Such a long time since I was asked to prove I am old enough to be allowed entry. I remember blagging my way into nightclubs in 1976, before I was officially old enough.
Normally I’m so eager to show my coveted HK ID to anyone who is interested. But NOT now, because if I do there is no chance I will get my longed for swim.
I have trekked from the New Territories, (OK, not trekked exactly, but taken the minibus and MTR combo 45 minute journey) to Tsim Sha Tsui, where I stayed during my first ‘hunt for family’ trip. I am returning to my familiar stomping ground. City life and home to one of the few swimming pools, Kowloon Park, listed as being open during the winter. I arrive, so excited and eager and desperate for my first swim in over 10 days, only to find the big main pool is closed for repair until end March and only the level 2 training pool, in which I swam many many times on my last 2 visits, is open. But entry is only, yes I do keep using the word only, if you are, as 5 attendants excitedly point out to me, clearly written on a big notice in English,
1. of impaired vision, extreme myopia doesn’t count
3. a senior citizen
Senior citizen here is 60 or over, so I’d qualify for this in 9 months and I am so desperate that I lie (yeah, yeah, who hasn’t) and say in broken Cantonese “me 60”.
They look at me in my charity shop Super Dry hoodie, trackie bottoms and flip flops, giggle a lot and confer and one of them rushes off to find a supervisor. “not big enough” one says. And the supervisor is not going to bend the rules even for yours truly. No ID, no admittance. I actually do have my ID with me, but of course it’s useless and will serve only! to highlight my barefaced lie. It stays safely hidden away. The entry turnstile doesn’t turn for me today and I shuffle away defeated for looking too young or perhaps too small, or maybe it is my just reward for being so dishonest!