Sunday, December 16, 2012

Hong Kong

As I mentioned in my previous blog, we recently returned from a two week trip to Hong Kong and Thailand. Ryan's parents were kind enough to offer to watch all the fur babies for us so we loaded up all three of them, their provisions for two weeks, all of our luggage and ourselves and drove to Hays, KS to meet Linda and Vearl on the same Saturday that we were to fly out of Denver.  (Maybe next trip I will consult my logistics coordinator - Ryan - about planning and timing).  We were so thankful for Grammies and Grampies as we knew we didn't have a thing to worry about while were gone (except excessive spoiling).  We drove straight to the Denver airport from Hays and got on our flight to Los Angeles where we met up with my mom for our 12:05 am flight (a flight at midnight?  What was I thinking?) to Hong Kong.  The airline is pretty good about getting you in and fed immediately so they can turn the lights down and turn up the heat to try to get everyone to sleep.  It was kind of hard to sleep for me, though, because you're just sitting there upright like in any other plane.  And Ryan, Mom, and I weren't sitting together.  Luckily they have a plethora of movies to choose from so I ended up watching Brave, Snow White and the Huntsman, and Ted.  Yes, I know I have very sophisticated taste in movies: animation, fairy tales, and a foul-mouthed teddy bear.  Anyway, it did help pass the time but I have to admit, 16ish hours on a plane is rather painful.  Ryan and I got up and walked around several times but it is hard to sit that still for that long even though I truly have no complaints about the flight/airline at all.  Because of the time change (and the 16 hour flight I mentioned) we arrived in Hong Kong around 8 am on the Monday morning before Thanksgiving.  We were lucky to be met at the airport by one of my Aunts, her best friend, one of my cousins, and his wife and were taken directly to our hotel in Kowloon, which is mainland (versus Hong Kong Island which is right across the harbor).  First things first, we went out for yum cha!!!  (Note: I have no idea if that is how yum cha should be spelled when using letters but that's how it sounds to me.  I also will probably use other words throughout that are probably not spelled correctly - including names).  Yum cha is morning tea and is also referred to as dim sum a lot in the States.  I think the main distinction between the two terms is that yum cha is referring more to the tea and dim sum is referring more to the food.  Going for yum cha is one of the things I distinctly remember from when I was in Hong Kong as a child (24 and 26 years ago!!!).  Anyway, I must have been in a fog because I don't have a single picture of our first yum cha with everyone that met us at the airport, as well as two more of my aunts, one of my uncles, and my grandma.

We were so tired that after we got into our room we freshened up and then fell asleep for several hours.  When we finally woke up we met up with Mom and some of the family (Mom stayed with family while we were in a hotel) to go to hot pot.  This was my first experience with hot pot and it was awesome.  It was basically like Chinese fondue where you order all kinds of different raw meats and veggies and then cook them yourself in boiling broth that is right at your table.  There were so many different types of meat, especially seafood, that we had never had before.  There were a couple of different clam things that I LOVED.  Check out this spread that Siel Ye is working on cooking for us.

Ryan didn't have to lift a finger the entire dinner.  My aunts were doting on him the whole time and filling his bowl with all the best food and my uncle, Ye Gau Foo, kept filling his glass with beer.  Ryan's such a lucky guy.  And he was so awesome about trying every single thing that was given to him and turns out he liked everything too!  There were only a couple things I didn't like.  It might surprise you that there is something that I actually don't like but I'm shockingly a little pickier than Ryan when it comes to meats.  I don't really care for the texture/taste of things like fats and organs but Ryan doesn't have a problem with that.  Here is my Mom with Ye Gau Foo, the closest sibling to her in age (she has 12 siblings!).

Here is the whole group:
Ye Gau Foo (uncle), Siel Ye (aunt), Mom, Me, Ryan, Sam Ye (aunt), Miu Ye (aunt), Pa Pau (grandma)

Ryan's pretty hard to pick out in this group, huh?

It was really amazing for me to be back in Hong Kong after so long.  I remembered everyone and the strangest thing happened...I started to pick up on what people were Cantonese!  I must have some sort of language reflex that was filed away in a deep, dark recess of my brain from when I was there as a child that allowed me to start gleaning bits and pieces of the conversation.  That was really pretty cool for me, in addition to just being with my Chinese family after not seeing them for SO MANY years!  They were all incredibly amazing.

After dinner, we went to Temple Street, which is apparently a huge tourist shopping spot in Hong Kong.  There were shops upon shops upon shops. 

 Mom, me, Ryan, Sam Ye, Siel Ye
It was amazing to me to see how late everyone stays out in Hong Kong.  Seriously, shops and reestaurants were all still open when we were walking around very late at night.  In fact, I later learned that pretty much everythings stays open until at least midnight.  Can you imagine being able to go to the mall at midnight?  Of course, on the flip side, everyone seems to sleep in a lot later than we do.  I think I could totally get on board with that fact, I find it rather difficult to wake up early and not stay up late so I think I have figured out which side of the family I take after.

After Temple Street we went back to our hotel room.  Here is the view we had:
Beautiful.  Breathtaking.  Heartwarming (for me at least). 


  1. I am so happy for You, Ryan, and Cindy. I've always wanted you to share this trip together.

  2. Now, can Lindsay and I go with you next time? We promise to behave.

    1. Absolutely! But what's the fun in behaving?!