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Thread: Watch the fish.

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    Fat Pang's Avatar
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    Watch the fish.

    I knew a guy once, for arguments sake, let's call him Roderic.

    Used to live in Hong Kong, did a job similar to mine, from New Zealand and a big 'ol boy as they say in Bedfordshire. Drank lots, but then expats in Hong Kong generally do, and it wasn't a spin off from rugby where drinking to excess is a celebrated pastime, because like me he had pieces of metal in his legs and like me rugby was just a dim memory. He really did drink bucket loads though. In fact I'd go as far as to say he could drink for the Commonwealth. For every one you or I might have he'd have two, or possibly three and he'd still be there when you decided to go home.

    Then you'd see him a couple of days later, and you'd find out from mutual friends that he'd been in lady bar in Wanchai until 5 in the morning, punched out a bouncer (no mean feat here), skipped from a taxi without paying the fare, kicked down his next door neighbours front door because he thought it was his and he didn't have the right key, been arrested, and missed work without telling anyone exactly why.

    He had problems obviously.

    A friend of mine had a chat with him, and he was went away to the doctor diagnosed with anxiety disorder and depression. Nothing particulary acute just an underlying level of disquiet that affected his performance as a human being. Booze was a temporary crutch of a sort, as it is with most people who suffer from depression and anxiety, but it was getting to the stage where it was chronic.

    The doctor gave him the following advice:-

    "Get a fish tank."

    Didn't prescribe him meds or therapy, just told him to go look at some fish.

    Now, whilst I'm not entirely sure that in Rod's case this was particularly sage advice, I'm not sure it was medical negligence either. We've all been in doctors and dentists waiting rooms where there are large aquariums brimming with brightly coloured tropical fish. The theory is that the fluid, gentle movement of fish is soothing to the mind and that it can help us to generate a state of calm. Added to which is the generally therapeutic nature of owning pets if the aquarium happens to be yours.

    I've been thinking of getting some goldfish myself recently..................

    Now, I've been trawling the internet (Not sure it was trolling but it may have been) and I've been reading some of the reaction that has greeted our admittedly shambolic defensive performance against the Chiefs on a variety of websites. Not surprisingly, hot on the heels of an equally disappointing venture against the Chargers, it hasn't made good reading.

    The prognosis for the rest of our season from Rams Nation as a whole, isn't a good one and most have us plummeting into a tailspin of Rich Brooksian proportions.

    Anxiety and depression no less.

    I admit that I didn't enjoy the scores rolling off Gamecenter on Monday morning, and even permitted myself the odd expletive, but my glass, which is normally half full, wasn't quite ready to tilt over and spill it's meagre contents.

    No, because as the scores rolled off, I was struck by something that confirmed that there was indeed a silver lining to my particular Monday morning cloud and that it could well be a mistake to forecast gloomy squalls ahead for our beloved Rams. We can't gloss over some of the more unfortunate aspects of our sporting allegiance, we can't completely dismiss the aspects of our team that inspire anxiety but we can always watch the fish ladies and gents.

    The fish in this case are Dolphins.

    Okay, Dolphins may not exactly fit in your standard aquarium, but as the story of the weekend unfolded, it struck me that a team in a postion like the Dolphins, playing a team as intimidatingly winning as the Bears, to win like that suggests that all may not be lost in our own little corner of the NFL.

    Watch the fish.

    Their fluid movement over the weekend has calmed the mind somewhat as we approach two huge games in our season's calendar. One win would be helpful, two would be exceptional, and yes as the fish themselves have indicated it's more than possible.

    Some might suggest that it's fanciful, that it's mere parity in motion. To them I say if you can't bear to watch........."Get a fish tank". It'll help, or better still watch the Dolphins and they'll help to calm the turbulent waters of our sporting anxiety.

    As for Rod, he buggered off and left Hong Kong about a year ago.

    Never did buy that fish tank.


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    Re: Watch the fish.

    You are a great Baby Pacman (Flash version) player . . . but what the heck is a "lady bar"?

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    Fat Pang's Avatar
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    Re: Watch the fish.

    I keep expecting to log in and see that you've hit 100k

    I was struggling to find the right words. Think about a bar full of Filipino ladies who are very hospitable for the right price.....................

    There's lots of phrases for them, I just couldn't think of one that wasn't going to upset someone

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    Re: Watch the fish.

    Quote Originally Posted by Fat Pang View Post
    I was struggling to find the right words. Think about a bar full of Filipino ladies who are very hospitable for the right price.....................

    There's lots of phrases for them, I just couldn't think of one that wasn't going to upset someone
    Man...that guy you described sounded a lot like m........never mind.......anyway, I've been to many a bar that you describe in the Philippines. Let's just say, played many a game of liars poker, and the things those gals can do with coins!

    Maybe you can answer this, how has Hong Kong changed since the take over of China from British rule? I had a good time in Hong Kong back in the 70's. Always wanted to go back, but uncertain of current climate compared to the past.
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]

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    Fat Pang's Avatar
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    Re: Watch the fish.

    I knew the girly bar comment would drag a comment out of ya.....

    Good question.

    Well, Hong Kong is still as obsessed with money as it's always been. The wheels of commerce still turn as relentlesly as they always have, although it may be true to say that there's a little less regulation as there was when the Brits were here. It might also be true to say that the current government aren't quite as concerned with the social costs of ecomonic exapnsion as they might have been before.

    Historic buildings get pulled down to make way for dull new office blocks and non-descript overpriced housing developments. The Harbour,which in one of the key features of Hong Kong is getting gradually eroded by reclamation which the government makes a fortune out of in terms of property and development tax. The environment is suffering as green spaces are increasingly under threat as a tide of concrete approaches fuelled by property specualtion and poorly justified public works that only serve to keep manual labourers off the unemployment lists.

    Pollution from Guangdong just over the border in China is posing severe chalenges to the public health system. Having said that, a British colonial authority wouldn't be able to do much about that either, but they wouldn't say, as the current Beijing appointed bunch do, that it's just 'Haze' and there's not much that can be done.

    Freedom of speech is being gradually eroded by Beijing inspired secrecy and patriotism laws that allow snooping by the government into most areas of public life under the guise of catching criminals. I myself, am subject to a contract under which I can be fired and prosecuted for 'treason' if I indulge in behaviour which is deemed contrary to the public interests of the Hong Kong SAR and by extension China. The fact I am a foreign national makes this unlikely, but my local colleagues are subject to it.

    Democracy, which the British colonial authority, to it's everlasting shame failed to introduce to HK, but which the last governor Chris Patten attempted to redress, has been put on the back burner by Beijing even though it was timetabled to be introduced under the terms of the joint agreement signed by Brtian and China. It won't be seen before 2050 if I'm a betting man and even then only if China has a form of it.

    All that said, if you don't live here then you won't get an impression of any of it.

    We've had plenty of visitors over and they have loved it.

    Hong Kong is still an exciting, vibrant city with a huge array of sights, smells, tastes and sounds. A cacophony of sensual assault that at times can leave you reeling.

    There are more restaraunts here than you can shake a dirty stick at and more bars than that. We could go out to a different restaraunt every night followed by a difererent bar for a year or more and never be in danger of hitting the same one twice. And they'd all be good because bad ones dont last, sometimes good ones don't.

    There's still the markets that sell fake rolexes (Best in asia), fake Louis Vuitton, fake blah, blah, blah........the markets that deal in fish and meat that make you sick, the snake vendors, the Big Buddha, the Buddhist temples, the clan homes up in the new territories, the police museum where you can see the head of the Tiger that ate about three policemen here in the 20's, the cultural museum, Cantonese opera, the cheap electronic goods, the peak with it's views over the harbour, the outlying islands (such as the one I live on) that have great seafood places, the occasionally clean beaches, the huge shopping centers and the occasionally old building such as the police station on Hollywood road and the old law courts on old Bailey street.

    There's also Stanley, Sai Kung, Shek O, Mui Wo, Big Wave Bay and other places which are good to visit.

    There's also still Wanchai..........which may be a little cleaner than when you were last there but still has the seediest repuation of any district outside of Mongkok.

    So I'd say that it's still fun and that you're still welcome but you may not have quite as much fun as you did last time.

    For a visitor, Hong Kong is a great place to spend 4-5 days in on the way to somewhere else. As a two week holiday destination, unless you know someone who lives here, it'll be expensive and get a little wearing after a week or so.

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