Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Up on the roof

Last night I got the keys for our new flat, and took an inventory of the place with the estate agent. I'm not sure you could really call it an inventory, so much as "walking around an empty flat making sure the air conditioning units turned on and off" - but that's not quite as snappy. I went to the gym after this excitement, then stumbled home, only to find my girlfriend incredibly excited by the thought of somewhere new to live, so back we went to the flat, carrying several fragile items with us, and after exhausting the exciting possibilities of a flat with nothing in it but some fragile items and two air conditioners, we went up on the roof.

It's a terrific roof, in the very middle of Tin Hau. In one direction you can see out to the skyline of Central, to another you can look into the 20th storey bathroom of one of our neighbours, and if you stand right by the parapet and turn round you can watch the door to the stairwell slam and leave you trapped up there with no way to get down.

Oh joy. And unlike our Dutch friend's roof garden, there's very little up on the roof apart from a few pieces of scrap iron and a pipe or two. I was not particularly happy at this. Luckily, I had my phone, so we called around until we found my girlfriend's sister, and got her to come into the building and let us back in.

But I wonder how frequently this occurred before the advent of widely available mobile telephony. Could it be that countless inattentive idiots would lock themselves onto the roofs of buildings in Hong Kong and never come down again? Or perhaps their dismayed souls are haunting the roofs even now, slamming the doors on new visitors to deny them hope, forcing them to join the vampiric hordes on the rooftops.

Lucky they reckoned without the mystical power of Girlfriend's Sister and her sidekick, Filipino Man (he combines all the mystic powers of being from the Philippines with, well, being a man - I suppose the name gave it away). But how many other people have been claimed by the ghouls of the Hong Kong skyline?

Dozens, I imagine. At least.

When I finish draft two of The Great Hong Kong Horror Novel, I'm sure to include this.

Anything else of note: I'm a tiny, tiny bit more famous: today, as I took the MTR from Sai Wan Ho to Causeway Bay, I was recognised by an audience member from November.  If I were to extrapolate from all the times I've been recognised by audience members, I'd form the opinion that I had two fans, who were both male, and lived inside either the Prince's Building or the MTR, and never ventured outside.  But at least they'd be safe from Roof Ghouls.


Post a Comment