Hong Kong, Day 1.
I woke up and looked at our itinerary that I worked so hard on (I being other people as well but we need not mention them because if they wanted recognition let them get their own blog) and immediately scratched the first day. Husband wasn’t here yet as he had to stay in Riyadh a couple more days so I took the executive decision to do nothing in particular that first day.
Took the two elder kids down for breakfast while nanny attended to baby and they were so beautifully behaved I was beaming and all “yes children that is dragon fruit, and look at these my darlings, Dumplings, and this is a typical Chinese breakfast” and they were all “Oh how amazing mama! you are the smartest woman on earth! you know everything!” but in hushed voices as to not disturb the other guests.
We decided to walk around after we finished breakfast and the children went into a steady decline right after I spoke to my husband on the phone going “you will not believe how well S and J are behaving! I have a feeling this is going to be such an amazing trip! The place is beautiful and the food last night was lovely and I feel like I could live here.. good vibes… blah blah”. As we say in the Arab world ‘I didn’t mention God’. In other words, I jinxed myself.
My children acted like little monkeys. As we were walking they skipped in front of people, they ran under their legs, they pushed people, tripped people over, fell over themselves. At one point S was doing some sort of half tumbles down these foot bridges that connected the buildings. J I think either thought people didn’t exist and that she could walk through them or that they could walk through her. Either way, the whole thing wasn’t pretty. Short from lick the floor they did everything monkeys would have done.
After many hours of me hearing myself say stuff I have heard many times during my childhood and rolled my eyes at I took the kids back to hotel room and fumed. I took baby, as he was surprisingly the least monkeyish of them that day (usually he gets the monkey first place and has licked the floor on many occasion) and at nanny’s suggestion did not join them for dinner as she could see I was progressively loosing it.
After dinner when we were all back in the room and the kids were getting ready for bed it was all nice again for a short while then S did something that shocked me! when I was really upset with him for doing something (God know what because I can’t remember) I was telling him why I was so upset and he started laughing! He has never done that. So I said stuff along the lines of “Blah di blah disrespectful, blah di blah unbelievable rudeness, blah di blah locked up in a zoo etc etc…” The steam was coming out of my ears. I left them in bed and then spent the night resisting the urge to go back to him and either shout some more or apologize. After they slept Nanny and I talked about “The Incident” and we agreed that its good he slept knowing I was upset because that’s not ok. She told me that before he fell asleep he said “I used to have a nice mama when we were in Riyadh” yeah well, I USED TO HAVE NICE CHILDREN!
Hong Kong day2.
We all woke up licking our wounds. It’s the day we’re going to Macau! It’s the day Baba’s coming (Theirs, not mine). S apologised to me when he woke up and we put the whole “incident” behind us and decided to have a great day. We had the choice of going by helicopter or ferry and we all chose helicopter! Went to the station and while we were waiting to board (they had to weigh us all which makes sense and I thought was an interesting tidbit to share) a chinese man in his 30’s walked up to where baby B and I were standing and smiled and spoke to me in mandarin or Cantonese and was pointing at baby and smiling. Then he sat down on the waiting chairs where we were standing and put baby on his lap, not in a weird way, in a sweet but slightly too familiar way. Then he got his camera out., spoke to me some more in a language that I am quite sure he realized I don’t speak and started taking pictures. His family all looked on ooing and aahing. They were only about 5 paces behind us. He then picked up baby and took him to his family!
You know when you have those moments when your brain is pretty sure it should panic but your prestige and decorum won’t let you? That is how most of my sisters and I are. sometimes this comes in very handy, such as when baby B’s hand slipped from the table and he knocked his mouth on the corner of it and blood was gushing everywhere. Internally I was screaming and shouting but externally I was moving at a normal, maybe even slightly slower than normal pace, cleaning him up and taking him to the emergency room. On the other hand, when the fire alarm went off at a hotel we were staying in during our honeymoon we didn’t run down in the streets in our PJ’s in fear of somehow having misunderstood the alarm in someway and we would look like idiots at the bottom. (There was a fire, we were the last down and the only ones dressed in proper clothes and with our money, passports and important belongings, in hind site we did look like idiots).
So, I followed the man carrying my baby the 5 steps to his family where he passed him to a woman who might have been his mother and then he started taking many pictures of little B while I smiled and said excuse me and reclaimed my son again. They all said “Sank you, sank you, vely nice” and walked off! This was a scene that was repeated throughout our trip. Now baby B is adorable but it was weird that so many people stopped to stare or carry him or take pictures. We have many different theories about why this is, but will share them some other time. (one being maybe they see our babies as uncontrollably adorable like we see chinese babies?)
The helicopter ride was interesting in that it scared the living daylights out of me! Walking out of the waiting area onto the platform where the helicopter was waiting was loud and overwhelming. I looked back at J who looked like she was in fits of laughter but I couldn’t hear a thing because of the noise of the propellers. I had baby B in my arms and he was annoyed by how loud it was. We climbed in (all the while thoughts of decapitated heads flying through the air were in my head) and J sat down beside me sobbing! I looked at her and saw that her nose was bloody! after a little confusion I realised she ran in to the glass partition just before stepping out onto the platform and as she was behind me I didn’t see it happen. So while the poor girl was walling I was smiling back at her thinking she was laughing! She’s fine though, more a bruised ego than anything else.
My husband met us there and we went around the big hotels (MGM,Hayatt, Venetian) and went to an amazing show called “House of Dancing Water”. S sat on the edge of his seat the whole time saying things like “Now that’s what I call talent” and “That is SO COOL!” and “Did you see that! did you seeeeee!” and “Awesome” which for the first time he used in the right occasions as it was actuality very awesome. J was a little nonchalant about the whole thing, slept through a bit, sat on my lap and played with my hair and was interested, but only just. Till the last bit,which I won’t ruin for you in case you ever get a chance to see it and are like me and do very minimal research and so are very surprised. J sat up and said “That- is- UN- BAA- LEI-VA-BLE” which gave me a sense of satisfaction that all members of the family (including hubby) were sufficiently awestruck by my choice of entertainment.
(3.5 hours earlier) We were walking around the Venetian (where they have an indoor play area where you can deposit your little ones with security bracelets and all contact information and go shopping for a while, or sleep on the bean bags they have for just that purpose outside the play area which many many people were using!) and my husband said “You know they have the highest bungy jump here in Macau off Macau Tower.” *
(2 hours earlier) Macau Tower. M is suiting up for the jump. M is jet lagged. M is not thinking straight. Mama B is saying “if you decide not to do it no one will hold it against you”. They have a platform going right the way around the tower from which the bungy jumpers would jump of off. But they also have a thing called the ‘SkyWalk’. They put you in a harness and clip you on to a wire running above this platform and let you go. You can run around it, swing on it, sit on the edge, it’s a little insane. J was begging me to do it! My only problem with that is that I didn’t want to do it with her! She kept asking and asking and asking and I finally convinced her to wait till ‘next time’.
M Jumped, he loved it. It was cool to watch. But I am getting more and more boring in my old age. I bungy jumped (she says with an air of satisfaction that she has already proved she is cool many years before her husband did). I did it while I was at university, I did a tandem jump with one of my friends and she is the one who had to basically let go and let us free fall and the second she did I was so angry! I felt like HOW COULD SHE! anyways. I lied to myself for many years that I like things like bungy jumping and roller-coasters and I don’t. I am secure enough to tell you that now. I hate them!
We headed home after the show by ferry which takes an hour and a half. J fell asleep the second she sat down. We had to carry her off the ferry, we put her on Baby’s pram and carried baby, we carried her into the cab and up the stairs at the hotel, and in the lift and to her room. We changed her out of her clothes, into her pajama’s and tucked her in a which point she opened her eye, wide awake, and said “Can I play for 5 minutes?” to which I replied “NO! you cannot play, in fact you cannot move from the spot that you are in, you cannot talk you cannot do anything!! SLEEP!” I cannot believe she pulled that one on us!! This is the last time I leave her sleeping!