Completely decadent luxury and I get on really well. Sadly, like me and that guy I met once, we rarely meet. But on Tuesday at Heathrow Airport, luxury and I practically 69’d.
This week I’ve been lucky enough to get booked as some sort of stand-up comedian man in Hong Kong, Phuket, Hua Hin (no, me neither) and Bangkok. After checking in for the flight to Hong Kong, as Virgin Atlantic were sponsoring the gigs, I was allowed into the hallowed and holy Virgin Atlantic Upper Class Lounge. It looked like the fucking USS Enterprise and within its walls I was allowed anything I wanted. Champagne, fine dining, seats made of diamonds, a fire engine made of cocaine. If I could imagine it, I was allowed it. Everywhere I looked I saw something I wanted. A luxurious cocktail bar where all the drinks are FREE, a masseuse who will grope all your stress away for FREE and a barber who will cut my hair, for FREE, just before I get on a flight so I will look the loveliest on my plane. THIS IS FUCKING AWFUL! One day I will have to leave this place and return to a boring, ugly, thick normal life just like you. Why the hell did anyone let me in here? I wish I was dead. Just look at what I have sampled and within an hour of this life, THIS LIFE THAT I SHOULD LEAD, I’m just pushed back into the dung to forage for gruel and mingle with cunts like you. Yes, luxury would be the making of me, I thought as I sipped my cocktail with my feet up on a Rolls Royce and Kylie just shut up and kissed my winkie.
Hong Kong has been great fun. Really lovely gigs, nice hotel, excellent company. I’m here with Muki and the comedians Josh Howie and Nick Doody plus London Comedy Improv’s Kirsty Newton. Lovely. It’s such a big deal doing gigs abroad and China is definitely somewhere I’ve always wanted to visit. But it just didn’t feel like I was in a foreign country. Everything just looked too familiar and I really never got that excited feeling that I was somewhere else. Especially somewhere as brilliantly mad as China has always appeared in my head. Mind you, on our first night we went to an English pub because we are dickheads. The next day I slept for 16 hours and saw nothing of Hong Kong. On the third day we went to a beach and market in the exotically named area of Stanley. Nice but just not Chinese enough for me.
Maybe it’s hard to feel foreign now. Hong Kong is an impressive, and very tall, looking city and it’s easily the most cosmopolitan place I’ve ever been to but with so many British over there I just felt like I was in a more impressive, and much taller, UK. Well, that was until yesterday when proper China finally turned up. Late but very welcome. We travelled up the longest escalator in the world. See, that's how I want my China. Mad enough to build an escalator to go up a mountain. It was incredible. It wasn’t really one big escalator, it was about 50 regular ones that took you through amazing, tiny streets filled with insane shop signs and rammed-right-in-there real Chinese life. Billions of people living right on top of one another in buildings that are three feet wide and 8 miles high. There was also one embarrassing English pub called Yorkshire Pudding that confusingly had a London Underground symbol as its logo. We didn’t go in that one. We’d learned our lesson.
The longest escalator only went halfway up the mountain (lazy) so when we got to the end of it we went for a stroll where we saw Hong Kong’s gravity defying motorway system. We seemed to only see roads from an angle where the cars looked like they were driving upside down. Then it was our planned highlight of the day. I was really looking forward to this. We planned to take a venicular tram the rest of the way to the top of the mountain then go up the 12 floors of The Peak Tower, a building that boasts the highest point in Hong Kong and therefore spectacular views. Spectacular views if it isn’t Solid Cloud Day. We paid extra to get to the very top of The Peak Tower just so we couldn’t see our hands in front of our faces. The Peak Tower itself is basically a jumble sale on a hill and standing outside at the very top was depressing. It was like the background to life had been deleted. Still, there was one more thing to actually see up there and that was The Big Buddha, the world’s largest outdoor statue of Buddha. Imagine my delight when we found out we were in the wrong place. I may have said cunt a few times.
But fuck it. It was the journey that mattered not the grey fuck up they call a tourist trap. Plus, later in the day I got quite excited when it finally dawned on me. I just went up a mountain and spent an hour in a cloud. That is the China I was looking forward to. Monkey Magic!
It really should be the journey that matters at all times anyway. I doubt that any of us will reminisce, or even recall, our day spent in Stanley but NONE OF US will ever forget Muki puking her guts out on the bus on the way there. Especially when some people who were wearing surgical masks moved away to avoid the smell. And especially especially when the bus went downhill and the vomit chased after the people who had just moved. I love holidays.
The gigs have been great and we’ve been well looked after by Abi and John at the venue which is an Indian/Italian restaurant. Obviously. I’m utterly impressed and a bit jealous of Josh and Nick’s talent. They do different material for each gig and they’ve been excellent all three nights. We’re off to Phuket now where hopefully they will both die on their arses and I can feel a bit better about myself. The cunts.