Posted by: Sam Olsen | September 12, 2011

Mac ‘n’ Rach

First weekend in the new flat, and Tessie moved in on Friday afternoon. Lawrence and I came back early (from the club, and work, respectively). Sam was busy at another all-afternoon lunching and drinking session and only resurfaced later loitering outside Prada. An unlikely location for a high-street-label Brit who’s been on the sauce all day. (Oi! It was only half a day. – Ed)

Lawrence had chicken stirfry for tea and I headed back down (and indeed it is down from up here on 22nd) to meet Sam as we had a date to go to a concert across in the HK Cultural Centre. We had planned to eat out, and I was particularly peckish having only had a salad for lunch (the locals in my office are really freaked out by this Friday-salad thing, simply eating alone at one’s desk on a Friday is bad enough, let alone rabbit food as well). But traffic was terrible and my usual 5 minute commute became 30. So, our lovely evening out commenced with a MacDonalds. Really yummy!! The concert was Rachmaninov, which was good since it was not sufficiently rousing in the first half to actually wake Sam up. The audience was a real mix. Middle-class-middle-aged westerners like the majority of theatre-goers in the UK. A lot of local HKers, teenagers through to OAPs. A lot of blokes looking like they were trying to impress the stunning girls they were with. The orchestra was the HK Philarmonic, which was very good. The concentration of Asians in the string section was noticeable. Hardly a blond hair to be seen. And yet the rest of the orchestra was a real mix. 

The rest of the weekend has been spent pottering gently, and watching the rugby. We met up with Hannah B’s pals on Saturday afternoon which merged into evening and dinner sitting in the ‘terrace garden’ of a local thai/vietnamese restaurant. Despite the temperatures slowly dropping here, (now about 27 as I type at 8pm), it was the dining equivalent of being inside a tank as I am sure Sam will attest. We were the recipients of all the extractor fans and a/c units for about three other restaurants and I ended up feeling like a battered soft shell crab. Finally the sweaty meal was over and they took us to see a little more of HK’s bohemian nightlife. We tried The Feather Boa (HK’s equivalent to Chumley’s in NY – no nameplate, velvet curtains, only those in the know know apparently), but full to the brim, so ended up at a little jazz bar on Peel Street with about 30 customers and a group of VERY cool dudes jamming away. Felt odd to be here, it was such a contrast to the rest of the city. 

Today we were all exhausted due to Lawrence getting up at 6am AGAIN and having only gone to bed after midnight. I was terribly homesick too, took a trip to Ikea (trying to exorcise wishing for England by thinking about the North Circular), but that didn’t work.  Sam tried to comfort me by suggesting to my wails of “I want to be cold and somewhere green” that I find a large fridge and some green paint.  But instead I went for a trot along the Bowen Path, a paved but pedestrianised path that is flat and runs from Robinson Road, just about, to Happy Valley.  And indeed, felt a lot happier! 

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