I’ve been driving the day shift for eight years now. I used to drive a dump truck, and my current boss didn’t believe it at first. He actually made me drive one [to prove it]. People call me “little chilli”—I am a pretty fierce driver, and I get the most warnings out of all the drivers under my boss.
Yannie Chan uncovers the nuances of four drivers’ daily lives—from the hazards of the road to where they go to the bathroom.
Drivers Dish the Dirt
Taxi drivers share their own tales of outlandish passengers with Yannie Chan.
Mr. Chan, aka “Fat Chan”
Driving for six years
Outlandish stories from both the front and back seat.
These days, besides bikini-clad bods hogging the beaches, you’ll also start to notice dragon boat paddlers hard at work just beyond the shores. Chances are they’re prepping for the myriad races that will be taking place during the Tuen Ng festival—the origins (you know, where scholar Qu Yuan drowns himself and locals toss rice dumplings into the water and bang drums to prevent his body from being eaten) of which are now a mere footnote to the actual festivities.
Yannie Chan and Rosanna Chu round up the most popular dragon boat races in town.
HK Magazine: Why backpack in your own city?
Kiki Wong: I needed to make a 15- to 20-minute-long documentary for a course... I skipped classes in the first week of April [for my trip].
HK: But you grew up here. How did you lose the familiarity and “re-experience” Hong Kong?
Taking $70, a sleeping bag, a towel, a water bottle and a camera, Kiki Wong embarked on a trip—in her hometown. Her unusual quest was an attempt to answer one question: Is Hong Kong a good place for backpackers? She tells Yannie Chan about her six-day journey.
HK Magazine: What does the Toilet Association do?
Lo Wing-lok: It was founded in 2005 by a group of professionals in various fields, such as engineering, design and health. We share a burning concern for toilets after attending an international conference organized by the World Toilet Organization. Our goal is to promote a comfortable and healthy toilet environment.
HK: What is so special about toilets?
One may chuckle at the very existence of a Toilet Association, but the organization takes its mandate seriously. It reviews the usability, design and safety of commodes on a regular basis. An infectious disease specialist and chairperson of the Toilet Association, Lo Wing-lok, gives Yannie Chan the lowdown on local lavatories.
So you’ve done all of Thailand, exhausted the rest of Southeast Asia and are tired of having to go through customs every time you want to make a quick escape. Here’s a thought: why not stay IN the city? From beach retreats to outdoor adventures to cultural journeys, Hong Kong’s got staycations of all stripes.
Stay right where you are—the perfect weekend getaway might be closer than you think.
HK Magazine: How did you fall in love with the cheongsam?
Helius Yuen: It started with a vintage photograph of my grandmother. I know that my grandmother had a very painful past. She witnessed the Japanese invasion of Hong Kong and endured poverty. But in that photo on her bedside, she was wearing a cheongsam and had makeup on. She was stunning, making my 14-year-old self realize how a cheongsam can completely transform a woman.
A troubled teenager turned meticulous collector, 27-year-old Helius Yuen has more than 700 cheongsams that honor the cultural and historic past of everyday Hong Kong people. Yuen talks to Yannie Chan about his love affair with the cheongsam.
HK Magazine: How did you become drawn to balloon twisting?
Two years ago, Phoebe Chan (right) returned empty-handed from the World Balloon Convention. This year, she took home the New Artist of the Year prize from the convention in Dallas, Texas. The balloon-art innovator shares her passion for anything out of the box with Yannie Chan.
HK Magazine: Why did you quit your job to establish Principal Chan’s Free Tutorial Center?
Having witnessed how the education system shuts its doors to marginalized students, Chan Hung quit his job as the principal of a secondary school to create a learning space of his own that provides free tutorial services to poor students who need extra help. The passionate educator talks to Yannie Chan about his love of teaching.
Get your fashion fix in the CBD.
Danilo Ceri, the Italian owner of Opera Opera, fills the shop with a unique selection of Italian goods. The handmade footwear and accessories are not only stunning and sophisticated, but will also last you some good years.
G/F, 14 Gough St., Central, 6799-7743.
Tired of the same old big-name brands and stuffy shopping malls? So are we. Check out these unique designer boutiques for your next shopping binge.