Making babies is pretty much the same the whole world over, but once they come out, there are a lot of differences. This is the place for information and ruminations on raising children in Hong Kong.

Mr Tall's Hong Kong Disneyland review

Mrs Tall and I are pathetically weak. Daughter Tall had just learned that familiar-to-all-parents whine that goes:

Iwannagotodisneyland Iwannagotodisneyland Iwannagotodisneyland

[biiiiig breath]

Iwannagotodisneyland . . .

So we caved right in and took her. Read more »

Hong Kong Kindergartens, again!

As Mr Tall notes, we're currently making our choice of kindergarten for MissB. Yes, it's interview time.

When I first heard about the concept of interviews for kindergartens, I filed it away under the category of amusing stories to tell visitors, and left it at that. Several years later and we're in the thick of it. It turns out that the term "interview" is pretty broad, and the three we've been to have all been very different.

Interviewing through the language barrier Read more »

Baby pressure

I was chatting with a colleague of mine the other day, and the subject of babies came up, as it often does -- she's pregnant, due in less than four months. She and her husband had been out over the weekend doing some 'getting ready for Baby' shopping at a very large, expat-oriented baby-n-kids shop in Horizon Plaza in Ap Lei Chau. HK expats with kids will already know the place, and for the rest of you, the name will likely be meaningless anyway, so I'll just omit it. The point was, this colleague (who's originally from New Zealand, by the way) asked me what I thought of the place, and was relieved to find that I thought it was fairly creepy, as she had, too. Read more »

Hong Kong baby care 101

Mrs Tall and I are now experienced parents, since Baby Tall is now over a year old, and has graduated to the status of 'Toddler Tall'. We've therefore got some advice to pass along to Mr and Mrs B, and other new parents, about 'the right way' to bring up children in Hong Kong. Read more »

Is Hong Kong child-friendly?

In a letter to the Batgung, an American thinking of moving to Hong Kong asked if Hong Kong is 'child friendly'. There are a number of ways to tackle this question. Read more »

The Mixmyth Defined

Baby Tall is doing well. She's seven months old, and now that she's been out and about a bit, we've confirmed our worries about something I'll call the 'Mix Myth'. That is, people in Hong Kong generally assume that any child who's a product of one Caucasian and one Chinese parent will grow up to be devastatingly attractive. No matter how grotesque her parents' appearances might be -- and I note I'm speaking entirely for myself, and not on behalf of Mrs Tall, who is growing more heart-stoppingly stunning every day -- a 'mixed' baby is expected to be catwalk-ready in about 15 years or so.

I've heard that this phenomenon is common in some other places, too, but I wonder if it is expressed quite as baldly as it is here. People come up to the Family Tall, and with no hesitation begin discussing the merits of Baby Tall's personal appearance right in front of Mrs Tall and me. So far, I can report the prognosis has generally been favorable, but this isn't necessarily a positive development. Read more »

The sheets of shame

A couple of months ago, I mentioned that Mrs Tall and I are going to be parents. The day of the baby's coming is drawing nigh, and we're getting a little jumpy. We've been accumulating baby clothes, bottles, puke-absorbent rags, and so on. We even bought diapers the other day.

All this is fine but -- even as I predicted -- my brains are being ravaged by baby-expectant chemicals. Here's an example.

This past Sunday was Mother's Day, so I dutifully accompanied Mrs Tall and her mother to the Metro City shopping mall in Tseung Kwan O. There we encountered several hundred thousand other mothers being taken out for a bit of shopping by their families. Read more »

A father-to-be faces Hong Kong's future

The times, they are a-changing.

It's been a while since Mr Tall has had much to say. To tell you the truth, he's been struck dumb of late by the gut-churning fact that he's going to be a father by the time this year is halfway out.

Mrs Tall is currently doing the suffering for the Talls in physical terms, but she keeps telling Mr Tall that he's the one who's going to be facing down the poop-rich nether-regions-wear five short months from now. He doesn't doubt it for a moment.

I don't want to go all soppy with you, gentle readers, as many a parent-to-be seems to do. I'll save that for after the Tall-ette is born, since it's an established medical fact that all new parents lose their critical objectivity-regulators once their offspring have emerged. Read more »

Two ringing moments

An old man walks slowly up the sidewalk in front of me. His steps falter, his shoulders drop and his back hunches over as he struggles on.

"There be the ravages of age!", I think, contemplating my own inevitable aging and mortality.

I stride past the old codger, then look back to make sure he's made it up the hill. But now he's ground down to a full stop -- so that he can devote the fullness of his attention to dialling his mobile phone, which he's clearly been working on ever since I spotted him!


On a tunnel bus. Across the aisle, a little girl of six or so, in a crisp school uniform, sits next to her family's domestic helper. The girl has a lunch box she's supposed to be eating before she goes to school. She picks up a spoonful, drops it back, picks up another . . . then whines "you feed me!" to the domestic helper. With a sigh, she begins spoon-feeding the girl. Throughout the process, the girl regresses to toddlerhood, pulling away from the spoon as it is offered, pouting, glaring. Finally, mercifully, the lunch box is empty. Read more »

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