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Sunday, 25 March 2012

Skipping the Sevens

Apologies for the little blog hiatus yesterday.  The London mice were en route to Miami and I was dodging the Sevens madness in Hong Kong by heading off to Macau for the day.

For anyone who hasn't been to Hong Kong in late March, the Hong Kong Rugby Sevens is a seven a side international rugby tournament held from Friday to Sunday during the last week of March (it was scheduled a little early this year).  I know very little about rugby so that's really as much as I can say about the Sevens from a sports perspective.  For me, the Sevens weekend is far less about the rugby and all about the party.  While the families sit in the East and West stands and the corporates entertain clients in the boxes, the South stand is where the hardcore drinking, singing, dancing and a little more drinking happens all while wearing the best fancy dress outfit that you can come up with.  


The week before the Sevens Hong Kong gets more and more overexcited.  Flocks of tourists arrive, offices fill up with people from other offices around the world who've got really, really important meetings that just happened to fall during the last week of March, Lang Kwai Fong is jumping and Pottinger Street (which is home to wall to wall fancy dress stalls) does a roaring trade.  Since my first Sevens in 2009, I've been a Disco Diva complete with an afro wig (that lasted about five minutes before it was stolen) and mirror ball earrings; a raver who spent the Sunday painting the South stand with neon paint from a Full Moon party the month before; an M&M (a costume which got us onto the big screens); and last year, a pit girl which involved the world's most unflattering shiny, gold dress.  I've drunk countless pints of flat, warm Pimms, lost one camera, joined in with hundreds of Mexican waves and shouted along to the HK 7s anthem, DJ Otzi's "Hey Baby", far too many times.

This year I decided that I needed a year off and so the anti-sevens plotting began... I was very nearly thwarted when Sevens fever really began to hit last week and especially after watching this amazing advert from co-sponsors, HSBC.


I remained strong though, and yesterday morning I headed over to Macau with a little group of other Sevens dodgers for a day of alternative Sevens fun.  For non-Hong Kongers, Macau is a peninsula on the edge of the Mainland which, like Hong Kong, is a Special Administrative Region of China.  Formerly a Portuguese colony, it's now known as the Monte Carlo of the Orient with its 33 casinos and is the world's top casino market surpassing even Las Vegas in gambling revenue.

We started with a big Portuguese lunch at Fernando's where we ate far too much food and drank even more Sangria.  This was followed with pina coladas at the Hard Rock while the boys played volleyball, a little light gambling and we finally finished up with some champagne in Macau's finest nightclubs (full of poles and girls without many clothes).  Today we headed back to Hong Kong island where we blew away the cobwebs with a big barbecue lunch in the sun and a bit of chilling out on a friend's speedboat.  All in all a pretty perfect weekend.  


Tomorrow I'll try not to be too smug when I arrive at the office and am surrounded by green-faced, Sevens weary colleagues because Macau was lots and lots of fun but the lure of the South stand will very probably get me next year...    

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