These are snippets of what I’ve experienced living in Hong Kong over the past years: from the funny to the weird, and everything in between. I’ll continue to update this post as I come across more strange and wonderful things around the city.
70. Where this anti-smoking ad is more likely to make you laugh than to quit smoking.
69. Where honesty is key.
68. Where you’ll find “Monkey Head” on a menu.
67. When monks wear “spicy” shoes on the MTR.
66. When people have too much money and too little sense, and decide to cover their Porsche in black velvet.
65. When restaurants need to specify that liquor is intoxicating, as opposed to it being..?
64. When these are the things I see on my commute to work in the morning.
63. When the Hong Kong Observatory issues a T8 (strong typhoon warning) without it even raining, and the whole city literally shuts down..
62. When precautions are taken very seriously around a work site..
61. Where people need to be reminded of proper hygiene practices.
60. When it’s 30°C outside and people are wearing a down jacket and Hawaiian shorts.
59. Where this outdoor display is meant to entice you to eat here.
58. Where the elderly take their exercising seriously.
57. Where the world’s most insane beauty products exist.
56. Where people are badass.
55. Where seeing this becomes normal.
54. Where clothes can be incredibly ironic.
53. Where you can purchase a “Mini Portable Toilet”.
52. Where you can find people sleeping at the bottom of stairwells.
51. Where soup exists for your hands.
50. Where department stores display Halloween and Christmas decorations side by side.
49. Where fashion is taken seriously.
48. Where products like this actually exist and famous soccer players actually promote them.
47. When you’re not sure what the marketing strategy is.
46. Where people own incredibly large cellphones.
45. Where you always get a good laugh out of locals wearing English shirts.
44. Where you can find a truckload of bamboo just lying on the street.
43. When fancy port-a-potty’s equipped with carpeted floors, a full length mirror, and a framed picture are rented for the Rugby Sevens.
42. Where drying your entire wardrobe along a public walkway is a thing.
41. When a notice regarding “throwing animal discharge from height” is posted in your apartment building.
40. Where the love of egg tarts is real.
39. Where you’re just not quite sure what to do in some situations (so you just take a photo instead)
38. Where you can wait for the bus in style.
37. Where you have announcements like this in the MTR:
“Please hold onto the handrails and not just look at your mobile phone.”
36. When businesses run out of the back of a van.
35. Where you can get some exercise on the side of the road.
34. Where the food safety and hygiene guidelines are questionable.
33. Where people will queue for hours on end.
32. When a water pipe bursts, construction workers are more concerned with taking a picture of the flooding street than fixing it.
31. Where advertisements sure know how to catch your attention.
30. Where DIY projects consist of sticking oven mitts to the handle bars of motorcycles.
29. Where you can buy wine by the plastic glass in the grocery store.
28. Where this is considered entertainment at a nightclub.
27. Where your choice of local grocery store is based solely upon how much its name makes you laugh.
26. Where public stretching in short shorts and no shirt is serious business.
25. When candy wrappers warn consumers that “children and elderly people should not eat absolutely.”
24. Where you can’t walk more than two blocks without seeing one of these “litter cum recyclables” bins.
23. Where you can find horse figurines, among other oddities, randomly stuck into large rocks.
22. When these are a few words of wisdom imparted on you by a local restaurant owner:
“Don’t go back to Canada. So many animal. So few people. Don’t waste your life.”
*Mr. Wong from Mr. Wong’s, Mong Kok
21. When eating pig skin is considered a delicacy.
20. When your concept of what dessert is completely flipped around.
19. When signs like this are posted outside of the washrooms at a bar.
18. Where people are really serious about Hello Kitty.
17. Where this is on display at an amusement park.
16. When this becomes a regular sight on a night out.
15. Where adults dressing the same is a thing.
14. When the smog is so thick you can no longer see half of the tallest building in your area.
13. Where embarrassment does not exist.
12. When the weather is more indecisive than I am.
11. When owning an oven is the epitome of wealth and the envy of all your friends.
10. When you can take the escalator up to the gym.
Bonus: having a McDonald’s right underneath.
9. When you can find preserved whole baby crabs in a snack bag.
8. When Groupon sells stuff like this.
7. When you climb up a mountain and have this as your view (just ignore the smog).
6. When the only way to get hot water in your flat is by turning this on.
5. Where people either fear or are obsessed with dogs.
4. When families and couples coordinate their outfits so they all match.
3. When it is 20° out and people are wearing winter jackets and boots.
2. When you’re on the MTR and see a man plucking out his facial hair with tweezers.
1. When you’re at the gym and
a) Men are wearing shorter shorts than women
b) People are wearing their work clothes
c) One in five people are talking on their cellphone
Quin Woodward Pu is celebrating the launch of her new book, Settle Down, right here in Hong Kong where quite a few juicy stories found throughout her book take place. You can meet this “straight-A Asian-American extrovert from Georgia with a penchant for vodka, designer shoes, and older men”, have your book signed, enjoy a glass of wine (or three), and check out some featured photographs by Will Thierbach at ethos in Kennedy Town on Monday September 7th, 6:00 – 9:00 pm.
Continue reading Quin Woodward Pu Launches Her Fourth Book In Hong Kong [Event]
Now that Hong Kong has been blessed with two of Jamie Oliver’s restaurants; one on the island side in Causeway Bay and one on Kowloon side in Tsim Sha Tsui, how are we to make the decision of which to go to?! Fear not my fellow Hong Kongers, I’m here to offer you an unbiased (well, mostly) overview of the Jamie’s Italian branch in CWB and in TST, in terms of location, decor, atmosphere, and food.
Continue reading Jamie’s Italian Causeway Bay VS Tsim Sha Tsui: An Overview
When most people think of Hong Kong, they picture an overpopulated city filled with skyscrapers and too much traffic. While they wouldn’t necessarily be wrong, this city has much more to offer visitors and expats alike. If you happen to be or was an expat in Hong Kong, or are just curious about what life might be like living in this beautiful concrete jungle, then Frank Wingate’s tale of 22 years of expattery in Hong Kong might strike a cord. He shares his funny, bizarre, and often relatable stories of life in Hong Kong in the book “Poxy Chicken”.
Continue reading “Poxy Chicken” By Frank Wingate: A Hong Kong Expats’ Story [Book Review]
Given that living in Hong Kong as an expat isn’t that difficult to adapt to thanks to the city’s magical convenience and western influence, one would think that getting a gym membership and going to the gym wouldn’t be such a struggle.. Wrong. If you have ever frequented the popular gym chains throughout the city, this list will be all too familiar (and just might bring back some haunting memories). For those that have yet to experience the frustrating and downright bizarre antics that occur at one of these gyms, here’s a peek into what you can expect before joining a gym in Hong Kong.
Continue reading The 10 Things You Should Know Before Joining A Gym In Hong Kong
After two trips to Thailand within a month of each other (and not doing a single grocery shop in between), I felt like I had developed a Buddha Belly from eating far too much Pad Thai and meals on the go. In lieu of that, I decided to do a three day juice cleanse to give my body a healthy kick in the butt! I had never done a cleanse before, but I eat fairly healthy and exercise regularly, so I figured this would be a walk in the park (with perhaps a bit of a limp). So there I was, ordering a Genie Juicery Intermediate Cleanse, not thinking too much into it. Unfortunately, I was naive enough to think that my biggest struggle would be me wanting to shove a burger down my throat after the first day.. Boy, was I wrong! So. Very. Wrong.
Continue reading How I (Barely) Survived A Three Day Genie Juicery Juice Cleanse
One of many common tourist activities to do in Thailand is to ride an elephant. Unfortunately, many of these elephant camps found throughout the country treat the elephants very poorly – I had a horrible experience two years ago when I was in Bangkok and I swore I would never go to an “elephant camp” again. Thankfully, however, there are also many Mahout elephant training centers, mainly found in Northern Thailand, that provide a much better experience. I had heard about how great these elephant encounters were in Chiang Mai, so on my trip to the north, I figured I would splurge (because these proper camps and sanctuaries sure aren’t cheap) and spend the day with some elephants in a safe, friendly, and comfortable environment. Our guesthouse recommended Chiang Mai Mahout Elephant Training Center and it turned out to be a great day!
Continue reading Mahout Elephant Training Center In Chiang Mai
Koh Lanta is a very relaxed island where you can spend your days island hopping, lounging on the beach, diving, volunteering at Lanta Animal Welfare, or slinging back a beer while watching the sunset. This island is the perfect getaway if you’ve just spent a few crazy nights on neighbouring Koh Phi Phi. You might be able to easily keep yourself busy during the day, but at night the island really winds down (unless, to your surprise, you stumble upon a “half moon” party on the beach!). When we were staying close to the ferry pier in the northern part of the island, we were wandering about the town one night after yet another delicious dinner of Pad Thai and we found a night market. Now, this wasn’t just any market – the Koh Lanta night market is going down in the books as one of the most bizarre markets I have ever come across during my travels..
Continue reading Koh Lanta Night Market – A Bizarre Experience
When you hear someone talking about cafe and coffee culture (in other words, a group of people with a mild obsession with drinking coffee and going to inevitably overpriced cafes), what comes to mind? Probably somewhere in Europe sipping an espresso on the patio of a quaint cafe overlooking a busy side street. I bet you probably wouldn’t have thought that there is a massive cafe and coffee culture in South Korea! In Seoul and other cities alike, you will find cafes of all sorts: small to big, chain to independent, unique to mainstream.
Continue reading Cafe & Coffee Culture In South Korea
If you’ve ever traveled anywhere in Asia, you know the snack culture here is huge (how are they not all obese? Actually though..). You’ll find the delicious, bizarre, and down-right gross on popular streets of any given Asian city. South Korea is no exception to the influx of snacking options every which way you turn. Fortunately (or perhaps unfortunately) for me, the street-side snacks and other restaurant delicacies available in Seoul and Busan were cheap and oh-so good. This only meant one thing – I ate my way through this trip and in doing so, put on 10 lbs in only 10 days thanks to the food in South Korea.
Continue reading How I Gained 10 lbs In 10 Days Thanks To The Food In South Korea