Another weakened weekend in Hong Kong

We got in late on Friday and had a couple of beers, and so on Saturday I revelled in the fact that I could sleep in past 9am, uninterrupted by children clambering into bed to demand cuddles/poke me in the eye with their diminutive fists. Hong Kong had been in the grip of a heatwave (33° temperatures) but that broke earlier this week and now it was overcast and rainy.

Of course, nobody adjusts their air con settings in light of this, so the dim sum joint we went to in Wan Chai was absolutely baltic, and no matter how much tea you drink you’re still shivering. I ate deep fried tofu, rice, and not much else, and after a few hours stumbled back out to the street.

The street in question, Hennessy Road, has a strange combination of bathroom furniture shops, 7-11s, upmarket restaurants, down-market restaurants, offices, bars full of hookers and bars for men to get alcoholically lubricated in before they hit the hooker bars. Oh, and some coffee shops.

As we walked past one of the lubrication stations (Devil’s Advocate or The Old China Hand or The Dirty Old Man or Adam Smith’s Wandering Invisible Hand) a man leaned from his barstool, whole torso cantilevering into the street, and echoed what may have been an ancient ethnic curse at me. Or he was telling me I’d dropped a diamond ring on the street. Or he just wanted to say “guuaarraaahfaaarahhahhaaaagagath”. We carried on.

That out of the way, we ended up in a strange pedestrianised area off Queens Road, with a twenty foot-circumference balloon with the surface of the moon printed on it, a pop up ice cream shop, and a Japanese-Brazilian restaurant, which sounds bizarre until you remember there’s lots of Japanese people in Brazil. They also had a Yayoi Kazama pumpkin upstairs, so it was like we’d never left Singapore.

We ate. We drank. We went into Central and ate some more, we met friends with a baby and went to a rooftop bar to drink more beer, then we got a taxi to Kennedy Town where we enraged our driver by not having an encyclopedic knowledge of every one-way street on the island, got a beer at the Little Creatures brewery, then got another taxi back to Wan Chai and went to The Optimist, a ridiculous tapas/not-tapas-but-it’s-all-small-plates-of-food joint where I drank whisky (improbable, but put it in a pear-flavoured drink with lots of sugar and I’m anyone’s) and that was the next four hours, after which my legs were ruined from sitting down for so long.

I’d write in more detail about the food, but after the burrata and the croquettes and the cheese and the bread and more cheese and the apple tart and the flan and the deconstructed cheesecake and the booze it all blurs together. We rolled out about 11, then went for more drinks in Wan Chai and I concocted a business plan to get rich off marketing honey to over-masculine men. And so to bed.

One response to “Another weakened weekend in Hong Kong”

  1. Actually doesn’t sound like a bad weekend. I can confirm that when the World Cup was in Japan in 2002 I went into an Izakaya on my own in the lunch break (actually I bribed a student’s mum not to take their kid in that day so i’d be free), and watched England v Brazil. But I was the only Gaijin wearing an England T-shirt, in fact I was the only non-Japanese there. There was about a 7 of them in a corner, mostly wearing Brazil shirts. So Imagine my joy when Michael Owen scored the first goal, and I was jumping around like a lunatic on my own, whilst stoney-faced men very silently probably planned on how they were going to disembowel me later. But of course .. the most ridiculous/amazing free kick in the history of football happened and Dave Seaman was chipped from more-or-less the half-way line from this Ronaldinho character. Then these previously stoney-faced, super serious Nipponese fellas, were suddenly howling and laughing and smirking and going a little bit ape. England lost, obviously, to the eventual tournament winners, and I was back at the school, slightly drunk feeling despondent … and I had to do a sing-a-long lesson with several genki 5-year-olds next. Football, beer and kids … not a good combo.

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