My first professional writing job was for The STAR newspaper in Hong Kong, and I got the job through being interviewed about fashion by their fashion editor San Liao. She told me in passing that the paper was looking for someone to write a column about music and I think I said ‘yes’ before she had even finished her sentence. It was a very strange environment, especially for a young and naive son of Swedish missionaries. San was the ultimate ‘dragon lady’, with the foulest temper I have ever experienced. She could swear like a trouper in several different languages, with her Cantonese cursewords as colourful as any triad street fighter’s! Our little fashion interview was interrupted several times as she shouted at photographers who had failed to get the shots she wanted from some fashion show or other. usually the problem was that there was no flash of knickers or no boobs showing….something which I soon learned The STAR’s sub-editors, editor and owner, Graeme Jenkins, required.