A Danger to Himself and OthersPosted: Aug 23, 2003 5:35:57 PM
I 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.
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