Between the jet lag (from which I wasn’t even trying to recover), the Facebook stimuli and the alcohol (who am I kidding; they made drinks so damn weak there!), my Thursday in Hong Kong started quite late. I was pretty content to surf the web and watch Chinese TV in my hotel room most of the afternoon. It wasn’t til the front desk called and asked if I needed my room serviced (hell yeah, as much as this damn place costs!) that I made my way into the outside world. Seeing Snooki and J-Wow appear on MTV China may have also influenced my exodus.
I had a stroll around Central before a long late lunch at a Thai restaurant that was playing early 00s music (“Oh come and dance with me my baby…”).
I’d been talking to a number of guys on Grindr, and I got a ton more attention from Asian guys than I ever did in NYC. One guy seemed really into meeting and not totally psycho/awkward (equally likely and undesirable traits on Grindr). We made late happy-hour plans at a hotel bar. And, in true D. Kareem fashion, I’d traveled 8,000+ miles to end up meeting up with a white Anglophone. At least this one was Canadian.
We decided to meet for a drink at the Mandarin Hotel (note: there’s a new Mandarin Hotel closer to the heart of Central… the older one with the view is closer to the Harbour). He was really pushing for a prime-time meeting, but happy hour is a much easier escape if you decide you’re not into it after your first drink.
Dude was handsome enough. He was funny as hell when we were texting. But he made me kind of uncomfortable while we when we met in person. We had a couple of drinks with relatively few awkward silences, and something told me to go along with it when he offered to show me The Peak.
The Peak is the highest point on Hong Kong Island, a huge tourist attraction. It was already dark, and that night was a bit foggy. But it was something to do as it was still early (and I definitely wanted to check out Volume that night, which I told him). We took a cab up an extremely windy road, whipping around tight curves with frightening speed. It took a good 20 minutes before the cab reached our destination, which resembled a Greyhound terminal more than a tourist attraction.
We walked around the corner where the photo op spot and the shopping center were. My companion remarked that there were far fewer people than he’d ever seen here, likely because it was so foggy. I snapped a couple of pictures that didn’t come out so great, and we went to dinner at a rooftop restaurant beside the famous wok-shaped building.
the drinks had set in he got more
comfortable or he stopped trying so damn hard because said companion had become
a lot more charming by this point. But then he mentioned that most black people
that live in Hong Kong performed at Disney (and that he basically tries to date
After a very scary tram ride down that mostly involved moving backwards at (at least) a 60-degree angle, we made our way to his friend’s cozy alleyway bar.
We joked around with his friend while she and the other bartender worked. They poured us (and themselves) sweet shooters with our drinks. My companion went in for a very memorable kiss. Then I walked him home.
I’d had a nice time with him, but I didn’t get the go-home-and-fuck vibe with him. I went up to his apartment for a nightcap (“But look, just a drink. I’m not sleeping with you.”), and, unsurprisingly, he tried to lure me into bed. And after some kissing, I told him I wasn’t trying to go there. Needless to say he wasn’t happy, but he let me go with little hassle as I told him I wanted to see him again.
It was chillier out than I expected, so on the short walk to Volume, I put the hood up on the hoodie I was wearing.
As I was walking, I noticed a van cruising by at a suspiciously slow pace. So suspiciously slow was its pace that I worried slightly for my safety and felt the need to watch it pass me. It wasn’t til it passed a parked car that I realized I was staring down a police van. Now, most black people in America will tell you that they strive to bring as little attention to themselves around the police as possible. Blend in, and there’s less risk of being singled out and targeted. A sigh of relief escaped me as the police van rolled past me, but of course it stopped.
|image from aboutfacts.com|
A uniformed male officer jumped out with what I can only surmise to be a female officer (though she looked more like she was a young student who had borrowed his large jacket). They asked for identification (I happened to have been carrying my passport rather than leaving it in the hotel safe), patted me down and asked me to empty my pockets. They quizzed me on where I was going, where I was staying and why I was in the country. The girl wrote down a few things, and then I said I was free to go. They headed back to the car.
Me (going against every instinct I had): “Was I doing something wrong?”
Male Officer: “No. Just a routine check. Making sure everything’s normal.”
This is normal?
Though I was relieved to not be handcuffed in the basement of a communist prison, I was in a foul mood when I arrived at Volume. Of course, absolutely no one was there. Plus they didn’t stock Absolut Citron (I’d forgotten that they’d told me the same thing the previous night).
Brit to the bartender: “I’m getting shots. One for each of us… and one for my friend here. What’s your name?”
I introduced myself to this random older white Brit and his younger Asian friend (a writer for one of the local papers). They’d just come from the Scissor Sisters concert, and the Asian writer was fretting over getting a quote for his weekly rag. After our shot and another drink, the writer dragged us (kicking and screaming) to the official Scissor Sisters after party. Of course, by the time we got there at damn near 2, it was over.
The writer was over nightlife, so she wanted to go to the douchebag part of town for some cheap noodles. She ditched after she ate, so the Brit and I went up the street to some straight bar where an amazing Filipino band was playing pop covers. After about an hour of watching the 40-something blonde woman pull people onto the “dance floor” in front of the band, we crossed the street where they were blasting T-Pain. It was 4:30 or 5 before I asked him to walk me back to my hotel.
Now the Brit was old enough to have some white in his beard, and he probably wasn’t used to a guy my age being into him. So even after my flirtations while we hung out and my insisting that he walk me to my hotel, he seemed a bit shocked when I went in for a kiss.
Me: “It’s a really nice hotel. Wanna see?”
Did I mention that’s what this tweet (for those of you who saw it) was about:
|note the time stamp|
Click here to check out my first trip to Chicago.