December/January 2001

Happy New Year From Hong Kong!

boy have I been looking forward to writing an e-mail with that title for a long time!  hong kong has been a great starting point for my vacation, and i have already fallen in love twice - once with dhamey & sonam's adorable 2 month old baby boy khenrab (cute cute cute with the fattest little cheeks and a

penchant for making like an italian fountain when his diaper is off)and the other with the mtr, hong kong's subway system.  the mtr is amazing and reminds me of

when i lived in nyc and could get anywhere for $1, except here it's 50 cents u.s. and when the conductor speaks, not only does it sound like chinese, it really is!

i am happy to report that the stroller & I successfully made it to hong kong without incident (and no united employee dared to challenge the babyless stroller carry-on, although i did confuse several people, including the nice man at hong kong immigration who wanted to know where my baby's passport was), and today we finally took khenrab out for an inaugural roll through the streets.  the

prairie yellow maclaren vogue 2000 manuevers beautifully and it was the envy of all who beheld it.  it rolled smoothly through the botanical gardens, past the pelicans, in front of double-decker buses and over bits of rotten chinese cabbage and whatever other detritus we encountered in the streets.

i've been staying w/my friends dhamey & sonam (whose wedding i attended in bhutan/darjeeling this past march).  dhamey's sister deki & her husband clark are

also here visiting them in their one bedroom one bath apartment, and, although we are in serious violation of the silver family adult to bathroom ratio rule,

it's been working out well.  it's also been nice to have deki & clark to tour aroundn with (giving dhamey and sonam a little alone time & a respite from their

guests).  we managed to get over to macau on Saturday (another passport stamp, weee!)- it was a nifty 55 minute boat ride (the portugese word for hydrofoil is ejoctoplanadar which is my new favorite word)each way.  we actually went to one of the out islands, coloane and i can confirm that when the lonely planet calls a place a sleepy fishing village, the emphasis is on sleep (although from the sounds of clacking tiles, there were some viscious mah jong games happening

behind closed doors).

my adventures to-date have been pretty urban -dhamey & sonam live in a big high rise atop a mall of many temptations:  hermes, versace, etc etc. - but i have

gotten out & about into the more chinese hong kong (fruit wonderland in macau was pretty cool, i had a delicious roasted sweet potato for lunch yesterday

which i purchased from a street vendor, i bought some bitchin' expandable paper dragons for chinese new year's today,and, again, i LOVE the mtr!)

new year's eve was certainly one of my more unusual.  with khenrab as my date, the 6 of us counted (actually, only 5 as khenrab just kind of gurgle

grunts) down the new year toggling back and forth between a rerun of the miss world pagent (we already knew that miss india had won it for the second year in

a row, an upset the venezualans apparently still have yet to recover from) and a sing-along version of the sound of music (which was subtitled, so when there was dialogue, the subtitles were chinese, but when there were songs, the subtitles were in english) - we rang in the new year with moet, while singing rain drops on roses.  definitely memorable!

okay, time to head out to the night market - i'm going to take the mtr one more time and try to scare up some chinese opera singers amidst the fake prada shoes & bogus rolexes. 

tomorrow, it's off to meet allison in chinag mai.  I hope you're all off to a wonderful start to 2001.

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