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!

A crotch cabaret at BISOUS

I can’t say I’ve ever seen a burlesque show before, but I definitely had something else in mind than last night’s performance(s) at BISOUS. 
Let’s first clarify that I wasn’t there to see the BISOUS girls at all, but a man called Russell Simmons, aka. the ‘godfather of hip hop’ and founder of Def Jam, who happened to be in town for Diamonds In The Sky, Hong Kong.
The event started out pretty cool with DJ Bravo spinning old skool hip hop tracks with videos projected onto the big screen, but before long, the curtains were drawn and out came the BISOUS gals.
Don’t get me wrong, the girls had great bodies, which is probably good enough for most, but something about the perfectly balanced girl group (1 brunette, 1 blonde, 1 black, 1 asian) just bothered me…
It started with some cheesy lip-synching, followed by an insane amount of crotch-flashing. What made it even more creepy was the overly ecstatic, plastered smiles on the girls’ heavily made up faces. And instead of being subtly seductive like I expected from burlesque dancers, the BISOUS gals strutted around the stage like horny peacocks, making shrill ‘YEOW!’ and ‘WOOPEE!’ sounds as they kicked their legs up behind their ears, did the cartwheels off one another and jumped up and landed in the splits (with a big THUD sound and collective “OUCH!!” from the audience).
During the totally cliche yet obligatory can-can dance, the girls lifted up and waved their frilly skirts around so much that I got tired of seeing all of them crotches, no matter which direction they kicked their legs out to make it look different each time. 
If you happened to miss out on the show, here are a few scenes from it that will forever be etched into my head (and now yours too, unfortunately):

Hope you enjoyed “the show”!!

how to dance funky

When I first moved to Hong Kong, I was eager to find a place to continue my dance lessons, which I had taken regularly in NL with the one and only, amazing Eszteca! Unfortunately, I quickly found out that Hong Kong had taken dance lessons and packaged them as yet another weight-loss fad, just like they had done with yoga (grrrr!).

Take a look at the Hong Kong Funky Dance Centre, founded by a lady who proudly advertises that she lost 25 lbs of baby weight in 8 weeks by simply bustin’ a (funky) move.  The centre strongly emphasizes the fat-burning power of funky dance, using extreme success stories complete with graphic imagery here and here (nice pose, eh?).

You might be wondering, what is ‘Funky Dance’ anyway? I’d never heard of it before coming to HK, as it certainly wasn’t a type of dance that Eszteca taught… In my mind, the term made me think of a bunch of nerds doing the Funky Chicken dance… but thanks to YouTube, I now know that funky dance is done by gay men (and women who want to dance like gay men) dressed in bright, neon colours who bounce around doing group aerobics with giddy smiles plastered on their faces, thinking that they’re actually dancing.

Exhibit 1:

Uh…yea. That is definitely not my style. (To see what real dancing looks like, watch THIS – 2:30~3:45 is absolutely dope!!)

Anyway, during my search, I also came across Dancing Fit, another one of these dance-for-weight-loss centres. Here’s a look at some of their class names and descriptions (thank you Google Translate):

Hip Hop with YIP  (-Pio and Yippy Yay)
The use of heavy beats of Hip Hop music, out of street style. Focused abdominal movements (ABS), focus on abdominal and thigh fat burning, increase exercise capability, and wishing to tighten the abdominal line, the effect is particularly noticeable. YO YO YO, Let’s Come!

Latino Jam with TAKKO (and his sidekicks Nacho & Burrito)
Mainly through a variety of Latin dance steps, in a warm and relaxed rhythm of Latin music, freely swinging the body, strengthen the confidence and training of memory.

Slim Punking with MING (cuz punks can’t be fat)
It is vibrant and a dynamic rhythm-based dancing, focuses on the waist and hand movements, Kawaii style, it is time to say “bye bye meat”!!!!

House Sweating with SOYA (purse egg is optional)
Interesting, lively and light, the use of disco beat dance music, with foot-based action, may tighten the buttocks and leg lines, the high amount of exercise to help quickly sweat, heart and lung function. You will find that he had never been so light.

Boy, do I miss taking real dance classes… *sigh*