Hong fun in the summer Kong-shine!

12 Jul

lionsAs someone who has a love-hate relationship with sport, love it when we win, inconsolable when we don’t, last weekend could have gone down as one of the worst since Newcastle “blew” the Premier League lead in ’96. As it happened, it was one of the best. A scintillating 10 minute period from the Lions which routed the Oz-tralians was followed by even greater heroics as Andy Murray reclaimed his British credentials from the claws of Alex Salmond and gave a nation even more to cheer about.

Watching it all soaked in cider and sweat from my Hong Kong home has made the whole thing seem slightly unreal, although at least we’re spared blanket coverage and Sue friggin’ Barker here. In fact, witnessing the demolition of the Wallabies was all the sweeter from the grand colonial setting of the Foreign Correspondent’s Club in Central. Sipping Tsingtao with my fellow gin-soaked members – whose faces were about the shade of a Lion’s jersey – was particularly satisfying come the final whistle. I can say in all honesty that the “whingeing” moniker is ironically enough 100% more appropriate when applied to our Antipodean cousins – as a nation possibly the world’s worst sporting losers.

So that’s the start of summer then. All here are hugely looking forward to morphing into an unwrung sponge after just a few steps out of the door. As indeed are we to spotting the hordes of teenaged Hong Kong girls – and indeed middle aged women with teenaged girls’ bodies – dressed in hot pants so short  it really does make Wan Chai a confusing place after a couple of sherbets.

There’s honestly not much to do here until September. In a week or so China’s government will pretty much shut down for the summer and Party cadres and their families across the Middle Kingdom will pack up their Louis Vuitton luggage and primary colour clothes and head to Europe or the US on luxury holidays most Chinese can only dream of. They will behave appallingly but spend an obscene amount of (probably) illegally acquired money, thus making them at once both indispensable to the tourist industry of these foreign lands and utterly hated throughout the world.

In the meantime, I for one intend fully to spend my summer afternoons at the beach, my weekends gorging on dim sum and the rest of the time jumping off boats into sea the temperature of warm milk. Oh yeah, and my evenings agonising over the Ashes, having one too many and being bundled onto some concrete by some twat. Probably Australian.

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