China

'Starbucks uncle' captures Hong Kong hearts during flooding

Starbucks HK Image copyright Facebook: TV MOST
Image caption Think you love Starbucks coffee? Probably not as much as this guy

Heavy rains brought flooding to parts of Hong Kong this week, but that was not enough to stop one elderly man from enjoying his newspaper and coffee.

A photo showing the old man sitting unaffected in a flooded Starbucks outlet in Chai Wan district went viral after TV Most shared it on their Facebook page.

A caption in Chinese on their post read: "Huh? The newspaper said that it would be raining today! But I forgot to bring my umbrella."

The sentiment resonated with Facebook users also tackling the floods, generating more than 18,000 reactions and 1,500 comments.

Image copyright EPA
Image caption Heavy rain has recently battered Hong Kong and the wet weather looks set to get worse

The moment was captured by Kristy Chan, a 23-year-old medical worker.

She told the BBC she was taking photos to show her family how bad the floods were, and came across the man, seated near the entrance to a mall.

"Of course I didn't expect it would go viral," Ms Chan said, adding that there were actually many people seated inside the cafe.

"It was quite funny. Maybe he already has that many life experiences so the flood didn't bother him at all."

Image copyright AP
Image caption A similar viral story saw this woman in Taiwan, enjoying her pork bun despite Typhoon Megi, celebrated as a hero

Along with the witty dialogue, the Hong Kong news site also encouraged people to send in their comments and Photoshop designs.

Excited and amused Hong Kongers also shared its picture more than 2,000 times.

"For the price of a Starbucks coffee, you can also experience what it's like to be in Venice," joked Facebook user James Chan in Hong Kong.

Another said: "See, it's just rain - nothing to fear. I'm not ever going to panic about floods again. Just chill like him."

Image copyright Facebook: Apple Cheung
Image caption Other Facebook users were amused by reaction of the Starbucks baristas

Flooding of biblical proportions, according to Dennis Ng who shared an image of Moses parting the red sea.

Talk surrounding the picture also spread to mainland China, where amused netizens on popular Chinese micro-blogging site Weibo shared their comments.

"Rain rain go away, this old grandfather can't have his coffee another day," wrote Weibo user Sze Yun.

"This is a reflection of current Hong Kongers - pretending nothing happens in front of a disaster," said Weibo user Xiaoneng Qijiuxi.

Let the Photoshop battle begin

But the best reaction came from Hong Kong netizens, who excitedly showed off their Photoshop skills by re-imagining the elderly coffee lover in hilarious situations.

Some examples included comparisons to the sinking of the Titanic, a tidal wave and a nuclear explosion. Even Jaws made an appearance.

We'll leave it here.

Image copyright TV MOST/Kristy Chan
Image caption We'll call this piece of art 'Old Man and the Sea'
Image copyright TV MOST
Image copyright Facebook: Tony Man
Image caption Life's a beach
Image copyright Facebook: Tsz Him Ko
Image caption But whatever you do, don't go in the water!

Reporting by the BBC's Grace Tsoi and Yashan Zhao in Hong Kong and Heather Chen in Singapore.

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