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Antidotes to India

Beijing is still sweet home to my children and to see them happy and carefree there makes my mommy heart swell.   This was our second visit back since we moved to Delhi nearly two years ago.  I think it’s important that the kids understand that moving doesn’t necessarily mean leaving.

The landscape of Beijing has changed a lot.  Neighborhoods disappear and new buildings rise in a mere blink.   There’s now a subway station near our old compound and an outlet mall on the corner.  Our nanny’s village is gone.  It’s covered with dozens of apartment blocks, row after row of windows and concrete.  Our cat Winston is buried below one of them in what was once the village cemetery.

It’s easy to be a kid in Beijing.  There are parks and playgrounds and indoor jungle gyms.  You can eat street food and walk around without fear of stray dogs or other animals.   It tickled me to see my children teasing and giggling with our old driver and using chopsticks to eat spaghetti.  Now that we are home, Eddie insists on eating every meal with chopsticks.

We stuffed our bellies with juicy dumplings and feasted on duck ( Eddie asked if this was the chicken that goes “quack quack”, versus the chicken-that-bah’s  or the chicken-that-oinks.)  We also ate a lot of beef:  minced, stir-fried and BBQ’d. A friend cooked us a generous 2-kilo slab of tenderloin and the Yardleys made sure there wasn’t much left of the chicken-that-moos.

Oddly, the air was clear but the skies were that monochrome white that doesn’t have depth, doesn’t move.  There’s rarely a sky with definition or dimension in Beijing.  The city was brown and far from lush – a noticeable contrast to Delhi where color bleeds into everything.

We left Beijing for Hong Kong, a city that blends to perfection the best of the Chinese and the best of the British.  The children loved riding the double-decker buses, the ferries and the tram up Victoria Peak.  The food is delish, the shopping endless.   There’s sea and mountains and views in every direction. And all those buildings packed tightly, rising from seabed and mountain side – it looks other-worldly:  a galactic city in a future century.

“Who told Daddy to move to Delhi?” Eddie demanded when we were walking the yellow brick road around Victoria Peak.  This is a city paved in gold and it takes a bullion of it to get through one weekend.

“Daddy’s work”.  It was easy to displace the decision when no answer would satisfy my beautiful son.

Here he is in my driver’s arms in Beijing.  Shao Qiu Lan helped me raise Eddie – she held him from the day he was born and she never let go.

Fishing in Chaoyang Park:

There are never enough dumplings!

Lala at play:

Girlfriends and foot massages – a perfect combination!

Hong Kong at night:

Swimming in the sky:

Daddy joined us for our last two days in Hong Kong.  He kissed me after this photo and Georgie declared that is wasn’t “Happy Hour”.

A matter of physics or age?  When the kids were in the air I was just leaving the ground and when the kids were landing I finally made it into the air.  Being silly on the beach in Repulse Bay:

Hong Kong is humid and tropical with palms at sea level and lush rain-forests on the mountain sides:

Again, Repulse Bay.  This is where the kids say they want to live:

14 thoughts on “Antidotes to India”

  1. I find the hinted at contrast of two of the fastest growing parts of the world so interesting and your nuanced take on the two to be fascinating. Especially as it relates to the special considerations of parenthood.

    I had to look up Repulse Bay. Your kids (like you) have excellent taste!

    From Wikipedia: “The Repulse Bay area is one of the most expensive housing areas in Hong Kong. The prices are matched only by the Peak. In 2006, some property prices reached HK$20,000 (US$2,500) per square foot.”

    1. the wonder of kids is that they eek-out pleasure – whether on the shores of outrageously expensive real estate or camping on the banks of a dying river. it’s all the same!

  2. Thank you again for my weekly treat! You have no idea what your posts do for me………
    Such lovely photos of pure fun and happiness.
    I miss you all-and my “boyfriend” keeps growing like a weed.
    Please let me know your summer plans, I don’t want to miss you.
    Love!
    Diane

    1. we’re working on them – i promise to keep you posted. (I need to put a little distance between jim and the bills from hong kong before we work on summer!) remind me – will you be in the maryland area at all late june, early july?

  3. Love the photos and descriptions of Hong Kong – we have such happy memories of spending a day with you there in 2006 – was it really that long ago???

    1. we had fun on Lamma Island, playing in the surf… remember? ah – too long ago. you MUST visit us in India – it’s a trip you will never forget. I promise!

      xoxo

  4. I’m glad that the dumpling love has never left the family! Im also happy to see George in a Drogba jersey! Good choice!

    It’s weird, I have had two dreams about you guys this week! I guess its a sign of how much i miss you guys!

    Im glad you had a great trip and that lala had a good camping experience!

    Hopefully we can connect this summer, let me know if you have any plans!

    Please send my love to everyone! Miss you so much sis!

    1. alec – i just sent you an email about the summer. hoping you can help me with george… he needs a good-guy mentor and i nominate YOU!

      miss you oodles – lots to catch-up on.

      xoxo t

  5. I 100% accept! You know i’ve always had a big heart for his crazy mischief! Just sent you an email back…. Hope to catch up this summer! Love you!

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