Thursday, September 30, 2010

Business as usual

Yesterday I journeyed over to Kowloon - The Dark Side of Hong Kong. Although the Hong Kong government is doing its best to tear down everything built over ten years ago, some vestiges of the chaotic, Chinese, non-shiny city remain.

Including the Lucky Brothel. Apparently the cheapest whore is a mainlander - they go for 200 HKD (I assume by the hour?) - but the prices go all the way up to 500 HKD for a blonde. I'm seriously thinking of bleaching my hair and moving in - I'm too lazy to get a real job.

Also still standing is Hong Kong's oldest housing estate, built sometime in the 50s. Residents were recently forced to move out and the government says it's preserving the building to serve as a museum. But we know how that goes. There'll be a Gucci at ground-level within a year.

The only good thing about all the work being done in the area? The workers. The beautiful, beautiful workers. So all the gweilos who are afraid to leave Central? Fine. More for me.

(Photo by Cecilie Gamst Berg. You should check out her blog - it's way more interesting than mine.)

Monday, September 20, 2010

When it rains, it pours.

So today I'm sitting at home in the office getting some work done (i.e. chatting on Facebook and listening to music) when I get a call from Kelly - he's at the doctor and he needs me to come there NOW. So I bust ass down the escalator to Queens Road, run up to the doctor, and find Kelly moaning and writhing in pain - they think he has kidney stones and needs to go to the hospital. He's in too much pain to walk, so the ambulance comes and they load him into a stretcher and off we go (I got to ride in the back of the ambulance! And not as the patient! A first!).*

At the hospital, they won't even let him out of the lobby until I shell out 6,000 HKD. While I'm dealing with that, I hear Kelly say that he's going to vomit. I have never seen people move so fast. Immediately, the three EMTs scatter in different directions yelling LEI YAO MO DOYA?!!!! (do you have a bag?). Kelly vomits from the pain just as I finish the transaction, and he's wheeled into an extremely beige ward housing seven other men in varying stages of, well, death.

Kelly continues to writhe and sweat and moan and beg for painkillers, repeatedly pushing the nurse call button, until someone finally comes and says, "painness?" After several emphatic yesses he gets a shot in the ass and calms down. The doctor comes to see him and says he'll have to stay overnight, but he's not allowed any food because "you'll just vomit from the pain when you pass the stone." Spreading cheer all around, these Hong Kong doctors.

I get kicked out at 9 p.m., but not before I realize that I've left my umbrella in the ambulance. And it's a typhoon signal three. That means it's raining really, really, REALLY hard. So I walk. And get wet. Very, very wet. Wet in my soul. So wet, in fact, (and this is the saddest part of the story) that when I stop to buy beer the store owner won't let me in his shop. Effing Shakespeare couldn't write tragedy like this.**

* The best part - the ambulance driver's cell went off on the way to the hospital. The ring tone? "Had a Bad Day."

** Of course I just came home, dried off, and went back to the store. Because there's no way I'm NOT drinking after that.

Buffalo and beer. And more beer.

Saturday was hot and humid, as usual, so the only thing to do was head out to Lantau Island for an evening on Ah-Sin's rooftop garden. Because if you're not going to be in the air conditioning, you might as well be sweating profusely in lovely surroundings. So we bought some beer, got the ferry to Mui Wo, and were walking the beach by six p.m.

Waiting for the ferry, wilting in the heat:

Pui O beach:

After a walk on the beach it was back to the roof for beer and cards and more beer. And dancing. And minor skirmishes over music selection. And then some beer. View from the roof:

And the only photo from the evening that's suitable for general consumption, me shuffling cards:

The next morning (after a brief GarageBand tutorial) it was off to yam cha and then to Wan Chai for a disappointingly-attended pro-Canto rally.

And now I'm back in the air con. Thank god.


Bonus photo:

Cute puppies cure hangovers.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Shenzhen again again

It'd been over a month since I'd stepped through the looking glass into the mainland, so Saturday morning I kissed Kelly goodbye, grabbed my toothbrush and a change of underwear, and hopped on a train to Shenzhen.

After checking into the Shenzhen Railway Station Hotel, which conforms to the great Chinese tradition of having a window into the bathroom (WTF?)

we went for Sichuan food...

...and tried to get the attention of the cute construction workers outside the window.

They wouldn't quit work and come play cho die di with us (their loss) so we cleared out and went for foot massages. This place is especially exciting because you get to see photos of all of the potential masseurs on a computer touchscreen and choose the one you want. We chose the two cutest guys and settled in for some pain. Now here's the thing - when you get a foot massage it covers your feet and calves, but there's usually something "extra" thrown in - sometimes they rub your neck, sometimes they pull your arms until your torso twists 220 degrees and you think your back will break... but this time, it was the butt punch. My guy pushed my leg up until my knee was touching my nose, then just started punching me in the butt. Hard. A lot. After I stopped giggling, I realized, "damn, this feels pretty good....", but by then it was over. Sadly.

And then it was time for the True Colours Club. And the other True Colours club, across town. And I'm not entirely sure what happened, but here's my video footage. Please admire my drunken camera work:

A few hours of sleep and back up the next day for yam cha:

then the train home. Like nothing ever happened...

Thursday, September 9, 2010

More Paris

Okay, finally back in Hong Kong. I'm really not sure what to say about Paris, except this:

And this:

Oh yeah - and this: