Sunday, January 09, 2011


After yesterday's exciting day at (somebody else's) office, I wasn't sure how I could ever climb to those dizzying heights again. Was there any way I could bring back the adrenaline?

I walked over to a friend's flat, bass guitar in hand. To get to Causeway Bay, I cross Victoria Park, which as well as being bordered and divided by concrete overpasses, is full on Sundays of domestic helpers on their day off. It's a strange mix, like a series of badly editted excerpts from different films stuck together. You start off with three or four filipinas chatting on a park bench, then there's fifteen Indonesians in hijabs, all rocking backward and forwards and singing while a bored looking Chinese guy videos them with his mobile phone. A bit further along there's a crowd of women carrying out an incredibly complicated syncronised dance ... And then there's an old man jogging round the park in very tight, very gray shorts and an antiquarian t-shirt.

On I wandered, past the usual collection of women with bleached hair and tartan bondage gear, past another group of helpers clustered around an array of plastic water bottles, and finally two very angry looking women with orange hair, turquoise body suits and neon hotpants, doing some intense, crotch-grabbing dance routine next to the deserted kids' play area.

After that odyssey, annoying the neighbours by thumping my bass guitar for three hours was only a pale imitation of the life outside. It was a reasonably productive hour, in which we discovered that the piano is tuned down a semi-tone from where it should be, there's no such thing as a jazz standard that everyone knows, and finally that this productive hour would only occur intermingled with two other hours of sonic barrage.

Interestingly, none of the neighbours came round to complain, or maybe we just couldn't hear them knocking at the door.

Afterwards, I strolled home, by which point the park was rather more homogenous: everyone seemed to be wearing tartan bondage gear and have bleached orange hair, and they'd all stopped dancing, so I found nothing interesting in the park. Happily, I could sit at home on the sofa and eat crisps, an experience unparalleled in any other city save Hong Kong. I love this place.


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