The Picture In Mong Kok

First (teeny) assignment with Talent100. We are to meet at 12 noon at the Mong Kok MTR Customer Service area.

Strategy: a. Cab from home to Admiralty and then 4 stops down the red Tsuen Wan line.

b. Bestbehavior,bestbehavior,bestbehavior.

1. Bring Rockstar home from Hong Kong Park at 10.20 am, feed him, put on a bit more makeup, pack 2 extra tops in case they don’t like the bright green “adrenaline is legal” Lake Wanaka Skydive t-shirt I’m wearing with heavily studded and destroyed black jeans. (Instruction and follow up reminder were “wear something casual and ‘sharp,’” ie bright - colored, my "handler" explains.)

2. What if they complain about my makeup? Bring my Big, or rather, Only 4 (concealer, gloss, eye pencil, blush). Oh wait I don’t own a makeup pouch. I never carry makeup around. Empty contents of travelling medicine pouch from Melbourne trip onto bathroom counter.

3. Hang on, it’s a cell phone ad – back in the house to put on 2 large rings, idly realize my nails are un-manicured (as usual – what’s the point, with Rockstar and JD, so I only do pedis. I have no explanation why I haven't done facials in more than 3 years).

Leave home. At – 11.30 am!!

Shit. I’m late.

Freak out.

Freak out.

All the time in the cab, freak out.

Read Talent100 Rules & Regulations.

Freak out.

“Never provide suggestions (??!!) til after the shoot.” ??!!


Freak out.

Bus ad next to my cab at the light. "We Teach With Heart."

Wonder if we ever do bus ads like that one?

Oh wait, those are actual tuition teachers.

You have to be good looking to be a tuition teacher? CNN published an article some time back about the pull of attractive tuition teachers on Hongkie teenagers – not a must, but of course the kids will tell their parents they want to go to the cool teacher’s class.

Rockstar’s future tutor better not look like a hussy.

Freak out.

Freak out.

Kings texts a "good luck". And why don’t you tell the cabbie to drop you directly in front of MTR? (Because I usually don't)

Run run run run run.

Oh, United Center. Isn’t there good dim sum in here on the 4th or 5th floor?

Run run run run run.

Cannot believe my luck. The train's just arriving. Zero waiting time.

Ta-daa! Right on time! Mong Kok Customer Service!

Where is everybody?

Call my handler. "One stop away". Oh, yay. I am model model wannabe.

Then she calls me back. "Where are you?"

How come everyone knew to wait at the other Mong Kok Customer Service counter?

There are 4 of us - a student, an IT sales manager, me and one more guy, plus our handler/coordinator. Which is when I realise how freaking bad my street Cantonese is (I could mostly get by at work with Cang-lish but out of the work context, I can't hold a conversation.)

When I tell the others I'm Malaysian and lost, they are so. nice. I like them so much I wish I could communicate that to them without coming across as a total flake. But they're really nice. Is it Be Kind To Flakes Week in Hong Kong?

AND - now it's time for the Great Mong Kok Tour!

We exit the station.... Can I get into trouble for taking all these random pictures, is some auntie on the street going to scold me? "Of course not" (joking) Can I get kidnapped and sold into slavery? "You have to scream real loud if that happens"
WHA-AT!! Serious?? "Well, I had my cell phone cut out of my bag several times around here" "Mong Kok has the highest density of people of anywhere in Hong Kong. Also tourists. Tourists carry lotsa cash on them. Hence this place also attracts thieves."

We enter a veritable maze of phone shops and wind our way around display window after display window. By now I've been completely lost for some time. We meet the photog somewhere deep in Cellphone Land. Then we're led off one by one to different areas like the one above where they snap pictures of us individually holding the iPhone 4.

I'm instructed to smile. And DONT block the product.


Photog: "Smile more. More. Mo-oore."


It's over in like, 10 minutes. At least it felt like it. I want a rematch. Are they gonna photoshop my wrinkles out? I don't get to ask. In fact the photog says nothing more to us (that I notice). And of course we don't get to see our pics. We're briskly ushered out to the final location, outside a Broadway, so the photog can snap one of the guys outside.

Another rushed conversation between handler/coordinator and photog and co. Then she calls over to us "issue out 31 Aug"

We troop back to the MTR...

We're walking so fast I didn't even see the hourly hotel signs til I uploaded the pic from my cellphone.

I mention I dropped HKD 5,160 cos my agent wants some professional shots taken

Someone remarks "I spent much more"

"Oh, and did you go for the Beginner's Course?"

What course, there's a Beginner's Course??

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About Aileen

I blog about living and raising my son in Hong Kong - where toddlers have entrance interviews, parents keep test score spreadsheets, private school debentures can trade for more than half a million USD. Raising Rockstar's the most important thing I'll ever do. We show our true colors by the choices we make in bringing up our children. My blog is a message to my toddler son, about what the world and his parents are like today - for when he becomes a teenager and knows everything.
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