I’m sitting here in my most relaxed yoga pose (upwards facing badger), typing this letter to you from my room in a luxury five star Hong Kong hotel for which I hope you will reimburse me. Bottles of champagne and jars of caviar litter the room. Especially the caviar, it’s disgusting. I should have accepted the taste after the first jar. But like an idiot I kept ordering and opening more and more jars convinced that the others were gone off, taking a taste and throwing them away. I also hope you reimburse me for those.
Anyway, the story I’m going to tell you is totally true and a massive exclusive for the site and will definitely be enough reason for you to cover my expenses.
It began about a week ago…
I left Shannon on a private jet having been contacted by The Order. They explained that I had been chosen to aid them in the search for the mystical Server No. 1. The beginning of the internet. The hub and centre of all human knowledge and cat videos. They explained this to me in a series of emails to an account that I can’t remember the password for so I can’t show you OK?
I lounged in the excruciatingly soft calf leather sofa in the plane’s living area, sipping on a chilled bottle of the finest Buckfast money could buy. Opposite me the office chair, which in hindsight I should have looked at earlier, slowly turned around. Facing me now was a large Middle Eastern looking man, bald, wearing an expensive looking white suit and no shirt or shoes.
“Mr Kennedy, I see you are enjoying yourself!” said the smiling Arab.
“Yeah. I am. And I want to keep doing that so buzz off.” I said in my deep, very manly, baritone voice.
He seemed a little shaken by my witty response but continued.
“Err… right. I am Hadi. We’ve been in email contact for several weeks now. I told you I’d be meeting you here.”
I had forgotten this detail, possibly due to all the Buckfast I’d been drinking in preparation for the flight.
“Ah Hadi, me old mate! Sure of course!”
“OK, you remember why you’re here, correct?”
“Something about cats?”
“I’m all out of ideas so. Can I get some more Buckfast then?” I said, holding the empty bottle upside down. A few drops fell on the expensive looking white carpet, presumably ruining it forever.
“Later. First I must tell you more of your mission.” He looked very serious at this point, I was going to crack a joke to break the tension but couldn’t think of any right then.
“We are on our way to Brazil at the moment…”
“Yes, anyway. We’ll be landing in Manaus in six hours. From there we will travel deep into the Amazon rainforest. Our guides will be waiting for us.”
“Did you hear how the Italian chef died?” I had remembered one of my famous jokes.
“He pasta way!”
Hadi didn’t seem to get the joke. He looked to the side and scowled. I decided to cheer him up by asking some questions.
“So what are the guide’s names?”
He looked back up at me and raised an eyebrow.
“Pedro and Mateus.”
“OK, great. And where will they be guiding us?”
“They will be helping us locate Server No 1.”
“Ah right. And what’s Server No 1?”
I could see he was beginning to get annoyed so I gave him a big smile.
“Please stop smiling at me. Your teeth are very discoloured from all the cheap wine you have been drinking.”
“Cheap! It’s €15 a bottle in some places!”
I’m not sure I’ve ever seen a withering look before then but the look he gave me would certainly be classed as such.
“Here,” he picked a bottle of Buckfast from the mini fridge to his right and handed it to me. “We’ll be landing in six hours. Try to get some sleep before then.”
I gracefully snatched the bottle from his outstretched hand and twisted the cap off. I tilted the bottle in his direction but he declined my generous offer of a swing with a wave of his hand.
An interminable length of time later I awoke in the back of a jeep. I jerked my body upwards and started flailing my limbs around as I usually do first thing in the morning. This seemed to upset the three other people whom I had just noticed were also in the jeep. Especially the man who I was kicking in the crotch.
“Kidnappers!” I screamed in an impressively masculine way.
“Shut up!” shouted the man in the passenger’s seat who I now recognised as Hadi. “You’ve been passed out for hours. We’ve had to change your pants twice.”
I looked down. Indeed these were not my pants.
“Where are we now?”
“We’re nearing the ancient ruins of the city of Txtezuqlda.”
“That’s a mad name. It’s almost like you just made it up out of random letters on the keyboard.” Hadi assured me he had not which was good enough for me and therefore good enough for anybody else.
I was introduced to our guides, Pedro, who was driving and Mateus who I was resting my legs upon. I nimbly removed my legs from Mateus’s lap and sat upright. Outside the window dense jungle extended as far as the eye could see. Which admittedly is not very far in the dense jungle. I rolled down the window and had a quiet vomit to myself. I pulled myself back in and Mateus handed me a bottle of water. I shook my head, he sighed, then handed me a bottle of Buckfast.
“So” I said taking my first sip of the tonic wine “what do we do when we get there?”
Next week in Letter From Hong Kong, Joe drinks some Buckfast and finds out what we do when we get there.