The weather was balmy (i.e. not freezing) on Saturday morning so we took off to this nature education centre in Sai Kung. Turned out to be gorgeous – essentially huge grounds covered with plants of different kinds. Ostensibly for educational purposes, but really just a great place for kids and dogs to romp about in. Although organised into different areas, showcasing different kinds of plants, it is not manicured at all in the way parks in Hong Kong used to be.
Benji was so taken, he refused to move from the first corner of green wildness, which was a problem because there was so much else to cover. Mimi unfortunately fell asleep pretty quickly, only waking up when we began moving to leave.
In the evening, V and I went off for dinner alone. Recently, we’ve been bonding over ramen. After my first few tastings, I’ve steered clear of Japanese food because it is expensive and while I don’t mind it, I don’t particularly like it. I usually end up ordering ramen and I never quite understood why I need to pay a third extra for what is essentially a bowl of soup noodle, usually the cheapest thing on the menu in Hong Kong.
Apparently, that was because I hadn’t met the right ramen.
This is probably the best ramen joint in Hong Kong. It is a hole in the wall, where you are likely to get crammed into a table with other people and find yourself precariously balancing on a toothpick-like stool, as stools are want to be in cha chaan tengs. The line outside is long, the menu is basic, the bowl of ramen expensive (80$-100$ish), but it is worth it.
We had hoped that dinner might draw less crowds in an office area but, no, the line was as long, so we took a chance on the place opposite and while not quite as stellar, it was good and had actual chairs that one’s arse fitted on completely.
Over bowls of broth, V and I finally found ourselves coming to some understanding on our future plans. We are not entirely on the same page. But I can at least see why V is on the page he’s on, and reconcile myself to it. That’s progress.
V left on a business trip on Sunday. I have finally begun to take advantage of his absence to do things he wouldn’t want to do, and to do them myself if there are no other takers. So this time I watched Les Mis. And yeah, movies, so much better alone. For one, I was five minutes late because I got distracted by a sale en route. No need to apologise to anyone except my wallet. Then, during the slow bits of the movie, I whipped out my phone and checked Twitter. Again, no need to be embarrassed. I could claim the corner seat and sneak out for a pee when I wanted to. Why do people go to movies with other people again?
As for Les Miserables, although my attention did waver now and then, considering it’s a 2-and-a-half- hour film with no interval, it went by pretty quick, mainly thanks to the catchy tunes. I have to say I did giggle on occasion when people broke into song, which is never a good thing. But my main intention was to cheat on reading the novel. After watching the film, it seems quite clear to me that a novel named Les Miserables is going to have lots of miserable bits, and having these translated into song made them go down easier. So I would recommend watching it on that count.
The other thing that seems to happen when V is away is that I tend to wander into shops and spend money. My latest weakness seems to be jackets. I have managed to resist winter coats for a while, seeing as my closet is bursting with them, but a few loose stitches in my oldest black winter jacket was enough to make me get a new one. And I also got a new formal jacket on the grounds that my current one is looking a little worse for wear (although I rarely wear it).
Hong Kongers are majorly into layering – as one Chinese friend commented, you’d never catch a Hong Kong girl with jeans and just a plain T-shirt – and while it’s a look I covet, it’s not one I have the patience to execute. Enter one-piece tops that are designed to look like a sweater on top of a shirt. Sounds absurd but looks quite nice. I am wearing one right now, blue sweater over polka-dotted shirt underneath and I am tres happy with the results.