Last Week in Reality
Local news in bite-sized chunks.
Ginseng Fraud A Taiwanese couple buying ginseng at a dispensary in Mong Kok is offered a price of $700 per catty. The couple want to buy one catty with cash but the shop insists on taking a credit card, offering a pack of ginseng tea as a complimentary gift. As the man pays by card, the shopkeeper rushes him to enter his PIN, covering the screen with his hands. Checking the receipt, the couple discovers that they have paid $11,110 instead of $700. The shopowner says that ginseng is weighed by the tael, not the catty, and says the couple should have read the price more carefully. The couple call the police, who refer them to the Consumer Council.
Hot Prices At midnight, a group of 11 have a meal at a hot pot restaurant in Kowloon City. They are charged $5,800 for the meal. Surprised at the high cost, they refuse to pay and leave. Two waiters try to stop them from going, but are assaulted by one of the group. The group had apparently ordered beer as well as food, but the restaurant refuses to disclose the order. Police arrest five of the group after the incident, charging one with assault.
Gloat Note The results of the Mark Six Mid-Autumn Festival are announced, with one ticket winning half of the $90 million jackpot. On the same night, a photo circulates online of a notice posted on to a shopfront. It reads “I have won the lottery and I am closing the store to go on holiday to the U.S. I am going to buy a house for retirement. Hehe. I am not lying.”
A man calling himself “Midnight Kiss” is charged in court with eight counts of burglary and one of attempted burglary. The name derives from singer Alan Tam’s classic Cantopop tune of the same name. The man’s name is similar to Alan Tam’s name, but he had always wanted a Japanese-sounding name, so he adopted to the four-character nickname “Midnight Kiss” instead. The case is adjourned, pending further police investigation.
Ssssssutra A three-foot-long rat snake is found hiding in a cottage on the grounds of a Buddhist temple in Tuen Muen. Police call in expert “Snake King Lau” to capture the serpent. As the “Snake King” goes to work, monks in the temple gather around the cottage and chant sutras. When the snake is captured, the monks request that it not be killed. The snake is released into the wild.
Toothy Bite A woman buys a box of salmon sushi from a chain store to take home. She bites on something hard and discovers three false teeth inside the sushi. She calls the manager of the shop to complain, but the manager insists that all staff wear face masks and no one employed wears false teeth. A spokesperson for the Food and Environment Department says that they have inspected the store and are satisfied with its hygiene conditions.
Boozy Burglary A 40-year-old man returns to his apartment in Fortress Hill in the morning after spending the night drinking. He presses the wrong button on the elevator and ends up on the 35th floor, three floors below his home. He finds the door is unlocked and enters: The man who lives in the flat wakes up to find him asleep on the kitchen floor, and calls the police. More than 20 police officers in six police vans, and a patrol dog, arrive on the scene before the misunderstanding is cleared up.
Illustrations: Ryan Chan