Some Mondays ago, I got a call from Universal. “Hello Johannes? Mika is going to call you in about 30 minutes. Is that OK?” “Uh, I will be inside the cross-harbour tunnel by then… could he call a bit later?” “No, tight schedules—blah blah blah.” So the London-based, BRIT Award-winning singer-songwriter calls my cell. After scrambling for my notebook and pen, blathering about how I’m under the sea right now and how seeing his live performance always makes me weep cathartic tears of joy, I asked him why he’s back in town so soon again (not that Alison and I mind, oh no) and he said that if he doesn’t come to Hong Kong now, it’ll be two more years until he returns. As for this year’s show, he promised that it’s going to be bigger and better. “It’s like my own circus troupe.” He said. “And I invited different design and art graduates to do different visuals for each song.” Hot. Mika’s not known to be very forthcoming with his personal life, but well, if you actually listened to the lyrics of his glorious songs, from the call-to-arms pop anthems, to rollerblading disco ballads, you’d get touching glimpses of his inner world anyway, with all the personal insecurities and hang-ups, the contradictions, complications and all. So I asked him what he dreamt of becoming when he was a kid. “A duck. I was jealous of ducks, because random people would just come up and feed them.” When I inquired as to who his perfect fantasy dinner guests would be, he answered “Snoopy, and Winnie the Pooh on whiskey.” “No, I mean, REAL people.” I clarified. “Let’s see... hmm, David Bowie, Stephen Fry...” “Oh, I have his autobiography (‘Moab is my Washpot’) on my desk in the editorial office!” “...and Ian McKellen, he’s a good friend. Oh, and Oprah Winfrey. And Martha Stewart—she can be our waitress.” “What about Lady Gaga?” “No Gaga, she’ll just be late.” Getting on the topic of food, Mika said that growing up with a Lebanese side to the family, food has always been an integral obsession. I asked him what he’d eaten last time in Hong Kong. He’s had tongue (who hasn’t?) and chicken feet, but he’ll draw the line at testicles. Bulls’, that is. The last two times he was in town, he just had around 24 hours in the city and never got the chance to sample the local cuisine. This time, he’ll be staying for three more days to eat around town. “Well, as Dining and Nightlife Editor of HK Mag, I happen to know a fair number of good restaurants...” I propositioned. “Oh, you’ll have to leave your number with Anissa [his PA] then!” Michael Holbrook Penniman Jr., hope you had fun in Singabore. I’m calling you out on this—let’s have dinner and drinks in Hong Kong. TTFN!