Saturday, January 20, 2007


Driving in a taxi from the airport, I marveled at how much like "home" Beijing has come to seem. Even the apartment, despite layers of dust and coal grit, felt like an old friend. The dumplings, gongbao jiding (Kungpao chicken), and vegetable stir-fry delivered for 28 yuan from our favorite neighborhood restaurant were just as tasty as I had remembered.

Unfortunately, I've come down with a sore throat and will be lying low today.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Hong Kong

All fall, I ate as little Chinese food as possible in order to prepare for my next six-month stint in China. A week in Hong Kong, and I'm already craving a big salad (preferably with currants, crumbled cheese, and candied walnuts). Not that the dim sum hasn't been delicious. But my palate is proving more stubborn than my circadian rhythms.

The first few days were made much more enjoyable by Josephine's visit from Taiwan. In under 48 hours, we visited the Peak, rode the Star Ferry, saw the light show, rode the mid-level escalators, feared for our lives on a double decker-bus, ate dim sum twice, took high tea at the Mandarin Oriental and dinner at the Peninsula, ferried to an outlying island and caught a gauzy sunset over the fishing village, ordered scallops and prawns from the tank and licked the garlicky juices from our fingers. Altogether a wonderful whirlwind visit.

Photo of an intrepid bicyclist, out of place on Hong Kong's orderly streets.