The Dream World Beckons...

This is a poster for AnotherFCK, a hipster clothing store that specializes in unearthing ungodly '80s retro and then unleashing it upon unsuspecting 21st century fashionistas. This ensemble is the aimed at the 'hypergeek' set I suppose. Honestly who would wear this outfit - shiny red pants with a drawstring? And complimented by purple geek frames? And his turtle-like head and bad 5th grade haircut don't help.

Its also one of those unintentionally hilarious taglines that makes me wonder if the ad agency was tweaking their HK clients. 'The dream world' seems an apropos title: Enter the dream world if you dare, where this outfit turns heads and melts hearts; the dream world, where this guy doesn't get beat up at lunch on general principal; the dream world, where he is not a virgin but in fact gets laid constantly back at his bachelor pad, with old-school Devo playing in the background - Whip it Good for the act itself, followed by a post-coital cuddle rendition of Beautiful World...

Might Want to Reconsider That Name...

This is a hair salon in Causeway Bay. Pretty tame compared to 'dragon beard icy crispy candy', but not the ideal choice if for someone selling coiffure expertise. Unless they specialize in the über-grunge anime hair so popular with the HK hipster set. I suppose I could wait outside for a bit and get a before/after shot: first the normal haired customer entering with, then exiting an hour later with full-on 'Robert Smith from the Cure as Manga hero...

Photogenic Spot - Trust Us

This is a sign in Hong Kong Park, designating a 'photogenic spot' for the photographically challenged. This sign seems more suited for Singapore, with its Big Brother culture and 'suggestions' for public behavior etc. Unfortunately the actual photo on the sign itself is rather faded and, well, unphotogenic. I did look around for the specified angle (which I believe is actually opposite the sign) but in the interest of taking the authorities at their word I dutifully took a picture.

Hmmm... perhaps I am incapable of appreciating the true photogenic-ness of the spot. I did get a nice 'slice of life' pic of an exasperated bridegroom and his bride, trying to get their photographer to this prime location. You'd think he'd already know of it, or sense it with his intrinsic artistic sensibilities. Then again maybe the spot is so hyperphotogenic that it blows shots of a mere wedding couple away entirely, like standing in front of the sun. Or not.



Genuine Typhoon Shelter Fried Crab

This is a from restaurant sign in Wanchai. Initially I was quite pleased with myself for stumbling on this, as its a truly inspired name for a signature dish. But alas 'typhoon shelter crab' is pretty common in HK; a style of cooking that originated with people living permanently in the typhoon shelters off the harbor. Still, it sounds pretty tempting, and its genuine, not like the 'typhoon shelter kangaroo steaks' next door...

Very Pro Shop - Beware!

This is a bowling equipment store across from the South China Athletic Association, home of one of the busiest bowling lanes in HK. Not for rank amateurs or mere pros, but 'very pro' level players only.

The bearded 'doctor' is unsettling though; he's got one ball pinned under a serious drilling machine, and he's looking for a heartbeat on another. I haven't seen much of the SAW movies, but for some reason this reminded me of them. Like the ball has its escape key lodged inside it, and can only get to it by using the drill on itself. Maybe its his opaque 3D sunglasses that unnerve me - though the beard is pretty odd too. I wonder if under the glasses he has - bowling ball holes! da da dum! (OK so it's not particularly scary for you, but for a bowling ball...)



This Easy to Follow Diagram

This is a typical foot reflexology chart from Happy Valley. Foot reflexology is big business in HK, with many local adherents and 'converted' expats that swear by the rejuvenating & relaxing effects. I have yet to try it, though Im looking forward to a session. Just check out the luxuriously appointed digs at 'Fun Feet' below. Hell I'd go just to sit in the chair.

The diagram illustrates the various locations for sympathetic organ excitation etc. Apparently you can cure stomach ulcers, kidney stones, and other ailments, just by activiating the right area. I assume you really have to know what you're doing, lest you accidently excite the bowels or bladder, or even worse stop someone's heart...

My Money's On the Horse...

This is a Jockey Club ad for a recent horse race. It's very well rendered, though I was struck by the tagline - I would love to see one of HK's beloved cantopop darlings actually race a thoroughbred, if only for 100 metres or so. Forgive me if I don't recognize exactly which one she is, but Jessica, Cyndy etc. tend to blur together, like the ladies from the 'pussycat dolls' and their 37 lesser known competitors.

Or perhaps this is like a vulcan mind-joust, a contest not of brawn but raw brain power. I think my money would still be on the horse...

Let Them Eat Tracksuits

The latest HK ad campaign from our hyper-fashionable friends at Juicy Couture. They've expanded their velvet tracksuit collection far beyond previous incarnations (noteworthy for with the always eye-catching word 'juicy' emblazoned across the ass).

This season we have a veritable rainbow of colors to choose from, and if the peasantry can't afford $1000 USD tracksuits, well they can always eat last year's scrap. Usually referencing Marie-Antionette is a bad idea, but a goodly portion of their clientele probably aspires to her level of obscene luxury and naive indolence. I also like the incongruous inclusion of matching surfboards. Velvet and sand don't mix particularly well; one can never to get the sand out, no matter how much one's servants brush...

Frosty KO'd, Betrayed by VitaSoy

This was on a delivery truck downtown. It seems that the heated bottle of VitaSoy (soy milk) has KO'd our unfortunate snowman friend, and is now inexorably and painfully melting him (and wearing a toasty scarf just to rub it in too). Not sure what Frosty did to deserve such a cruel fate; he certainly looks friendly enough, what with his bowtie and matching tasseled hat and mittens. Indeed, he has that shocked expression of the double-crossed character in a thriller, one who's just been shot by in the back by his trusted partner - after he got too close the the truth.

Frosty: "Vita... buddy... why....?"

VitaSoy: "You just couldn't leave well enough alone, could you Frosty?"

What the F**k? Of Street Art, Dental Exams & Impossible Objects

This is by far the strangest - and most disturbing - street art I've ever seen. I've come across far more violent, grotesque etc, but nothing this surreal. I'm not versed in street tagging, but this is fu**ed up. I also couldn't find anything remotely close to it on the web. Where to begin? Well first off, there's the Escher 'impossible object' triangles; why are they 'centered' on the dental exam? Why use dentist's hands and implements in the first place? The '70s hair model doesn't look like she's being tortured, or in any discomfort at all really.

So what is this trying to be - or say? And why did the other taggers leave it so pristine? Is 'BUB ChBUB the creator of this abomination? Seriously any ideas and/or wild guesses would be much appreciated.

Update: Today I got a much closer look at this. It's actually been plastered to the wall like an old time circus poster, and there's a signature of sorts, the 'XD' in the upper right hand corner. Unfortunately I couldn't find anything new about it though...

Hey Kids! It's Mini Bomb!

This is a children's clothing store(?) in Causeway Bay. I tried to find them on the internets, but as far as I can tell they are a local outfit. The name more than justifies inclusion here, but that crazy-ass logo increases its value exponentially. Don't recall ever seeing a kiddie franchise using a bomb as a mascot before, let alone one with psychotic 'star and lightning' eyes or a sharktooth smile. What parent could resist plastering this image across their two year old's chest? And then there's the 'cute lil' bunny' on the far left, no doubt an attempt to counterbalance the logo. I couldn't get close enough to see if the bunny has fangs too...

Hong Kong & the Swinish Flu

The wife thought mentioning the swine flu case here may alleviate concerns on our behalf. She assumes of course that this blog has a) visitors, and b) visitors that value my learned opinion on flu outbreaks and prevention. I do very much appreciate visits by the way, and comments even more so. Please feel free to leave a comment at the end of any posting that strikes your fancy.

One thing that I can say about HK - this is probably the best city in the world to be in during a flu outbreak. This may sound counterintuitive, considering SARS, etc but the fact is that HK has already weathered a pandemic, which by all accounts was far more dangerous than swine flu. Indeed as we speak the government has implemented hourly cleaning of public markets and restrooms, quarantined anyone even remotely connected to our Mexican tourist friend (who I REALLY hope didn't know he was sick before deciding to fly through CHINA, and its BILLION+ population, but I digress...)

This 'blong' is a great diversion for me, a platform to exercise my usually muted(?) sarcasm and general sense of bemusement. I fervently hope that the few (if any) locals who actually visit realize that its all in good fun. I would be just as snide - if not more so - if I stilled lived in the US and was critiquing DC. I actually really enjoy HK and have the utmost respect for the people here; most speak at least two wildly divergent languages, work their asses off, and are justifiably proud of their town.

HK is very good at what it does, especially considering the tropical climate and population. Which leads back to my original point: the 'authorities' here will deal with swine flu better than any US city could or will, just as they deal with monsoon rains, garbage, etc better than their US counterparts. Anyone who's been here knows that HK has arguably the best subway and airport in the world, and they generally don't f**k around with things like this. Its honestly stunning that there aren't more outbreaks, considering the number of people- as well as pigs and chickens - coming through here.

So hopefully this whole thing will work its way out - and we won't have school closings and travel restrictions. As I said the level of organization and damage control around health issues here is often a marvel to behold. Thanks for visiting and please return early and often...