Hemlock's Diary

The ravings of Hong Kong's most obnoxious expat

17-23 November 2002
Sun, 17 Nov
Peculiar acquaintance A-Hing is in the news yet again. Not only has he been leaving more carbofuran-laced chicken among the dog excrement of leafy Bowen Road – he now has a price on his head.  Some anthropomorphic expats at the SPCA are offering HK$50,000 for information leading to his capture.  I am not sure he is even aware that he is popularly known as the "Mid-Levels dog poisoner" among the English-speaking community.  So far as he is concerned, he is a solid citizen performing a public service – ridding Hong Kong of a noisy, savage, dirty and disease-spreading menace. Since he really doesn't qualify as a friend, I would have no qualms about turning him in and grabbing the reward, if it were meaningful.  But that would require a couple more zeros. Foregoing fifty grand will be my little contribution to urban sanitation.

More evidence that Hong Kong is a world leader – the airport is a
great place to sleep, experts say.

Mon, 18 Nov
Bump into buxom administrative officer Winky Ip, whose work at the Food and Environmental Hygiene Department includes the
anti-nose-picking campaign that by all accounts successfully eradicated the practice of public nostril-gouging in large swathes of Kowloon. She reports that her colleagues have been greatly upset by the South China Morning Post, whose campaign against red tape a while ago has resulted in serious loss of face for dedicated civil servants whose only fault had been to crush signs of life in the private sector, as they had been instructed to do. First, the gwailo owner of a restaurant called Daluca, near the Mid-Levels Escalator, had whined about officials’ strenuous attempts to prevent him from putting tables and chairs outside his premises.  Second, another gwailo complained that bureaucrats had rejected his proposal for an adopt-a-street cleansing campaign as “too innovative”.  In both cases, laments Winky, word has come down from on high to accede to these arrogant taxpayers' wishes, leaving certain public servants humiliated.  Humiliated?  They should have been nailed by the ears to the wooden pilings on the Star Ferry pier at low tide, given their salaries.  But how interesting that someone in high places is reading the SCMP again.

Drop into Western Court to hear Magistrate Allan Wyeth
refuse to revise Cantopop star Nicholas Tse's community service order.  Breathing erratically and dribbling as he looks at Tse across the courtroom, the man is clearly a closet admirer of the teen idol.  Alone at home, he probably dresses up in black leather and ridiculous oblong sunglasses, and indulges in furious onanism while leering at glossy photos of the singer's mangled BMWs.  In Singapore, Tse would have been strapped to a wooden frame while a burly Malay in a loincloth beat him senseless with a baseball bat with metal spikes embedded in it. In the Mainland, he would already have donated both kidneys. He should at least be in chains, breaking rocks. Instead, he is sweeping the floor at an old people's home.

Tue, 19 Nov
It is hard to keep up with China's sad attempts to convince the rest of the world, or at least itself, that it is special. Years ago, we were invited to believe that surgery could be performed using acupuncture for anaesthesia, and the Great Wall could be seen from space. Now they want us to think they beat the West to Africa and America.  And by the way, that's
Qomolangma to you.  In fact, this last infantile, attention-seeking tantrum is a bit late.  Hong Kong's bureaucrats have been banning the word "Everest" in school textbooks for a good 15 years now. 

Wed, 20 Nov
Zhu Rongji’s
speech yesterday to Mainland entrepreneurs in Hong Kong was a masterpiece.  This man is the king of the backhanded compliment, damning exquisitely with faint praise. “The British weren’t totally brilliant at running HK,” he intoned, in essence, “and Tung Chee-hwa is not totally useless.  People are wrong to think otherwise.” 

The Big Boss gets a visit from two nice people heading up a charity, one of whom is blind and obviously extremely clever, especially at extracting donations from delinquent corporate citizens like S-Meg Holdings.  I assume the charity mainly sends food parcels to Eritrea, Sudan, Singapore and other places undergoing serious crises, but it seems they also help “clients” here in Hong Kong. I share with them an idea of mine.  Require the passengers on the lower deck of the Star Ferry to row the boat with long oars, and use the money saved in fuel to lower 2nd Class fares.  This would leave the lower orders with more money for alcohol, gambling and other little luxuries to brighten up their drab lives, while also providing them with some healthy exercise.  The two charity officials seem quite impressed.
Thu, 21 Nov
Delegates to the
Retired Mongolian Hookers’ convention taking place at the Conference and Exhibition Centre this week crowd the Mid-Levels Escalator, making me late for my 9am appointment with pendulous-breasted dentist Dr Amy KK Au-Yeung BDS DPDS. I will willingly endure any pain if Dr Au-Yeung is leaning over and against me, which is just as well, as she decides to replace a crown next week, and – squinting at an X-ray – do the root canal while she’s at it.  I look forward to having her pour herself over my shoulder. Well worth a root canal.  In fact, I could probably put up with Indonesian puppet theatre – maybe even a CD by Kenny G – with her mammary magnificence pressed against me.
Fri, 22 Nov
Was I ever bedded by ponytail- and leather miniskirt-wearing tycoon Nina Wang?  The question has been nagging at me.  It would have been a long time ago, but the potentially challenging nature of the enterprise, owing to her seniority in years and my relative inexperience at that time, should have made it a memorable event.  So I am inclined to believe the answer is "no". Furthermore, she has never named a building after me, which is also a good sign.  Either way, my name didn’t come up once in the
civil action that ended yesterday, so I breath a sigh of relief.  The judge declared that her husband Teddy’s will – leaving everything to “Little Sweetie” – had a forged signature. Teddy’s dad could therefore get all HK$18 billion. He is 90, and from an actuarial point of view needs to get cracking on some intensive spending if he is to enjoy it all. I wish I had been exceptionally and unforgettably  nice to him on the few occasions we met.