Saturday was my birthday and this was my birthday meal, eaten beneath fluorescent lights in a greasy spoon. The day was saved when one of my friends turned up with a candle (citrus scented.) Yes frugality in all things! Oh yeah and we drank 200 bottles of Tsingtao; that also helped.
But I wanted to write about the aging process; what it does to … dare I say maturity? Yes, after I took that new step on the ladder up to St. Peter, I suddenly acquired a new and hitherto unseen zen-like indifference.
Last weekend was the rainiest ever ever ever (allegedly) here in Hong Kong, and the relentless bucketing down of acidic water had many consequences such as poor Tai O on Lantau Island being completely cut off – possibly for at least two weeks. But our dear bowtied elder statesman Tsang Yam Kuen flew in by helicopter in a dramatic and self-sacrifing gesture eerily reminiscent of our dear grandfather Wen further up north (not knocking him, he’s doing all right) so I’m sure the victims will have been comforted no end at seeingÂ our Donald’s slimyÂ little rodent smile and piggy eyes.
On a more local level I came home to find every towel in the house having been used by the people with whom I swapped flats – I got a bedsit on the 23rd floor of a matchstick and they got my illustrious gaff with all its bedrooms, bathrooms, towels and sheets… which, whenÂ IÂ took them out ofÂ the washing machine, I saw had been washed in a rusty mud instead of crystal clean water.
So now all my sheets and towels are brown instead of white. Maybe a good thing? But the problem is the brown is not an even colour. In fact my sheets and towels look like they’ve been used by miners drying themselves off after a long week down in the shaft.
So always buy black towels and sheets from now on, or better still, do away with them altogether! In my new austerity drive, I willÂ be air drying myself on the roof from now on, and sleepingÂ Â suspended from ropes.
And what do you know, I did right in not cursing that toxic mud, because when I came home last night there was no water in the pipes at all! And I think we can all agree that bad water (“like sex”) is better than no water.
I’m just happy to be alive, me. And when I found that Piles had rolled in human poo, I just gave a slight sigh and uttered wearily: Oh Piles. But it got me thinking. What is it with our own species that makes the poo less appetising than that of other species?
Take my dog Piles, a pain in the arse. I pick up his poo every day with little trouble, but as soon as it comes to finding his coat covered in human feces… I don’t know. There’s something about it – something distasteful.
So people out there, rain or no rain, zen-like indifference or no: Hong Kong, Lantau and yes, Pui O, are replete with public toilets. Please use one of them next time? Of course I’m just happy to be alive but too much showering isn’t good for the dog’s skin. If you’re on an austerity drive, you don’t have to use paper. Just don’t do it outside? Eh?