By: Michelle Wonderland
So you were lucky enough to score yourself a ticket to the Sevens this year? Nice! Don’t be a danger to yourself this weekend – let us resurrect you from virgin newbie status to Sevens supremacist! Suit up in your best party gear, head to the South Stand, and get ready to rock with our Expat Living Survival Guide to the Hong Kong Sevens.
How to get there
Every match is basically 14 minutes each, so plan accordingly. Forego Friday’s matches to save up stamina for Saturday, then take the MTR and get there early to stake your space in the South Stand. Don’t be a tosser and hang out there all day, though; take a breather and head to the West Stand for some much-needed sanity (and sobriety) restoration too.
Be THAT sneaker pimp and sport sensible shoes. Yes, the key is sensible – not those limited-edition trainers that you special-ordered from overseas. Remember, your footwear will have to withstand unknown bodily fluids and/or booze. Really. Save those hotsteppers for a different venue.
If making the front page of the glad rags is your thing, you’d best be prepared to be the brashest bugger you can be. It’s all about a modern form of peacock-ery at the Sevens, so it’s mandated to GO BIG or GO HOME. If you haven’t sorted your Sevens gear yet, get thee to a costume shop or tailor, stat. Our picks? The stalls at Pottinger Street and Wan Chai market. If you prefer to don dapper duds (you delicious corporate type, you), take a trip to your local tailor. We adore high quality, family-run Katas Custom Tailors. You can also make a run for the border and hit up a Luohu Commercial City tailor for a quick turnaround.
What’s in your bag?
Pack a bag, whether you’re a lady or a bloke. DO take adequate water, wet wipes, tissues, extra cash, sun cream, antacid, a hat…but DON’T be a douchebag by opening up an umbrella mid-match. Here’s a thought: make a stop at 7-Eleven for one of those disposable raincoats for protection from those things that drop from the sky.
Your best bet is to line your gut with the right amount of starch to absorb all of that alcohol you may not have planned to imbibe. And if you haven’t, there are plenty of stadium vendors to feed your face (see Hangover helpers below).
Smoke up, NOT
Remember, there’s a smoking ban in effect, so even though you have a hankering for a fag right there in the middle of the South Stand, do not light up.
The right kind of piss
Mindfulness, mate! Taking the piss out of others with mindless, slovenly taunting is encouraged, as long as you are wearing a costume and aren’t belligerently blotto. You can even piss in a cup if you can’t be bothered to leave the South Stand, lest you have to wait four hours for reentry.
Avoid strangers with candy
Unless you want to pok gai, mind your manners and graciously accept the Pimm’s that is offered you. Follow basic camaraderie cues, but don’t look a gift horse in the mouth and accept more than you can, ahem, manage.
The South Standers
So, you’ve opted for the dark side just to get a glimpse of the people-watching spectacle. We’ve already mentioned that to secure a spot at the South Stand, you should get there early. Take note of these usual suspects who dominate the rugby-scape: the Best Mate’s Mate (think: endless rounds provided to you without any effort), the Slutty Sophomore (only so far as she doesn’t face plant herself in your jug of Pimm’s), the Belly Bully (warning: this one will use his girth and gut to dominate your space), the Nearly Naked Nymph (nice to look at, but beware, this one can put you in jail), the Safety Dancers (usually the overprotective lads waving control over their lasses), and the Prep School Punters (the under-18s whose parents can’t see them from their corporate boxes down below).
Avoid the tipping point by heeding the following rules. You’re welcome.
* Before you go, pop a tab of milk thistle to protect your liver against toxicity and reduce inflammation.
* Carbo-load with starches like pasta and potatoes to buffer the alcohol acids in your stomach and give you the stamina to go that extra mile if needed.
* Snack (we mean the verb and the noun). Choose something salty (to keep you hydrated) or oily. Aren’t you glad you pinched a bag of crisps?
* Hydrate. Remember that water bottle in your bag? Drink a glass of water for every glass of liquor to help flush the kidneys and dilute the alcohol.
Now that we’ve streamlined your Sevens this year, we expect you to go forth and be merry!