Sunday, September 19, 2010

A quart in a pint pot won't go

I got up this morning with the best of intentions, but accidentally spent half an hour reading flim-flam on the internet when I should have been wrestling with a bicycle tyre.

A bicycle tyre that I had to use a seven-inch tyre lever, a pair of needle-nosed pliers and a hammer to fix, and, even after deploying this plethora of tools to get it off the wheel and insert a fresh inner tube, I found myself powerless to get the tyre properly seated back on the rim of the wheel.
After half an hour of this fruitless endeavour, and noticing that the tyre was practically bald anyway, I took it to the local bike shop to buy a new one. Of course, the shop doesn't open until 11, so I stood outside sweating. Oh, boy, was I sweaty. I wiped my brow and there were droplets of sweat on my hands; not just damp, but slick with perspiration. Luckily after a quarter of an hour a man let me in, I flung the wheel and some cash at him, and ran off.

The rest of the day began to blur together. One minute I'm on the floor of a dance studio in Sai Wan Ho, my elbow trapped in somebody's armpit while they squash my hand till I yelp, the next I'm on the street outside the bike shop, talking to my friend Natalie that I haven't seen for a year, before getting home and being told off for leaving bicycle-related detritus all over the flat, then coming close to keeling over on the MTR, and finally getting on board a ferry to Macau to feel a bit noisome (although that could just as easily have been Blood's A Rover as seasickness).

Fernando's was ok. The company was good, but paying 300 dollars to travel for two hours just to watch other people eat chicken and fish while you have bread and salad ... well, it's not the meal I would have chosen. Still, I got to catch up with some friends I haven't seen all year, and see how the Cotai Strip has become shinier again, now they've been able to start assembling new casinos once more.

We caught the ferry home to Hong Kong with minutes to spare. Once we were seated, we heard an announcement, stating that "We will be serving complimentary snacks and beverages ... For Cotai First passengers." It was the pause there, together with the terribly-pleased-by-itself tone of the voice, that made me suspect they really wanted to say "You scum downstairs can pay."  Curse my stinking luck for not being able to spend the extra 50 dollars to get a free cup of coffee and a leg of squid. 


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