(YOU’LL NEVER KNOW WHERE IT WILL LEAD YOU)

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WHO ARE HONG KONG’S MOST INTERESTING- AND HONG KONG’S MOST STUPID AND OVERRATED- PEOPLE?

Pop icon Andy Warhol predicted that “In the future, everyone will have their 15 minutes of fame.”

Well, in this world where things change every nanu second, those 15 minutes have become 15 seconds and, in a small city like Hong Kong, heroes are built up overnight only to be hammered down into a reality the next second.

Look at what’s happened to Hong Kong’s new Chief Executive: From a “people’s man”- at least on the surface- he has suddenly become another social pariah with a house on the Peak worth over HK$540 million.

And while the local media are hell-bent on going on and on and on about six “illegal structures” found in Leung’s mansion, what we want to know is how the hell he amassed over HK$540m to buy himself this house and how much is he really worth? Who really IS this man? How and where did he make these gazillions? Who are those behind him? The answers to these questions will lead to where the REAL story lies.

THESE are the home truths that need to be made public. Fuck all the “policyspeeches” and “promises” of Hope and Change. Wait: That was another politician who promised his country and the world all that jive which really was all part of showbiz and which enthralled the gullible who needed someone and anything to forget the Bush Years. And now? Well, no Hope and only chump Change.

Sometimes, we also think Hong Kong is full of chumps and where many of us “revere” those who are totally worthless.

In the restaurant business, for example, the Italian place called Da Domenico does very well serving pretty average food at way over-the-top prices ‘cos many are duped into the “eccentricities” of its Italian owner Alessandro. Nutter or actor playing a role to be the typical eccentric Italian to give his little bistro some authenticity ? Who knows and who cares but we applaud the leading Hong Kong jockey who, one day, so tired of his shtick, poured a cold can of Heineken down his back. Alessandro The Great deserved it and the jockey has been barred for life from entering Da Domenico. As if he cares.

Same as we don’t care if “celebrity chef” Harlan Goldstein’s next restaurant is actually made OUT of gold and find the pretentious Lupa to be so over-the-top and pseudo everything, it makes all those airy fairy kisses blown by people from the Eighties like Bonnie Gokson and hairdresser Kim Robinson to actually be honest tokens of great affection. As Ellen from “Seinfeld” put it, “Fake, fake, fake, fake.”

So, who do we think are genuinely interesting people in Hong Kong?

We think Michael Chugani would be one of them.

Sure, the host of Newsline wears horrible suits and ties from the Seventies and has a very high voice whenever he gets excited and talks all over his guests, BUT, all those government prats who appear on his show are scared shitless of him. Chugani speaks fluent Cantonese, he’s been around for decades, he knows the fakirs from the good guys, he has his ear, nose and throat to the ground and the day he writes a tell-all book, well, all will be told and the genie will be let out and not even Beijing will be able to close Pandora’s Box.

On Newsline, he holds back and tries to have others say what he wants them to say and what he knows to be true. Take-away these editorial shackles and he can blow the lid off so many with Carrie Lam, the new Chief Secretary, possibly at the top of his To Undo list just as she is at the top of the lists of many others.

This woman is certainly not stupid- but she IS interesting as she was made for politics. Watch which way her career path takes her and all those who she’ll piss off along the way and how she’ll eventually take her Big Boss down with her while his army of newly-appointed Yes men and women look on and with none having an answer as what to do next. After all, they are only puppets.

Others of interest in Hong Kong- and for the good of Hong Kong- would have to be Winfried Engelbrecht-Bresges, CEO of the Hong Kong Jockey Club and the success he has been able to achieve in the business- and entertainment- world of horse racing.

Say what you will, racing is a business and when, in this economy, turnover keeps going on the up-and-up at every meeting, well, it speaks and amounts to volumes. Plus, with all the entertainment value which is taking place at the Happy Valley racecourse, “E.B” is showing those in the bona fide entertainment business how to make a profit and change with the times. And here is a man who is not content to sit on his laurels. What he now needs is a complete team to make all this good stuff happen on a regular basis and a more streamlined way to make this good stuff comings. All the layers and red tape at the HKJC can castrate all creativity. Still, to achieve what has been achieved since he took over the CEO gig a decade ago and when racing was on the wane and only known to old farts and hardcore gamblers is quite a feat.

As for Overrated “personalities”, well, we asked a few people and topping the list was Edison Chen. We, personally, like Mr. Edison, but there are so many out there with an axe to grind when it comes to him. Sure, he’s arrogant, but he’s a spoilt rich kid who was born with a silver spoon up his ass. Yes, we know he’s famous for doing nothing much but mainly “doing” a number of willing Chinese ladies in showbiz, but one cannot blame only him for that. But, say many, unless some new pictures of him doing the Hanky Panky emerge, he will remain overrated and seemingly doing much but with none of it ever seeing the light of day. The paparazzi continually hassling him doesn’t help him shrug off his bad boy image and being taken seriously.

Others who are overrated? The local media who always manage to follow the wrong leads like lemmings. Ad like lemmings with blinkers on, they just go on and on and on about the same thing when the really Big Picture is under their very noses. Right now, it’s all about “illegal structures” as opposed to looking at all the illegal ways people in high places have amassed their wealth.

Hand-in-hand with the local media is the Independent Commission Against Corruption who charges many but can convict none. Let’s see how they let the Kwok’s leave with a smirk on their faces when their entire Sun Hung Kai case falls apart.

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DOES QUINARY QUENCH OUR THIRST? NOPE.

We walked into Quinary, Hong Kong’s newest late night cocktail bar or whatever the hell it is on Hollywood Street and which was another “shining” example why Singapore nightlife is thriving and Hong Kong night life is on a support system. Designed by someone who must have worked for Willie Wonka, the joint has no vibe and with service to match. They didn’t have any room for us, but they did have two huge sofas for two fat guys who had passed out on a few bottles of beer. The photo below offers a very fake idea of the place. Despite it being the latest venture of Antonio Lai- yes, we’ve never heard of him as well- there is something just so wrong with the place. People make anything happen and, at least when we got there, the crowd had about as much personality as a dead parrot.

We left as the joint reeked of, well, nothing much really. Just some pretty uninteresting people. At least the small bar called Quench off Elgin Street has some character- and a whole weird cast of characters.

We went there two days in a row and saw some of the weirdest things and also met some of the weirdest things. One was a guy from Goa who told us he owned seven horses in Hong Kong. It turned out his family did- twenty years ago. He became so matey with us that he begged us to come to Escape with him so he could grab some Colombian hookers. It was 6am and so we declined. We would have declined The Great Escape no matter what time it was.

The next day, a very drunk American lady strutted all over the bar looking for company before locking lips and gasping for air with some “lucky” bloke. Her friend, also very drunk, sat there as a Pom hit on her and bombarded her with questions. We tried to help out by answering them on her behalf until he became belligerent and yelled to us, “Let HER answer.” “She can’t,” we replied. “She’s deaf and dumb. She can only read lips.” He then walked away.

Over at another end of the bar- and it’s a small bar- an Aussie was insisting to someone he had just met that he was “gay and living inside the closet.” The Aussie then turned around to friend of the supposed “gay” person “in the closet” and gave him a hard time for not “saving” his friend and “bringing him out.” See what we mean? Quench offers us a free floor show made up of all the losers in life. Quinary only shows us the sleepy side of Hong Kong and some fat guys on a couple of couches.

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SOIREE AND THEIR DUMBASSES

Let’s not beat around the bush: Compared to other areas in Soho, Peel Street and Lower Elgin Street are two of the most visited streets by the local gendarmes. Why? Residents live on those streets and so, with possibly living lonely lives, any sign of a musical note and they call the gendarmes and complain about “noise”. Then, like the bumbling Keystone Cops, the gendarmes descend, they make a big song and dance as they, too, have nothing much to do and since they’re already out, out comes a reason to switch all the lights on of the bars and restaurants and check on “liquor licenses” while customers sit there, then worry, then think, “This is NOT fun” and leave. Who wants to spend the weekend with a buncha coppers?

So, amidst this scenario what did those knobs at the usually empty Soirée on Lower Elgin Street do?

Having one of their rare nights when they actually had a full house, they open their doors and blast out very LOUD music- and which brings in the gendarmes- and to all the other venues struggling to make ends meet on that dead end street. Smart, Soiree, really smart.