South Asian Culture-beautiful friendships and a trip to Lantau

2017.4.29

One of the best ways to learn about culture is through food. People open up in front of food, they share, connect, and build beautiful bonds-that’s the magic about a nice meal. Pallavi took us to an authentic Indian restaurant at North Point, it felt great as we reversed roles this time, during the past few weeks it was us showing her around Hong Kong and Mainland China, but this time it’s her introducing us to her culture, North Indian food and culture. Pallavi explained the difference between North and South Indian food, with South Indian food having a more vegetarian taste, and recommended her favorite dishes-vegetarian curry and samosas, authentic Indian cuisines I’ve never tasted before in Taiwan. In Taiwan it was mostly green or yellow curry with served with meat, so tasting delicious vegetarian curry cooked well with spinach, chickpeas, and other flavoring sauces was a great dining experience! Pallavi also showed us eating curry with Nan bread, squishing the curry like an envelope, and enjoying the rest of the heavenly experience. Had a great night out, with a quality meal, and best friends!

I guess the highlight of my trip to Tai O wasn’t the beautiful scenery and delicious seafood in the fishing village, nor was it coming across different hiking paths in Lantau Island, but rather discovering and forging a great friendship with Shaoli from Bangladesh. With a bright red Kameez, a and a scarf in this bright and sunny day, she stands out among the crowd with her significant Muslim attire, and neve in my life have I had really deep conversations with girls with an Islam background. On our 1.5 hour bus trip to Lantau Island, we started a deep conversation about our adaptations of our first semesters at HKUST, our visits to the traditional market, Bangladesh and Muslim culture, Taiwanese culture, and travel. With perfect English, a great articulator of her vivid experiences and deep thoughts, she was not only a great speaker but also a great listener curious about my stories as well. She was extremely polite, kind at heart, and a friend that I will cherish as we made plans to explore Hong Kong in the summer ( depending on the internship), and have more traditional market visits!

The trip itself was great. Lantau Island is a far off spec of Hong Kong with less visitors as compared to other weekend hotspots, with the air mingled with a scent of raw and dried seafood, and rich of natural habitats-mountains, the sea, and wetlands. Definitely taking friends to this part of Hong Kong, there are great hiking trails, the streets are more deserted early in the day, and the seafood itself is great, but expensive. Yet, we as Hall 3 guests were treated with a table of 12 dishes of rich seafood, the amount of seafood I ate in this one meal might be greater than all the seafood I’ve eaten in Hong Kong in the past 2 semesters haha. Anyway, had a very satisfactory meal, and exploring the rest of Lantau was pleasant as well, with great weather, the sublime sea view, and the swift sea breeze as company.