Monday, March 28, 2011

Saturday/Sunday, March 26/27, 2011 (Hong Kong)

A MEMORABLE HONG KONG SEVENS: There's lots to do in Hong Kong that I neglected to do. No visit to Kowloon. No hiking. No ferry rides. No Central-to-Mid-Level escalator ride. No visit to the Tian Tan Buddha on Lantau. One activity trumped all that. We spent most of Saturday at the second day of the Hong Kong Sevens rugby tournament. We had a blast. We were far enough from the notorious South Stands (above) to be barely touched by the antics. We did enjoy seeing the images of the frolicking on the big-screen TVs at the stadium. We were close enough to see and touch some of the costumed attendees. That included the gentleman pictured at right. We thought he was a lobster of some kind. Nope. He was dressed as a Red Dragon, in support of the Wales team.
We picked up some of the major rules of rugby but totally missed many nuances of the game, I'm sure. For example, we were surprised to learn, upon reading the sports pages of Sunday, that Australia's win over Canada was tainted by a referee's bad call. As described in the South China Morning Post, Australia was
"on the ropes in their own 22 in the dying seconds until referee James Matthew ruled Canada had fed the ball incorrectly at a scrum."
It left the Canadian coach at a loss, joining a chorus for video technology. He said,
"It was a delusion on a call like that at the end, but that's life, there were occasions were [sic] we maybe should have won it earlier."
I have no idea about the correct or incorrect way to feed a ball into a scrum.
As it turned out, New Zealand won the whole tournament. England finished second overall. The U.S. seemed to do well with three wins (over Japan, China and Tonga) and two losses (to England and Japan).

A TAILOR-MADE VISIT: It was evidently OK to visit Hong Kong without going to Kowloon, but I couldn't miss the tailor. One of them, anyway. We had a couple of shirts made, and a suit. The patterns were great (right; to clarify, those are shirt patterns, not suit patterns. I wasn't ordering a suit to wear in the South Stands at the Hong Kong Sevens.). The handiwork was stellar. Will this keep me from gaining weight? Time will tell.

IS THE MEAT REALLY THAT FRESH? While eating breakfast before hustling to the airport to catch a plane back to Singapore, we glanced out the window and saw that a small part of the countryside had been trucked into the Central district of Hong Kong. This beast was on display on what I think is Ice House Street. We wondered why it was parked right outside a hotel-dining-room window. We don't think this was a pick-your-lobster type of arrangement. I'm sure he survived the visit to the Big City. I can think of a couple of rugby teams that could have used this guy on the field.

MY SOCK, HIS SHIRT, OUR MUTUAL EMBARRASSMENT: Sandy and I dined on Saturday at the Aberdeen Marine Club with Chien Lee, his cousin Irene and Dr. Tak Lee. Without planning (and, you will say, without any sense of style), Chien and I happened to wear some Andover garb. (He was in the class of 1971; I was in the class of 1970.) Over the loud protests of my hamstring, we posed to show our Andover-wear. Abercrombie & Fitch need not lose any sleep.

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