We explore Kowloon, a section of town across some body of water from
Hong Kong Island, today. There are markets of a wide variety, most
interestingly the fish market and the bird market. Both are what
you'd expect: wide varieties of the critters offered for pets on sale
from little shops. The old men at the bird market treat their little
avians like children: they bring them here to walk in their cages and
hang next to other birdies to socialize.
Not as fun is looking at sinks. Or, more specifically, the consequences. I'm intrigued at a model that's one vertical pipe, with a controlling knob on top and water tap on the front. Touching it, I find the whole pipe turns. I unscrew it, and clunk: the entire column falls right off. And chip: there's a noticeable chip in the porcelain or whatever that the base is made of.
Stupidly, Amanda and I continue looking instead of immediately leaving. This gives critically bad time to the shopkeepers to think of a response, nix that, and instead call the store's owner to ask what to do. Next thing I know, some little Asian guy's rushing after us as we start to walk away, telling us not to leave.
On the phone with the owner, he's quick to threaten calling the police when I won't buy the sink, I think for HK$700 (~$110). This is sufficiently weird and I'm not the only one involved, so I'm unsure how to go with this. I deny/downplay the damage, say we may return later to buy a sink, pretend not to understand his English, and even offer to pay a few bucks, but all are to no avail. He wants me to pay HK$200 (~$30) or wait for him and the police to get there, so I shout back that he can take $100 and we leave or I'll call the police myself. The fucker calls my bluff; worrying about how long this will take and potential hassle for Amanda's parents, we settle on HK$150 (~$23). I throw the bills in a sink, take a business card, and storm out. We vow to take the empty but vaguely satisfying step of complaining to the Hong Kong Tourism Board while brainstorming how we could get a cop to come with us and get our cas back. All in all, it was enough excitement that the HK$150 was almost well spent:)