Now I'm back on Devonian soil and my blog homepage has purged itself of Chinese symbols it seems appropriate to cobble together a series of observations/remarks from the past 5 weeks and try and pass them off as a blog post. I'll probably spin it out into a two parter.
As all the lovies know, it's always good to start by thanking a few people. Rupert did a grand job of organising the whole trip, and Sweir's local knowledge and Uni friends made for a great time in Hong Kong. I think that's a syccophantic as I want to get, although special thanks must also go to Mongy for ensuring that we never got lost, and keeping the rowdier elements of the group in check with a stoic head shake and "Boys, boys boys" combination!
Whilst initially we found Australians to be rather impolite and not great company, we were lucky enough to meet Rupert's father's colleague, Shane, who reversed the damage done by his compatriots. The trip along the Great Ocean drive was undoubtedly one of the highlights of the holiday, the 7% homebrew and farmweigh caps certainly added to the ambience.
More comical moments from Australia included Rupert's $100 steak dinner being interrupted by some muggins from England calling him up and trying to offer him a job. Amused me as we credit card rouletted the bill. A separate dining experience involved Toby Lewis demolishing a plate of ribs, I really think it could go down as performance art, the blood/sweat/juice emulsion around his face, smeared by the odd arbitrary wipe of a napkin truly was a sight to behold.
Every trip organised by Rupert has a soundtrack, this year Andy Tokyo had to yeild supremacy to Lady Gaga, although there was some consistency, with "Black eyed Peas" retaining their position as a firm favourite., "Bad Romance" became somewhat of an anthem, although Rupert's experience of rooming with Keys gave him leeway evaluate the pros and cons of "Tonight's going to be a good night". Other chit chat included a homage to Neil Channing and "marvellous", references to Dizzee rascal's "S'up darling" whilst"Nobody, nobody but you (ad nauseam)" was reserved for serenading taxi drivers. Keys and Rupert also exchanged some really good "Office" related quotes, it's been ages since I've seen it and I definitely think I should reacquaint myself with this masterpiece soon.
The cabbies we experienced have earnt a paragraph of their own. Our Australian experience drew to a close with outrather animated Indian chap shouting at the top of his voice "This is F***ing Bullshit man" as we declined his ride to the airport due to him lacking enough space for our luggage. As a whole, the Aussie cab drivers were all Indian, they seemed to be much less integrated into soceity than in Britain, barely bothering to talk to clients and generally just being rather introverted/disinterested. There was an exception though, who was very good value and was chatting to us about Indian culture/religion etc, so it was good to finally get some interaction going. Lily Allen later informed us that there's actually a pretty big problem with racial tension in Australia, which we were all unaware of before visiting. They have coined the term "curry bashing" to describe it, incidentally we later managed to convince some American girls in Hong Kong, that this was a national sport in Australia.
In Hong Kong the drivers were all together more animated. On discovering we were English they would invariably start gabbling "David Beckham" whilst smiling broadly, all except the driver who seemed to have a penchant for shouting "Harry Potter" before bursting into fits of uncontrollable laughter. Mongy's sign language skills were not wasted, as he managed to coax one chap to "drift" around corners and roundabouts, the car wasn't rear wheel drive, so the handbrake was utilised, it was certainly an experience being sat in the back after a few beers for that trip.
On the first day in Hong Kong we saw a film about the "Number one witty Asian Gambler" which was Cantonese but with English subtitles. It seemed like a bit of a laugh, will probably try and find a copy from somewhere...Whilst the gamblers in Macau were of course predominantly Asian, wittiiness did not seem to be a trait that they were endowed with an abundance of, needless to say, we still managed to drop a load of cash there. Rupert, however, chopped a tournament, which was mainly notable for a rather witty, affable Asian chap. He informed Rupert that he should be referred to as Master Wong, we all enjoyed shouting that from the rail; nearly as much as we enjoyed his fistpumps, interjected by an apology to the guy he eliminated, followed by a cursory celebratory bang of the table. Master Wong, we salute you.