Saturday, 29 January 2011

Return to Cheung Chau

I look at that title and feel a little sad. It would be much more interesting if Return to Cheung Chau brought you a narrative that contained dismembered body parts tied to lumps of rock. The phone would ring, then a sinister voice would say, 'We are returning your Triad overlord. Mr Chang will dispose of his left limbs in Cheung Chau. This is the beginning of the end.' Then the line would go dead. It would be a tale of betrayal, money lust, and revenge.

It's not going to be anything like that, obviously.

We took Travelling Aunty to Cheung Chau and had a perfectly lovely day out on this fishing island a ferry ride away from Hong Kong Central. We toured the lovely temples, ate frozen fruit lollies, and bought handbags shaped like fish.

Well, I say perfectly lovely. I kept fondling myself. All the way round. Dig says that's what it looked like to everyone.

It did not. Dig, if you are going to keep walking ten paces ahead of me, I won't include you in my perfectly lovely day out. As I told him, I can't go up to every surprised Chinese face merely to explain how, in one of my many pockets, I am sure I have a wodge of unused toilet tissue suitable for a dribbling English nose. I just have to find it.

Unfortunately, the only bits I ever locate are the disintegrating fetid fragments which I bundle together with my care-worn fingers to have the fibres explode around me thanks to my detonating hooter. Mind you, you should see those folks run. You want some personal space in Hong Kong? Sneeze into the only emergency lint you can find in your pockets.

And when I say perfectly lovely, I obviously exclude Travelling Aunty, who stands around looking a little like her spirit has been hit by a truck. I'm not sure why. She is adopting quite a regretful appearance after only a few days en famille. Cheer up aunty! Only three weeks to go!

I also obviously exclude Tiger, who gets out her grumbling gear again, even though it's only a little tourist temple tour. We're only doing three after all. Not so bad she has to go round with that long face threatening to throw herself into the sea. But of course we give in and start souvenir hunting.

At which point, perfectly lovely means Shark disappearing again in her ever increasing wandering-off confidence, sparking family panic just short of an emergency call to the local police station.

Then Squirrel. She cannot choose between a perfectly lovely fishbag in pinkypurple or purplypink.

After an hour of deliberations, opening and closing every bag, and 'Should I? Shouldn't I?', the elderly stallholder can't take any more. She reaches out, grabs a bag from under Squirrel's grasp, and starts dramatically rearranging her entire fishbag stall with much huffing and puffing while shouting in Chinglish something which sounds like It's only a bleeding fishbag! They're all the bloody same. Now sodding well stop opening them. You're messing up the fucking stall.

So there you have it. No dead bodies, Triad gangsters, drug smuggling or tales of madness and revenge. Cheung Chau is a very pretty island with quite a holiday atmosphere. And you can go safe in the knowledge that we don't visit everyday.


sharon said...

Oooh I want a fish bag too! The fruit sticks look very yummy as well.

Hope your germs bugger off soon Grit ;-)

ladybirdcook said...

I probably shouldn't laugh at other people's perfectly lovely day but well, I did. When I read this I thought that our two families would be able to have an absolutely splendid day out together.