THE DARK SIDE OF HONG KONG NIGHT LIFE 1

While the brain drain from Hong Kong to Swingabore continues unabated with a government seemingly oblivious to this and even trying to challenge the Lion City as the region’s media hub, a service sector drain has begun in earnest with many bartenders, chefs, waiters, waitresses and those with management experience being lured to Macau to work in the plethora of restaurants opening up in Little Vegas with very real promises of far more dosh plus- and very key- free housing.

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Of course, as we all should know by now. while most of the restaurants in, especially, the Soho, Lan Kwai Fong and Central areas are controlled by two “dining” groups with very deep pockets through “benevolent” financial investments from sources in high places in Mainland China, in Macau, the art of money laundering is taken to dizzying new heights with reporting heavy losses being key to this particular “business model”. And this means being more than happy to overpay for everything and everyone.

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Hey, it’s nothing personal, it’s business, and if one- or two or twenty- are allowed to get away with it, why not? Of course, this creates a lop-sided playing field. But those who choose to enter this business sector well aware of the huge pitfalls staring them in the face, won’t get any pity from us here.

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On this subject of biting off more than one can chew. we’re tipping the closure of many more bars, restaurants and clubs down the sameness of that numbingly sterile Wyndham Street strip. Hell, one understands even Gilbert Yeung has a turkey on his hands with the one-time trendy Tazmania Ballroom whereas we watch with interest at how long the initial enthusiasm for all those new clubs and bars opening in California Towers lasts.

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LKF looks very busy, but look closer down its alley ways and what you see are restaurants and bars begging for business whereas this one-time high-flying area is, these days, the meeting place for those with very little spending power. That, however, is prevalent throughout Hong Kong’s nightlife- active on the weekend, dead on weekdays, and even when active, attracting those with such little spending power, they Instagram their food so as to live with those memories…

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Surprised that the Robbie Williams concerts in Asia were cancelled? Really? Robbie Williams hasn’t had a hit record anywhere in over a decade and is destined to be the next Tom Jones.

If it’s true that the concerts promoters in Asia- Midas Promotions- were thinking that the performer would be a drawcard in Mainland China, they hadn’t done their “due diligence”. At the very height of his career, Williams’ management and record label had great expectations for a concert tour by their boy of Beijing and Shanghai. It never got further than Chinese censors asking how Robbie was going to cover his tattoos when performing onstage.

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Spotted wandering around Central this week were Blur. After their pretty successful Hong Kong gig, members of the band ended up at the cosy hole-in-the-wall known as Jaba. Meanwhile, for all those who made the pilgrimage to ogle at Chris Brown, well, he was a no-show as he was prevented from leaving the Philippines- a new glitch in a somewhat dysfunctional career.

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