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Windsbird: Footprints around the world

Hong Kong edition

Know this before seeing the Tai Hang Fire Dragon

It’s Mid-Autumn Festival, and it’s time for the Fire Dragon of Tai Hang to come out.

The tradition began in 1880, when a small village of fishermen and farmers in Tai Hang was hit by a typhoon and a plague. The legend has it that a soothsayer declared that only staging a fire dance of a dragon would clear the disaster of the village, so the villagers built a dragon with straws and lit it with incense for three days and three nights, and the plague was cleared.

Over a century later, the 67-metre Fire Dragon still dances through the streets of Tai Hang every year, with over 300 performers and 70,000 incense sticks.

If you are planning to see this ancient ritual this month, here are some tips for you.

1. For the best view, go to Wun Sha Street.
And get there early. The road will be packed full of people and you won’t be able to see much behind the crowds. There will be drummers  keeping the mood upbeat and building up the anticipation, but still take some snacks and be prepared to wait for a long time for the dragon to come out.

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2.  If you want to see the dragon being prepared, go to Ormsby Street. You’ll be able to catch the incense sticks being lit and put on the body of the dragon.

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3. Don’t worry too much if you haven’t managed to find a spot in Wun Sha Street. After the dragon has danced in the main road, it will start weaving in and out of smaller streets of Tai Hang. If you are hanging out in one of these streets, it’s guaranteed the dragon will pass by within your sight at least several times. There are lesser crowd so you might even be closer to the dragon than you would have in Wun Sha Street.

4. If it’s your first time in Tai Hang, check out Lab Made for liquid nitrogen ice cream. It’s Hong Kong’s first ever place to serve ice cream frozen at -196 celcius with liquid nitrogen, and watching dramatic clouds of white mist is a treat in itself. Flavours are innovative and change regularly. When I went on 27 September 2015, they had Moon cake, Apple Crumble, Mango & Pineapple Greek Yoghurt, and Hojicha latte. (6 Brown Street, Tai Hang)

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Tai Hang Fire Dragon Dance
Date: 26-28 September 2015
Time: 8.15 pm – 10.00 pm
Venue: Tai Hang, Causeway Bay

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Luncheoning at tradtional Hong Kong Coffee House: Capital Cafe in Wanchai

I’ve been at home most of the time during the weekdays researching, writing and applying for jobs in Hong Kong, and I’ve just had enough of staying put.

So I decide to go to Wan Chai and do my own food marathon without my usual local friend. Stop-number-one would be a light lunch in a budget restaurant followed by some street food and Taiwanese dessert.

My series of food marathons, as gluttonous as I may come across, has its well-found reasons.

In the space of three weeks of being in Hong Kong, I have already developed a certain routine. During the weekdays I only have two meals a day to stay within my food budget of 3.00 GBP per meal. I cook my dinner once or twice a week in large portions, which I heat and reheat for my brunches in the next following few days. Saves time and saves money. Having the same menu three days in a row isn’t too bad once I ‘turn-off’ my appetite and dutifully finish off what I need to finish off.

But during the weekends it’s a different story. Going skint during the weekdays allows me to go on a foodie-spree without feeling guilty too much. It’s still within my low budget but finding cheap and cheerful food here isn’t that difficult.

Coming out to Wan Chai on this Sunday afternoon feels like a treat, although it’s only a 15 minute bus ride from home. Just like my boring, monotonous weekdays I also stayed at home on Saturday, trying to meet translation deadline as well as recovering from a hangover and 6 hours of clubbing in Lan Kwai Fong on Friday. So today I am so so ready to go crazy on food.

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Capital Cafe has been voted as the Best Restaurant in Wan Chai (2011-15) and the Best Hong Kong Style Tea Restaurant (2014-15), and it doesn’t take that long to find it. It serves traditional Hong Kongese comfort food, and having been to a similar one in my previous food marathon, the menus weren’t so strange anymore (Spaghetti in Chinese broth for example).

With run-down decor and photos of de-appetizing food, it reminds me of those cheap cafes in Britain that attracts big burly men (soggy toasts and massive portions of English breakfast with baked beans brimming over the plate..), but these retro-cafes in Hong Kong actually draws in a lot more diverse range of customers – from tourists, families, old men in scrawny work outfits to young ladies in their silk blouse and leather wallets.

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I walk in and say yigeren (one person), and the waiter ushers me to the empty seat at a table of four. Three Asian tourists are already having their meal at this table, and I feel a little awkward as if I am intruding. But my local friend had already forewarned me that this would happen a lot in Hong Kong.

As soon as I am seated, the waiter stands next to me with his paper pad and pen in hand, ready to take my order. I guess the locals often come in already knowing what they will be having. Cafes like this have very similar menus and drinks: toasts with over 15 different kinds of toping, scrambled eggs, buns, teas and coffees, and that spaghetti-broth thing.

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I quickly scan the tables around me to see if there is any one particular food that is popular here, but there doesn’t seem to be any predominant preference. So as always I go for what I’ve never had before: traditional Hong Kong milk tea and toast with condensed milk and peanut butter.

“Just one?” the waiter asks. Thinking perhaps it’s not enough, I order pork bun as well. I think I read it in a review of the place as one of the recommendations.

I am slightly ashamed I haven’t yet tried Hong Kong milk tea as it seems to be the beverage of Hong Kong. It’s only black tea with condensed or evaporated milk, not impossible to replicate the recipe anywhere else in the world, but it just feels more authentic to have in a traditional cafe like this. The tea arrives in a cheap white plastic cup, and it does not disappoint. Its subtle sweetness and rich and creamy texture against bitter black tea is so satisfying to the point it is comforting.

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Peanut butter and condensed milk toast is just as you’d expect it to be – tasting of peanut butter and condensed milk on toast. Only that the toast is double the thickness of the toast compared to the ones in the UK.

Pork is really well fried, and it even has some fresh lettuce in the bun. ‘Greasy and Satisfying’ isn’t usually a word combination I would use, but very fitting in this instance.

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Portions are very generous, which messes up my plan to visit milk restaurant and dessert cafe afterwards, but I am full and I am happy. All for the cost of mere £4.80.

By the time I am finished, the three tourists have already left the table and a middle aged man takes a seat in front of me. But I no longer feel so award being seated together with a stranger.

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I take a piece of paper on my table, with cryptic looking  ’48’ scribbled on top. Three weeks in Hong Kong and I now know it’s my bill. I take it to the counter and expertly take out two blue 20 dollar notes and one red 10 dollar note without any faffing about. I know all my notes and coins by now. I say ‘M Goi (thank you)’ and walk out the restaurant, feeling childishly proud of myself at this ‘achievement’ of localisation.

Sunday, 20th September 2015

Capitol Cafe, 6 Heard Street, Wan Chai, Hong Kong

Retaurant review: MOYO

The exterior of Moyo doesn’t give much away. Black. Simple. Chic. Who would have thought it was a Korean restaurant? If you’ve managed to find this little gem in on Aberdeen Street in Central, then you’re in for a treat.

This Korean-Italian fusion place is not only unique with its innovative menus, but some its drink selections are only available here in Hong Kong.

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The menu has a mix of traditional and fusion dishes. Bulgogi (beef marinated in a mixture of soy sauce, sesame oil, black pepper, garlic, onions, ginger) and Sundubu (spicy tofu stew) for example, are what you would expect in a traditional Korean restaurants. Beef was juicy and chewy, and tofu stew full of spice to satisfy any Korean palette.

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The menu offers three different types of pancakes, and we tried Kimchi pancakes which was hearty and well fried, with fiery chilly pieces inside.

Kimchi comes in four different kinds including regular cabbage kimchi, cucumber kimchi, and white kimchi.

The most interesting dish was carbonara tteokbokki, which is Korean rice cake topped with the Italian classic sauce. It’s an interesting combination, but perhaps a little too rich to have it by itself.

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Other fusion dishes on the menu include Kimchi Bruschetta, Makgeolli Drunken Clams, and Pesto Rice Cakes.

The drinks are as interesting as the food menu. Along with standard soju and makgeoli, Moyo also stocks soju at 17% 25% 40% 41%. Ilpoon Jinro, for example, is a premium soju distilled in oak barrels for 10 years. It’s a whiskey-like drink with some caramel notes, taken either neat or with soda.

We tried yuzu soju which we absolutely loved. Sweet and refreshing, it was totally a girl’s drink.

All Moyo’s cocktails are soju based, but if soju isn’t your think, they also have Korean pale ale, 7bräu craft beer, and a selection of rice drinks. It will also soon stock grapefruit soju as well, and will become the only place in Hong Kong where you can have a taste of it.

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Moyo is nothing like regular Korean places you find in Tsim Sha Tsui. You would never, ever hear a single tune of K-pop playing here for example. Targeted towards expats and bankers frequenting Soho, it’s a stylish and vibrant place definitely worth a visit.

MOYO

36 Aberdeen Street
Central
Hong Kong

Tel: +852 2858 2777

Dinner only
Tip:Visit on Monday-Thursday if you want a quieter dinning experience

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Hanging out like a true Hong Kongese: Food Marathon part 1.

“I’ll take you out for a true authentic Hong Kong experience!” says my fellow foodie comrade friend. We used to do food marathons back in London, where we set aside entire half a day hopping from one food place to another. Once, we stuffed ourselves so much (two dinners within 2 hours, pancakes at My Old Dutch, and ramen at Ippudo) that even turning sideways was extremely painful.

Anyways, I haven’t seen him for 9 months ever since he moved back to Hong Kong, and here we are again doing yet another food marathon on the other side of the world. I’ve actually just had a 3 course meal at Repulse Bay, but I’m sure I can find some more room in my tummy.

The first stop is turtle jelly.

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Made from powdered bottom shell of a turtle and herbal products, it’s supposed to be good for skin complexion, reducing acne and improving circulation. People have it for dessert, but it tastes more herbal than sweet. You can also put sugar on top to make it sweeter, but I had it plain, accompanied with a tea egg and herbal tea.

Next stop is Dundas Street in Mong Kok. It’s a street food haven, filled with ranges of snacks and refreshments. Sticking with the theme of the ‘authentic Hong Kong experience’, we go for stinky tofu and curry fish balls.

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Stinky tofu is fermented tofu with a very strong sour smell, but it actually tastes just like regular tofu. Curry fish balls often feature in must-try-stree-foods-in-Hong-Kong blog posts, and sure enough, they did not disappoint. The perfect combination of spicy sauce on salty fish balls is so good that I found myself craving it everyday afterwards.

For our next course we take MTR to Causeway Bay for a Michelin starred meal of wonton noodle soup at Ho Hung Kee. We had to wait for 20 minutes to get a seat in this beautifully decorated restaurant, but the meal itself was quite average.

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Being too full for dessert (we were planning durian pudding), we decide to go for a walk to a place where, according to my local friend, ‘everyone hangs out in Causeway Bay’ – IKEA.

The showrooms are no different from the ones in the UK, with sections of rooms decorated like real households, except the people. FULL of people so obviously using the showrooms as a free-of-charge cafe. Young student couples chatting on a sofa here, an old man engrossed in reading a Chinese newspaper over there. Some are even taking a nap.

“Welcome to Hong Kong!” says my friend with a cheeky grin.

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First day in Hong Kong

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I am completly razzle-dazzled when my friend takes me around Hong Kong for the first time. It’s not the endless streams of people and cars everywhere that overwhelms me, but  the abaundance of so many kinds of food and beauty products – two of my favourite things that UK fefinitely lacks. As we walk along the streets, I am constantly gasping and excitedly shouting out, ‘Oh, look at that! Ooh! That looks delicious!’.  Even McDonald’s seems so exciting, with their menu of matcha ice cream, pineapple parfait and banana pies. 

The Asianness of the place instantly makes me feel I belong, which is strange because England has been my home for the last 17 years of my life. I was only 12 when I left Korea and I hardly know what it’s like to live in my mother country. 

The ‘kawaii culture’ is deep. Even posh jewellery shops have cute cartoon characteres on their posters. For the first time in my adulthood, everyone around me is pretty much my height.  Asian food is no longer restricted to bland dishes that are toned down to suit the Westerners’ palette, but chillies and peppers here mean business. 

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After a very satisfying dinner at a food court at the top of a shopping mall, we walk along the Nathan road and make our way to the Star Ferry piers. This passenger ferry service runs beween Kowloon and Hong Kong Islands, and has been rated first in the “Top 10 Most Exciting Ferry Rides” by the Society of Amercian Travel Writers. And it only cost 30 pence. 

The pier is bustling just like any other parts of Hong Kong, but something about it feels different. There is a sense of an unexpected sense of community and momentary stillness to the constantly moving people.  Buskers have gathered a crowd, tourists are taking photos of each other and people are no longer hastily walking from one place to another. The lowly lit sepia light softly holds everyone on the pier together, providing an urban sanctuary from Hong Kong’s neon jungle.

 And beyond the waters is the technicolour dream of sky scrapers, illuminating Hong Kong above and below with its full bloom of colours. 

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Prologue: A new chapter in Hong Kong

More often than not it feels like a reckless decision, but it's too late now. Not that I regret it.
I booked a 3 month return ticket to Hong Kong - having wanted to work there for a few years, now seemed to be the perfect timing to make the move. I had just finished an MA in Broadcast Journalism and had no commitments in London. So I took off, without any guarantees that I'd find any opportunities there.
Hong Kong to me is THE exotic place of Asia, my vague impression of it mostly coming from the works of my favourite filmmaker Wong Kar Wai (In the Mood For Love (2000)Chungking Express (1994)). Street noodle stalls, narrow alleyways, people passing each other in slow motions and vivid colours of red, green and blue... and of course to the soundtrack of Quizas Quizas Quizas by Nat King Cole. I know Hong Kong in the 21st century is nothing like that, but still the romance lingers at least in my imagination.
I packed ALL my summer dresses and skirts that I didn't get to wear in the almost non-existent 'summer' of London... and ended up taking out 7kgs from my luggage at the airport which resulted in a hurried, unceremonious goodbyes with my family.
After 19 hours of travelling including a 7 hour transit in Dubai, here I am, finally, in Xianggang, the 'fragrant harbour'.  The three months of unknown filling me up with both dread and excitement.

REVIEW: The Guardian Masterclass in Investigative Journalism with David Leigh

Our front window

Having just finished an MA in Broadcast Journalism and bank balance not so positive, attending a Guardian Masterclass was not an easy decision. But having a few investigative ideas myself and needing some advice from industry professionals, I happily decided to part with my £129.

Pre-course homework, which were essentially reading list of Guardian articles that would be referred to during the masterclass, was sent beforehand, along with a schedule which looked like this:

Session 1: ‘How to choose your target topic plan and start writing’ by Rob Booth

Session 2: ‘A practical guide to cultivating sources and working with whistleblowers’ by Felicity Lawrence

Session 3: ‘Unlocking freedom of information laws in Britain and abroad’ by Helen Darbishire

Session 4: ‘What makes successful investigative journalism and how to hold the powerful to account’ by David Leigh

Running from 10am to 4pm, the day was very well organised and everything ran in time. Lunch was provided, with dietary needs all catered for. I was delighted to find it was hot food (with dessert!), not sandwiches and crisps on the side.

Just under 100 people attended, who were across all ages and backgrounds. As well as journalists, there was a history degree student, video producer and even a banking software engineer.

Session 1 covered the basics of investigative reporting that would be useful for people who are starting out in journalism.

Taking his own work on Qatar’s World Cup Slaves and his investigation into Prince Charles, Robert talked about the factors that make up a good, well textured story and how he identified  key people and places.  Then we were set an exercise to think about key facts, characters, data, quotes, and colourful and telling details of our own investigative stories. His presentation was well laid out into bullet points, which is a bonus when you’re trying to take notes in the short amount of time.

Robert also talked about the importance of being organised, as  you would often be working on your investigation alongside other jobs and projects. Putting dates on notes you made and keeping separate notebook for each stories was one of his tips.

A lot of Rob’s advice wasn’t only restricted to the investigative journalism, but reporting on the whole.

Be willing to drop whole section to maintain drive, but don’t edit out the energy.

In Session 2, Felicity talked in detail how she worked through her stories of contaminated chickens, horse meat scandal, and Serco’s data meddling. As well as lists of sources she used to substantiate her stories, she also shared the realities and disappointments she sometimes has to face, such as not much action being taken after the exposé.

When researching, bury yourself in the industry jargon. This will help you to understand the story better when talking to the whistleblowers.

Session 3 and Session 4 were full of practical tips on how to get around companies who are not willing to give away their information. For example, asking for ‘documents’ rather than ‘information’ is more likely to get your FOI request granted.

David Leigh’s talk was mainly on the ways lawyers try to stop the story from being published, and how to protect ourselves from libel. Having already studied media law, the first part of his talk felt like revisiting those lecture days again. But what was really useful was a sample letter a journalist can send to a company he/she is trying to hold account for – with key phrases and words to include to prove your responsible journalism. He also talked about how to discern whether a threat from a lawyer is an empty one or a real one.

Overall, I found the day very helpful, with great speakers and well supported materials. The material was later emailed to us after the class. The whole day carried the sense that everyone was very well looked after, and I could definitely see myself attending another session of the Guardian Masterclasses.

 

The Dilemma of a ‘Toilet Business’ – Day 6 (15 September 2014)

I am on my way to Bobo-Dioulasso, the second largest city of Burkina Faso. I catch the earliest bus at 7 am – an air conditioned pink coach, in fact – which is not so bad for a six hour journey. There are several coach companies here, and this one plays  cheery African music to keep the passengers entertained. Some other coaches play Burkinabe films and soap dramas that has overly dramatic story lines – one I heard was of a seven year old boy having simultaneous relationships with four different women.

The bus is full with passengers. One man on the opposite row has an alive chicken at the bottom of his seat, and a lady in front of him talks (shouts) to another passenger at the back of the coach with a shrieking voice. Aside from the bouncy music (one song kept singing célibataire ou marié?), peeking through the curtained window for its unique African view is enough to keep me interested. As we travel closer to the cooler climate of Bobo, the landscape turns greener and lusher with its tall grass, maize fields and lakes with white lotus flowers. We are still in the rain season and water levels have risen significantly, leaving only the top of the trees visible above its grey-brown water in some regions.

I am starving and thirsty, but I stubbornly refrain from intake of any food or water so that I don’t have to use the toilet on the way, which I’ve heard it’s just a hole in the ground. My friend had said there will be one toilet break en route, where you can also buy some food and snacks.

Someone must have requested it though, because the bus abruptly pulls to a side of a road where there’s nothing but fields. A few passengers get off and disperse into the grass field to find their own private spots, the grass just tall enough to cover their legs. I actually do need the toilet thanks to the whole glass of milk I drank for breakfast, but decide not to. My ethnicity is bound to draw attention, and having 20 or so sets of eyes fixed on me while I relieve myself is not what I consider to to be a pleasant travel experience, however unique it may be.

When we do actually arrive at the ‘service station’, the hecticness of the place throws me back. As soon as the coach arrives at the area which looks like a huge market place, a large group of women and children with their baskets of food on top of their head swarm around the vehicle, almost like a flock of bees around its hive. They hold up their baskets towards the windows, all shouting out something which I assume are the names of whatever they are selling.

I really do need the toilet, and I literally have to push myself through the crowd of insistent sellers to make my way towards it. The toilet is a series of roofless cubicles, and it’s relative cleanliness actually impresses me. I had pictured a small hut with a large hole dug in the soil, where you can taste the stench from the piles of human waste even when you are not breathing.  But this one, the cubicles are all tiled including the floor, so that whatever people dispose of into the hole is not exposed to the open air. Apparently there used to be western toilet seats, but they were rather dysfunctional as there are no plumbing system to enable the flushing. So the locals took off the seats and the hole in the tiled floor is what remains of it. The charge for the toilet is 25 cf (0.25 pence) for Business No.1, and 50 cf (0.50 pence) for Business No.2. Upon entry you are given a pot of water to flush down your disposals.

The cubicles have no doors, and I choose to use the one at the furthest away from the entry. The hole is where the toilet seat used to be, which means it is awkwardly placed too near the back wall. Aiming for it is quite a task unless you move to the wall as close as possible. What it also means is that you’d have to face the entry of the cubicle if you were to do Business No.2, which has no door to shield you from other toilet users.

Thankfully, it’s only Business No.1 for me. Not wanting to risk my possessions to theft, I have all my belongings with me – a camera bag hanging across my shoulder and a heavy backpack on my back. Please, please, please, let me not lose balance. Not in here. 

Then I hear someone else walking down the corridor of the toilet, towards my end of the cubicle. In my squat position, my self-conscious mind flees to another petty worry. What if this is the wrong position? What if I should be facing the entry, not the back wall? What if she laughs at this foreigner, not even knowing how to use the toilet properly? Then to the consideration of consequences of the two positions: If I stay facing the back wall, she’ll be seeing my bare butt. If I turn to face the entry, I’ll have to meet her eyes while pissing, and I’ll have to be polite and smile and say my bonjour, WHILE pissing. 

Both equally, unfathomably, unquestionably, extremely awkward situation. I chose to go for the former. So the lady walked towards my cubicle, made a little ‘oh!’ sound upon seeing my Asian bare butt, and moved to the cubicle next to mine.

 

15 September 2014 – On the way to Bobo-Dioulaso

 

 

 

Find the Manioc – Day 4 (12 September 2014)

Today’s mission is this: to walk to the small market nearby and find manioc, a starchy root similar to potatoes that I regularly had when I was living in Vanuatu for two months. I had missed it desperately, especially the manioc laplap with coconut cream, but of course you cannot find such things in the UK. My eyes lit up when the host family told me I could find manioc in Burkina Faso, along with lion and camel meat.

I set off, and it’s not long until I meet Marie, one of the girls I did face painting yesterday. She is sitting under a tree by herself, and it’s only 3 pm. I guess she’s one of the kids who cannot afford to go to school. “Wakka, wakka! (Come, come!)” I call her  and hold her hand. We walk along for a bit and a few other kids see us from afar and scream excitedly. They come running and running but when they come closer, they stop and just stare with curiosity. So I gesture them to come and soon there is a flock of us walking. “Marquillage! Marguillage!” They ask for more face-painting but I tell them, “Après. Petit marché, où? (After. Little market, where?)”  A number of fingers point toward slightly different directions, so I walk towards the direction where the majority of the fingers are pointing towards. We walk the road with the mosque on our right, and whenever there is a junction I ask again, “Petit marché, où?”. The kids point toward right so I turn right. Another junction, and the kids go right. Another junction we go right again. The mosque is always on our rightside, and we are back to square one, quite literally. “Petit marchè! Petit marchè!” I keep saying and the kids now drag me to the opposite direction of where the market should be situated, and they take me to the spot where I did face-painting yesterday. I chuckle and get my kits out.

I have a booklet with all sorts of face-painting samples, and the kids busy themselves choosing which ones they want. A butterfly is popular among girls, just as it had been in the UK. “Tante! Tante! (Auntie! Auntie!)” The little fingers pull my sleeve and my skirt to grab my attention, and point towards the picture they like the best. It’s my second afternoon spent with the kids in the village, and I am slowly getting to know their personalities. Inesse is the fierce one, the one who bosses everyone around and has the loudest voice in the group. And of course it’s Inesse who pushes everyone away so she gets the first face-painting out of all. Ibrahim is the mischievous one, and always pulls a funny face when I take photo of him. Marie is the quite one, and her shyness reminds me of when I was little. She’s the only one who remembers and calls me by my name. She got a little upset when her turn didn’t come round fast enough, but even when I told her to come forward, she wanted the other girl to get the face paint first. She has a kind heart in her.

Sometimes, flies gather when I am face-painting, and it took me sometime to realise the source of it. A girl could not stand still when I was painting her hand, and she kept twitching and jerking her right leg. When I turned her round, I saw the back of her leg grazed deeply, revealing her pink flesh in a long line from her ankle to the back of her knee. The flies loved to sit on her wound. I remember seeing this in Vanuatu, where kids hurt themselves but the wounds are left open, completely untreated.

After seeing this yesterday, I packed my antiseptic cream and band-aid in my bag. When I see that Safi has a big chunk of her flesh cut off from her ankle bone, I chase off the flies and wash it with my bottled water. I cannot wash away all the sand that has gotten into the wound, and have nothing else to clean it properly. I have no choice to make do with a band-aid.

After some time I grow tired and hungry, so I ask a teenage girl nearby. “Je suis fatigue. Manioc?”  She speaks little English, just as much as I speak French. Her name is Rose and is 17. She takes me to a stall that sells fried potatoes and tells me “No manioc here”. When I come back with food and sit down, the kids flock around again. Rose tells them off in French and the kids step a few steps back. Maybe she told them to give me some space. In Kenya and Vanuatu, the kids were quick to come and satisfy their curiosity, touching my long, non-curly hair and my pale skin. Not in Burkina Faso. The kids keep their distance until I beckon them nearer. I think giving someone some physical distance  is part of their cultural manners.

After the fried potatoes, I try out maize porridge from another street stall. It’s sour, as if they have put lemon juice in it, and comes in a thin plastic bag. I saw a boy sucking the porridge out of the bag earlier and wanted to try it. All this costs me 400 franc, which is around 40 pence.

It gets darker which means time to go back home. It’s been my fourth day in this city of Ouagadougou and I still haven’t managed to venture out properly.

My mission to find manioc continues.

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