Things I’ll Miss About Hong Kong. Part 3. Random

I am running out of things to miss now. We all know this wasn’t my favourite place and there are dozens of things I won’t miss, but I’ve discussed them at length before.

So back to what I will miss.

My friends of course. Despite its transient nature I was able to make a few friends who still live there.
I’ll be honest though, its not hard to stay in touch and I’m sure we’ll still be a part of each others lives, just from a distance.
There are only few true friends, relationships sometimes built on the need for company, support and vodka that worked out well. I’ll miss those girls.
I am looking forward to getting home to my old friends whose lives I’ve been missing out on all this time. Back into the security of people who have known me so long, relationships built on trust and history.

Someone told me the other day how I would miss my helper. She meant miss the help not the person. I will miss my helper as a person. She was a hard working woman with pride, common sense , a sense of humour and great strength of character. I admire her and like her. So yes I will miss her.
Will I miss someone cleaning for me and cooking for me? Hell No!
I am very much looking forward to being the mistress of my house. The keeper of the keys. The stirrer of the pots. The homemaker.
I like to clean my own house. I have a nice house, I’m proud if it and I want to look after it. I like to potter. Sure, I’m not the tidiest person in the world and I get distracted by other projects. But it’s my mess, in my house and I’ll tidy it up when I’m good and ready. So ner.

I like cooking. I like cooking in a nice big, bright, clean kitchen.

I like shopping for my groceries. I like shopping in a supermarket where the checkout staff are nice, chatty and don’t bark things like “you want bag? 50¢!” ” you ga muni bac car!?” Which translates as “do you have a money back card white guilo trash?!”

Will I miss someone looking after my kids so I can swan off at a moments notice? No. I quite like my kids. They’re fun. I like doing stuff with them. They’re my kids.
We also have grandparents who like to spend time with them and haven’t been able to for a while. I also have great friends and neighbours who are like aunts and uncles. If I’m desperate to escape or need to do something and can’t take the kids, I know I can get some help. It’s called family and community.

After a few weeks of being on my own with two kids, two dogs and a six bedroom house, it’s possible I may crack a little and ask for help. I might decide a cleaner once a fortnight is good idea.

I may just decide to laugh, put my feet up with a glass of wine and worry about the mess in the morning.

Most of all, I’ll miss my husband who has to remain in Hong Kong for a while longer. My rock who stays behind to secure the family’s future while the kids and I go home to start it. He’s my hero.

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Things I’ll Miss About Hong Kong. Part 2. Over indulging.

Over indulging. Ok, I might not so miss this as remember it as something fun we did too often.

Hong Kong is a very Foody place. My husband is a Foody. He loves good food, good wine and plenty of it. So we eat out quite often. We also have a helper who is a self taught awesome cook. And a wine collection that makes Robert Parker envious I’m sure.

At weekends we might eat out in Soho at our favourite Argentinian steak restaurant. La Pampas. Or one of the middle eastern places with belly dancers.
We might stay in Discovery Bay for Mexican at Carambas! Or 22°North or Mirch Masala.
There is always a choice and that choice is bad news for your waistline and your pocket.

For lunch we might have Dim Sum at Tim Ho Wans, or Peking Duck at the Summer Palace in the Shangri La. The boys love it here. They like the minced duck with lettuce leaves.

Hong Kong has a lot of hotels that serve Sunday Brunch. Sunday Brunch is the thing to do with a family or friends at the weekend. Every hotel is different in its approach except for one thing. The free flow champagne, that’s a given. Some might do a Saturday brunch with free flow sparkling wine, just to be different. Whatever the difference it’s always Eat As Much As You Can, Drink As Much As You Dare, Spend the rest if the day sleeping it off.

Top of our recommendations are:
Nicholinis at The Conrad
The Kitchen at the W Hotel in Kowloon.

The W serves brunch 12-3 then you can up to the 76th floor, to the pool for more cocktails, DJ and swim. Sounds dangerous to me!

I might miss these, but my waistline won’t!

Things I’ll miss about Hong Kong. Part 1 shopping

I know, I know. I said goodbye before but I haven’t actually left Hong Kong yet and I do have a number of things I’d like to add.

This post was going to be a brief list of the things I might miss about Hong Kong. However, while thinking of them I remembered some other stuff that was quite amusing, so I have decided to split it into parts.

Part 1 is about shopping.

I’m not actually a big shopper but shopping in Hong Kong can be fun. Fun when it’s not challenging or you’re in a hurry or you need a swim suit in March.

It’s not the buying stuff I will miss. It’s the finding stuff, or discovering stuff. Bargaining or not bargaining depending own everyone mood.

So this is me recalling some of the funnier shopping moments I experienced in Hong Kong.

Like the time a young woman in the Jade market spent 10 minutes explaining to me how to tell real Jade from fake. I was genuinely interested and paid attention.
The lesson concluded with her trying to sell me a jade bracelet. I wasn’t entirely sure I wanted a jade bracelet and this one was going to set me back $500hk. So I declined.
The price began to drop swiftly. The more I shook my head the cheaper the bracelet became. I began to doubt everything she had just taught me and became sure that this bracelet was itself a fake. Shocking!
The price came down to $120hk. I was tempted to buy it as an example of fake jade but decided I really didn’t care enough as I was unlikely to want real jade anymore than fake. So I walked away.

Another fine example of my bargaining prowess came in the famous Ladies Market in Mon Kok.
My son was 3 and loved Lightning McQueen. I spotted a pair of denim shorts with McQueen on. The stall owner pounced as I picked them up to check the size. “70 dollar” she barked at me. The sizing was unclear and I didn’t think $70hk was that cheap. I made my excuses and started walk away. Within 3 steps the price fell to $20hk!
The size just right. They lasted for ages and even got passed down to his little brother AND a younger cousin after that. Best £2 I ever spent.

Not all vendors are that keen to sell. Some just do not like to play the haggling game. They know their price, you pay it or piss off.

I will miss Sham Shui Po. I always enjoy a day there. Even if I come back empty handed, which is rare.
I love to wander on the Aplui street side and look at the electrical and hardware things. Then browse thought the streets of button and beads and ribbons and bits of jooje, dreaming up what I could possibly sew them to.
I’ve bought remnants of leather that I am going to cut into squares and use as coasters. I’ve bought entire reels of ribbon for $10hk which will do very nicely at Christmas time for wrapping presents.
Then I cross over to Fuk Wah street for my favourite bag shop. And the warehouse shops that sell original designs in a variety of colours. They are all one offs, not fakes, not copies. Some are hideous but with a bit of patience I found a couple of gorgeous little dresses for $50hk.
At Christmas time Fuk Wing street, also know as toy street, sells every kind of Christmas decoration you can think of. On entering the street it looks like the Christmas fairy got drunk and threw up. It’s just a pow of colour and lights and baubles and tinsel and Santas and elves and reindeer and shit I can’t even name because I don’t recognise it.
Halloween is similar, but scary.
Between festival seasons its just great to but cheap knock off toys. I just bough all 4 Ninja Turtles Classic Collection for $400hk. On Amazon they sell for about £12 – £15 each.
My son loves Lego Ninjago. They have fake Lego mini figures by the dozen. They look like the real thing, have all the rights names, just not by Lego. $10hk each. So my son has nearly the whole collection. He comes with me sometimes and is sure to secure a bargain with those big brown eyes.

So I’ll miss my shopping trips, but save some money I guess.