We did, and saw, many memorable things during those early days, among them was being allowed to drink my very first ever coca cola! They were different times, a drink like that was a treat to be savoured. I can still remember the ice cold, greenish glass bottle, condensation dripping down the sides and two straws (the paper type) it felt like the height of sophistication and luxury. The taste did not disappoint!
|A Sophisticated Young Girl About Town|
As we settled into our new apartment and our schools, we began to explore the island. We had lots of wonderful experiences which always involved stopping off somewhere for a drink.
Another memorable one was the 7up float - 7up with a scoop of ice cream. I didn't really rate that, as it seemed a waste of both 7up and ice cream! Oh how I loved those beautiful green bottles with the red and white label.
It was an exciting time, riding in rickshaws as a treat, visiting fabulous parks, botanical gardens, the Tiger Balm Gardens with the weird and wonderful statues, the visions of Hell, grottoes and pavillions displaying effigies of Chinese mythology. We travelled up The Peak on the Tram, got to play on some very beautiful beaches, visited a variety of parks, and crossed to the Mainland on the Star Ferry.
It became an established routine to go to Kowloon, on the Mainland, every Saturday. We would go to the YMCA to buy our English comics and magazines - Bunty, Judy, Princess, Eagle, Dandy and Beano - according to what was available, then we'd settle down for a drink in the cafe. I'm not quite sure why, but we always drank tinned milk. Ice cold tinned milk. I think it was called Tongala - but I may be wrong. I was always fascinated at the triangular punch holes which were made in the top, then a straw was popped in. It was sterilised milk, but after the heat and bustle of the journey it tasted wonderful!
Quite often we'd go the Victoria Barracks Swimming Pool and after swimming and splashing all afternoon our drink would be Green Spot Orange Juice. Glass bottles, paper straws, ice cold. It was wonderful.
One of the lovely parks which we visited regularly had a big pond in the middle with a cafe to the side. After running around and letting off steam we go there for a drink. We always had the Apple Float. This was actually a pineapple float and was totally delicious, a mix of pineapple juice, fizzy water, tiny ice cubes, and pineapple pieces.
One drink I never got to try, but which always intrigued me, was a dirty milk coloured drink which came in the ubiquitous glass bottle of the time. I think it may have been a type of soya bean milk, but I could be mistaken. My mother was quite adamant that I wouldn't like it and that was the end of that!
So there you have a whistle-stop tour of beautiful Hong Kong, via some of the soft drinks we enjoyed. I could also have done a version describing the smells, but I thought this was more fun. Without doubt, the best drink was that very first coca cola - not because of the taste - but because it marked a complete change in my quiet English life.
One of these days I shall have to buy a bottle, see if it still tastes the same as in my memory.
Can you remember your first taste of coca-cola?