I think it is safe to say that everybody who works or has worked in Baskets Galore cannot shut it out of their minds for long. Lynne and Andrea are pretty notorious for checking their work emails almost every opportunity they could get when they’re abroad, Roma and Victoria worry about whether baskets get delivered or not and I worry about numbers, figures and tax submission deadlines.
This summer holiday though, I had everything number and tax-wise completed before hopping on the plane, so there wasn't any work worries for me… except trying to take a picture of the lovely birthday cakes in the fantastic bakeries of Hong Kong. There I was, in the sweltering heat and trying to take a picture of a lovely Black Forest gateaux and thinking ‘Wouldn't it be nice if we could include these in our baskets?’ when suddenly my camera was blocked by the hand of one very displeased bakery employee. Whoops!
Apparently, the boom of sharing pictures online meant you are no longer allowed to take a picture of the cakes in the bakery, because a lot of the eager snappers out there only take the pic then leave without buying anything. So it’s rather understandable why every bakery store is now armed with ‘No Photography’ signs.
Undeterred by the flashy new warning signs, I was determined to get at least one bakery snap for work as potential research of different kinds of baked goods in our baskets. Turns out buying an item in the bakery doesn't mean you have permission to photograph in there either – it matters not whether it was your own cupcake you’re trying to take a picture of or not. No photography meant NO photography.
I tried sneaking a shot from my bag or from hiding behind my dad but the employees practically stalked me from the moment I step foot in the store to the moment I stepped out. In fact, I could still feel their eyes on me as I strolled away casually. It made me wonder if I have some neon sign above my head that caught their attention so quickly.
On my final day and at my wits’ end, I went with my last resort: I persuaded my brother to distract an employee with meaningless babble then quickly took a selfie of myself outside the shop, angling the camera as best as I could to include the baked goods display.
I only managed to snap two shots before the other employee spotted me and I was soon approached like I just burnt her whole display instead of taking a lovely picture. My brother, of course, ditched me faster than I could get my phone back in my bag. Somehow or other, I managed to emerge intact by pretending I did not know the faintest inkling of Chinese and by putting on my best clueless face before walking away without breaking into a nervous sweat.
To summarise, Hong Kong was delightful and I think I might be banned from one of its bakeries for the immediate future. It’s probably a good thing that the cakes in our new birthday baskets are so happy to have their pictures taken.