In between the dullness I had a few days of activity.

My cousin from Toronto unexpectedly dropped by for a few days. Actually, what he and my godfather (an uncle who was deputized at my baptism to give me extra-special gifts) did was call me while they were at HK airport on their way back to Dubai from a business trip in China. I immediately got on their case about staying – to which my uncle shamelessly told me that reason they had called last minute was because they knew I would harangue them to stay. In the end, the cuz stayed on which had been my intention anyway.

Of course that meant I had to rush home in my lunch hour and gobble down some seafood laksa while frantically running around the house dusting, throwing the piles of laundry in the guest bedroom on the windowsill in our bedroom and removing um ‘female’ traces from the loo. To be honest, I was more afraid of V – who had been charged with escorting the cuz home – would say when he walked in than the cuz himself, who I knew my reputation to be extremely messy. He later told me that he had thought: “Hmmm is this what The Bride calls dirty? I better never invite her to my place.”

Luckily/unluckily for him we had a farewell party for one of our Indian friends (who I actually like – the good ones always seem to go) who is moving back to India. This party is pretty hilarious in itself. For one, it was meant to be a surprise. Which meant that the guy had to be convinced to make no plans for the night before he left so that we could uh surprise him. Then a couple of the girls were incredibly enthu – more and more fanciful ideas were added on.

What we finally ended up doing was spending half an hour waiting on the street outside the guy’s house for everyone to gather before bursting into his very tiny apartment yelling surprise. One enthu girl threw a bucket of water at him as if he noisemakers etc were not enough – this meant he had to unpack his already packed suitcase to find a pair of jeans. We then went down to the street below where we tried to convince him to break into an open topped bus. It turned out the bus was hired by us to ride around the city in. Quite fun – but also little embarrassing. The bus dropped us off at a pub where an area was reserved for us – there was a shrine like area with a framed photo of the guy and his wife with balloons around it and a slideshow. It later turned out that the pub was practically empty which turned out to be a good thing considering what happened next.

The Bollywood music came on in full blast and some people began gyrating – wildly. Now I am not against Bollywood music or people enjoying it, it’s just that it’s not my thing. I fully acknowledge that my thing is 80s and 90s pop and that that is possibly more embarrassing that Bollywood music. Sadly I cannot find the will to gyrate to most Bollywood tunes and was peacefully catching up with the cuz except people felt the need to ‘include’ us and kept forcing us to dance and every time we slipped off we looked unsporting.

The other thing is that the gyrating kept getting more errr gyraty. The guys were pelvis-thrusting madly… at each other! The Chinese waitresses had never seen anything like it and to be honest, neither had I. Where had all the ever-present homophobia gone? It is a curious paradox of Indian culture – the physicality of male interaction coupled with rabid homophobia. For example – on the bus, while talking to the cuz, I mentioned that I thought his brother’s girlfriend was hot. And some of the girls heard ‘hot’ and started asking me who I was talking about and when they heard I was referring to a girl, they didn’t know how to respond. And then one guy said, “er but why are you thinking a girl is hot?” and I looked very puzzled.

Anyway, at one point, one totally plastered guy came and told me and the cuz that we were being anti-social and I said OK and started laughing. I could not even bothered to be offended.

Then they started smoking a cigar and all the women wanted to ‘try’. It later turned out the cigar cost HK$1000 and V was furious because a) it was so expensive b) I was smoking. But luckily because the cuz was there he could be properly tantrummy and also cigar smoke doesn’t count because you can’t inhale – only I did.

The rest of the weekend was less eventful. I regaled the cuz with both HK’s natural and urban splendour though shockingly not its nightlife. The cuz is so laidback that I had to insist he see certain things – for which I was scolded by V later.

At the end of it I have acquired some gross infection and have been on antibiotics ever since. The curious part of it is that I am so dulled by the drugs that I can’t stress properly. Wondering if the bad taste my mouth and general nausea is worth it.

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