Monday, May 01, 2006

My Name is Tam.. your name means "dragon"

One of my friends spends a lot of time in Hong Kong, and she gave me about three pages of detailed notes for the trip. Several of the paragraphs were about food, and every single one has been on the money.

For lunch on Sunday, we went to Whampoa Place in Hung Hum on the Kowloon side, to Din Tai Fung. The concierge in the Executive Lounge wrote out the location in Mandarin on a hotel card, we gave it to the doorman, and the doorman explained to the cabbie where we wanted to go. Taxis are cheap in Hong Kong, so it only cost us about $10, including a harbor tunnel fee. Our direction was traffic free, but the opposite direction had a huge traffic jam.

We got to Din Tai Fung at 11:45, and the place was rather empty. I was a bit concerned for a couple of minutes, but the restaurant filled up as we dined. The food was terrific: steamed buns, potstickers, soup, fried pork chops, two kinds of noodles, and I'm probably forgetting something.

After lunch, we took the 8A bus back to the Kowloon Star Ferry port, and took the Star Ferry back to Central. Ed decided that he needed a nap, so he went back to the hotel. Cousin Nick and I decided that we didn't want to do anything too stressful either, and signed up for a HK$40 (US$5.50) one-hour harbor cruise by the Star Ferry people. The cruise started at Central, went east to Wai Chai and Causeway Bay, then crossed over to Hung Hum, back to Kowloon/TST, then out west a little bit before returning to Central.

On the boat, we met Mr. Tam. Mr. Tam was supposedly an artist, probably in his late 60s. He was amusing a little girl whose parents couldn't figure out to keep still. His schtick was to come by and ask your name, then tell you what your name means in Mandarin. Of course, everybody's name means a variation of "dragon." Mr. Tam was selling matted 5x7 watercolor drawings of Hong Kong for HK$100 each. When I asked him how long it took him to draw them, he said "3-4 days." Well, somehow I doubt that... I suspect that these are mass produced in a factory just over the border.

Because we're suckers and liked his act, we each bought one. Then as a thank you, he gave us each a nice postcard of HK. The photography on this was by his son, also Mr. Tam. Sure, whatever... :)


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