I know I’ve written about Friday nights before but they are one of the times that are totally different to our London Friday nights. Friday nights in London are all about family. In Hong Kong, to compensate for the fact that parents, grandparents, siblings, neices, nephews etc are all far away, it’s all about friends. Obviously now we are used to this difference and the kids really enjoy the Friday nights we spend with friends as they are always basically completely crazy.
But the last few weeks have been a bit different.
I received an email out of the blue about a month ago from my mum’s cousin in Israel to say that they would be in Hong Kong in mid-November on holiday and would love to see us. We hadn’t seen them for quite a few years. They weren’t bringing any of their 4 daughters who are all my generation but it was still so lovely that we had family coming to Hong Kong so we went out for a lovely meal with them one night and of course I invited them round for Shabbat since they were here over a Friday night. It was so lovely to see Tamy & Peter, to introduce them properly to Joshua and Eden (they hadn’t ever met Eden, I think I was pregnant with her when we last saw them) and to take them off the tourist trail for a night!
I joked about the randomness of the evening and we all agreed. It would never have happened had we still been in London. Yes, they visit London at lot, that’s where they’re originally from but we wouldn’t be the first people they would arrange to see so it was just lovely that our situation and their choice of holiday destination meant that we could enjoy an unexpected reunion.
And then it happened again the very next week. The parents of close friends of ours were in Hong Kong for a few days at the end of a trip touring round China. They also got in touch and we welcomed them to our Friday night table too, just before they flew back to the UK the next morning. It was also so lovely to spend time with Ros & Harold and we arranged for their son, our great friend Ashley to FaceTime during the course of the evening. He lives in the USA so called just as he was getting up for work that morning – in fact he had to call so early that half the family were still in bed!
And the lovely gifts we received from both sets of visitors were all so thoughtful – Chanukah goodies for the kids, wine and beauty products came from Israel and lots of chocolate was brought from England!! Boy was it good to have real English chocolate!