He asked for her hand, in front of pals

Central Station | Nury Vittachi 15 May 2019

You know that tradition in which men give women 11 roses "because you're the 12th one, darling"?

Lovesick local boy Mario Ho went better, buying 99,999 roses for his girlfriend Ming Xi, making her the millionth rose.

Unfortunately, the pile of flowers fell over and smothered her.

No, not really! The wise lad rented three floors of a shopping mall in Shanghai, so there was plenty of room.

If you think buying 99,999 roses is a bit extreme, Mario is the 17th son of casino tycoon Stanley Ho, so that sort of thing is pretty much normal for people like that.

"I'm seeing my girl tonight; get me every rose on the planet, now."

The love-struck youngster, 24, invited 1,000 guests to watch him ask for her hand in marriage, as one does.

When mainland supermodel Ming Xi, 30, giggled a Yes, cannons filled with pink confetti went off.

(I wonder what his fallback plan was, if she'd declined? Start the world's biggest florist?)

Anyway, with a proposal that dramatic, the wedding itself will have to involve swimming pools filled with caviar and honeymoon flights to Mars.

Daddy can afford it.

I told my daughters they are modern young women who can pay for their own weddings, but Dad may split the pizza bill.

* * *

Did you know that Paul's Milk, one of the most popular brands in Hong Kong, contains milk? The picture shows the warning on the side.

* * *

Bankers are panicking this week. Hong Kong handed out virtual banking licenses to Tencent, Alibaba, Xiaomi and Ping An - China's equivalents of Google, Amazon, Apple, etc.

"Tech companies ate the music industry, the retail industry and the taxi industry: now they're about to eat Hong Kong's bankers," a nervous bank strategist told me.

I think he meant it metaphorically, but one can still fantasize.

* * *

Beijing asked Tencent to shut the video game Player Unknown's Battlegrounds, complaining it was extremely violent. But this week they got permission to relaunch a replica of it with one main difference. You still shoot people and they still die, but there's no blood. Your victims just fall over. Nice and neat.

* * *

Hong Kong's anti-plastic campaign was launched this week by a well-known public relations specialist named Real Ting.

Is he the Real Ting? I'd love to ask but probably everyone makes that joke.

* * *

The Hong Kong government is launching a radio drama series called The But's Family (yes, that's how they spell it). The But's Family will model a range of important values for young people (grammar, apparently, not among them).

The But's are supposed to represent a typical Hong Kong family, with two grandparents, two children and "a chicken-like bird with supernatural abilities".

So now we know.

* * *

Hong Kong daan jai (egg waffles) are conquering America. Stalls selling them are popping up all over. It's the irresistible smell that's stops you walking past without buying one, Caleb Deng, 22, told the Sun-Sentinel, a Florida newspaper.

Well, that should do wonders for America's obesity problems.

* * *

Speaking of health issues, here's a useful tip: when filling in forms, always put Li Ka-shing as your emergency contact; he may be so flattered that he pays your medical bills.

You're welcome.

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