• Sun
  • Sep 21, 2014
  • Updated: 9:40am

Tai tais hit the school of barred frocks

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 21 October, 2000, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 21 October, 2000, 12:00am

Roses are red,

And best bought at Joyce

I'd never stop shopping

If given the choice

That was Lai See's 'Ode On A Hong Kong Tai Tai'.

We wrote it after discovering that poetry is the missing ingredient in the trophy wife's life.

Well. It's missing from her class list, at any rate.

That's right - tai tais go to school.

And here you thought all they ever did was shuffle around the mall between pedicures. Yes, there's more to being Some Rich Guy's Wife than you might think.

These women have dedicated themselves to the pursuit of knowledge.

They pursue it to the YWCA, conveniently located at the Peak's base.

It is here that lacquer-haired scholars seek enlightenment through such classes as 'Accessories & Scarves', 'Wardrobe Planning' and 'Diamonds - A Girl's Best Friend'.

And for aspiring Anna Nicole Smiths, there's 'Wills in Hong Kong'.

But that's not all. Pressing environment impact issues are also examined.

Like the environment's impact on your hairstyle.

'Looking Good In Hong Kong' is an 'absolute must to attend', for its advice on combatting humid locks.

Plus 'it is essential to evaluate the local hairdressing scene'.

And graduates of 'Wardrobe Planning' can further their knowledge through 'Colour with Style'.

This provides the answer to that age-old question: Am I a summer or an autumn?

There's also a class on painting your own toenails, but that one's not really necessary.

Why? Because you can send your maid to one of the For Your Domestic Helper classes to learn how to do it for you.

In no time at all, she'll be able to massage your instep, paint your toe nails, and scrape that weird black gunk from the bottom of your feet.

And if she refuses on the grounds that it's disgusting, demeaning and not part of her job?

Then it's obviously time for you to attend the 'You and Your Helper' class.

This teaches tai tais how to order the maid around, criticise her effectively and 'handle sulkiness'.

If the behaviour of some Hong Kong employers is anything to go by, we're guessing the course material list includes 'very hot iron'.

But back to that poetry thing.

Lai See was surprised to find that poetic endeavours were conspicuously absent from the 'Express Yourself' course list.

Oh, sure, there are the usual staples that any woman worth her creative salt must master: 'Vegetable Carving', 'Art of Giftwrapping', 'Cathedral Window Cushion', and 'Making Christmas Crackers for A Cracker of A Morning!'.

But no poetry.

Not reading. Not writing. Nothing.

Why not?

Have Hong Kong tai tais joined the anti-poetry movement?

If you haven't heard about that one, it's now in full swing over in Australia. Thursday found the Young People Against Poetry (YPAP) protesting outside a writers' festival.

They want all forms of rhyme and verse banned from the classroom. Apparently poetry had a hand in most modern ills, as well as being insufferably boring.

'We feel that when the average person in the street looks up and sees our banner today, they'll agree with our sentiment that poetry does indeed wreck lives,' the protest leader told AFP.

Perhaps our wives to wealth have decided to lay down their poetry books and take up the cause.

But Lai See thinks it's a shame and a gap in their education.

So we've written a poem of our own, dedicated to all the tai tais who graduated from basic Giftwrapping and are now signing up for the advanced course.

Roses are red,

Violets are blue,

Get a job



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