IT was a dull Sunday afternoon. A woman in Hong Kong (whom I will leave nameless, except for saying that she is the wife of a regular contributor) decided she wanted to see a film. She called the number for the UA Queensway cinema's automated 'Ticketmaster' service. The computer-generated voice asked for her charge card number. 'Okay,' she said. 'Four, nine, six, six . . .' she began. 'Please enter your card number,' the voice interrupted. She tried it louder and more slowly: 'FOUR. NINE. SIX. SIX . . .' 'Please enter your card number,' it said again. She tried speaking more quickly. 'Fourninesixsixzerofour . . .' 'Please enter your card number.' It then occurred to her that this may be a Cantonese speaking computer. 'Sei, gau, lohk, lohk, ling, sei . . .' At this point, the computer hung up on her. What to do? The thought struck her that maybe the computer required her husband's card, so she repeated the entire exercise with that - and again failed on every round. We may chuckle at her, but she has a point. It doesn't say 'dial' your credit card number, does it? THERE'S a lot of confusion in Asia about AIDS. So it is absolutely vital that people take advice of professionals, who know what they are talking about. I'm thinking of knowledgeable types such as the Beijing Renshengtang Medicine Health-Care Products Co. Their representatives were in Hong Kong at the recent Asian Pacific Travel Health Conference, giving out leaflets which explain that AIDS is transmitted through toilet seats. A copy was given to me by a horrified John Fox, editor of China Hospital . Fortunately, the company can sell you protective toilet-seat covers, so that you can avoid getting AIDS by entering rest rooms used by foreigners. Renshengtang. The health-care company which is not scared to print dangerous rubbish in a bid to make a few more sales. THE phone on the desk of my esteemed editor rang. 'Are you the chief editor?' 'I am the editor.' The caller gives his name. There is a silence. Then he says: 'I am the organiser of the world pool championships and your reporters did not cover it this morning. I want to tell you that your reporters - if you have any - will not be welcome at the final tonight.' 'I don't know what you're talking about.' 'That's why you're a [expletive deleted] idiot.' Slam. A quick lesson in how to win friends and influence people. CONGRATULATIONS to people at the National Geographic Society. No longer are the world's best-known experts in geography writing to people in the territory at 'Hong Kong, China'. But they still have one thing to learn. When you write to people such as John Chessher, head of research at Schroder Securities Asia, you address the letter to 'Exchange Square' not 'Sex Change Square' as you did last week. Unless Hong Kong Land has renamed it as some sort of marketing ploy to attract more visitors. NEWSFLASH sent by the Hong Kong office of Agence France-Presse to newspapers around the world on March 8: 'Hong Kong draws 10.2 tourists in 1995'. HAVE recent events turned your thoughts back to the Vietnamese, languishing in their camps in Hong Kong? At the gates to the Whitehead so-called 'detention centre' three years ago, there was a piece of graffiti on the wall, which read something like this: 'People of HK. Have pity on us. Our today is your tomorrow.' Not surprisingly, it was removed pretty quickly.