Tag Archives: junk trips

The best of times: bai bai Hong Kong

2 May

HK night viewRight, that’s it. I’ve had a jolly nice time in Hong Kong over the past two years but, just like Fat Pang, I must now make like a pot of Jasmine tea and leave. Hopefully my departure from this Special Administrative Region of China will be a tad smoother and less tear-sodden than that of the British colonialists who bid bai bai 17 years ago. It’ll certainly be less controversial:

Now I’ve read some pretty self-indulgent “leaving China” twaddle from various flacks and hacks since I’ve been here and I have no desire to add to it. So instead here’s an easy-to-digest list of highs and lows.

Love it when you move in and it seems so QUIET!

Hate it when your upstairs neighbour turns out to be a 15 year old girl who spends her evenings screaming at her family. Every freaking night. Oh, and now the bulldozers have started. Brilliant.

Love the MTR – anywhere in Hong Kong for around a quid.

Hate getting stuck behind someone standing on the escalator (wrong side) watching TV on their phone.

Love listening to my neighbours have extravagant noisy sex at 3am; hate it when she leaves at 3.05 with a packed bag and tears in her eyes. She just did that by the way. Poor girl.

Hate it when it looks like you’ll be late for an important meeting because there are no fucking seats on the mini bus.

Love it when, yup, you always get one and actually make it with several minutes to spare.

Hate it when you meet a lovely bunch of people a few weeks before the big off

Nah, there’s no positive here, unless they turn out to be annoying cunts

Hate not being able to see as far as Kowloon on what should be a normal, sunny day. Cheers Shenzhen, you dirty bugger.

Love being able to hike up the peak from my door in just 40 minutes.

Hate not being able to do it for three months straight because it’s still bloody raining.

Hate standing on Wyndham Street with generic house music raping my ears.

Love bunker rave-in-a-cave parties. Shhhhh.

Love  no frills Cantonese food at dirt cheap prices

Hate Greek restaurants serving pasta, Thai tapas and everything else in Soho. Oh and when that local family run Canto joint is forced to close and gets replaced by a poncy jewelry shop.

Hate being cooped up in my tiny flat with the mould and mosquitos.

Love jumping off a boat into sea as warm as bath water. With a Tsingtao in my hand. And a slice of lemon drizzle cake.

HK night view

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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.