Hong Kong Sedan Chair Race 2010 (Photo: @ken8303)
An 86-year-old woman who once carried sedan chairs for Hong Kong’s rich and powerful has spoken to the South China Morning Post about her experiences, and “stingy” politician’s wives.
“I carried the governor’s wife,” Chim, 86, nicknamed “Auntie Bao”, said. “But she was stingy. Nightclub dancers were the best.”
Chim became a sedan carrier in her early 20s and continued until the early 1970s, by which time proper roads were paved and the area became accessible by car. Two women carried one chair back then, sharing the fare and tips.
“Many tycoon mistresses from Macau were my frequent customers. They were nice and would buy me almond biscuits from Macau,” she said.
The nightclub dancers were the biggest tippers – up to HK$20 a trip. “Sometimes people used to fight because they were unhappy about their customers being taken. Then we would ask the monastery’s monks to rule for us,” she recalled.
Though Chim can’t remember which governor it was whose wife she carried, according to the SCMP it was most likely William Peel’s (Governor of Hong Kong from 1930-35). Mrs Peel was apparently a lousy tipper.
Chim was speaking to the paper in part to promote the annual Hong Kong Sedan Chair Race which takes place this Sunday.
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