Have you ever ordered an ice cream, and upon receiving it been shocked and horrified by the meager quantity given to you, despite the exorbitant pricing of the establishment in question???

If so, come the Hong Kong!!!

Okay, so what am I talking about? I'm talking about an HK phenomenon, that I may or may not have started. When I first got to Hong Kong, I passed by a gelato shop in Tuen Mun Town Centre, a shopping mall near my school. I was exactly the prey they were hunting for! I paid about 35HKD for a cup of chocolate gelato, a very very very high price by HK standards. As a comparison, I spend about 18 for my lunch every day - rice/noodles, meat smothered in something, and a drink of some sort usually. A large portion. So yeah, this was some pricey ice cream. Anyway, when I received it, the cup was only partially full. The lady behind the counter could easily have squeezed more into it if she tried. I was feeling... rebellious you might say, so I cheekily asked her in Cantonese, "Haw mh haw yi doh di, mh goi?" meaning, "May I have some more please?". And at the time I failed to make the 'Oliver' connection, but looking back its hard to miss. Anyway, she was so charmed to hear a Caucasian speaking Cantonese (she started giggling as soon as I opened my mouth), she gladly filled my cup to the brim! It was then that my epiphany took place: asking for more ice cream actually works!

But that was just the beginning. It was as if I had cracked a hole in Hong Kong's ice cream infrastructure. The next ice cream I got, which was from McDonalds, also came about 3/4 as tightly packed as it could have been. Well, I got that fixed pretty quickly with my same line! And the pattern continues to this day. Every time I consume ice cream, I ask for more. And every time, it works! Even though some of the ice-cream shop employees do it begrudgingly (mostly the males, not as easily charmed), they all give in in the end. Its a flawless tactic. And its not just me anymore. Many other exchange students here have begun doing the same thing after I informed them of its possibility of working. I just love thinking about the amounts of 'extra' ice cream being doled out due to my dissatisfaction one day and the ensuing request.


Now, I've never thought of trying this in the US, but somehow I think I would just get a cold stare rather than some cold ice cream. Also, I don't even know if it works for Chinese people in Hong Kong, it could just be that the clerks are so stunned to hear a whitey speaking their language that they relent to my demand whilst in a state shock. But, nonetheless, it works for me, and that's all that matters.

Ben









Comments (1)

On March 10, 2010 at 9:47 AM , Leon said...

Ben,

Have you forgotten that when ice cream is served in the US there is no space available for more.