How To Win Big In Happy Valley

Like I said before , I first learned about Hong Kong through the stellar James Clavell novel Noble House. Many key scenes took place over big dollar betting at the Happy Valley Racecourse. Alas, I was left without a private VIP room (and millions to bet with) but I had a damn good time at Happy Valley.

I could see the racetrack from my hotel window so my cousin and I rambled over after dinner one night. Lucky for us it was Oktoberfest! ( In November but I’m not complaining!)

How to Win

Step 1.

Buy large pitchers of beer. Consume said beer. ( Alcohol is a key factor in the enjoyment of the races.)

Step 2.

When you’re starting to feel pretty fine pour an indiscriminate amount of brew into a cup. Chug that beer to the best of your ability. The number of seconds it takes = your lucky horse number.

Step 3.

I bet the minimum of 20HKD on win .

The winning ticket.

Step 4.

Profit and bask in the glory!

I discovered this foolproof technique on my first ever attempt at betting on anything.
I placed the bet and did the worst possible thing you can do on the first time you ever bet. Win.
Winning the very first time , who could just walk away?

AFter waiting in line in between hardcore gamblers wearing sunglasses at night , clenching their horse-betting newspaper with vice-like grips , we fought our way through the crowds thick with the young , beautiful , and business-suited.

Straining to see , up on our very tiptoes, the gates open and the horses are off! I can’t see anything! Dang , being on ground level at a circular track leaves at least 50% of the race to the video screens!

My beloved horse #2 (2 second chug!) was quickly behind. Nooooo! We felt dejected , let-down , cheated. Until #2 had a surge of power in the last quarter and overtook the pack to win by a body length! All those previous negative energies disappeared and we were left ecstatic , amazed by what just happened , and slighty drunk.

Waiting in line to cash in the ticket, I was saying there is no way we can win anything big ( totally not understanding the system that lets you know exactly what you win) . My 20HKD turned into 146 HKD , that’s $2.58 USD to $18.83 for those who don’t have the conversions memorized. 7 to 1 payoff on win!

AFter winning, we committed a grave error. We switched to the mathematical principles of addition , multiplication , and parity ( that’s odd or evens . Don’t feel bad , I had to look the word up.) We foolishly dismissed our winning strategy as luck or chance. It’s not. Trust the beer. Fear the math.

By the end of it we were down to our initial cash levels minus the beer but plus a Gangnam Style dance competition, so I’d say we left ahead.

Unfortunately the place in Shanghai named Happy Valley is a mere amusement park. The original horse racing track was at People’s Square prior to 1949. Communists don’t like betting or fun so they tore it down. I really wish they hadn’t. It would great to be able to go once or twice a month. Instead I’ll have to wait till the next time I’m in Hong Kong.

Sherpa’s and Free Beer

Key Words- Free Beer. As in zero dollars , renminbi , yen , pesos, and shekels . Zip , nada , zilch , mian fei.

I am most certainly down.

All thanks to Sherpa’s , the orange and black clad food delivery warriors that any ex-pat worth his or her salt in Beijing , Shanghai , or Suzhou knows.

If you happen to live in one of those places and (naughty naughty) have access to that bane of Western Civilization , Facebook , log on and follow the official Sherpa’s Delivery official page (on facebook? Naughty naughty!). Funny updates and a ton of prizes being give away (hence my free brewski but damn I wish I would’ve won the home entertainment system!). This may sound like a sales pitch but then again maybe I’m still crunk up off my prize dranks!

Whatever , sign up and try to get some prizes! Woo wooot!

Remember Yo’ Roots

Since I’ve come to China I haven’t eaten very many packaged foods. A trip to the grocery store involves buying fresh veggies, fruit, and sometimes meat which is then cooked up and served that day. I don’t often buy cookies , cakes, candy , and such things like that. I’m not a fan of packaged foods in general and I also just really don’t like many Chinese packaged foods. For another post I will round-up my go-to’s if I want a snack.

There are times though when I miss some good ole’ American snacks. Goldfish , pretzels, dried cranberries , granola, the list can go on.I absolutely love Asian cuisine but remember your roots! It’s good every once in a while to pay that extra cash and indulgence in some old favorites. I’ve been really wanting to eat some goldfish lately but Carrefour doesn’t have the original flavor in stock. Screw the marshmallow flavor crap , I want that cheddar cheese!

Occasionally there will be the food splurge but more often I’ll get some nice imported beers and I must always have a nice coffee selection!

Ohhh craft brew how I miss you so!