• Sun
  • Dec 28, 2014
  • Updated: 12:14pm

Spot the Koala in Hong Kong

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 02 February, 1997, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 02 February, 1997, 12:00am

We can all recognise the Star ferry, the Bank of China tower, horse racing and the pink dolphins . . . but koala bears? The Americans designing our handover mementos seem to think they fit in, judging by the way the Australian creatures featured in the first batch of official handover items.


No explanation was offered for their presence.


We can only assume one of the artistic geniuses back in the US somehow managed to confuse Australia with Hong Kong.


Motto's titanic proportions With the official handover memorabilia comes its new slogan: 'A Day to Remember'.


Could this be the sequel to the novel A Night to Remember? It also featured wealthy people celebrating their journey to a new country.


They, too, were confident that everything was under control as they embarked on their new lives.


Let's hope the similarities end there.


A Night to Remember took place on board the Titanic.


Hauled over barbie's coals Australians are not known for being original thinkers so when Down Under's National Day arrived last week, one living in Heng Fa Chuen celebrated the only way he knew how - with a barbecue.


His flatmate was duly despatched to Causeway Bay to buy a nice new shiny barbie and the charcoal was lit.


Some hours later with the party in full swing, uniformed officers of unknown origin knocked on his door.


But it wasn't to complain about noise, it was to demand that the barbie be put out.


It seems they are banned in Heng Fa Chuen.


This begs the question: why are staircases seen as perfect places to burn offerings to ancestors while a sausage on a grill on a balcony is almost a treasonable offence? Anne royal in name only Shoppers in Pacific Place could have been forgiven for dropping their bags in shock last Wednesday night.


After all, it's not every day you bump into Princess Anne.


Princess Anne wasn't on a Fergie-style credit-card blitz though. She was there for an engagement.


Asked who the lady in blue was, one shopper replied Princess Margaret.


Another ventured: 'She's the new director of the Hongkong Bank.' Bus fumes bad for you - gulp! Bad news for anyone who has been holding their breath when a bus spewing noxious smoke passes by.


US researchers say it does no good. The tiny particles in the diesel exhaust remain in the air for a long time so you won't avoid breathing them in by holding your nose for only a few seconds, according to The New York Times.


And yes, they can penetrate the lungs and give you cancer.


But anyone living in Hong Kong knew that already.


Waking up to Groundhog Day Today is Groundhog Day, known presumably to North Americans and film buffs the world over.


Groundhog Day is supposed to tell us whether winter has ended.


The groundhog lives in the US and southern Canada and emerges from its winter hibernation today.


It either remains, signalling spring, or returns to sleep for another six weeks if it sees its shadow.


The day comes two days before the astronomical midpoint of winter, so it sort of makes sense.


And for Hong Kong, which hardly has a winter, it's probably correct.


But US experts studying these animals say it's a little early for groundhogs in northern states like New York, where they don't wake up for about another six weeks.


In any case, what's the point? If you watch the film of the same name, today will keep repeating itself ad infinitum so you might as well turn over and get another 40 winks.


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