“Last night a teacher saved my life….”

Posted on November 8, 2014


….that is what the young girl who we found in a pool of vomit should be singing this morning as she wakes up with a hangover straight from Satan’s guidebook to Hell. More on this little scallywag later…

Yesterday evening didn’t go quite to plan for all concerned. The rain fell thick and fast all day and made the traffic in and out of the city a nightmare. The Teacher got home late from work due to delays; her friends cancelled on us because the husband was grumpy about something weather-related and the restaurant we wanted to go to for all-you-can-eat traditional dumplings was impossible to get to in the rain. Boo!!

So we went for dinner in a rather posh Chinese restaurant in Central instead. I ate the most incredible Singapore style noodles which came covered with a thin blanket of omelette and resembled the dome of the O2 centre. It was smothered in a light yellow curry sauce and was superb. Craving green vegetables, The Teacher ordered me a seasonal dish of pea shoots and stems sautéed in garlic, we ate those with sizzling scallops and white cabbage in a hot pot of fiery red chilis and mince meat there was also crispy fried chicken cut into pieces to dunk into five spiced-salt and dark vinegar. I am trying so hard to eat veggie these days but when dining with foodies it is impossible not indulge. The next leg of my journey will be easier.

After a bottle of wine I legged it down to the reception area away from the speakers blaring out Frank Sinatra and sat on the stairs waiting to do a live interview with work on the phone. I managed to get them to agree to do a hit with me about the protestors based at the Admiralty site in HK. I’d gone to visit the night before and spent some time talking to people about what they thought they might achieve and how long they were planning on staying and whether any of this was going to change the Chinese government’s atttitude.





I was stunned to see so many older people – 50+. Not everyone is camping though. Some people go to work and then spend their lunchtimes and evenings there. The pictures being squirted back into UK newsrooms from agencies have mainly focussed on Mong Kok, a district where most of the violence has been. This is an area with a criminal underbelly renown for triads and illegal Chinese immigrants and many of the young students with their “I wanna change the world” attitude have ended up getting mixed up in the trouble. But at Admiralty it’s more of a civilised holiday camp. I spoke to a group of 50-somethings folding yellow sheets of paper into mini umbrellas, which has become a symbol of the movement. They told me that this is the first time in their lifetime they have been able to have a voice and they are willing to do this for as long as it takes as a matter of principal regardless of what Beijing thinks/does. For them they want the HK government to take their protest seriously. All of which I relayed in my live interview with London on the blower.




Work done we braced ourselves for the wet and pegged it back to Soho on foot and began a bar crawl. We dipped into a place called Envoy where the cocktails are almost as elaborate as the decor.




I ordered a really good tequila and mescal something… head a little fuzzy we then headed to a main drag where there are bars back-to-back and people spilling out onto the streets. There we hooked up with some of The Kiwi’s mates.

The Teacher tugged at my arm, “I wanna take you somewhere around the corner to have a look.”
“Look at what?” I said curious and a little frightened. She can get wild after a few too many. I put my drink down and dutifully followed.

We walked up a slope and around a corner and then ducked into a narrow doorway. She turned around and winked at me as she started climbing the stairwell: “Sex shop,” she whispered pointing upstairs.
“Oh christ, what kind of night is this gonna turn into?” I muttered to myself.

As we got to the first flight of stairs, there sprawled out with her back slouched half up against the wall, her head hanging heaving to one side, covered in sick and sweat was a young pretty girl. She was wearing tight jeans, a crop top and big stacked shoes. I put her age at 15 tops.

“What the hell,” said the teacher to the two so-called friends whispering and crouching beside her looking anxious as they tried to prop her up. “You need to get her to throw up whatever it is she has taken. She does not look good.”

We carried on walking. I felt uneasy about moving past, but kept going. A brief look in the shop (no I am not going into detail, my parents read this blog!), the shop owner asked us to step outside while she went into the stockroom to look for what we requested.

When we stepped out we could see the girl below us. We walked down a flight. She had neither woken up nor looked any better. The Teacher knelt beside her. “Asha she is stone cold,” she said looking concerned and right at me. “What the f*** did she take?” she said yelling at the two other kids.

“I don’t know,” protested the blond girl. “She only had a couple of drinks.”
“Bullshit,” yelled the teacher. “She’s taken pills. Alcohol alone doesn’t do this to you.”
“I think she may have taken ecstasy with a guy she was meeting before hand, ” said the girl stepping away and looking sheepish.
“Where the f*** do you think you’re going? You are staying put and gonna call her parents now. Go though her phone,” shouted the teacher.
“She needs the paramedics,” I urged the teacher, we need to call 999. Maybe lie her side ways so if she is sick she doesn’t choke,” I added.

The teacher held her sopping wet head in her hand to stop her face lying on the filthy floor and vomit. “Ring the emergency services now!” I went through her wallet to try to find a number or anyone’s card to call.

The teacher snatched the girl’s phone out of her hand and barked something in Chinese to the emergency services. The young lad who looked even younger than the girl insisted he didn’t really know her. The pair of them went into defensive teenage mode: It’s not my fault, I don’t know her, I didn’t do anything, blah blah blah.

After we made it clear that they were not going to get into any real trouble but we needed to have the full facts to know what she had taken they began to co-operate.

The young girl – Sacha lives in HK. Her parents are away and in fact she doesn’t live at home. Might be a border. Ten minutes later the ambulance arrived. She was stretchered away and by the time we left she had started to make noises and had gained consciousness.

“I am in no mood to go back into that shop love. Christ almighty i do need a drink though,” I said.

Outside the Teacher collared the two teenagers, “Gimme your numbers now. I am gonna call you to make sure you don’t fob me off. I live here, I will find you if I hear you have left her to cope with this shit on her own!!” she threatened.

We walked away both a little shellshocked. If we had not gone up those stairs that kid may not have survived the night and god knows what could have happened to her. Those two idiots were panicking and may well have left her alone, thinking she’d sleep it off.


“Christ you are scary,” I said to the teacher back in the bar, “Are you sure you work with primary school kids and not young offenders?” I said swallowing a large gulp of vodka post ‘rescue’.

She smiled. “They’ll never do it again, any of them, “she said satisfied.

Posted in: Asia