The Wong weekender
Camping in the boondocks sound too taxing? Try emulating 48 hours in the life of Angie Wong instead.
The school bell rings and I fly out of work. As we enter summer, I race to catch the sunset. Name me one other financial centre with beaches 20 minutes from its doorstep and I will give you my Friday night beer. Feet in the Repulse Bay sand, brew in hand, I slip straight into weekend awe.
I get an SMS that simply reads: ‘Le Jardin.’ Okay, just one drink, I reply.
I am always amazed no-one has ever been found dead in the ditches of the walkway leading up to Le Jardin. Suicidal fantasies fade as I hear my favourite song on the jukebox. After a sweaty greeting, I’m helicoptered to Halo against my will. We bump and grind to high-school rap and I forget there’s sand in my shoes.
There is a turmeric-coloured Japanese substance one can take to coat the stomach in preparation for a night of stupid drunkenness. I didn’t take any of it.
Thus, the rest of my evening:
There were two shirtless dudes, maybe three. I was sucking one of their nipples, and there’s a Polaroid of it at Sapphire Bar. There was pant less yoga at En, followed by a 4am jam session at Senses 99. By 5.30am there was talk, mostly by me, to catch the sunrise at South Bay. I wake up with a bleeding hand, sound like I smoked two packs of cigarettes, and a shower couldn’t wash the gin off my tongue. Filled with remorse, I go to my church; the Hong Kong Park aviary.
It’s no secret I like birds more than people. I find a sunny corner and watch the winged creatures frolic. Guilty thoughts, mostly involving recipes for turducken, enter my mind, and I think it might be feeding time for this particular hungry bird.
Needing the attention of men, I head to the poolside café at the Four Seasons, which, according to an informal survey taken between girlfriends, has the highest concentration of hot men in Hong Kong. A morning of hydrating juices, international newspapers, and eye candy later, I call up Monz and ask him for a drive. He scoops me up in his little convertible and we ride to Shek O. Arm surfing, I take in the wind and sunshine. We have pizza and afternoon wine at Black Sheep; a consistent, low-level of alcohol in the body is good to keep you going. The clouds are rolling and we buy a rosemary plant on our way to the car.
I suppose I could do with a little exercise after a massive luncheon. So I strap on sneakers and go for my once a quarter stroll on Bowen Road. The light mist of rain feels good on sweat.
Possibly my favourite thing to do over the weekend is no guilt, no alarms, afternoon naps. Especially post exercise. I wake up in time to catch a gorgeous sunset. Watching day grow into night, I realise it’s time to roll off my couch and into some clothes. Drinks await at Wagyu Lounge along with friends who’ve been keeping the benches warm since 6pm.
Three bottles of wine really screws with the constitution. My girlfriend whispers: These guys are so boring, let’s roll. Where can we get non-crap food at 10pm?
We sort out a high table at Union J to try their new bar menu. Steak tartar sarnies and a bowl of duck fat fries later, the chefs come out of the kitchen to liquor us up further with their newly acquired bourbon selection. Happily sedated, I barely make it out alive.
Sleep. Sleep is very good. Sleep is very healing. I don’t want to get up, but I’ve left the curtains open, there appear to be birds chirping. It appears to be sunny, even underneath the barricade of pillows. You know what else would be good? Food. Rather, grease. Or dim sum. Through one squinted eye I text my crew: ‘dim sum?’
First relay comes back: ‘It’s 7am. Later baba.’
With old eggs, an ageless Fuji apple, and a frozen block of seed bread, I make a scramble. When I moved into this apartment, I bought this apple, which remains unblemished 14 months later. I slice it and it still appears to be edible. This must be astronaut fruit.
I sneak into the Captain’s Bar at 10am. I love this time when the bar is completely empty and I sit with a Bloody Mary watching the cleaning crew. On notepads I begin to throw up my thoughts of the week. This is my perfect hour for writing.
With the weekend exercise already out of the way, I clean myself for a dim sum at Fung Shing. This crowded restaurant is great for foodies looking for an upgrade from City Hall. Post meal, we stroll to Taiyaki for red bean fish cakes. Okay, let me explain before you make that face. It’s a small Japanese stand that serves the most delicious red bean hot cakes shaped like a fish. Oh so good, trust me. Dry from the all the sugary treats, we head to Sing Sun Tea for an afternoon tea break with a view. If you didn’t think we could consume any more, reassess. Inevitably I leave with a few cakes of teas I don’t need.
Walking through the Causeway Bay street market, I pick up a mandarin fish. Fresh and kicking, I watch as the monger slices its insides and pop the air sacks with the handle of his clever. Cilantro, ginger, lemons, and Sichuan peppers in bag, I head to my apartment. The trees shade the dying sun streams in stunning rays of light. The day fades in grand scale.
I pour the tea leaves into the bottom of a dry wok, and throw in the bagged ingredients. Would rosemary work here? Nope, I’ll save it for the lemonade. As I wait for my Sunday night dinner guests to arrive, I tea smoke the fish then camp on the couch to satisfy my Adult Attention Deficit Disorder, juggling email, magazines, text messages, and some romantic comedy on Star Movie. The smell emulating from the kitchen is like an aromatic hug. This is my perfect weekend.