Sunday 19 June 2011

Egg Tart Etiquette

Yup, Chris Patten is not Chinese

And yes, Wang Guangya is definitely not British

Reference: It's years since Patten's day but egg tarts are still a treat (SCMP; paywall)
HKMAO chief evokes memories of the last colonial governor with a sweet-toothed trip to Tin Shui Wai
Martin Cheung
Jun 15, 2011

They say a week is a long time in politics, in which case 18 years must be an eternity.

That is the time that has elapsed between the arrival in the city of two senior political figures who could not be more different.

In Hong Kong politics though, some things never change - egg tarts.

Yesterday, Beijing's top man on Hong Kong affairs, Wang Guangya , went on a walkabout at a Tin Shui Wai market, immediately evoking memories of Hong Kong's last colonial governor, Chris Patten.

During his tenure, Patten was affectionately known as fei pang or "fatty Patten", largely due to his love of Hong Kong's famed artery-choking tarts.

The man who occupied Wang's position as director of the State Council's Hong Kong and Macau Affairs Office at that time took a slightly less charitable view of London's last man in Hong Kong.

Depending which version of history you believe, Patten's nemesis at the time, Lu Ping , egged on by state media, variously tagged the governor a "prostitute", "a sinner of 1,000 years" and a "tango dancer" for what they saw as his controversial democratic reforms.

This time round, Beijing's man had no such niceties to deal with. Democratic reforms were the last thing on his public agenda.

Indeed, accompanied by Secretary for Transport and Housing, Eva Cheng, his visit was welcomed by Wong Loi Hei, a resident on Tin Yan Estate, who said: "I'm really excited. I woke up at six this morning just to make myself ready." Wang also made a lasting impression on Siu Ping, the owner of a food stall. Siu said: "He seems like a very nice guy. It was a pleasure to meet him."

Others were less impressed. One meat stall owner said: "If he really cared, he should have asked whether we were leading hard lives, instead of asking where my meat was from"

After leaving the market, Wang looked at an empty 400 square foot flat on Ching Hoi Estate before arriving in Sha Tin to see the new headquarters building of rural affairs body the Heung Yee Kuk.

He was greeted and shown around by kuk chairman Lau Wong-fat.

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