Childhood and Chili costumes

Last week, I walked a thousand miles (probably) around Hong Kong looking for a hot chili pepper costume for the inter-house cross country event . RED REPRESENT! I bargained for 5 red beanies which had the starting price of around $80 each to $35, which is not too shabby if I do say so myself. Unfortunately, I only had a $500 note (which I don’t have often and was trying to be frugal with), so I felt selfish for asking to pay less than half the original price although I had money to spare. But to make myself feel better, it would have been ridiculous to pay $80 for a beanie I was going to wear for a few hours. Also, the beanies probably cost $5 dollars each to make at some knitting factory, so what these sneaky people are trying to do is milk foreigners or white-looking people for all they are worth. They think they can get away with this trickery but my Asian family has taught me well. I refuse to be bamboozled (great word, just saying). The way to go about this is to firmly ask for the lowest price you dare to ask for and then slowly adjust towards a compromise. If they don’t budge, turn around and leave. They’ll probably stop you mid-stride.

On the road to finding the red cardboard I needed to cut a chili shape out of, my friend and I found the cutest little shop. On the walls hung clocks designed in the shape of vinyl records and iconic retro posters in black frames with ironic, witty comments printed on them. Audrey Hepburn, Marilyn Monroe and James Dean. Cigars and skylines and Campbell soup. It made me think about the room I’ll someday design for myself, full of words and photos and beautiful, delicate, peculiar things.

I walked along a street I used to visit every Christmas or Halloween and was bombarded by multiple flashbacks of childhood. One of these shops had things dangling from the ceiling, including baubles and beads and antique-looking items. I imagined a sparkly Christmas extravaganza lounge and possibly a jungle rainforest get-up for my dream loft, which prompted memories of our beloved Rainforest cafe (which has disappeared for years). I was surprised to discover that we had both known this cafe before we had met each other and had such similar, treasured memories there. We raved about the souvenirs: the curly straws, plastic bottles and squidgy toys with fish that floated in glitter. The rubbery dinosaur gloves with teeth. The gorillas in the darkness, the smoke, fries, gigantic leaves and ubiquitous bushes. Statuesque monkeys clutched onto artificial trees and the twitter of birds resounded continuously, creating the most exciting dinner experience eight-year-olds could possibly ask for.

***

Cross country happened and I couldn’t wear my costume during the run because I had to do the elite race. That much was disappointing but you know, a girl’s gotta do what she’s gotta do for the house! So that was that. And I managed to run the entire thing without walking so kudos to me. I know, that blasé attitude.

Also, I told my parents that night that I was going trick-or-treating with some friends in Sai Kung in a flower costume. The worst thing is that they believed me without a hint of suspicion (partly because I would wear a flower costume). But still. I am such a liar.

From Sobe to Sobe, to remember. 

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