When in Hong Kong, I can no longer go 'Someplace Else.' A month ago, the venerable bar, located in the basement of the Sheraton Hotel was closed for good.
WAY back in 1996 when we first arrived in Hong Kong for the very first time as new, wide-eyed expats, we walked the gauntlet at Kai Tak Airport (better known as the greeting area), stayed at the Hyatt Regency and then had our first dinner at Someplace Else. All of the above, are now closed.
It was a long May day back in 1996. We were up early for our flight...the entire family went to the airport to see us off. The flight was GZ Tai Tai's first flight since she was a little girl...it was Fly Rice's first flight...and it was definitely all of our first trip outside the USA (Canada no withstanding).
We were greeted by my boss in Hong Kong and he helped pack us into a taxi and get us checked into the hotel. We had about 30 minutes to clean up and then we were meeting for dinner. "Where are we heading?"
"Someplace Else," was the reply.
Uhh...ok, I know its been a long day/flight and this city is big, but what exactly does that mean? Well, we found out. Unfortunately, by this time, the jet lag began to set in. The evening sort of fell into a fog
I cannot remember what I had for dinner...but I remember Fly Rice's meal...spaghetti. As she struggled to keep here eyes open during the meal, she began to nod off...jerking her head up, her nose millimeters from hitting the mountain of pasta in front of her.
From that moment, Someplace Else was one of those spots we would frequent during visits. Whether it was a quick lunch, drink or a decent dinner. It was the spot our friends said was a main stop on the 'Happy Hour' tour in the mid 90's. In the last few years, though, it sort of fell off our radar...and apparently everyone else's.
My last visit was just days before it was to close. The bar had already been reduced to about 1/3 of its former size...but the hardwood floors and green booth chairs still in place. The beer was cold and the bar was full of old HK expats having a final pint in a familiar setting.
It was just another sad sign of the changing face of Hong Kong...and another reminder that I am getting older and older by the day.