12.11.2011 - 15.11.2011
Hong Kong – 12th November
I am laid by the pool at the Grand Harbour Hotel in Hong Kong. It is a pleasant 28 degrees Celsius and I am tempted to jump in the pool to cool off. The guy stood over us all is there in case we should need anything, new towel, a drink perhaps, though I'm tempted to ask him to splash the woman laid next to me with some anti-deodoriser, she is a crimped old hag who stinks of expensive perfume, and that’s probably not a fake Gucci watch she is wearing, the smelly old badger.
But instead of cooling off in the pool I end up talking to a doctor laid by the other side of me that has flown out especially to see his patient who has taken ill while in China.
I'm piggy in the middle of these fancy goers, and I daren’t mention that I'm a dole waller, and from Middlesbrough as well, preferring to suggest that I am of the North Yorkshire heritage instead of the council town that North Yorkshire rejected.
I'm looking up at the clear sky which has been hard to see for the while I was travelling around China. I was able to recover a bit of weight in Yangshuo, before losing it all again with a heroic 12 hour intimate session with the toilet and basin, but my mental wellbeing had recovered a little and I was able to recollect those times in China with a little less hostility.
Whilst I laid there lapping up this absolute indulgence I couldn’t help thinking about the hotel I stayed at in Wudang Shan. The family who wanted so desperately for me to stay at their hotel, the guy who’s face lit up when I agreed to stay, the 7 year old daughter who checked me in speaking good English, and the same guy who ran out in his bright red long johns on that early morning to help me check out.
I couldn’t help feeling so guilty. Guilty that I had negotiated a £2 discount on his hotel room which I'm sure would have made quite a bit of difference for him and his family, and yet all I stood to gain was the pleasure of knowing that I had ‘knocked him down’. I didn’t need £2. I had paid £8 for that room, and now I was staying at some fanciful place which the extortionate prices couldn’t be negotiated.
I felt guilty as hell….
But then I jumped into the pool and I forgot all about it.