While I was rolling my eyes at some imported, HK $325 (US $41) Japan melons, my toddler dashed back from his duties pushing our cart into the ankles of other shoppers and urgently squeaked, “Mama, I need that tiny toilet!”
Ditching our salsa verde-laden cart, I slung him under my arm and sprinted out of City!Super and across the mall to the restrooms where the scaled-down children’s toilet is located.
We made it in time, used the tiny toilet successfully, explored the flush mechanism and then sauntered back to the grocery store with a pair of smug grins slapped across our faces.
This was early days toilet training. It all could have ended another way. We might have found ourselves standing in a puddle of urine next to those Japanese melons.
But it didn’t happen. And we’re not Mainland Chinese. If we were, we would have been confronted and filmed while I desperately tried to help the little guy deal with an urgent accident.
This is exactly what did happen to a family visiting Hong Kong from Mainland China when their desperate two-year-old son was helped by his embarrassed mother to pee into the gutter on a pubic street. (See the South China Morning Post story here.) A huge scene was made by some bystanders who filmed the poor kid and his parents. Why? Because a segment of Hong Kong is upset about increased numbers of Mainland tourists and the increasing influence of Mainland China being felt in Hong Kong. Both reasonable things to be concerned about.
But why have they chosen little kids peeing in public as their personal bugaboo?
Because they’re assholes. Assholes who are taking out their frustration on individuals whom they’ve marked as rustic, bumpkins who can’t function in Hong Kong’s “civilized” society.
They need to find a better target for their frustration.
A real target, like say, the increasing self-censorship of the Hong Kong press. Or perhaps Beijing’s influence on the upcoming Hong Kong Chief Executive election. Hell, I could even deal with them complaining about adult Mainlanders spitting. But little kids peeing in public? Give me a break.
My young toilet trainee and I could have joined the protest announced by some Mainland Chinese who encouraged people to come to Hong Kong for the explicit purpose of allowing their young children to pee in the streets as a sort of “in your face” to “full of themselves” Honkongers. (See SCMP story here.)
My son and I are, however, western expats and not Mainland Chinese. If my young charge peed in the middle of Mong Kok everyone would simply titter and go about their business, because, at the end of the day, it is simply not that big of a deal.