Once upon a dim sum, we accepted no substitute. We demanded the best and, most times, we got the best.
It wasn’t being arrogant or spoilt. It was simply not doing things in half measures.
This is what made Hong Kong special and which set the standard for almost everything in the city. Even the dim sum for yum cha.
It wasn’t about cutting corners and being happy with the crumbs thrown our way, or settling for mediocrity.
It was about constantly reaching for that brass ring. It made life more interesting and exciting and motivating over the hill.
It’s a very different Hong Kong today. There’s very little pride in restoring some dignity in a city that’s lost and confused and been kicked to the curb.
Dignity. My ex wife used that word recently in a message to me when describing the new abnormal that’s Hong Kong and her wish that this city that gave us so much would be treated with dignity. It was such a perfect thing to say.
As a couple, we didn’t have it easy, but we more than managed. There was no dwelling on the downbeat and believing that we were owed. We didn’t overthink things to death.
We loved Hong Kong and made Hong Kong work for us and our daughter.
We were hardly party people or trying to live beyond our means.
We were happy- very happy- being together and being in love until maybe we fell too much in love with our work and careers.
Through all our outsizing and downsizing, there was Hong Kong- wonderful, proud, and such a giving Hong Kong with its very special soul. And its dignity intact.
To see people these days happy with the scraps thrown their way is worse than humiliating.
We seem to have become what were once called “running dogs”.
Talking to friends, they’re happy that restaurants and clubs are now allowed to be open until past midnight.
But why be so happy?
There might be pockets of ’live’ music, but, more often than not, no dancing allowed. So why bother?
It’s a right if a taxpayer to go where one wants to go and return home at any time without fear of this and that restriction.
It’s a right as a taxpayer to have fun.
Living without having fun is surviving in an Orwellian Animal Farm state with no backbone, and having become slugs.
It’s amusing in a film noire and Tarantino kinda way to hear some in Hong Kong- and those outside of Hong Kong- only seeing the city as a piggy bank and always there for another midnight run of smash and grab.
These are who some of us referred to as “fat cats”. They purr and claw and lead their designer lives though completely outta step with reality.
Worse are those who are behind the velvet rope and aspire to be part of this exclusive club.
It shows up the Instagram superficiality of it all.
There’s a helluva lot of hypocrisy being regurgitated in Hong Kong with the really sad thing being so many turning a blind eye to this.
Putting up with all the bollocks and happy to be insignificant shoeshine people and worshipping at the shrine of false idols is something straight outta Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory.
How on earth has this been allowed to happen?
One cannot blame the pandemic and a hapless and hopelessly lost Chief Executive and her motley crew of alarmists for everything.
One needs to think why many of us are content to keep walking on eggshells and surviving instead of living life to the full.
As a city that became a home to so many, Hong Kong deserves better than this.
This has become very clear to me in the months that I have been away.
What I see, I don’t like and what I hear is too often hypocrisy tied up in a nice little package with a bow on top and served as a gift full of caring and kindness.
It’s nothing of the sort.
It’s cheating and being sold a lie for so long that accepting this has become second nature.
Some are into Deflection mode and mention the standard of incoming Chief Executive John Lee’s standard of English. Give it a break.
This isn’t a get together of the Dead Poets Society and Professor Higgins.
Let the man start his job and do whatever it is that he does best and manage the city.
Those who continue to sing a song of sixpence about their love for Hong Kong and “Home Kong”, well, lets see this love.
Let’s see it manifest itself in the form of tangible results.
Me? I am a Hong Kong Belonger wherever I am. I have lived in Hong Kong long enough to know which way the wind blows and where the bodies are buried.
I am not some naive “freedom fighter” with no exit plan nor am I any better or worse than anyone else.
My “job” is to look after my home and guard it from those who are Oliver Twisted and keep continuing to take more and more from Hong Kong without giving anything back.
This is where there should be some accountability.
This is where Hong Kong can’t be used and discarded when there’s nothing left to take.
There’s always going to be payback time...and this time might just be now.
It’s been long overdue.