Her brow furrowed with concentration. Having fallen once already – the result being a scraped knee – determination had set in. She pushed off wobbly at first, but eventually managed to steer straight for a few seconds. A lightness danced across her face – she was sailing on two wheels – her pigtails flapping against the breeze. Until the handlebars veered left and her concentration lurched to a dead halt. She wailed in frustration. Her mother ran over, cooing soothing words, setting the bicycle upright.
This was the scene I witnessed as I made my way along the streets of Yuen Long, a suburb of the New Territories in Hong Kong, far from the bustling alleyways or shopping centers of Mong Kok.
If you recall, my first try at Roomorama culminated in a semi-disappointing stay. Though Yuen Long had a decidedly gated community feel, with surreal signage (Melrose Place in Hong Kong?) the single thing that suppressed any doubts were tiny grey birds chirping in the leafless trees. The quiet was a pair of warm arms to slip into.