Um, did anyone else see this empty beer stand while at David Guetta?
Asia World Expo, what are you doing?!? For some reason, when I came into the venue through the expo’s lobby, the drink line was long. And you might think I mean long when I say long, but you’re thinking nowhere near as long. On the Asia World Expo site, it lists Hall 10 as having either a square meterage of either 5,600 or 11,300 (nope, they can’t even make up their minds about that) and the drink lineup went from ONE END TO THE OTHER, and then add in some snaking and looping.
Yet had you walked further in and ran around a little bit to look for your friends, you’ll see this furtive sign that nobody can see saying, “Beer Express Line”. At this point I was trying to look for a group who had a big stash of booze with them so I could buy some at a black-market price. Screw waiting around for friends!
This area also appears to double as the place where early arrivals come to queue up before doors open. Here, I also found lineup-less ladies’ washrooms, tables to chill out at with a jug, and even food. But really, way to communicate between staff about a 40-minute wait at one bar and immediate booze available at the other.
Ok, picture time!
Can’t wait for the next one. Secret Island Party is what all socializing pretty much should be like. It’s the rare instance in Hong Kong where strangers say good morning to you without following it up immediately with a demand for your money or flyer-taking. It’s a mini-Coachella, except even better because there were a shocking lack of teenage kids and property-destroying assholes. Yes, it is possible to have a shitload of fun and get drunk while still being a nice person.
We set up our camp on the beach and promptly dozed off to the sound of ocean waves and distant, ambient beats from the festival grounds, then woke up to eat. This is what weekend retreats should all be about! Toilets were of the modern variety with flushes and toilet paper stocker, food was mostly wholesome (but cup noodles were broken out after midnight when the burgers ran out!). People wrapped themselves in Christmas lights and tied glowstick stars to the belts of their dresses, meditation circles were had, and DnB fueled the floor until morning. Here are some of the photos I took, but really, check out the souped-up ones taken by official photographers here at their Facebook page! It tells the story way better than I do (how do photogs-by-trade ever get a minute to join in on the fun?!)
On the ferry over to SIP! I’ve been banned from posting my companion’s face on my blog, though, so here’s just some other strangers that were on it.
Prepare for blastoff!! Cicada-spotting while lining up to get in.
There were a couple of dorky-looking Golden Retrievers roaming around, owned by the villagers. This one likes to eat grass.
Sailing into the bay of Tai Long Village.
“Secret” is the new nightlife gimmick in Hong Kong. What the event name actually means is “If you want to meet some 鬼佬, this is where they’re going this weekend.”
Secret Island Party is a two-day festival for hippies and investment bankers who wish they were more like hippies. In the day, you can take it easy on the beach campsite or indulge in some meditation circles, African drum circles, or trek to Pui O and back. Hide in your tent for a disco nap at dusk to avoid the mosquito and shark feeding times, and then be ready for all the DJs about to go all night until 6am playing everything from trance to DnB.
In true hush-hush style, the exact location and directions are not going to be revealed until Friday midnight, although you can charter a seat on their private ferry that will take you directly there. I can tell you now though, that you also will be able to take a public ferry to Cheng Chau, and from there it’s only about a 15-minute sampan ride.
Here are nine tips for what and how to pack:
- Handheld flashlight: make sure the bulbs are LED for the longest-lasting and brightest light. Useful for disorienting predators and shining a light on passers-by so that nobody can see you peeing in the dark.
- Get every kind of insect repellent you can get your hands on. Spray, patch, burn, and then all you can do is pray to god.
- Wear your swimsuit underneath your clothes rather than packing it. Be prepared to have it substitute your underwear entirely.
- Don’t bring a sleeping bag. Just use the yoga mat that you are renting from the party and put a light cotton blanket over it because ain’t nobody want to lie down on polyester when it’s so humid out. It doubles as a beach blanket as well.
- Don’t bother with dry shampoo, just wear a hat on the second day if you have oily hair. For those with 公主病 (Princess Disorder), stay home, this is not for you.
- BYOTP because there is a chance the toilet may just be a hole in the ground. ♥ Tempo!
- Alcohol-based wipes for armpits (the alcohol will kill B.O.-causing bacteria), and baby wipes for the more delicate upstairs and downstairs.
- I always prefer sneakers to flip flops to keep away the sand demons and also drunk people demons from stepping on your toes on the dance floor.
- Shorts > sundress! Pockets mean light traveling and also prevents grass stains from sinking through onto your butt.
Going? Check these links first: FB event | Buy tickets | Camping stores in Hong Kong
So what was that #HKProblems_theplay thing all about anyway? Other than its awfully formatted name, it was a light-hearted, over-the-top look at the culture shocks and shenanigans of expats in Hong Kong. It was billed as interactive theater as well as a social media experience, though it failed from being in the wrong company. The point was that throughout the play, audience members could tweet their thoughts and their own problems, which would be projected onto the screen at several points during the play.
But hardly anybody outside of the cast and crew bothered. The kind of people who actually bother to reserve a table somewhere are just usually not frivolous tweeters. I did sent out the following into the Twitterstars: “How can this be observational humour when there has not been one single joke about the French?” but after realized that I @-mentioned a non-entity because goddamned awfully formatted names!
They definitely need a French character in there.
Some cringey bits aside (#suicide, I’m looking at you), the actors were great as amateur comedians, most of the skits were at least entertaining, with 180 degree costume changes, laisee confetti and a showdown between Rubber Duck and #saikungshark. It does kind of suck that the parts that got the most laughs was the video screenings, and the audience usually seemed unsure when to offer applause — actors, if you lead the applause the first couple of times, we’ll learn how to time it for the rest of the show.
There is a certain desperation in Hong Kong for more of this kind of stuff, if not simply due to a sheer lack of it. So while back home I would have written this off as not being worth the $200 cover charge, here I get that it just doesn’t go as far. They promised to be back in the fall, and they better be better.
Lowest common denominator art at its finest. Even I’m head-over-heels for this schmuck of a duck. After a month-long gig in Sydney, this 16-meter (16 freaking meters! That’s more than 10 of me!) duck has been spotted at the TST harbour in li’l ol’ Hong Kong.
According to the official infographic, staff enter into the duck through its butthole. Can I get a backstage pass to this thing? I can just see the caption happening for that photo.
So since as far as I can figure out, this duck will be ahoy 24/7 throughout the month of May, so screw the Central pier parties, Kowloon’s got the good stuff now.
Rubber Duck Project is actually seems to be part of a series of giant inflatable things (your humble author is too lazy to Google this), although it prefers to separate itself from all the other way uglier pieces. Those suckling pig eyes have been haunting me at night for ages (there is an ad in the minibus I take every morning that features a photo of an actual suckling pig, beady red eyes and all), and pardon me, but is that literally a pile of shit in the upper right corner? No contest about who’s going to be the fan favourite this round.
“The Throw” is the first single of Sydney band, who cemented themselves as the new Pitchfork darling a couple of days ago with their new track, “Man I Need”.
Surf-rocky stuff filtered through the audio equivalent of Instagram’s Earlybird. Vocals all up in that bubbly falsetto thing that us indie kids like so much these days. Talk about remixable. Does Clockenflap take band requests?
Paradisco couldn’t have picked a more perfect fall/winter to spring up. Despite being completely open-air and exposed to the elements, it only had to shut down operations a handful of times due to bad weather. From time to time, idiots come in and get the idea to pinch an heirloom disco ball or two, but generally it’s awash in good vibes and a trash-can bonfire if it’s cold.
We stayed until dawn on Saturday. Originally, the plan was to see Afrojack at Play. I’d supposedly won some spots on the guestlist at Play, but 20 minutes in a stone-still lineup and a bouncer denying the existence of a guestlist at all for the night was too sobering to be pre-emptive of a good time. It’s a $100, 15-minute cab ride from Central — reasonable if spent with even just one friend. You’re bound to make some more once you reach, anyway.
Having tended bar there a couple of times myself, the drinks seem pricey on the surface — $70 flat other than some snazzy ol’ Louis — but generally we’re free-pouring doubles all over the place (and we’ll even double that if you ask nicely without trying to actually hit on us) and the good beers are half a liter (tip: don’t ask for the Corona).
Cheers to a view of blinking cargo ships pulling into Hong Kong, a mountainside laser show, oldies remixes at 4am, rose and freshly-baked/stolen croissants from the bakery down the hall. Paradisco’s last party happens this Saturday, and then it moves to a new location rumoured to be in Aberdeen. See Facebook event for details.