Wednesday, August 30, 2006


"下一站,油麻地。Next station, Yau Ma Tei." An automated, bilingual female voice of neutral accent announced over the train's speakers. The train drew to a stop and a multitude of double doors along its length slid open. Ignoring the masses of students and proletariats, Lao Chen found his way towards Exit C as instructed.

The MTR was an impressive set up. Not only is its rail network extremely vast, but the stations themselves have numerous tendrils reaching out to the surface at various locations. Exits A1, A2, B1, B2, C and D are all very different places.

The directions given to him were clear. From Exit C at Ming Man Lane, he arrived at the tiny desert shop with plenty of time to spare. Like all establishments in Hong Kong, this shop manages to pack plenty into a minuscule floor area.

He sat down at an empty table. A lady came to take his order. "In a while; I’m waiting for someone," he told her. She went away with a nod.

Customers drifted in and out of the shop. Money and various bowls of tong sui changed hands. Construction workers, corporate types, middle school students, tourists came and went. Most of them came alone; they shared tables with others yet kept to themselves. Portable music players and mobile phones cocooned them in their own universes.

"Hello!" a cheerful voice from behind him jolted Lao Chen back to alertness. It was plink.
"Take a seat," Lao Chen pulled a stool for her.

The lady came by to again to take their orders. They ordered a mango sai mai loh each.

"So, what brings you here to Hong Kong?" Lao Chen asked.
"Personal matters. And I have something for you too."
"Must be another meme. Every time we meet it's another meme."
She laughed.


Reveal six random things about yourself. Then tag six others with this meme.

1. Not only can I crack the knuckles on my fingers, I can also pop the joints in my neck, lower spine (lumbar area), left knee, 10 toes' first digit joint, 2 thumbs’ first digit joints, 8 fingers' first and second digit joints, both wrists and left ankle.

2. I scoff at pop culture and mass-produced entertainment partly because it's fun. Also because I don't enjoy many of them, but that's not the point.

3. I don't remember ages (myself and others'); I remember birth-years. I then run through a subtraction algorithm to deduce the age.

4. I am approaching 23 (after some calculations).

5. Occasionally, I can be spied at Gloria Jeans’s sipping a cup of coffee. Because they have that buy-10-get-1-free card. I buy normal coffees, but use the free one on their most expensive drinks. Naturally.

6. I say weird things, but I don't really like people telling me that I'm 'random'. Random implies aimless noise, I prefer 'eccentric'.

The victims:
Shyan Yih, Yuan Harng, Wuching, Yvy, Yee Hou, Jolene.


"Let me buy you today's mango loh," Lao Chen offered as they hailed for the bill.
"Thanks, my turn next time. It's Malaysia's National Day tomorrow hor."
"Oh yah. Another bowl, then?"

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