MEET-UP!

My patch is purple right now.

Yesterday, despite being a Monday, was filled with win. I found out my case wasn’t going to sit Wednesday and Thursday (more sleep!); Zadie slept in her cot for the first time since mid-December (more sleep!); I fit into a smaller size of clothes at Marks & Spencer (less fat!); Glee came back at last (more singing!); and I didn’t write “turd” into the transcript (I didn’t know that was good at the time, but having done it today, I am retrospectively happy that I didn’t do it yesterday as well. “Second- and turd-tier stock options”, that’s what I wrote. I broke(re)d the shit out of that transcript.)

And last week, after seven years up in this joint, I finally had a real-life INTERNET MEET-UP! With a LiveJournal mate who I’ve been “friends” with for nearly all those seven years. Apart from our mate Antonino Salvatore Giovanni La Leggia, who brought his world’s-best name here for a visit last year, this is our first visit from someone who’s not my mum. Well done, friends in Australia. Outdone by an anonymous blogger from Morgantown, West Virginia. (To take nothing away from Paden, now Oz-ly christened Pados.) I highly recommend meeting people off the net, not psychopaths or identity thieves or old boyfriends via Facebook, just harmless journalism graduates who turn up at Hong Kong International Airport wearing t-shirts with their name largely emblazoned across the front, black nerd glasses, and clutching a pillow from home. Because it’s their first time overseas. It’s ideal if they’re from West Virginia too because then you can sing “Take me home, country roads, to the place, I belllllllooooooooooong; WEST VIRGINIA, mountain mama, take me home, COUNTRY ROADS” every night, and they love it because it’s so original, and you can even write it repeatedly on their Facebook wall if you’re a really funny c*#t.

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I picked up Paden from the airport and it was reminiscent of that reality TV show about family reunions. I could hear Jack Thompson narrating in my ear as I waited awkwardly at the wrong arrivals gate, scanning the crowd for American-looking people: “Paden and Jade haven’t seen each other for years. Ever, actually. For nearly a decade their only contact has been insulting each other’s nerd quotient via shitty LJ comments, and sharing hip hop recommendations. They reunite next.” It was stressful because I was waiting at Gate A while at the same time trying to scan the closed-circuit footage from Gate B. American-looking people would flood out of both gates simultaneously for five minutes and I would be like “Stop, go back! I wasn’t looking!” and then three planeloads of people from mainland China would arrive and I would be like “YOU’RE NOT AMERICAN!” But at last I spied the harried arrival, indeed wearing a shirt with PADEN writ so large across the front I spotted it on the closed-circuit TV, which kicked off an inappropriate sprint down the concourse in my work suit and heels before he realised I wasn’t waiting at the right gate and sought refuge in the nearest Burger King.

Not two hours later we were in JoJo’s Indian Restaurant, the most happening place in sleepy Sai Kung on a Monday night.

Paden, highly suggestible after 18 hours in transit, prepares to inhale white Sambuca fumes from a glass.
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Rufus was pumped to meet Paden off-Skype.
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At the 10,000 Buddhas monastery.
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Paden takes a risk comparable to skydiving or bungee jumping: riding the Mong Kok minibus.
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Lan Kwai Fong. (No sign of any Western Bulldogs players riding esky lids down the street).
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We ended up in a Canadian ice hockey themed bar. So multicultural. So many mojitos.
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Possibly still under the influence of the mojitos, the next day Joel got his first haircut in years after discovering his clippers were blunt. It was also the worst haircut in the history of mankind’s endeavours at follicular grooming. Henceforth he changed his name to Slobodan and started a lucrative venture selling rocket launchers over the back fence.
(Of course he is still a hottie but the haircut really was rank. Like a schoolboy with a perm.)
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Paden at some mega nerd place in the same building as the vegetarian banquet hall we went to. *shrug*
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The photo he was waiting for.
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A perfectly content pet bird chained up outside a restaurant in town, nibbling on a piece of orange peel.
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Creepy zodiac goat and dragon warrior things at Wong Tai Sin temple.
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Paden gets his hand read by a soothsayer at Wong Tai Sin temple. Apparently he’s going to meet his wife through work at the age of 25, and they’re going to be great together, but he’s going to totally piss her off when he’s 33 by spending only 20% of his time at home and the other 80% with his mates, who use him for his kind but gullible nature. Jerk.
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Jet lag kicks in (for Rufus too) on day 5.
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Daily fresh fish market on Sai Kung foreshore. The stink.
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Waiting for the sampan to Sharp Island.
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Our negligibly seaworthy craft.
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In my vast experience as a sampan passenger, this was the shoddiest vessel I’ve been on. Trepidatious.
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“God bless all the fools who sail upon her”?
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Our shipmates didn’t seem as perturbed as us.
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A far more luxurious sampan passes in the opposite direction.
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Looking back in relief after disembarkation. It’s now the turn of these fools to take their lives in their hands on their return journey.
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Really cute Zadie in her really cute rabbit suit.
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Our return journey. We caught the last ride of the day. Is it a light commercial craft or a people-smuggling operation?
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“Christmas Island WHOO!”
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Sturdy anchor, hardly rusted at all.
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Mong Kok madness.
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Really, Mong Kok madness. A guy with a cue playing an electric guitar with a cocky for a companion.
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New Year’s fireworks at Tsim Sha Tsui.
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(Obviously it’s hard to take good photos of fireworks but these are smiley faces!)

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Victoria Peak at night. This was a new experience for us too.
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Kind of liked this one of Joel and I so I just chopped Paden out. Sorry Pados.
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Sailing to Kowloon side on the Star Ferry.
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Rufus was very sad when Paden left. He sat morosely and illegally on a luggage trolley as I pushed him slowly down the airport concourse after sending our friend on his way back down those country roads to West Virginia, via the unparalleled service of United Airlines. A little whispering voice floated up, not Jack Thompson this time but my sad little boy: “Mama, I miss Paden so much.”

He was easily placated with a stale bundt cake from a chain coffee store.

What a great week. TOP DARTS, PADOS 🙂

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6 Comments Add yours

  1. Cool! In a freaky addition to our “we have the same life” files, I also met up with a blogger buddy yesterday, first time!
    We were both laughing at it all and breathing sighs of relief that we weren’t serial killers. The Belgian blog community is pretty small, so we were pretty lucky to have found each other. You’d love her blog actually, I should set you guys up. Hers is http://mwaonline.blogspot.com/
    Looks like you had a great week!

  2. jadeluxe says:

    This is incredible. What shall we do next week together! 😉
    It’s so fun to meet an online friend in real life, right? I loved it! In fact as expats, it’s fun just to meet any friend we can connect with on any level, right?
    I do love her blog, thank you! Just added it to my blogroll!
    Cheers x

  3. Hey!
    It looks like your blog meet was SO much more interesting! I mean, ours was fun in a sitting-in-a-cafe-finding-out-you-have-loads-in-common way, but yours was all touristy and exotically exciting!
    Thanks for coming over to visit. Am adding you to my reader. (And my future blog roll when I finally get around to making one.)

  4. cinova says:

    Love this post, for many reasons. First and foremost, you went to a Canadian ice hockey bar and drank mojitos…cool, very cool! Secondly, the photo-booth pics of Paden and Slobodan were very bodacious indeed. Thirdly, all the pics reminded me of when I was in Hongkers…rode on that Mong Kok bus, did the 1000 buddhas, light show, palm reading etc, but never did ride the sampan or go to the top of Victoria Peak tho…reckon I was jipped by your dad on those accounts. And Rufus is sweet as, the way he bonded with the dude from West Virginia. Oh, and I highly recommend meeting people from internet connections too (I have my reasons, as you would know LOL). Great post.

  5. Lisa B says:

    beautiful photos of the city jade!! you’re looking great too !!! xxx

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