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Friday, January 13, 2012

Poverty Porn II

E@L stands amid a mass of well-on-the-way-to-drunken banker-wankers and schmarmy lawyers at Stormies, near the top of Lan Kwai Fong lane. The crowd from Big Al's Diner merges, the revelers form a bridge of beer-swilling expat humanity across the lane.  E@L is not ashamed to be amongst them. Sure, why not? Look at him. He is the fat, bald, leering drunken lecher at the street-corner; why not live up to the stereotype that everyone takes him for anyway.  It is his shout. He calls the harassed Filipina waitress over from where she is taking an order from someone else, passing change onto another pin-stripe suited. 

"Six Coronas, cheers." He taps her on the bum to cheer her up.  

It is Friday night and this is what you do in Hong Kong. Work hard (well not E@L so much, great job even then), play like an alcoholic. 

"Look at that," says Justin.

"Fucking hell."

"Fucking Chinese."

"Take my photograph, will you?  Asshat.  What the fuck, get out of my face."  He flips a posse of mainlanders the finger. (Whatever happened to the two-fingers?  Justin is British.  But everyone is American these days when it comes to hand gestures, to swearing. Cultural imperialism. Thank you television, thank you movies.)

"Mother-fucking mainland tourists, there's the one with the yellow flag.  Fucking sheep, lemmings. Why don't they get on with their own life?"

E@L mimics a coolie accent:"Follow my little flag, we come from Beijing, you follow me, we go to darkest den of the natives.  Watch the strange epxats in native habitat. See how they live. This is the foreigner in a zoo. Watch them eat and drink and abuse each other.."

"Ha ha. Take another photo, you plick and I jam you flucking camela up you flucking arse."

"Where the fuck do they get those clothes? All the fucking same." 

After a while we ignore them.  They look at us, we don't look at them.  They are mildly annoying, and when you come to think of it, superfluous. We don't need to think about them. We don't even see them after a while as troupe after troupe go past.  We have our own lives to destroy. 

Another busload of Chinese climb the steps (temporary, steel, still a lot of work to go to make LKF the way it is today) to Wellington St. 

We continue where we left off.

"Buy me a beer, and I'll let you keep standing next to me," says Justin.

"Fuck off," says E@L. "Are we going to Wanchai, or not?"

The pulse of our expat tradition beats on and on and on...

E@L

[Just in case someone doesn't get it - this post is meant to be read in conjunction with the the previous post, Poverty Porn.]

1 comment:

dh said...

Superb. Just the right blend of camaraderie and self awareness.

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