offered and move on, if you love that person (or yourself) enough.