Saturday, October 9, 2010

Missed Connections

A friend of mine who lives in America sent me a text message this morning: “More blog”. Thirty seconds later she followed up with: “Also hi”. To her I say, “if you want more blog then you should write your own damn blog Kate I was on vacation.” Also hi, to her and to all of you. Long time no see.

Before we had even resumed classes this afternoon, Andy got an email from a student who said that her classmate had seen Andy and me drinking at a bar in Hong Kong.

This is not true. The student did not see Andy and me drinking at a bar in Hong Kong. The student saw Andy and me drinking on a street corner in Hong Kong.

Mine’s worse.

There are no open container laws in Hong Kong so Andy, Gus, and I decided that rather than spend fifty Hong Kong dollars on a beer at an actual, you know, bar, we’d do what homeless people, Duke fraternity members, and Mickey Rourke do: we’d buy beers for five Hong Kong dollars at the 7-11 and drink them under an awning in front of a pawn shop.

It was while we were standing in front of the pawn shop next to the dark alley on a city street drinking alcoholic beverages we’d just purchased at a convenience store for 65 U.S. cents that we heard someone say, “Andy? Jon?”

We turned around, one liter bottles of 65-cent beer at our lips, and we saw this little smiling Chinese boy. He waved.

“He-y-y-y,” we said, in the way of people who have no idea who this little Chinese boy is or what he wants.

“I’m your student. Michael, I’m Michael.”

“Michael!” we said without recognizing him at all, “What are you doing here?”

“I’m here traveling, with my family.”

He did not ask what we’re doing. In all likelihood he understood our general situation without having to ask, since we were standing on a street corner under an awning in the rain (did I mention it was raining?) holding half-empty bottles of beer from the 7-11 next door.

“Well OK!” I said. “Have a good one, guy!”

And then he waved at us again, and walked off to join his family, and we stayed there, in the rain, on the street, drinking beer. We had another beer, and several more after that, and eventually we went back to our hostel and asked each other trivia questions in bed until 5 am.

It was sort of a strange night.