Mom and I decided to meet at 5 and hit the shopping arcade here. Dad, insistent on having a sportcoat custom made by one of the many Hong Kong tailors joined us, and we began our shopping extravaganza by assisting him in the selection of his fabrics and buttons. It was actually quite fun, watching dad stand in the middle of this room, a little Chinese tailor draping fabrics all over him, and mom and I saying, "Oh, I don't know. Maybe darker. And longer in the arms? Shhh, dad. Don't speak. We'll handle this. Um, maybe a heavier gold button. Mom?" "Oh yes, and I like the red lining. It's very classic and snazzy." Once we called the shots, we left dad to be measured and went strolling along the designer shops, pausing to watch the arrival of the Crown Prince and Princess of Nepal. You gotta love this hotel.
I gave mom the scoop on Shaghai Tang, one of my favorite stores which is impossible to find, and of course, there's one here. She and I spent and eternity in there, and now mom has a fabulous black shirt with a red sequined dragon on it. She looks incredbly foxy and if any of you feel like dropping a paycheck on something hot and unavailable in San Francisco, check out www.shanghaitang.com.
We then swung by Manolo Blahnik, noting the 50% off sale. I cannot express to you what those shoes do to me, but it's close to sex with a celebrity. We also admired the ridiculous diamonds in the jewelry stores, drolling over the 9 carat diamond ring. Although mom, with far more subtle taste than her daughter, claimed she would be embarassed to wear such a monstrosity. I think that's baloney. 9 carats? That's a house in Pacific Heights. My former employer at Beach Blanket wears a 7 carat diamond, and whenever she'd talk to Zoe and I, we'd just watch that hand fly all over the place, unable to divert our eyes. But, I guess that's the idea.
Before dinner, Alex and I hit the old school hotel bar for a quick cocktail. As soon as we sat down, I noticed what appeared to be a German business man, about 35, with a cheap, poorly dressed hooker wearing ALL baby pink. I was fascinated, and could not look away. Alex and I spent most of our drink attempting to eavesdrop and making observations and comments. We agreed, based on both the uncomfortable and awkward conversation and body language that she was definitely, as Alex put it, a working girl.
I convinced the family that as we were so close to India, this is the plave to have Indian food. The conceierge recommended a place across the harbor, so we took the Star Ferry over to Hong Kong Island. Taking that ferry is unlike anything I've experienced. It was extraordinary, like we were in a movie. I've seen the biggest cities all over the place, but I can honestly say, Hong Kong is becoming my favorite. I never had any idea a place like this existed. Like a planet with a civilization far more advanced than our own, multi-colored highrises surround a packed harbor, everything glowing and sparkeling. Marvelous.
We took a quick cab ride to Veda, the Indian place, which was far swankier than I'm used to but fantastic. Mom and dad, never the biggest indian food fans, are now converted. After a quick ferry ride back, Alex and I decided to check out the 3 bars on the top floor. The private elevator has ever-changing mood lighting although, I'm sad to say, the clientele was old and cheezy. It was packed with a bunch of rich old guys, who turn their head at every gal who walks in. I saw a teeny little Asian trophy nearly fall down a neon flight of stairs as she attempted to maneuver them in a matching Channel mini and stillettos. Honey, leave it to the experts.
The next day we met Jupiter in the lobby. Jupiter is 26, speaks perfect English, and never shuts up. She's been to San Francisco 4 times, her ex-boyfriend lives in Hayward, and she backpacked all over Europe last summer. Clearly, growing up in Hong Kong and growing up on mainland China are two very different things. We hit Victoria Peak, Aberdeen fishing villiage, and Stanley market, as well as some mandatory jewelry factory. We've been forced into a bunch of places like this, and it turns out, it's required of the tour guides as the manufacturers give kickbacks to the tour groups. Jupiter was the only one to fess up to this, and it all makes sense now. Mom and I decided we like Jupiter, and although she'd talk your ear off till the end of time, she's full of gossip and uses phrases we haven't heard in ages, like "screwed up" and "what's that about." Ah, glorious slang.
Back at the hotel, dad and Alex went off to find Chinese food and English bookstores, while mom and I opted for high tea in the lobby. Tea at the Peninsula is on the list of things to do before you die, and it was quite an experience. Surrounded by gabillionaire Chinese wives, Japanese businessmen, and tourists, we dined on watercress sandwiches, scones with Devonshire cream, and petit fours, along with the obvious tea. It was awesome, compounded by the fact that the Nepalese royals made many grand enrties and exists during our meal. Then, I spotted him. Whispering, "Mom. Mom. That's him."
"What! Who! Where!"
"Shhhh. That guy over there. With the Nepalese royals..."
She looked around blindly, screaming, "Who???"
"The guy with the hooker. From last night. Over there. Shhhh. Just look. The tall Westerner with all the royals."
The royals are easy to spot, as their short, they all wear dresses, and the men wear little funny hats. Mom finally spotted him. "I thought you said he was German."
"Well, that's what it sounded like to me. Oh my god, he's here with the Crown Prince and Princess of Nepal and he gets a hooker for the night. Classy."
I wonder if I can sell this to the tabloids. This is far better hotel gossip than some stupid Japanese rockstar that stares at the infirmed and dying. This is pure royal scandal and I'm at the center. Okay, maybe not the center, but clearly the only witness to a travesty. Fab. U. Lous.