A “Quick” Kebab Before the Ferry

Was heading home from Tsim Sha Tsui.  It was 10pm and I was exhausted.  Just wanted to crash.  Figured if I caught the next ferry from TST to central, that would give me just enough time to catch a second ferry from Central to home.  

10:05, the ferry wasn’t at the pier yet, next one was at 10:10.  I had skipped dinner earlier and was starving.  Needed a quick bite and I saw a kebob shop near the ferry entrance.  It seemed like my best bet.  Then the following transpired.

AT THE KEBOB SHOP….

ME:  Hi, do you have anything really quick, I have 5 minutes before I have to catch this next ferry.

SHOP LADY: Yes sir, the chicken kebab wrap is quick.

ME: OK, are you sure?  I only have 5 minutes.
SHOP LADY: Yes sir, chicken wrap is very quick.

ME: Great!  I’ll take that one.
FOUR MINUTES AND TEN SECONDS LATER

ME: Is that kebob done yet?  The ferry is here and about to leave.

SHOP LADY: 11:30 sir.

ME: what?!

SHOP LADY: The ferry runs till 11:30, there’s plenty of time.  No rush.

ME: No!  I have to catch this ferry to take another ferry.  That’s why I said I only had 5 minutes.  I’m not waiting till 11:30 for a kebob!

The Cook behind her scrambles to wrap up the kebob.  He hands it to her.  The Shop Lady is taking her sweet time bagging it. The Cook urges her to hurry up.  She holds out the bag and starts saying…
SHOP LADY: Thank you sir, have…

I don’t let her finish, I grab the bag and am running immediately.  I hear her be like “Oh!”  Surprised that I’m in such a hurry. I’m running for the ferry gate, the whole time I’m yelling…

ME: Fuck! Fuck! Fuck!  Fuuuuck!  Hold the ferry!  Hold the gate FUCK!!!
The gate closes, but has just enough give for me to open it, let myself through and run into the ferry gang plank.  I’m on the ferry and coasting along on time.  If I missed that ferry, I would have been waiting another hour for the next ferry at Central to home.

I know I didn’t fully explain to the Shop Lady all the details of my travel plans, but what part “I only have 5 minutes” did she not understand?  Even without all the details of my travel needs, why is it that she assumes I have all the time in world?  I ask her if it’s done like she promised and her response is “11:30.  The ferry runs till 11:30.”  Matter of factly.  

People like that are everything that is wrong with the world. If you agree, let me know in the comments.  If you don’t agree, let me know too and then feel free to wait and hour and a half for your next quick meal.

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That Time Congress Must Have Gotten the Staff of Funny or Die to Name Their New Healthcare Bill

There’s been a lot of talk back and forth over what will the Republican lead congress do in finally fulfilling their 6 year crusade to get rid of Obamacare.  

What will their replacement plan look like? Will they even have a replacement plan?

I’m sure a lot of people thought the replacement plan would resemble the one depicted in this cartoon from The New Yorker.

But just when it seemed people were panting and howling with anticipation at knowing the future of healthcare in America, suddenly Republican Congressman Pete Sessions of Texas dropped this on us like Metallica/Lou Reed crossover album.

BEHOLD!  The possible replacement to Obamacare.

Yup, you read right.  He literally called it “World’s Greatest Healthcare Plan of 2017”.  Now if that title doesn’t scream practical joke, I don’t know what does. 

I had to doublecheck the url to make sure I didn’t accidentally land on a page of The Onion.  Nope it’s legit.

You gotta wonder what was going on in Pete Sessions’ mind when he came up with it.  Was he looking to troll the political process?  Did he lose a bet?  Was he drunk?

World’s Greatest Healthcare Plan of 2017.  That sounds like the kind of name for something that a guy comes up with and then immediately jacks off to the thoughts of his own awesomeness.  

Some might say it’s the political equivalent of a someone busting out a pompous, 10 minute, hair metal style, guitar solo in the middle of a hardcore punk band show.

Or some might say it’s the political equivalent of a first time filmmaker squeezing like 30 separate homages to Quentin Tarantino in his first feature film script and thinking he’s a unique genius for doing it.

I have an alternate idea… 

I suspect that Pete Sessions didn’t actually come up with the name.  I bet he was struggling to come up with something.  He didn’t want to call it something dry and monotonous.  So he called a friend, who emailed a friend, who whatsapped a friend that he heard was “good with coming up with stuff.”  That friend, just happened to  be a staff writer for Funny or Die and he was like “I got the perfect name for this bill.”

What makes me go with that theory?  Simple.  Its resemblance to the recurring bit on Funny or Die that always wins the internet, The Best Gifs of All Time of the Week.

In an year where the President’s inauguration speech is equal parts rip off of Avatar monologue and The Bee Movie monologue, this can’t be a mere coincidence.  There has to be Funny or Die connection.

Now some of you might say, “what if he didn’t get a writer from Funny or Die? It’s possible that he might have been a fan of that recurring bit as well.”

Yeah, that’s a possibility.  But let’s be honest, look at this guy…

This guy isn’t going to Funnyordie.com.  He looks like the kind of guy whose only connection with the internet is yelling at his Secretary “hey Martha, go on that Google thing on the computer and order my wife up a nice something for my anniversary.”

Do you agree?  Do you think I’m way off?  Let me know in the comments section and follow True Anecdotal for more stories, observations, and anecdotes.

A Lady Was Nearly KNOCKED down a Long Flight of Steps by Someone Texting While Walking

At Tseun Wan MTR station, I nearly witness a tragedy unfold.

I have to admit, I do it myself, fairly often actually.  Walking while texting or Facebooking or even writing in this blog.  I try to be careful, looking up regularly to make sure I don’t walk into walls, poles, people, buses, etc.  Yesterday, however…


… I had my hands full.  With a bag in each hand, I wasn’t able to do the regular quick check of my phone that usually turns into a half an hour of reading people’s Facebook wall fights.

It was probably because of this that I had a full view of someone of else doing what I would probably be doing otherwise, walking along, typing away.  The young woman was heading for the escalator, as well as I.  What she didn’t see was another woman who had just come up an escalator and was heading for a collision course.


The second woman looked like she was trying to get her bearings.  Most likely she had not been to Tseung Wan station for a while, or ever, and was trying to figure out what direction to go for her exit.  It was because of this that the second woman didn’t notice the woman on her phone walking straight towards her.  Nor did she notice that she was standing right by the top of a very long staircase when the texting lady was approaching.

It happened in an instant.  As I stood there, silently bearing witness to it, time seemed to slow down slightly.  The young lady on her phone and the woman trying to find her bearings, collided right at the top of the stairs.  The lady lost her balance and tee-toddled on one foot, waving her arms, trying to get her balance, as the heel of her foot was tipping over the top of the stairs.

The young lady on her phone backed up, face slightly aghast, as she simultaneously reached out with one hand to say “sorry”, while securing her phone with the other hand.

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My mind immediately sent electrical signals to my imagination to imagine screaming “NOOO!!!” as the scene unfolded.  But it all happened too quick for my imagination to send the signals to my arms to drop my bags and reach out to save the woman.

By sheer luck and a bit of expert, amateur tightrope walker style re-balancing, the woman regained her footing and stayed at the top of the stairway.  A brief moment of realization of what happened transpired before she gave a very dirty look to the young lady, who went back to her phone texting and heading to the escalator as if nothing had happened.

Seeing that tragedy was overted, I went back to my business.  But I couldn’t help think that this is something that must be happening all too often.  I tried looking up how many injuries or fatalities come about from texting while walking.  Best I could find was an article in USA Today that blamed a large surge in pedestrian deaths last year on cell phone use.

In either case, stay sharp and watch your steps my friends, whether texting or not.

Robot Restaurant… Possibly the Awesomest Thing You Can Witness in Tokyo

Deep in the heart of Shinjuku District is a place that can not truly be described, it must be witnessed and experienced to really understand the awesomeness.  This place is Robot Restaurant.

Last time I visited Tokyo, I knew I wanted to hit up all the pop culture stuff I could find.  People watching in Harajuku, Maid Cafes and anime shopping in Akihabara, bar hopping in Roppongi, etc.  When trying to plan out my limited amoung of time (so much to do!  So few vacation days), I spotted ad in the Time Out Tokyo that peaked my interest…

ROBOT RESTAURANT.  This I had to see.

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A Robot Girl chair outside Robot Restaurant

So many questions came to mind.  What did it mean?  A restaurant where robots act as the waiters?  Do the robots put on a show?   Is it just a decoration with some anamatronic robots here and there like Mars 2120 was back in New York?  Or would it be an emersive experience like I’ve heard about the ninja restaurant?

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One of the giant robots in Robot Restaurant

First thing: Robot Restaurant is not really a restaurant.  They serve snacks, but it is definitely a show rather than a sitdown food establishment.

Second thing:  To merely call it a “show” is to woefully understate the experience that is this place.  It is an in-your-face spectacle times a hundred.  It’s hard to explain through words or even pictures how it felt to be behold the glory that is Robot Restaurant.  I’ll try my best in the rest of this article, but take a look at this video to get a taste of the robot madness.


If you’re still reading after watching the video, here’s the rundown.

We got tickets to the show.  The whole experience starts off pretty chill with hanging out in this shiny, gold, and lit up waiting room.  You can have some refreshments in there while listening to a guy in a robot suit playing some classics on a solo guitar.

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Looks like the inside of a slot machine

Then you get taken into the main show room.  And considering the show you’re about to witness, this room is tiny.  It looks like about the size room that you’d see an off off broadway show with 4 actors and a sofa for set dressing.  Three rows of seats on either side.

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Even from seeing this big drumset on the side of the room, it’s hard to imagine the magnitude of the show about to transpire

Then the lights go out and the show starts.  And what a show!  Everything is all glow in the dark, neon lit, kinetic energy.

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One of many, many parade floats in the robot parade

In that small passage way between the rows of audience, comes a parade of giant platforms with drums and assorted musical instuments, dancing girls, acrobats, assorted other characters and performers.  And that’s just for starters!

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These floats come inches away from your face if you’re in the front row.

And everything is all right in front of your and around you.  It’s hard to decide where to look because so much is going on at the same time.  And you have to keep alert too because these floats come like inches away from you if you’re in the front row.

After the first parade, comes the monster fights!

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Flying moth!  Some of these shoot sparks and fire!

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A robot takes on a pink haired girl riding a giant shark!

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Giant dragon vs Robot Dragon!

There was even a bit where a “Kung Fu Panda” style Panda and his Monkey and Tiger sidekicks jump in to try to take on the evil alien robots.  They get some help from some karate kicking, giant hammer wielding, anime girls.  (See the Video above)

Then once the robot, alien, monster fights ended, there was some more performances and then another awesome robot parade!

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Neon dancer robots

There’s an intermission in the middle to take a bathroom break and get some extra snacks, but otherwise it was non-stop, frenetic thrills and frenzied audio-visual stimulation.

Anyway, like I said before, my words and even pictures or video pale in comparrison to experiencing it for real.  Have you been to Robot Restaurant before?  Let me know what you thought about it in the comments!

Official site of Robot Restaurant: http://www.shinjuku-robot.com/pc/

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Kung Hei Fat Choi! Now Follow These Rules! 

It’s Chinese New Year New Year and the MTR is showcasing some new “don’ts” for the holiday season.

Passing through the MTR recently, you might have noticed signs like this around each station.

When I saw, I immediately thought to myself “special rules for Chinese New Year.”  Let’s take a closer look at what we see here.

For starters, I think most Hong Kong people are familiar with this one…

No Metallic Balloons.img_3574

I kind of figured this was some kind of super precautionary measure, just in case one of these wanders on to the track and gets sucked into some machinery.  But, apparently, the threat is real though.  Back in 1996, a “rogue Minnie Mouse Balloon” made it’s way onto a track and short circuited all the lines from Admirality to Quarry Bay.  So, I can understand this one.

But then you have this one…

No Orange Trees.
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Even the briefest encounter with Chinese New Year in Hong Kong, will make you wonder, “what’s with all the orange trees?”  They are a fairly integral part of traditional Chinese celebrations for the New Year.  This comes from the similiarity of the Chinese word for “tangerine” to the word “luck”.  Also, the Chinese word for “orange” is similiar to the word for “wealth”.  Therefore a gift of orange or tangerine tree is like wishing someone “an abundance of happiness and prosperity”.

So why the ban on orange and tangerine trees on the MTR?  I took a look through the MTR website and couldn’t find much on this, so I’m going to assume that it’s because the MTR management is worried that oranges will fall off the trees and then some tai tai will step on them and start screaming “Aiya!  My Christian Louboutin’s are ruined!”

Next we see this one…

No Candles and… Insense Sticks, I think?img_3574

It goes without saying that the last thing you’d want on a crowded rush hour MTR is someone lighting up candles or incense… I think those 3 sticks in the middle are incense. They could just as easily be Roman candles or tiki torches from the look of it.  One would think this would fall under general, year round common sense, “don’t light fires on a train”.  Given that there’s an actual sign being put up for it, it’s hard not to imagine that some buffoon must have tried this at some point or another.  Hence, the need to warn others.

Last, but not least we have…

No Roasted Pig
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What Chinese New Year celebration in Hong Kong is complete without a Cantonese style roasted pig.  This is, by far, one of my favorite traditional dishes in Hong Kong.  If someone has a roasted pig served up, you can be sure that I’m geting seconds, and thirds, maybe fourths.  But what gives about not letting these on the MTR?

Of course we all know that eating and drinking is not allowed on the MTR, but carrying food frm place to place is usually not an issue.  While I could imagine someone getting impatient and ripping into one of these roast pigs right ont he MTR, I doubt that would be very feasible.

I guess one can imagine it must be because these are already kind of awkward to carry. You have to carry them flat, can’t just plop this on a seat.  Plus, if it’s not a suckling pig you’re carrying, that mofo is going to be one big slab of meat.  I’d imagine it would only be a matter of time before the guy holding this, loses control and drops it all over some tai tai’s brand new Chanel outfit.

In either case, we wish you safe travels on your holiday, whether you’re heading on the MTR to visit family and friends or taking a different mode of transport.

Happy year of the Rooster to all!  Gong Hei Fat Choi!

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Stories I was going to tell the future grandkids.

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