Tag Archives: crazy

Crazy HK Names

Once again HK names give me a chuckle… am reading some correspondence and find two names that strike me – the first is “Candy” — ok, fine, not really a funny name, especially where it is an abbreviation for Candace. The second one to follow, “Pizza.”

Having lived in HK long enough, I’m not THAT surprised that someone would call himself (or herself) Pizza (I recently watched a movie where a character had an English name “Underwear”), but that Pizza followed Candyjust gave it that little extra bit of humor. If only there were a few more food names, maybe “Kumquat” or “Jellybean”, and that would have really made my day!

CDotD: Photosynthesis has Feelings Too!

I have previously written about ridiculous names in Hong Kong. and while crazy names can occupy too many posts (e.g., I did not write about the travel agent whose name is “Evil”), but today I heard one that just overtook me —

Turns out Chlorophyll, whom I mention in my previous post on Hong Kong names, has a sister named PHOTOSYNTHESIS!

How can that be?

It turns out – these were not names that were self-chosen, but rather decided by their botanist father! Needless to say – crazy!

CDotD: Body Check Required to Work in China

A colleague from our Shanghai office rolled into town to complete his visa application to work in China, and was lamenting at how exhausting the procedure was.  I jokingly suggested that China needed bloodwork before they could let him through – and it turned out that was no joke! He actually DID need to provide blood for testing to complete his application for a work permit.  The purpose of it was primarily to ensure that he did not have AIDS.

But not only did he have to have his blood tested, but he also had to hook up to an EKG and get an ultrasound.  What they were testing, I have no idea.

I suppose I could see a reason to bar a person with AIDS from entering the country, but what about someone who was just not in good health? Why did they need to do all those other tests? And what could they discover from an ultrasound (of a male) that might be suspect??

CDotD: Women May Wear Pants!

So I knew that there was a special outfit I was required to wear when I got sworn in as a solicitor, but who knew that there were rules on what I could wear in attendance at court – especially important considering all the “to peep-toe or not to peep-toe” discussions that are all over law blogs based in the US!

Okay, there isn’t exactly an explicit guide or requirements — but the Guide to Professional Conduct actually includes a section on “court dress” under the chapter on the Litigation Solicitor. 

All it says is that:

A solicitor appearing in court as an advocate should appear duly robed where this is customary and must always wear suitable clothing.

“Suitable clothing” – oh gee thanks, ok! But “duly robed”?? I wonder when any solicitor ever must be robed… I’ve yet to see a solicitor robed in court, and so far cannot find any guidance on the matter.

But if you check out that provision further, there is aparently also a circular on the litigation solicitor’s dress, and it pertains to women:

The Chief Justice has advised the Society that he has no objection to female lawyers wearing decent and suitable black long trouser suits in court.

Oh phew! I was wondering if I had been violating some rule that I wear pants! Sheesh! Well, I suppose it’s natural that there would have been such circular in 1995! I would have thought our times had long passed since we’d need such an explicit order on what women could wear.  I wonder if there is some history to this circular (like some nasty old crotchety judge (or perhaps a pervert) who required all female solicitors to wear dresses!).

Though I wonder if black trousers are really the only trousers women solcitors may wear in court! In that case, I have to rethink whether or not I’ve committed any violations!


For all the debate on whether peep toes are proper court dress on Above the Law, I suppose one might welcome

CDotD – How Much Will That Ferrari Cost Me?

Hong Kong, home to some of the world’s richest and land of one of the steepest income gaps, can boast a low income tax regime and tax-free goods – but not when it comes to high-end cars!  I was lucky enough to take part in a Ferrari test-drive event and was shocked at the price tags I saw — which were ranged from HK$3+MM to HK$5+MM! 

Of course I had no idea what Ferraris cost in the first place, but it turns out that this sticker price included first time registration tax — which is a whopping 115% in Hong Kong!  And don’t think you can get away with the tax by buying your Ferrari elsewhere and then shipping it over – because that too will be heavily taxed!

If you ever want to get into the nitty gritty of this stuff, yes, there is an Ordinance for that, and it’s called the MOTOR VEHICLES (FIRST REGISTRATION TAX) ORDINANCE (Cap 330).

CDotD: The Wonder that is Hong Kong Electricity!

When I left New York two weeks ago, much of the US was just beginning to suffer a serious heat wave, which would even take lives, as is not unusual for a severe heat wave in the US. But when I returned to HK, I don’t think the weather was much different. Indeed, in many ways it could be perceived as worse, since the humidity was just so much heavier, and yet I had friends remarking how beautiful the weather was in Hong Kong!

And let’s not get started on the weather of some of our neighbors to the Southeast or Southwest in India, where “heat wave” weather is pretty much a pleasant reprieve! I’m certainly not blaming Americans, who are blessed with 4 distinct seasons in most parts of the country, for not acclimating to the heat, they’re just not used to it. But what this made me wonder is how is it that Hong Kong can provide so much power 24/7 and then some (there is just so much waste of electricty that can easily be observed at any time).

I’m usually absolutely frigid from the extreme AC blasting in my office, and many of the buildings here either leave doors wide open or don’t even have doors, allowing lots of cold air to offer a nice bit of relief to passersby. Even more crazy is how cheap electricity is.

First off, my bills have always been insanely low. According to the Hong Kong Electric Company, which services my neighborhood (there are only two electricity companies in Hong Kong, which serve distinctly different neighborhoods), I pay US 12.07 cents per kWh. According to a table on wikipedia, that’s not the cheapest int he world (Bhutan apparently charges about a penny per kWh), but it’s certainly far from the most expensive — the Solomon Islands (where is that?) charges up to 89c a kWh! However, it turns out that electricy pricing in the US is actually not too far off from Hong Kong, and ranges between 5 to 37 cents per kWh, where the average rate is around 11 cents. So why is it that I haven’t paid an electric bill for up to a year or more?

The government in 2008 rolled out an electricity subsidy, which has continued to be renewed each year since, to “ease inflationary pressure.” Basically, I get about HK$150 a month, and any unused amount is rolled over. So will I ever end up paying for my electric consumption?

This effectively means I have never spent more than US$19 or so on electricity per month.  Admittedly, I don’t use much (I am apparently a mad woman, as I only use my AC maybe no more than a dozen times a year in HK!), but this really makes me wonder how Hong Kong does it!

I tried to find some kind of news of a “power outage” or “blackout” in Hong Kong, but none turned up. The only bits I could find on the internet were intentional outages for maintenance. So is Hong Kong doing something right that I don’t know about, or is some kind of energy crisis about to unfold in coming years?

CDotD: Goodness Me – How Much is a Stamp?

I had to send a letter today from the US and had to look up the cost of a first class postage stamp as I have not mailed a letter from within the US in years.  I’m pretty sure last I had to it was 41cents (and the cheapest stamp I remember in my lifetime was about 25 cents).  So can you imagine the shock I experienced when I learned it had gone up to 45 cents!

To even greater surprise the international postage had broken a dollar at $1.05!

Of course this must be dull news to my American readers, but to contrast, international postage in HK is only about 36 cents! I believe local postage is only a few cents cheaper, but I rarely use local mail for my own usage, so I’m not sure.

For me, the cost of US mail is crazy, but for you, the low cost of HK mail might be what’s crazy!