A friend of V’s from Bangalore stayed with us over the weekend. I had only met him a couple of times vaguely at parties so he was pretty much a stranger when he arrived but he’s the voluble sort and so really liked him.

Mainly, though, I’m surprised at how enthusiastic these 30-something single guys are with babies. I noticed it with two of V’s other friends. They want to hold the baby, play with the baby, take photos of the baby… if the baby is reluctant, they back off and try again. There is no social pressure on men to bond with babies, and there is noone around to impress but us. Their interest seems genuine. It is endearing to watch.

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On Sundays, in the absence of our helper, we have started going on little excursions with Benji. He’s easier to manage in a pram, amused by things he hasn’t seen before.

This time we went to Lei Yuen Mun, a fishing village that I didn’t realize was just one MTR stop away. It’s like another world. You wind your way through a labyrinth of seafood restaurants to emerge into the silence of an actual village, the kind you would call a wadi in Bombay. There were even rough looking dogs roaming around at will.

V wants to buy a house there. “I’m really a villager, aren’t I?” he said. “Yes,” replied this girl in whose bones the city lives.

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