afternoon sunlight, central, hk

Walked the hills of Central today. Remembered that afternoon sunlight does all sorts of good. Thought that narrow streets and winding hills ameliorate the effects of looming skyscrapers. Enjoyed.

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Fake currency update

In the interest of science (of course!), i’ve been trying to collect fake currency from various shopkeepers and friends and have been relatively unsuccessful. no one admits to having any counterfit bills to give me. the taxi drivers have been particularly vehement in denying their involvement with fakes.

three possible explanations. either (1) i come off as some kind of spy and no one trusts me; (2) there really isn’t as much fake currency out there as the signs and gossip would have it, or (3) all of the above.

a close friend did pull a fake ten out of her cash register for me, explaining, “the new help can’t tell the difference between real and fake currency.”

joys of field research!

Fake currency for true


Lately, I’ve noticed spray-painted advertisements for fake currency. Also, public opinion now holds that one should only give a taxi driver as close to exact change as possible, since handing over a 100 rmb note will usually result in a portion of fake change. I have been specially warned by concerned friends because I fit the profile of the forgers’ mark – foreign and travels between Shenzhen and Hong Kong. Indeed, forgers approach taxi drivers who are waiting to pick-up fares at the Huanggang border.

According to friends, the forgers can afford to be so blatent because the police have neither the time nor the inclination to take care of something that marks should be able to handle themselves. They point to cashiers, shopkeepers, and tellers as examples of people who check to see if a bill is genuine before accepting it. Ordinary people, they say, must take the same precautions.