Friday, December 22, 2006

Hong Kong - Home Dec 19th - 22nd '06


That's it. It's all over and done.

So I find myself back in
Scotland, in the cold, grey neon arms of Christmastime.

I shall now relate unto thee the events that preceded my sitting here at this desk in Hunters Quay, surrounded by books, a cup of green rice tea at my side and a cat asleep on my bed.

After the show finished a few of us popped out to Felix’s bar in the Peninsula hotel, just along from the Cultural Centre.

Felix’s is a well known spot, due to its situation on the 28th floor of the hotel, where it looks out on to the waterfront, and Hong Kong across the other side.

A popular place of the nineties it now feels slightly demoded, which was fine by me as I’m not really one of those smarmy bar types.

As you approached the 28th floor in the lift the lights changed colour as if to slip you in to the clandestine atmosphere of the bar.

It’s all very nice actually, but with a slight feeling of Miami Vice about it.

It wasn’t designed for comfort though, I’ll say that, as I kept slipping off of the perch ledge seats along the back wall of the bar. In the end I just stayed standing up, where I closer access to the Walkers plain salted crisps.

The beverage I supped, whilst at the counter was called a Red Rain, and it contained Vodka, Cranberry juice and some other things that I can’t recall.

All in all the prices at the bar were quite reasonable really, and it had a nice, relaxed atmosphere. Definitely worth a wee investigate, should you find yourself in Hong Kong / Kowloon.

Descending in the lift, back to the plebeian world, Sean hinted about fart noises, a la Peter Sellers in the Pink Panther Strikes Back. Standing in front of us in the lift was a tall, very serious looking business type.

And so the chorus of hand farts and, indeed, one real, squeaky fart, started.

The poor fellow couldn’t wait to get out of the lift. We all tittered like school children.

From Felix’s we went on to an Irish bar, and had ourselves a pint of Kilkenny. That went down well.

And then came the meal. Chinese style Hot Pot.

My esteem’d friend Mr Euan Davidson informs me that the Japanese have something similar called Shabu Shabu.

Hot Pot in this case, is not a dish of meats and sausages cooked in an oven till tender and juicy, but a communal feast that all can enjoy.

In the centre of table there is a hot plate, and on to this hot plate there is placed a pot of water and herbs that is brought to the boil. In to this boiling pot of water you then throw in all manner of vegetables, meat and fish that you have ordered.

The rule is: Once it floats you may eat it.

A simple way of eating, but oh so very tasty. And really communal. Every one is leaning over, prodding things and dipping things in to the pan. It’s a great thing for all the family.

I particularly liked the tender beef strips that you dipped in, until they were cooked. Lovely. I remember my Gran talking about Boiled Beef, but I’m sure it was nothing like this.

One of the really neat things about the hot pot is the fact that you get to concoct your own sauce to dip your objects in to. Oh yeah! Sesame and soy with garlic and spring onion and chilli and all sorts of goodies-tastic.

It’s a lovely thing to do with a group, and I really felt that it rounded off of our time working together so well.

Then it was out to the island for my last night and bed.

The next morning I had a walk out to Sai Wan, and a nice coconut pudding thing, with the wee ginger cat on my lap, enjoying the sun. Then that was it, I was off to central, luggage and all.

On the boat I listened to the last episode of the Hitch Hikers Guide to The Galaxy, which I’d been holding on to for some days.

After a Feldenkrais session with Sean, we went out to dinner with Bonni and Ming (a friend of Bonnie and Sean who had been helping out in production week). We went to a Chinese vegetarian restaurant, which was lovely, so light and delicate, and yet filling. Not to mention the brown rice cake, which was in no way light or delicate, just bloomin’ tasty!

Then it was tatty bye to Sean and Bonnie, and off to stay with Lawrence, the company production manager, his 3 dogs and 4 puppies in Causeway Bay.

I had a very pleasant evening in the company of dogs and puppies, and then slept fitfully in the temple to Mickey Mouse that Lawrence keeps as a bedroom. He’s a really cool guy, a happening man about town, but with a penchant for Mickey Mouse that has to be seen to be believed. He’s great.

Anyway. I was awoken by the strains of the mickey mouse alarm clock screaming at me in some unknown language. After footering around with it for some time I finally managed to get it switched off. And then I noticed that the dogs were howling too – scrabbling to get in to the room.

I opened the door and there they were, all three grown up dogs, Soda, Cola and Fanta. They were smiling away and wagging their tails like nobodies business.

Lovely dogs.

Then I looked a bit closer.

One had my dental floss box in its mouth, another my comb. Strewn across the floor were various items from my toilet bag, all chewed, my toilet bag, also chewed and a turd, not chewed.


So I had to try and get them back in to the bag and out of harms way, which I just about managed, although one of the dogs did decide to eat my soap dish and soap around that time.

That too was eventually wrestled from their gums.

Lawrence’s partner came down to see that I was up, it being half five, and he having jet lag.

Lawrence was fast asleep in a lazy boy recliner, completely oblivious to the whole affair.

While Lawrence’s partner kept and eye on the dogs I dived in to the shower for a quick wash, and turned it on, only to have it be very high powered and soak the entire bathroom with one burst of water that went skywards.

Eventually I managed to get a taxi with the help of Lawrence’s man and that was it, I was off to the airport.

Luggage – over weight.


Spoke very nicely to the lady behind the desk, and she gave me another bag to split my affairs in to so as to balance out the weight.


Got the plane, no probs.

The captain announced the various places that we’ll be travelling over, including the Soviet Union. So I guess it’s not just a jet, but a time machine too.

13 ½ hours, no worries. Slept 6 hours, watched Little Miss Sunshine and Scoop.

Scoop is not one of Woddy Allen’s best, sadly. I really don’t like Scarlett Johansen’s acting style, especially when it’s mixed in with the over blown Woody acting impostions.

Fly in to Heathrow, on the descent see the ground suddenly appear as if out of no where. The fog was so heavy, you could barely see the wing of the plane. Descending, descending, descending, then Whheeeeech! We’re back up into the air like nobody’s business and the 747 is behaving like a fighter plane.

Quite exciting really.

Then a voice comes over the tannoy and says:

“Sorry about that, we had an aborted landing, there was another plane on the runway. We should be back on radar in a minute or two, when we’ll try to get you on the ground in seven or eight minutes.”

The next landing was fine, and lefty me with barely enough time to catch my connection, which I just managed, just and no more. Thank god, because the next flights were full and then the next day all flights were pretty much cancelled due to fog.

Got in to Glasgow in the evening, Mum & Dad there to meet me, all is well.

It takes another day for my luggage to turn up. The turnaround in London was too tight for my bags.

So now here I am once more.

Thoughts turning from HK to Newcastle and Mull.

Without a doubt working for Theatre Du Pif in Hong Kong was the best professional experience I’ve ever had. Bonni is with out a shadow of a doubt the best director I’ve had the privilege of working with. I’m really pleased with the whole experience, it was absolutely fabulous.

If you have a chance to go to HK do grab it with both hands, I believe that Oasis, a charter line, now do flights for £250 return from London – which is amazing.

But make sure if you do go that you go and stay on one of the islands to get a contrast to the hustle and non stop bustle of Hong Kong.

I leave you now with the imagined sound of Airline cabin music playing in a loop, and wish you all a very merry holly berry and a happy new year.



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