Accompanying Spouse, Food
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The Madam and Royce

Among the Foreign Service Officers that we have in Hong Kong, only two have wives: the Consul General and Mr. Diplomat. The wife of the Consul General though is based in New York, leaving me as the only diplomat’s wife based here. Learning that the Madam will be visiting Hong Kong for the Chinese New Year sent me the shivers. What is she like? What should I wear? What should I say?

Needless to say, I started to do my research. Nobody seemed to know anything else about the Madam besides her chosen career and where she is based. Asking the Consul General for more information is out of the question, we can only rely on the snippets that we picked up from our previous conversations. I searched Google with the hope of finding a photo of the Consul General with the Madam but to no avail. Without much information at hand, I planned to just wear a basic dress and low-heeled shoes to match, fingers crossed!

We anticipated that the dinner at the Official Residence of the Consul General will be on a Friday or a Saturday. So I moved our plans for vacation for Sunday and Monday. Lo and behold, the dinner was moved to Monday, with a ladies’ night out to follow. Moving our hotel booking earlier was impossible as Chinese New Year also means full booking everywhere! I cannot not meet her as well, that’s for sure.

Not knowing what to do, I decided to send a token of apology the following day. I chose one of our favorite chocolates, Royce Nama Chocolate in Champagne, to remind them of what seemed to be a favorite previous posting in Japan. This soft creamy chocolate native to Sapporo has one-fourth cream and liquor and up to 18% of moisture (www.e-royce.com). Our first batch of this glorious chocolate was shipped ironically not from Japan but from Singapore as my gift for Mr. Diplomat. Luckily, Royce has five shops here.

Royce Nama Chocolate in Champagne (xenophober.blogspot.com)

I asked Mr. Diplomat to bring in the chocolates to the Office of the Consul General for the Madam. She was there! Mr. Diplomat phoned me right away to drop by the office that Tuesday morning. But wait, I am already in the MTR, on the way to my Cantonese class, wearing flat shoes! Good thing I do not go out of our flat unmade and I always have high heels in my Speedy. Mrs. Diplomat Lesson No. 3: Always have high heels at hand.

At the Consulate that Tuesday, I finally met the Madam. My heels were higher than hers eeeps, but that did not seem to waver her composure nor her motherly ways. We briefly talked about the blizzards of New York and the upcoming Independence Day. In 10 minutes, I was done!

Later that day, she complimented the Royce chocolates we gave her and said she wanted to bring some more to New York. Well what do you know, Royce comes in dry-ice packaging and travels really well. Right then and there, I know I made my own mark for her to remember me by.

Royce Nama Chocolate, my lifesaver.

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