With the Si Agents heading to Bauhaus for the night things quickly took a turn for the stupid. Zsssht! and we’re halfway across Hong Kong on the metro heading towards the Chinese border…
“Ok it’s time to get real. We need to find some Rambo III shit, something illegal, lots of yelling and people throwing money around.” McBurger is referring to the Rambo III intro. “Sounds good or maybe ramp it up to Deer Hunter?”, Agent Getz cringes, “Geeeeezus, let’s not go that far”, “Ok, well you get the idea, I think border towns would be good for it.”
I fire up the unlocked Amazon Shitphone to scout out options. “Looks like we can get all the way to Lo Wu or even Lok Ma Chau. Probably less chance of us being killed if we…”, the subway comes to a stop, zssssht! go the doors and the lights go out. “What the..?” everyone is leaving. There’s an orange vest worker dude shoo-shooing people off the subway. “It’s not that late is it? Midnight-ish”, “Where the hell are we? Sha Tin?”, Getz giggles a bit.
We exit the train and use Tha Queebs ‘Follow People’ method, cross the platform and plop down on another train. “This right?”, “No idea”. We speed away in what seems to be the ‘right’ direction. It was getting late and it seems like the subway is systematically shutting down for the evening. “Well, we may not even be able to make it to the border then. Could maybe get a little further?”
The subway zips passed a race course and a college campus. It comes to a stop called Tai Po Market and we decide it’s time to try our luck. We hop off and get our bearings. The air is cooler and crisp here. It’s dark and hard to see our surroundings beyond the street lights but the slight salt water smell places us back near the ocean again. No giant malls. Lots of open space. Trees lining the streets. It felt good to get out of the city.
We follow a road along a river and then join up and head down another simply because we like the name of it, Kwong Fuk Road. It winds us into a downtown-ish looking area with shops and convenience stores and we find a local hang lickitty split.
We plop down on some stools up at the bar and order another round of Kronenbourg draughts. McBurger and Getz opt for the red. It’s 6 bucks, roughly 10 times cheaper than our last round at Sevva. Nothing too special about the place really but every table is filled with people and there’s the din of a genuine good time. I wouldn’t call it Rambo III but it’ll do for now.
McB and G taste their beers and both have a nawky grimace face. “Taste this”, It has a shit raspberry flavor to it. Kinda tastes like soap. They look back at the tap handle. Other than the red tinge to it there’s nothing to indicate fruit. They power through and switch it up for the next round. There’s a bit of confusion talking with the bartender, he doesn’t quite get what we’re trying to say, “3 Kronenbourgs, just normal”, he doesn’t understand, he’s a bit embarrassed now. He leaves, comes back, drops 3 beers and walks away. McB somehow gets another soapberry draught. We try to get his attention aaaaaaand… nope he doesn’t want to talk to us again for the rest of his life. Alright… pound it and we’re outta here.
Get outside and flip on the Bardar. Next door is a little more upscale place. There’s some sit down karaoke going on. Hmmmmm… haven’t warmed up the pipe juices enough and not seedy enough. We continue down the road a bit.
A few blocks down is a place called the Bobby London. Says it’s been open for 32 years. “Try an English Pub?”, “Sure”. Pop in the front door and take a look. It’s a long narrow room, wooden bar on one side and booth seats along the wall. Yep, has a very London feel to it. And it’s completely dead. A couple people at the bar, couple more in a booth. Hmmmmmmm…. “Hello, hello!”, this super nice bartender comes rushing over. “A seat, yes?”, “Ahhhh… sure”, he ushers us in to one of the booths. “Drinks?”, we glance at the taps. Kronenbourg. Double take. Blue handle. “3 Kronenbourgs please”.
Bartender Guy sets us up with beers and a bucket of peanuts. During our stay at the Bobby London, whenever either got down to about half he’d rush over with a pitcher and fill it up. Bottomless beer and peanuts? We have no idea how much this service costs but it’s pretty incredible.
During one such refill session a dapper gentleman in a business suit swivels around in his seat at the bar. He’s roughly our age, his English is excellent. “Where are you from?”. We tell him. “What are you doing out in the countryside?”, “We’re in the countryside?”, “Yeah, are you staying out here for some reason?”, “nah…” (we describe the intro to Rambo III). Business dude just laughs, “Don’t know about that.”
We chat it up with the guy through 3 more pitcher refills. Nice guy. His name is Lou, he’s from Tai Po but works as an accountant for a bank downtown. We tell him about being at Sevva. Yep, right there basically. Lou is holding up the conversation well but he’s clearly quite drunk. He excuses himself to take a call from his wife. Apparently he’s been here since he got off work. He’s gotta go. “Meet me after work tomorrow. We’ll go to Lan Kwai Fong for drinks.”
We exchange numbers and Lou takes off. Some dude further down the bar starts singing an old Anne Murray song a capella. Agent Getz is a little floored, “Well that’s amazing. Does he know we’re from the Maritimes or something?”.
Finish our 4th round of peanuts and it seems it’s about time to venture out again. We thank the bartender who is most grateful to have us. Our bottomless drinks are amazingly cheap. We leave a generous tip and bolt back out into the streets.
Alright not bad, not bad. We’ve got the pitcher sillies now. Where else can we go? “Try some alleys?”, “Yep, try some alleys!”, we try some alleys. “What’s that?”, “Yeah sounds like a club”, we follow our ears further down some random dark alley. “Coming from in there?”, it’s just a blank wall, no sign, but there is an opening.
We open a door in the wall. The music blares from inside. There are some plastic meat curtain type of strips hanging down, shafts of colored light splice through them as they sway back and forth. We push through and emerge on the other side into a dark lit bar. Dance music is cranking and there are several youngsters dancing and singing, karaoke style with mics. When they see 3 white dudes walk in there is a long dramatic pause of confusion on their turning faces and time seems to slow as their drunk brains try to process this highly unlikely sight. A split second later they all throw their arms in the air yelling and jumping, “Yeeeeaaaaaaaaaahhh!!!!” and they crowd rush over to meet us like we’re some kind of celebrities.
They grab our arms, scoot us over to a seat and instantly want to know everything about us in a barrage of hyper-speed questions streaming from each of them all at once. Meanwhile the bartender and another girl continue to light the place up with pumping dance music karaoke. Hard to tell but everyone in here looks like a teenager. It was one of the girls birthdays as well. The excitement is contagious and it stirs our kronen-primed minds into action.
One of the girls is asking if we want drinks. Quick drink scrum, “Switch to cocktails?”, “Woohoo!”, “whiskey cokes”, “yerp”, “Whiskey and coke please”, “Black label?”, “Damn…sure”, she holds up a pitcher, “Daaaamn… Sure!”.
The girl’s name is Ophelia, she’s adorably drunk and wants to do shots with us after everything we say. Gum Bai! As a result, two pitchers of Black and Cokes go down in about 15 minutes and we are ramped straight into the danger zone.
They bring over the karaoke mics and show us how to work the machine. Sort of. McBurger launches into Material Girl by Madonna and the gang goes bonkers. Agent Getz follows with Rodd Stewart’s If you think I’m sexy and the bar is just eating it up.
McBurger and a girl duet an Avril Lavigne song. And then another. And another.
We switch out karaoke songs back and forth like this, grabbing whoever to duet with while slamming through another pitcher of black and cokes. These kids are a blast. What the hell time is it? Time for another B&C.
We take a karaoke break to turn the dance tunes back to 11. We’re all up in a mini dance party by the bar when I start busting out every dance move I can remember from our dance along session with Window the other night in Taipei.
What was Window doing..?
Right, Left, turn it all around
Front, Back, turn it all around
Front crawl, back crawl, wiggle wiggle wiggle
Step step step, thrust the knee!
Left step step step, thrust the knee!
I start doing this and these kids lose their fucking minds. Their voices soar up the decibel meter. They’re screaming, fist pumping and clapping to the beat “Oy! Oy! Oy!”. A couple take out their phones to record video of it. “Ohhhhhh! OhHHHHHH!!!” Oh shit. I was just messing around, now it’s getting serious. I improv into the usual rave scene dub moves. The kids are floored. They can’t believe it. They’re trying to imitate me. Busting moves like a car lot wind tunnel guy. It’s like I’m the best dancer they’ve ever seen in their entire lives. Thing is, I suck at dancing. Hard. McB and G are laughing their heads off, they’re bewildered. Everyone’s dancing their asses off now and we do it up big time. On the chairs. On the tables. On the bar. We’re lifting each other into the air and making dance circles. Boots and pants and boots and pants and boots and pants and boots and pants…
We’re all having a blast but the bartender’s demeanor slightly shifts. Yeah, he’s staying open just to be polite isn’t he. We wrap things up with some hugs and high fives. It is getting stupidly late now. Arm in arm on shoulders and around waists we group shuffle through the door back to the alley. Waves and goodbyes and we part ways down the back alley.