Wednesday, 29 September 2010

Take your own dinner to Deepwater Bay

I'm proud of today. I need to write it up, in letters fifty foot high. I persuaded three children to travel with me, on a bus, while all the time I answered, Where are we going? I do not know. To a beach. Over there. No one complained, no one screamed, no one refused to come. That in itself is a triumph.

Even better, I found our new friends enjoying the beach, the ones we hoped to meet. OK, we weren't on time, but close enough. They weren't packing up and leaving just as we found ourselves arriving.

Then Tiger Tiger! of all daughters, the one who refuses to move, the one who threatens to couch surf all the way home, the one who hollers how much she hates this place, quietly accepts the friendly offer, and runs to the shoreline to play.

Ten minutes is good by me. It leaves plenty of time to import stone age Northumberland rock art designs to the sand bays of Hong Kong. I consider that another success. It shows children are learning all the time, and you never know where or when that will show.

Then, after a gentle and relaxing time at the beach, we said goodbye to our new found allies in a strange Hong Kong world, and simply went back home by bus and boat, stopping for ice cream on the way.

It is a day I am proud of, truly. Because we walked through it evenly, from beginning to end, simply and straightforwardly. In these dismembered days, when we wake up without sight, lose our hearts by midday and go to bed without our minds, a day like today feels like a gift.

Except for one thing. Lunch. We didn't have any. Foolishly, I thought, 'We'll grab a sandwich at the beach'. As you do. Except there were no sandwiches. Just a very expensive snack bar with a grizzled meat menu hoisted at south side prices. I don't recommend it. I don't recommend the argument with the staff either, although I had to see it through.

Maybe she was not aware that when I have one of those rare days that keeps me going, I'm not letting go. I'm not giving in, giving way, rolling over, playing dead or paying ninety dollars for a fruit platter when the advertised price is already a ridiculously inflated sixty.

By the end, it wasn't that she threw the thirty dollars at me. Not quite. But with a dismissive gesture. One could use the word launch to describe the progress of the missing thirty dollars in my direction.

Not that this moment will spoil my memory of this day one bit. Not at all. We had a thoroughly lovely time. One of those days worth fighting for.


Sam said...

Glad you had a good day - I'm sure it will be one of many, many more. Hopefully without the argument over lunch though :-)

Sam x

Fran said...

Happy Days are here again, I do so love reading your story.
Cyber hugz from Tasmania in spring,

sharon said...

YESSSS!!! A day that should indeed be writ large in the Annals of Grit In Hong Kong.

Next time don't forget the packed lunch. Although actually I would have expected it to be easy to get at least a simple vegetarian stir-fry in Chinese territory, shows how much I know.

Rachel M. said...

Awesome! So glad to hear the day went well and yes it's generally best to pack ones own food!!!

Deb said...

Oh good! I am glad you had a good day.

But really? Sixty DOLLARS for food? Wow.