Of all Hong Kong’s multibillion-dollar white-elephant mega-projects, the Zhuhai Bridge is arguably the most dimwitted. The Third Runway and the High-Speed Train Tunnel to that-Guangzhou-suburb-we-can-never-remember-the-name-of are both horrendous wastes of money, but at least follow the demented logic of our tycoon-bureaucrat policymakers – cram more people and stuff into the city, then more, then more again. The Zhuhai Bridge won’t even do that. It links a place that can’t accommodate any more road traffic (Hong Kong) to a place no-one wants or needs to go to (Zhuhai) via a place that is far easier to get to on the existing ferry, and will actually not admit any vehicles beyond a remote parking area, and is kind of a seedy tacky dump (Macau). Hardly anyone will use this bridge.
So news that its opening is delayed is rather underwhelming, especially as we heard it several months ago, complete with lurid gossip about supporting parts of the bridge sliding around on the sea floor. The Standard reports that, when it does open, it will do so as one complete bridge – not in stages as different segments are completed. A great moment in infrastructure project-management, as the engineers determine that people won’t use a bridge if only one end is open. (Actually, if the users are Mainlanders, the engineers are wrong. Look at how the hard shoulder along the Guangshen S3 Expressway overlooking the sea near Shenzhen airport is crammed with picnicking SUV owners.)
The report goes on to say that it’s surprising that the Hong Kong end of the project is the one full of screw-ups, as it’s the Zhuhai segment that has some Seriously Scary construction challenges. However, the ingenious and resourceful Mainland contractors have devised some sort of fix, so everything’s going to be tickety-boo. I mean, it’s just a ‘submerged tube tunnel’ – what could go wrong?
The ultimate reassurance that the delay will be manageable comes from an academic. Zhuhai and Macau have small populations, and economic integration between them and Hong Kong has been ‘of limited scale recently’. You could delay the bridge for years and years, and no-one would notice.
The South China Morning Post brightens our day with the Quintessential Everyday Story of 2016 Hong Kong. It has everything: psychopath Mainland woman (in orange tracksuit, but you knew that); some heavy Maxim’s-cake-shop action; Mainland kid who is bully and (we imagine) standard-issue one-child-policy brat; valiant Hong Kong grandmother defending herself and grandchild from chip-on-shoulder psycho Mainlanders; attack on grandma’s daughter, Bryony; emergency trip to Pineapple Bun-Size Wound Department at Prince of Wales; threats of posting video on-line; locust-baiting protestors at court ‘hurling abuse’ at Mainlanders, who are by now, presumably, rethinking this whole cross-border shopping idea.
Despite your masterful account, you missed a couple of points, which are in fact essential in this sort of gradually escalating non-confrontational confrontation: the decision to later exact revenge and the consequent lurking and loitering; and the preliminary running at people and deliberate bumping.
It’s also a required second stage, not just an afterthought, to subliminally whisper then bellow racist insults.
Icing on the cake is provided by staring, pointing, wagging of fingers, grunting, zoom lenses, poking with umbrellas, waving reinforced sticks, hawking and spitting in the general direction and (idly) threatening to call the police.
The question arises that if you cheerfully live in and even find interest in a nest of knaves, bores and idiots, what does that say about the observer of and commentator on the same? It’s like looking at Reykjavik ( who cares how you spell it) instead of Venice, surely? Tip for you. The interesting countries historically, philosophically, politically, sociologically and economically today IN NO PARTICULAR ORDER are:
THE UNITED KINGDOM
THE SCEPTRED ISLE
CHANGEZ la disque, s’il vous plaît.
One way of remembering these tricky genders is to use your knowledge of other languages. Thus, tabula, phenomenon or discus should provide hints.
Looked at the SCMP online edition all about the fracas at Maxime’s Cakes. Interestingly there are no comments. Surely not being blocked?
The Hong Kong Stainless Steel Scissors Manufactory Ltd announce that their new model scissors SC51888XL will be on sale complete with two blades. A former president of the Hong Kong and Kowloon Barbers’ Association said that no-one would be interested in using scissors with one blade.
Brilliant Heaven Properties Development Ltd announce that every unit in their new luxury estate of two-storey villas, Heaven Peace Garden, in the Tuen Mun countryside, will be enhanced with a staircase all the way to the first floor. A professor at Lingnan University School of Architecture said that no-one …