Posted by: Sam Olsen | August 14, 2011

Lack of Press Freedom

We are in China after all. Woke up this morning with a mild hangover and feeling very happy after our great night out with new friends at Bistrot Manchu and then a place called Carousel which brought to mind cheap beach holidays in Ibiza or Greek Islands. Anyway, with news to share I made for the laptop to log on and broadcast.  But STOP! I have been informed that we are not to blog on a Sunday! (The day of rest? Not in Lawrence’s book). Given that I am at work for five days of the week and would of course not contemplate wasting the bank’s time on this, I have a brief window on a Saturday to put pen to paper. If I feel so inclined and can get my post in before my blogging colleagues.  So, as many of my fellow residents do, I shall politely ignore the recently imposed rules and regulations and carry on as before the British handover.  

Yesterday was a great day all in all. We have signed the contract on the flat on Robinson Road (although still waiting to see the Landlord’s signature and ‘company chop’ later. Could write a whole post about Chops here in HK). We then went for afternoon tea and a walk with some friends of Lawrence. Up from the midlevels via Hatton Road we soon reached a very steep path in a positively tropical jungly area which set my mind at rest about living in the centre of town; greenery was abundant. 

Later on we headed up into Soho to meet our new pals. The whole place is buzzing, it feels like a safe and friendly version of a British seaside resort (Daily Mail alert  -sorry). Drinks aren’t cheap, but that doesn’t stop everyone knocking them back. You can find a Happy Hour just about any hour, some from 5pm-8pm, then starting again at 10pm. The crowd is completely multi-cultural, lots of tanned expats, holidaymakers, local Chinese and all just enjoying not being at work. It was not so long ago that HK offices wound down the work on a Saturday morning and some poor folks are still expected to work at this time, rather like at English public schools. 

We had a great Chinese meal although a bit short on carbs given the amount of white wine we put away.  Then it was off to Carousel, where the proprietress approached me looking a bit gruff. I thought she was going to ID me. No such luck, just asking what I’d like to drink. Everything is so easy here, no fighting to get to the bar, or a seat, she shunted us on to some recently vacated bar stools on the pavement outside. Sam encountered one of his new friends inside who was dancing with a girl wearing only a pair of coconut shells as a bikini top “You can knock if you like” she invited. Of course he did. Kind of glad to have the babysitter as an excuse to get home. I can see how people end up staying out till 5am regularly (yes, I really can!!).

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