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Apr 12, 2018

WHITE HORSES


Posted by: Dan

The Australian journalist, Richard Hughes, wrote a book about Hong Kong entitled 'Borrowed Place Borrowed Time'. I left Glasgow for the Crown Colony on June 13th, 1975; it was a Friday. I was 21 years old.

During my 8 months at the Royal Hong Kong Police Training School, I got to know Chinese people for the first time and made a lot of new chums.

Two of my new friends, Hon and Ip, were ex-Sergeants who had been promoted to Inspector  They were old guys, more than 30. They'd often invite me to have a drink with them in the officers' mess after duty.  The first time, they said to me, 'You're from Scotland, so you must like whisky. How about White Horse?' So we ended up each time ordering 3 White Horses. They were always laughing when they made the order.

Later, much later, I learned the 4th century BC Chinese philosophical paradox from the School of Names, 'A White Horse is not a Horse'.

Later still I learned the Cantonese saying, 'Baak Ma Haak Cha, Woo Gau, Dun Deung [White Horse Black Penis, Dark Prick']. 

White Horses are a rarity. With other horses. the penis is not so noticeable. With a white horse. the penis is very noticeable, egregious. Someone who is called 'A White Horse' is considered outrageously naive and ridiculous.

I first went to Canada in 1978 to visit my ex-Mountie pal, Dave Sweeny, in Ottawa. One day he suggested we go horseriding. Having honed my skills in my youth on the bucking donkeys at West of Scotland seaside resorts such as Largs, I figured I could handle it. 

When we arrived at the riding school, we were told there would be no horses available for a while, unless we were willing to ride bareback. I let my ex -Mountie pal make the call, 'Bareback ay? No problem.'

I mounted my steed [n.b. Check terminology], the stable hand gave me the reins, slapped the critter [We are in North America remember] on the butt and it took off like a bat out of hell. It looks so easy in the movies. I tried the old martial arts horse-riding stance and not pulling too hard on the reins. I began to realize these nags were more of a challenge than the bucking donkeys of my youth. I went flying off the beast. Dave was so overcome by what he saw happen to me that he started laughing uproariously in his usual empathetic way, that he fell off his hoss too and was later to empty the comments of his stomach in the lobby of his apartment block. 

It's been years since I had a White Horse. 

It's been a while since I road bareback. How's about it Dave? 

 

 

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