Time stood still. There were days when Virginia thought about home and the pineapple buns she often gorged on while she was in Vancouver. The crispy crust, the moist, warm spongy insides and some sweet memories added to the overall experience of enjoying this tea-time delicacy.
So once in a while, she would find her way to Kam Fung Restaurant in Wan Chai. It was a 70-year-old iconic diner in the depths of the Wan Chai market. She took a ding ding from Central and it took her down the memory lane.
Nostalgia was underrated. She sat at the table today, with a friend and chattered incessantly until the pineapple buns arrived. They were a fresh batch, and everything she had hoped for. Warm, fluffy and beautifully reminiscent of her past. They ordered a milk tea to go with it. After quenching their cravings, they slowed down and began the chatter again.
“Have you seen this post? It’s on Facebook.”
It was a post by Netflix asking for recommendations for Hong Kong style food. And the kind of restaurants that needed a revamp.
“Oh cool. I will write to these guys,” she said nonchalantly, trying to contain her excitement.
She never heard back from them. It was only a month or so later that her phone screen lit up. And with it, so did her face. Netflix had written back to her. It was an urgent request. Their crew was coming down to Hong Kong within a month and they couldn’t find a location to film at. They needed help locally as every restaurant they called didn’t find their proposition interesting. (None of them had heard of Netflix.)
“Am I in luck or what?” She thought. She pounded the keys of her laptop in excitement as she wrote back to them, “i am happy to help you with your request.” The truth was, she wasn’t just happy,.. she was thrilled. And then the negotiations started.
Her phone beeped a few minutes later. It was the Casting Producer. “Thank you for agreeing to help us with our show. I just wanted to quickly take you through some things that we need to discuss. I hope you understand that we will not be able to compensate you for this role.”
“Oh, I wasn’t thinking of the money. I’d actually prefer to be in the program.”
“Sweety, that’s really not in my hands. But why don’t you write to me with what you want and let me see what they agree to do in lieu of paying you.”
The phone clicked and Virginia’s heart soared. She sat down thinking, “This is my chance. Go big. Or go home.” And so she wrote her email.
A craving for pineapple buns was proving to change her life. “This is why people tell you to follow your heart,” she thought. It was definitely taking her places. But she shut out the thoughts before she could jinx them. And set out for a private food tour she was conducting that day.
Her mind was constantly with the Netflix show. But she decided to concentrate on the tour. She looked around at the happy faces, the way she encouraged people to try different food and introduced them to a new culture… this is what gave her happiness. This was life. And she had built it from scratch.
Her last stop in the food tour was Kam Fung. A fresh batch of pineapple buns had just been set out. She looked at them happily and took a bite. It was the taste of home. And that’s all that mattered.
As for the Netflix show… it did happen. And she got paid for it too.
Photography: Suraj Hemnani | Instagram: @cloud96drone