Thursday, January 14, 2010

Soup for Breakfast

Mariana and I woke up very early for the second day in a row thanks to the 14 hour time difference between Hong Kong and Texas. The city is quiet and the harbour is peaceful as older generations of Chinese men and women slowly twist their bodies through the graceful movements of Tai Chi. Their ability to focus fascinates me as they are seemingly unaware of their surroundings. Nothing distracts them from the exact precision of their incredible choreography. As the sun rises, so do the bustling masses of this enormous metropolis. Mariana and I decide to venture outside in search of the traditional and delectible breakfast known as Dim Sum. Not learning from my experience a mere 18 hours ago, I daftly suggest that we enter a nearby market and attempt to locate a restaurant with local flavor. The market is teeming with Chinese men and women who all seem to be over the age of 60. We walked around aimlessly for 20 minutes gawking at numerous restaurants and stalls, before we finally realized that we were in way over our heads and probably needed to look elsewhere for food. We knew that we had made a wise decision when Mariana was nearly struck with a freshly butchered leg of a cow as it flew out of the bed of a truck.

Walking along a main street known as Tai Ho, we discovered a slightly less intimidating shopping area filled with my favorite style of restaurant (outdoor, communal, and local dining). Thanks to some kind of divine intervention, we decided on a restaurant that roughly translates as "The Noodle House". We are, yet again, the only westerners in sight, but the waitress was kind enough to try and walk us through the "English" menu while speaking Cantonese. After a little finger pointing and a few head nods, we ordered noodle soup with beef satay, cubed spiced pork, fried pork chops, and bok choy. Ten minutes of incessant slurping later, I dropped my chopsticks and did everything in my power to not get up and give our waitress a big kiss on the lips. She was so nice and helpful, and the soup was the most incredible breakfast that I have ever had to date. Her kindness was a simple reminder that although people do not always understand one another, they generally have an inherent desire to assist those who need it the most. We returned to our hotel after breakfast, packed up, and grabbed a taxi to our next hotel.

*Important observation: If it was once ALIVE, the Chinese WILL dry it and they WILL eat it.

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