It’s funny how terribly the afternoon ended up being when the morning and night mostly went very well.
For breakfast, I finally got the Chinese dim sum experience I had been expecting since day one. Admittedly we had the meal at a hotel, so you could argue that it could have been more “authentic” elsewhere, but as long as I have my roasted pork buns, red bean pastries, tarts, and the like, I am complete. I loved it.
By the time we arrived at the Shangri-La hotel in Shenzhen and freshened up, it was nearly 5 p.m.—a whole afternoon that could have been spent in a new city, wasted. But things must go up from there, right?
My mom’s former coworker picked us up and drove us to an area that reminded me of Shanghai’s Xintiandi but much larger and cooler. We had dinner at Season, which is known for its coconut chicken, which is basically chicken cooked in a hot pot with coconut in the broth. Not that impressive. The chicken didn’t blow my mind or anything. It’s boiled chicken essentially, which is tasteless without soaking it in your bowl of sauce. I did enjoy drinking fresh coconut juice though 🙂
At this point, I was so tired and ready to go home. But of course, my mom and this group of longtime friends and former coworkers wanted to spend more time with each other. After all, most hadn’t seen each other in more than 20 years! It would be crazy to ruin this reunion by saying I preferred to leave. Besides, my mom’s friend from Hong Kong brought his wife and 14-year-old kid to this thing, so at least I wasn’t the only youngin to bear through this night of shared memories and catching up on “crazy” times in Shenzhen. So we ended up going to KTV, where I saw my mom sing karaoke for the first time. Although boredom, exhaustion, and exclusion prevented me from enjoying the bad singing/yelling in Chinese, it was nice to know my mom could enjoy this night, especially when this trip has been so much about me, me, me.
So I had an unbelievably horrible afternoon, but things really do only go up from there.