Hong Kong Stopover


Windless, a haze 
warm & thick across the sun;
the rubbish grey water loaded with ships.
No Transit Visa for France (a big thankyou
											to the Flight Centre)
give me something to waste my time:
						RAGE in the airport lounge?

Sunday morning & a stiff back from the red plastic benches:
on a bus, then walking through crowded clothes markets,
listening to a religious choir on the street, feeling better
yet wishing, only one day away from home,
that I was sharing this with somebody -
and thinking too, of June -
								 setting up a flat in Abbotsford,
listening to my favourite records of the moment:
John Cale's 'Paris 1919', Sandro's 'Live By Rivers',
ready for a new phase: to be calmer, more inquiring.
								  Evening at the youth hostel
			  hearing those perennial backpacker questions.
'Where are you from?'
'How long you been travelling?'
'Oh yeah, Portugal's real cheap!'
					And sure, it's friendly...but in my mood?
In black dinner pants, white shirt
& just recently nuggeted shoes, I feel
like a wedding guest at the wrong address.
I'm reminded too of laughing really hard
at this sort of stuff in a French hostel.
Hey Angry, was it you or me who decided 
that every American backpacker must be from Iowa?
I wonder too, if back then, I ever
faked a British accent, naively viewing 
Australia as barren, yob, second-rate -
& that an accent & fringe somehow constituted 
an awareness & appreciation of London
or even more vaguely 'Europe'? But now,
chatting with Anna from Gothenburg,
I could talk Melbourne, Sydney and Darwin all night.
Looking for a good Hungarian restaurant
in Melbourne's southern suburbs?
						Anna, Anna, I'm your man!

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