Letters from the dorm: A far remote taste of home

Letters from the dorm: A far remote taste of home

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Candace and her friends goof around at Uwajimaya.
Candace and her friends goof around at Uwajimaya.
Photo: Philip Fan

You know what they say about homesickness - it's no big deal, but when it hits, it hits hard.

It's hard to believe that I've been a university student for a month already. This time last year, I was swamped with personal statements, applications and paperwork. University was always on my mind in high school.

But now that I'm finally here, I have to admit I'm a little more homesick than I had imagined I would be. Luckily, Skype, Facebook and Whatsapp have kept me in the loop with family and friends. So that's all good! But there are things about Hong Kong that are impossible to "keep in touch" with.

Take food for example. Don't get me started on the rice in the dining halls. Here they don't know how to cook rice, or rather, cook rice properly. I never knew how much I took well-cooked, steaming, moist rice for granted until I had American-style Chinese food in the dining hall.

General Tso's Chicken? Broccoli Beef? Orange Chicken? Sure, they taste pretty good, but such dishes are just making me miss the authentic Chinese food I've grown to love in Hong Kong.

Fortune cookies don't have much going for them apart from a few laughs.

To my delight, I was not the only homesick foodie. So a couple of friends and I made a trip to Seattle's Chinatown over the weekend for some wonton noodles and egg tarts. We didn't stop there. We even went to Uwajimaya, an Asian specialty supermarket, to stock up on some goodies. Don't laugh when I say this, but we stocked up on some Vitasoy, White Rabbit Candy and tea. Not what any of us would normally purchase in Hong Kong. But here we prize such delicacies all the more as a taste of home.

Looking back now, I regret complaining about the canteen food during my stint as a cadet at Young Post this summer. I would gladly have that over the "Chinese food" at the dining hall here.

So here is a word of advice: don't take simple dishes like fish ball noodles and congee for granted. Good Chinese food is hard to come by here in the US.

I do miss home and Hong Kong food, yes.

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