Monday, June 23, 2008
"My liver is slowly punching me from the inside. Does that mean more Sambuca?"
A Hong Kong Christmas is what many may view as a total non-event. Little decoration, even less Church-related activities. Christmas in Hong Kong was not what I ever expected. I got decorations, one Sunday morning Mass complete with special mentions and a memory bank full of antics to please even the hardest of punk rockers.
It started off badly. A formal cocktail party high in the hills of Discovery Bay where the rich play. And I mean play, on their own private golf courses (made slightly easier by the 'no car' rule - every family either buying a $400, 000 golf cart or pulling out their mountain bikes). Lacking appropriate cocktail gear I felt out of place amongst the Prada heels and Marni dresses though that soon disappeared. Drunk and wealthy is a combination I find incredibly appealing. Young girls put on tulle-skirted reindeer costumes to perform especially for the night, and heated debates about the best clubs in Soho were fought, won only when champagne glasses were thrust down in emphasis. Driving home a little more than tipsy in the golf cart was one of the better highlights. Though realising we'd stolen someone elses by accident, and not caring, was ultimate.
Whilst not for the Holiday Season, the festivities were rampant throughout our stay. A day of heavy shopping was followed by a family dinner in The Bay, a quiet and relaxing end to something that was enjoyable to say the least (hello Lanvin!). What wasn't relaxing, but more than welcome, was the messages from across the water on HK Island to say we were meant to be at the latest, hippest bar opening in Lan Kwai Fong. So we left dinner with plates of prawns half eaten to trek our way over thinking we'd mingle with a few locals and maybe bag a free cocktail upon arrival. But no.
We arrived to find our names on a special list, gaining us entry to the Private Room, decked out in Louis-style with black brocade and laquered chandeliers (only my dream fit out). We snuggled in on floor cushions, velvet luxe to an unimaginable extreme, only to have an array of cocktails to test at our disposal. That was a better start to the Holiday Season.
And finally, the last great story must be devided into two separate parts. These named Action and Consequence (but can also be known as Before and After, Sane and Insane etc.)
So, Action: after a casual dinner at Cafe Duvet where we gorged on Spanish Tapas and Bombe Alaska whilst nestled on outdoor beds we decided to test the helpfulness levels of a 24hour, alcohol selling, 7/11. Surely, they would get to a point where even a pimply 15 year old would stop us buying cheap beverages soley created for the drinker to embarrass themselves. But no, and this point we did not realise until well into the night. 5am actually. It was at this point, when eating from an all night Breakfast Bar we started to rehash the events of 10pm to 5am, 7 hours of reasonably contained madness.
Tommy Austin, also known as The Rock God, and I had sat for nearly every one of those hours contemplating life, planning my impending marriage to Pete Doherty (a friend of Tommys) and my subsequent divorce due to running off with Tommy. We had also played with the two large Bull Mastifs belonging to the local Tattoist couple who kindly offered to ink us for free (but were turned down when they slurred a few crucial points).
Buchanan and Big Arthur however were lacking in the quiet and reserved drunken state that I possessed. Believing that you didn't need a skateboard to truly skate they spent a large chunk of the eveing running through DB Courtyard, pretending they were on skateboards. And loudly made all the appropriate sounds. Including multiple large crashes into business fronts.
Finding ourselves a little worse for wear and eating bacon and eggs with extra sauce and mushrooms made us think about possibly getting home. We had proved what we had set out to achieve, that we could buy (and then drink) as much as we needed from that little American chain. Despite this, our 500m walk home still took us just over an hour. As everyone needs to praise the Gods from the pebbled shores of DB beach before they get home.
And now, to Consequence: it was Sunday morning. And it was just after 6am. I knew that I was required at Church that morning and asked Arthur specifically to wake me with enough time to get decent. Sadly, a knock on my door at quarter to nine meant that he had forgotten. Bearing a large 'recovery' breakfast in bed platter for the non-Believer Thomas I was kindly informed by Cesca, resident 6-year old second cousin that she "couldn't wait for me to take her to Sunday School". I chose to ignore this, believing I couldn't get it together with 15 minutes to go. Though, when I got the "Two minutes to go!" tap on the door I registered I wouldn't be getting out of this that easily.
Outside, the sun shone a little too brightly on my non-washed, unbrushed state. Arthur, pleasingly enough, looked a little worse than myself and after a few choice words from me, I determined that he too had chosen to try escape our Catholic fate. In the longgg golf buggy ride we subtley explained our situation to my Cousin who laughed and said she'd give us Panadol after the service. But she never explained our roles in the service.
Upon arrival we were ushered in quickly, seems we were late. And after a short introduction about the Scripture the Priest stopped to welcome two special guests with deep connections to the Church, known as Charlotte and Arthur (whose father was Minister there years previously). There we were, hungover/still drunk and in Church being introduced to a rather large, clapping congreation.
It didn't finish soon enough. After brief family history sharing and mouth fulls of the Blood of Christ which brought tears to the eyes of my male companion we escaped. And not soon enough. Arthur shared his Port with the outside cricket field and I nearly shared mine with the pavement on the ride home. Thus, consequence.
That was my Hong Kong Christmas. In brief detail. Special mention should include the Fischer Price guitar given to Little Arthur who asked if he could trade it for the Angelina Ballerina pop-up given to Cesca, a very failed Thank You dinner which once again had to be saved by Jantana, Tom losing his passport in Shenzhen and me very nearly leaving him there, going up the Peak in a tee and skirt to find it colder than Thredbo in Winter and the Gin & Tonics made by my lovely cousin that renderred me so unconcious her husband had to report to my father on the phone that I was "Not infact a drunk, Annie's G&Ts just happen to be more like Gin shooters".
"If I was to lift the top off the Chocolate Fountain whilst it was on, would anything happen?"
It's a sad thing that long gone are the days of taking over Chateau Roberts. Years 11 and 12 were filled with weekends spent trying our luck at Singstar, stuffing ourselves with Mrs Roberts famous CheesyBaconBread and getting at least 12 people in a 4 person spa bath where the water sat at boiling point and thus felt like you either had 100 people in the spa or someone had pee'd right next to you.
Vague memories of painting the living room with melted chocolate come to mind. As does the dessert I toiled on for hours to serve Glen, James and Michael, only to have them ruin it with a bottle of pink food colouring. Tipping cups of water (contents and cup) over the balcony into the loved-up couples spa parties occupied our balmy summer nights until we were allowed free run of the massive freezer in the garage. Home to Golden Gaytimes, Magnum Almonds and enough Cookies and Cream to stuff Corrie's stomach.
Singstar only works when it's sung in Glenbrook, when you're drunk on good friends (and Absolut Citron).
Me: Top, Country Road. Scarf, old Carla Zampatti.