Holding pattern in Hong Kong.

My right hand smells of Caleche. My left, Roger
& Gallet’s Eau de Gingembre. My head, I imagine, is encircled by an aura of
L’Or Rouge de Torrente. The boarding announcement is late, and the man on the
mic has emphasized that boarding will begin in 10 minutes, teeeeeehn minutes, as
if to spur the Filipinos still drifting about in duty-free dreams to be prompt
and behave. Like children with only partially-developed brains, I

A couple on the far left of the
row is currently engaged in: a) shooting a porn film, or b) practicing for a
calisthenics marathon. I don’t know whether to be embarrassed or

This is Hong Kong airport. It is
newer than Changi, but to my mind still not as gleaming and sparkling and proud.
(However, I will take even the old Hong Kong airport over the echoing drabness
of Terminal 2. “Please give us an airport with no personality.”) They will let
you surf wirelessly for HK$40 an hour, they have a smoking lounge with a soda
vending machine, and a roving uniformed woman with earphones and a notepad
ambushes passengers in transit and asks them questions like, “So what were you
doing in Hong Kong?”

I have bought
preserved lemon rind candies. It seems like a very Hong Kong tourist thing to