Two older ladies in boldly patterned tops walk next to an orange rubbish bin on the street.
©F.L.Blumberg 2024


A ramble about where to find the original power-clashers and an amble through a poem that fantasises about the freedom of old age.

If you, dear Subscriber, were hoping in this installment to find the hottest spots to view the grandmas of Hong Kong parade about in their jazzy, free-and-easy get-ups, I’m afraid you will be let down. Did you really imagine that we would recommend, say, picking up a Hong Kong-style milk tea and, while you sip away, treating the streets as some sort of geriatric fashion show? What kind of maniac would do such a thing? (I refer, of course, to drinking tea with milk.) 

We see the back of a youngish granny in a pink floral top, black pants, and toting a pink bag.
©F.L. Blumberg 2024

That being said, were you to fancy a first-rate milk tea, a stop at Kam Fung Restaurant on Spring Garden Lane in Wan Chai, a cha chan teng institution, would be a suitable choice. And, were I pressed—but if and only if I were pressed, mind you, dear Subscriber—to suggest a thoroughfare that doubles as a catwalk for the elderly, I would faintly utter (as befits a pressed man) ‘Des Voeux Road West—sometime during the morning hours.’ There and then you can find not only po pos but also gong gongs (公公), or grandpas, both of which might very well be on their way to, or coming from, my favourite place for yum cha, Lin Heung Kui—the smaller, neighbourhood version of the famous Lin Heung Lau on Wellington Street in Central. Alas, however, I have just learned that Lin Heung Kui has closed its doors permanently, so there is no longer any point in telling you where to find the tiny dishes of Yu Kwen Yick chili sauce to accompany the chun geun (crispy fried spring rolls). In due course, I shall pay it homage, but for now, let it suffice to say that it was a wonderful place to see old Hong Kong in action—old in more than one sense of the word: here was classic yum cha culture and it was substantially made up of older people. A sizeable percentage of the customers at this Sheung Wan location was elderly, and the floor staff—from the stoical waiters to the women who pushed the trolleys with stacks of snacks—were perhaps only a shade younger.