In preparation of the Handmade HK Xmas Bazaar, I ran into my neighborhood stationery store to see if they had any more goodies for me to craft something out of. It's always fun to go in there because the store is run by an older husband and wife (?) team who are quite possibly insane.
That sounds a bit harsh, I know, but you'd think so too if you met them. Simply walking in will elicit a maniacal laugh from the old man (not to mention any requests, ie. "Pens?! Ha ha ha ha ha!!") and the woman isn't much better with her bulging eyes, chatter mouth and snarky comments (ie. to a small child: "Get it yourself, you're a big boy!")
While paying, she asked me what I was making with all that stuff "anyway" and I mentioned this arts and crafts market to her.
"You know, we all make things by hand and go sell it at a community centre," I explained.
She looked confused. "Handmade?"
"Yea, you know, made by hand!"
She still wasn't convinced, so I decided to show her one of my products -- the felt Christmas tree.
"Here it is!" I said, proudly, as I flashed her the picture on my iPhone. Squinting down at it, her expression, which seemed to say "chieehhh" in Cantonese (aka. meh) didn't budge, not even after I swiped to show her a few more products.
After a long pause, she finally said, "I know! What you need is a little fook!"
She got up and scuttled to the back of the store, yelling, "Come here!"
I followed, and she pointed at these tiny squares of lai see envelopes in red and yellow with the word '福' (read: fortune) emblazoned on it.
"Fook? Isn't that for Chinese New Year? My things are for Christmas!"
She looked at me incredulously and said, "Don't be silly! You can never have enough fook. Trust me, if you attach one of these to each of your products, they'll sell, big time!"
"Umm, I'll think about it..." I muttered as I walked out of her store, but as I turned the corner, I could hear her yelling out, "You can't make a big fortune without spending a small fortune!!!"