Monday, January 5, 2009

Hong Kong Holidays

I'm sure as you were opening presents or yammering with relatives on Christmas Eve, part of you was secretly wondering, "What are the Birardis doing for the holidays in Hong Kong?" Are they laying on the beach with sunblock slathered all over the bodies? Are they trying to go out to dinner and only finding bird's nest and fish balls on the menu? Did some Christian missionaries invite them into their compound to celebrate Christ's birthday (a la Harrison Ford in Mosquito Coast)?

Here's how crazy it got:

1. We wished people "Merry Christmas" and they responded in kind. All the locals on Disco Bay, from the people behind the counter at our grocery story to the ferry operators to random men on the street -- cheerfully chirped "Merry Christmas" as I walked by on Christmas Eve day.

2. We ate a traditional Christmas Eve dinner. I got all Martha Stewart and made a big meal that consisted of beef burgundy, mashed potatoes, haricots verts and pumpkin pie (after I learned how to turn on the oven, that is).

3. Then we really shook things up and exchanged presents! I got a gorgeous red gown and Vin got a silver money clip. Victor got lots of a attention and an extra crack bone.

4. On Christmas Day we went to Ikea to get a chair for our office. Okay, so maybe this one actually is a little odd, but why not take advantage of the stores being open? It's a good-looking chair, right?!

5. Since we were so wackadoo with Christmas, we opted to be very traditional for New Year's Eve and celebrate with copious amounts of alcohol and friends. Why mess with a winning formula?! With equal parts pride and arrogance, I've reveled in being able to say that after only 3 weeks in town, we hosted our first HK dinner party...on New Year's Eve, no less! Even more impressive, the guestlist had people other than Vin and me on it. I can't really take all the credit; the expat community here is so inviting and inclusive that we've had an easy go of making friends.

I know you're dying to hear the menu (heavy sarcasm), so here you go: mushrooms stuffed with prosciutto and parm, toasted rosemary walnuts, salmon sushi, chips and salsa and sesame peanut noodles. I pondered deviled eggs, but feel that's more of a second date, er dinner party, move. :)

The guests included Elizabeth (Brit), Carl (Kiwi) and their dog Douglas as well as Justin (Aussie), Erin (Aussie) and their dog Pico. Both couples are married and live in our building. Justin just so happens to be Disco Bay's vet, too!

(L-R: Vin, Carl, Justin)

(L-R: Erin, Liz)

Me and Pico (I've never been into chihuahuas but this little man will melt your heart!)

Victor trying to make out with Justin. We hope this bodes well for his next vet visit (e.g. no screeching like a parrot!)

Vin and Carl watching ultimate fighting championship -- an appropriate way to ring in 2009, no?!

It was a great least the parts I remember were.


  1. Hello Friend, your picks with the pets are so sweet I like it very much, in this image you shows very pretty pose with your loving pet.

    Is it possible that I can go with my Pet? Because I have a pet Dog and wanna plan holidays to Hong Kong with my Pet.
    No one in my house who take care of Poly (My Pet) so what can I do for that do you have any suggestions ?

    Thanks in advance for suggest me good things

  2. Hi, If you're coming from the UK I don't think you'll have any issues. It's best to consult a pet relocation or travel agency, though. If your bet is under 6 kilos, KLM will let it fly in the cabin with the right paperwork (international health pet certificate, etc.)

    However, you need to make sure that there aren't any issues getting your pet(s) back to the UK after your trip. My understanding is that they have stricter rules than other countries, so definitely check into it before you leave.

    If you have a snub-nosed dog like I do (pugs, bulldogs, et al), many airlines won't take them because of breathing issues.

    Also, if your dog has to travel in the belly of the plane, you may want to reconsider as there are some risks involved. If it's just a holiday, I would recommend finding a good babysitter - even if it costs more than usual. It will probably be cheaper than flying them in and out...and also will be better for the dog(s).

    Hope that helps!