Tailing a critic proves harder than it looks

Central Station | Nury Vittachi 20 Dec 2018

There was much laughter yesterday over reports of the amateurishness with which reporters allegedly from Wen Wei Po newspaper tried to tail an Australian critic of China visiting Hong Kong.

The Beijing Amateur's Guide To Tailing People.

1) Walk directly behind subject. If he turns round, spin immediately, gazing innocently into the middle distance. Whistle nonchalantly.

2) If he stops, you should stop, drop and pretend to tie your shoelaces. If you are wearing slip-ons, mime the laces.

3) If he looks round while on an upward-moving escalator, you should turn and walk down it, knocking people out of the way discreetly.

4) You should follow the man into the toilet, but not the actual stall.

5) If you are female, discreetly walk backward out of the toilet, continuing to whistle nonchalantly. Don't look down.

6) If he asks why you are following him, say: "Me no speak Australian."

* * *

Staying with Aussies, more details emerged about the Australian politician's "sugar daddy" scandal in Hong Kong (see this column yesterday).

The young woman in Tsim Sha Tsui claims she told him: "I find Australian accents sexy".

She said married politician Andrew Broad replied: "I pull you close, run my strong hands down your back, softly kiss your neck and whisper 'G'day mate'."

Does this work for you? It does nothing for me.

* * *

The government yesterday put out a press release saying Strange Feathers, a theatrical production opening in Hong Kong in February, "is best suited for those aged two or above."

This conjures up images of a two-year-old reading the newspaper and telling her baby brother: "Sorry, you can't come with me: it's adults only."

* * *

Domestic helpers: is your employer ill-treating you? A free 24-hour hotline for helpers was launched yesterday by the Hong Kong government. At 2157-9537 you'll find friendly operators speaking English or Chinese, and interpreters who know Tagalog, Bahasa Indonesia and South Asian languages.

Here's the best bit: The whole service is taxpayer funded so your mean old employer is paying for it. Mwa ha ha ha ha.

* * *

Many people are swapping pictures and questions about the baffling slogan that OldTown coffee is printing on Hong Kong buses (this image comes from Reddit-user Tehlri).

How can "Live Hard. Die Fast" be a good thing to associate with any product? Especially in a culture obsessed with longevity. Any theories?

And what if suicidal people drink Old Town coffee? Can they sue the company because the stuff doesn't actually make you die fast?

Or maybe it does.

* * *

One Hongkonger used Uber cars for transport 600 times last year, using discount codes every time, the HK01. com news website reported yesterday. That means he or she used Uber more often than most car owners use their cars. Given the price of parking, this person will have been chauffeured around for an entire year - for less than the price motorists pay to own a car.

* * *

The Hong Kong government continues to talk in Latin. The latest announcement from its medical division gave details on what to do if your children get sick.

Wipe away "respiratory secretions, vomitus or excreta," it says. Then keep children out of school until "all the vesicles have dried and crusted."

I suppose I should take the government's assumption that we all speak Latin as a compliment.

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