BET they wish we would shut up. Just when Hongkong Land is negotiating to sell a package of goods which includes the Cunard shipping line, journalists fill newspapers with tales about one of their fanciest ships, the Sagafjord, going up in flames in the South China Seas. An interview with a rescued Hong Kong passenger was in yesterday's Post . The Times of London predicted that many passengers would sue the shipping line for mental anguish after having 'to go for hours without a dry martini'. Cunard spokesman Owen Coughlan (the same man who has been trying to lure Hong Kong civil servants to flee the territory on the QE2), has been keeping passengers away from journalists to 'protect their privacy'. Hmm. He's protecting someone's something, but it isn't passengers' privacy. INCIDENTALLY, the analyst examining the above sale for NatWest Securities in London goes by the name of Ole Slorer. I wonder what his colleagues call him when they want to refer to him in an affectionate way? Ole Ole Slorer? VISITORS to the food fair at the New World complex in Tsim Sha Tsui at the weekend were treated to an unusual sight. Shortly before it closed on Sunday, a large chef was seen sitting in the middle of the concourse vomiting energetically into a plastic bag. The chef, who was still in the formal white gear of his profession, had undeniably sampled a number things that did not agree with him. The sight did not enhance the dining experience, I hear from visitor Nicola Parkinson of Robinson Road. 'Bon appetit,' she said as the puking chef was carted off in an ambulance. GRRRR. There's nothing worse than getting what you asked for. John Major's offer of asylum-if-needed has infuriated Indian subcontinentals in Hong Kong because it appears to be the answer to their fears. But it doesn't give them what they really want: passports which allow them free access to UK and Europe, so they can go and do business and get rich at the expense of lazy Westerners. THE scene: A hospital ward in Hong Kong on a recent Sunday. A friend of mine from the Indian community had offered to help a patient choose a shahtoosh - an expensive shawl, costing between $6,000 and $12,000, made from the ultra-soft chin hair of a yak or a guru or some such thing. So she took six shahtoosh shawls, on loan from a shop, to the hospital and asked him to choose. He selected one. The other visitors to the ward took an interest - and bought the other five. 'They paid cash. You'd think no one would carry so much money in cash in their jeans on a Sunday, but this is Hong Kong,' she said. ERSTWHILE radio personality Rhonda Palmer is back in Hong Kong. Ms Palmer became infamous for introducing grown-up discussion on sex to Hong Kong, initially by producing a sealed insert about fellatio in Eve , a bilingual women's magazine. (Younger readers need not concern themselves about this, and can think of fellatio as a character in Hamlet .) She left the territory five months ago to move to Sharjar, United Arab Emirates. Unfortunately, all blondes there are assumed to be Russian prostitutes. After being approached by 'customers' for the 150th time, she fled. 'It was a very sad indictment of my fashion sense,' she said last night. Or perhaps they'd heard about your work in Hong Kong, Rhonda? ONE businessman has new-found faith in Hong Kong's legal community. Robert Chua Wah Peng, chairman of China Entertainment TV, was forced to turn up for jury service last week after sliding out of the six previous requests. The case to which he was eventually assigned turned out to be just a couple of hours of legal technicalities, after which staff promised they would not bother him for at least two years. All's well that ends well, eh, Robert? By the time 1998 comes around, legal proceedings in Hong Kong will have been simplified. 'Democrat? Execution. Next.' POOR Judge Chua. This likeable youngish woman has always added a touch of much-needed sparkle to court proceedings in Hong Kong, and it is a shame to see her in hot water. Her anecdote about the Singapore judiciary may have contained an inaccuracy, but that is beside the point. What is remarkable is that a government can exert so much fear that one of the most law-abiding people in Southeast Asia is scared to say what she believes to be the truth, in a court of law. A SUICIDAL gambler phoned Apple Daily and declared that he would like his skin donated to the children burned in the hillfire, the newspaper reported. He allegedly then hanged himself. It's an ill wind . . . . FROM US commentator Jay Leno: 'Today's Journal of American Medicine reports that silicone breast implants are safe. This is based on examining the breasts of 400,000 women. It is the largest study of female breasts since Clinton was Governor of Arkansas.'