Hong Kong: Modern Birthday Party

Children’s birthdays have always been an event. When we were little, the parties were all the same. They were strictly celebrated at the birthday guy’s home, we’re eating milk sandwiches with cooked ham or salami held together by a toothpick, chips, juices and Coca Cola with caffeine (no caffeine or Coca Cola Zero – didn’t even exist). Nobody, in my memory, had allergies. We played all together and no one was bored. We ran in the yard with a ball, the elastic and the rope, even in winter. In the most organized parties there was a treasure hunt. We organized shows for the parents who were always present, sitting on the sofa talking to each other, smoking (in the house

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Hong Kong: The Patience of Moms

Everyone says that patience is learned when you become a mom and that it evolves with the child’s age. It starts right away during the hours of labor torture. When doctors tell you to breathe and not to contract the belly, that eventually will pass, it’s just a couple of hours (or days for the less fortunate ones) that you are not dying, you are giving birth to a child. Then breathe, yell, think the worst things about your husband who did this to you, hate the midwife, turn off the light, switch on the light, walk, lie down, send to hell the nurse who try to let you drink a juice, but I recommend you, be patient. Than a

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Macao: Born for Trash

 Going to Macau is like taking a space-time trip. I love this island, a shrill of cultures, halfway between a decadent Lisbon, an ugly Chinese town and Las Vegas. In the old part of the city you can walk through the uphill slopes street paved with the typical Portuguese mosaic. There are old buildings falling apart followed by colonial houses restored with warm colors, secular plants, names of the streets written in Portuguese and Chinese painted on Azulejos . Coming here from China you immediately feel at home, the many churches that you encounter walking, the sound of the bells and the pedestrian street full of shops that flows into the ruins of the church of Sant Pau have the

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Shanghai: Nails, Toxic Plastic and Hysterical Moms

My daughter starts to bite her nails. I know, I know it’s something that come and then goes. But for me, dogged nail-bitter since childhood until the age of twenty-nine, it is a trauma. I still remember the pleasure of gnawing, the hangnail evisceration until it bled, the flaking of the nail in layers up to the root and the final tear, a painful self-inflicted punishment. “My love, how come you never stop?” As if I don’t know the answer… “Mom, the thing is, I do not even notice eating them, but I always do. Yesterday I ate even those of my toes.” AAAAARRRRGGGGHHHH “I feel nervous in my teeth and I really want to gnaw something.” “Okay, for now

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