Out Of HK, Into BKK
Every time I go to Bangkok, I get a pedicure. Well mostly. It is now seven months since the operation on my feet and I am still wary of allowing unrestricted access to my toes to some smiling ex-hooker with a sharp pair of scissors. I had been slashing away the nails all this time myself, from the inevitable distance incurred by my intervening belly, but only when things were getting serious - trousers tearing and sock threads tethering, in-grown toenail situation causing excruciating agony - no doubt doing more damage than necessary, so I bit my bullet tonight and stepped across the Soi15 to the "Smile" beauty shop.
FYI, the tips of my toes (and hence the toenails) were not put to permanent sleep by the operation that removed the inter-digital (Mortons) neuromae from both feet back in January. The toe-tips still tingle and burn, just like the whole front half of the foot did pre-operation. This nerve excision substantially numbed the middle parts of the toes and on the top of the forefoot, but it hasn't quite numbed the balls of my feet though, which was the principle goal. Tapping lightly on the balls of my feet sends small electric tingles along the pathway of the missing nerves, and so walking (let alone dancing while drunk, like last night in Hong Kong) is just a continual pain and something to be rued next morning.
So, yes, please stop the polite queries about my feet: they still are giving me hell thank you very much, and they probably will for the rest of my sadly staggering, slow-paced, limping life.
First thing my aged pedicurist did tonight was stab me under the 4th toenail with a pair of pointy clippers, either to draw my attention to a potential ingrown-nail situation or see how many swear words I knew in Thai. Or to make me look down her shirt.
I tried extremely hard to relax during the show, but couldn’t manage it. I was twitching and pulling back all the time. Whether she was plucking at my cuticles and chomping through my big-toenails, I could keep still. Somehow she managed to avoid drawing blood (which has happened before) and I was out of there as soon as I could strap on my sandals.
Was at a friend's 40th last night in Hong Kong, as I think I mentioned. Her boyfriend/SO proposed as well finally last night as well, and all the girls burst into tears and all the guys just shook their heads… Another one gone.
Carol was NEARLY my flat mate in HK as she was finally getting out of a bad marriage (and still living with him after the divorce) but she couldn't quite afford to pay 50% of the rent for my place. These days that $12,000HKD would have been a TOTAL bargain! I still regret that I was too tight to lower my stance a bit and let her in on a discount, as I seem to do willy-nilly these days. But with my job there, I was going off my Expat Contract to a Local Hire - and my housing allowance was disappearing… (Meanwhile in Singapore I am expecting to get a housing allowance INCREASE! for the next contract.)
I gave her a million big hugs last night, and she said she too regretted that the flat-share didn't happen… She is a very smart cookie and I'm sure we would have had great conversations about all sorts of intellectual themes, like the best way to stick your arm up a horse's arse (our FIRST topic of social intercourse!)…
Happy 40th Carol (the birthday is actually today)! And congrats on the engagement.
About 1:30 I left the Jazz Bar in LKF and took a taxi to Wanchai - caught up with Spike outside Amazonia, and after a brief word ("I lost my hooker," was his effort), we went on to Neptunes II. I found a few other buddies in the cavern down there and did a rounds of hellos. One of the guys was working hard (like it required hard work) on some of the African hookers who are filtering into town. HK is really becoming quite the cosmopolitan pick-up town.
I spotted one cute girl struggling under the uncouth maws of an ex-colleague and after he butterflied off for some fresh other grope, I said a few words of hello. A Thai pocket rocket, gorgeous and petite. But there was no point in continuing the discussion as it was way past my witching hour and I was pretty smashed on the free-flow champagne and the lovely light Muscat sticky at Carol's party, and besides, here I am with 15 days in Thailand, the source itself...
Meanwhile, Spike had excused himself... And about 20 seconds later, so did I.
I was working solidly for the rest of my half- week in HK and was socially restricted because of that.
Plus, because of the drugs for the foot pain, I really can't drink much at all. E@L a cheap date, who woulda thunk?
Overheard a conversation in Joe Bananas one evening (early evening, catching up a friend) - this old British guy had cornered the bartender and in this macabre train-spotters accent, attempting to sound like the most boring person who had ever lived, started to tell about the weather:
"The precipitation that was received in the Hong Kong area during the hours of the Black Rain on June 7 was unusually high even for this climatic region, which is renowned for its high rainfall in the wet-season of summer. In fact the deluge was such that the previous record amount of precipitation since records began in 1884 at the Royal Observatory of Hong Kong was in 1889 was quite comprehensively overtaken..."
and the bartenders eyes glazed over...
I was waiting for the guy to say that the black-puddings were so black, even the white bits were black...
OK, I got the weather spiel about 20 times while I was there, it was obviously a big story. Most of the bars in Wanchai were under water.
From the Airport express train I noticed quite a few areas on landslip on the hills of Lantau that were no doubt resultant upon this remarkable amount of precipitation.
But that rain had cleared the air quite remarkably. Others said that the closing of many factories in Guanzhou, due to demands for increased salaries by workers, may also have something to do with it.
From Red, the bar above the IFC Mall, here is a view across to Kowloon Station.
In the bottom of that tall building under construction on the left is this excellent restaurant, called Wooloomooloo - I think everyone in Hong Kong should go there all the time and eat and drink up big...
But ho ho ho, I did have a chance to scan a shaved pussy on Friday after lunch!
Explanation: a veterinarian in Wanchai wanted to test his machine's settings for cardiac scanning of cats, as they make up 60% of his custom. He prepped his clinic's mascot, a paraplegic cat in a diaper (I kid you not - he found it on the road several years ago after losing an altercation with a car - see below), doped it with some feline valium, shaved its chest and got me to try and optimize the image settings. Not easy, as cats' hearts beat about 300 times a minute and the chambers are quite vertically oriented, so my first attempts to find the standard views were all wrong... Plus the bloody cat kept waking up and trying to scratch everyone (forepaws only).
The salesman promised to take me on my next HK visit to the Vet clinic at Ocean Park where they use one of our machines to scan the pandas when they are sick or pregnant. Sounds cute I know, but I believe it requires a similar technique to that used for horses (as mentioned above!)
Sticking your arm up a panda's arse… Now there's something you don’t get to do everyday!
Still deciding what to do next week - I will be in Thailand, but where? My work in Bangkok finishes on Friday, my friend comes to Phuket on the following Thursday and we have accommodation booked right on Patong beach. What to do in the intervening six days? Problem is I have my golf-clubs AND two bags because this is a 4 week trip. Travelling is therefore a pain.
Do I stay in Bangkok? Nah. One week is enough. Staying at S15 means walking past the night street market every night to go to a restaurant - gonna get angry at that.
Do I find somewhere expensive and New Age for a few days of pampering? All those bloody bags!
Or do I go to the cheap and nasty hotel in Patong early and, in order to avoid the Phuket hysteria and annoying touts (like the BKK market experience), lock myself in my room (or by the pool) and write and or read, so I don’t overdose on it too early?
I'd hate to be Thai'd out and in a bad mood when my buddy gets there for the ... um ... golf.
OTHER MONKEYS SAID
For your future reference, the Wooloomooloo in the Elements mall is the 2nd branch. The 1st branch is in LKF, still there.
the lunacy of my life pales in comparison, sugar. . .
Spike: confirmed that at the laast shareholders meeting. Red Stone and Don Juan in the TST centre are also part of the deal.
Sav: well, it's certainly different to what I had planned at 30.
Is that why you keep pimping them here? You're a shareholder too? And why didn't you introduce me to these guys? Sigh.
Spike: You have money to burn as well? F&B is legendarily risky business - speaking of Groovy Mule!
You are in Hong Kong and I am not.
I hate you.
It's reading posts like this that make the "you've made a big mistake" banner start flashing in my head-as I sit here in Hicksville knowing I will not see LKF or Neptunes anytime soon.
You could head down to the beach at Pattaya :-)
Skip: I will be in HK a bit more too - I will be covering the territory out of Singapore for work in future.
Indy: MC suggested I go to the Bumrungrad Hospital and have my feet sorted - I was afraid they might make a mistake under surgery and I could come out as a woman!
Pattaya - Patong, not so much difference? Actually the restaurants and hotels are more varied in Pattaya, but the sleaze is worse.