The overly expensive flat we chose to move into was on Wu Hu Street (but just to confuse every round eyes who mat ever need to catch a taxi here you pronounce that Mo Wu Guy in Cantonese - very thoughtful of them to make catching a taxi that bit more easy) in Hung Hom. Close to work for me and conveniently located just 5 minutes from the MTR, bus depot and the Cross Harbour Tunnel - this isn't an up sell or me bragging...I'm still trying to justify to myself it was worth the $14,500 per month for a 1 bed room flat that wasn't even island side.
Near our house was a gaming arcade which was misleading named American Pool Hall, needless to say we initially went there with full intention to play some pool. Anyway, once we'd gone in, been oggled in bemusement by every local in there and had a good snoop around in search of a pool table, we decided we might as well play something.
We watched as kids smashed their way through impossible levels on guitar hero and witnessed a guy destroying the drum solo on band hero - no sweat. Then there were a bunch of games we'd never seen the like of and couldn't make head nor tail of, but these guys were playing them at rapid speed - it was almost a blur. I feel their skills were being wasted away in that building.
Towards the back of the dark, dingey, cigarette smoke filled room (perhaps I should at this point point out that you had to be 16 to enter this vortex) there were a couple of low down digitalised screen topped tables that displayed weird fluorescent fish and sea creatures swimming around...and I couldn't decide if the guy "playing" this table top game was feeding or shooting them in their trippy aquatic wonderland, it looked like something that either a toddler or psychotropic drug user would be into playing. The man sat at this virtual water world was neither, but appearances can be deceiving.
To the right of that menagerie were a few old men, in suits, drinking beers and smoking packs of cigarettes as they sat around a plastic mechanical horse racing game...the kind you make 2p bets on in the UK. Clearly the high rollers table.
Of course there were all your generic shoot 'em up and rallying games amongst the madness too. We almost gave up and surrendered to Time Crisis when we saw a large machine at the end of the row with 3 empty stools in front of it. Under closer inspection we discovered a bizarre Japanese game called Bishi-Bashi - a 1-3 player game which involved hitting your big bright buttons (one red, one blue and one green next to one another, plus a separately higher placed yellow one which is only struck when you complete your level) as fast as possible. Seeing as neither of us could speak let alone read Japanese we could only get a general grasp of the task at hand through a short techno-coloured demo prior to each level. These levels ranged from tickling a sleeping cats nose with a feather in order to wake it up, paparazzi photographing sexy manga girls, skewering flying food with a kebab stick or even ascending a mountain by jumping onto open and closed toilets. It is quite possibly the best game ever created. Needless to say, time and money was indeed spent on this incredible arcade gem.
Oh, and next to this wondrous machine was a over sized poster entitled 'Stop Taking Drugs' - my favourite thing about that is it says "stop" as if it's already quite apparent, a stated fact even, if you are in the environment of this poster you MUST already be taking drugs.