If Jack can fly Cathay Pacific to Hong Kong, then so can I.
He’s always ducking over there. I had heard of a place called Half Penny Press Cafe, where Jack hung out when he wasn’t working.
But I had no idea the place was so fucking hilly. I was wheezing heavy while walking up and down them trying to figure out where the fuck I was. I lit up a cigarette, I’m not a quitter, and stomped up and down a few more hills.
I had walked these same streets in The King of Macau, figuratively speaking. Now this was Jack’s beat. Tay, as far I know, had never been here. I’m sure he’d really dig it. But he’s such a homebody.
Languid tropics behind me, shopkeepers spat Cantonese at incredible speeds. Hold your fucking horses, I said. If I want to patron your noodle joint I will, and if I don’t then fuck off. I learnt this technique in Shanghai and it shuts them up for a minute before they realise you are taking the piss out of them. By that time you are long gone.
I looked around. Fucking Brits, everywhere.
I wasn’t really sure if I liked Hong Kong.
‘Bollocks to you, you silly little git.’
There were many of them around. They were in Hong Kong, following the money.
Trevor sailed in on a yacht in the 70s from Thailand to Hong Kong and now is one of the highest paying engineers in Asia.
‘I couldn’t build a lego house if you asked me,’ boasted Trev. He was playing octopus arms with the Indonesian maids, who whored it up on the weekend at The Victoria Pub to supplement their meagre wages.
It was true, when we left home, we took us much of it as we could. But the Brits have taken it to the zenith.
‘The fucking meat here is shit,’ said Frank, an Aussie stock broker, in his fifties, who was fucking Mary and Jane, both Indonesian maids, on consecutive days.
He winked at me, a pro tip was on the way, ‘So everytime I fly from Oz, and I only fly QANTAS, I carry 50 kgs of Australian prime meat with me.’
How he got past customs was beyond me.
‘Many things are beyond you, cobber, now fuck off back where you came from.’
Fuck off where I came from. I was having problems figuring out where I was now.
I don’t get around much, since that terrorist bomb in Thai South, which curtailed my traveling. I was an incurable whore monger before then. There’s something to be said about a car bomb to cure a promiscuity problem. Well it worked for me.
I just don’t travel anymore, unless it’s on Google Earth where I plot and plan to rule the world.
I had a lot to thank Allah for. Not traveling and whoring were two of them, I was saving a fortune.
‘You fucking tight wad,’ said another Brit. I was sitting outside The Victoria Pub drinking a beer I bought from Seven Eleven across the road, hoping I’d pick up a drunken stray Indonesian housemaid.
‘Hong Kong isn’t a place for Cheap Charlies,’ he said as he kicked me hard in the gut.
Uncharitable bunch they were.
There must be a part of the globe where there are no British. But where?
No where in Asia was cheap these days. The good old days of it being a cheap destination are long gone with destroyed brain cells and Across Asia on the Cheap is long out of print.
Being an expat is hard work and I wiped my hands clean of it. I had some more backstreets to explore.
Then I remembered, Half Penny Press Cafe, I’m sure I’d be welcome there. I might even find a decent conversation.
Now what the fuck is Jack up to Hong Kong?
Chilling, snooping, observing, taking notes.
It was really nice to meet a Non-Brit for a change, I could actually understand what he was saying. Even Google Translate gave up on Brit slang before the internet was even born.
I had met The Laundry Man at Half Penny Press Cafe. Despite my reception from the expat crowd, things were really looking up. I had met someone who could string at least half a sentence. He had to be a Yank.
‘Jack to you,’ he said.
Can you whistle Dixie, I asked.
‘Now don’t push it.’
At least I tried.
Now do they serve any sweet tea at this joint, I asked.
‘We may do,’ said another man, who had a mop of red hear. ‘So watch that foul mouth of yours or I’ll buy you the next round.’
It was Archie Ward, the red head swear artist, and nice to meet you too cunt, I said.
I promised Archie I wouldn’t review his place on Trip Advisor.
‘We just don’t want any more asswipes than we already have frequenting this place,’ he said.
I hope he wasn’t talking about me.
Instead, I said, ‘I really know what you mean, and sad cunts included right?’
Then I gave him a good thump on his upper arm.
‘ASIS pussies,’ I mumbled under my breath.
Jack looked on amused and that was a signal for Archie to put away his gun. Apparently Half Penny Press Cafe accepted me.
Swearing like a trooper has saved my life many times, and today was one of them.
But that didn’t stop Archie grabbing my arm and twisting it behind my back and escorting me outside.
‘White trash with no manners.’
I felt hurt and dejected and screamed like a little baby.
‘Only fucking with you,’ he says and invites me back inside, saying there’s going to a book signing, very soon.
I was very curious.
‘Don’t Get Caught,’ said Jack.
Got it. Got it. And I had even preordered a copy today, I said to the boys, trying in ingratiate myself.
‘Lucky for you,’ said Archie, ‘if you hadn’t then I’d definitely have to kill you.’