09 February 2011

Don't judge a man by his crystal-jeweled shoes

Recently, I went on an organized tour to Taipei with my grandma, along with about 30 other Hong Kong people. In Canada, we'd all have become friends (or at least engaged in some kind of conversation with each other) by the first day or two, but this is Hong Kong and most people try to avoid talking to strangers as much as possible.

As I was there to accompany my grandma, I too acted local and had no intention of meeting or getting to know any of the other tourmates, let alone the tour guides. Call me antisocial, but I just didn't see any point, especially when many of them looked like misfits from wherever they came from...

There was the large Aussie-passport holding family with 3-4 burly ABC (Aussie Born Chinese) guys in a uniform of sweatpants and sneakers, who could be spotted from a mile away carrying their mascot: a giant yellow and pink plush seahorse from Ocean Park.

There was the pair of short and stubby Mainland-looking sisters/cousins/friends(?) with tomato haircuts and butchy features who seemed to come straight out of the village, as their footwear choice of socks with slip-on plastic sandals seemed to say.

And then there was this pot-bellied local Hong Kong man in his 40s with a short, stiff (and therefore perverted) mustache wearing these:

I have to say that when I saw them, I immediately thought, "Aren't those for chicks?" and I couldn't help but get a super tacky impression of him, especially with his smug looks and flygirl wife - a woman in her 40s who dressed like a Mongkok teen.

But on the last day of the tour, this 'tacky' man suddenly struck up a conversation with my grandma that completely changed my mind about him. Not only was he friendly, talkative and kind, he was also a really good listener who got my usually quiet grandma to open up. After that convo, I noticed that he also approached other tourmates to start random conversations, creating a nice bond between us all, and he continued to watch out for my grandma like telling her to watch her step or to button up her jacket, etc.

For some reason, I never expected this from a guy who wore crystal-jeweled shoes…could this mean that tackily dressed people are actually normal and *gasp* nice? :-O

Read all the fun stuff at Miss Fong in Hong Kong.



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