Yesterday, we visited the Norwegian International School (that’s the official name; not the Norwegian Christian Academy as I first wrote, so a bit less religious focused than I first suspected. However, the teacher we met did have a crucifix nose piercing – not sure what that means); we got to check it out and find out the situation for next year. Unfortunately, we didn’t resolve the school issue as the boys will still have to sit for a placement test and interview. Quin can have a place in third grade, but there’s only one space left in second grade with multiple kids in the running for it (apparently, in talking to someone in the state department, there’s an island wide crush for second grade). If we send Quin to Norwegian, they have a sibling policy which would give Berkley first dibs on the one slot left in second grade. Sounds good, but there’s two catches to this situation: 1) we won’t find out the results of the interview/placement test until AFTER we have to make a commitment for the first school, so if we say no to the first and things don’t pan out at Norwegian, we’re SOL and 2) the Norwegian is over 1.5 hours from our current location by public transportation.
Despite this, we had a nice time in Tai Po after the visit to Norwegian. Doug and I are quite the fans of Anthony Bourdain and have watched his Hong Kong episode numerous times. During that episode, he visited the Tai Po market food court, so of course, we had to go. The wet market was huge, spanning two floors of a rather larger building.
Next stop was the food court, where Doug and I stalked the noodle maker featured in Bourdain’s Hong Kong episode. Unlike food courts in the U.S., food courts in Hong Kong are filled with family vendors, selling homemade food to the masses. Unfortunately, the famous noodle maker wasn’t there, but we were able to secure an order of fish ball noodles and one with just noodles and broth. Both of them were really delicious. Fish balls taste a lot better than they sound by the way – not at all fishy, just salty and spongy. I felt pretty good about navigating a food court so clearly designed for locals, given that we didn’t have a handler like Bourdain.
We celebrated our small victory with an order of Pizza Hut (delivered to the front door!) last night with our downstairs neighbor David, who hails from Milwaukee. Right now, he’s alone, but in October, his wife along with his 8 and 9 year old daughters will join him. The boys are pretty excited about this, particularly since one of the girls is a big Lego fan. So, it’s heartening secure these small victories as we settle in to our new digs. Now, if only I could find a Diet Coke...