I always get the impression Hong Kong and Macau are isolated from the mainland.

‘Well get a fucking map,’ said Bernie.

I got the last part.

‘And you say you are a travel writer.’

I got the last fucking part. They are islands, nestled between other islands, separated by tributaries.

‘Zhujiang River Tributary, you got that part right.’

He was either an A grader in Geography, or he was cheating on Google Maps.

‘Fucking both, I always tell ya, never underestimate a Kiwi, we surprise in ways that are even beyond surprising. ‘

It was nearing seven in the evening. We were only carrying our passports and each carried a backpack with our gear. It was time to start exploring. The temperature was dropping. None of the tropical steam bath weather we had just left. And fog started to move from off the ocean.

‘Fog doesn’t move, you dingbat, it drifts, or it’s blown, or it might even meander, no wonder you don’t sell any books.’

Just keep on walking, you asswipe, I said as I turned into a road with oak trees on each side, forming an overhead canopy that was trying to create a natural tunnel.

‘That doesn’t make sense.’

Not much does Bernhard, I replied as  I flicked him hard on the head with my chunky phone protected by a shock  absorbing brick.  That’s  for what you didn’t say, I said. I knew I couldn’t pull this shit too much, but I figured he’d needed a nice reminder that he was a mere mortal.

‘I’m a fucking Kiwi,’ he said, ‘and I’m over belting you over the head,’ he nearly tripped  over some roots that were breaking through the path on  the waterfront of Avenue Da Republica before he reached his point, ‘besides, you won’t be told.’

Wipe that loppy grin off your face before I do it for you. He was teasing me again, or was it mocking?

‘Threats threats and more threats. Gratitude. Here you are in the jewel of the orient and you want to wipe off my loppy grin. Didn’t you mean demented, not quite right, deranged grin?’

Well thank fuck for that. We were on the same page.

I won’t be told. 

It took me back,  way way back. And it was true, I still did what I wanted to do. Where’s the  problem with drinking from a public tap?

‘Could be dirty if a gay used it as a dildo.’

And that was very improbable.

Thump. Smack bang behind my head, almost like a karate chop.

‘Being chopped  in the back of the neck while drinking from the tap could uncap your teeth and could be a probable problem.’

He got me there.

‘For the sake of a good narrative,’ he said, ‘ you don’t want or need to go way back, it would be disastrous for  us both.’

Thank fuck that point was settled.

I could  hardly see him except for  the burning tip of his cigarette. Ahead, on the right, flickered red neon and out in the harbor, a tower rose skyward, seemingly tethered by another futuristic bridge that was blimping out it’s own blue  and green gamma rays.

‘You blatantly stole that line, didn’t you?’

So you got around to reading the book? Thank fucking Christ for that one.


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