Here We Go CNY (Part 2)

Goal: Happiness

Think we nailed it?

Outfit-wise, there were few Stanley Market finds that fit The Little Miss. Half-heartedly I tried to bargain on an otherwise too-big cheongsam in an unusual light aqua-green color but the little old lady selling them politely says "it's alright, don't buy it, it's too big for your baby anyway," then takes it out of my hands (?!) She was asking for HKD 165. I thought that was steep for a market find that Little Miss can't wear this year anyway (no discount, may as well wait to see next year's offerings...) The pink "Samfu" set she's wearing in the pics here and last post was HKD 115; I then scored the full-length cheongsam in subsequent pics (future post) for HKD 85...

I briefly checked out the Shanghai Tang ones in velvet, but a) couldn't find anything in her size and b) anyway could only find very dark colors for e.g. navy that looked almost black, with very subtle colorful piping at collar and buttons - we would later see an older little girl wearing it with bright pink tights (looked fabulous) but for Little Miss I rarely put her in dark or very bright colors not to mention thought that on Skype with the grandparents we would get a lot of OMG Did You Dress The Baby In Black? type comments, so.... (Though now I recall one CNY my mum bought me a black t-shirt embellished with chains, but anyway...)


So instead, I started with this (also new) dress from Zara I saved up ages ago. Not to be confused with the ballerina-ish poufy skirt that flares from a fitted waistband, this is actually "Christmas tree-shaped," flaring out from the neckline, and almost ankle-length. We also have a similar white one from Baby Gap that a girlfriend gave us, which comes with a matching cardigan, but I thought grey matched the pink "Samfu" top better. (In the previous post Ms Rockstar is wearing the whole "Samfu," of the kind which btw I used to wear in pink or red as a little girl, but initially I thought Kings would prefer her in a pretty skirt... He's also on my back to cut her hair because "it's messy" but I need the bangs for hair clips :D)



(We were on a "good eye and hair day"...)

Anyway my parents had an old friend here (ex-Penang Free School-mate - yes my parents are both old Frees who met on the debate team and btw third speaker on said debate team married my dad's late sis Wow like, wouldn't you like to be the fly on that wall of a family fight - kidding!) whom we recently got acquainted with, and who pointed us to the only Yee Sang we know of in HK:

Lo Yee Sang complete with banana flavored Gerber puffs - so our kind of Yee Sang nowadays

Maxim's Fortune Toss. Rumor has it they sent some chefs to Malaysia to learn this 2 years ago, but til now it hasn't really taken off though they continue to serve the dish complete with authentic auspicious Cantonese sayings as they prepare all the condiments and squeeze lemon over it at your table. As in, in the very large and crowded restaurant I saw the waiter go by with a total of just 4 of those hot pink Fortune Toss table coverings... Price was HKD 600-something for 4-6 people which was their only portion size (I think - Kings did the ordering while I was busy cleaning the baby chair), but Rockstar, Kings and I can still finish quite easily...

The Mens seeing about our Yee Sang date outside the Maxim's in Tai Koo Sing

We used to live in the Tai Koo Sing area which is 45 mins across HK from where we now live... My close Korean girlfriend tells me Tai Koo Sing is very popular among the Korean community - but while the Korean International School is around here, apparently the Absolute Biggest Reason is because of an awesomely well-stocked Apita. I can believe it, we still love to come back here for grocery shopping, cooking pot replacing, and my parents actually spend about HKD 200 to cab here and back so they can shop for friends...

Some of the decor in the huge Tai Koo Sing (City Plaza) mall

More decor...

And more decor - sadly I wasn't fast enough on the escalator to capture the bunch of old folks taking pictures of each other on iPads/ Galaxies/ something else about the size of an iPad mini

That's not all that's attractive here - apparently the Tom Lee Music branch here is one of the few that has some kind of "accelerated" music class for the top students in all the various Tom Lee Music classes. You can tell from my vagueness I paid close attention when they were talking about it in class. (Tom Lee Music is that fun Cantonese thing using Yamaha music materials that Rockstar and I attend, and it seems lots and lots and lots of local kids will by default attend this as part of their outside extra-curriculars)

To be exact, I committed the mild faux pas, as the teacher explained the existence of an "accelerated" class, of saying in my clumsy Cantonese, "But is it near our area?" Think I got a mild slap on the wrist for my 'tude, something along the lines of "Your kid makes it into that class you had better make the trip across town."

Y-eah, I don't think so. (In case you're wondering, Rockstar does quite well in that class, maybe around the top few without much practice <sheepish>, which I think is just because he's one of the older kids - there are local kids his age who have already finished the book he's on because they enrolled earlier... We don't have a family history of particular musical talent, in fact to get out of practicing my aural because I don't have anything close to "perfect pitch" and needed the time for other activities I did the "riskier" on-the-spot accompaniment/ composition or whatever it is they call it nowadays to get thru my Grade 8. Some might call it "cheating" because I really didn't have time to put in all those hours of practice and til today still prefer anything other than playing classical once the exam was over <ducks head>) The other reason is because I felt he was already one of the youngest in Year 1 at primary school which might already be challenging enough without then also piling on the extra curriculars...

Anyway more pics -

Kings and Rockstar...

(Dese are actually not the only clothes Rockstar owns - he insisted on wearing that outfit for every CNY-ey thing we attended because he thinks it looks vaguely like what Ninjagos wear...)

Me and Rockstar...

And our family pic - yay!

But the music story isn't quite over yet...

Later, at one of Kings' client lunch parties we would meet a local child Rockstar's age who is one book ahead in the same Tom Lee Course - and also enrolled in extra piano and violin classes. (Rockstar does neither for extracurriculars, just this one class for "fun and Cantonese exposure." He is yet to decide on an instrument, if at all. I'm taking feedback hint! hint!) His new friend's mum, who turns out to be one of my ex market counterparts, would later explain that for local school applications, piano is kind of a "default ECA" - "practically all" the local kids are gonna know piano - you need to also enroll in violin at least, if you want to stand out. "Besides, think about it - in an orchestra you're only going to have one or two pianos. Think of the competition to get a spot."

Oh yeah and "desert" arrived - we get home to find, by registered post....

<drrrrrum rolllll.....>

Third installment of kuih from Penang! (ex the M&Ms and Frutips from Halloween that no one's gonna eat and I have to find someone to give them to)

You see you see how my "kiasu" mum packed the pineapple tarts so they wouldn't be crushed

Few more pics in a bit...

Related posts:

About Aileen

I blog about living and raising my son in Hong Kong - where toddlers have entrance interviews, parents keep test score spreadsheets, private school debentures can trade for more than half a million USD. Raising Rockstar's the most important thing I'll ever do. We show our true colors by the choices we make in bringing up our children. My blog is a message to my toddler son, about what the world and his parents are like today - for when he becomes a teenager and knows everything.
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  • Mun

    Little Miss Rockstar looks so sweet and pretty in pink! How did you make her laugh so happily?

    Wow, your mother really goes all out sending all those yummy goodies to you for CNY. Guess they will last you for more than a month.

    • Aileen

      We’ve finished about…. half 😀 My mum is Queen Packer my dad is King Orderer of these things, and they really were very sorry they couldn’t come over. Now even my dad is into the rehabilitation of the sick dog… One of the things said to me from outside observers was “Now we know who they love more” but I believe it’s because they haven’t taken the time to understand… When my parents were rushing back because the dog was critical, I remember being very worried the dog would die before my mum could get back in time – it would have been devastating for them if that had then happened at CNY.

      Ms Rockstar usually laughs readily if she’s had enough sleep – we kept her home and carefully in her very predictable routine before this early dinner. She is used to and may even enjoy a couple hours of “adventure and unpredictability” as long as everything else around her is exactly as she is used to before and after she gets home…