'Starbucks uncle' becomes unlikely social media sensation during Hong Kong floods

An elderly man in Hong Kong has become an Internet sensation after this photo of him enjoying his coffee in a flood was uploaded on Facebook. PHOTO: TV MOST/ FACEBOOK

An elderly man in Hong Kong, reading his newspaper nonchalantly in a flooded Hong Kong Starbucks cafe, has become the latest hit on social media.

Hong Kong was pounded by heavy rains this week, bringing floods to parts of the island. However, this old man remained unperturbed and continued to enjoy his newspaper and coffee in the Chai Wan district outlet.

A photo of the scene has turned viral after Hong Kong news site TV Most shared it on their Facebook page, reported the BBC.

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

The post has since received more than 19,000 reactions and 2,500 shares by bemused netizens.

The shot was submitted by medical worker Kristy Chan, 23. She told the BBC she was taking photos to show her family how bad the floods were when she came across the man seated near the entrance to a mall.

"Of course I didn't expect it would go viral," Ms Chan said. She added 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."

TV Most encouraged the buzz by suggesting people send in their comments and Photoshop edits of the picture, according to the BBC.

"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.

The old man was also a source of inspiration for others. Another user commented: "See, it's just rain - nothing to fear. I'm not ever going to panic about floods again. Just chill like him."

Hong Kongers sent in their best Photoshop depictions of the man keeping his cool in different disaster scenarios, to hilarious effect.

A reader photoshopped the image to depict a scene in movie Jaws. PHOTO: TV MOST/ FACEBOOK
A reader edited the photo to depict the man by a raging sea. PHOTO: TV MOST/ FACEBOOK

The incident is reminiscent of the viral shot of a woman in Taiwan enjoying her pork bun in the midst of Typhoon Megi in September. The two are perhaps unsung heroes who are examples of keeping calm in a literal storm.

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