I don't know the words to The Beatles' "Come Together." Most of the time, I just imitate Joe Cocker and call it a day. But sometimes, just sometimes, I wish I knew what their acid-addled brains wrote for that song. We'll come back to that.
Saturday night was intended to be relaxing. We'd go to our local pub, have a pint, and call it good.
12 hours later, I come back to my dorm room, smelling like the harbor and aching all over.
There's a certain attitude I've adopted, after watching Jim Carey's underrated "Yes Man." And when a night starts free-spinning, devoid of plans or social moorings, I fall into my element. I buy the ticket, I take the ride. I make my bed, and I lie in it. I go with the flow. So when a friend suggests we relocate after two hours at the pub, it takes all of 15 seconds of deliberation for me to make the call. We're going to Tsim Sha Tsui.
TST is an incredible part of the city. Filled to the brim with high-style shopping outlets, swanky bars and good food, it was my first exposure to Hong Kong, and will always take precedent when I think of HK as a whole. I'm rolling with a group I've never really hung out with- a multi-cultural group of party kids who know how to turn a night into something memorable. After 4 hours at a billiard's hall, countless trips to 7-11 and a brief stop-over at McDonald's, most of the group departs. We're left with 5 males- all from California, either San Francisco or San Jose.
Nothing is open at 4am, even in Hong Kong. Alright, McDonald's is. But as college students, we consume such an ungodly amount of McDonald's that for once, we decide to pass it over. And we had already eaten it a few hours prior. One of our guys ducks into a massage parlor- it's still 4am, mind you- to check prices. It's one of the dodgiest places you can imagine, and for some reason unknown to my childlike mind, the proprietor is still awake, despite there not being a potential customer for miles. Before we are roped into a situation that we don't want to be in, we careen out of the parlor, giggling.
Eventually, the decision is made to head towards water. Our destination: the Avenue of Stars, Hong Kong's walk of fame for it's movie legends and home to the famous statue of Bruce Lee. When we get to the Ave, we hear music. What we find is a half-dozen Nepalese kids, sitting around two guys playing guitar and singing. One of our compatriots is Nepalese by birth, and speaks the language fluently. We spend the next few hours lying by the water's edge or sitting around, looking at the stars, trading stories and singing along to The Beatles and Jason Mraz.
Around 6am, the sun began to rise over the harbor, and we started the day with our new friends.
It was one of those strange, perfect nights. The kind that makes you feel connected to the people you're with and the place you're in.