Tuesday, February 06, 2007

They call it the Rising Sun.

I’m in Singapore right now on an early Wednesday morning. Yeah, that’s right. I’m writing to you from the future. In fact, when I return back to the Land of Cold, I’ll arrive two hours before the time I left here. Chew on that a spell. Anyway, it’s 5:23 here and, once again, I fell asleep in my clothes with the lights on. I’m not sure what it is about traveling that turns me into a narcoleptic, but that’s what happens. By 10 or shortly thereafter, I end up waking up in a pool of my own drool. Oh, yeah. I’m a big hit at parties.

Anyway, I wanted to share a story. Yes, I’m a wordsmith. And I want to craft something for you. It’s how I do.

We were in Hong Kong the other day – just me and the photographer we’d brought along for this adventure, one of our favorites out of L.A. – and we were doing plenty of walking around. It’s a place filled with sights, so our cameras were getting their respective workouts. We traipsed through marketplaces, seeing pigs get chopped up and multi-colored fish getting filleted. I even saw what a scallop looks like when it still has its shell attached (a first). Asiapears are cheap there, so we scooped up a couple and ate them, straightaway. Stumbled upon some botanical gardens with tropical monkeys that whooped when claiming their territory. There were ants that used me as new ground to explore when I leaned up against a wall for a second. (I don’t recommend that, though. They left behind a pretty fantastic itch.)

There were porcelain smiling Buddhas I wanted to take home and streets colored with bright Cantonese and/or Chinese lettering. There was the world’s longest escalator in Soho taking us up, up, up – forever upward. Even a nice little Thai Vietnamese fusion joint that got its lemongrass chicken dish exactly right. Muy delicioso.

In fact, we thought we got to know the area fairly well. We even thought we could make it back to our hotel without the use of taxicab (we were wrong, but still). I mean, it meant taking more photographs, right? So we were all for that. That’s when we saw the pretty girls. I mean, I saw them anyway, out of the corner of my eye and on my left, and that was that. When I see pretty girls, I don’t let them know so much that I’m looking. There is no whistling, no eyebrow raising and absolutely no grunting. I simply acknowledge in secret and carry on my merry way. This is pretty much what I expected to happen today. I did not expect them to attack me.

In short order, however, that’s exactly what took place. They must have caught me looking, I dunno. But I had four ladies trying to get me into a dark, mysterious place – a house of ill repute, perhaps? – and they weren’t taking NO for an answer. I know this because I said it repeatedly, though it doesn’t come out all that believably when you’re laughing up a storm, I guess.

Because at least half of them were cute, my mind was having a bear of a time, too. They were pulling on me quite hard, mind you, offering me dances and drinks and massages and what-not. One even took it upon herself to read my T-shirt out loud: “Clap your hands say Yeah!” It freaked me out a little. The feet tried to keep walking, but the mind was busy attempting to figure this one out. And I was getting pulled on. Hard. I may have mentioned that. Four against one is not an easy match, even if they were tiny little ladies. They were determined. Meanwhile, my friend Marc helped out by standing a safe distance away, laughing at me. He took a blurry photo. That’s about all he did, too. Thanks, Marc.

The Americans must be easy targets for that sort of thing. It took some serious pulling to break free, but break free I did. And it might have been a more colorful story to share if there’d been more past that little surprise sidewalk scuffle, but there’s not. I have lived to tell the tale. Only this was no ordinary tale – every word of it is true.

When I was in the airport and waiting on the airplane that took me here, I was approached to do a survey about my stay. Sightseeing was brought up, too. There were more numbers and scales being used than actual open-ended questions, but I did want to share the above story with the kind person doing the querying.

I wanted to let her know that I simply couldn’t imagine forcing someone to see anything in Hong Kong would reflect well on their tourism. I never got around to it, but she still gave me a Chinese New Year pin for my time. Eh, that works.


Wenna said...

Haha! Four "tiny little ladies", huh? :D I could just imagine Marc laughing... Your trip was really an adventure... :)

Anonymous said...

You're so future.