Happy Valley Experience

When we made our way from the airport into the city, we came past a shop that caughed my attention. There was nothing but a TV in there and a knot of people around with there mouth wide open and a newspaper in their hand. The sign outside said “Hong Kong Jockey Club” and I remembered I read something about that earlier. Hong Kong-ese turned out to be fanatic about races and gambling. The Happy Valley is therefor not another stadium it is more of an institution. On Wednesday evening everybody goes there – out of question. The great mass stays on the “pit” where the entrance fee is only HK$10, whereas everybody of distinction finds their place in one of the exclusive lounges upstairs. There are 2 to 3 races per hour with different jockeys and horses every time and every week I suppose. They usually come from abroad, only very few of them were Chinese. It took a while to understand the numbers and statistics on the big board. The newspaper I found under my seat printed the profiles of all the horses and jockeys. It reminded me of the Happy Families games I played when I was young, they were with horses even 😀 Even though it occurred to me that the bets are quite random as there are no indicators apart from the ratings in the magazine, when the horses change every week; some people seemed to actually know what they were doing. It was insane how much money changed its owner in the course of the night. While the whole event is a lot about socializing, the time during the race nobody was distracted. The last few seconds were accentuated with screaming and cheer, the seconds until the winner was evaluated by photos were uncomfortable. I was just happy at the wine booth, haven’t had that in soo long… 🙂


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