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 Kerosene burners in old Hong Kong!

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davo
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PostSubject: Kerosene burners in old Hong Kong!   Thu Mar 16, 2017 10:41 pm

I once lived in old Hong Kong [as opposed to New HK back in Chinese hands – well it was always in Chinese hands really the brits just thought they owned it – but as Ronny Corbet would say ‘I digress’]
 
We had arrived in a September to start a new job and life for a few years and been warned that HK winters can get cold. We discovered in our large 3000 sq ft flat that we only had one heater – a three bar electric for the entire flat including three bedrooms!
 
Having played with fire in UK we decided to look around for a paraffin heater [ a largish one that would be transportable around the flat?] and found a nice red one [red being auspiciously lucky in China]
 
In all the excitement of acquiring our new heater I had forgotten to ask about fuel ie paraffin and as my Cantonese language was no existent then wouldn’t have managed to anyway. No problems thought I as we already had a car and I could  pop down to my friendly garage and get some paraffin. After much sign language negotiation it became quite clear that they did not sell paraffin – litres and litres of petrol but no paraffin. I scratched my head and admitting defeat had to reluctantly approach my workplace Chinese colleagues and ask cap in hand – “where can I get some paraffin from?” – “ why of course you get it from any rice selling shop in town” – well who had thout it as thee seez up north”
 
Yes I know someone is going to ask me – but to this day I do know why they sold paraffin in rice shops – something to do with cooking rice on paraffin stoves maybe?
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Goldie
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PostSubject: Re: Kerosene burners in old Hong Kong!   Fri Mar 17, 2017 12:27 am

Ha ha great story.

When we were in India not the Raj times. Our taxi driver stopped at  a food store.  There were all these bottles of what I thought was corn oil. Same containers.  He brought a few and  I said for you wife to cook.

No he said petrol for the taxi  teacup
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davo
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PostSubject: Re: Kerosene burners in old Hong Kong!   Fri Mar 17, 2017 4:09 am

unfortunately many locals used kerosene burners in their small  illegal wooden huts perched precariously [or is that precariously perched?] on the HK hillsides with dire results - whole villages caught alight and people ran for their lives!
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Goldie
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PostSubject: Re: Kerosene burners in old Hong Kong!   Fri Mar 17, 2017 8:42 am

Oh my word. I can remember back in the sixties aged 7. We had a paraffin heater.

Being a curious 7 year old and finding matches decided to try light the heater. Not only did the heater fall over the matches caught a light too. My mothers cool calm reaction was to get us all out. The fire brigade managed to put out the fire luckily. It was scary how fast that fuel crept.

I did find it rather unfair I was sent to my room for the next fifty years. Mum never let me forget the day I nearly wiped us all out. My brothers on the other hand got away Scott free with just points and giggles. They are there too shy
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