Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Around the World: Dim Sum in Hong Kong

February 2, 1992

My hostel mates are curious about this Dim Sum thing I've been speaking about.  I explained how small portions are prepared and wheeled around the restaurant on carts.  Diners are welcome to choose from the selection as they pass by, all the while enjoying endless amounts of tea.  One of my mates had seen a restaurant advertising Dim Sum and was wondering what it was.  Together, we went in search for the restaurant and a late breakfast.

 Dim Sum fare.
Photo courtesy of Wikipedia Commons.

We were seated in the small restaurant and as the carts passed by, I encouraged the others to select whatever they thought looked appetizing and I chose a few dishes that I was familiar with.  None of the others had used chop sticks before and we quickly discovered their lack of skill with these unusual eating utensils was great comedy.  Bite size morsels of food were propelled around the table and sometimes over the heads of other diners.  After a few near misses with the occasional steamed dumpling, one of the waitresses discreetly slid a few forks on our table.

Chinese Junk in Hong Kong Harbour.

After a leisurely and entertaining brunch, we all parted ways.  I went exploring around Hong Kong Harbour, taking in the colourful sails of the junks on the water.  Junks are ancient sailing ships, their first recorded use around 200BC during the Han Dynasty as efficient and sturdy ocean transportation.  Throughout history, the junk has been used for both military and trade purposes.  Their compartmentalized hull and sail design, or rigging, has been emulated in several modern day, transatlantic races for it's ability to sail a ship with minimal crew while achieving the most efficient use of wind. Today, the junk's primary use is recreational.

I'm leaving the civility of Hong Kong tomorrow for the unique chaos that is India.

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"It isn't so much what's on the table that matters, as what's on the chairs."
~W.S. Gilbert