Tuesday, June 1, 2010

The natives are friendly

So what are the Mui Wo people like, those who know we are moving there want to know. Are they friendly? Are they all fun-loving hippies like those in Lamma or burnt-out city dwellers who all "freelance" (translated: jobless and need a cheap place to live)?

Well, if you look at some websites, you'd think the place is a centre of debauchery where people drink their pensions and get up to all sorts of village politics.

A post in one chat stated: "Mui Wo is one of the Lost worlds, it seems in this lost world, there is an amount of these lost people, maintaining their drag life by doing the odd bit of TVB or commercials, for a few dollars.

"There is also your local gweilo triads, who would as sooner look at you as beat you up. I am sure there is a few nice people around there, but its not the nice people we need to put up with, its the not so nice ones. I wouldn't live there."

Another agreed: "I don't get along with European expats, so I would not enjoy living there. I do remember seeing many of them sitting around the waterfront drinking beer. I thought they were disgusting, and give a bad image to the Chinese. So I would skip the place."

It's enough to put you off Mui Wo for good.

But actually, what attracted us to the place was its small-town friendliness. In one of our early trips there in winter, we got accosted by a guy in a fur coat, asking: "Are you mad?" Oh dear, was my immediate thought. The folks here must be mad, going around asking others if they are mad. Then we realised what he was saying. We'd just come from a trek from Discovery Bay and were in short sleeves when the temperature was 8 Celsius. He was just making conversation with us -- something we city dwellers weren't used to.

When we were looking for a place to buy in November, we took a walk around the area to see if we could live in Mui Wo. We hadn't got beyond the Toilet Bar (more on that later) when we were hailed by two total strangers. Victor and Mark were having an afternoon drink at the bar. "Come and stop a while, let me get you guys something," said Victor. We stayed for an hour, chatting, and when we left, my husband turned to me and said: "You know, I could live here."

Since then, we have had lots of casual conversations with strangers in town. It must be the laidback atmosphere, making people more inclined to take time out for a chat.

Or maybe it's the offer of beer by the waterfront. We must go check that out.


  1. eh, what happened to mi6 ah por? she got wind that i uncovered her identity and scooted, izzit???

  2. Still there. I bought long beans and a hand grenade from her yesterday.

  3. yeah, heard she gets fresh supplies daily. her greens are suspect, though.