Roots Pt. 2

This week I gave myself a low-key weekend, but I still managed to keep busy. On Saturday I visited the University of Hong Kong, my parents’ alma mater. HKU is located in the western part of Hong Kong Island. It celebrated its centenary last year in 2011.

After four years of complaining about climbing the stairs in the math building of my undergrad university, I now realize I didn’t have it so bad. HKU is built on a hill and there are so many stairs! There is one main elevator that takes you to the “ground” level.

The main building, Loke Yew Hall.

I got a better shot of the architecture from the back, plus a glimpse of the water.

The Lotus Pond in the middle of campus.

Statue of Dr. Sun Yat-Sen by the Lotus Pond.

BBQ pork and rice for lunch at the canteen. While the campus was quiet since classes were over and it was a Saturday, there were surprisingly more people than I expected. I suspected many were high school students who had been accepted to HKU.

After, I met up with my friend for dessert. But first a walk down (thankfully, not up) Centre Street near the university.

And what do you do when the road is too steep? Build an escalator! Granted, this might be for the extension of the subway line to the university, but that’s only my speculation.

For dessert, we went to her childhood favourite spot, Yuen Kee Tong Shui, for some traditional Chinese dessert: walnut cream, black sesame paste and cake. I swear I didn’t eat all of this. Tong shui means sweet soup. The shop is over 100 years old and claims to be the oldest dessert shop in HK. The creams were made of ground walnuts or sesame, and were slightly thick. Another similar dessert is almond cream made with ground almonds. Other tong shui include red or grean bean soup, but I don’t usually like those as much.

The cake unfortunately was dry. However, the two creams were lovely. They were smooth, not too sweet and warmed me up after being outside during a brief rain shower.

On Sunday, I had a traditional Chinese breakfast with my Uncle on my Dad’s side in Kowloon: fish congee and coriander, turnip cake and fried noodles to share.

He brought me to the cemetery to pay respects to my grandmother who passed away last summer. I was very grateful I got the chance to see the place where she was buried with my grandfather, especially because I couldn’t make it to her funeral in Hong Kong last year. I think she was watching over us, because it was drizzling when we drove to the cemetery, but when we got out of the car to pay our respects, it was dry. Once we got back in the car it started pouring.

In the afternoon I went to the Hong Kong Museum of Heritage in Sha Tin to view the Picasso exhibit, on loan from the Musee National Picasso in Paris. The museum in Paris is being renovated and some artwork has been distributed to galleries around the world, including Toronto. What a wonderful opportunity. There was also an exhibit on the New Towns in Hong Kong. It’s an interesting concept to me to plan a whole new town.

View of the river by Sha Tin Central Park.

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