Expat@Large

What To Do In HK – An Expat-Tempore List

Posted in beach, expats, food, hiking, Hong Kong, tourists by expatatlarge on May 20, 2012

A friend asked E@L to suggest some things for a buddy to do while he was in Hong Kong. E@L has no idea how long, if not forever, his buddy would be there.

This prompted a quick thought and an even quicker burst of the automatic writing that E@L used to think he used to be infamous for… Gods of Blog Spontaneity be damned, there has been quite a bit of editing from the original e-mail, for obsfucational clarificational purposes in the vain hope of making it more understandable/coherent.

This means that while there are still plenty of errors, distortions, misrepresentations, exaggerations and arguably hypocritical opinions and comments in this list – not to mention geographical fuck-up – E@L holds these truths be evidence of his experiences there.

E@L apologizes in advance to local experts and tourist-guides for making the wrong call on so many things, but this is how he remembers it… Many of the local bloggers would scoff at and deride E@L for this superficial list, but as they don’t follow him anyway, eh, who really cares?

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Hey friend, person of ill-repute,

An embarrassingly incomplete list of gwailo/tourist things to do in Hong Kong for your buddy – not in any order. Choose any four.

The Peak – make sure it is clear weather (i.e. winter) or forget it. This time of year, dodgy. Take the funicular tram up. It is steep, about 45deg. Goes past my old place. If you want to have a baby, Matilda Hospital up here has the best views of anywhere on the island.

Walking/Jogging Path – Bowen Rd path on Midlevels (where I used to live – merely coincidence that my first two recommendations are for nearby). There is a 4km track level path straight across the hills above Wanchai to Causeway Bay. Goes past the enormous mansion of Feng Shui master guy who earned (cough!) billions from “eccentric heiress” (batshit crazy rich bitch) Nina Wang by a) telling her where she should put his water spout to best effect, and b) forging her will. Great story there, someone should write a novel. About 0.5km along, climb up to look at Lover’s Rock. Rock, yeah, right, bit of mis-spelling there. But first, look down over the fence to see if the heroin addict guy who tends the rock still lives there. Keep an eye out for some little statues and joss sticks every now and then along the path. Forest gods, IKYN. The jogging path around The Peak is also nice (when the weather is clear!!!)

ICC building – The 100th floor viewing platform on the big fucking building over Kowloon MRT (118 stories!) Same weather warning. When it is clear you can see the other big fucking building (IFC2) quite well from here. My buddy Spike, former Wanchai Vortex ™ surfer and now camera geek, has taken some great nighttime pictures of HK, btw.

South African Food (wtf?) – The Stoep on Cheung Sha beach Lantau island is something of a hazing ritual for tourists / new recruits. The lamb shanks, what can I say? There might be time for this after checking out the Big Buddha. Ditto warnings with the weather.

Hong Kong fishing village restaurants – There are plenty, all equally toxic exotic. Lamma island or Cheung Chau island. The Lamma one needs you to walk a bit (or you can if you want… not 100% on this?). Get the scallops with garlic – sorry I mean garlic with scallops. Also razor clams. (And WTF are those giant penis things?) Haven’t had cholera there for years now. Nah, seriously, great food. You’re more likely to get ill eating in your hotel.

Junk Trip – absolutely a must – you get seasick easily? This is the ride for you! They’re all good. Take a bunch of buddies of course, these are communal affairs, plus it’s affordable if you share.

Swimming – Are you crazy? Head out to Tai Long Wan beach way out past Sai Kung (take the junk trip!) if you want to avoid the majority of the shipping lane effluent.

Crap “Local” Food – Lan Kwai Fong’s Rat Alley is famous for its… rats. Seriously. Unbelievably bad, yet popular, like most blockbuster movies. A favorite for back-packers and poorly paid F.I.L.T.H.

Sai Kung – well worth a visit while you’re at it, as you can take a long hike to Tai Long Wan as well, if you are feeling suicidal in this heat. Or jump across to play golf on Kau Sai Chau – bring plenty of balls, it can swallow three per hole, easy. (This is not a metaphor, or do I mean not a double entrendre?)

Stanley Market – the most amazing part of this trip is the ride on the No 6X bus. Take the top deck and sit at the very front. Your worst roller coaster ride will seem dull after this. Some things are OK in the market, but a market is a market is a market. Buy books, if you must, at the Dymocks [if it is still there] that I was going to set up before I came to Singapore.

Portugese Food (wtf?) – ferry to Macau, tell the taxi driver “Fernandos” – it’s on the arse end of the other island, Coloane, past the Venetian. You’ll get just as good if not better chicken and potatoes in town but, hey, you’re a gwailo, a tourist, you have no common sense.

Chinese Noodles, etc… – the first place you come to anywhere is bound to be brilliant. OK try the Honolulu Coffee Shop in Stanley St near Lan Kwai Fong. Recommended by insert name of common friend. Unlike many of the eateries in this great former British colony [founded by and for heartless drug-runners] they have an English menu.

Dim Sum – man I love this Cantonese junk food. Noisy and very noisy are your choices for restaurants. Everybody likes the ancient, sullen aunties and their steaming trollies at the City Hall in Central, where the Star Ferry and Queens pier used to be… (gone, sad.) Get there before 10 or you’re screwed. Not the best, but hey, you’re a tourist! [Most locally patronized yum cha places are upstairs in mold-scarred buildings that certainly don’t look like restaurants from the outside. They are gate-kept at the bottom of the stairs by harsh women who speak into tiny microphones and never tell you anything. No, no English, what were you thinking! Even your Cantonese friends are scared of these women.]

Spa/Massage Parlour – the only legit spa/massage place that I know the expats go to is Sunny Paradise, in Lockhart Rd conveniently. At least that is where it used to be. Get a pork bun or two. This is not a metaphor.

Hiking – weather permitting, must walk the Dragon’s Back on HK island. It’s not a hard climb – steps all the way, great views (what did I say about weather?) and bring water, it’s frackin’ hot this time of year. Finish at Shek O and eat and drink (you’ll need a San Mig or fifteen – bottle only, never can) at the Thai/Chinese restaurant there on the left of the carpark as you enter, an excellent gwailo tradition best upheld in the partaking.

Sleazy Fat Old Men – No visit to Asia is complete without checking out the sex-tourism – oh that’s right, these are local expats, not tourists. Ah, Wanchai… (eyes go dreamy…) Want to see some feeeelthy old expats leering at local (Philippines is nearby, right?) girls? Try the Old China Hand on Lockhart Rd, there or the new Queen Victoria Pub a few bars up. However, while these are “normal” bars, yet somehow the genuine girly/stripper, feel-my-tits if you buy-me-drink bars, or the meet-market clubs at Laguna and Fenwicks along this strip seem somehow less sleazy than these two places. [Say hello to Bruce and E@L while you are there… Sleazy is fine if you are drunk, and who isn’t drunk in Wanchai?] If you pass the girly bars early in the evening, you will see (and smell) mamasan burning Monopoly money and joss-sticks in an orison for a good night.

Legit Wanchai – right next to the girly bars and sleazy old men joints are some nice bars and restaurants. Do not eat at the American Chinese Restaurant – it’s another gwailo tradition to mock it. Good rock music at Amazonia. Free mike night at The Wanch. Dance on the bar at Carnegies. Have a whisey at The Stag. Have a 3am 4am kebab at Ebeneezers.

3rd Gen Entertainment – in the hills above the tourist crowd in LKF on pissing up on Friday night, you will find Wyndham St, now the Friday night piss-up place for Execs and bankers-wankers. Don’t expect Cantonese to be spoken here. Eat somewhere near Staunton St, up The Escalator (note the capitals) to SOHO (south of Hollywood Rd). Around here [E@L is too old to have ever found out where, exactly] locally born but still expat (3rd Gen) brats hang at bars, or so I believe. Walk all the way down to Jaspa’s Restaurant, don’t eat there FFS, and turn right. There are some tiny makeshift bars here, not far at all away from the great unwashed tourists. Don’t expect English.

“Real” Hong Kong – anywhere, just not near Wanchai, LKF, Central or TST.

“Antiques” – walk along Hollywood Rd under the escalator and order antiques to your exact specifications. Interestingly, some of these places do sell genuine antiques. Those antique porcelain horses which look like they have been sprayed with mud, are really brand-new plaster horses that have been sprayed with mud. If they have these in the windows, move on.

The Dark Side – (Tsim Sha Tsui – TST) – high tea at The Peninsula (book now). Dinner of brilliant Indian somewhere in Chunking Mansions on Nathan Rd. Do not buy cameras in this area though (head back to Stanley St in LKF). After dinner drinks at the Wooloomooloo bar at The One on Nathan/Granville/Carnavon Rd, just up a bit. Awesome views at night (weather permitting), but closes at midnight. Spend lots.

More Beaches – Past Repulse Bay (get off the 6A or 260 bus on the way back from Stanley and walk or taxi the 2km down to South Bay Beach. Gay friendly, which means all the homophobic obnoxious gwailos steer clear – you’re comfortable with your sexuality, yeah? Drink four million Coronas under the faded umbrellas in the restaurant above the change rooms – just grab the beers from the fridge yourself or you’ll die of thirst. Make sure you shower if you go swimming. The water in the beach is relatively OK (shudder, for HK) but the shower is nice place to make new friends.

That is all – too much already, yeah? Geez, I miss Hong Kong.

Cheers

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E@L

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Cash Cow Shit

Posted in food, getting rich slowly, Hong Kong, Singapore, wine tasting by expatatlarge on April 17, 2012

Those of you with your fingers on the pulse, your noses to the grindstone, your feet on the ground, your heads in the clouds, your eyes on the the prize, your tongues kept civil in your heads and yours heads not halfway up your arse will be aware that E@L has a controlling small interest in a steakhouse restaurant group in Hong Kong called Wooloomooloo. This is not a party political broadcast, whoof, me?, but please go to the restaurants and bars there and spend your entire life savings at your earliest convenience. Take a loan, spend more. Speak to our financial consultant.

Anyway, point of story. (Anyway, any sentence that begins with “anyway” shows sloppy, sloppy, sloppy thinking. AKA: too much red wine.) Point of story.

E@L was in Hong Kong last week (working hard, hush your mouth) and enjoyed himself immensely. Please don’t start E@L on his preferences between Hongkers and Singapore. (Ten blogposts started and abandoned in frustration already this week.) On any given hour of any given day, the answer might be 180deg from what it was last time you asked. So what did he do?

He had a quiet night in Wanchai with Bruce(!)…

He took a stroll up the gweilo, ahem, friendly region Queens Rd West in of Sai Wan (did anyone even notice there was Westerner there? No. – c.f. The Glamour, Christopher Priest, 1984) and took in some the hectic, hectic, no-time-to-think ambiance of that part of town.

Awesome.

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Anyway (oops), he visited several (3/4) of the Woolies (as we affectionately call the money-spinning cash cow) over the course of his five day stay on the barren little rock (as we affectionately call Hong Kong) and has some more photos to share…

View from the rooftop at Woolies at Wanchai, on Hennessy.

View across to Hong Kong from Woolies Prime in The One, Nathan Rd – E@L and an old HK friend, MJ. View is bit misty, you can’t see the top of IFC2, but still, pretty frackin’ awesome, what? Fireworks and light-show every night at 8pm. The bar area, with it’s jaw-dropping balcony view seems very popular for some reason, and we couldn’t get a seat there after our meal. Great! Spend more money!

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Anyway (FUCK!), we they are opening a Singapore Woolies in June, our their first international venture. Tell your friends. E@L went today to the third floor at the Swissotel (The Stamford), at Raffles City (not Raffles hotel, not Raffles Shopping Arcade, not Raffles Hospital, not Raffles Place) to observe the current state of affairs. At the moment, it’s an area of concrete and brick and steel pipes and open windows. (Thankfully it doesn’t rain much in Singapore… Yeah, right.) But mid-June or so… look out!

Here are some shots out of the window. Mmm, not bad.

That road you can see next to the sports ground transforms into part of the racing circuit for the Singapore F1 GP every September. (Damn. Was hoping for a nice quiet venue. Bummer. And no, we are not taking booking yet, even for the ownersshareholders.)

That crazy what’s-that-on-top-of-those-three-buildings thing is part of the Marina Bay Sands Hotel, next to the casino integrated resort on, well, Marina Bay. Fireworks and light-show every now and then. Theatre complex, convention centre, 2,000 plus hotel rooms, etc… all right there or just a small walk away. Very good spot in other words.

OK, good view but it’s not as spectacularly brilliant as the view from TST to Hong Kong Island, even so it’s not that bad. For Singapore.

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So anyway, after all this, E@L heads out for dinner at another restaurant to meet up with some friends, Jennifer and David (real names, to indict the innocent). We went to Balzac, new place in The Rendezvous. French place. Absinthe cocktails sort of place. Beef cheeks in red wine jus sort of place. Incomprehensible French word for soufflé (already a French word!) sort of place.

We knock back our cheap Côtes du Rhône vin ordinaire (still quite nice, Grenache/Syrah) and chat with each other and with the staff (quiet night). Jennifer is in Singapore for the Food and Hotel Association expo at Changi and she notices that the chef (walking past) has a halyard around his neck from that very same FHA exhibition. She calls him over for une petite conversaysheon and things start rolling from there. A little bit of extra service, some more bread, please try the absinthe cocktail, have the unpronounceable chocolate soufflé…

Then David gets a phone call – “Yeah, sure, bring them over…” A friend of his, who doesn’t drink, has been at a French wine thingummie. He drops by a few minutes later with three bottles of already opened but barely tasted French wine – St Julien, etc… Not crap at all. Well into three figures, each bottle.

The sommelier, after seeing this impressive delivery, and noting that we hadn’t fallen over unconscious after several of those absinthe (they were 99% cognac, it turned out, pfft!) cocktails, opts to bring over three clean glasses for us. But wait, there’s more. With the first bottle done, the St Julein, the sommelier tempts us with a taste of some of his biodynamic French wine as a comparison.

In fact, fuck it, he leaves the remaining 3/4 of the bottle with us. This wine is from the biodynamic Rhone vineyard of the dynamic M. Chapoutier. Last time E@L tasted one of these was at a degustation at the way expensive but impressive Andre restaurant with the Asia manager of M.Chapoutier, Stephane, sitting at the table next to us. (One of the drops we had that night was $750 a bottle, E@L found out later!)

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Biodynamic.

E@L thought, like you, that this is some fancy way of saying organic. Right? Sure, I’ll drink, thought E@L. They finished the free bottle, David was leaving with the other two (also Bordeaux or that ilk) bottles to take home as some of us (not E@L obviously) have to work on the morrow, so we settled the bill and left.

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Biodynamic: 9 points…

1: Bury cowshit in a cow’s horn in the soil over winter. Add to compost.
2: Bury ground quartz in a cow’s horn over summer. Add to compost.
3: Hang yarrow flowers in a stag’s bladder though summer and bury them over winter.
4: Chamomille, ditto in cow intestine.
5: Stinging nettles, bury in summer.
6: Bury oak bark the skull of a farm animal over winter.
7: Hang dandelion flowers in cow mesentry over summer, bury over winter, dig up in spring.
8: Spray valerian flower juice into the compost.
9: Give vines a nice cup of tea. Put fermented common horsetail (equisetum arvense) directly on to the vines or use a manure.

IKYN.

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Heard enough?

E@L’s opinion of this bioinsanity and its biodymaniacs? Have a guess. Why not have the vines do yoga? Why not give them coffee high-colonics? Why not allow them to discover themselves in an ashram in Goa?

Take E@L back to the plain old vinodiversity of the Barossa, please, please, please.

Fucking bionutters. Wine was OK, but fuck, do you really need this bullshit to wash down the cowshit?

E@L

p.s. eat at Wooloomooloo any chance you get. E@L wants to be a money-spun cash-cowshitillionaire!

Hongkers Time

Posted in Hong Kong, long time no post, work by expatatlarge on April 9, 2012

E@L feels comfortably at home with the jarring discomfort as his rattling red taxi bounces from tram-track to barely-repaired pothole down Queens Road West towards his hotel in Sai Wan. (Sai Wan? you scream, WTF are doing out there?).

He is trying to get a 3G signal is what. What is with this place and roaming?

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E@L may have time to relate somethings about this breif sojourn to his old stomping grounds tonight (it is lunch-time now, nearly the hour upon which he has to turn up at work – a seminar in one of the big hospitals just up the hill.)

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Time. How to measure it? Why to measure it? E@L was on the walking machine thingie at the gym for the last 4000 drops of water, half an incense stick and several cms fall in a iron ball attached to an escapement mechanism listening to this…

IOT with Melvyn Bragg

Measurement of Time 29 Mar 12
Thu, 29 Mar 12
Duration:
42 mins
Melvyn Bragg and his guests discuss the measurement of time. Early civilisations used the movements of heavenly bodies to tell the time, then mechanical clocks emerged in Europe in the medieval period. For hundreds of years clocks were inaccurate but now atomic clocks are capable of keeping time to a second in 15 million years. Melvyn Bragg is joined by Kristen Lippincott, Former Director of the Royal Observatory, Greenwich; Jim Bennett, Director of the Museum of the History of Science at the University of Oxford and Jonathan Betts, Senior Curator of Horology at the Royal Observatory, Greenwich.

Podcast – 20MB)

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Horology. There’s a term to conjure with.

OK talk to you a leap-second later, your favorite horologist,

E@L

Some Old E@L Opinions, Observations and Tales

Posted in AEI, expats, Hong Kong, stereotypes, Thailand by expatatlarge on March 6, 2012

E@L was contemplating the implications for himself of the previous post so he went hunting for some of his previously stated opinions. Found these from his abandoned blog (it was crashing all the time locking people out, even E@L – moved to Blogger in 2008). Most of these snippets, if not all, are from posts in 2004 and 2005.

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One comment, not about hookers but about the legal system: Expat Nation – Farang Affairs

Ah Thailand. It’d be tragic, if it wasn’t so tragic.

Just seemed appropriate.

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A classic. One of E@L’s first concerning the scene… The Charisma Card

You see, with any (valid) credit card, E@L and the thousands like him, acquire the neon-halogen glow of true SuperStars, of party animals out to bring it all down! He pulls out the card and *Charisma* comes to him and flows from him, billowing behind like a cloak. Charm wraps itself all over his body – he is Mr Popular, he is Johnny Love. The crowds part, the band stops playing, the most beautiful girls turn to him, wonder who he is, whether they’ll be lucky enough to go home with him tonight. Their voices rise, entranced at the power of his presence, to call out in an irrestible song of the sirens…

“Hello. Welcome! What you like drink? Beer, Carsbuck, Hinick?”

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This post from 2004, Expatriatism! Easier to spell than antidisestablishmentarianismistically, (stupid title) is in response to the review (by Pico Ayer) of a book by an American expat in Japan. Pico, presumably paraphrasing, spoke of the expat who complained that wherever he was, he was not at home. E@L (who can count only to five in about four, no three, Asian languages [the number six just won’t stay in the LTM!]) took umbrage at this, somewhat unfairly in retrospect.

Expatriatism! It’s our favorite ‘ism!

What does it mean for the E@L? It means a chance to experience and explore different attitudes to life, to traffic, to sexual mores, to food, to work, to worry, to family, to pretty much everything. To see things being done differently and for different reasons. To realize that an incomprehensibly varied range of motives drive the people in those countries that are not our home reference point (if we have one!) It’s not in order to become like a native, for that’s merely exchanging one limited world view for another. As Joyce might say, to exchange a rational and coherent mistake for an irrational and incoherent one. (Not that Australia is rational and coherent, but I had to get that quote in somehow, somewhere in my life!) The idea is to gain experience and glean insight – not necessarily to judge, though one might criticize (just might!) – maybe in order to make some more sense of why things are as they are at everybody’s version of home.

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Apropos that, here’s E@L complaining that Singapore is not Hong Kong (let alone Australia). Going Troppo – it had to happen!”.

The fact that the restaurants and nightspots he wants to go to are shut on the weekend! The fact that it takes 7 mintues between trains and not 2 minutes. The fact that they say “6th Storey”, and not “6th Floor”. The fact that “Mannings” is “Guardian.” The fact that taxis disappear after 10pm. The fact that Singlish is nowhere NEAR English. The fact that those taxis have manual transmission and every drive-chain in Singapore is ruined because the drivers don’t understand how to use a clutch! The fact that there is nothing but a sticky, sweaty summer here. The fact that the ground is all horizontal and not vertical (there are no views!) The fact that it has the death penalty and the cane and no-one cares. The fact that the entire place looks like a golf course – step out of bounds and it’s a two stroke penalty. The fact that everyone is only concerned with getting E@L’s money…

The touts come at him… “Like some more?” says the one at the next restaurant … ” Have an Indian dessert., sir” … “Chinese, Thai, Chili crab.” …

“Get … out … of .. my … WAY!”

His voice rises…

“FUCK! I HATE THIS FUCKING TOWN!”

He hasn’t? He has. He has vocalised that. He said that out loud. Out VERY loud.

He smiles at some tourists, walking towards him, slowing down, staring at him… He frowns.

The touts step back. They’ve witnessed such breakdowns before.

Tourists think: “Mmm. The local madman. Gone troppo, not doubt. Every town out here has one. Yes, the humid charm of the Quaint Orient takes it toll and here is one of it’s victims! It’s all that gin, to fight the malaria, destroys the brain too! Say, let’s buy some chili crab, as this honest looking waitress is offering a meal at what promises to be a discount rate!”

Woah, stand back from this lunatic. No, it’s OK it’s safe to near him now, he won’t bite. His medication, not Inderal as mentioned in the post, but the mood stabiliser Lamitrogine, which fortunately and off-label kills 95% of his peripheral neuropathy agony, and perhaps seven years of acculturation have tamed this beast down. Mostly. Unfortunately for the popularity of this blog, he has calmed down a lot since then.

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This post, A common HK expat pastime…, is also from 2004 (when E@L was almost articulate). Not so much in Singapore as domestic helpers do not necessarily get a day off (you should read some the tales told by domestics looking for new employment – damn, lost the link) as they do in Hong Kong, the following is more applicable up there. E@L has now heard of it as called The Tea-Party (nothing related to that misguided bunch of billionaire-funded tax-avoiders in USA – Note: E@L is legitimately not required to pay tax in Australia).

A good part of the Sunday afternoon and early evening of many a Hong Kong male expat is taken up with prowling Neptune II, New Makati, Fenwicks, Dusk Till Dawn and the like in Wanchai for prospective replacement maids. …

This sort of behaviour of the male expat does entail a fair whack of double-think, because he knows he is being used, just as he knows that he is doing a great deal of the traditional colonial-style, white-man’s-burden “using”. It’s not so much repicrocal altruism as mutual exploitation. No money changes hands in the usual scenario, but there is a debt incurred and a debt repaid. The girl gets a day in a decent flat, even if she does have to clean it up, she gets a bit of (let’s face it, girls need their lovin’) sexual attention and simulated affection – which is a lot more than she gets during the rest of the week (unless “Madam” has a headache and “Sir” is feeling horny) – and she gets the chance to plead her case for rescue. The guy gets his flat cleaned up and his seminiferous tubules purged. Win-win.

And so the world advances. Well it rotates anyway.

Never was successful there, never tried very hard. All that conversation… As the pundits sing: “You couldn’t score in Wanchai!”

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Here are E@L and Bruce, um, E@L means Bruce and another Bruce, trudging through Bintan in search of a mythical pub and finding an Indonesian version of the fish-bowl: The Quest,

L-G[aka Bruce], being a more hardened campaigner, checks out the age, looks, and size of the women on offer. He asks the eventual question and is shocked. Here in this grimy, peeling-paint, malodorous sex-slave camp, the broken-smiled, cigarette-reeking, oily-haired boys-in-charge are asking tourists such us E@L [aka Bruce] and L-G to pay for a forced shag on some stained and uncomfortable mattress in a noisome room upstairs a price that could be easily be negotiated in the comfort and sophistication (tongue-in-cheek) of Orchard Towers in Singapore and for much prettier, more intelligent and enthusiastic (the benefit of free-enterprise) companions de nuit at the accommodation of your choice. Even L-G abandons the idea of utilizing this offensive and unethical establishment and comes outside to find E@L seeking further enlightenment as to where the more conventional and somehow less tacky and exploitative local outlets of the Assisted Ejaculation Industry are located.

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E@L is again pinpointed as a sex-tourist. And he’s only at the airport! Scenes Of The Crimes:

Walking up to the counter for a Limo-taxi, the girl immediately asked “Taxi, Pattaya?” Yep, even disguised with a long-sleeve shirt, long trousers, socks and shoes, E@L still exudes the aura of a depraved sex-tourist.

Ah, the ineluctable tyranny of stereotyping for the foreign fat-man.

He fired her a rather fierce look and said, “Klong Tooee, Conrad Hotel, karp koon krap.”

“Oh, you bin Thailand before? Speak Thai?”

“Nit noi,” he mumbled, rapidly approaching the end of the line for his Thai language ‘skills’… He paid his 700Bht for instant access to a clean car that shouldn’t break down, and took off for town.

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[Addendum] OK. One more. Unscientific Research (slight return)

And so. Here he is. Fat, forty-something, bald, single. In a sexually charged environment. He is a stereotype. A cliche. Someone’s vision of all that’s wrong with Asia. His own vision from not that many years ago, in fact. He has become his own worst nightmare. At least he is not cheating on a wife somewhere. The X said recently to him that she was amazed that he could even contemplate doing the things he does now. He would never have gone into a brothel, she says, when she knew him. And she was right. There are early E@L stories of transactions declined, and anecdotes of great mirth concerning such exploits. He hates himself for exploiting women; he hates men who exploit women; he hates how men can cheat on their girlfriends and wives so easily so blatantly. He knows that sex is not good enough reason, no matter how one rationalizes it. Deep down he knows this. Is he right? Or is Dr Kinsey? …

… Anyone can look quickly into a crowd here and only see the old, fat guys with their chicks, because they are the ones that fit your prejudice, that fit your anticipated result… But if you try hard and actually COUNT them…

So, here are the stats for the first six guys that walk past with a slim, semi-dressed local girl :

Age:
20s – 3,
30s – 2,
40s or higher – 1

Weight:
Slim – 5,
Pudgy – 0,
Fat – 1

Appearance:
Normal – 4,
Little Bit Weird – 1,
Out There – 1 (Kris Kristofferson in Blade look-alike)

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Aiya, Jesus wept… E@L is crying here. OK, you get the idea. Giving up at this point, it’s lunch-time. How many of these post are there? Too many? Not enough? Put ’em into a book man!

E@L

Batteries Not Included

Posted in condoms, Hong Kong, OMG, sextoy by expatatlarge on October 12, 2008

E@L thought he was pretty much unshockable, but when he was presenting some illegal contraband (illegal in Singapore that is, and for a friend) at the HK Airport Mannings Pharmacy (same as Guardians), he noticed the prominent plastic case of an object labeled Durex Play Ultra. Don’t get ahead of the story and Google this yet, OK? The rounded edges and overall shape of the package threw E@L somewhat, as it didn’t look to be an efficient way to package condoms, which is what he assumed was inside due to the prominent Durex label. E@L had once met the Durex marketing lady for China, as an aside. Interesting job. He picked it up briefly but was not wearing his glasses so couldn’t quite make out what was going on, but then the serving wench asked for some money, so he placed it back.

E@L paid for the chewing gum (also made of a derivative [not a popular word of late] of latex) and walked away, but as he went down the escalator to the Singapore Airlines Lounge, doubt and curiosity got the better of him. WAS it condoms in that package? He took an up-escalator back up and went to check out exactly what exactly was for sale here.

He put on his glasses. OMG! It was a latex thingie for the man’s penis with a small battery powered stippled stimulator for the lady’s whatsit ! The YouTube video above shows the plain version.

This one looks more elaborate, with a larger surface area for the bud tickler and sort of an emergency escape hatch at the back for the penis. The young Chinese lady behind the counter who had served him earlier noticed that he was back to look at the Durex item. She knew what it was of course. She giggled and sort of winked as he raised his eyebrows and expressed his amazement that such an object should be for sale and on display in a chemist shop. And placed at a the payment counter, AND at what would be eye-level for children. (I only thought this last bit, just now as I type this.)

Amused and shocked, E@L went back to the down escalators, muttering about the sad state of society these days, and thinking about what he could do with this discovery. It was like the “pleasure cream” which cures AIDS if you rub it on long enough he found in a hotel in China once. Obviously he could write this blog entry about it, maybe find a picture of it on the web, make a few jokes…

Then he thought, why not buy one? It was only $HK92 – what’s that $S22? He could, like, try it out… With someone…

As E@L’s mojo has been on 10 month sabbatical since his unsuccessful foot operation in January, maybe this device could be sufficiently amusing and arousing to kick-start the old desire engines, and get him out prowling for victims, er, companions. At least it would be a conversation starter. Or finisher. Or bring on a healthy bout of face slapping… At least he’d have the lady’s attention!

Again E@L turned back towards the up-escalator and went into the Mannings once more. Of course there now were about 12 people crowding the check-out counter, making their purchases at that exact moment… He hung back, waiting for the crowd to thin. He felt like a 16 year old boy again, going to the chemist to buy a brown-paper-wrapped package of condoms… Hang on, he WAS at the chemist, and he WAS buying something made by Durex! But of course, E@L ain’t 16 no more.

Eventually the people left but as E@L approached, that young Chinese lady attendant ducked under the counter to get something, and instead, out of nowhere, came this spray-toothed, black-mole faced crone to serve him. Shit, he would look like a, like a, sexual pervert to someone who hadn’t shared the joke with him earlier, to this ugly old bat. He was torn between the desire to run away and the need to purchase a medium-firm rubber circlet to maintain the tumescence of an otherwise wilting erection, that had a battery powered vibrating additional piece of rubber positioned to strike at the clitoris (in the middle of everything) of any participating vulva, but only, obviously, at those times when the enringed penis was also completely envaginated, to the hilt as it were.

He was frozen in mid decision when the young lady popped and smiled at him.

“I’m going to buy one,” he said to her as he handed the device to the old duck. The young lady rolled her eyes and made a strange/smiling face of humour and complicity. “To show my friends,” he added. “For a joke…” The old woman had no idea what was going on here.

What WAS going on here? A bald fat old man was buying a sex-aid in public is what was fucking going on.

The next question is, when is it going on?

E@L