My tribute to Joshua Wong, the 17-year-old political activist in Hong Kong who is an inspiration to so many. Read more about him here.
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!
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.
I know it’s rude to stare, but last night, I saw something that I just couldn’t tear my eyes away from.
He was standing across me in the MTR, looking rather normal for a Hong Kong dude (glasses, short black hair, T-shirt and jeans, and holding an iPad). It was probably his iPad that drew my eyes toward his wrist, which is how I noticed that he was wearing some kind of hairy wristband.
‘Pretty neat,’ I thought to myself as my eyes zoomed in, wondering what kind of material it was made of. It was super thick, so maybe faux fur? But then, the sudden realisation hit me that that was no wristband — that was a GIGANTIC rectangular MOLE wrapped around his wrist with a thick forest of hair growing out of it.
Feeling a mixture of shock, fear and awe (it was, after all, the biggest and hairiest mole I’ve ever seen), my eyes were locked onto that dark patch of densely grown hair until its owner stepped off the MTR. Where he’s gone, I have no clue, but one thing’s for sure — I won’t be forgetting the hairy wristband anytime soon.
I wanted to blog about this old lady in Central over a YEAR ago when I first started working in that area, and thankfully, she is still around for me to blog about today. No offense to her at all but she is probably near 100 years old if not older, and I really hope that she has a lot more years to live!
Located on the corner of Gage Street and Lyndhurst Terrace, the Banana and Peanut Lady is a withering old Chinese woman with sunken-in cheeks and a thin black ponytail. She sells bananas and peanuts next to the fruit stand across 7-11 and is usually there for most of the day. I don’t know why she’s still working as she’s so fragile and petite, but my guess is that she’s been there all her life and likes it(?) or has to do it to sustain herself (in which case we should all give her a little extra for her bananas and peanuts).
She’s usually wearing a traditional two-piece Chinese outfit in all black, and now that the weather’s cooler she has an extra coat on. I also noticed that her thumbnails are super long, as opposed to her pinky fingernails. Maybe I’ll work up the courage to ask her what she’s doing there the next time I pass by… (I know, I’m shy)!
I’m no fashionista, but I think I have a pretty good sense of what looks bad on me, and therefore, on other people. And what usually looks
bad horrific are BUTT MUNCHING PANTS.
I encountered an extremely active butt munching pant the other day as I was walking behind this woman in the MTR, and I just couldn’t stop myself from staring at her butt. Granted, I’m usually staring at people’s butts (hey, it started in high school) not out of perviness but just because it’s the most interesting and dynamic part of a person’s backside (it’s big, it moves, it usually has a face, etc.), wouldn’t you agree?
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.
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*
This beggar has got to be one of the most graphic, gruesome and gag-inducing guys in Hong Kong. Usually seen on the bridge going towards the Immigration Tower from the Wanchai MTR Exit A5, I had almost forgot about him since I hadn’t seen him in a long time. However, one look was all it took to get his image emblazened into my head again.
You see, the Wanchai Parma Ham Leg Beggar is aptly named because he has a huge, rectangular raw flesh wound on one of his legs, which he displays proudly by extending it into rush hour human traffic. One just can’t help but stare at how deep, red, wet and fleshy it looks (not to mention painful)! Apparently, he (or his pimp) makes a new cut every morning so that the wound is fresh and bloody. Today, the wound is around 1-1.5 inches deep and sometimes, it even looks like he’s been cut to the bone.
At times, the Wanchai Parma Ham Leg Beggar can be seen with a piece of old cloth hanging near him on a makeshift clothesline, which has been stained multiple times by his bleeding wound.
To be honest, with the wide range of beggars in Hong Kong, it’s really a shame that this guy has to endure so much physical pain just for a few bucks. I mean, I don’t think he makes any more money than the old lady down the street who’s only kneeling down and pretending to be homeless. If I were him, I’d stop the painful cutting, but of course, it’s probably not his decision to make.
Anyway, do pay our latest beggar a visit and see whether you still have your HK-sized appetite afterwards. I, for one, have lost all my cravings for parma ham…