Thursday, 17 January 2013

A Night at the Races

My first Wednesday evening in Hong Kong was possibly the most exciting experience I'd had in the city - after seeing a young local wearing a t-shirt that read "Blaenavon".

We went to Happy Valley Racecourse. I'd never been to any kind of races before, in fact I'd never been to an actual proper sporting venue to witness a proper sporting event, live with my very own eyes, sitting in the stands and everything...except school sports day, but there were no stands there, just the grassy floor; maybe if you were allowed to bet at sports days they'd be more fun? Watching others race and placing extremely small amounts of money on them to win or place is genuinely exhilarating, and far better than doing any kind of racing yourself. Maybe it's because they're a different species with tiny little men sitting on them which makes it more entertaining? And that it doesn't last as long as that big one on the tele...the grand national...never interested me before, I'd give it a watch now but only after placing some strategical bets.

The race is over in a minute, a perfect duration of time...there is no danger of boredom. Although you may miss the final furlong if you blink.

Also, you can buy big jugs of beer and giant hot dogs, and not just crappy fair ground hot dogs with sloppy onions on, oh no no no! Gourmet hot dogs with feta and salad. The beer is in plastic cups though so that keeps you nicely grounded, you haven't made it to the top yet.

We did pretty well that night and won enough to have made our evening a free night. And whether it's because I have a potentially dangerous like of gambling or that it's just genuinely a fine way to spend a Wednesday night, Happy Valley remains one of my favourite places to be for middle of the working week kicks.

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