Salted duck eggs are a delicacy in the Cantonese culture. Each duck egg is encrusted with layers of damp, salted charcoal. The yolk, in its tangerine color, resembles the aesthetics of a sunset. Salted duck eggs go best with rice or congee. The magic of salted duck eggs is that it only takes so little of the egg to give you the taste of heaven. One single salted duck egg can last for several meals, if you wish.
A Hong Kong tale evolving around a Cantonese phrase – selling salted duck eggs, it features the bag ladies in Hong Kong – those who are obsessed with luxurious handbags, and a bag lady who lives and sleeps on the busiest street in Central, Hong Kong, in the middle of all luxury brands, with countless plastic bags wrapped around her body. It is a short read of obsession and grief that explores how the bag, a container, contains its owner’s belongings and also her sense of belonging.
A carefully written imaginative storytelling of sadness, obsession, salted duck eggs, and mermaids. Hong Kong Bag Ladies by Cherry Rao is a story filled with symbolism narrated by a grieving mermaid who is obsessed by a plastic bag lady. Whereas friends and coworkers seem overwhelmed with jobs, responsibilities, and trying to be be like everyone else. The plastic bag lady is happy living in Central making plastic bows in her hair from plastic bags. Crowds and change never seem to affect the plastic bag lady. The mermaid has a friend, who takes a job at a bank, but first buys a Coach purse so she wouldn't be bullied by co-workers. Then one day, just like the bag lady's husband, she goes out into the world to sell salted duck eggs. Later on in the story the mermaid finds her Prince who offers her some salted duck eggs. From that moment on the mermaid is certain she can figure out life's mysteries and problems. She is in love, but then he too goes out into the world to sell salted duck eggs and never returns. The story continues as the mermaid leaves her apartment with her little bag "yearning for bubbles."
I enjoyed the symbolism and imaginative nature of Hong Kong Bag Ladies by Cherry Rao and would recommend it to everyone.