Today is Deepavali. We will never forget last year’s Deepavali when we started our trip stuck behind four and half hours of traffic jam crawling from Singapore to Malaysia. I put my bladder to the ultimate test. Since then, we have not driven to Malaysia. According to local news, earlier this year, when Malaysia Customs first rolled out the fingerprint verification system, the traffic jam had extended to eight hours. The only time I could hold my pee that long is when I am having a very good sleep. I cringe thinking about such scenario.
This year’s Deepavali, Cynthia and I are in Hong Kong. If you have not visited Nan Lian Garden, you ought to pay it a visit. The nearest MTR station is Diamond Hill. The garden is filled with rare plantations and fossil stones imported from, I presume, China. Today was my second visit. Inside a souvenir shop that I must have missed in my first visit, I spotted tiny pieces of fossil stones no bigger than an abalone selling from HK$10,000 to 30,000. I could only imagine how much those gigantic fossil stones scattered in the garden would cost.
There is a Chinese vegetarian restaurant inside Nan Lian Garden. It opens at noon and it is popular. My dad got a queue number before noon and we did not have to wait for our table. The decoration is tradition and elegant and the atmosphere is clean and cosy. The beetroot and carrot soup was complimentary. So was the fruit plate. For the four of us, we have ordered:
- Braised Mini Beancurd Patty with Mixed Vegetables
- Yellow Porcini Mushroom with Beancurd Casserole
- Eggplant with Diced Oyster Mushroom Casserole
- Deep-fried Curry Puff with Mixed Mushroom
- Stir-fried Noodle with Bean Sprouts
All in and it costs HK$420 (about S$70). I think it is rather reasonable for a yummy and healthy meal. The restaurant inside our Botanic Gardens in Singapore would cost more, if I remember correctly.
As the four of us admired the fossil stones in Nan Lian Garden, my parents would say: Look, that is a tiger. Look, that is a dragon. Look, that is a human. And look, that is a sheep. Every time when I saw a stone that demanded our imagination, I would whispered to Cynthia: Look, that is a panda. Look, that is a panda too! Yes, we are still in joy. Thank you Blizzard.
My mother often pokes fun at how slow I am to process my photographs. This year, when I click the shutter, I aim for total perfection. Every click matters. The only tweak I need to perform is white balancing. I think that is the bare minimum in term of digital photo processing.