Wednesday 25 January 2012

31 Days of Blogging - Day 25

Day 25 – Air – La femme d’argent

I love La Femme d'Argent and I think Air are an absolutely superb pop band.

Moon Safari, the album from which this song comes, is one of my favourite albums in my collection. I have most of the albums they have released since then.

Air are French and the name is supposedly an acronym for Amour Imagination RĂªve. I suppose it’s a good job they are not English, otherwise they would be called Lid.

When I first heard the song in 1999, I was working in Hong Kong and my time there was drawing to a close. The customer wanted somebody to spend three months supporting the system and prepare for the oncoming time bomb – the infamous Millennium Bug.

Of course, the Millennium Bug turned out to be a damp squib but the panic that preceded it was almost laughable. Because the customer wanted two people, and Mrs PM and I were together, it seemed logical that the two of us would fulfil that requirement.

We spent a fabulous three months in what has become my favourite city outside the UK.

I loved Hong Kong and living there together gave me a totally fresh perspective on the place. So many wonderful things happened.

Work was tough and we were pushed quite hard – but the fact that I was in Hong Kong and had a new found positive outlook on life meant that I approached those times with a smile on my face. It helped having Mrs PM there of course.

I also developed mobile phone twitch.

The customer made sure that we carried a mobile phone with us all the time and in those early days, just about everybody in Hong Kong had Nokia phones with that irritating bloody ringtone that we still hear today.

And every time the mobile phone rang it was always something that had to be dealt with immediately. Because other people had the same ringtone, I twitched every time I heard it, thinking that my phone was beckoning me into a bad place.

And most of the time it wasn’t my phone at all.

During the three months, the customer informed us that there would be a two week period when our services weren’t required. We had the choice to go back to the UK.

“No way,” said Mrs PM, like a wildly excited child. “Let’s go to CHINA!!!!!”

I must admit that I didn’t fancy the prospect of going to China at all, and even the people we worked with tried to dissuade us.

However, I was won over by Mrs PM’s enthusiasm; she stirred the travel bug inside me and we ventured into a mad but incredible country for a memorable two week trip.

At this time I was actually starting to write a little too, yet another seed being sewn, so I opted to make notes and write a travelogue, mainly so that I could keep a diary of events for the future.
And that travelogue became The China Chronicles, which although rough and ready, I still enjoy reading from time to time, to remind of the trip. There is a link to it just to your right.

After China, we returned to Hong Kong for our final two weeks and left via Singapore (again work related) before heading home.

I was very sad at leaving the city and felt quite emotional at the airport.

I still love Hong Kong even now and whenever I head towards Asia, I always try to make it back there. Mrs PM and I have been back there on our way to Australia in 2005 and more recently on a holiday to Thailand.

We are planning another big holiday next year, to Japan – another place I have always wanted to go to.

And we will visit Hong Kong again for a few days on the way there or back.

It will be like visiting an old friend.


Pandora Behr said...

You've just brought back to me memories of evil evenings with my downstairs neighbours with some illicit substances and dodgy men. that's what Air does for me. Oh, and the Chill Out Room at The Fridge in Brixton and coming home on the 7 am tube looking like Alice Cooper cos your eye liner has run .

Good post.

Elephant's Child said...

Love it. Thanks.

River said...

I still haven't got around to reading your China Chronicles.
One day.....

Kath Lockett said...

Love the song - very retro/cocktail lounge and relaxing which sounds as though it was the polar opposite of your work situation at the time.

Plastic Mancunian said...

Hi Pand,

I'm intrigued - sounds interesting.


I've never had a problem with eye-liner running.




Plastic Mancunian said...

Hi EC,

Wonderful song - isn't it?




Plastic Mancunian said...

Hi River,

"The China Chronicles" is very rough and ready - and perhaps one day I should tidy it up.

Perhaps I may even put my Australia travelogue on the web one day - that's a little more polished and may be of interest to you and your fellow Aussie readers.




Plastic Mancunian said...

Bonjour Kath,

It was the opposite - but I actually enjoyed the work - and this song was a great way to wind down at the end of a tough day.

I loved that time in my life and I would go back to HK in a flash if the opportunity were to arise.




drb said...

Hong Kong is a lot more colourful than S'pore. Love the place too but the huge difference between the rich and the poor between made me very uncomfortable and keeny aware that life can be very tough.

Example 1: My friends' places were either 3-storey house by the beach, completed with helipad and tennis court or penthouses looking at the harbour. I was totally shocked when we came across a village made of corrugated iron and cardboard houses.

Example 2: We had lobster nacho and champagne on a yacht at Causeway bay watching sunset. The same evening, we went to Temple St night market where I saw a family sat around a biscuit tin for a dinner - one bowl of plain rice in one hand and the other hand held the chopsticks to pick at a tin of sardines shared among 5 people.

I felt very bad and sad.

Plastic Mancunian said...

Hi drb,

Yes - I saw some of that too and it is very sad. I actually like Singapore too but I've only spent a short amount of time there. The first time was a very very intense working week and I had no free time at all. The second time was on the way back from Australia and we had a day and night - so we saw a bit - but not much.

I am sure I will visit Singapore again too.