In the Sichuan restaurant
1. Europeans craving bread and butter before mapo doufu. Three smartly dressed young German men asked the waitress at the Sichuan restaurant for bread to nibble on while waiting for their spicy, regional Chinese meal. She graciously showed them the steamed Chinese-style buns that she could offer them. They declined.
At the foot massage place
2. Notices and a pair of plastic feet.
On the train
3. A confused shirt. A boy going to his violin lesson wore a peach-colored polo shirt with the following written on the back in cursive “beach” font:
Green Bey Packers
(Hint for non-Americans: Green Bay Packers is an American football team located far from California.)
4. “Just Do It” chatty Mainlander. A jolly, loud Mandarin speaker who punctuated every sentence with “dui bu dui?” (“right?”) was on his way to Guangzhou. He held a ten minute phone conversation on a single topic: whether or not the person on the other end of the line had already eaten. He wore black knock-off Nike basketball shoes branded “Dike” with an Air Jordan-esque neon-blue silhouette on the sides.
5. Two-years too late Hong Kong hipster. A young woman wore big, black and white plastic glasses without lenses. In the close quarters of the train, someone wearing genuine corrective eyewear might be tempted to reach over and poke her in the eye.
6. Shopper violating the MTR’s new 32 kg weight limit. She had a backpack of books, a handful of shopping bags, and a suitcase full of over-priced gluten free food. Her bags were in everyone’s way. She stared around the train carriage watching everyone and eavesdropping. She seemed fixated on some Guangdonger’s shoes and almost took a picture of a child’s back, but seemed to chicken out. One wonders why she didn’t have earbuds and a smartphone out like everyone else.
(The last one was, of course, me. The gluten free food, which I source from all over The Island and transport back to Tai Po, is for my six-year-old daughter with Celiac Disease.)