As part of the Mummy-Daughter bonding on the National Day public holiday, in the afternoon I decided to take Eve to Mongkok to go to the flower market. I love Mongkok, it is everything about big cities that I love and it is distinctly Hong Kong. It is a connurbation of roads, markets, shops, street food stalls but all rather down at heel. A couple of years ago the powers that be built a plush shopping centre to try to lift the area up a notch or two, but it failed, and it is still the dirty, busy, messy place I love. At weekends, and public holidays, it is heaving with people. What a perfect idea with a toddler in tow!
We had a lot of fun. We went to the street with all the fish stalls and saw a few too many endangered species for sale for me to feel comfortable. We went to the bird park and market, saw the old men taking their birds out for a walk, ate our supper of ham-filled Chinese buns and looked at a few more endangered species.
Our final stop was the flower market. The flower market is lovely, just over a street full of shops and stalls selling stunning flowers at ridiculous prices, as well as all manner of plants and even the odd ornamental cabbage - something I have wanted since I first saw them in Japan 6 years ago but have never got over the sheer impracticality of them enough to buy one. I needed basil and rosemary, having killed off the last ones we had, and I told Eve she could pick her own plant to buy and look after. I tried to steer her towards by favourites, the plants with the sensitive leaves that fold when you touch them. Or a bonsai (so pretty), or something with flowers. Eve eventually stopped next to a rather non-descript box of small plants on the floor and pointed at what looked like a collection of half-dead leaves. "Dat" the shouted. "Darling, are you sure you want that one? What about the one over there with flowers?". She looked more sternly at me. "Dat" she insisted a little more firmly and grabbed the leaves.
Eve insisted on carrying it all the way home, on the train, while I carried her, a bag and a few other plants on a very busy MTR. That particular trauma is a whole other post on its own.
So, we are now the proud owner of one of the most bland little plants I have ever seen. Of course the pot was far too small so I have now spent more than the plant cost on new pot and soil. It had better live for a while.