117. Karaoke Me.

So we were out with our hosts, both attractive young thirty somethings who had the keys to the town.  And our hosts were determined to create memories for us, even if that meant we couldn’t remember it in the morning.

We started at Yardbird, an izakaya that specializes in chicken yakitori. Sake and hoots of laughter. How did they know these were my two favourite things to do on a Wednesday night?

Then they took our Varga virginity, via a suite of espresso martinis and an Asian elvis impersonator who serenaded Sarah like his tips depended on it.

Finally it was karaoke time. I don’t know where we were and I didn’t know who we were – until the microphones were handed out and the first song was selected.

Then we swiftly assumed our Karaoke personalities. Here’s how it fell.

The Blazing Rock Star: definitely Yannick. Most young male karaoke singers rule this genre and he was no exception. His picks came from the school of hard rock. He was the group’s emotional rock – he belted strong rhythmic 
songs that shifted us forever.

The Ultimate Big Fan: Ground control to Major Cam. An instant signature song. As he was singing, I instantly realised there is an undeniable cheekbone connection between him and Bowie.

The Bubbly Pop Idol: Sarah Sarah Sarah. She grooved and she moved and there were times when I thought she must have been a close friend of Taylor Swift’s – how did I miss that – and it was only a matter of time till she popped up on social media in a posse with voices like her own.

The Passionate Diva Wannabe: that would be me. Can I sing it without looking at the lyrics? I’m in. Is it a big emotional ballad? Watch me weep.  The crowd loved me, no really they did. Sarah even said we should start a band. This is a compulsory declaration at any good karaoke session.

We were in the lounge for hours, could’ve been days. We were also in the bathroom. And I got lost in the hallway at one point. There were a lot of Hong Kong date night couples serenading each other in private rooms. They were super cute, in a Sofia Coppola matching wool jumpers in the aircon  kind of way.

By the time we got out it was tomorrow and: yesterday all our troubles seemed so far away.

Spoiler alert: we haven’t started a band.







116. How to sweat champagne


Turning up is everything 

I am sitting on a sofa in an apartment in Hong Kong. Wednesday morning. I was up yesterday morning at 330 to catch a flight here and once here had to immediately inhale a lot of champagne and other associated stimulants.

It would have been rude not to.

Staying in New Zealand time, it was a cool 24 hours later that I finally tipped into slumber.

Five hours after that I was awake and rearing to go, so I googled a hot yoga class and was downward dogging by 715am.

Captain Hindsight would suggest this was a decision that made no sense whatsoever. But of course I only ever invite him to the party after the event.

Truthfully? Probably still three sheets to the wind. Probably. Definitely.

My downward dog was wobbling and trembling, my mind impossible to steer in any direction for long. I even sweated, not something I’m famous for.

Did I leave when I realised I should have been stopped at the door by the yoga bouncer?  Of course not. I’m no quitter.

I pushed through. I pushed through.

Its two hours later now and I feel incredible.

Shall I tell you why? It’s called Healthonism. I’m not even making this up. Turns out that researchers have found out that  both alcohol and exercise trigger reward centers in the brain. Another study found out a positive connection between exercise and drinking habits, especially if the subject had a good workout on a particular day and rewarded themselves with a drink.

I did it the wrong way round, I’ll give you that. But I did it.