So now we’re three adventure detectives, black and coke plastered, ‘out in the countryside’, and the metro is still closed for the night. “Better get some 7/11 beers and figure this out”. We do. We also get some Creme Brulee chips just because… there’s creme brulee chips? Creme bru-lays? What… there’s hot pot chips? (Spoiler alert: Both are fucking terrible)
We flip the Bardar on again just in case. “Well, we could just stay up until the metro opens again.”, “Yeah, that’s only a couple hours away actually”, “Are you guys serious?”, “Yeah, of course. What else are we gonna do?”, “Cab it across Hong Kong?”, “Pffffff”, “Pffffff!”, “Phhhfffffff!”, “Phhffffffffffff!!”, “We haven’t been down this way yet, what’s down here?”
Our highly tuned bardar and the new ‘Follow your ears’ technique lead us up another alley to another backdoor. Looks like it may be called ‘101’. We can hear music. “Time to teach After Hours 101”, McBurger has his hand on the doorknob. (This kind of reminded me of that human trafficking debacle we found ourselves in the middle of back in Sofia, Bulgaria. But that’s a story for another time). “Shall we?”
The door opens and there is a kitchen on our left. Bathrooms on the right. Narrow hallway opens up into another bar. There is a karaoke machine with a group of teenagers here as well and another table of older guys who on first glance look to be fishermen.
The girl bartender has that same split second of astonished hesitation look we keep getting around Tai Po. But she’s just as quick as everyone else to snap out of it into completely honest and genuine hospitality. She comes around to make sure we’re comfortable. We get a round of black and cokes because that’s apparently what we do now.
When there was a break in the karaoke we amble up and knock out some more classics.
We black and coked the shit out of:
George Michaels – Careless Whisper
Aerosmith – I Don’t Wanna Miss a Thing (impossible to sing the end btw)
MJ – Billie Jean
GnFnR – Knocking on Heaven’s Door
The bartender was so pumped. She brought us fish balls. She was so proud of these fish balls. McBurger and I had to try and convince her we’d die if we ate them but she didn’t quite understand at first. She really wanted us to try the fish balls. “Damn, these are good fish balls!”, Agent Getz has the whole lot of them for himself.
The bartender is really sweet and we try to communicate with her about Tai Po, Hong Kong, her family, the bar, wherever the thread leads. She is a gracious host and continues to bring us snacks and encourage us to do more and more embarrassing drunk karaoke. So of course we do, as the table of teenagers sits bashfully giggling at us.
After a few rounds the fishermen wave goodbye and take off through the front door. It’s daylight out. Whoa, what the fuck time is it? Ha! The metro has been open for an hour. We finish up and get some hugs and pics from Bartender Girl.
We all bumble stump our way back down Kwong Fuk Road towards the metro. Before we get there, however, our own drink train arrives with gusto. Agent Getz’s usual stumbly nature is amplified a million fold and McBurger and I are doubled over laughing at the zig zags. “What?”, he’s barely awake. Barely alive. “Was it this far away?”, people are rushing past us on their way to work. Oh maaaaan, keep composure.
We somehow get our drunk asses onto the subway and start the long ride back to Bao’s house in Tsing Yi. McBurger and I are still amped up and rambling but Getz is in full on passout mode. After a while this is grabbing more and more attention from some worried morning commuters. So McBurger and I call an audible and yank Getz off the train at some random spot when we cross into downtown Hong Kong again. He’s so confused.
We walk in figure eights a few blocks looking for a breakfast joint. Boom. Some random spot. “This will do the trick”. Coffee, Asahi, meat, eggs, toast and… breakfast noodles. Slurp slurp! Daaaaaaaah!
The alco-morning starts to frantically merge together like a bad water color time lapse. There’s a sketchy taxi ride. Road beers. Back to Temple Street. Somehow. We lose McBurger. We’re outside some building. Waiting. “It’s been a long time, eh?”. Now we’re in some claustrophobic old elevator creeping up the wall. Is this an apartment? Wait, was that a foot massage place? Elevator only goes to the top floor. Why are we up here? We’re trudging down a concrete stairwell. There’s yelling. We find McBurger in the stairs. “What the hell? How?”
He argued with some people. We’re outside. We’re in a mall. So many lights. Metro again? Back in a mall. What time is it? We’re out on some platform. “You can’t be up here!”, “What, why?” We’re on a walkway by the water…
Thoughts coalesce again near Bao’s house. I’m amazed we found our way back. “Will the girl’s be there?”, “Hope so. Maybe we should bring them some breakfast.”
I remember seeing a McDonald’s in the mall near the dim sum place the other day. We wait in line, grab a round of sausage McMuffin w eggs and head back to the apartment. We’re almost on fist bump level with the security guard now. McBurger and I bushwhack in a circle around sleepy Getz on the elevator ride up and we’re back at the rattly metal gate to Agent Bao’s safe house.
The Si Agents are both up, prepped, and ready for the day. “Where did you go?”, “Tai Po”, “Tai Po?!”, “Yeah”, “Why?”, “It’s as far as we could go”. They gobble up the McDs. “Are you guys just gonna crash then?”, “Ohh yeah, big time. It’s 10 o’clock”, “Ok, we’re going out to a bird garden!”, “Of course”, “See you guys in a bit!”, and they jump out the window onto a winged panda that rockets them off through the cloud bank.
I shamble off to my little room totally exhausted. What a looooooong night. Oh tiny diagonal blanket in my tiny little room. I’m so happy to see you. Oh cutesy cat pillows. I cozy up in my polka dot blanky and slam into the dream wall.
Meanwhile in the living room….