Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Last week B and I planned to go out for a meal, and instead of the posh Helena May, I said hey let's roam around in Taipo and see what treasures we could find. When I said that I was really thinking we'd probably end up in After 5. I didn't really mean the treasure bit. So why not go for a posh meal? In part I couldn't be bothered to trek out to Central, in part I was really comfortable in my flip flops and shorts. So we walked around Taipo market and stumbled into the indoor cooked food centre in the civic centre complex, which also houses a library, a wet market, an indoor sports centre, and government offices.

Have you ever been in one of these monsters?

The wet market, two whole floors of it, was closing, but you can still smell the fish and the meat. As you go up the escalators, the walls were decorated with blown up hanging photos of fresh fruits and vegetables, bright eyed fishies and colourful cut flowers. Ironically, I was reminded of the decor in the Pacific Place Seibu, as you go down to GREAT (read up market grocery store), which is as far away from a wet market, and from Taipo, as one can get.

And we arrived. 7:15 pm. Greeted by tons of stalls, all with names like "Auntie Three's", "New Wong Kee diner", "Sam Door Kitchen", hundreds of tables, crammed back to back, very few of them unoccupied. I was surprised at how popular this place is and suitably intrigued by what kind of dining experience lies ahead. Brightly lit and noisy. Disposable table cloths. Plastic furniture.

We roamed around a bit and I quickly came to the conclusion that all stalls sell pretty much the same standard cantonese fare. We went round the back which was still packed but at least no one was standing around waiting for empty seats like in McDonald's. We took a table near the men's toilets, and ordered fried clams in black beans and chillies, deep fried squid in garlic and chillies, sweet and sour pork, and mixed veggies in fish broth with bean curd sheet. Plus one can of coke, one bowl of steamed rice.

As we were busy licking the last bits of the black bean sauce off our plates, I asked B how much cash he's got.

He looked at me, as I looked at him, and he said "no".

"No? Nothing at all?"

"No. I have not got any money on me."

I reached into my wallet, counted out HK$170 exactly.

"Do you think this is enough?"

"..... not sure."

I looked at the bill and tried to do my mental maths.

It should come to 15x, or 160 at the most. I re-do my sums. Then did them again. And again.

"Okay I think 170 should do it. Good job we didn't order any beers."

"Yes. It is a sign."

"I agree. Divine intervention. Praise the Lord."

So I headed over to pay the bill, and it came to $156.

The lady who took my money said "Dim ah! How's the food?? Duck um duck?" She has very cool gold capped incisors.

"Duck! Very Duck!" I replied.

"I told you la! Duck ga!" She grinned me a genuine grin as she handed me exact change.

"Thanks. Bye!"

"Bye bye! Come again tomorrow!"


No comments: