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About Hong Kong, Chinese whispers and David Eustace’s hair.



These days of mixed messages in Hong Kong require certain navigational skills to prepare one’s self for the day ahead.


This particular day, turned out to be a very long one which started with me deep diving into a meditative state and being mindful of my chakras before exhaling slowly and getting rid of anything clogging up the system. It was then time to get ready into internal time management.



It was a productive day where I finished writing a song, wrote two stream of consciousness poems and visited what’s now the tail end of my “journography”, something that’s become a rather voluminous story of life and lessons learned and getting rid of lap sap clutter.



Next, I was somehow finding myself immersed for over three hours listening and watching the creativity of Paul McCartney and the love he must still carry for his late wife Linda.



It was then winding down before meeting a friend for dinner. 


This became a freewheeling conversation about everything from how to fix the Hong Kong brand, charities, mixed messages, changes in life’s priorities and giving back to a city that’s our home. 


It should have been a podcast. It would have blown up the internet.


Maybe a regular offbeat and Far Side type of podcast is something to think about…


In the meantime, here’s a transcript of our conversation over dinner.


Perhaps, there might be some thought bubbles to glean from all this that actually lead to somewhere specific…


Me: If you wanted to create a genuinely happy Hong Kong, what would be the seeds or seedlings to plant in order to try and make this grow and happen?


Friend: “Well, for my wife and myself and not being young, we’re looking for security- financial security, a city with a clearly defined future, and a safe city. 


“We have not come this far in our lives to be scared of whatever might be out there as hardly a day passes without some global catastrophe- like the earthquake in Gansu in China yesterday.



Friend: “Of course, being Chinese and living in Hong Kong, this is terrible news and I can’t help thinking how quickly our lives can change.


“Like you, I am also superstitious and see this catastrophe as maybe a sign- as bad feng shui. What do you think?”


Me: Well, you know that I believe in karma and feng shui, but, most of all, perhaps through doing meditation, my intuitiveness has been heightened. I can “see” certain things and situations and are as prepared as much as I can be. But no one can be prepared enough.


“What do I think of the earthquake in Gangsu? It’s horrific and not something that the world needs- not with all the other problems that are on free fall.”


Friend: “Do you feel that Hong Kong needs more organisations like the Hong Kong Jockey Club to contribute to the well being of the city? Do you feel that somehow having this well being can bring about happiness?”


Me: Firstly, no amount of money can buy happiness. Too many in Hong Kong believes it can and which creates a society built on greed and superficiality. 


As for the HKJC, it does much for Hong Kong though many of those close to me don’t quite know how its Charities Trust works. 


I personally believe this has to do with historically ineffective communications. I could, of course, be very wrong. 


Doesn’t Hong Kong also still have the Community Chest, The Tung Wah Group of Hospitals, InvestHK, the low key CreateHK and various other groups that might fall into the dim sum basket of charities?


Friend: “Yes, I think all these are still around, but like you say, not many know what they do. We don’t have time to read their annual reports or go to their websites to find out and you’re right about the need for more transparency and better communications”.


Me: Don’t you think that though it’s good to have all these well established organisations, they’re looking old and perhaps, part of the past and don’t help the Hong Kong brand look new and dynamic?


Maybe Hong Kong needs young Hong Kong born entrepreneurs and through their work, they might inspire others to find new ways of giving back to the city- a city that desperately needs a facelift through realistic projects that need to have been done yesterday instead of there being 3-5 year plans. 


Having “plans” are not unlike saying that talk is cheap and how action speaks louder than words.


Friend: “I agree that the old ways are not working anymore. 


“By the way, I have been following what you have been writing recently about the need for mentors and your mentor in advertising- Keith Reinhard- and how you applied his principles to the music industry and marketing”.



“I am also reading what you recommended- The Peter Principle- and the dangers of promoting incompetence in companies and settling for mediocrity”.


Me: I was never an avid reader as I always felt that reading books that might be in the “self help” category can do more harm than good as they’re the thoughts of others. But reading “The Peter Principle” decades ago opened my eyes to bad organisation charts and huge holes in the hiring process of the department known as Human Resources. 


Ironically, some of the worst hires I ever came across were those who headed up Human Resources! 


Friend: “Almost everything you say is why Hong Kong is a city that needs to heal and why almost everyone we know is suffering from some form of depression and which cannot be cured by money. 


This is why many of us talk and gossip about horse racing so much. It’s relaxing and it gives us something to do. It’s like meditation”.


Me: I hear that the new racing rumour is that horse trainer David Eustace will move to Hong Kong next season…


Friend: “Yes, this is the hot news. Is he as good as John Size and David Hall? Or Frankie Lor and Pierre Ng?”


Me: I have no idea, but every product today is about branding and having a product personality and David Eustace is young, he’s good looking and has a good head of hair.



It’s a good addition to Hong Kong racing as the product is looking a little old- and fast becoming boring like many other things.


We must have chats like these more often as things in Hong Kong change every day.


In the meantime…




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