The fog on Victoria Harbour early on Saturday was a singular sight. To add to the eeriness of being surrounded by towering skyscrapers looming from the mist, the Star Ferry came to a halt on several occasions as it crossed from Central to Tsimshatsui, leaving the handful of passengers bobbing up and down in the gloom, the silence broken only by unseen ships’ horns. I had a boat to catch from China Hong Kong City, but I had allowed a fair bit of time, so I was happy to savour the view and take some photos.
What didn’t occur to me was that, if the fog was blanketing downtown Hong Kong, it was probably going to be delaying sea crossings across the rest of the Pearl River Delta as well. So it was that my sailing to Zhuhai left half an hour late, and the journey took another half-hour longer than it should have. One thing led to another, and I have been running late ever since. However, I can report that Zhuhai remains the sleepy, small-scale and cheap cousin of Shenzhen that it has long been, complete with a sprawling choice of the completely worthless junk that China seems to specialize in manufacturing. And lamb! And Kim Il-sung’s 100th birthday celebration on TV.
Returning to the Big Lychee, I am dismayed to find that New Yorker magazine has revealed an embarrassing truth that some of us would prefer to keep under wraps.
Traditional thinking has it that people who live alone are pitiful – victims of “social abandonment … consigned to suffer in their solitude.” The article unfortunately spills the beans.
…the solo life tends to be a path for moving ahead, for taking control of one’s circumstances. And … aloneness may come at a cost to the community. The single life is inherently self-interested: it calls for vigilance on matters of self-preservation … and, in many cases, it frees the solitary from the sorts of daily interaction that help craft a sense of shared responsibility.
For one person, that may be a good deal. But, multiplied across a population, it becomes problematic.
I would like to think this won’t get around. It’s nice being a parasite everyone feels sorry for.