Later we met Bot Gau Foo for lunch and conversation. He tried to take us to a foot reflexology place he knew of because our feet hurt from walking so much all week...but it was booked up for the rest of the day. Ryan and I decided to go back to our room and start packing our bags as we were leaving very early the next morning. Mom went to play mah jong (sounds like mah jurk in Cantonese).
Bot Gau Foo picked Ryan and me up later that night for Papau's 89th birthday party. Because the family is so large and because everyone lives in such small spaces, the party was in two connected private rooms in a restaurant. When we showed up several family members were singing karaoke (I remember lots of karaoke in Hong Kong from when I was a kid) and several others were playing mah jong.
Oy, the food, the food, the food. The food was glorious. We had my favorite dish on earth: abalone, Chinese mushrooms, and lettuce, and we had fish, and barbecued meats, and magical fried crab thingies, and veggies, and so much more. Here Mom is dishing up walnut shrimp (totally different than walnut shrimp in the States - other than walnuts and shrimp are involved in both and you wouldn't think that should work but it just does).
Mom, Lok Yan (cousin), Ka Yan (cousin), boyfriend, friend
We got to sit at the table with two of my cousins, two of my uncles (and their significant others), and one aunt and her friend. We were able to take tons of pictures throughout the night of everyone there. We felt like celebrities. My cheeks told me they wouldn't want to be a celebrity because they were very tired from smiling all night. But I had a lot to smile about. Some of these pictures are fuzzy but I want to post them anyway. M Ye's family:
Starting in back: Hubert, Ryan, me, M Ye, Polly, Roy
Sam Ye's family:
From back: Lok Yan, Ka Yan, boyfriend, Sam Ye, friend, me, Ryan, Mom
M Gau Foo and his wife:
Back: Ye Gau Foo, me, Ryan, Mom, Sam Ye, Lok Yan Middle: Miu Ye, Winnie Front: Hing Hing (cousin), Siel ye, Papau, M Ye
Back: M Gau Foo's wife, Hing Hing, me, Ryan, Mom, Sam Ye, Ka Yan, Lok Yan, Chut Gau Foo, Chut Gau Foo's son, Bot Gau Foo, Chut Gau Foo's wife Middle: Look Gau Foo's daughter, Ye Gau Foo, Siel Ye, Papau, M Ye, Polly Front: Miu Ye
Back: friend, friend, Hubert, M Gau Foo's wife, boyfriend, Ka Yan, Papau, Sam Ye, Bot Gau Foo, girlfriend, me, Ryan, Mom, Ye Gau Foo Middle: Siel Ye, Winnie, M Ye, Look Gau Foo's twin girls, Great Aunt, Say Ye Front: Miu Ye, Polly
A funny note about seeing my Great Aunt: I didn't remember her at first but the minute my Mom said "Do you remember spending the night at her house?" And I said "Oh my goodness! Yes! I cried all night and made her call you to pick me up at probably 3 am!" I even remembered exactly what her flat looked like (koi at the back of the room) and the room I slept/cried in. How can I possibly remember those things? I apologized profusely for my actions 26 years earlier. Oy.
Here Ryan and I are with Polly. Polly was very little last time I was in Hong Kong and says I used to kiss her all the time on her eyes and nose. I apologized to Polly too.
I just went back through the pictures and realized I didn't have Look Gau Foo in here so I'm attaching the group picture below. You've seen everyone else in the picture except Look Gau Foo, (only guy in the picture besides Ryan), his wife right beside him, and Valerie, the little baby in Siel Ye's arms. Valerie is my cousin Ming Ye's (Day 3) daughter.
Phew, I think I got pictures of most the people there. And I got a lot of contact information, too, so I can keep in touch.
We once again were back to our hotel late at night and this time I was sooooo sad that our visit to Hong Kong was coming to an end. I was extremely thankful that I was able to make the trip and it was so fulfilling to be in touch with a side of my family and a part of me that I haven't been able to experience for a lot of my life but somehow I still knew I missed. I wonder if it's like that for everyone whose background is from two distinctly different cultures.