THE DARK SIDE OF HONG KONG NIGHT LIFE 1

HONG KONG’S DEEP-SEATED AND ONGOING INDIAN-PAKISTANI FAMILY WAR.

Lower Elgin Street is one of the more quiet areas in Soho. Some might even say it’s deader than dead, which is what made visiting the street last Friday night after an absence of several months a pleasant surprise in that it was teeming with the young and the beautiful- and the usual quota of desperate fuglies thrown in. Frankly, it was standing room only throughout Hong Kong this night and Lower Elgin Street was part of PartyHK. It wasn’t the madness of LKF, but business was good in a chillaxed shisha inhaling way with our friends at Guru, Sahara and WTF, the latter now under new management, whereas down the road those wonderful and über friendly folks who run Ho Lee Fook kept on keeping on. It was the calm before the storm.

REALITY BITES 1

All was fine until the night deteriorated when a well-known member of the local Indian community sitting with a group of us noticed a restaurant down the street owned by what he claimed was “old Pakistani money”- who cared?- gave everyone around him a lecture on Pakistani politics, who was what “back in the day” in Hong Kong, “old money”, “new money”, one-time connections with the power brokers in Mainland China, and the deep-rooted politics and dislike between the very well-known Indian and Pakistani families who are such a integral part of the Hong Kong community and the city’s history and entrepreneurial spirit.

REALITY BITES 2

The evening deteriorated even further when after aiming his vitriolic diatribe at the patriarch of this particular Pakistani family, our Indian friend transferred his anger and frustration at two young Chinese who had somehow joined our table, calling them “useless”, “uneducated ding dongs” incapable of giving anything to the future of Hong Kong. It was now 3am and all these two younger males- and alcohol had made one of them a bit of a prat and nuisance- wanted to do was get laid, but, alas, became part of a shoving match with the irate Indian who finally wandered off into night and early morning angry with everyone and anything- but mostly himself.

Lesson learnt: The absolute hatred and distrust that still exists between old Indian and Pakistani money and families in Hong Kong which makes the city’s warring and cartoon-like political parties here look like an episode of Scooby Doo.

Don’t let anyone tell you nothing happens down Lower Elgin Street- though these type of politics going back to Hong Kong’s colonial days, and now in the hands of second generation, often angry and bitter family members- we can do without. It’s not a good look for a city trying its darnedest to forge a new identity for itself without the burden of the past.

REALITY BITES 4

——————————

HONG KONG’S LOVE AFFAIR WITH HARVARD “GRADUATES”

A number of years ago, when having inherited STARTV, attempts to turn Little Richard Li, youngest son of Hong Kong’s richest man Li ka-shing, into a wunderkind by reworking his academic background, failed miserably when it was discovered that he never attended the Ivy League college he was supposed to have. He had, apparently, only driven through the grounds of Yale or Harvard, or wherever he was meant to have graduated from. Like many things surrounding the sons and daughters of Hong Kong’s wealthy tycoons- marriages of convenience being the most popular- it was a con to propagate a myth of success.

REALITY BITES 6

This overwhelming need to have, especially Harvard, on one’s CV is still frightfully important in, often, the plastic fantastic world of Hong Kong’s careers system. Like every musician who’s attended the Berkley School of Music is supposed to be the next Wynton Marsalis, so it is with Harvard. Having graduated from Harvard puts one at the head of the queue and a career where few question anyone’s street smarts. Graduating from Harvard with an MBA or some obscure degree is enough, and the biggest organizations in Hong Kong are full of these Ivy Leaguers in top, high-paying executive positions.

REALITY BITES 7

That’s fine as it’s the way it is, and being easily impressed with names like Harvard and Stanford, Yale, Oxford and Cambridge with no questions asked. It’s literally old school wanking.

What’s not working are those who attend 2-3 day “leadership program” workshops overseen by Harvard professors, and believe these have made them overnight geniuses. This is hard to stomach.

Also hard to stomach are many in these same big organizations who take up a two month written course with Harvard, receive a “diploma” after this short cut into Academic nirvana. and are then promoted to positions way beyond their abilities. One has to question who’s to blame for what often looks like a scam. Who do you think?

REALITY BITES 8

———————————

THE REALITY STARS OF HONG KONG? REALLY???

REALITY BITES 9

Spurred on by a reality series called “It Takes Gutz To Be A Guiterez”, a truly awful piece of crap shown on E! that’s the Philippines answer to “Keeping Up With The Kardashians”, we understand that at least three of Hong Kong’s social butterflies and wannabe celebs are busy filming pilots for what they hope will give gawkers a look into their lifestyles in this city built of rock and droll.

REALITY BITES 10

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6OYuBRqbvck

Apparently working hard on this game plan is an ageing celebrity hairstylist, an ageing “supermodel”, and an ageing female restaurateur whose best days and assets are behind her. Gawd help us all if any of these series becomes harsh reality.

REALITY BITES 11