Trapped in a Cable Car with a Travel Idiot

Written by: Dave Owen

Adjusting Privilege in Hong Kong

‘I have an absolutely gigantic penis, and I want you to know it.’

The guy sitting opposite me in the cable car didn’t say as much, but the ostentatious manner in which he kept adjusting himself made the subtext of our conversation abundantly clear.

We were half way to the top of Hong Kong’s Lantau Island, its famously huge Buddha statue, already looming large in the windows, apparently nothing compared to the contents of my temporary companion’s pants.

He clearly enjoyed having a captive audience.

‘It’s great having money, but I got sick of the bullshit, y’know,’ he said in a broad American accent. ‘I just thought, screw this, I need to live, y’know? My dad was not happy.’

I decided not to point out that leaving everything behind to see the world was an easier decision to make when your family is rich. I was worried an argument would mean I was stuck with him for the duration of my visit.

The Buddha statue on Lantau Island

‘So what do you do?’ he said, staring out at the dense trees sloping below us.

Nothing, I told him. He turned to me sharply, nose wrinkling, like unemployment was a disease he could catch by association.

He adjusted his penis. ‘You just don’t work?’

That was the long and short of it, at the time.

‘I don’t see how you can appreciate, like, all this,’ he said, waving at the view, ‘if you haven’t earned it, y’know?’

I asked him, just to clarify, if he had always worked for his dad.

‘Yeah,’ he said. ‘And?’

We passed the remaining journey in silence. I spent the rest of the day painstakingly avoiding a giant penis.

Check out these top travel experiences


Journalism Internships in Shanghai

from £2470

28 - 180 days


Get ahead in the competitive world of journalism and media by pursuing an internship in one of China’s most important...

Teach at a University in China

from £400

330 days


Our university teaching programme is the ideal way to gain international work experience and have endless travel opportunities! 

China to Singapore Group Tour

from £2375

73 days

Cambodia, China, Laos, Malaysia, Singapore, Thaila...

Travel like a local and experience the wonders of South East Asia, from the hustel and bustle of its chaotic...

Gap Year China

from £1120

28 - 180 days


Learn Mandarin, gain work experience and travel.

Jobs in China with TEFL training

from £549

120 - 330 days


Positions all over China, including in Shanghai & Beijing, Monthly salary of £650-£1650 depending on location, Online TEFL course &...

International Engineering Internship In China

from £835

30 days


China maintains one of the world's largest economies and is showing a tremendous amount of growth in the country's infrastructure.

International Hospitality Internship In China

from £835

30 days


China has shown tremendous economic growth in recent years and one of the driving forces behind this is their rapidly...

Far East Explorer

from £1325

32 days

China, Laos, Vietnam

Uncover the mysteries of the Far East! A group adventure tour through China, Laos and Vietnam, including some of the...

Backpacking Tour of China

from £1015

16 - 25 days


Backpack to the most populated and vibrant cities in the world and explore untouched countryside. Travel with a group and...

Au Pair in China

from £435

60 days


Travel to China and earn money as an Au Pair for 2, 3, 4, 5 or 6 months. This is...


Cycle Morocco

from £888

Desert sands and snow-topped mountains. Red cliff gorges and seaside paths. Hairpin turns and alpine passes. Grab a bike and...

Jamaica Encompassed

from £1119

Escape the all-inclusive resorts and see a side of Jamaica that few tourists experience on this whirlwind ten-day adventure. Meet...

Inle Lake Short Break

from £195

This Short Break takes you to the site of some of the most iconic images of Myanmar – Intha leg...

Morocco Kasbahs & Desert – Teenage Adventure

Perfect for travellers looking for a fast-paced trip, this short but sweet adventure offers up a great combination of Morocco’s...

Aegean Sunseeker

from £1099

Roll into Greece for endless sun, sand and paradise vibes. Navigate the azure waters, make plenty of swim stops, then...

West Coast Trippin’

from £1250

Move over east coast, it’s west coast’s time to shine. Find yourself amongst the glitz and glamour of LA and...

Big Red to Red Star

from £1299

Veer off the beaten track and let our friends in the north show you how winter is really done. Travelling...

Pad Thai In Paradise

Uncover the best parts of Thailand while squeezing in as many servings of saucey pad thai noodles as possible. Make...

Masai Mara Camping Safari

from £759

If you’re short on time, this adventure serves up the colours, culture, and wildlife of Kenya in four incredible days....

Croatia and the Balkans

from £1487

The Balkans are just getting noticed as a great European travel destination - we can’t believe it took so long!...

Find more articles like this

[contact-form-7 id="4" title="Contact form 1"]