James, Hong Kong & The Bear

Hong Kong was exciting and this time around, since we knew the districts quite well, we did a lot more leisurely exploring (besides taking in the Online Information Asia Pacific Conference on the 24th March).

One of the good things as business people is that we get to pack in both business and leisure activities on our trips abroad.

This time was no different as we managed to catch one of the Irish dance performances (as part of the HK Arts Festival) and found a hodge-podge of good eats too.

Some we stumbled upon accidentally and some were found on purpose (which reminds me, www.CNNgo.com is a great resource the next time you are planning a trip to any of the Asian countries. Pity Malaysia isn’t there).

We came home to work but it was refreshing because we had 10 days off in HK. After gorging on such a long trip, we were raring to come home and put some ideas into practice.

(HK is a magnificent place for scouting and looking at the latest stuff. The IT gadgets are affordable – as they are produced in nearby mainland China – and besides, HK is a shopper’s paradise with a host of marketing stuff for business people to learn from.)

In HK, business is tremendously competitive.

We saw “sandwich board” men – one dressed up like a giant-sized foot to attract customers to the reflexology shop nearby.

Many aunties were standing at escalators giving out flyers and advertising materials, free booklets and magazines – anything and everything so you can buy from them or eat at their cafes or look at their products. I saw a guy selling products in the subway (and I think that is illegal). People were doing either selling or buying. It can be rather dizzying!

And the size of their signages and billboards! Massive doesn’t even describe them. Some are precariously jutting out of the shop fronts to the main road. I wonder if the tops of trams and buses don’t graze them. It really was a BUY, BUY, BUY society. Which to me is rather frightening.

More pictures will follow – just to illustrate my points.

As an aside, a dear friend and client of ours, James White, passed away last week in Langkawi. We will miss you, James. I thought of him as I write this because he was born in Hong Kong. He had a Cantonese amah and his uncle could speak fluent Cantonese and play mahjong. And James could speak Tamil as he worked in the deep jungles of pre-war Malaya (and Borneo) even before I was born.

He was in his 70s but you know what, he lived life colourfully! He had friends who loved him and his straight-talking no-nonsense mouth. This Brit was one of the most engaging storytellers I know. He was a true James Bond – he had been in Her Majesty’s service as an MI 6 – and I’d always loved his mad stories and 4 lively cats. His friends will be gathering at Bon Ton Langkawi to honour his spirit and we are proud to be attending this special event.

May you carry the spirit of the bear in your heart always, James!

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