Hong Kong Sevens

Give me Hong Kong any time

PUBLISHED : Monday, 18 March, 2013, 8:53pm
UPDATED : Tuesday, 19 March, 2013, 3:21pm

It’s always the hips
They feel like they’ve been shoved into a tin can for 10 hours
The pain is horrific, or at least would have been
Complimentary drinks, a motto to live by
Still a gym membership would go astray

Hong Kong International, how I love thee
Especially after Heathrow
That place is an absolute disgrace
The first sign the UK is in deep economic crisis
Seriously, you’d think George Osborne runs the place part time, like the Exchequer
Leaving Heathrow however is one thousand per cent better than arriving
Oddly mimicking the birth, death cycle
Arriving at Hong Kong is heavenly
“Why are you here?” he says with a hard stare
“Where have the mints gone?” I’m startled
“What?” he’s startled
“For the Rugby, where are the mints?” returning the aforementioned stare
The blank look coming my way indicates the immigration officer is now wondering where the mints have gone.
The removal of mints is a sign of cutbacks, but not out-and-out economic peril.
Through the doors, bags
Pick up bags, nothing to declare
Other than I feel awesome
Arrival hall, small man, medium-sized sign, large letters ‘Mr Jedi’
Massive backseat, smooth ride
Complimentary water, now that’s a plus


The astounding thing about the ride into Hong Kong is … well Hong Kong
For locals you’re probably not too fussed
For me, it’s one of the world’s greatest cities, always will be
The scale and intensity generated by the tight stands of residential blocks
The expanse of the Tsing Ma Bridge
The giddy symbols of global financialisation
And failure
The grimy exteriors
The reclamation process
There appears to be more life in this small corner of the world than many of the other corners put together
Maybe that’s why you live here
It’s certainly why I love to come here
And then the island itself
A shiver, plus a little twitch from my liver
Ah yes, here’s the very place

In 1976 I wonder if they really knew what they were starting, Tokkie Smith, Gow, Bedford and those blokes
Mind you it was a different world then
But I think a similar mindset still exists today
The tournament certainly endures
And now Sevens goes to the Olympic Games, well Hong Kong made that happen
Through the tunnel I look at the cars carrying Gweilo
There will be hundreds of trips like this today, thousands this week
Out of the tunnel and fast inbound to the hotel
Already the streets are busy, trolleys, trucks, buses, trams, cars, taxis
I’ve always applauded good use of the car horn
I’m hardly ever disappointed in Hong Kong
Everyone cops it
For example on this trip alone
The car in front copped a burst, then car three in front got one from the other 40 behind.
The middle-aged women on the street, she got one too
Trucks really get it, I mean a long sustained burst on the horn
Usually with a verbal to boot
It’s brilliant, I can’t understand a word of it, but usually it’s based around the inability of the guy in the truck to
a) Indicate
b) Move forward
c) Be in the correct lane
d) Or that he simply exists


There’s a few other things that happen up front that are amusing, too
Like the various bottles and containers used to hold or capture fluids from the driver.
But I’ve noticed there’s a new trend appearing in taxis
It’s the small frame that holds three, four or six other mobile phones
It’s like some kind of Star Trek dashboard
Allowing the driver to stay linked into his developing empire
I suppose he’s already shelled out several million for the taxi
So a few more business enterprises shouldn’t come as a surprise
Finally the hotel and it’s only 7:35am
Do I risk trying to catch a few early zzzzzzzs?
Or do I take it to The Bridge..!
Or whatever they call it now….