Heathrow to Hong Kong

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I am sitting in my pod seat, teal and beige, business class, Cathay Pacific, on Heathrow’s tarmac.

The British sun is setting outside, but, as any scholar knows, it never truly sets on the Empire. I have been, most recently, in Mallorca, Madrid and Mykonos. Tanned and exhausted. Sailing and living and honeymooning. And as the champagne tickles my throat and as my feet rest comfortably on teal and as the Boeing prepares to depart east, toward Hong Kong, I get to thinking about China and I get to thinking about surfing.


Cathay’s new business class: the privacy you want with the comfort you deserve.


The Chinese are very busy taking over the whole world. Buying Africa’s natural resources. Buying French and Italian luxury goods. Buying IBM. Buying U.S. debt. Buying pornography. But will they ever buy surfing?

I would like to think oui! Oui they will! Surfing is aspirational like Louis Vuitton. It is desirable and restricted like it too. And it is finite like Australian coal. It is a commodity as fine as any on earth.

And then I stop thinking and fall asleep with episodes of Sex in the City season six buzzing gently in my ears. Carrie and Burger’s relationship just beginning to blossom.

Upon landing, and after checking in to the Langham Place, my gorgeous wife and I waltz down Nathan Street. It bustles exactly as it should. Ducks in windows fried red. Capitalist children hammering away on Blackberries. And above it all, the din and poultry and capital, a giant LCD screen plays Nike’s newest surf advert. Julian Wilson throws heaps of spray in the night. Kolohe Andino peers out from a dark barrel. They tower over everyone and black heads turn their black eyes skyward and watch and oooh and ahhhh. And become inspired.

It is simply a matter of time before Trestles is a subsidiary of Sinochem Corporation. Buy stock today. The reds are only a menace if you ain’t invested up. —Chas Smith


The Nike campaign heard ’round the world: