July 1 was a day to remember for many reasons. Mainly, that memorable day last week with even a typhoon blown in for the occasion, which offered a glimpse into the new or next Hong Kong from what China’s President Xi Jinping had to say. This was when he attended the 25th Anniversary of the Handover and the inauguration at the Hong Kong Convention Centre of the city’s new Chief Executive John Lee.
Though some friends in Hong Kong weren’t exactly buoyant about what they heard, looking at the mess happening in the rest of the world, at least for this Hong Kong Belonger, there’s no place like home and the security of soon returning to familiar terrain. Three months in Melbourne were needed to get away from 24/7 of paranoiac nattering that the sky was falling.
Being in Survival mode instead of making the best outta life was not for me. I had to get away. In Melbourne, I got to be with long-time friends and remember what it’s like to be in a mask less society and having fun being together without worrying if I had the right documentation. Know how ridiculous this sounds to a functioning adult?
Still, three months staying at the Crown Metropol, despite serving the world’s best chicken satay at its Mr Hive outlet, was more than enough. Terminal boredom had set in. Singapore has been good. There’s zero horse racing to watch. Instead, there are the brilliant banana leaf restaurants Sammy’s and Murtu’s to fill myself up with different Curries and everything else that go hand in hand with eating with one’s fingers.
It was also good to meet up with some down to earth people who don’t try to impress and spend quality time with the someone who matters most and has helped me let go of the past. There’s also something calming for someone born in Ceylon being back on Asian soil. There was a new spring in my step. Asian pride was back. As for soon returning to Hong Kong, I welcome it. I am returning with a new mindset and knowing that when things are beyond my control, it’s about going with the flow and not getting one’s knickers in a twist. It’s also returning knowing that after listening to President Xi Jinping’s speech on television, Hong Kong is very much part of China, and how all the huffing and puffing and hashtags are not going to change a thing. It’s never going to be what it was.
What’s there to change, anyway? Didn’t some “freedom fighters” try a couple of years ago to create orchestrated chaos and bash it beyond recognition before falling on their swords and finally made to disappear? Nothing much around my orbit is going to change and that’s all I care about. Selfish, maybe, and also realistic. For example, though there might be minor changes to restrictions before normal transmission resumes again, with President Xi Jinping not tolerating anything less than a Zero Covid policy in the city, let’s not hold our collective breaths that Hong Kong will be bursting into “Good Times” anytime soon. Sure, horse racing will continue- very likely in a slightly altered states bubble- but that Zero Covid mandate needs to be followed by all. There might be some hypocrisy attached to it, but it is what it is and these are orders right from the very top. However, with there now being a more clear picture of what lies ahead for Hong Kong, horse racing is hopefully not going to just plod along as it’s been doing all for almost three years. Someone forgot to deliver the pizzazz.
Right now, Hong Kong racing is looking like Cher having a bad and creaky night in Vegas though this is still better than the awful caterwauling heard last week from Adele in the UK.
With the HKJC having funded the quite incredible Hong Kong Palace Museum, below, that opens this summer, and many looking forward to the Greater Bay Area project that brings together Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macau and six provinces in China, it’s exciting to see how horse racing and the contributions of the Club’s Charities Trust will be interwoven into this Big China Picture.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Guangdong–Hong_Kong–Macau_Greater_Bay_Area Both projects are definitely going to give Hong Kong a new lease of life and facelift it’s needed. It’s also something inspiring for the next few generations to look forward to inheriting. More than that, these projects could mean more affordable housing, something to attract new creative talent to Hong Kong, and possibly bring those back those who have recently left the city. The new career opportunities available could be enormous.
No, I haven’t been brainwashed.
Nothing is going to change overnight. Look at the state of the world today. Hong Kong is not going to be the exception. On July 1, however, it was liking what I heard from China’s President Xi Jinping. It was tough talk straight to the point. There was no serving of waffles and throwing around balls of confusion. Looking ahead, I believe I know what small role I can play to help get things move along. For starters, there’s the track below that my team and I produced to get the inauguration of Chief Executive John Lee off on the right foot. When all else fails, get down and funky and dance like James Brown, baby!
Git on UP! Ugh!!!