Handling a Paddle in Hong Kong

Antonio Graceffo is a freelance travel writer and book author. In his article for hackwriters.com, readers also find out that he was also a former merchant seaman. Check out the colorful recollection of his “boat trip around the world” in his article Paddling the waters of Hong Kong.

“An unemployed travel writer and former merchant seaman, I was bumming along the coast near Hong Kong’s Deep Water Bay, when I stumbled onto a sign which read ‘Boat trip around the world, only $100 HK.’ Having nothing to keep my interest on shore, and very little money in my pocket, I signed on.

Next thing I knew, I was chained to an o[ar]. Behind me, a large scary fat man, dressed only in a loincloth, pounded a drum, timing the rowers. Missing a beat was punished with a sharp whip-crack, between the shoulder-blades. Filled with fear and trepidation, I watched the bright lights of my beloved city disappear in the boat’s rearview mirror. After a year of unimaginable privation and torture, we returned to Deep Water Bay. As the shackles were being removed from my wrist, I turned to one of the other rowers and said, ‘I can’t believe they charged a hundred dollars, but then made us do all the work.’

‘I know.’ he said, shaking his head. ‘Last year it was only eighty.'”