Sunday, September 07, 2003

Winnie Yeung was crowned Miss Hong Kong in 1995 and in April this year, she married son of racehorse trainer Wong Tang Ping - Simon Wong Shui Fan and successfully entered the high society, much to the envy of many other girls.

Many young girls see the beauty pageant as a stepping stone to enter showbusiness, find a rich man and live out the rest of their lives in luxury. Winnie is a successful example, having established an acting and hosting career before marrying a rich man with a beautiful love story and she must be congratulated.

Since she was two years old, Winnie had emigrated to America with her family and in 1995, she returned to Hong Kong so her Chinese is only so so, not even understanding the term 'to catch a golden turtle' (marry a rich man) or 'marrying into a rich gate' (entering high society). She says: "I don't know what 'rich gate' means, after getting married, life has not changed a lot, we are an ordinary family and not at all like those shown on TV with the golden staircases in the luxury home. We have three dogs and a cat, so we can't live with my in-laws, but they only live a few streets away and we go back there for dinner every week."

From entering the contest, dating to getting married, Winnie has never thought about the matter of a rich life, she feels that entering the contest was not about meeting rich men, but her relationship with Simon was a destiny arranged by the heavens. She says: "Simon and I were introduced by friends, not as complex as you think, many people have have different incomes and ages can be happy together, the poor can be happy with vacations in Macau or Ocean Park, they don't need to tour the world, they can have chicken soup instead of chicken sharks fin! If your target is to find a 'golden turtle' then you are wasting your life, to have a challenge and fulfilment every day is the road to a great life. Especially as women nowadays have their own career and ambtitions, this business is too much fun, with fresh experiences every day, so I will not be leaving showbiz and I have a goal to write my own book."

Time really flies and Winnie has been married for four months already, with their dogs, cat and maid, the seven have got used to each other. For example, Winnie and Simon like their computer games so often fight over the games - so why can't they both play? Winnie smiles and says: "It's my fault, when I lose I will get mad, men like to play racing games but my reactions aren't quick enough and always lose to him. So I said to him, let me win sometimes to make me happy, so sometimes he will do this for me!"

Basically, Winnie has very similar interests to Simon, not going out clubbing, open minded about eating. Simon likes home cooking and they both like to drink soup, especially chicken sharks fin soup and rice. The chicken soup sharks fin that Winnie talks of is not hard to make, the ingredients are a skinned chicken, frozen sharks fin, cockles and abalone, also add some Kam Wah ham. Usually Winnie will make a big pan and together with a steamed fish dish and some vegetables and this is a substantial meal, Winnie's mouth starts to water just talking about it!

As well as holding onto Simon with her soup, Winnie's strength is ironing shirts. As her parents have a laundry, Winnie has helped her mother out since she was young to earn some pocket money and in time, she has become an ironing expert and can iron a shirt in 30 seconds, two shirts a minute, now that is pretty fast, maybe she should demonstrate this at a charity show!

In Simon's eyes, Winnie is a thrifty wife and although she has married into a rich family, she does not yearn for designer labels or jewellery, the places where she goes are the bookshop, supermarket and pet shop and is very careful with money and even her husband cannot help but ask her: "Why don't you go shopping?" Winnie laughs: "He encourages me to go shopping! He has a lot of clothes already, just in shoes, he has over sixty pairs, together with my sixty pairs makes a house full of shoes so we ordered a special shoe rack. When I buy things, I go for the design, although I don't intentionally go for the labels, but you pay for the quality and the labels do have better quality and last longer. I spend the most money on shoes, bags and dogfood, 500 dollars for a bag of dogfood only lasts for a little over a week, at this rate how can I afford to retire?"

When will she be having a baby? Have the in-laws rushed you? She replies: "Not at all, my husband says that we will have kids when I am ready." Winnie has made an arrangement with her husband that for now they will enjoy their couple's paradise, maybe in two or three years time when they are ready then they will embark on this 'Big Project'.


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