29th April.

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April 29th 2006
Published: May 13th 2006
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The hammering club treated me to a dawn chorus of their collective talents, followed by fifteen minute instrumentals on the angle grinder to mark 8:30 and 9am. I’m awake now. As it’s my last full day in Hong Kong, I go for a walk around the city, buying last minute items that are considerably cheaper than home. I have dinner with Arthur and Rose again, a fantastic multinational buffet with curry, dim sum, pasta and sushi. Here I manage my greatest culinary gaffe of the trip. Having avoided using the wrong chopsticks and managed not to eat from the ashtray thus far, I spy bananas and custard and take a mansize serving. It transpires that the custard was pancake mix, which explains the odd look from the serving waiter who watched me from behind the counter. Shame really, in retrospect banana pancakes would have been quite nice.

After lunch Arthur shows me an underground car park where one of the residents has a passion for exotic cars. With all the number plates bearing 8882, there is a Mini Cooper, three RangeRovers, six Ferraris, several Porsches and two Lamborghinis. All are black, with black wheels and black tinted windows - it’s an impressive selection.

In the evening we head back to Lan Kwai Fong, the centre of town for alcohol and seemingly the epicentre of ex-pat nightlife. There’s a live band bashing out mispronounced lock and hole hits from the 1990s, but there’s a good beat and people are (crammed together in a tiny hot space and) dancing like fools. Afterwards we endure the compulsory rudeness and offishness to get into an ‘exclusive’ members-only club to drink on a 3rd storey balcony with a group of Australians from Corporate Express. The backdrop of sky-scrapers appears to go to their heads and, as they order two litres of vodka and make progress towards consuming the lot, I decide it’s time for bed in order that I don’t miss my plane tomorrow. Today’s tune can only be from the enduring memory of the barman headbanging and screaming the words to Bon Jovi’s ‘It’s my wife’.


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