THOSE CRAZY RICH ASIANS…AND CHINESE…AND SINGAPOREAN CHINESE

By Hans Ebert
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It really should be called “Crazy Rich Singaporean Chinese”, but “Crazy Rich Asians” is what it is, and the movie based on 2013 book of the same name by Singaporean American author Kevin Kwan has extremely quickly crept up on the world. It’s box office boffo in America. But how well will it travel in this region?

One has to also wonder if the Orange Julius in the White House will ever watch it? Wonder if its success and interest in the success of the movie by talk show hosts has to do with everything going on in America today? The xenophobia that shows no signs of subsiding.

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Where and when the Hong Kong music scene lost its way…

By Hans Ebert
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Hong Kong has been Canto Popped and Jazzified. When it comes to music and something remotely approaching a music scene, there’s no middle ground. One is in one camp or the other. Rock was forced to roll over and disappear. There’s a sad story to why that happened.

As for where music in this city is today, and though loathe to bring ageism into this subject, what comes out in the wash is a very tired ‘look’ with the usual suspects going round and round in circles.

Let’s stop with the Lack Of Venues mantra. Why not think about the lack of musicians? Especially very good musicians. How many are there in Hong Kong? Twenty? Ten? Less? And musicians playing what?

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THE DUMBING DOWN OF HONG KONG

By Hans Ebert
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“There maybe many new choices, but few of these are very good. It’s why businesses keep opening and closing in Hong Kong plus many here really don’t know good from bad and usually settle for the average and are disappointed.”

It was an open ended conversation with someone in the F&B industry who felt that unless something drastic is done very soon by the government, this city is heading quickly down a very slippery slope.

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THE TIFFIN LOUNGE: IT’S BACK AND IN FASHION

By Hans Ebert
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Unlike high tea at the Peninsula Hotel, it’s not about sitting around people watching and just to say you’ve been there.

It’s not about rubbing shoulder pads with the resident Dynasty tai tais, spotting the uptown funk ladies looking for very big fish, the rich and the kinda famous wanting to be seen, and those travelling through Hong Kong and needing to talk business in a 5-star setting to often just keep up pretences. Fabulous!

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IF MUSIC IS ENTERTAINMENT, CAN IMMIGRATION IN HONG KONG EXPLAIN “WORK” VISAS?

By Hans Ebert
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Every day people are allowed into Hong Kong under what’s known as a Refugee Status. Nothing really wrong with this, and live and let live and all that until one comes face to face with those in Hong Kong under this immigration law and find that, not all, but too many, have and continue to ruin businesses by selling drugs right in front of their premises.

There’s the other “wild bunch”, usually from the sub-continent and found down the now extremely untrendy and unfriendly Lan Kwai Fong area looking to engage in childish bursts of machismo.

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LOOKING AT THE HOTEL LOUNGE SINGER IN HONG KONG

By Hans Ebert
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It’s tough being what is often described as a “lounge singer”, especially in the bar of a 5-star hotel in Hong Kong and having to please everyone- the Food & Beverage Manager, the customers- mainly tourists wanting to hear something familiar and- quelle horreurs- sometimes, the head bartender who somehow sees themselves as an A&R genius who knows music.

The latter species reminds me of my days in advertising when the ad agency producer needing to say something just for the sake of saying something asked the session singer to record another take and make it “more punchy.”

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SERENDIB: KEEPING IT SIMPLE AND SRI LANKAN

By Hans Ebert
@hanseberthk
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Many talk about there being only one Sri Lankan restaurant- AJ’s in Sai Kung, which is okay, and serves its version of lamprais- rice, curry, sambals and a hard boiled egg served inside a banana leaf- but being a Burgher from what was Ceylon, it’s not exactly what mother made. Maybe Hong Kong is lacking in the proper ingredients needed. Pepper is no substitute.

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BURGHERS, BURGERS AND CEYLON TEA AND SYMPATHY (PART 11)

By Hans Ebert
@hanseberthk

Kristine entered my life soon after my breakup with Irina and my mother passing away from the dreaded Alzheimer’s disease which turned into full blown dementia. Though divorced by then, Trina flew down to Melbourne many times to keep a promise she had made to herself: My mother should leave this world with dignity. It’s extraordinary everything she did when she could have just walked away. For this, I will be forever in her debt.

As for Kristine, she was introduced to me by two social networking blonde twins in Hong Kong who would make themselves available for the opening of an envelope.

Being Danish, they had met Kristine, an urban planner. on Facebook. She was coming to Hong Kong from Dubai to work on a job for the office out here. She was around 36, divorced, and attractive in a Sandra Bullock way. We met through the twins, went out once, but there were certainly no immediate fireworks. The fireworks and rockets went off after she returned to Dubai and we kept in touch through text messages and phone calls. There was something about her…and phone calls could be very seductive.

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BURGHERS, BURGERS AND CEYLON TEA AND SYMPATHY (PART 10)

By Hans Ebert
@hanseberthk

Before reaching the inevitable breakup, Trina and I threw ourselves into work. Guess it was high avoidance after the death of our wonderful Nipper. The only time I cried during any of our counselling sessions was when asked, Hans, what made you sad? Easy. It was losing Nipper. That little dog kept us together.

By now, Trina was constantly travelling, I was constantly travelling and living pretty much a wannabe rock star lifestyle. There’s no point going into detail, but absence doesn’t make the heart grow fonder. It takes it everywhere and nowhere until it finally lands somewhere with someone new where words and action have no meaning. It’s often machismo bullshit played out for the peanut gallery.

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A NEW DAY IS ON THE HORIZON? REALLY?

By Hans Ebert
@hanseberthk

The Boomtown Rats once sang how they don’t like Mondays. This past Monday, one kinda understood why.

In cricket, Australia won The Ashes and, quite rightly, Australian pride needed to be released and quieten the wonderful Barmy Army. Though rooting for neither team, I felt for England captain Joe Roots. Ashes to Ashes and all that.

In Hong Kong, Kei Chiong, the city’s only female jockey, announced her retirement. On Instagram. A surprise? Not really. It’s competitive enough for brilliant sportsmen to succeed in the pressure cooker world of horse racing. For a young Chinese girl to compete, especially against world class international riders, the odds were always stacked against her.

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