The next day, I woke up at about 3pm. Starving. So I headed out to see if I could find one of these shis-ka-bob guys that I had run in to a few nights earlier. Basically, they have these carts that look like a hotdog cart, but they have different types of meat on shis-ka-bobs and different types of sauces to dip them in. The kabobs are only $5 each. On top of that, they were one of the better tasting things I had had in HongKong. I walked long and far in search of one of these guys (the other night, they were on every corner, I swear). I ended up walking in to a fish and fruit market. It was down a bit of a back alleyway. There’s really no way you’d have known this place was here unless you lived here. There was nothing touristy about this area, so I don’t think many tourists made it back there. I couldn’t see any while I was there. But that was perfect. As I walked straight down the center of this market, I got this real surreal feeling. It was like being somewhere in a far off land, and for the first time, this really, really, really felt like a far off land. I mean, after all, it was. But this was great, people shouting all around me (not at me, at each other) bargaining for prices, and generally carrying on. There were baskets of live fish, and people chopping the heads off right there in the streets. Bags of live frogs. I never knew what unit of measure you’d sell frogs by (by pounds, by the dozen) but I never would have guessed a bag of frogs. Anyway, it was one of those moments that you never forget. As I walked by one of the guys with fish, he slams a machete down on its head, severing it. A bit of blood squirts and a small drop gets on my foot. For some reason, I just thought this made it all the more of an interactive experience. For a few moments, I just stopped and watched it all go on around me, in awe of the fact that I was really here. Wish I had my camera.
I kept on a bit in search of a shis-ka-bob guy, but after an exhaustive search, gave up and hit a McDonalds. The McDonalds was kind of neat, they had seaweed that you could put on your fries. They gave you your fries and some seaweed, and a small baggie to shake it all together in. I tried it, and it wasn’t bad, in fact, it was a neat flavor.
After I ate my McDonalds, I went to the park next to my hotel. I had seen the entrance to this park, but had no idea how huge it was. There was an enormous multi-level public pool, a huge garden, and an aviary that took at least a half an hour to walk through. All for free. Nice park.
Once I got back to the hotel, I decided to call Joe one last time to see if the Frog and Toad might be open. Joe had been drinking for quite a while, and was well on his way to being passed out. None the less, he got on the phone. I asked him if the F&T was going to be open tonight. He said no, but that it would be open tomorrow night. Just my luck. I told him that I was leaving tomorrow morning, so we’d have to do it some other time. Once he found out that I was leaving tomorrow, he said “Then we will drink tonight. You will meet me at the Garden Pub at 9pm, we will finish a bottle of Tequila together and we will be happy. If you do not come, I will drink the whole bottle myself and then commit suicide”. Click. He hung up. Weird dude. All the same, I couldn’t have Joe’s blood on my hands, so I headed for Cheung Chau.
Once I got to the Garden Pub, I found Joe passed out. I decided not to wake him, and went behind the bar and grabbed a beer. Eventually, his wife came out of the back of the bar and asked if I was here to see Joe. I said yes, and she woke him, although I would have let him sleep a little longer. He was in bad shape this time. Real bad. He could barley stand. He came up, threw his arms around me, and as he hugged me said “We are both human beings”. I replied, “Well, yes. You’re right, we are.” I knew there was some profound thought behind that statement, but I wasn’t sure what it was. He pulled up a barstool, and said “Human Beings”. He must have repeated it 10 times. I’d say, “So, how did the filming go today”. He’d reply solemnly, “human beings….”. I said, “So are we going to drink the bottle of tequila or what?” “human beings…..”. You get the idea.
Finally, he goes and gets the bottle of tequila. At this point, I was fine with my beer and I didn’t think Joe needed any more liquor, or if his body could take any more for that matter. But, I guess you just don’t say no to Joe. We did some shots. At about the 4th shot, he yells “Beyond!”. I replied “Huh?”. “Beyond, Hong Kong rock and roll. Lead singer died 4 years ago in Tokyo.” Beyond was the name of one of Joe’s favorite rock and roll groups. A group from HongKong that ended when the lead singer died in Tokyo about 4 years ago. This now became Joes new phrase of the hour. “Beyond, Hong Kong rock and roll. Lead singer died 4 years ago in Tokyo.” Now had just replaced “human beings…..”. Again, he must have repeated it 20 or 30 times. At this point, I regretted coming out here. Just then, a group of about 12 people came in the bar. All British natives, they now lived in Cheung Chau. They were really nice people, and best of all, they were coherent. So, I explained how my host had a case of the repeatins’ and proceeded to join them. We sat around and drank and talked for about 2 hours. The Garden Pub had an outdoor area right across the walkway, so we all hung out there. Intermittently, we’d hear Joe yelling or smashing things. He was rather upset, as it was the 10-year anniversary of the Tiennamein square massacre on June 4th. So every now and then, he’d break in to a rage about it, and then calm down. You had to let him calm down on his own. If we tried to talk to him, he’d say that not being Chinese, we didn’t understand, and I guess he was right. Although we knew of the injustices that took place, perhaps it had a much deeper meaning for him. Although I’m sure a lot of it was the alcohol talking as well.
About midnight, I caught the last ferry home and went to bed. I was truly hoping for one of those crazy zany nights where you have no idea what to expect. Well, maybe next time.