7 comments 27.7.10

how to dance funky

Posted by Miss Fong - Filed under , , ,
When I first moved to Hong Kong, I was eager to find a place to continue my dance lessons, which I had taken regularly in NL with the one and only, amazing Eszteca! Unfortunately, I quickly found out that Hong Kong had taken dance lessons and packaged them as yet another weight-loss fad, just like they had done with yoga (grrrr!).

Take a look at the Hong Kong Funky Dance Centre, founded by a lady who proudly advertises that she lost 25 lbs of baby weight in 8 weeks by simply bustin' a (funky) move.  The centre strongly emphasizes the fat-burning power of funky dance, using extreme success stories complete with graphic imagery here and here (nice pose, eh?).

You might be wondering, what is 'Funky Dance' anyway? I'd never heard of it before coming to HK, as it certainly wasn't a type of dance that Eszteca taught... In my mind, the term made me think of a bunch of nerds doing the Funky Chicken dance... but thanks to YouTube, I now know that funky dance is done by gay men (and women who want to dance like gay men) dressed in bright, neon colours who bounce around doing group aerobics with giddy smiles plastered on their faces, thinking that they're actually dancing.

Exhibit 1:

Uh...yea. That is definitely not my style. (To see what real dancing looks like, watch THIS - 2:30~3:45 is absolutely dope!!)

Anyway, during my search, I also came across Dancing Fit, another one of these dance-for-weight-loss centres. Here's a look at some of their class names and descriptions (thank you Google Translate):

Hip Hop with YIP  (-Pio and Yippy Yay)
The use of heavy beats of Hip Hop music, out of street style. Focused abdominal movements (ABS), focus on abdominal and thigh fat burning, increase exercise capability, and wishing to tighten the abdominal line, the effect is particularly noticeable. YO YO YO, Let's Come!

Latino Jam with TAKKO (and his sidekicks Nacho & Burrito)
Mainly through a variety of Latin dance steps, in a warm and relaxed rhythm of Latin music, freely swinging the body, strengthen the confidence and training of memory.

Slim Punking with MING (cuz punks can't be fat)
It is vibrant and a dynamic rhythm-based dancing, focuses on the waist and hand movements, Kawaii style, it is time to say "bye bye meat"!!!!

House Sweating with SOYA (purse egg is optional)
Interesting, lively and light, the use of disco beat dance music, with foot-based action, may tighten the buttocks and leg lines, the high amount of exercise to help quickly sweat, heart and lung function. You will find that he had never been so light.

Boy, do I miss taking real dance classes... *sigh*
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2 comments 23.7.10

Spiderman is from Sichuan?!

Posted by Miss Fong - Filed under , ,
Last October, I had the privilege of seeing what I now proudly refer to as "the greatest and most amazing show I have ever seen!!" What could this be, you ask? A Lady Gaga concert? Too simple. A David Copperfield magic show? How amateur! What I'm talking about is the Sichuan Opera!

Now before you grunt and groan at the thought of all the dok-dok-chaaaaang's and high-pitched, stretched out wailing, hear me out. The Sichuan Opera is different. Instead of simply being an on-stage ear-lashing musical, a typical Sichuan opera show features a variety of captivating performances, including a stick puppet show, hand shadow show, comedic skit, fire-spitting and last but not least, the totally awesome and mind-boggling art of face changing!

To be honest, I have never in my life seen anything more amazing, majestic, awesome and thrilling. Watching the performers in their elaborate costumes strut on-stage, strike dramatic poses with piercing, taunting eye stares, wave their flags (swoosh-swoosh) like ancient warriors and blow firey flames into the crowd...I was mesmerized! In fact, I don't think I've stopped raving about this show since I saw it, and you can take a wild guess what I was for Halloween last year:

 (Too bad no one knew what I was, lol!)

So, it was with this rabid enthusiasm and love for Sichuan face changing that I persuaded my friends to join me at Yun Yan Sichuan Restaurant last night, mainly (if not only) because they had a free performance starting at 8pm every Thursday evening.

"Don't be late or you'll miss the performance!" I had warned them repeatedly. But now, I really wish they had all turned up late so they didn't have to see the absolutely ridiculous and downright sh*tty performance it turned out to be!

First of all, with the modern yet drab interior of the restaurant, it was slightly odd to see a pudgy, costumed man in a cheap golden cape enter the room cued by what was apparently the Star Wars theme. The music quickly escalated into a cheesy Chinese song with the lyrics "bian lian" repeated a bajillion times (translation: "Change Face! Change Face! Change Face!" while the guy crept slowly around the dining tables in flat, dirty white boots (what happened to the platforms, man!?).

The face changing was actually yawn-inducing and our whole table seemed to be laughing AT how bad he was, especially when he stuck one leg up in the air, glared at us and shook like a leaf. And just when I thought it couldn't get any worse, the poser suddenly flicked on a Spiderman(!) mask, followed by a Jack O' Lantern(!!) mask! WTF, right!? In conclusion, please do NOT see the face changing show at this restaurant and get the real thing in Chengdu instead!
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6 comments 19.7.10

Wanchai Parma Ham Leg Beggar

Posted by Miss Fong - Filed under , ,
This beggar has got to be one of the most graphic, gruesome and gag-inducing guys in Hong Kong. Usually seen on the bridge going towards the Immigration Tower from the Wanchai MTR Exit A5, I had almost forgot about him since I hadn't seen him in a long time. However, one look was all it took to get his image emblazened into my head again.

You see, the Wanchai Parma Ham Leg Beggar is aptly named because he has a huge, rectangular raw flesh wound on one of his legs, which he displays proudly by extending it into rush hour human traffic. One just can't help but stare at how deep, red, wet and fleshy it looks (not to mention painful)! Apparently, he (or his pimp) makes a new cut every morning so that the wound is fresh and bloody. Today, the wound is around 1-1.5 inches deep and sometimes, it even looks like he's been cut to the bone.

At times, the Wanchai Parma Ham Leg Beggar can be seen with a piece of old cloth hanging near him on a makeshift clothesline, which has been stained multiple times by his bleeding wound.

To be honest, with the wide range of beggars in Hong Kong, it's really a shame that this guy has to endure so much physical pain just for a few bucks. I mean, I don't think he makes any more money  than the old lady down the street who's only kneeling down and pretending to be homeless. If I were him, I'd stop the painful cutting, but of course, it's probably not his decision to make.

Anyway, do pay our latest beggar a visit and see whether you still have your HK-sized appetite afterwards. I, for one, have lost all my cravings for parma ham...
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4 comments 15.7.10

Picking your battles

Posted by Miss Fong - Filed under , , , ,
A couple days ago, an innocent HK lady was attacked on the MTR by a psychotic Mainland woman. After making eye contact, the Mainland woman thought she heard the HK lady cursing her, so she walked up to her, took out her knife (which she normally used for self defense, she said) and started slashing. Even after the knife broke in two, she picked up the blade with her bare hands to continue her attack!

But enough with my boring commentary. Watch this action-packed video (courtesy of Apple Daily) to see how it all went down! This has gotta be one of my favourite things about Hong Kong: serious events (usually gory and violent) turned comical thanks to silly comic strips and in-house animations. I mean, imagine the delight of the team who had to make these visuals overnight!

"OK, who wants to draw the crazy lady?"
"Me me me me meee!"
"Who wants to do the voiceover of the girl getting attacked?"
"Ooo, me me me! I've got an amazing shriek!"

The soundtrack to the video is just awesome and I love all the irrelevant details. I mean, maybe I'm missing something but why did they mention that the guy who picked up the knife in the end had just bought a cake (is it an attempt at irony, or simply an ad for Maxim's!?)?

Anyway, this incident has made me rethink all the battles I usually pick in the MTR. From staring competitions to the ol' push and shove (and occasional kick), I wonder if it's just best to put on your coldest stone face and act like no one around you really exists. Hmm...sound familiar? So if you're still wondering why HK people never make eye contact, you now have your answer!
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3 comments 8.7.10

Holy moley

Posted by Miss Fong - Filed under , ,
It's gotta be one of the most commonly asked questions in Hong Kong: "Why do Chinese people have such huge (and hairy) moles?" Is it the pollution? Or what they eat? Are we all destined to suddenly grow a big-ass intrusive mole (or 10) somewhere on our bodies? Why don't people get them removed, or at least trim those long and wiry hairs off?

Have no fear, Miss Fong is here to answer all your questions about Chinese peoples' big, black and hairy moles.

When I was young, my Grandma used to tell me I had moles because flies were taking dumps on my face. If only I would wash my face, I wouldn't be so speckled, she'd say. Another one of her theories was that I was eating too much chocolate, which was turning me into a black person one dot at a time. Although it was a cool idea, the closest it got me to being black was giving me a big ol' booty.

In Hong Kong, I'm reminded every week by my facial beauticians that my once charming beauty marks are now absolutely hideous, and that I've got to get rid of them ASAP (for the 'affordable' price of HK$200 per mole!). Counting them aloud in an ewwwy voice, they tell me how big and ugly they're going to get, threatening me with scary phrases such as '3rd eye' and 'clumpy lumps'. 'What a waste it would be for someone as pretty as you to become so ugly', they'd say.  

I've used a variety of comebacks on them but my personal all-time favourite is "I don't care about being beautiful anyway!" which caused all of them to widen their eyes into a 'Are you out of your mind!?!' expression. It's really no use to argue with them, but now I have another reason to turn down their aggressive mole-removal sales pitches:  MOLEOSOPHY (the study of moles)!! 

You see, in Chinese culture, every mole has a meaning. Moles can be lucky or unlucky depending on where they are located, what colour they are, and how large they appear in proportion to our body. Some even say that the moles on our bodies are in reality secret imprints carried over from our previous lives...perhaps a way for a lover from your past life to find you again!

As superstitious as they are, the Chinese have developed a detailed map of moles for your body and face, so you can look up exactly what your moles (or your lover's) mean. In general:
  • Moles on your back represent some kind of burden (cut 'em!), where as moles on your front attract success and good luck (keep 'em!)
  • A shiny, smooth and bright-looking mole is considered a good mole
  • A mole with hair indicates the mole is alive, which is also a sign of good mole. Males should keep the hair, while a female can trim it.
  • A mole on the right breast indicates laziness, whereas a mole on the left breast belongs to active and energetic people who generally get what they want in life.
  • People who have a mole on their buttocks are un-ambitious and content with any mode of living (read: bum).
  • Moles on genitals lead to sexual addiction (good or bad, you decide).
So, according to the facial mole map, I tend to have problems related to diet or food and need to prevent unwanted sexual advances. Hmm...interesting...~_^
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