Here is a picture of one feast at La Marmite, a great little French restaurant in Soho. Actually, these are just our appetizers!
|Creme brulee with fois gras. Really!|
I had my last class and a group photo. I'm in the back, center left.
We have had momentous days these last weeks. I gave a paper at the International Association of Language and Intercultural Communication conference comparing disagreements in student conversations in the US and Hong Kong, and had lots of great conversations with people from around the world including a nun from Kenya and a Chinese woman who had grown up in France but now lives in Norway. This was the culmination of my research fellowship. We got to see a lion dance for the opening ceremony:
After the conference yesterday we had a nice walk with graduate students in media and our Australian friend, John, as we explored part of Tsim Sha Tsui and finished with Indian food. He invited a colleague in linguistics who had also presented at the conference and his wife, both from Israel. We enjoy these serendipitous moments.
|New friends from Israel, Burma, Cambodia, China|
I learned that the day of the wedding, the groom goes to the bride's home and does silly things to win her heart. She and he then have a tea ceremony with her parents in ceremonial dress and she receives gold bracelets. Then they go to his home and the same thing happens. All of this was videotaped and shown at the wedding after their ceremony. The wedding was held in a fancy hotel. When we arrived, we told them our names and gave money! It is traditional to help pay for the banquet, and also give a little more. The banquet cost was $130 US!
We looked at their huge books of engagement pictures, taken in Taiwan, drank some wine, and waited a couple of hours while the happy couple took lots of pictures with friends and family, including our table, Mei's work group. Then we witnessed a Western style wedding, white dress, veil, etc. The couple read their vows and then two lawyers came and formally ratified their marriage. The happy couple is busy all night getting photos made of groups of family and friends each time the bride changes her dress, and going around to each table to have a toast (with tea so they do not fall over). The bride changed her clothes 4 times. this is with the red dress for luck and she is covered in lots of gold. Reza, her boss, and I were the only Westerners.
|The bride and groom, her parents, Reza, and me|
|Traditional white dress|
|The fish head ready to eat|
|Note the shopping bag|
We went to Sunny Wang's terrific gallery opening--all beautiful glass. She is a prof at HKBU and a friend. We are now proud owners of one of her pieces.
|She made little ladders that lead into these vessels|
|Lots of fragments of Chinese characters hung along one wall|
|Allen's favorite--a series|
Allen traveled to the Philippines to visit a friend after the typhoon. He had to cancel his flight to Cebu, but he went to Manila and then Baguio City in the north of Luzon, which was not affected much.
Before leaving Hong Kong, I had to see another neighborhood--Sham Shui Po--which is stocked with computer parts, among other things. Allen knows the area well.
|Everything that lights up|
|Piles of stuff|
|Magnets of all sizes!|
|Cameras for your car capturing the vendor eating his lunch|
|So true. Vehicles rule here.|
|It is winter, so sweet potatoes and chestnuts are warm and appetizing|
I've made a short list of things I will not miss:
- slow motion walkers
- high temperatures, humidity, and pollution
- huge crowds
And a list of what I will miss:
- wonderful friends
- the dai pai dong on Friday evenings
- great restaurants
- teaching multilingual students
- colleagues in the English Dept. at HKBU
- hiking in the mountains
- sitting in the front seats in the double decker bus
- 75 degree, sunny November (and December!) days
- diverse neighborhoods each with their own character
- efficient public transportation everywhere
- talk about democracy and what it means
Good-bye Hong Kong and Happy Holidays!