I'm green as others pay with their faces

Central Station | Nury Vittachi 24 Apr 2019

Smug mainlanders are one step ahead of the people of Hong Kong at our own airport.

Tycoon Jack Ma Yun has installed face-recognition robots at the airport's duty-free shops linked to the Alipay financial service used in the mainland.

While we Hongkongers have to go to all the trouble of signing credit card slips or waving cards in front of digital cardreaders (so much effort!), their robot recognizes the customer's face and adds the charge to the right account.

When these robots were first proposed, we suggested they should say: "Oh, it's you, hi, sexy!" but Mr Ma's team has not taken up that idea.

Shame, really. If the robot cashiers spoke, I'd be interested to hear what they say when declining transactions from credit card defaulters: "Put that back on the shelf and @#$% off."

* * *

Secretary for Justice Teresa Cheng is back in Hong Kong after a meeting in Vienna with Wang Qun, who has possibly the best business card title ever.

He is "Permanent Representative and Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of China to United Nations and other International Organizations in Vienna." That's not a joke, but his real title.

"Plenipotentiary" makes him sound like an intergalactic space lord. The only thing I would change is to replace the words "in Vienna" with "throughout the known universe."

* * *

Cheng took time to visit Vienna's Moot Court (a courtroom for pretend cases). This is because Hong Kong and Vienna are the world's top two centers for training lawyers by fighting fake cases in realistic judicial battles known as Moot Games.

Hong Kong's moot games are so popular that lawyers fly in from all over the world for them.

So many have fallen in love with Hong Kong or with each other that an American law professor even wrote a song about it: "In the Moot for Love."

* * *

Hong Kong government's attitude to vaping:

Police officer: I think I smell a strawberry vape in Causeway Bay!

Carrie Lam: Oh, my God, evacuate the area! Head for the copters! PLA Commander Chen, Defcon Red Alert: nuke Hong Kong island.

Commander Chen: But there are thousands of innocent

Carrie Lam: Collateral damage. They must die so others may live.

* * *

A cheeky Tesla driver in Hong Kong has given his car the registration plate "BYE OPEC." The revolution has begun.

* * *

Reader Lenny Kan said he found a tip on the internet that he thought would work well for young men in Hong Kong.

"Look for unclaimed receipts at ATMs," said a post on Reddit.

"When you find one with a large balance, put it in your wallet. If you meet a guy or girl that you are interested in, write your phone number on the back of the receipt."

Lenny said: "Isn't this a great idea?"

Yes. What a perfect way to get a shallow girlfriend or boyfriend who only likes you for your money.

* * *

Our report on last week's disastrous Singapore copy of our Rugby Sevens brought memories of the early days of the Hong Kong Rugby Sevens to reader Gordon Lamb. In the 1970s, the Hong Kong Rugby Sevens was a relatively quiet, half-empty affair, sponsored by a cigarette company called Rothman's.

Sponsors thought cigarettes and sport were a natural mix. How things change.

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