Watch Me Entertain Myself!

Sacha Guitry once said, "You can pretend to be serious, but you can't pretend to be witty." Oh yes, I'm the great pretender.
(pilot episode: 20 January 2004)

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

McHK, Pt. 1

I’m writing this with a weird feeling I can’t quite put my finger on. Aside from sleepy, thanks to just 4+ hours of sleep (Wednesday coding will be the death of me), I am walking around the office in a daze. I think I left a piece of my heart back in Hong Kong.

* * * * *
(at the harbor)

We arrived Sunday morning. After a group lunch, everyone proceeded to go on their separate agendas—a big contingent went to Disneyland, while the others went shopping in small groups. I ended up watching the last episode of the Korean soap “Lovers In Paris” in my room then followed a group of shoppers. I ended my first day in HK just window-shopping and accompanying Leigh to the night market and back.

The next morning we had a group tour of the city. By lunch I excused myself from the group because I was scheduled to meet Dan at the entrance of Disneyland between 1:30 to 2pm. I arrived 1:50pm. Good thing Dan’s rehearsals finished late too.
(with Dan at the entrance of Disneyland)

On the train going to Disney, I kept playing in my mind a surreal version of my first meeting with Dan and Rye. But that was immediately erased by the reality of seeing Dan waving from afar then coming over to give me a hug (pawis daw ang kamay—shake hands lang?)

Because Dan still had rehearsals, he just pointed me to the worthwhile attractions. I was on my own until 5pm. I watched “Lion King,” and—for me, the best non-live show currently showing there—the 3D spectacular “Philharmagic”. I even got to watch the latter twice! During the second showing, my phone rang. Rye was already in Disney.
(fire spectacle at the “Lion King” show)

Outside the crowd was still thick but it was so easy to spot Rye, thanks to his chocolate-colored, beach-burned skin. He accompanied me to watch “The Golden Mickeys”. Afterwards we met up with Dan and we all trooped to their place in Tung Chung.

And the next several hours were the best ones for me during this HK trip.

* * * * *

I kept joking Dan & Rye that the reason why I went to HK was to do a podcast with them. Actually it is partially true. This trip was not part of my plans so I wasn’t able to save up money for the trip. Besides, I was never a shopping person to begin with. So my priority for this trip was to see THE Dan & Rye live and in person.
(proof that Rye is a master chef)

Rye whipped up a great dinner of fried chicken (perfectly crispy on the outside, juicy and tender inside—laban ka, ChickenJoy?!) and beef stroganoff. The latter’s sauce was not as creamy as Rye wanted it to be, but it still tasted wonderful and the beef was tender. Even the Thai rice was perfectly piping hot. Nothing in this world can compare to a home-cooked meal.

With red wine flowing, we had dinner while podcasting. Chris “pabili ng yelo, ‘te!” joined us after a while. He’s the cute chinito guy in the picture here. One of the reasons why I enjoy listening to TD&RS is that it’s like eavesdropping on a really hilarious and thoroughly entertaining conversation. And the chemistry of the two is really palpable. Add Chris into the mix and you have a riot. Unfortunately Chris was subdued that night because of my presence. Naku Chris, na-tongue-tied ka pa! Na-miss ko tuloy yung bigay-todong halakhak mo.

We ended up talking for more than 100 minutes and finishing a bottle and a half of red wine. Chris fell asleep on the couch. They offered to let me sleep over since there were no more trains available. I got some throw pillows and took the rug. (In fairness to them they offered me a space on Rye’s bed but I declined.)

* * * * *

The next day was Dan’s day-off. Rye, Chris and I left him in la-la-land. When the train reached Sunny Bay I hugged Rye and Chris goodbye and thanked them once again for a wonderful time.

As the train hurtled away from the station, I felt a twinge of sadness.

They are wonderful, funny and courageous guys doing pretty well in a country that has given them better opportunities for their wonderful skills and talents. And with their third contract, they are proving to themselves and to HK that they have what it takes to succeed. They are plucky and gutsy, yet they also remain down-to-earth and generous. I am very happy for them and wish them all the best.

No wonder I felt a little sad. They are people really worth knowing well.

(Disney a few hours before closing)

* * * * *

To Dan and Rye, thank you for having me over at your place. It was one of the best nights I’ve had in months (including bathhouse nights). The dinner, the podcast, the off-mike chikahan, the wine and jello shots made for a terrific stay in HK. Kahit sa labas ng Disney, performance level pa rin kayo. Panalo!

To Chris, o ayan, sa susunod puwede ka nang mas madaldal. It was great to finally have met you. At in fairness, hindi ka pala payat—dapat ang tawag sa iyo ay svelte.

To Mamu, helloooooooo!

O di ba? Ibang level ng EB ito!

* * * * *

I owe someone big time.

Rabbi called me while I was on my way to watch Mickey’s Waterworks Parade when he called, telling me that he was performing at the 4:15pm show of “The Golden Mickeys”. And while at first I agreed to watch that, I realized that it might conflict with plans later on if I watch “Lion King” in the evening instead of at 4:30pm. Torn between improvising and sticking to plans, I decided to play safe.

So I’m very sorry I missed your performance, Rabbi. But I’m willing to bet the next time I go to HK I will be watching you in a show that doesn’t require you to share the stage with a huge mouse that talks in high-pitched Mandarin.


gibbs cadiz said...

hay, i miss disney and mickey's philharmagic. :) and the podcast guesting via phone patch sounded great, haha. next time, let's do a podcast all together! hello, dan, rye, chris and rabbi! :)

Marcus: Bading Down Under said...

Can't wait for that podcast! I wonder how Rabbi is doing? Hmmmm. Hi Rabbi!

cant_u_read said...

dan and i read this entry together and it let out a collective "awwww" from us. we're glad that u enjoyed your stay here coz we did love having you here.

hanggang sa muli, joel! mahal ka ng td&rs. at mahal ka ni dan at ni rye. at ni chris. sige na nga, at ni mamu na rin!

@ gibbs: o 'lika na dito! it's ur turn!

@ marcus: parts 1 and 2 are up now.

Chris said...

"svelte"....... hinde ko alam kung totoo at kung bagay sakin yang salitang yan.... hehehe.. pero maraming salamat po...wala pang nakapag sabi sakin nyan.... kaw palang...:-) nag enjoy din kaming tatlo ng sobra kasi for a change, may nakausap nman kaming iba bukod sa aming tatlo... medyo nauumay na kami sa bawat isa... :-) hehe.. joke lng. Ingat lagi... sa uulitin :-)

Anonymous said...

u've been going places mcvie! great! dan & rye wow!