Wan Chai's mysteriously missing men

Central Station | Nury Vittachi 1 Apr 2019

Where da boys at? The male shortage in Hong Kong is growing, and Wan Chai has it the worst, new figures revealed at the weekend.

On average, there are now 844 men for every 1,000 women in Hong Kong. In Wan Chai there are only 768 men for every 1,000 women.

Or put it this way - on a crowded Star Ferry, there will be 50 more women than men; but on a crowded MTR train in Wan Chai there will be hundreds more women than men.

The numbers come from a new report issued by the Census and Statistics Department.

The city's imbalance is worsened by the fact that 98 percent of the 370,000 domestic helpers in Hong Kong are female.

Now every time I publish something about the sex imbalance in Hong Kong, I get messages from desperate guys wanting addresses.

Well, this time I do: head for Wan Chai, guys.

* * *

Mark Simon of Next Media was in Central yesterday watching a rally at which domestic helpers reviewed candidates for elections in the Philippines. "Once again Hong Kong people are reminded that even their maids have more political rights than they have," he mused.

* * *

Google Maps showed a reader a hostelry called the "Full Hotel" in the Chinese city of Zuzhou, Changsha, as this picture shows. With a name like that, they are probably wondering why they don't get many bookings.

* * *

The South African company that has been criticized for its brand name "It's Not Made In China" has been trying to wriggle out of it by saying that no insult was intended.

The name is simply a reference to the wonderfully large number of products made in China, a spokesman said.

Well, that excuse cannot be used by American pet food companies that have "No Chinese ingredients" or "No Ingredients from China" on dog food packs.

But this is the weird thing: human Americans eat loads of stuff from China - especially health food. Much of the world's medicines (such as aspirin) and vitamins (such as vitamin C) come from China.

So Westerners are literally more careful about their dogs than their children.

* * *

Reminds me of Jetmate brand water, which used to be sold in Hong Kong. Every bottle came with a warning: "Caution: for drinking purpose only." I could never quite work this out. Did it mean that if you want to give it to your baby to drink, fine, but if you want to wash the toilet, get something better?

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Dear Leader Carrie Lam wants to extend the "100 working visas for youths" swap she has arranged with the prime minister of the Netherlands. Almost all the permits have been snapped up. Why do so many of our youngsters want to head for Holland? "Cool people, nice place and they can visit the coffee shops or get jobs there," a young person tells me. "In Amsterdam coffee shops come with extras."

* * *

Hong Kong's harborside sound and light show was canceled on Saturday. It coincided with Earth Hour, when everyone had to switch their lights off. The smart thing would have been to have the usually happy-happy sound and light show and then plunge the city into total apocalyptic darkness backed by recordings of zombie groans and screaming. Now that would have been memorable.

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