Saturday, March 31, 2007

Done with no fun

All done now. Have to get packed up and on the way home. Weather today is lousy so I canxed my trip up to Seoul and have been vegetating in front of the TV. My suitcase is staring at me demanding to be packed. I don't feel well and I'm hungry.

Situation normal.

Meanwhile, in Hong Kong its that time of year again, when hordes of expats converge on the city and on Wanchai. And for the 5 th year in a row, I am not there. Must be the order of the universe or something. Hemlock describes the carnage:

As I understand it, the sensible, seasoned Rugby Sevens aficionado will pace himself. The first pitcher of beer will go down in sips from noon to 1.30pm. The next goes down a bit faster, and so on, until by the last game at 8.00pm he has forgotten how many he has had but can still, just, walk. This is where the real fun starts. Because within stumbling distance of the stadium there will be free busses to Lan Kwai Fong, supplied by the considerate business association centred in that neighbourhood. After pouring out of these vehicles the fans will be in the bar district, where waitresses will be manning kegs set up on the sidewalk. According to Kevin the Australian barman in the pub, a large proportion of these highly inebriated customers will not leave until well into the small hours. He doubts he will be closing until 5am. And these extremely merry ale guzzlers will not just go through this tonight. They will do the same tomorrow and on Sunday. Kevin expects each night’s takings to be two to three times those of a normal Saturday.

Those with a taste for greater carnage will make their way to Wanchai, where Mainland and Thai hookers lie in wait. Some Sevens attendees will emerge with five-figure credit card bills they can’t remember signing for. Others will simply come out of it with no credit cards – the plastic will have been put through one last mega-transaction in an all-night jewellery store. Some of the ladies of the night specialize in peering over the shoulder of drunk male clients as they punch their PIN number into an ATM and memorizing the number without writing it down for however long it takes to go to a cheap hotel, put baby to sleep and sneak out with his wallet. My idea of fun is to observe the battlefield after the smoke has cleared and the gore dribbled into the gutter. A stroll down Lockhart Road at 7am on Sunday is my idea of rich Rugby Sevens entertainment. One year, as the sun was rising, I found wild American friend Odell seated on his backside on the pavement outside the flea-ridden den known as the Old China Hand. He was just conscious and complaining in a loud slur about a Filipino thug who had marched him to the door and shoved him in the chest after the ex-Mormon had poured a beer over a waitress he considered to be insufficiently attentive to customers. Sitting on the concrete, he pulled his phone out. “I’m gonna… fucking… call the police,” he blurted, trying to focus on the keypad and stabbing it with a finger. “Fuck…” He dropped the phone and glowered into space. “Battery’s out…” Now I think about it, I look forward to this time of year as much as anyone.

Sigh. Maybe next year!


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