Jun 24, 2010|
Every year a bunch of impressionable young men and women—and some weird old dudes—gather at the Grand Hyatt to celebrate the Ivy Ball, an excuse for Ivy Leaguers (and, inexplicably, MIT students) to get hooched up and eat bad catered food. In short, it’s like every black tie event in Hong Kong except there are fewer speeches about saving orphaned cats.
I went this year. Here is my diary:
7:30 pm: Arrive for pre-ball drinks at J Residence roof. For those unaware, J Residence is an apartment complex for people hoping to combine the glamour of urban life with the pizzazz of living in Wan Chai. Um, let’s just keep going.
8:00 pm: At the Ivy Ball! Women are looking good, by which I mean women are wearing lots of makeup and I will drink until everyone looks good. Even you, Jessica from Tianjin with a mustache.
8:15 pm: I realize this event is Hong Kong black tie so a) every girl has a Chanel bag and b) 40 percent of the guys are just wearing their suits from work. Yup, nothing says black tie like a gray wool suit with a sunflower tie. Or a mustache. I’m talking about you, Jessica from Tianjin.
8:30 pm: Get to the table. I’m sitting between a guy wearing a tie with owls on it and a man whose last name is literally “Raper.” His story is that his grandfather mispronounced the family name when arriving at Australia immigration in the 20s. The real name: Rapist.
8:35 pm: Table debate on if the name “Raper” assists one in getting girls. Answer: No.
8:52 pm: The theme of the evening is “Spanish Nights” but it looks just like the theme last year, “Arabian Nights.” I decide to just pound wine and say Ole a lot. It does the trick!
9:15 pm: What’s uuuuuuuuup Chris and I get into a food fight. My goal is to dip risotto in vodka, throw it through a candle, have it catch fire and make Chris’ tux explode. Instead I hit this guy’s girlfriend with vodka-drenched rice. It is inadvertently satisfying, like when you get lost but suddenly find out you’re right next to the restaurant.
9:45 pm: Everyone has left their assigned seating to go mingle at cooler tables. Now it’s just me and two bread baskets. Time to carbo load.
9:46 pm: Bad idea. Very sick now.
10:45 pm: Each school is invited up to sing their school song. Cornell does a fake rap. All I can hear is a chant “Big Red,” which is either the name of the school or an affectionate name for a fat Mao Zedong. Can I write that? Sure I can—[sound of being gagged and sent for re-education.]
11:45 pm: The band plays their final set. If you are wondering why everyone was screaming and dancing crazily when they played YMCA,
I am wondering the same thing.
Final damage: HK$1,100, 2 bottles of wine, and my annual chance to wear the tuxedo. Was it worth it? Absolutely.