On this trip, our hotel and social engagements, and Clockenflap are mostly in Kowloon. We had earlier done a walking tour of the heritage buildings, derelict and charming residential estates and old shops. It was A LOT of walking. Fabulous. On a previous trip, I've seen the area briefly, but that wasn't enough. This jaunt provided a closer look. After 4 hours, I could feel the thigh muscles protest in a familiar and not unwelcome burn.
The sights and roads seen were charming and provided much food for thought. We didn't go on this tour without prior reading up (or refreshing the memory) on Hong Kong's housing policies, urban development and conservation trends. None of us wanted to just walk and go ooh and ahh. We wanted to be able to discuss, to a certain depth and link what we were seeing to the direction of social and political developments.
Come 7pm, the friends decided that it was to be a night out at the The Pawn. We had a pretty good meal at its restaurant off the Christmas menu. My carrot soup with ginger and honey and a main of watercress risotto were fairly decent. After that, we adjourned to the terrace for dessert and drinks. Lovely weather to be sitting outdoors. I chucked aside the sweets and opted for dessert of traditional potted Clawson Stilton and port with walnut bread. Rather satisfying.
There were plenty of pear ciders going around. Almost refreshing. I stuck to beer. Yummy beer. Bottles of Fuller's Organic Honey Dew were so welcomed. Especially after the crappy beer over the weekend. The other choices were shitty pre-mixed canned cocktails full of sugar. Eeeeks. Its full-bodied London Porter packed a punch for the later half of the evening when I wanted something stronger. Oddly, no one had whisky tonight.
I'm secretly glad that this gregarious group is so cool. I'm usually not too hot about meeting new people. Common interests don't necessary mean shared values on certain fundamental views. I'm not inclined to engage in a heated debate to reach the point where we agree to disagree. Let's just say that I instantly love them for opening the conversation with, "What have you been doing these few days besides turning up at Clockenflap? I hope you didn't just eat dim sum and shop." Tonight, I've met a couple of new acquaintances who might eventually become friends. Candid and witty, their words were a pleasure in a conversation, especially when it came to our opinions about the eternal comparison between Singapore and Hong Kong, and in this context, Baybeats and Clockenflap. Anyway, politics and parochial conversation aside, it'd be great to see them in Singapore in mid January when they hop in for The People's Party at *SCAPE.