The pointy haired man exists!

So you may have already heard about (or seen) this impossibly pointy haired man shaping his hairstyle in the MTR, and the way he did so with the exaggerated movements seemed so ridiculous that I was pretty sure he wasn’t real (ie. that it was a prank of some sort).

But lo and behold, while I was in the 24-hour Wellcome’s cookie aisle last night, I saw Mr. Pointy Hair himself next to me checking out the cracker options.

I couldn’t help but get excited at the sight of him and the pyramid of hair that sat on top of his head. Stiff and full of gel or hairspray, or both.

He seemed to notice the stares (as he kept looking at me), probably because I kept glancing at him too. And something told me that he must know that he’s become somewhat of an internet sensation, because he seemed to welcome the attention as he walked through the aisles.

Unfortunately, the video of him that used to exist on Facebook has been taken down…so you’ll just have to take my word for it that he exists!

Barcode men

Question: What do you call men with combovers in Thailand?

(…)

A barcode!! 
Now why didn’t I think of that… (thanks to my colleague in Thailand who enlightened me). Apparently it’s a term first coined by the Japanese, who refer to men with combovers as ‘barcode dudes’. Love it!

Chinese New Year flowers for dummies

Confession: I’m a horrible Chinese. It’s four days from Chinese New Year and I still haven’t cleaned or decorated my home!! (Half of that’s because I’m not really sure how to — yup, I’m kinda clueless.)

I know we need to have fresh flowers in the home since they represent ‘new birth and regrowth’ in the new year, but which ones should I get? If you’re having the same dilemma as me, here’s a quick guide to some of the most popular choices:

Peach blossom 

What they do: Help you live longer; give single people hope.
Why: The blossoms symbolise growth, prosperity, long life and romance.
Where to put it: In the oldest and nicest porcelain vase you have — it’s believed that the older the vase, the longer the flowers will bloom.

Kumquat tree

What it does: Make the money roll in.
Why: Gumgut (in Cantonese) is a pun for gold (gum) and good fortune (dai gut). 
Where to put it: In doorways.

Narcissus

What it does: Make you rich.
Why: Its yellow and white flowers represent gold, silver and wealth. Plus, they smell good.
Where to put it: In a shallow dish with smooth pebbles and filled with water.

Peonies

What they do: Bring luck and good fortune.
Why: Known as the ‘flower of riches and honour’ in Chinese, they symbolise feminine beauty, love and affection. Red ones are most popular for CNY. 
Where to put it: Anywhere that looks good!

Pussy willow

What they do: Bring money in (surprise!)
Why: The Chinese name ‘yin liu’ means ‘silver willow’, which sounds like ‘money flowing in’. If they bloom during the first 15 days of CNY, you’ve hit the jackpot!
Where to put it: In a container of water at room temperature in a cool, shaded area. 
Other popular flowers include orchids, lilies, azalea, sunflowers, and pretty much every flower under the sun (except roses, I think). For more on CNY flowers, check out this handy guide
And… should you want to send some CNY greetings to your friends and family, check out my all-new Miss Fong in Hong Kong CNY postcards!

Canto 101: Ocean skin

In my ongoing quest to become more Chinese, I’m picking up my Canto-learning again, one step at a time. That means listening to more Cantopop on KKBOX (reading lyrics really helps) and taking note of any interesting phrases I come across.

One of them is 海皮 — “hoi pei”, which means sea shore. I first heard it when taxi drivers would ask me if I wanted to go home via the highway or the “hoi pei”, and it’s never not sounded funny to me.

In my head, I just can’t help visualizing it as literally the “ocean skin” since “海” means ocean and “皮” means skin. Am I crazy?? To be fair, “ocean skin” is a super accurate description of the sea shore as the “skin” can be anything from sandy and bumpy to smooth and layered.

To use this word, simply tell your taxi driver, “NO highway, YES hoi-pei!” Other suggestions welcome!

Miss Fong in Hong Kong Xmas Cards

So, besides selling fook-less Xmas tree ornaments at the Handmade HK bazaar last weekend, I also had a small selection of Xmas cards on sale that I designed myself 😀 (no fook there either, sorry lady)!
There are five designs in total:
  • Chinese Santa
  • Frosty in HK
  • Curry Fishmas
  • Rudolph vs. Rudie
  • All I Want for Xmas is… (Dim Sum!)
Thanks to everyone who came by and picked them up! I hope you’re enjoying your cards/ornaments/bow ties/fimo! 🙂
Also big thanks to the people at Asia Society Hong Kong for stocking my cards! They’re now on sale at the gift store right outside the ultra-hip and happening’ AMMO, so be sure to take a peek while you’re on a pee break (the store is in between the restaurant and the restrooms)!
**Update: The Xmas cards are also now stocked at KONZEPP (50 Tung Street, Lower Ground Floor, Sheung Wan)!** Yay! Get ’em while you can! 🙂
UPDATE: Christmas cards are now available on my Etsy page: Miss Fong in Hong Kong

Hong Kong Beggars: Tin Hau Harmonica Elbow Beggar

I haven’t been seeing many beggars around lately, except for the LKF Plastic Bag Lady and possibly the Wanchai Homeless Beggar whom I think I spotted in Lan Kwai Fong the other night.

However, I did see a rather upbeat and jolly beggar a few weeks ago in Tin Hau just outside the MTR station on King’s Road. He had picked a good location, since sizable crowds would gather while waiting to cross the busy intersection. 

At first glance, the Tin Hau Harmonica Elbow Beggar (you’ll understand the name soon) looked like a normal person who was just playing the harmonica out of his elbows (a way to get attention perhaps) but upon closer inspection, I realised that he didn’t have any forearms — just little stumps after the elbow joint.

While playing his tunes, he was also side-stepping to the music and grooving along, not to mention making eye contact with everyone who passed. It was pretty cool to see a beggar getting so into it, unlike the more dormant types like the Mong Kok Tree Trunk Stumps Beggar or the Wanchai Parma Ham Leg BeggarKeep it up, dude!