Went to Lan Kwai Fong, the drunken ex-pat bar section of Central Hong Kong for the Inauguration of Barack Obama. A spot called Dublin Jack. It was hosting the Democrats Abroad viewing party. Got there around 11:30pm. The Big Guy was gonna put his hand on the Lincoln Bible at 1am. As we all know, he became president as Perlman and Ma were pulling the bows unto their strings. And how auspicious is it that the Chief Justice led the eloquent and prepared Prez astray? And that Cheney pulled his one last dis, not being able to 'stand' in respect for the New Guy?
Here's my cousin Paul, the super host of Hong Kong. Everything always goes smoothly with Paul--we got to Dublin Jacks and immediately found comfortable seating in front of one of the wide screens of the Irish bar. Paul was gracious enough to accompany me--he had an early morning, but gosh, he caught the spirit of the event.
Haven't been with so many Americans in a while. I forget how loud and free they are with speech (have I become the Ugly Chinese? Oh yeah, I was in a bar, abroad, for an American event.) I forget how handy the punchlines are. Is there not a minute, a thought, not sought in laughter (have I become an old fogie?). I guess I want these types of special moments without a dude saying into his cell phone over and over again: Dublin Jacks (pause 5 seconds). Dublin Jacks (pause 5 seconds) Dublin Jacks (Pause 10 seconds) I'm at Dublin Jacks, etc. That was during the VP oath. I guess its standard American jam. I forgot about the sports tone of enthusiasm.
O - ba - ma!
O - ba - ma!
O - ba - ma!
Na-na-na-na, Na-na-na-na, Hey-hey-hey Goodbye!
(yeah I joined in that one to bid adieu to Bush, too).
Some folks dressed up. One gal had super red wig and a star-spangled outfit. A black dude came in with his Obama shirt. He was the one who started the O - ba - ma chant. There was lotsa bubbly around. The Hong Kongese who allowed me a spot in their booth had a coupla buckets of it. In the middle of the Inauguration speech, there was the proclamation of 'I love you Obama' uttered, because that white American needed to--
A black gal standing next to us kept telling her girlfriend not to cry. Cry, I told her, Cry! This is the time--let it out!
I feel lucky to have a president like this. Valiant, knowing how to cull the characteristics of a hero. Having eloquent words, but also showing action, compassion, clarity. Have to see how these actions hold, before he can actually be heroic, instead of just seem it. But most of all, someone to show us what it is to be an adult. To not whine. To use metaphor. To speak simple and sincere. To complete sentences with ideas. To be patient with the petulant. To be stoic in a heated moment. To be lively in an unexpected one. (Like at the first ball--How good-looking is my wife?--how dear was the First Lady to obediently applaud along until she heard the words and waved it off, embarrassed and faux-pissed at the Prez for touting her?)
We saw the First Lady's inaugural outfit in chartreuse. It was actually golden (though I thought the chartreuse looked good, bold indeed, but a bit clashing with the green gloves--ah yes, with the golden, it was fine). So the screen was off, made the subtle more severe, the color knob tampered with, the tone maladjusted. Didn't matter. Still came through.
May not be able to trust exactly what you see, but gosh you can hear when it rings.
Before Dublin Jacks, Paul's friend Cheryl gathered friends at a private kitchen on Ship St. called Ying Yang. Cheryl is originally from Texas but has been in Asia for 12 years. She is the kind of American that you don't get to see often--one who is happy to leave all the loud sports behind and enjoy subtler dispositions.
Labels: american ex-pat, Dublin Jack, Hong Kong, lan Kwai Fong, Obama inauguration