HK Alphabet :: Q, R

Q :: Quarry Bay

Quarry Bay is where we have lived the last 9 months of our Hong Kong sojourn, but we've been coming here--particularly to the park--since the beginning. And in these last 9 months, we've come to love it for more than its park (though the parks are great too, particularly the long boardwalk along the harbor, the wide walking paths, the many trees, abundant playing fields and even an outdoor elevator!) What else do we love? We love the profusion of flower shops outside our apartment, even if they are due to the proximity of the funeral home. We love the light-and-music-enhanced bicycles ridden by the young teenage boys of this neighborhood, particularly, it seems, those of South Asian descent. We love (love!) Mr. Taco Truck (and find it ironic that we might get more authentic Mexican food here in HK than we will in Hudson, OH.) We love the car mechanics who work outside our building, but spend most of their time playing cards. We love the kind electrician who works from an office in our building and is always willing to come fix something for us, and manages to communicate even without words. We love "Mr. Magic Hands" van-driver-cum-healer, who moves and delivers items all over the neighborhood, and has a special knack for healing while he's at it. We love the wider-and-emptier-than-usual sidewalks, and the "town green" (gray?) area outside the grocery store. We love the mix of old and new buildings, short and tall.
It's not an area, obviously, that we're choosing to live in long-term. But it, like Hong Kong, has become home. And I have learned from living here in Quarry Bay and more specifically, our current apartment, that many of the things I think are necessary for happiness just aren't. I know I can turn any semi-decent space into a home, and I know I can come to love and appreciate almost any neighborhood. And that is a gift for which I am truly thankful.

R :: Riceware

RIceware, or rice grain porcelain, as it is sometimes called, is not unique to Hong Kong. But it is certainly common here, used in many small diners and restaurants, and easily available for the home. (Cheap too!) And, more importantly to this post, it's what we've eaten on the last three years. We chose not to bring our own dishes to Hong Kong, shipping as little as possible, and knowing we would buy things here.
RIceware, I was surprised to find out, does not actually have pieces of rice in it. Who knew? It's merely the name for the decorative technique of poking holes in the porcelain, then allowing the holes to fill with glaze, making a translucent, rice grain-shaped effect. The origin stories differ, with both China and Turkey claiming credit. But regardless, I have loved these dishes--loved the diminutive sizes, the colors, and mostly the way the light shines through the "rice grains." It is frequently cloudy here--but oh, when the sun shines, it's so nice to be reminded of it everywhere I look, even in my dishes. 

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