Take it to the Bridge
It's loud. Very loud and the woman next to me is Nepalese, born in Hong Kong. She works as a stripper in Central and is hanging with a lank-haired Russian, also a stripper, and also maybe a hooker, and a Chinese guy who sits in the lone back booth surrounded by women. He is buying shots and muttering something over the rumble of the house music. It sounds distinctly unfriendly. "Never mind him," my new Nepalese friend says. "He doesn't like gweilos. And get your hand off my ass! Have another drink."
There comes a time very, very late on a weekend night when the ghosts of Hong Kong's wide-open past as a free port filled with rogues and crooks seem to inhabit a small, non-descript bar on Lockhart Road in Wanchai. After the boring, over-priced go-go joints close and the discos give it up, as the dawn fills the grim sky and anybody with any sense has gone home, they shutter the open windows to keep out the light, throw a curtain over the door and prepare to receive. Welcome to the Bridge. From dawn 'til noon or so, most anything could happen and does. Otherwise sensible bankers deep in their cups, kids staggering into the morning, freelance working girls looking for a last desperate customer, hard core drinkers – they all gather here.
Much of Hong Kong these days is little more than modern boredom but there is a primal urge at work in the Bridge during these morning hours of enforced darkness. More. A little more money, alcohol, sex, dancing, anonymity. A little more night, please. The Bridge, for a few hours every morning, holds the future at bay, honors the past and lets those who need the place stay a little longer.