Category Archives: Hong Kong

Cactus in a Tea Cup: A Love/Hate Story

It was a rainy day in Hong Kong as I tried to take my parents around town while they visited from out of town.  We dodged the rain by ducking into a ceramics shop in Sheung Wan.  The shop carried all kinds of ceramics: bowls, plates, tea sets, pots for plants, etc.   In a section towards the front, they even had these little plants for sale.  Little bits of greenery meant to cheer up a very small corner of a very cramped apartment.

As I was lurking in the corner, waiting for my parents to finish picking up little ceramic knickknacks for souvenirs,  I observed this western guy standing near a shelf of tea cups.  The guy was, one-by-one, picking up and examining every single tea cup there.  Each time, he held up a tea cup he would then drop a little cactus inside, examine it, realize it was an awkward fit and then move on.  From what I could tell, this guy was intent on searching for the perfect tea cup to be a pot for his little cactus.  Each time he came up a bit short in his endeavor.  I can only assume that he had no interest in any of the selection of actual pots for little plants that were stocked in a shelf nearby.


I felt for the guy.  He was on a mission to find a new home for his new spindly friend and he was not going to be deterred in his search.  He would try a blue cup with stereotypical Chinese porcelain design.  Nope, too wide.  Then he’d try a red cup with a more avant garde interpretation of stereotypical Chinese porcelain design.  Nope too deep. Then a green one, etc. etc. etc.  I watched this scene for five minutes and I gotta admit,  I was kind of routing for the guy to finally find a cheap $5-10HKD tea cup for his stupid, little $5HKD cactus. 

What I found most entertaining about this was not so much the western guy’s plight for the perfect tea cup-cactus combo.  It was the middle-aged Chinese lady standing right next to him.  It seemed she too was shopping for tea cups, but I imagine she had strictly more traditional uses in mind.  The entire time, while the westerner was dropping his cactus in each and every single tea cup, she was standing right next to him, unnoticed and giving him this dirty look.  It was the kind of dirty look that was the perfect combination of horrors and bewildered.   

I could tell in her face that she really really, really wanted to tell this guy that these were not flower pots.  There were a couple of moments I could tell she was building up the courage to say something, but she never seems to build up the nerve to blurt it out.   So, she’d go back to giving him the look.  If you’re wondering what that look looked like, it was something along the lines this picture of Teresa Mo.

Damn gwai lo better not get his thorns in my tea cups.

So with her unwilling to speak up and the guy unreletantly focused on his quest, I stood back and watched this comedy of errors for a few minutes, until finally, at long last, the western guy found a cup to his liking near the bottom of the shelf.  

The guy went off with his cactus in a tea cup.  The lady picked up her own tea cups.   And both went their separate ways, never to meet again. A brief and mundane chance encounter that probably ruined each other’s day a little bit.  

Still, I couldn’t help, but think that through it all, a tiny connection was formed between these two wayward souls.  One that will stay with them without even knowing.  In either case, I was amused.  It’s not every day that you get to watch an accidental, live action, theatre of the absurd performance art piece in a Hong Kong ceramic shop.  It was like a Samuel Beckett play… if that Samuel Beckett play was silent… and starring Teresa Mo.

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Disney’s… Waterworld?

I didn’t make the connection until I saw a poster in the MTR that suspiciously seemed to hint at an interesting piece of inspiration that blew my mind.  Read the full story.

ok, I admit, it didn’t blow my mind, but it did make me go “hmmm.”  Is it just me or does this poster make Moana look like an animated remake of the Kevin Costner movie Waterworld?

Disney’s Moana

I saw this ad in the MTR today and between the trimaran looking canoe, the big hero guy and girl with grit buddy combo, and the floating city of dudes chasing them across the ocean int he background, it totally made me think of that Kevin Costner film that many remember as being his biggest box office bomb.  In recent years, though, I’ve heard it’s been getting a bit more respect amongst film appreciators.

In either case, compare the above MTR poster to this screenshot from Waterworld.

waterworld-boat-chase
Kevin Costner and Jeanne Tripperhorn looking like they’re realizing they should have signed up for a movie on dry land.

A bit of visual similiarity, wouldn’t you say?  Plus the trailer seems to showcase some story similiarities as well.  From what I gather from the trailer, the plot seems to be:

A woman searches across the vast expanse of seemingly endless water for the key to saving civilization, only to meet a reluctant, but legendary hero who helps her battle an ocean-bound, naval army of maniacs, among other obstacles.

Kind of sounds like the basic plotline of Waterworld (minus the whole fish gills, drinking your own pee, and trying to find the one last island on earth, bits though).

waterworld-creatures-meme

 

So, of course, it’s not a remake, but it would be interesting if there actually was at least some borrowing or inspiration taken from the Kevin Costner classic.  Not unusual to think,  considering that Disney has done this kind of thing before.  Afterall, The Incredibles was pretty much The Fantastic Four meets a James Bond movie.

 

fantasticals
IT’S CLOBBERING… no, wait, I mean, uh.. I guess no cool catchphrase for us.

 

In either case, it looks like a fun ride and another good addition to the Disney Princess movie tradition.  I’ll be sure to check it out, but you can be sure that I’ll be keeping my eyes peeled for some easter eggs.

waterworld-chicken-and-deacon
If there’s no Dennis Hopper style jetski pirate in Moana, I’ll be somewhat disappointed