Could it be that after two weeks away, I would return to Hong Kong and find that the city’s strife had given way to an outbreak of harmony? Not as such. The nearest hint we have of sanity is news that the pro-Beijing Democratic Alliance for the Etc of HK has completed its sixth annual survey of ‘upskirt black spots’ – places where those who are so inclined can peer up and see schoolgirls’ panties.
As public services go, it is a curious exercise. It primarily advises spotty, greasy haired, inadequate men – a precise description of the DAB’s membership – where to satisfy their urges to sight young women’s undergarments. The report does not call on desperate males to mend their ways and avert their gaze; it cannot for political reasons, as pro-democrat Cyd Ho does that. So there could be an implicit disapproval of local ladies who show too much leg, a la ‘slut walk’, and thus some sort of call for traditional Chinese (feminine) values. Its secondary purpose seems to be to protest the use of glass in buildings of more than one storey high. Interestingly, the hot spots concerned include the Legislative Council and the Apple Store – locations that could usefully be redeveloped.
At the crazy end of the spectrum, the last couple of weeks have seen continued and ever-more overwhelming mouth-frothing about the Occupy Central pro-democracy movement, and a hundred associated crises and traumas. The list of institutions sacrificing their reputations for integrity to join in Beijing’s scare-mongering and freaking-out about the proposed civil disobedience now includes insurers, banks, much of the media, as well as sheepish senior officials. Sadly, even the poor Hong Kong Police have been roped into the charade. All our leaders had to do was ignore Occupy Central, and it would have fizzled out. Instead, their ranting has turned into self-prophecy and built it up into something everyone takes seriously. It is a small-scale version of China’s provoking of a US-aligned Japan-Southeast Asia-India coalition, and evidence that the Communist Party is still trying to get the hang of this ‘soft power’ thing.
After a period in the US and the UK, I have almost certainly gained weight. If it’s not huge quantities of meat…
…it’s breakfasts comprising almost nothing but sugar, and an abstemious approach to greens. On a brighter note, I did bring back some fresh fava or broad beans, which are hard to find here in the Big Lychee. Thus fortified, I’m back to business as usual.