From sheep’s eyeballs, to sardines in a glass of milk, how to prevent horrible hangovers at the Hong Kong Sevens
Beer is the order of the day at Hong Kong Stadium, but how can you ensure you give your recovery every chance?
A few years ago, English prop forward Jason Leonard said in a box at the Hong Kong Sevens: “I’m having a great time, but my liver wants to go home”.
While we all know the best way to not get a hangover, it seems the cures are as varied and as international as the teams on the pitch.
Japanese plump for sour plums called umeboshi steeped in green tea, and turmeric tablets.
The German word for hangover is “kater”, which is the word for male cat. All Berlin cafes offer kater breakfasts on Sundays, consisting of herring rollmops wrapped around a gherkin.
The Austrians have a “reparatur in seidl” (repair in a beer glass) in the morning.
Russians believe in a good beating with birch branches and slightly alcoholic drink similar to Swedish bitters.
Mongolians are said to swallow a glass of pickled sheep eyeballs mixed into tomato juice. A ‘bloody hell’ Mary?
If you feel like an elephant is doing a merengue on your temples, try the Mexican “vuelva à la vida”, or “return to life”, which is a seafood cocktail mixed with tomato juice
Scots swear by the sickly sweet Irn-Bru. It contains about 10 teaspoons of sugar per glass, which is maybe why it works.
And for the English, the bacon sandwich is religion. Comedian Al Murray, the “Pub Landlord” who came to the Sevens a couple of years ago, says “bacon is proof the existence of God. Everyone loves Bacon. Even vegetarians. The smell of bacon proves that aromatherapy isn’t total bulls**t.”
Aussies take it one step further, chowing down on bacon sauce, made famous by the Breakfast Creek hotel, the most famous watering hole in Queensland.
A dried bull’s penis is apparently the traditional snack of choice for Sicilians with a hangover. In ancient Rome, the traditional cure was a deep-fried canary, eaten whole. Both make a horse’s head in a bed ala The Godfather seem less gruesome.
In the Chinese Year of the Dog, some Sevens fans have some unusual versions of the hair of the hog. Three raw eggs with sardines and milk is the cure favoured by Iain Leighton, who grew up in Hong Kong and is writing a book about it.
There must be something in the fish component that helps (warm salmon milkshakes, however, are not recommended.) Former women’s player Lola McLaughlin goes for a pizza with pineapple and anchovies.
As a paramedic in a previous life, sevens fan Kylie Waterstrom swears by imodium and hyrodolite, but also likes candied ginger coated in chocolate. Many cultures believe that ginger helps nausea and this is common practice in Hong Kong.
However, the most important meal is the one you eat before you start drinking.
Whether you wake up craving bacon, a Bloody Mary, a bottle of water, Berocca or bananas look on the bright side ... the morning after can only get better.
Add oil and wear shades.
As Dean Martin said: “I feel sorry for people who don’t drink. When they wake up in the morning that’s as good as they are going to feel all day.”
These days, there is an app for everything. In China, not only can you get someone to drive your car for you, you can also get them to do the drinking.
And there’s even ones to prevent hangovers. No, the app doesn’t slap your drink out of your hand, cancel your credit card or phone your partner to come to collect you.
Waterlogged is a free app where you input your water intake and it will set reminders so that you drink more ... water that is. Set it up the night before and hopefully wake up without feeling as though your eye balls have been taken out and reattached with roofing nails.
Caktus attempts to make you wake up not feeling cactus ... by ensuring you drink more water. Remember, that’s water, not cactus juice ... aka tequila.
Yes, yes, yes ... you’re never drinking again ... until you drink again. When will we ever learn? But Hangover makes you pace yourself by keeping track of your drinks for the night.
It will rate your hangover on a Richter scale of 1-10. Before you ask, “What benefit would there to be to knowing how to score the pain pounding my temples?”, bear in mind the app works on letting you learn from experience. You soon learn what bevvies most mess you up, and hopefully make more sensible choices.
Prevention is better than cure. Remember there’s an app for Hong Kong taxis. Get one home early. Or an Uber. Then resort to the app for Uber Eats.