GROUNDED & Close Encounters with a Drunken French Guy
This is it... the blog that many of you (OK maybe 2 or 3 of you) have been patiently waiting for... the story you are about to hear is 100% the truth.... can you handle the truth?!
January 16th... I was set to land back in Hong Kong from my month back in NY for the holidays. Before my flight, I was given a few sets of advice on how to beat the jetlag... a couple of them involving going to GROUNDED that night and partying like a rockstar. So in the end I decided to take that piece of advice and make way for
I got there a couple of hours late (I admit I did cheat on the jetlag advice and took a little cat nap before going). The party was bumping though!
I hung out with the homies...
Met some new people, including
DJ ConstantLee and Agnes.
And after a drink or two, I was hitting the dancefloor with the ladies.
Overall another splendid time rocking out to old school hip hop, care of
E.V.E.N.T. and awesome hosts/organizers
Kate Sullivan and
Re:Flex. But the story continues yet...
After hanging with Kate and crew until the very end, Kate gets a call from
Hiromi Naka, makeup artist of the stars. Hiromi is hanging at
Dragon-I and asking us to join her there. Kate is feeling the winter chill and decides to head home instead. Jona and I were more in the mood to get food, but we figure any chance to hang with Hiromi is the coolest. So we decide to venture towards Dragon-I. Before Kate leaves, she shouts out a warning that Dragon-I is known for being where the uber models hang out, so they might not be prone to let me in dressed all old school hip hop couture. But I had no fear, for that night I was modeling head to toe Armani Exchange... Ooh Rah!
We get to Dragon-I and Hiromi meets us at the entrance.
We get in past the bouncers no problem because... well, we are beautiful people after all. ; ) Once inside, the night starts to take a very weird turn though. Hiromi introduces us to a friend of hers (I believe his name was Danny). Now one thing I've heard through the grapevine is that, once alcohol is introduced, Hiromi becomes somewhat of a notorious nose toucher. I can somewhat relate, as once enough alcohol is introduced I can be a notorious floor toucher. hahaha
So shortly after introducing Jona and I to Danny, Hiromi start trying to touch his nose, with Danny ducking her efforts. While this semi-flirtatious exchange is going on, I see out of the corner of my eye
Emilie Guillot, my co-star from
King of Bullshit. I excuse myself from the crew to go over and say hi. As the crowd between Emilie and I parts to let me through, I suddenly come across this one French Guy who points straight at me yelling "I'm going to punch you in the face!"
Everyone in the nearby vicinity is a little taken back by this, me included. I didn't recall doing anything in instigate a punch in the face, but I don't have any fear because I got Jona watching my back, ready to go Flying Dutchman on anyone that steps up. Plus my AX track jacket is mad murderous... Ooh Rah!
The guys that are standing around him ask me, "Do you know this guy?" I don't know this guy. They ask around "does anyone know this guy?" After getting the impression that the French Guy doesn't really have any real intention to punch me in the face, nor the sobriety to actually land such an attempt, I decide to diplomatically figure out what's his deal as the tension slowly calms down. Now keep in mind, I'm buzzed myself so there was a lot of cloudy judgment floating around at that point.
Jona and I introduce ourselves, which confuses him a bit as hearing "Joe and Jona" can do to someone a few too many drinks deep. After some more bits of introduction and pleasantries, he realizes that he has as of yet not told us his name. At this he offers me an indecent proposal.... if I guess his name right, he will buy us a meter long of shots at the bar... but, if I guess wrong, he gets to slap me across the face.
I contemplate the offer as he is still trying to sell me on it. It's at this point that Emilie turns around and sees me. I ask her if she knows the guy's name so that I can avoid a slap in the face. She doesn't know this guy either. Darn it! So as I'm thinking about it, I figure maybe I guess it right and get shots for all the model chicks in the place. And even if I don't, this guy is drunk enough that he will probably miss my face completely while trying to slap me. So, I decide to take him up on the offer.
OK, what do I know about him.... he's French, he's drunk... that's it. So much for elementary deduction. So I guess it will have to be trial and error then. I think to myself, what French names do I know? Francois? Pierre? Jean-Pierre? Robes-Pierre? Francois-Pierre? Jean-Claude?
AHA! JEAN-CLAUDE it is!
Unfortunately, it wasn't Jean-Claude. On top of it, the French Guy is not happy... he's actually pretty insulted that I thought his name was Jean-Claude. On top of it, Jona laughs and points out that Jean-Claude is actually a Belgium name. On top of that, the French Guy says that he has played this game many a time with people and never has anyone made a worse guess in the history of him playing this game. So I guess it was time to man up to my end of the bargain.
I position my face to receive the smack, still fully convinced he will not make contact. He carefully measures out the distance between his hand and his face.... at some point he assures me that he will "be gentle... or maybe not." I can only imagine all who were looking on (i.e. Jona) were looking on with bit chomping expectation. And then the French Guy lets fly and smacks me.... right in the ear! Arrgh!!! I'm partially deaf!
As I nurse my inner ear lobe from the outside of my sore head, the French Guy says "OK, now try guessing again." Yeah, right... I've have just about enough of this guy. I tell Jona to take over trying to guess the Guy's name so I can finally go say hi to Emilie and her crew. After telling Emilie about what had just transpired, it occurs to me that I have to go back to rescue Jona. I left him to fend for himself against the French Guy.... and if there there is one ultimate truth in this world, it is... LEAVE NO MAN BEHIND... especially you're wing man. Ooh Rah!
I rejoin the two of them to find Jona protesting that the French Guy is insisting that he be kissed on the cheek. The French Guy, tired of Jona's refusals turns to me saying "If you friend won't, then you'll have to kiss me on the cheek." Me? I tell the guy, "You smacked me in the face and now you expect me to kiss you on the cheek?!" WTF.
I turn to the group of guys that the French Guy was talking to before, all of which seem to be relieved to have been relieved of his presence. They basically shrug their shoulders and say "just do it or he won't leave you alone." The French Guy himself assures that he'll let us go back to our regularly scheduled night after we grant him this request. F*ck. OK, I give. I'm drunk and weirded out by sudden turn of events already, so anything to get back to Hiromi and Danny sans Drunken French Guy seems like a good plan at this point.
I kiss the guy in the cheek and tell Jona to do the same. The French Guy finally backs away and disappears into the crowd. We return to Hiromi and her crew in one piece. They are now talking about heading over to
Drop for some more fab nightlife, but Jona and I are about ready to end our tour of duty of Hong Kong's nightlife and get back on mission of getting some chow.
So we leave Hiromi, her crew and Dragon-I behind and hit the late night kabob place. Mission accomplished. And that ends our night of madness through some mean bush. But all in a night's work for two roughnecks like us.
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