It was 6:13pm on my cellphone clock when Brad, a good friend of mine who is in HK for business, called. I was in Central, doing my errands.
"Dinner at 8:30?" he asked. Well, more of demanded confirmation.
How the hell could I have forgotten? Damn! "I'm just doing my errands, I'll be done by then. So yes, dinner at 8:30. But nothing fancy, ok? I'm in a tank top and cargos. And trainers! But if you insist on a fancy dinner, I'll just go and get some really nice shirt."
"Cool. Find yourself a nice shirt then meet me at Bo Innovation. 8:30. See you, buddy!"
Wait, Brad! I was kidding when I said that I will go and get some really nice shirt! "Ok. See you. Bye!"
A little short of an hour later, I had everything I went to Central for. Time to decide where to get a nice but inexpensive shirt for dinner. I walked down Li Yuen Street, and as soon as I reached Queen's Road Central, a red and black logo greeted me:
But that's where the problem begins. They're so affordable and stylish, they're just too available for everyone. Nothing wrong with that, I agree. I just don't like it when I see somebody on the street wearing the same outfit that I am wearing. I do have H&M stuff, I just don't wear them where I'm very likely to see another being that would look like my fashion clone. And that's basically EVERYWHERE in HK.
At that moment, though, I thought.. what the heck! I just needed something I would look presentable in at 8:30.
So I walked in the store and headed straight to the basement --- the men's section. I saw a really nice white pin-striped dress shirt with a nicely standing collar and tuxedo sleeves. Very clean-looking. I could wear it with light denim jeans (which I intended to get there too), and my trainers. Presentably casual. Cool.
As I was heading to where the jeans were stacked, I saw the shirt that I was holding on the mannequin. No. Not the "shirt du jour'. So i searched and found another shirt. Very simple. Very basic. It could be anything other than H&M. Black, cotton, slim fit shirt. I tried it on. Perfect. So then, what to look for next? Simple dress pants with a nice silhouette. Found them instantly. Grayish-brown, slim cut, flat-front, 98% cotton, 2% spandex, with sublte plaid prints. Elegant-looking, flattering and again, nothing extraordinary. It could be anything.
I was already in the queue to the cashier when I realized I needed shoes to go with them. Size 44. Black. Leather boots. All set!
By 7:40, I was in the public toilet off Hollywood Road, just a few steps away from Volume, getting changed.
I walked down Hollywood Road through Wyndham Street and found no one dressed the same way I was. Whew! Well, somebody must've seen me and said, "I have those too!" I don't care. I finished my emergency shopping without the slightest bit of stress I thought would have.
It was about 8:20. I was climbing the tall, steep concrete staircase to Lower Albert Road when I realized I didn't get a belt. And my shirt was freakin tucked!