Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Hong Kong Arrival

Hong Kong is the perfect place to find yourself deaf and disoriented after thirteen hours folded into an airplane seat. It is one of those rare Asian cities in which the buildings are so tall and closely gathered around the streets and the heat so oppressive that when night falls it feels as though you are perpetually indoors. The mix of the ant-anxiety drugs and jet lag coupled with my deafness and the towering neon blurring in the humid air lent the city a disarming softness. I arrived in my room just in time to catch the laser light show which now plays every night at 8 pm across the skyline and is choreogrpahed to a kitchy radio broadcast of big band music and tales of old Hong Kong. I was too hungry to sleep so after depositing my bag I made my way back onto the street and followed the crowds through corridors of Indian teenagers whispering "Pills sir, Hashish sir" and around groups of Germans sweating, nervously clumped around the crosswalks and Subway openings. Eventually I found a suitable looking Cantonese restaurant. It was packed and bright white, gleaming under florescent light bulbs. A little man in a tuxedo shirt pulled a microphone from the ceiling and like a boxing referee announced my arrival over a loud speaker at which point I was shown to a sparkling table in the corner. I ordered a beer, a plate of chili shrimps and some fried rice with finger nail sized salty fish. The plasma screen tv was playing a Korean soap opera I used to follow when I lived in Beijing and sometime in the middle of sipping my slushy ice cold beer and sucking the chili paste out of a shrimp head it struck me that this was maybe the most content I had ever been.

Sitting across from me were two men, one quite old and the other young and muscular, who were dressed like criminal golfers from the future or like villains in old Kung Fu movies. The old one was dressed in matching flowing peach colored pink striped pants and shirt , a white straw newsie hat and tiny blue tinted perfectly circular sun glasses. He was wearing at least eight huge gold and diamond rings and unless I am much mistaken around his neck suspended on a thick gold chain was a porcelain cameo of Mary Shelly. His companion was wearing leather pants, bright red patent leather shoes, a white muscle shirt made to look as if it was splattered in blood and another white newsie hat. There was something stupid seeming about the young one but the old man seemed dainty, at once comical and diabolical. After their meal I watched as the Old man tipped two pink pills out of a gold pill case and passed one to his companion as if it were an after-dinner mint. I spent a long time at the restaurant drinking tea and reading the first hundred pages of The Quiet American. After I left my legs still hurt from the plane ride so I made my way a few miles down Nathan Road across Kowloon to the Temple night market . I pulled up a plastic stool at an outdoor seafood restaurant and had another beer while I picked my teeth and watched the tourists. Soon, realizing how exhausted I was I dragged myself half asleep back to the YMCA and to bed.
Well I'll Keep you posted. Much Love to all my boys and their boys.
Sloppy Kisses,

No comments: