Yesterday, after he had accomplished his mission of buying a camera and an ipod (hong kong is a good place to do this--though contrary to rumors, these things are no cheaper here than in the U.S., even if they're often more futuristic looking --Ed.), Timo Koro and his friend Rosalyn and I took the ferry to
So Timo Koro is a Finn who I barely knew before he came to stay with us in our apartment, a 27-year old web designer I met last month for ten minutes at a hostel in Moscow, with whom I bonded over our varient cultural investments in Helsinki (see hel-looks.com to understand my own; Timo knows some of these people), a near-stranger to whom I gave my email and extended a provisional invitation to Hong Kong--a really down to earth, friendly, infinitely comfortable person who I just had a good feeling about. And I was right! Timo Koro is great!
When traveling, especially by yourself, you have an incredible, baffling capacity for trust and openness and adaptibility. It’s that—that’s part of what made me invite Timo, and perhaps because of his name, cognate of my employer—but I also just felt like I already knew him in a way. Among other things, we happen to share a fascination for advanced fashion: we spent one night on a pilgramage to Kowloon so he could find the sweater I had purchased the week before, a "Japanese" affair in Burberry plaid with a long neck that easily doubles as a face covering--convenient for stick-ups and protection from avian flu. You must see it, photos forthcoming.
Magical sweaters aside though, we just clicked. He played along when I made up fantastic stories when people ask us, “how do you two know each other, anyway?” which is always a fun parlor game, but it’s also just as fun to think that maybe this acquaintance sitting next to me at a Chinese restaurant isn't so coincidental after all, that this is merely a stop along a long invisible path of kinship that started elsewhere, in a past life, or maybe you actually did go to preschool or spent formative years in the mountains of Nicaragua together. And its exciting to realize that these games are just a sign of the inexplicability and ease of relationships. Coffee shops look like coffee shops look like galleries look like boutiques everywhere, everything may be becoming the same, but it's still comforting and amazing to realize, in other ways, how small the world is after all. (The ride by that name is strangely absent at Disneyland
Though it’s super populated, as befits
We had some moments of catching up as Alex, Michael and entourage led us to the nearby Dragon-I, a club at the top of an escalator with no clear distinction between inside (dancing part, loud music incl. DJ + drummer) and outside terrace (mingling part, loud shirts incl. models). Clearer was the distinction between inside of the velvet rope and outside, which is where david and I were left gawking after Michael and Alex and co. were whisked inside with a whisper in the gatekeeper’s ear. Though the outside is just as rowdy as the inside of the rope, the rowdiness on the inside is more Nietzschean, more colonial, more opulent, as if the gods were shooting lightning (business cards) around for fun, whereas the rowdiness on the outside is more desperate, more eager, more fatalistic, its source the death drive and the sheer anxiety of being rejected. That nervousness is always tangible in Hong Kong, where everyone is always judging and being judged and waiting for the right moment or not to drop the right name or the right stock or the right stock pick-up line, but getting past the rope is always the biggest hurdle, the biggest bestower of confidence after a bottle of $100 vodka--and the proof of some credibility.
That I snuck in—slinking past the enormous bird cage, slyly grabbing someone’s discarded drink—explains a lot then I guess. (David waited patiently for the door girl (“door bitch” is the preferred expression) to let him in. I think he also said he was a tennis pro or something). I was not quite prepared for the inside, not prepared to deal with the rowdiness of fancy drunk expats jumping around on tables in a big dark room, not prepared to be eyed and summarily rejected by everyone who passed by me. People weren’t rejecting me exactly, but it felt that way. But then David and I managed to score some drinks from a table of bankers, and and and. David seemed generally disinterested, and I wanted something more. I thought I would try to meet someone, because that’s what you do in clubs, so I leaned over and said hello to a woman who looked like she was bored. The response was ‘talk to the hand,’ except in sign language. Another swig from the black label. It was okay. Probably won’t go back there, but if I do, I’m not sneaking in, better to go through the front door. I'll be wearing my fly sweater and my alias will be Mr. Alex Turnbull.
We often run into people we "know" from past lives. David and I have been hanging out *a little bit* with Samantha Culp and her boyfriend Adrian Wong, she an English teacher and writer, he a sculptor, both Tyler Coburn-recommended art enthusiasts. Their friends from Yale and elsewhere promise late nights with
Once I thought I had a future in magic. Really, I got into it for a couple of years. But David, besides being an English tutor (making a killing I take it), is an expert, in the fine tradition of Davids (Copperfield, biblical, Blaine, Ricky “David” Jay). He showed us some pretty good tricks with cards, and asked me to take his other one, the business kind, an essential piece of