Rock You Like A Hong Kong Grandmacane! The 2012 Hong Kong Chinese New Year
Posted on January 30, 2018
If you’ve never had the chance to go overseas, I highly recommend it. Why? Because it’s not where you currently are and it has the potential to give you a whole new appreciation for how things are done elsewhere. We need that. We need a reminder that we’re not the center of the universe. The recent Chinese New Year gave Ralph’s Hong Kong Grandmother a number of opportunities to have the elite ninja squad she keeps on payroll snuff me out, only that didn’t quite happen. No, she had other forms of torture planned. I’m getting ahead of myself, though. Are you ready for some video clips to accompany this? Then read on!
Every trip begins with a plane ride, a very, very, very long plane ride. It’s a plane ride in small, cramped, uncomfortable chairs with meals that may or may not actually have any nutritional value…and certainly don’t look like they do. This is why you’ll never hear someone ask for a take-away bag or for seconds. Still, I digress. Ralph and I arrived in Japan–this time with no accompanying blizzard–and made it to the next flight with just enough time for him to buy some Blueberry Cheesecake Kit-Kats and hit the Delta lounge for some free snacks. When he’s happy, I’m happy, and he was VERY happy.
So we land in Hong Kong, go through immigration, grab our luggage and head out through customs. This is kind of a fun part because we take the Airport Express all the way to Kowloon Station, where we then take a cab ride to Grandma’s.
I brought along the Bloggie and took a few video clips. Just a note, but I discovered during this trip that I really need a Steadicam in order to take decent footage in moving vehicles. Please consider yourself warned when you click on these:
We got in a bit after midnight, made up our respective beds–we’re not allowed to stay in the same bedroom–cleaned up a bit, unpacked, took showers and climbed into bed around 2:30am. I was looking forward to a long, somewhat chilly number of hours of sleep, only Ralph tells me that Grandma has us booked for breakfast and we need to be up at 7am. Oh, joy. Oh, rapture. And the cold spell continues that Sunday. Mind you, I packed two pairs of shorts and some short socks since it was supposed to be in the 60s per Weatherdotcom. It was in the 40s and 50s. Just bloody ducky. We also have dinner planned with another friend of Grandma’s that evening.
The entire week, including the New Year, pretty much followed the same pattern; breakfast or lunch with a friend or family she could show Ralph off to, then dinner with someone else. BUT, dear readers, you will be pleased to note that I didn’t complain and that I went along with it like the domestic, tall gweilo I am. In fact, it wasn’t until Wednesday that I skipped out to meet my friend Jerry for a bit, which Grandma didn’t object to since I was behaving so well. Jerry took Ralph and I to the Ritz Carlton at Kowloon Station for a tea set. I believe the restaurant is on the 103rd floor and is quite something to see!
At this point, neither of us has had a chance to go out and do any shopping. We’ve simply been too busy keeping up with appointments and making sure Grandma is happy. Shopping in HK is something we always look forward to and frequently buy too much. Not this time. But, my big shopping day is the next day. Grandma has accepted that I’m going to meet a friend of mine who’s originally from Hong Kong, but who’s living in NYC with his partner and currently visiting Hong Kong.
I meet my friend close to noon the next day and we embark on a day of shopping, eating, shopping, walking, shopping, more eating, shopping, more walking, a little bit of eating and then lots of conversation in between. This is the day out I’ve been looking forward to and needing. It also gave Grandma a much-needed opportunity to spend time with her grandson without me being there. I do end up finding a couple of CDs worth bringing back, some Chinese Blu-Rays on sale and a scarf to battle the continuing cold spell.
Our final day was spent with a bit more running around–I picked up a new pair of glasses and sunglasses–and dinner out with Grandma at a local Vietnamese restaurant. She’s happy. We’re happy. I lived. I’m ecstatic.
Did I get much sleep? No. Did I manage to stay warm? Just barely. Will I come back? Probably.
Oh, I will say that I had an amusing conversation with a friend of Grandma’s one day during Dim Sum. Her friend, who’s 10 years older than I am, looked over at me and announced “I like white people. My family and I know several of them, but I find the ones I like best are ones with good hearts.”
Now, before you jump on that, let me say that she didn’t mean it how it may have sounded nor did I take it in a bad way at all. This is one of the lessons I’ve learned coming to Hong Kong over the years. Here, I’m a minority and my experiences are going to be even more of a minority since I’m white than back home as a gay man. Yes, that kind of a conversation gives one an odd feeling, only it’s something many of us need to hear. Why? Because I’m betting we’ve had that same conversation with someone who’s been on the receiving end. “Oh, some of my best friends are Asian.” Uh, good for you. What does that have to do with the person in front of you? Nothing. Believe me, it’s good to have these experiences.
So, now I’m home again, recovering from jet lag and quite late getting this blog post up.
Cheers and enjoy!
Kristoffer Gair (who formerly wrote under the pseudonym Kage Alan) is the Detroit-based author of Honor Unbound, A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To My Sexual Orientation, Andy Stevenson Vs. The Lord Of The Loins, Gaylias: Operation Thunderspell, several short stories featured in anthologies (to be combined in a forthcoming book), the recently re-published novella Falling Awake, its sequel, Falling Awake II: Revenant and Falling Awake III: Requiem.
2 Responses to “Rock You Like A Hong Kong Grandmacane! The 2012 Hong Kong Chinese New Year”
Dorien Grey says:
January 30, 2012 at 1:55 pm
Just in case I’d never mentioned it before, I truly envy you!!!
Sharita Lira says:
January 31, 2012 at 10:18 am
Awesome blog! You look like you had fun!