Hong Kong Wrong

Mandarin-Peel w/ Snake's Gall Juice - The Best Choice Souvenir

If you’re ever in Hong Kong, be sure to pick up some mandarin-peel w/ snake’s gall juice, an authentic local favorite, and the ‘best choice of hong kong souvenir’. Yep can’t walk ten feet without tripping over someone convulsing on the sidewalk, purplish froth drooling out between clenched teeth. Good for rebalancing the Qi apparently. And just look at that shiny comet underline - Its got to be the best!


uMama Warms a Legendary Diva

The latest in massage/relaxation technology. HK is rife with such gadgets, ranging from full-body massage recliners (which retail for thousands US) to small handheld gizmos, to more midrange contraptions like this. The preposterous name itself warrants inclusion here, but there’s much more here worth commenting on. First off there’s the unique (and luxuriously comfortable) design which allows it to address the ‘neck, shoulder, back, and tummy’ simultaneously. Can’t say I ever needed a tummy massage after a hard day, but it must be just what a ‘legendary diva’ needs to maintain her... legendary diva-ness? I love the small control pad on the front too, discreetly nestled in the brushed faux leather - makes it look like the spacesuits from the more early Star Trek movies. Have to say it reminds me of the shoulder harness for a high end roller coaster more than anything else though.

Still, who cares what it looks like when it got a name like ‘uMama Warm’. It begs for someone to exclaim in a suitable rapper or jersey accent - “Umama? I warmed umama last night!” etc etc...


Bring On the 24-Herbed Clockwork Oranges!

A truly bizarre album cover concept for the local cantopop band ’24 Herbs’. They are purveyors of the usual HK saccharin-sweet boy band crap, with song titles like Turn It Up, Bring It On, Fashionista, and my personal favorite Chillax featuring Taiwanese rapper Soft Lipa(?).

Now it seems someone had the brilliant idea of doing a full-on Clockwork Orange branding campaign for their latest album and concerts, complete with clubs. bowlers, eye makeup and steel-toed boots. Which leaves me to wonder: did they actually watch the movie? Do they have any idea why those guys dressed like that, and what they were up to? Do you really want your boy band linked to costumed fascist sociopaths? Suffice to say I hope they don’t take the marketing too far, and go on a stomping foray into their adoring audience, accompanied by a stirring rendition of Beethoven’s 9th...


The Pig Large Intestines or the Spicy Pork Blood Curd?

Some offerings available at a Happy Valley noodle shop. These are the kind of things that Americans tend to associate with Cantonese food (if they know anything about it all, which is pretty rare).This also conflates with the joke about the Cantonese willing to eat anything with legs - except the table! Yes hilarious I know. This is not true of course, as evidenced by the appalling number of spoiled dogs here...

Regardless, this place has a few of the more ‘unique’ local offerings on tap than the usual hole in the wall noodle shack, what I believe the British refer to as ‘offal’. We have large intestines, blood curd, ox tripe, pig liver, even pigskin (steamed not fried like pork rinds - yes pork rinds are pig skin, but you knew that, right?) to compliment the more mundane beef brisket and chicken wings. I’ve actually tried some of these dishes, like when my oldest brother mistakenly ordered cold oiled tripe in China (then insisted he really meant to get it). I’ve sampled korean blood sausage (which is similar in principle at least to the blood curd) in suburban Maryland of all places. Suffice it to say that I will be sticking with the brisket...