Thursday, December 16, 2010

Christmas Party

The second office Christmas party was tonight: for the first two hours it was largely silence punctuated with the occasional outburst when another dish was delivered to the table. The awkwardness was accentuated by the noise from the rest of the restaurant of people enjoying themselves noisily. I swigged Con Osur wine and tried to keep my head down.

Because it was a Chinese meal (we are in Hong Kong, after all, despite my staunch efforts to eat like I inhabited a medium-sized American city) there was little I could eat: some pak choi, a spring roll, some more pak choi. Thus I avoided the bright yellow chicken, the deep fried pigs' feet, the deep fried sticky pork in bright orange sauce, and the duck stuffed full of sticky rice. Perhaps to get everyone in the Christmas spirit, the animals still had heads, legs and wings attached. It is less appetising to eat an animal when it still resembles an animal.

Somebody pontificated on how strange it is that while beef comes from cows and pork from pigs, the meat you get from chicken is simply called "chicken". Truly chicken is a unique foodstuff in this respect. Well, just like turkey.

Or duck.

Or goose.

Or most other birds.

Or rabbit.

Or lamb.

Or lobster.

Or cabbage.

Have I laboured that point enough?

By the end of the meal, everyone had gorged themselves on meat (and I'd had my spring roll and two pieces of vegetable) so they became more talkative. We made our way to the karaoke bar nearby, a complicated complex of small rooms with big televisions and very bad whisky, which meant pretty soon I was pretty drunk, so I scarpered, only to find when I got home that the electricity in our building was out and so I had to walk up hundreds of stairs.

Literally hundreds, I counted the damn things, while trying not to fall backwards all the way to the entrance.

Still, there may be no electricity, but it's not like this is the coldest I've ever known Hong Kong to be. (About 7 degrees in a town designed for tropical weather.)

Oh. It is. Damn.


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