An old-fashioned night on the tiles: it still hurts
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An old-fashioned night on the tiles: it still hurts

Bankers and journalists often complain about how much things have changed in Hong Kong, with long lunches and even longer nights making way for rigid meetings, PowerPoint presentations and low-fat lattes. Taipan was reminded of the old ways this week ─ and his head is still throbbing.

The evening begun as many such nights I’ve written about before have, with a trip to Solas on Wyndham Street to meet an old friend from the industry. Brooklyn Lager flowed. Deals, sports and house prices were discussed. Brexit was bemoaned. Donald Trump was lampooned. So far, so normal.

In the new age of banking, that would be about the end of it. Two pints is usually enough for the Millennials, who have neither the tolerance nor the inclination for long alcohol-fuelled nights (not when they have all those selfies to put on Instagram). Alas, my companion was made of sterner stuff.

The night became a blur. Images of fajitas, cover bands and vodka greeted me in the morning. A stage invasion. A robot dance. A stumble home. This was, of course, to be expected. But I confess that I was not quite prepared for it when scheduling a morning meeting with a senior banker.

I endured, as we are all forced to endure at such moments. But it did make me wonder whether the new breed have the right idea. Morning jogging, yoga, wheatgrass shots instead of whatever awful swill I was drinking the night before — this certainly felt a better way to live the morning after the night before.

But then, of course, lunch gave me strength, an afternoon espresso gave me energy and the offer of another pint with an old banking friend gave me pause for thought. Just a quick one, I said. Just a couple.