A Danger to Himself and Others

Posted: Aug 23, 2003 5:35:57 PM

Hong KongI discovered why this building is so interesting - it was designed by I. M. Pay and has extremely bad Feng Shui. In fact, it is so bad that the owners of the buildings around it have taken precautions against it contaminating them by proxy. Some have installed carvings of lions in their foyers; some have erected huge sets of mirrors on their roofs. The HSBC next door has installed two very large fake cannons pointing at the Bank building. It's all very stylish. There's another building with a huge hole in the middle: again, this is a Feng Shui choice, so it doesn't block the view of the dragon in the mountain behind it.

Anyway, I went on a tour around Hong Kong island, which is where I discovered all this, and had a chance to do some other interesting things, like take a Sampan trip around the clusters of Boat People in the harbour (mmm... dried squid). In the afternoon I had a good look around the Hong Kong History Museum (this wasn't spectacular, but had its moments nevertheless), and then I set out to do something I've always wanted to try.


Yes, I know, I'm not a sports player, but in this case I figured the novelty value was very high, as I went to a four-storey driving range. It was very fun, once I figured out where to rent a club, and I was sent to the third floor with an Iron (I think). In the booth next to mine was an American who had obviously paid a lot of money to have a pro golfer give him some tips on how to play.

I listened in, of course.

I should have listened harder, because thanks to the extreme humidity my hands were very slick and I was clearly letting my arms do the work instead of my hips and shoulders. Any guesses what happened? This is the 'danger to others' part (see the title). I brought the club down with gusto, fired the ball off down the range (I think it landed on the green, actually), and my club gracefully and majestically flew over the heads of the people below and onto the course.

No-one seemed to mind, so I hurried down to collect it. I finally understand why professional golf players wear those cute little gloves. And why I'm not a professional golf player.

Heading back from the range I must have taken a wrong turn somewhere, because I came to a subway entrance leading to what is presumably a disused subway station. I say this because as I walked down it (the stations are a good shotcut across busy streets) someone I had presumed was a beggar (of which there are a lot) stood up and wrapped hard on the metal railing. Rap, rap, rapraprap. It sounded distinctly like a code, probably 'white boy heading down to HQ', and sure enough there were two people at the bottom smoking cigarettes who stood up to prepare for my approach.

Well, I don't need a compass to tell me which way the wind shines, so I promptly looked at my watch, turned around, and high-tailed it out of there as fast as I could. Why is it that we're not allowed to turn around without looking at our watches?

In my haste I became turned around very quickly, something that is easy in Kowloon at the best of times. And so I wandered through the maze once more, finally making it back to the Internet Cafe to post this report. I will try to get online tomorrow, although if I don't then you won't hear from me again until Istanbul a couple of (jet-lagged) days later. I'm going back to the hotel to have a long long bath.


Peter   Aug 23, 2003 9:42:12 PM

Great report Damon, though you probably could have done without some of those experiences... . Anyway, have fun and keep us posted :)

Sahi   Aug 23, 2003 9:42:59 PM

Adventures allready eh? I hope you only get the good ones!

Have lots of fun.


Charlotte   Aug 24, 2003 1:15:00 AM

I don't really have anything to say but.... *giggles*

Bosco   Aug 24, 2003 3:09:44 AM

Geez Ellis, you're a menace to society. And I'm not talking about your outfit for once. Tiger Woods should pimp slap you.

Morgan   Aug 24, 2003 4:30:11 AM

Nice, Damon, very nice.

I'm unsure as to whether I should show this one to Mum or not! Maybe I should discreetly ignore it so she doesn't lose any sleep over it.

Douglas   Aug 24, 2003 11:22:29 AM

Great read Damon, I look forward to more.

(Hi Morgan!)

The Sixth Viking   Aug 24, 2003 11:44:23 AM

* grins at the golf story *

If the first couple of instalments are anything to go by this could be great fun. damon ellis is Michael Palin!

lian   Aug 24, 2003 6:36:17 PM

oooh dear. Maybe I should go and buy a wrist watch now, it being such a necessary accessoire for turning and running ;) (I only got a pocket watch, which takes too long to take out. Hmmm.)

*chuckles* Your golfing fervor somehow dwindled after this afternoon, no?

Hope you have more such luck of the not-yet-dangerous-but entertaining sort :P


Binky   Aug 25, 2003 6:10:54 AM

I got lost in the new territories. Not so threatening though - I just got mobbed by several little old ladies who helpfully pointed me in the wrong direction. An hour's walk in full sun later, and I still didn't find the Hong Kong History Museum (but I did find the temple nearby). The nice people on the train back to Nathan Rd got a great demonstration of what happens when mad dogs and kiwi girls go out in the midday sun - I looked like a boiled lobster.

Agnes   Aug 25, 2003 6:47:57 AM

Hey, Damon, seems you've had much fun in HK so far. Yeah, be careful of those people wondering around, the security in some places in HK is really bad.

Chris   Aug 25, 2003 7:32:59 AM

Looks like your reports are going to be as interesting as Malcolm's. You've only been there two days, and you have almost been killed :)

Rimmers   Aug 25, 2003 10:07:31 AM

already adventurous at the beginning, isn´t it?

do you know what just came into my mind? "Around the world in 80 days" by Jules Verne.

of course, they took the other way round, and you leave out 1/2 of the globe ;)

so maybe you will have to rescue some princess on your ways, too...

Bosco   Aug 26, 2003 12:35:40 AM

*pines further, with the addition of making pathetic pining sounds* I wonder how many internet cafes there are in Istanbul anywho...

Charlotte   Aug 26, 2003 1:53:13 AM

Never fear Bosco, there's hope yet! I managed to find mention of three 'net cafes in Istanbul via Google search: http://www.alternativetravelers.net/info base/icsearch.php3?searched=displayresul ts&country=Turkey

All he has to do now is find them.........

Hmm, I never have much luck posting links, so I wonder if the above one will work!

Charlotte   Aug 26, 2003 1:53:48 AM

*laughs* Nope! I'm a links jinx!

Charlotte   Aug 26, 2003 1:57:35 AM

Spam! Spam! It's kind of annoying not being able to edit previous posts, but apparently there is an "abundance of internet cafes in Istanbul". Right. I'm not gonna make anymore pointless posts (at least not today!) *leaves*

Harlequina   Aug 26, 2003 6:39:15 AM


Damon   Aug 26, 2003 8:34:24 AM

Hee hee - that's why I'm travelling, to have weird adventures like thýs one. Incidentally, I have found an Internet Cafe here in Istanbul, so expect another report very soon.

Damon   Aug 26, 2003 9:29:26 AM

Btw, greets to all the NZers that are posting - haven't heard enough from you guys! Special hi to Douglas and Agnes and the Palmy gang - good to hear from you.

And Morgan, please feel free to show them everything; I'm avoiding mention of all the very dangerous stuff so as not to alarm them. But don't show them this post - it'd just alarm them! (kidding) and try to convince them to post something themselves, even if you have to sit them in front of the computer and point at the appropriate boxes.

Peter (admin)   Aug 26, 2003 11:33:44 AM

Sorry Charlotte, the broken link is my fault :(

It's fairly long, so the board broke it up to preserve the layout. Well, actually, the link isn't so long as to break the layout, so I'd better fix that code later today ;)

(you'll still have to copy and paste the link into the location bar, as there's no way to post links on this board yet...)

nevayl   Aug 26, 2003 7:51:11 PM

not to nag or anything, but the architect is actually I.M. Pei. he also did the Pyramide du Louvre, that glass and steel pyramid in front of the louvre. so maybe you can check that out on your trip as well :)

nevayl   Aug 26, 2003 7:51:34 PM

IM Pei, as opposed to IM Pay. just a spelling error :)

fraz   Aug 27, 2003 3:42:56 AM

wow damon, rock on, im over-seas aswell. ill be posting more. once i get on my feet.

Damon   Aug 27, 2003 3:38:10 PM

What are you walking on now?

Yes Nevy, that is one of a dozen mistakes that I've made that I have to correct...

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