This is not a news article.
– A trip to Hong Kong –
I finally got this item on my personal to-do list checked. The trip was so short that we barely had any time for jet-lag. But then again, stay longer and we’ll be absolutely broke. One word for Hong Kong: chic. Two words for Hong Kong: chic and … expensive!
Victoria Harbour – View from the Peak, HK. By Mimosa. Click on image to enlarge
But really, we only have ourselves to blame. Does any of you remember the character Kelly, played by Jessica Hsuan, in TVB’s Secret of the Heart? Well, I remember vividly how I got quite irritated seeing that she was so skeptical about eating on the street and all, then I found myself guilty of having more or less the same knee-jerk reaction. Now if I gave it a little more time, I might learn to feel more comfortable being seated with strangers. For this whole trip, we ventured out to eat at these bustling local Hong Kong cafe only twice. The food is clearly superior to the same (or claimed to be the same) dish you could find inside a hotel’s restaurant or a shopping mall’s food court. Basically, you do have to trade the taste for comfort and cleanliness. Now when I mention cleanliness, I only mean the visual aspect of it. I believe the food is clean since we did try the street food twice and our stomaches didn’t do much of protesting if any. While you trade the taste away, you also trade the as-seen-on-TV…B ambiance of a local Hong Kong street eatery away, and punish your wallet doing that. The way you strike a nice balance? Maybe go as a huge group, so you could be seated together, and remember to bring your own, not beer, paper tissues or handkerchiefs since absolutely no napkin will be provided. We actually learned this no-napkin fact the hard way as we do see Hong Kong people (as seen on TVB, of course) use their handkerchiefs all the time, but thought it’s simply for style.
We also thought the fact that you could miss someone-you-terribly-want-to-meet crossing the same street to be TVB’s unique fictional drama effect. Now I truly believe you could really get lost crossing a street in Mongkok. Think Time Square, New York on Friday night, then multiply it by two. Well, make it three! Mongkok’s streets are busy around the clock, just with slightly different crowds. In the morning you see a lot of men and women in (very stylish) business attires, and a lot of uniformed police officers/cadets. Later in the morning you start seeing many uncles with some light plastic bags in hand, seemingly heading back home to announce “I brought breakfast!”. The aunties are usually busy with much heavier bags – grocery. Around lunch time you see the working crowd again, swamping the MTR station with documents in hand and talking incessantly into their head phones. We spot uniformed students around the clock, in groups or (mostly) in pairs. We can’t tell whether they’re on the way to class, out of class, or… cutting class. But we see them just about anywhere and anytime. The night crowd is the most interesting of all, where you have young people looking like they’ve just stepped out of some pages from a fashion magazine. Overall everyone is very well-dressed. The only exception would be the police officers and cadets in blue uniforms, but what do we expect? They’re no Michael or Ron! The “polices on the road”, however, do look better with all the boots, belts, guns, helmets, and their white motorcycles. As for the undercover agents, we tried to look but of course couldn’t discover any. It’s said they always work in pairs and are available in good number, especially in busy area like Mongkok. We don’t know if that is true, but for the whole 5 days of our trip, we didn’t encounter or witness any sort of crime, even a petty one. My sister Mouse did think of leaving an item of her belonging in the taxi, so that we could experience how Hong Kong police works and see whether it’s just… as seen on TVB. Either that or a handsome charming next taxi rider! Just like the way it’d happen in TVB dramas.
We didn’t really have time to carry that plan out, because very soon our taxi stopped in front of TVB City, in Tseung Kwan O. There we joined the group from TVBVNFC again. It was about 10:30 pm and the Gala inside was about to be wrapped up. We patiently/impatiently paced up and down the impressively neat street from the front to the back gate, admiring the tall solid wall adorned with the red-blue-green strips and name-guessing the festive sounds echoing from the other side. When we got absolutely bored of that, we joined the other fan clubs to situate ourselves at the curb just outside the back gate, and started our version of Jaynestars-style gossips.
TVB City, Front Gate, Tseung Kwan O, HK – Nov 19th, 2007. By Mimosa.
Just about midnight, huge TVB buses started to hum through the gate and spill onto the street. From their tall and warm seats people looked at us as if we’re a crazy bunch. Well, in some effects, we were! It was quite a cold night and none of us had had dinner. We headed straight from the hotel room where we had been following the TVB Anniversary Gala live through the half-way point – the wax museum skit. But we didn’t feel anything but the mounting excitement.
What came next was a little bit of a chaos that I couldn’t remember exactly who was the first actor to speed through the gate into the street. But I remembered Ha Yu to be on the second car. As he saw fans waved at him, he pulled over. I believe he did remain for a good 15 minutes or so. I may be wrong for a lot of things happened within that 15 minutes. Other cars pulled through the gate, names were excitedly shouted out, fans rushed after their chosen “targets”… Next thing I know, I was directly in front of Angela Tong. She was so beautiful, so elegant, so friendly, so petite! I took a lot of pictures for my friends with Angela but forgot to have one myself. Angela stayed for quite a while with her fans, chatting while having her pictures taken and signing away her autographs.
I really wanted to have a chance to say hi to Wu Fung, but since we’re busy, we didn’t stop him in time and he sped away. I did manage to shake hand and say Congrats to Roger just before he got back into his white Odyssey. I couldn’t help but think of Gallen as I stood there looking at Roger. They both carry around them a fine polite air, highlighted with very cute, almost “timid” way of smiling. After Roger, I ran into Kevin and made a fool out of myself when I completely forgot that Kevin speaks perfect English. It was quite embarrassing and I just hope Kevin wouldn’t mind. It was very nice of him to get out of his car again so that I could have a photo. We also spotted Bosco and Ron on the way back to our “post”.
Random photos of TVB artists, TVB City, outside the back gate – Nov 19th, 2007. By Mimosa
Later we waved at Charmaine, Myolie, Ray, Tavia and many more. Charmaine and Myolie were so nice off-screen. Charmaine was very friendly while Myolie was really cute. Charmaine chatted with us in English and Cantonese, while Myolie even attempted to speak Vietnamese. She joined us as we counted 1…2…3 in Viet before each snap. Very playful of Myolie! Gallen must have had a nice time working with her on their WDLC.
Since Ray’s fan club wasn’t present that night, he only hesitated his car ever so briefly for a snapshot. The same happened with Tavia. Luckily the TVBVNFC did have some very cute photos of Ray and Tavia (separately, mind you!) taken on the 17th (following TVB 40th Anniversary Awards Show). You might need to register and have a minimum of 10 posts before you could see these pictures in their website. Beside Ray and Tavia, I believe the group also met with Ron, Shirley, Sheren (Tang), Michelle (Yim), Michael (Tse), Sonija (Kwok), and Bosco, among others. Do check it out when you have time.
This little episode at the TVB City’s back gate was not something we have seen on TV, but I thought it was too sweet a surprise to keep from you. It would have been even sweeter if beloved names such as Ada, Flora or Gallen had also been shouted out that night…
Back to those as-seen-on-TV…B items, we’ve visited the Avenue of Stars on TST (think Ivan, Rachel and their breakups); Cafe Deco on the Peak (think Felix and Amy in SOH); Victoria Garden (think Ivan, Rachel, and Sabrina… the episode when Rachel misunderstood Ivan to be an abusive, unfaithful boyfriend when she witnessed him hitting another man and dragged Sabrina away). We tried the midnight snack at a (modified) Dai Pai Dong (think ATE and the brothers’ favourite street eatery), the fish-balls (but couldn’t find the different sauces so that we could wish for luck like Louis’ character in ATE did). I almost tried the smelly tofu (think Flora in UE) but at the end backed out… Mouse is probably still laughing at me for being such a chicken! We also visited Wong Tai Sin Temple to get ourselves the lucky paper windmills, just like the one Flora and Bowie played with in UE2.
We have done a good number of fun things, but also left out a great deal… Top of the list: I missed Gallen by a mere 4-hr window. My plane touched down at 7:55 pm and his function was done at 3:55 the same afternoon. Tough luck!
In a slightly more positive light, I guess that leaves room for … another Hong Kong trip, yes?
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