Monday, 28 February 2011

Once you pop

Pop-up retail. The trendy way to promote your brand? A modern marketing idea? Perhaps not: some local sellers caught on long before the big names did. After all, you only need a few hooks and coathangers to display your wares, an unoccupied bank branch and voila! Shop popped.

Why a bank, you ask? Well it's the only high-street presence that has 'respectable' opening hours and all that glass is so convenient for attaching sucker hooks. But banks and glass windows aren't indispensable. If your neighbours are closed, you could use their shop fronts as an extension to your own:

Sunday, 27 February 2011


Oh, to live upon the waves!

To dry one's laundry on the 'rigging':

To have dinner parties on deck:

 Oh how I want my own big-eye-chicken so I can live the pirate life in Hong Kong.

Monday, 21 February 2011

Rulebreaking 2

Inhabitants of Hong Kong Park:

Signs at Hong Kong Park:

Thank you Clarice for the basking terrapins.
More minor infractions...

Friday, 18 February 2011

Goosey goosey

Meet Gambol, the ubiquitous Hong Kong notebook.
You can find him in all reputable stationers' across the territory. Let's take a look at what he's made of:
Yup, when equipped with Gambol, you are sure to produce cutting-edge homework between those high-tech translucent plastic covers.

But did you know? Gambol has a half-brother from remote Hongxing, called Gander. Gander prefers to hang out in the less reputable stationery shops.
All the same, Gander tries to do everything Gambol does, but he since he doesn't pay enough attention in English class, he sometimes struggles a bit.

His tochnology isn't quite there, either:
Poor Gander. Honk honk.

Monday, 14 February 2011

綠船, 紅船

Two notable boats can be visited free of charge in Hong Kong at the moment.

一. Green Boat
Something topical on this blog for a change: the Central piers are currently graced with the presence of the Rainbow Warrior II. The (in)famous Greenpeace flagship arrived in Hong Kong a week ago and was open to the public at the weekend.
We braved the downpour to get a chance to set foot on this iconic vessel before she goes into retirement (to be replaced by a more high-tech and ecofriendly craft). After being held for a good hour in an awareness-raising/indoctrinating exhibition inside pier two, we were finally allowed to board, and were shown around by skipper Mike Fincken, whose enthusiasm for both the ship and the cause was by no means dampened by the weather.
If you too want to get a photo of Dave the Dolphin and learn a little more about Greenpeace, then the boat is still visitable next weekend (perhaps with better weather)! Details here.

二. Red Boat
In Quarry Bay park, the decommissioned Alexander Grantham fireboat has been turned into a museum. Unlike Green Boat, Red Boat is permanent and you can take your time to explore her rooms and cabins.
There are also a number of mateylike photo ops to be had with water cannons and other fireboatesque hardware. Unfortunately, you can't bring your fireman's helmet.

Friday, 11 February 2011

Rulebreaking 1

Idyllic scenes at the central ferry piers.
 Just a moment, what's that small blue sign on the quayside?

For more creative ways of catching your dinner, click here.

Monday, 7 February 2011

Parfum de saucisson

If you find yourself wondering why
Your shirts smell of eau de pork pie
This could be a sign
That you need a new line
For your delicatessen to dry

Like limericks?


Wednesday, 2 February 2011

The authority that cried wolf

As I wrote in a previous post, the government takes a micro-managing approach when it comes to warning signs. Hikers in particular are at significant risk of catastrophe, if the dissuasive panels along the route are anything to go by. Unless your chosen foray into nature happens to be a 200-metre, wheelchair-friendly tree walk, then you're likely to encounter something like this:

Above:  Plover Cove country trail (please note the stone steps of the 'very difficult' trail.)

and anything vaguely promising in the distance gets a point-blank no-no:
Above: benevolent powers that be tell us to turn back on the ascent of Ma On Shan (needless to say, we continued)

Other logic-defying favourites of mine are 'steep cliff, do not proceed' (really? Because I hiked up here just to hurl myself off) and 'deep water' (with a drowning hand pictogram, next to a dried-out trickle).

Judging by the cheerful stream of hikers I usually pass en route, I am not the only one who pays little heed to these warnings. What'll it take to warn hikers of real dangers? The disembodied remains of unfortunate explorers mounted on stakes? Here There Be Monsters? Or maybe - just maybe - a little credit for common sense?