Tuesday, March 30, 2010

R7s (Reflux)

Spike has some terrific photos form the Quote Cathay Pacific/Credit Suisse Hong Kong Sevens Endquote. Or the Rugby7s as most people call them. E@L types them as R7s.

Here is Spike R7's entry where he talks about being a media photographer with a special pass (would do anything for one of those - another friend has one too, she writes about half the R7s stories in the South China Post), and here is his Flickr page.

No photo evidence of E@L as he doesn't have washboard abs like some of those girls! BTW, E@L failed to catch up with Spike on this visit (and a heap of other people!). Next time!


In fact he missed a lot of things. E@L missed Saturday at the stadium for example. Shame on him. After two nights out to 4~5am in a row, E@L crashed decided to have a little sleep-in until, mmm, 2pm on the Saturday afternoon.

A slow start ensued that day for EvilJ (the host for E@L's couch surfing weekend) and E@L as they imbibed some dim-sum and noodles as a late breakfast. E@L hadn't anything solid down his gullet except an Ebenezer's kebab on Thursday night (oh and Portuguese tarts at the Excelsior on Friday morning). After the food, as EvilJ doesn't do the R7s, they went down to the Maya bar in Lockhardt Doh to sample the new shiraz - by the glass. Four glasses each later E@L twigged it might have been cheaper to buy a bottle. Eh, whatever.

Evidence was bountiful that EvilJ knows EVERYONE in the business. Bar mangers, waitresses, bar staff, door staff and bouncers. As they sat there watching the world go by (before the carnage hits the streets as the R7's closes) EvilJ was getting waves and kisses and conversations almost continuously. His has a big boisterous greeting for people, always a laugh and often a hug, so no doubt he gets planted firmly in their memories. He is genuinely charming bloke, up the ears with jokes and stories, some of them involving E@L's Bruce's escapades, but enough of that...

So a quiet start for Saturday, followed by a quiet finish when E@L pulled the plug about 8pm, after EvilJ had dragged him to the Laguna pick-up bar. Not tonight. Instead he snatched some Japanese take-out and awoke refreshed to a glorious morning.

Despite the temptations in Laguna, EvilJ was a good boy too and came home alone. Reason? His 20 year old Indonesian girlfriend was due early next morning (Sunday - her day off).

E@L was also up early, getting ready for a Sunday at the R7s. Not going to miss the finals! After greeting the girlfriend, (stunning!) breakfast was back to the Excelsior for another coffee and Portuguese tarts (the flaky kind) at Illy's - best coffee in HK, which is not saying much. Why eat out? Because EvilJ has no VEGEMITE in his flat.

E@L headed to the stadium. Beers here, Bloody Mary's there, Pimm's and soda (don't ask) elsewhere, and so the day dragged on, gradually blurring, but thankfully not too much. Then to the post R7s Tent party, where E@L caught up with his flatmate from the old Hong Kong days and bopped in the mosh-pit with her for a while. She's a lovely person, really miss sharing with her.

Later he and other friends were chatting to a group of Village People (straight, from Durham - you meet the strangest people at the R7s) There was some squealing behind us and we turned around to see the Sailor from this bunch on stage at the Jagermeister booth with his trousers round his ankles. He was legless - well his dick nearly hit the ground anyway. One of the other VPs said that his buddy was a "shower not a grower"... But the girls were impressed. Police and Security guards were kind enough not to arrest him as we promised to get him out there and keep his dick in his pants, at least until we got to Wanchai.

We indeed took the VPs to Wancahi as the Tent had wound down. Discretion being the better part of not getting arrested in Wanchai, we instantly packed Sailor Dick into a cross-harbour taxi and off to his Kowloon hotel. The Durham lads had no experience of Wanchai, but this was not the best of nights to demonstrate its unique charms. Thousands of absolute idiots were staggering round the bars, smashing bottles (on purpose), pissing on the street, getting aggro... Ugly, ugly, ugly.

After a few minutes of trying to make sense of this we dropped the Village People into another buy-me-drink bar - what used to be Fenwicks (can't think of the new name at the moment) and E@L headed back to EvilJ's apartment (alone again) around maybe 2am, bit not without pausing for an Ebenezers kebab of course.


At the airport on Monday E@L's stomach was decidedly queasy from all the beer and all that coffee and very little food over the weekend.

He found a restaurant that served chicken-rice as he wanted to remember the HK version of this Hainanese dish and compare it to the Singapore version.

(From about 2:40)

The main difference is that in HK they give you a milder, rather sweet *green* ginger and spring-onion (small shallots) sauce which E@L hasn't seen in Singapore, where they use plain ginger. Also maybe the rice (at least at this place) isn't quite as strongly flavoured or as moist.

As E@L was finishing this delicious meal, washing it down with diet coke, he began to feel an unwelcome sensation. The food was not going down properly... oh no!

All of a sudden his oesophagus began to go into a reverse peristalsis...

He's had this before. It's an inflammation at the point where the gullet joins the stomach: it swells up after some acute-on-chronic reflux. He'd even had a gastroscope 12 years ago. It seems to come on after a binge week-end (or more) of excess beer and excess coffee. Got a bit of it in Phuket the other week...

E@L grabbed some napkins as his mouth inexorably filled up with frothy coke, chicken, garlic sauce and rice... Waaaah! (It is not vomit as such, because the food had never made it into his stomach. It surges up like a lava flow, not like an explosive stomach cramp...) Another wave of reflux hit him straight away and a chunk of the food overflowed past the napkin - he couldn't hold it all in - and it splattered onto the floor... Gross! But no-one was taking notice of his distress! Amazing! Or maybe not, this is HK after all! He grabbed the shoulder of a nearby waiter (facing the other way of course) who was serving someone else and he managed ask for directions to the toilet! "Down there..." he said, unperturbed by E@L holding the stained napkin to his mouth... E@L pointed to the mess, hunched his shoulders as if to say sorry and hurried away...

E@L grabbed some more napkins. He didn't make it to the toilet in time as more chicken rice came charging up but he got to a nearby rubbish bin just as his mouth overflowed! Some had splashed onto his shirt, as expected, a big stain down his front.

When he found the toilet he washed his face and hands, rinsed his mouth. He looked at himself in the mirror, what a sight! Red-faced, red-eyed, green and white food expulsed across his shirt. Luckily it was a dark shirt so with a few splashes and brushes the muck was pretty much gone. As he stood there with his hands on the wash-bench sighing at himself, he felt another surge rising. He just made it to the bowl, this time with something a real retch... Oh my god, kill me! It wasn't until 10 minutes later as he was walking to the gate for his flight that a good burp rose through the narrowing, telling him the lines of communication in his GI tract were now open and making him feel a little better. He skipped the plane meal.

In fact he hasn't eating anything since, except a few small sips to wash down a Nexium that he had grabbed in Phuket last time and his usual handful of neuropathy and BP medications. They stayed down but he still feels the burning of the reflux, it's like a punch in the diaphragm...

Uncomfortable... Sigh. E@L is falling apart.

No kopi and kaya toast on the way to work tomorrow either!


Sorry to leave you with this rather graphic story, but it was most distressing for him and he needed to share (making you all throw up in sympathy would be a good result.) If the inflammation doesn't resolve soon, another gastroscopy might be on the cards for


(p.s I enjoy putting in links to my old stuff as I think, in the cold light of hindsight, some of it was rather good...)

(also some punctuation maybe off a bit in this long post - I'll fix it tomorrow!)


Spike said...

Thanks for the link. To be brutally (and perhaps unnecessarily?) honest, given that tale, I'm sort of glad we didn't hook up this time! Hoping you're in better shape the next time you get here, or I get there, or we meet in the middle....

expat@large said...

Cheers dude, I was OK up until that point, it was just as was I leaving. It wouldn't been quite so dramatic earlier on! Did have a look for you in Amazonia in Thursday around 12, or maybe it was 3???.

Spike said...

I think I may have been in Amazonia on Thursday but left by 8 or 9 PM. Haven't been to Wanchai since then, but presuming it's safe to go back now. Fri & Sun nites at home, Sat night Earth Hour party in TST.

Dick Headley said...

Odd you should mention chicken. I am currently writing something about tom kha gai.

Skippy-san said...

Well thanks for that-having spent last weekend in surburbia-I am full and completely depressed.(Especially when you said the words "Laguna pick up bar"-something I could really use).

expat@large said...

Spike: was pissing on a Access that early...

DH: indeed the world is full of such coincidences, doesn't mean there is a god though.

Skip: actually I didn't have just Japanese, it was more of a sushi-adobo combination, as mentioned in a prior post.

expat@large said...

Actually the real reason I was linkingot the old blog is that I am nearing 1,000,000 hits. Mostly spam robots, but hey!

Currently at 998,676.

Dick Headley said...

No but the Hadron Collider works and Ricky Martin came out. Think about it.

expat@large said...

Dick: WTF was Ricky Martin doing in the Hardon Collider? Oh I think I've just answered my own question.

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