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Friday, July 27, 2007

One Man's Meat (Vegetarians Beware)

Fresh Meat Seized at Border

More than 24kg (53lb) of illegal fresh meat was seized at the Man Kam To border checkpoint in the past two days. Customs found 10.7kg (23.5lb) of chicken, 6.4kg (14lb) of mutton and 5kg (11lb) of pork in a mainland woman's baggage at 11:30pm in the arrival hall. Also, a Hong Kong woman was intercepted with 1.3kg (2.8lb) of pork and 700gm (1.5lb) of chicken on Monday.

When I read this little snippet in the paper the other day, all I could think of was how hot it is here right now. We're talking 36C+ (97F+) and hotter in some parts, especially the enclosed immigration areas at the border. Actually, if you take the heat index (combining temperature and humidity to give an approximation of how hot it 'feels' due to the inability for the body to cool itself down by perspiring), it's way up at 61C (143F). Something tells me that meat isn't going to be fresh for long. It IS an indication, however, of the cost of fresh or chilled meat here, and the efforts to which some people will go to reduce their grocery bills. It's really quite astronomical when you venture beyond the 'produce of China' label.

While the mainland woman was clearly transporting enough to supply a market stall, the other woman was, I suspect, just bringing home dinner.

That's a picture of a local meat market. It hangs in the open, in the heat, helped along by big hot lights. You select your choice of cut and it's placed on an old wooden block, cleaned only by a casual wipe of a dirty cloth (clearly visible at the bottom of the picture, centre). The cleaver gets the same cleansing treatment from one use to the other. Local 'flavour' to be sure.

Now, I do love me a good piece of steak, cooked medium rare, but suffice to say I eat only meat imported from the US, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Brazil, Argentina, etc. I avoid anything local or from the mainland and you can probably understand why.

Warning(s) in Force


The Very Hot Weather Warning is now in force.

The Hong Kong Observatory is forecasting very hot weather
in Hong Kong tomorrow. The risk of heatstroke is high.
When engaged in outdoor work or activities, do drink plenty
of water and avoid over exertion. If not feeling well, take
a rest in the shade or cooler place as soon as possible.

People staying indoors without air-conditioning should keep
windows open as far as possible to ensure that there is
adequate ventilation.
The Hong Kong Observatory advises that prolonged exposure
under sunlight is to be avoided. Loose clothing, suitable
hats and UV-absorbing sunglasses can reduce the chance of
sunburn by solar ultraviolet radiation.
Swimmers and those taking part in outdoor activities should
use a sunscreen lotion of SPF 15 or above, and should
re-apply it frequently.


Guess who's not going to venture far from the air-con today!!


Sunny Delight said...

OK, if I ever make it to Hong Kong, I will most definitely ask the origin of my meat...

*Makes note regarding the way Ms. Fi likes her steak, when she joins me for an outdoor bbq here* *VBS*

Fusion said...

Yuk, and Duh!

Hmmm, say that three times fast! heh heh

D said...

Wish we had the weather for a BBQ here the rest of Europe is having a heatwave and we are being flooded - typical. Fiona at least next year the place your hopefully going to will be less humid.

Fiona said...

Sunny....I always knew you were a wise woman. YES!!! Fire up that barbie!!

Fusion....I don't know if you realise that you sound very Welsh there *L*

D - Don't ya just love a barbie though! In a way I'll miss the humidity, it has been a very good friend to my face, has kept me looking younger than my years ;)

Trueself said...

I knew there was a good reason that I became a vegetarian!

Miranda said...

ewww gross.

Yeah we're having unusual heat this summer....:( and it's supposed to rain in texas all weekend. UGHS.

Princess of the Universe said...

I actually don't have the words to tell you just how disturbing I found this post to be...

just a thought said...

you're going somewhere? are you moving?

freebird said...


Oh, and moisturise, Fi, moisturise. (or you'll end up a wrinkled prune like me!)

anna said...

And I've been complaining because it's been 38C with the humidex factor.

Thanks for the warming. I'll definitely be staying away from local meat if I ever visit that part of the world.

Sally-Sal said...


LePhare said...

Reminds me of an old chopping board my grandmother used. Everything was done on this board with only the occasional wipe from a dishcloth that contained God know what. We all lived to tell the tale.

Fiona said...

TS - I could NEVER be a vegetarian, I love meat too much ;)

Miranda - I'll have my fingers crossed for sunny skies. Though rain does have some benefits, like keeping one indoors ;)

Princess - This is just how it is here, I grew up with it. I've seen much much worse mind you, I guess you don't want to hear about the yak market in Lhasa? :)

Justathought - uh huh :)

FB - that's why I love/hate the humidity, it does keep one's skin moist. Believe it or not I hardly use ANYTHING on my face except for cold water. I buy stuff and just don't use it. I know I'll pay for it one of these days :)

Anna - I'm about done with summer now, 130+ days under siege with the extreme heat warning is enough!!

Sally - LOL you can get me to laugh with one word!! You're a meat-lover too, I take it ;)

Ian - I think it helps us to build a certain resistance. I've eaten at street stalls here all my life without any problem. I still wouldn't opt to eat meat that's hanging out there in this heat though. Oh a little story about chopping boards. In Tenerife in the supermarkets, they are almost anal about touching the fruit and veg. You have to wear gloves and all that. But go to the meat counter and look at the chopping area and it's like whoah!!! Pretty much like the market here. Strange double standards!


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