After our first lecture and a generous bowl of noodles, I decided to head to Yuen Long, a suburb three subway stops away from school. After exiting another giant mall, I began to wander quite aimlessly. On my stroll, I stopped at a few food stands for an amazing egg tart and niangao, a cake made from glutinous rice. The place was quite bustling, with people criss-crossing in between cars and food stands to return home or grab a bite to eat. After walking around for awhile, I came upon a restaurant advertising thick hand-pulled Shanxi noodles, and couldn’t resist. After struggling to order the type of noodles I wanted in Cantonese, I switched to Mandarin with one of the waitresses. A few minutes later, three or four other restaurant workers came over to chat, and my small corner of the restaurant became pretty lively. It turns out that each of them was from a different region of the Mainland! The main chef was from Shanxi, one of the waitresses recently moved from Fujian, another from Guangzhou, and another from a village near Guizhou. Today’s lecture piece on Mainland immigration really hit home meeting them. Each was in Hong Kong for different reasons, ranging from their children, to education, to work opportunity. At the same time, each person had a palpable pride of being from the Mainland and being a part of this tight-knit Mainland community in Hong Kong. I’m really grateful to have met this group, and also grateful to have learned enough Chinese to enter that space and hear their stories. When it came time to leave, I also noticed many yellow ofo bikes parked on the side of what appeared to be the only bike path in Yuen Long, and found out from a waitress that they have only been introduced to Hong Kong within the past few weeks. Seeing these dockless 小黄车 was special for me, as I rode them with friends to class everyday this summer. I definitely hope bike paths will become a priority for Hong Kong in the coming years, as the roads and transit system can get quite congested. In any case, I will be returning to Yuen Long on Wednesday to see the “walled village” there. Stay tuned!