Six Amusing Things Spotted in Hong Kong Yesterday

In the Sichuan restaurant

1. Europeans craving bread and butter before mapo doufu. Three smartly dressed young German men asked the waitress at the Sichuan restaurant for bread to nibble on while waiting for their spicy, regional Chinese meal. She graciously showed them the steamed Chinese-style buns that she could offer them. They declined.

At the foot massage place

2. Notices and a pair of plastic feet.

Sign at foot massage place

On the train

3. A confused shirt. A boy going to his violin lesson wore a peach-colored polo shirt with the following written on the back in cursive “beach” font:

Green Bey Packers

California Life


(Hint for non-Americans: Green Bay Packers is an American football team located far from California.)

4. “Just Do It” chatty Mainlander. A jolly, loud Mandarin speaker who punctuated every sentence with “dui bu dui?” (“right?”) was on his way to Guangzhou. He held a ten minute phone conversation on a single topic: whether or not the person on the other end of the line had already eaten. He wore black knock-off Nike basketball shoes branded “Dike” with an Air Jordan-esque neon-blue silhouette on the sides.

5. Two-years too late Hong Kong hipster. A young woman wore big, black and white plastic glasses without lenses. In the close quarters of the train, someone wearing genuine corrective eyewear might be tempted to reach over and poke her in the eye.

6. Shopper violating the MTR’s new 32 kg weight limit. She had a backpack of books, a handful of shopping bags, and a suitcase full of over-priced gluten free food. Her bags were in everyone’s way. She stared around the train carriage watching everyone and eavesdropping. She seemed fixated on some Guangdonger’s shoes and almost took a picture of a child’s back, but seemed to chicken out. One wonders why she didn’t have earbuds and a smartphone out like everyone else.

(The last one was, of course, me. The gluten free food, which I source from all over The Island and transport back to Tai Po, is for my six-year-old daughter with Celiac Disease.)

28 responses to “Six Amusing Things Spotted in Hong Kong Yesterday

    • The signs where the reason we took the photograph, but now that I look at the picture, the strangely lit plastic feet are very, very odd as well!

  1. A weight limit in the MTR? Seriously? That’s silly. How on earth are they planning to enforce that? And the confused T-shirt? Hilarious. I saw a LOT of those in Taipei. Great post (as usual)!

    • The 32 kg weight limit has to do with keeping cross-border traders from using the MTR to haul goods they buy in Hong Kong over the border to Shenzhen. It’s all rather silly as they’re mainly buying infant milk powder and other toiletries and medicines.

      That shirt killed me too!

  2. Loved this. It’s fascinating to discover all the fun stuff happening all around you once you learn to observe and pay attention. I used to wonder why some people always noticed things, until I figured out that it takes a little practicing in looking 😉

  3. Love the shirt! I lived in Spain years ago, and I still remember a shirt that was really popular when I was there. It was advertising the clothing company that made it, and it just said” “We love staff.” (stuff?)

  4. But which massage parlor sign is “least likely to succeed?” It’s a tie between no smoking and no screaming. Slightly more interesting is that the Japanese translation of the Chinese for screaming is “fighting.”

    Another query- is the Luo Hu border crossing the world’s busiest Apple store?

    • Re Luo Hu: good question. If only the “staff” there wore matching t-shirts and clapped together when the “store” opens for the day like they do in Kowloon Tong Festival Walk.

      Re smoking: I find HKers pretty damn good about following no smoking rules. A refreshing change from the Mainland.

  5. The bread comment also cracked me up. I just had Xinjiang food. My parents are here and I asked them if they wanted to have some lamb. My dad asked if they have lamb sandwiches! Made me smile.

  6. Just another day in paradise, no? 🙂 Bahahaha… Love the pic of the creepy cut off feet and the “Do Not Scream” sign!! Confused clothing and knock-off brands are the best! Yes, it’s a little daunting to take pics of random ppl. (I try to do it incognito by turning the phone on silent so it doesn’t make that annoying “camera” noise… am I creeping you out already?) Next time! 🙂

    • What I need to do is practice aiming the camera phone “from the hip” and on the sly! I started to take a picture of that shirt, but since all eyes were already on the foreigner with too many bags, I couldn’t bring myself to do it.

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