We had a five day weekend for Easter and the kids had a day off. In Hong Kong, that means that (upper middle-class) people take off somewhere. Travelling out of Hong Kong has become such a thing, that if you don’t people feel very surprised and sorry for you. But since I have no interest in paying a big fat amount to chase my kids around some exotic locale only to return exhausted, we decided to stay put. Our strategy for this year is to do mini-breaks in HK itself, and probably an India trip at the end of the year, which the kids and their grandparents may enjoy. V and I might do individual holidays at some point.
However, staying in town doesn’t have to be boring, especially since HK has a fabulous transport system. We did sometime special with the kids every day.
Day 1: We took the kids for a tram ride from Admiralty to HK. We thought we’d see Easter decorations in Pacific Place but I think malls in HK are on a bit of a budget since retails sales have dropped. So unfortunately, there were no Easter decorations up, but we went to the food court and got some fruit and Lidnt Easter eggs for the kids. Then we hopped on a tram to North Point. Benji especially loved the ride, as expected. We got off at the street market in North Point and picked up some cheap clothes for the kids, as Benji has been wanting a Spiderman outfit for ages.
That evening V and I went to the recently opened Saravana Bhavan for dinner. Actually, first we stopped off at Brantos for a plate of sev puri because V had heard from friends that Saravana Bhavan was not all that. I’m happy to report that thefamed button idlis are indeed worth the fame, though the dosa did not live up to V’s stringent standards of crispiness. After dinner, we headed to the Indian grocery in Chungking Mansion where among other things, we picked up a box of mangoes.
The odd thing is that I’ve been moaning for years about how Hong Kong lacks idlis and mangoes, when both were always available. Brantos has been around for ages, but deterred by reports of sketchiness and V’s general unenthusiasm, we never tried it until I put my foot down sometime last year (i.e. eight fricking years after we arrived) and everything turned out to be very good. The place has a hole-in-the-wall charm but it is clean and I have been there on my own and the service has been friendly. As for the mangoes, I’d been wary because of conditioning from my mum about how mangoes in boxes always suck. And yeah, these are not as good as those she would handpick herself or that my father-in-law sells on his farm, but they sure beat the South East Asian variety available in the wet market.
Day 2: I had this vision of taking the kids to Stanley, where we would have an idyllic lunch while they frolicked on the waterfront. So despite V’s warnings that it was not worth the many train changes etc. we set out. It started off well with the kids playing in a playground while V and I checked out the street market. An odd thing has been happening to me when I go shopping, probably because I’m watching my wallet. I just cannot make up my mind to buy anything. It’s very frustrating because I later have non-buyers’ remorse.
Unfortunately, when we decided to get lunch, it turned out nothing was open yet. I hmmmed and hawwed over the slim picking of restaurants and chose one, only to regret it when we sat down and I realised there wasn’t much for the kids on the menu. The kids were overtired by now, and when they refused to even taste the quiche I ordered, I gave up and we headed to McDonald’s. So yeah, we travelled over an hour to eat McNuggets at McDonalds. The only icing on the cake were the toys we acquired with the Happy Meal after Mimi had a full meltdown. I don’t think I’ll ever get over it.
Day 3: On Easter, we just hung out at home doing non-Easter things like going to the park like it was any other weekend. V cooked up something yummy for lunch, and that was that.
In the evening, a friend whose wife was out of town called and we headed to Butcher’s Club which is reputed to have the best burgers in town. Although the price tag of HK$100 for a burger does deter one, it really was the best I’ve tasted. My only quibble was that it was a little small. After, we landed up in Djibouti, which our friend informed us has been listed somewhere as Hong Kong’s no2 hookup spot. And it certainly was filled with beautiful people. For once, V fit right in sartorially speaking in his shorts and T-shirt.
Day 4: I had a paper and a presentation looming over my head, so I made a deal with V that I would work that day and then hang out with him the next day. V and the kids dropped me to work, and let me just say they were not impressed with my working environment. Also, Mimi started bawling when they had to leave and I felt like a terrible mother.
Day 5: I spent the morning in the park with the kids, and then V and I took off in the evening to hunt for sofas. We saw three possibilities but ended up ordering nothing. Yep indecision strikes again. I felt that we were not getting exactly what we wanted and all the options were expensive. Our sofa started looking not-too-bad (however, now it has literally broken down beyond the point of tolerance so we have to bite the bullet and get one). Instead, we headed to a Korean Fried Chicken restaurant for dinner. KFC (not the chain) is all the rage in Hong Kong, which is a good thing because the actual KFC chicken has deteriorated to the point of tasting like rubber. The only problem with the Korean Fried Chicken place was that despite being a small restaurant it was expensive and you could only order a whole chicken which meant that for two people, there was little room for anything else. We ordered the spicy version, and dang was it spicy. But so so good. The quality of the chicken was excellent. And this is not even the best KorFC place on the list. My mouth is watering as I type this.
So that was our five day weekend. It flew by and we felt refreshed after it.