Read The Tsar's Dwarf (Hawthorne Books)

Read The Tsar's Dwarf (Hawthorne Books)
"A curious and wonderful work of great human value by a Danish master." Sebastian Barry, Man Booker finalist (Click on the picture to go to the book's Amazon page)

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

How To Get Thrown Out Of A Country Club in Hong Kong

I love Hong Kong. It's one of my favorite cities in the world along with Venice, Perugia, Sevilla, San Francisco, New York, and Molyvos in Greece.

My first two days I'm staying at Sai Kun in the New Territories, a far cry from the frantic city center with its tall buildings and hard working egos. Out here there are still sun sets and wild cows roaming the streets.

That's right, Sai Kun is known for its wild cows munching out on the grass in the roundabouts. These vicious animals are known to attack bus drivers and mosquitoes. They get in the way of the traffic, but contrary to the holy cows in India, these cows are not into meditation. These Chinese cows mean business. They will gang up on you and maim you before you have the chance to say dim sum.

Am I making this up? Maybe a tiny bit. I'm introduced to these weird cows when my Chinese guide drives me through Sai Kun on the way to a posh country club at Clearwater Bay.

By the way, I'm not exactly country club material. I'm known to pick my nose in public, and luxury never impresses me too much. However, I'm a bit of a view freak, and Clearwater Bay Golf and Country Club has a view to die for. The bay is right underneath, full of greenish water, small windy islands, and lazy sampans.

But right now I'm just warming up to two events at Lingnan University with some country club fries in the 86 degrees weather, while I'm writing on my next novel. My only problem is a sign by the entrance that makes me vomit.

"Are you serious???" I ask the lady at the counter. "I brought my Filipino maid, my Indonesian butler, and my Norwegian slut, and you're telling me I can't bring them into the pool area?"

"So sorry, Sir," the Chinese lady says.

"But I promise you they won't drool."

"Not allowed, Sir."

"I could tie them to a post somewhere," I ask politely. "Norwegians are used to that."

A few minutes later it gets ugly. The Chinese lady calls her boss, and I'm carried out of the club foaming at the mouth. "I'm the owner of three yachts," I shout. "No, make that four yachts. Five. Siiiiiix..."

Ah, the problems of the rich ...

Did this really happen, you want to ask?

Well, let me put it this way, I felt it happened, for thank God I'm only an underpaid novelist who has no business in a country club. Believe it or not, I don't even have people to write my books for me which just goes to show how out of place I am in Clearwater Bay ...

At night I learn that a new survey has come out. It claims that Hong Kong is the place on earth with the largest gab between rich and poor.

The next day my Chinese guide takes me to the picturesque pier in Sai Kun with fish tanks full of Barracudas that you can munch on for lunch. Here I feel right at home being a bit of barracuda myself.

Tomorrow I'm going to Lingnan University to do my first Hong Kong reading on My Pretentious World Tour for The Tsar's Dwarf.

And hey, I'm planning to bring some of the wild cows with me, so I'm sure to have a sizable audience ...

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