It’s an anagram of ‘amply err’

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SCMP-TouristCity2Cultural critic (nice work if you can get it) Perry Lam continues the South China Morning Post’s ceaseless hysterics about how Hong Kong Must Have More Tourists. His little space-filler begins by asserting without question that overseas visitors’ ‘deep pockets’ benefit the city. All right-thinking people know by now that only landlords make money from this human flood, while the rest of us suffer higher prices and lower quality of life. Indeed, if the industry actually dumped wads of cash on the rest of us, we wouldn’t hate tourists.

Maybe Perry Lam subconsciously realizes this, as he goes on to argue that embracing tourists as if they were long-lost buddies will give us ‘spiritual enlightenment’, a claim he backs up with quotes from Confucius. We can achieve this bliss, he says, only if we see hordes of strangers from overseas not as customers but as friends. Otherwise we must content ourselves with being ‘merely a city with tourist attractions, not a tourist city’.

I’m not sure if this argument is desperate or just deranged. We don’t want these suitcase draggers and selfie-stick wavers as either customers or friends, and we don’t want Hong Kong to be either a city with tourist attractions or a ‘tourist city’. We want at least 90% of these verminous multitudes to go away so we can have our city back.

Ultimately, teeming masses of tourists make any destination unpleasant not only for locals, but for tourists themselves. Our tourism lobby’s obsession with cramming more and more in as soon as possible suggests that they know this, and fear the approach of Peak Tourist. The clamour for More More More is the sound of panicky landlords desperate to keep bloated rents up for a few more months.

Which brings us to the neighbourhood retail situation. Like residents in many districts, the people of Escalator Land have been wondering just how many shoppers/visitors/tourists you can cram into a small network of streets before nature restores some sort of balance. In our case, the alien influx is especially of Koreans, who come in their hundreds to buy egg tarts from one specific bakery (Tai Cheong) and to stand around in herds outside our cherished Marks & Spencer food hall.

Sometime in the last six months or so, the tendency towards the opening of more and more stores aimed at tourists seemed to slow noticeably. It was as if some limit on obscure fashion boutiques had been reached, and the demand for pointless tat (scented candles, themed candy) sated. The number of vacant premises rose.

During this week, a couple of new businesses have opened just a few yards apart. They are hardly in keeping with the traditional retail ecology of the area, which just a decade or so ago supported electricians, stationers, no-frills hairdressers and noodle places. But nor are they targeting the tawdry tourist trade – and this provides a glimmer of hope.

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FlightCentreThe first is a Flight Centre. There’s no shortage of travel agents around here, so it hardly seems necessary, but at least it’s selling something useful that local residents might want. The second is some sort of ritzy clubby-bar place going by the name of Tycoon Tann (shown above after vultures plundered the good-luck flowers). The Tatler’s glowing admiration for the place suggests hyper-pretentiousness, trendy tall stools, brushed metal and all that stuff, though a 7-Eleven next door undermines the prestigious image somewhat. Presumably, it is seeking lower rents than those of Lan Kwai Fong/Wyndham Street a couple of hundred yards away.

How pretentious? I declare the weekend open with this gem

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Update: As if the 7-Eleven didn’t diminish the exclusive luxury ambiance enough, I find this morning that the entire sidewalk outside has been torn up – no doubt by swarthy, sweaty, working-class municipal ragamuffins – revealing vast bundles of muddy and stinky urban intestines…

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17 Responses to It’s an anagram of ‘amply err’

  1. stanley gibbons says:

    An anagram? Pearl army?

  2. joe blow says:

    play me rr……

  3. Big Al says:

    “Tourists fuck off”. Oh, that’s too many letters …

  4. Not Perry Lam says:

    Perry Lam = amply err – duh

  5. Peter says:

    For a brief moment I thought Pierce Lam wrote an article about how tourism is good for HK.

  6. Chinese Netizen says:

    Ah, Pierce “CCP/China Love-it-or-leave-it” Lam.
    Unfortunately even his bloviated tripe was usurped on SCMP by the wild eyed, work-for-free CCP trolls and Pierce baby retreated in a huff to re-read the Oxford English Dictionary, figuring out more ways to denigrate the English language, the English people, and the residual Englishness of HK – all while propping up the superiority of China, the Chinese and the CCP: All in the Queen’s English, of course.

  7. reductio says:

    “Magalica” Great name for a heavy metal band.

  8. Laguna Lurker says:

    Looks like someone forgot to complete the necessary “paperwork” with the relevant department.

  9. Cassowary says:

    Another emissary from “The Peons Are Getting Uppity” school of governance. When people are dissatisfied with the government, they wheel out these guys to say that the problem these days is that people aren’t grateful enough for what they have.

  10. NIMBY says:

    If I only had the energy today, I’d look up Perry’s full Chinese name. It’s fun running the Putonghua version of anagrams.** However, I’ll give Perry credit for showing great humor by self-administering a (Joe) Blow job on his Linkedin profile.

    ** For example, one of his fellow wipes who frequent this blog of ill repute picked a moniker that provides provides much entertainment. Today I’ve decided, for now, Qin Jin means Apologist (Sanitary) Napkin — 谦巾 . If shows up again, perhaps, I’ll find something that goes well after Reprobate.

  11. Scotty Dotty says:

    “I’m not sure if this argument is desperate or just deranged. ”

    Excellent. Classic Hemlock skewering of the tourist obsessed cretins in Hong Kong, this time Perry Lam.

    PS: Can the Monday post be Hemlock’s take on the UK election?

  12. Joe Blow says:

    Please: no UK election.

  13. Red Dragon says:

    “Hungarian Magalica”, eh?

    Well it looks as if Tycoon Tann took three months to get the spelling wrong. See this:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mangalitsa

    From which I extract this:

    There are three Mangalitsa breeds: Blonde, Swallow-bellied, and Red. They all have the same behaviour; the only difference is the colour. The Blonde Mangalitsa is blonde, the Swallow-bellied (originally produced by crossing the Blonde Mangalitsa with the extinct Black Mangalitsa) has a blonde belly and feet with a black body, and the red (produced by crossing the Blonde Mangalitsa with the Szalonta breed) is ginger. Other breeds (black, wolf, and baris) have died out as pure-bred forms, though their reconstruction from selective breeding of mixed varieties is being debated in Hungary.

    Which possibly explains what they mean when they talk about the “many different types” they tried. As for the “many different…parts”, I shudder to think. Ears? Willie? Sphincter? Tail? The picture suggests that they finally settled on a more conventional “part” for the char siu. Thank God for that, say I.

    Anyway, they’re obviously pretentious wankers and will go bust within the year. Do I care? Do I f***. Bring back real shops!

  14. NIMBY says:

    Red Dragon

    It’s much harder to sue the owners of Typhoid Tannery for misrepresentation, if what they are offering is made up. When forced, they’ll disclose the natural abode of the Hungarian Magalica is either Hainan Island’s waste tip or the back lot of the spent fuel rods reprocessing plant out in Qinghai.

    Sort of like CCP Democracy or Hong Kong Social Welfare, Hong Kong Public Housing, these words can not be put together without everyone nodding it’s protected as satire.

  15. commischef says:

    Hemmers, you didnt mention the new sex toy shop opposite the custard tart place……..

  16. Hermes says:

    Perry Lam : Mr. Player

  17. Alfons Wappler says:

    I hope a tourist that avoids chain convenience stores/supermarkets, flashy shopping malls and buys his canned or bottled (sugar) water and food in shops and bakeries where there is no English to be seen, understood or spoken and eats in English language free cafes, cooked food markets or food courts in westerner free non-flashy shopping centres is excepted from the hate. Otherwise I have to search for a new favourite holiday destination :-((

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