Po-ta-toes

Just a note here first in response to Stacey’s post about gratitude for the SOLSC writing community. As a new SOLS-er myself, I wanted to say that I wholeheartedly agree that there is much to be thankful for with this community. Although I’ve only posted a couple of SOLS, I was amazed by the welcome and comments I received, right from the very first post — so much so that I’ve been feeling very guilty for the past couple of weeks for not posting, reading and commenting diligently while I was on vacation. Vacation is good for the soul, but I must say there’s nothing like the warm, honest and reflective SOLS of this community that motivate me to write in my day-to-day. So, THANK YOU.

Hong Kong loves that it’s been featured in films ranging from The World of Suzie Wong to Batman and Tomb Raider. One of the top stories of the past couple of weeks has been the filming of the newest Transformers movie here, especially after there was an attempted extortion attempt against director Michael Bay and the filming of some explosions outside the government headquarters, which created a unique backdrop for local protests nearby. Messages and photos have also been circulating among my girlfriends of Mark Wahlberg sightings around town — much to the excitement of those involved and to the envy of those stuck at home or out of town…

I had my own run-in with Transformers filming at the Graham Street wet market while doing some weekend shopping. After poking around at the fishmonger’s, I found myself perusing some vegetable stalls when the lane was blocked off for some “street market” scenes. Shoppers and other curious passersby gathered to watch Hollywood at work. The scene itself, however, was rather unremarkable — no fighting, no chasing, no famous stars even. Just a few people dressed in suits and others as locals (including a girl in a school uniform) doing numerous re-takes of walking up and down the lane.

While the crowd watched and waited, mostly trying not to get in the way, my attention was drawn to a waving arm in my peripheral vision. I turned to see a Western woman.

“I found them!” she shouted to her husband. “They’re over there!” She pointed to a stall in the midst of the filming.

As the crew shouted “CUT!” once again, she tried to get the attention of the stall owner, who was busy playing for the cameras.

“Po-ta-toes! I just want some po-ta-toes!” Waving and gesturing did no good. The stall owner was focused on the task he’d been given.

Finally, one of the crew members helping with crowd control recognised her plea and called the Mrs. of the stall over, who was more than happy to make the potato sale–Hollywood filming or not. “Anything else?” The woman shook her head, but there was visible relief on her face at having finally acquired what she needed, and she rushed off into the crowd.

Yes, surely, the movie “needs” to get made, but some people need their potatoes!

Read more stories from the weekly Slice of Life Story Challenge

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