Sunday, July 11, 2010

Old friends should not be forgot

Today started with me feeling grotty; the antibiotics aren't making things worse, but they aren't really making things much better either.  I was in a cafe in Tin Hau, about to text the owner of Takeout Comedy to cry off tonight's performance, when I got a text from him telling me that I'd be closing the show that evening.  I haven't had the chance to do that since the week I started getting regular spots back in 2008, so I wasn't going to turn that down.

Lamentably, my rehearsal method was the same as ever: to write a few things down, and then either sleep, read comic books or play on the Xbox for the whole afternoon.  I suppose this was quite productive, insofar as I taught my girlfriend how to drive fast cars round imaginary racecourses in the middle of the American desert.

It was a late show at the club (Chinese comedy first) so we had dinner at VeggieSF, a vegetarian restaurant in Stanley Street in Central.  If you've been paying attention, Stanley Street is where I saw an angry man with an umbrella swearing at somebody, and from VeggieSF's eighth floor location, there's a perfect view of that part of the street.  Except there were no grumpy men with umbrellas to be seen, although I didn't let that spoil my enjoyment of the meal.  The owners of VeggieSF are a very friendly couple from San Francisco, with the faintly quixotic desire to sell vegetarian food to people in Hong Kong, a city where pig's trotters are probably regarded as vegetables because they used to be next to the ground.

After dinner we went to Makumba for a charity fundraiser, but it turned out that we'd arrived a week early, so I got in a sulk and then we went to Happy Valley for a foot massage.  This was really an excuse for me to read car magazines, from which I learned that because the cars in Nascar used to be fuelled with ethanol, when the men fuelling the vehicles had fuel spilt on them in the pits and caught fire, the flames were invisible, so they'd just "hop around".  And since everyone in the pits is always hopping around, you could burn for some time.  At least it was clear when the cars were on fire, because the paint would start to melt.

I suppose you could just make the men who fuelled the cars wear paint, but perhaps that wouldn't be very safe.  They've now changed to fuelling the cars with meths instead, which burns with a visible flame.  And is drunk by tramps.  There's some sort of lesson for us there.

Comedy was fun tonight; Gary was hosting, for the third night in a row, and made a good job of it with a crowd that were sometimes involved, and sometimes completely silent.  I was a little chagrined to have my biggest laugh from 'my' Indonesia joke, but you get the cards you're dealt.

Strangest of all - there was a big bald guy taking photos of everyone, with some very professional cameras and lenses.  I got talking to him afterwards and when he told me he worked a lot for the FT, I suddnely put two and two together and realised that I knew him from my past life of mountain biking, back in the alpine stretches of Addiscombe.  From eight years ago.  So I'll be back on my bike and riding, just as soon as I unpack it, and realise that there's a reason I haven't ridden in two years.

But I'm amazed that everyone is connected.  Only last week another comedian told me that his wife knew the ex-flatmate of one of my oldest friends from university - and everyone seems to be congregating in Hong Kong.

It's almost as if I share a personality defect with some people, and it's one that makes us all decide to hang out in a Special Administrative Region somewhere.


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