I love the concept of the little black dress. In fact, as most of my friends will tell you my wardrobe is full of little black dresses. Black is practical and chic, and anything in black can take you from morning to evening effortlessly. Black clothes are also great for traveling. So this is a story about a cash windfall and shopping in Hong Kong. And how I ended up buying a little black dress in Hong Kong.
CASH WINDFALL IN MACAU
One Friday night in April, in Hong Kong living a #Travelife, Mr. X returned three hours earlier than expected from three days of business meetings in Macau. He decided to take a quick helicopter ride from Macau, across the New Territories and Victoria Harbour, to Central.
“Couldn’t be bothered to wait for the ferry,” he said, when I saw him at the hotel, meaning he didn’t want to wait for the hovercraft from Macau. Fair enough. And the three hours gave us a bit of time before dinner to walk around IFC Mall adjacent to our hotel. We just walked around, shopping for nothing in particular.
Neither of us is a big shopper, you see. And shopping malls in Hong Kong that are full of brand names you can find everywhere hold almost no allure for me unless they’re on sale. The idea of shopping for a little black dress was the farthest thing on my mind. But it was nice just to walk around and observe everything, and see what was new in the Hong Kong stores.
Hong Kong stores have become such an enigma ever since they began catering to the mainland Chinese market. I find the designs and colors have all changed, to catch the eyes of the mainland Chinese shoppers. And prices in Hong Kong are pretty expensive, too. Then Mr XX suddenly said, out of the blue: “Let’s each buy something we like.“
I looked at him with a perplexed expression, trying to decide whether he was stating the obvious, teasing me, or suggesting something extraordinary. The IFC Mall is Hong Kong’s retail mecca, after all, and, yes, I could probably find a hundred things to buy in an afternoon if I really tried.
A WINDFALL AT THE CASINO
Sensing my confusion, he explained with a smile: “I had to go to the casino with some people last night, and I ended up at the blackjack table.”
Looking very pleased with himself, he continued: “I actually won a bit of money, so I thought we’d split it between us for a little treat.”How nice of him to give me half. And I can’t tell you how much he’d won at blackjack, except to say that the amount was somewhere between “decent” and “something to write home about.”
Straightaway, we went to Christian Louboutin’s display at Lane Crawford, obviously to find something for me. I only wear Louboutin and a few other French shoe designers for heeled shoes. Compared to other designers, I think the French designers understand the need for glamour and comfort in the same shoe, without looking silly.
Unfortunately, as this was the Christian Louboutin store in Hong Kong, all they had were shoes with incredibly high heels for partying, rather than the more reasonable lower heels I like.
So I ended up not choosing any shoes from Christian Louboutin. Then for some reason, we forgot about looking for something to buy after that, as it was almost time for dinner, and we had a reservation at one of Hong Kong’s best restaurants that night. It has three Michelin stars, and I’ve liked it since the day it first opened. So this was long before the Michelin Guide put it on the map.
NO SHOPPING EXCEPT FOR GREEN COKE
In the end, after that long weekend in Hong Kong, living a #Travelife, I ended up buying absolutely nothing except a couple of cans of green Coke at City Super. This is Coke made with Stevia , and it was just launched in certain cities, including in Hong Kong.
Then, the next time I remembered my little cash windfall from Mr. X was at Hong Kong airport a few days later. I was walking around the airport, killing time before my flight to Koh Samui on Bangkok Airways. After Hong Kong, I’d booked a week at the Absolute Sanctuary detox spa in Koh Samui, you see. So it was one holiday after another.
BUYING A LITTLE BLACK DRESS
This was when I spotted the kind of little black dress I like at one of the Duty Free shops at Hong Kong Airport. It was classic and comfortable, but with an unusual twist. The type of little black dress you can wear all the way from a 10 AM meeting to a smart lunch to a cocktail party and then a stylish dinner.
Of course, I bought it with a bit of the cash windfall still in my pocket, as a little black dress you really love is so hard to find. And so useful in a never-ending #Travelife.