The Hong Kong gossip rags’ obsessive watch over the contents of Carina Lau’s (劉嘉玲) uterus continued unabated over the Lunar New Year holiday. The actress was spotted carrying two big shopping bags from children’s clothing stores, including Baby Dior, and stopping at a bookstore to look for parenting manuals and children’s picture books.
Singtao Daily (星島日報) wondered if Lau was building a layette for her future spawn, even though it appears that her superstar husband Tony Leung (梁朝偉) has yet to impregnate her. The newspaper speculated hopefully that Lau was indulging her baby fever — but pragmatically admitted that she might have been buying holiday presents for the two young daughters of her best friend, fellow Hong Kong star Faye Wong (王菲).
Also getting her bump watched over the holidays, but for completely different reasons, was Golden Horse-winning actress Loletta Lee (李麗珍, also known as Rachel Lee), who in the 1990s was dubbed the “sex goddess of Hong Kong cinema” because of her penchant for disrobing on-screen.
But now the 44-year-old actress’s taut hourglass figure has allegedly become so distorted by the ravages of age that it makes one want to cry, sighs Oriental Sunday (東方新地). Lee was spotted on the street by a photographer, looking so frumpy in a sweater and horn-rimmed glasses that it made the magazine nostalgic for her naked past.
Unflattering sweater aside, Pop Stop thinks Lee looked just fine in the paparazzi shots (if a little annoyed). There is no reason to make the woman neurotic about her weight.
Speaking of neurosis, Taiwanese pop singer and heartthrob Jam Hsiao (蕭敬騰) had the unfortunate experience of discovering his latent claustrophobia during a recent flight to the US. Hsiao, who the press dubbed the “New King” after just three appearances on One Million Star (超級星光大道) propelled him to pop fame, was traveling to Los Angeles to take voice classes.
On previous flights in economy class, Hsiao would settle in and go straight to sleep, his manager told reporters, but on this flight he had upgraded to pricier seats that give each passenger a small, private cabin of space — and as a result became anxious and fidgety. A full-scale panic attack was averted, however, by a mid-flight showing of Mamma Mia.
Call us cynical, but Pop Stop thinks that the only reason his manager gave the public a glimpse into Hsiao’s newly-uncovered phobia is to make the famously bashful singer seem even more cuddly to his legions of female fans, who no doubt have plenty of ideas about how they would calm the tall, chisel-jawed, raven-locked crooner the next time he finds himself stuck in a tight, secluded space.
Also feeling the squeeze, but financially speaking, is Taiwanese actress Shu Qi (舒淇). The plush-lipped vixen told Xinhua News Agency (新華通訊社) that she has cut her wage demands by 30 percent in response to the dearth of offers since the global economic crisis hit. Some of Shu’s peers are following suit, including Hong Kong actress and singer Josie Ho (何超儀), who disclosed that her earnings for her last job consisted of a hong bao with a token amount tucked inside. But Ho may not have to tighten her purse strings as much as other starlets — her daddy is casino magnate and billionaire Stanley Ho (何鴻燊).
The credit crunch has forced consumers all around the world to cut back on
luxuries and instead find pleasure in simple things, including, it would appear, Mando-pop singer Fish Leong (梁靜茹). The Malaysian songstress was spotted by our sister newspaper, the Liberty Times (自由時報), when she went out for a sushi lunch in Xinyi District with her
paramour, the press shy, bespectacled gentleman known to gossip rags as
At one point during the meal, the Liberty Times’ intrepid spy saw Leong excitedly hand a tissue to her beau and exclaim, “I got this pack of really nice tissues, they are beyond soft. See for yourself.” The smitten Tony plucked the delicate sheet from Leong’s slender fingers and tenderly dabbed his mouth with it before going back to making goo-goo eyes at his ladylove. Simple pleasures, indeed.
Scott Saulters wasn’t sure if his film had just taken one of the two top prizes at a recent film competition. Although Saulters has been in Taiwan for 15 years and is proficient in Mandarin, the award ceremony for the inaugural “Bi Tian Iann” (眯電影) short film contest was conducted entirely in Hoklo (also known as Taiwanese), a language he can’t speak. “I thought I heard it, but I didn’t want to look too excited,” he says. Despite his limited command of the tongue, Saulter’s entry, Wu Yu Tzu (烏魚子, mullet roe), took first place in the amateur category of the
The Taiwan of yesteryear was dominated in whole or in part by the Dutch, Spanish, Qing Empire and Japanese. But is the Taiwanese name for a popular edible fish derived from the Portuguese language? Cheng Wei-chung (鄭維中), an associate research fellow at Academia Sinica’s Institute of Taiwan History, says yes. The fish in question is the narrow-barred Spanish mackerel, which was listed in early 18th century Qing local gazetteers as Taiwanese specialities alongside milk fish and mullet, according to Cheng’s paper, “Mullet, narrow-barred Spanish mackerel and milkfish: Multiple contextual developments of three certified seafood specilaities in Taiwan, from the
I didn’t expect to spend more than three minutes out of my car, yet the sun was so brutal I put on my hat before approaching the seawall. Beimen (北門) is the flattest and most sun-baked part of Tainan. It lacks trees and people. In wintertime, the weather is often delightful. It wasn’t yet mid-morning in the hot season, however, and I felt like a leaf shriveling in the desert. Atop the seawall but facing inland, I could see dozens of the rectangular ponds which account for a significant percentage of Beimen’s “land” area. Some, no doubt, were dug to produce
In the regular drumbeat of arrests of alleged Chinese spies, one case last month stood out. It did not involve the US or another rival of China, but Russia, whose security services accused a prominent arctic scientist of selling classified data on technologies for detecting submarines. Meanwhile a court in Kazakhstan in October convicted the Central Asia nation’s preeminent China specialist of espionage, a move widely interpreted at the time as a warning against increased meddling by the superpower next door. Both men maintain their innocence and if China is spying on Russia, Moscow is surely doing the same. Even so, the fact