We've already covered off our likes and dislikes, but what about all the other stuff that gives this place its hongkongness ? Stuff like ...

- middle-aged men on a warm sunny day with their vest rolled up around their middle

- eating in a restaurant that is noisier than a primary school playground

- new shops that sit empty for days, then two days before they open an impossibly large number of workers descend on it and turn it into something shiny and new

- those market stalls with strings of super-extra-padded bras. (Ladies, keep in mind the saying that you shouldn't go making a mountain out of a molehill)

- the Star Ferry, Peak, the view of HK from the TST waterfront, and all the other touristy stuff that you remember how great it is when you've got visitors in town

- the paper-thin white cotton shoes that are acceptable footwear for everything from games of football to work on the construction site

- flowers outside even the smallest new shop on opening day

- muscular young men with a suntan, pink rubber gloves, and an apparent deathwish as they construct bamboo scaffolding outside some eleventh floor appartment

- having a group of people stand and watch you eating your dimsum, because they've decided you're the most likely group to be paying up and leaving in the next 30 minutes

- the inability of office ladies to visit the bathroom alone... "Yat chai hoi chi soh, ho m ho ?"

- being on the train from the Shatin racetrack on a racing day, full of men with their radio plugged in one ear, staring at their papers silently until there's a collective groan as the next race finishes

- Freddy the weatherman

- those wierd artificial-pink coloured fish-flavoured sausages

- punching the lift door buttons woodpecker-style til the door closes (and going back to your home country, getting into the lift, and thinking WHY DOESNT ANYONE PRESS THE BUTTON???)

- eating with your mouth open, spitting bones on the tablecloth, then daintily covering your mouth while the serious toothpick excavations go on

Any more ?



The secretary's desk that is decorated with photos of themselves (not themselves and friends.... just themselves). There's probably one in their purse too for good measure.

Does it help find your desk first thing in the morning ? (Open purse, compare photo to desk photo - durn, wrong desk again...)

On the photo theme there's also the V-for-victory sign that pops up in every photo. I'm curious to see how long it wil be before BabyB starts doing that.



:lol: I have never laughed so hard reading this thread!! Keep it up!


some more...
- getting your eardrums ruptured by someone "chatting" next to you.
- the person sitting near you who decides to give everyone a 5 minute demo of all their ringtones on maximum volume.
- people (normally young males) who slap their malboro cig packets
- the indescribable smell wafting up from the sewers
- lots of men reading comics
- neighbours who play mahjong 24 hrs a day for 3 days straight
- lots of attractive skinny girls who don't smile much cos they have black teeth.
- something I noticed is that a lot of people have large discoloured skin patches on their face- maybe related to sun exposure.


How about the pen-flicking ? The person (it seems to be a male habit) who spends a one hour meeting flicking their pen from one side of their thumb to the other. And they are sitting to your side so their flicking pen is just at the edge of your peripheral vision, making it impossible to ignore. It drives me flicking crazy.



Those damn "miracle foot repair" ads on late at night!


Ah yes, what can beat watching late-night TV with a glass of Sunraysia prune juice in hand, feet bathed in the sensuous pleasures of miracle foot repair ?


-Wondering if you can get just a massage (no really, just a massage!) from the girl in the hotel elevator after spending 12 hours on the job site.
-Wondering why the company cell phone works in the MTR tunnel under the bay, but my cell phone in the US doesn't get good reception at the office or home, the 2 places I am most likely to be.
-Eating at a Russian restaurant for the first time in my life, in Kowloon.


And more ! Some spot-on observations for Hong Kong and a bonus Thailand set from David Vesely at http://www.batgung.com/articles/hongkongness.htm




I think they are selling a heath product. Can you read the Chinese in the picture? My English is limited, so I can't translate what it says in the picture word by word. One of the phrase says "reducing stress".

SOD - an enzyme that catalyzes the conversion of superoxide into hydrogen peroxide and oxygen; "oxygen free radicals are normally removed in our bodies by the superoxide dismutase enzymes"



Stores that suddenly appear full of whatever the latest need is, lunar bew year decorations, umbrellas, scarves, you name it.


[quote="mrb"] - Those big brown eagles sailing past your office window. (Where do they live ? What do they eat ?)[/quote]

I dont know what they eat, but opposite the main library there are a couple of really big nests in the trees. I guess they timeshare.



i haven't been back to hk in years but much of this has been true for years.
good to see that some things don't change.

the one thing i remember is spending fifty bucks on a beer but then only 5 for a cab home at stupid o'clock in the morning.

reverse elbows

A lot of Chinese elbows bend back past 180-degrees. I get a bit squeamish when I see it - it looks as though something is going to snap.


joints. . .

. . . knees, too -- especially on girls -- not that I'm out there *intentionally* looking at other girls' legs, Mrs Tall!


Sitting down in the cinema.

<nokia tune>


Buddy bags

While the Hongkongness thread is back up, here's one that's always jumped out at me: the extra bags HK ladies often carry in order to handle the overflow from their highly fashionable, but often very small, handbags. These extra bags are typically just the ones you're given to carry away your purchases from a store. But I think you can tell a lot about a HK woman by what kind of 'buddy bag' she carries -- my theory is this bag is chosen just as carefully as her 'real' handbag, i.e. to look 'respectable', and not detract too much from her overall outfit.

For example, HK ladies of a certain age and class (hint: not upper) will almost inevitably use a Marks and Spencer bag as their extra. Younger ladies who wish you to recognize their sophistication and penchant for global shopping will carry a Harrod's bag. Others use bags from shops that sell expensive cosmetics, and so on.

No one does what I have tried on occasion, i.e. just dump extra stuff into a Park N Shop bag. In fact, come to think of it, Mrs Tall usually forces me to use a Marks and Spencer bag. Oh dear . . . .


Can't believe people have missed the lunchtime favourite...

Locals that check their balances on five cards then proceed to pay three bills and do a couple of transfers at the cash machine while a massive queue waits patiently (or in my case impatiently) behind...

and from a mate...

HK people would make great football players, because when they're coming towards you, you've got no idea which way they're going to go.


HK people would make great racing car drivers, because they always know exactly when to cut you off when you try and get past them walking down a narrow street.


Old expats trying to pick up the filipina maids in wan chai pubs or discos..

Hmm..i guess this that covers all SE asia not just HK! Let me rephrase.. Old expats trying to pick up any skirt in pubs or discos.