the history of hong kong is carved at night clubs, between 4/4 counts and breakbeats. “my humps,” the dj always spins, along with “don’t cha,” “yeah,” and “get low.” the grind is the new handshake, and we sneak outside to get some fresh air. we sit on a street curb and exchange cigarettes, names, life stories. “we’re from korea, she’s from beijing.” “me, california.” “me too. irvine.” “he’s from newcastle.” “we grew up here, in hong kong.” who’s who are told in three or four languages, and things are translated, again, and again. we’re all drunk, and will mispronounce and forget each other’s names, won't see each other again after tonight. a beijing aspiring filmmaker, first weekend in town, is talking to an exchange student from cal, last weekend in town, and me, i’m thrashing with an engineering student in an alleyway, eyes closed, rocking out to a Swedish electro song.
at 3, we rush into another club, juke past the bouncer, the bouncer manages to grab me by the neck and throws me out. the bouncer then feels guilty and lets me back in.
the bar plays mc punjabi, and we’ll dance, hold, and laugh with each other til it’s time for breakfast (pork fried noodles and fish ball ramen.) a hong konger tries to tell a joke in english, and while none of us understands him, we laugh anyway. someone teaches me how to say “i’ll never forget you” in cantonese, i reply “daehan minguk manse!” a girl in marketing asks an exchange student on a bus what he’s looking for in his travels, and he says that the globe is just a big circle, and he’s on his way home.
i go outside to answer the cell phone, “what are you up to” “dancing in lan kwai fong!” “oh, good music?” “nah...”