China, Re-hashed. 2nd day in HK. 9.16.10
On my second day in HK, Chuck took me to meet up with his dad for tea, lunch, and good conversation about Chinese traditions and herbs. We met up at his apartment, where we shared tea and moon cake, for it was near the Mid-Autumn Festival.
Chuck’s dad spent many years working with Chinese Herbs for a company in HK called Yue-Hwa, which has several department stores throughout Hong Kong and parts of Asia. They sell a variety of products, but specialize in teas and health products, particularly Chinese Herbs. Chuck’s dad worked closely with herbs as the quality-control guy for several years, and shared tips on how to recognize the higher caliber grade of certain herbs. He spoke affectionately about Dong Chong Xia Cao / Cordyceps, and explained a few tips on how to recognize true bulk cordyceps from the phony. At his apartment, he busted out a few of his herb books (which made me wish I could actually read Chinese), and we chatted about medicine and it’s politics and our admiration for herbal medicine.
Later we went to a small shopping area for dim sum and learned a few dining customs. We passed by an herb shop where an enormous prescription was being filled (see pic), and noodles were being eaten. After we went back to the apartment and packed up some water, we began our hike towards Lion Park, which was at the peak of one of the mountains in center of Hong Kong. The hike was comparable to hiking from the Beaverton side of the West Hills in Portland, and ending in downtown Portland…but in the heat and humidity of HK. I was quickly drenched with humidity and sweat, and I realized that salty sweat coming out of freshly sunburned skin was really painful.
The views were an awesome distraction, though. After we had a stop at the peak of our hike for some tofu fa and cold lagers, we continued down to Kowloon City, where we met up with Kate (Chuck’s wife), and headed up to the peak of HK for dinner at a restaurant with the most fantastic view of nigh time HK that I had seen. There I spent time with my thoughts rolling between being bummed that I’d already be leaving HK tomorrw, and taking in the view and great food amongst great friends. I knew I was leaving the next day, but was already planning a return trip in the back of my mind.
Chuck and Kate planned a party at their place that night, but since we were running a bit late, only the die-hard party friends made it, and we had a great time with them. I was taught how to play a version of Mahjong over cocktails and amongst fighting off exhaustion from the days. Nonetheless, we stayed up well into the morning, still getting up early enough to catch some noodles at a famous shop on our way to catch the bus to the airport.
See you again soon, Hong Kong. Enter Shanghai & Nanjing.
Thanks for looking, peace,