Hemlock's Diary

The ravings of Hong Kong’s most obnoxious expat

26 May-1 June 2002
Sun,  26 May

Phone goes at 9.11 – an inauspicious time these days.  I don't usually want to hear someone exuberant and loud on a Sunday morning, but in this case it's my policeman friend Morris.  It's good to hear him sounding so happy, as he often gives the impression that the expatriate police officer's lot is not a happy one.  Not surprisingly. Promotion prospects for gwailos are limited, except – curiously – in semi-suicidal fields like bomb disposal. Pat a female colleague on the backside and you are almost instantly dismissed from the force. And you are in a minority that is shrinking by the month.

The reason for Morris's good humour soon becomes apparent.  It seems that he took great pleasure a few nights ago in arresting the doorman at Joe Banana's, the tawdry Wanchai nightspot frequented by Westerners of distinctly low breeding, notably very large blonde women in heat.  The oafish staff member refused to admit Morris – leading a routine check, wielding a warrant card and backed up by 10 uniformed constables – on the grounds that he was wearing a t-shirt. After three warnings, the retard was put in a van and sent to spend the night in the cells at the nearby station.

That's the sort of thing that would make my day, too. And the lucky beggar's allowed to shoot dogs.

Tue, 28 May

Accompany the Big Boss on a courtesy visit to the Census and Statistics Department.  Lots of bowing and scraping from civil service flunkies who imagine the Chairman and CEO of S-Meg will put in a good word with friends in the government and spare them their (barely noticeable) forthcoming pay cut. The Big Boss is presented with a flower – a large, waxy red thing that seems to have evolved in such a way as to resemble the private parts of a tree-dwelling primate, the name of which escapes me.  Or did the animal evolve to look like the flower? 

The chief flunky drones on about privacy, the need for scientific integrity in data, and the need to keep some statistics confidential, on the grounds that they could cause alarm to the public, or would be bad for Hong Kong’s reputation overseas.  For example, 29.3% of all females in the 20-49 age group in Hong Kong are called Amy, and a further 26.5% are called Grace.  If released, he says, this information would upset local people and cause Hong Kong to be treated with great derision overseas.    I question the chief flunky’s right to keep such data under wraps, much to the annoyance of the Big Boss, who is bored and wants to go.  Now, if more than 50% of all
men in Hong Kong were called Amy or Grace, that would need to be hushed up.

Wed, 29 May

The phrase “
When complete, the Tseung Kwan O extension will serve DreamCity at Area 86” is:
  a) An attempt at blank verse composed with word magnets on the refrigerator door in a house full of liberal arts students
  b) The opening line of a science fiction story by Isaac Asimov
  c) More proof that someone at the MTR is on drugs
Thu 30 May

A postcard from Rosabelle Lam, fragrant socialite, who is spending a week at an expensive resort in Koh Samui.  She is not water skiing.  Not attending a course on Thai cooking.  Not doing the temples.  Not diving.  No, this is a resort that specializes in colonic irrigation.  “Thinking of you,” she writes.   I will take that as a compliment.