Bill and Lydia worked with a Hong Kong police officer who grew up in Alabama. A few times, they ate street food like skewered squid with vegetables or delicious meals in a local restaurant. Other times Lydia put up with instant noodles or other convenience food in the police station.
I loved every suspenseful minute of this adventure. Above all, I was captivated because I was in Hong Kong myself at about the same time. One Sunday, we walked into the financial center with its ultra modern sky scrapers and were astonished to find thousands of Filipino nannies sitting on benches, blankets, and folding chairs in groups, talking, eating, giving each other manicures, dancing, listening to boom boxes, and otherwise socializing. In the story, Lydia Chin and Bill Smith visited exactly this meeting place to search for a possible connection in their kidnapping case -- Bill was fortunately fluent in Tagalog so he could get information.
The description of these women, in Lydia's first-person account, made me think of our walk:
And mostly, they were eating. The aromas of roast meats and sauces pungent with unfamiliar spices made my mouth water, and as I watched plastic containers being popped open and paper plates being passed I wondered how many breakfasts I could really eat. (p. 156)Even the plastic boxes of food being shared by these women on their day off reminded me of my own experience. I visited many of the other locations described in the story, especially a couple of out islands. Here are my photos from a fishing village at the far side of the territory:
Fruit and vegetables at Stanley Market:
For my review of another Lydia Chin mystery see "A Bitter Feast".