Seven weeks in Hong Kong

So what happened?

Mandarin Oriental Hotel

Mandarin Oriental Hotel

I don’t even know where to start.

Basically, some student protests led to the sudden start of Occupy Central (which isn’t really in Central) which morphed into this thing called the Umbrella Movement.

Sogo

Sogo

I was swept up and absorbed in this thing that I’ve never seen before and spent the early days glued to my phone, hooked to Facebook, scrolling through never-ending feeds of what’s happening everywhere.

No one I know can say with any confidence they know what’s going on. But one way or the other, whether you’re for or against it, everyone seems to be in it.

Where to?

Where to?

Stories abound. Anything you can think of. Friends and family falling out due to disagreement over the events. It’s hush hush at work. Police beating protesters up. Tear gas. Old grannies sitting on the streets. High school students in uniforms distributing oranges, crackers, masks, and water in the protest sites. Banners. Slogans. Speeches.

News media on pedestrian bridge. Amazing crowd down below.

News media on pedestrian bridge. Amazing crowd down below.

If for my entire life I was never political and wasn’t even sure if I can call Hong Kong home, suddenly I needed to know what’s happening. Even the gweilos I know here have changed their Facebook photos in support of the movement. I mean, seriously, when was the last time expats were interested in Hong Kong politics and social issues?

I’m not sure why I’m writing right now. Perhaps this is me taking a breather from all that’s happened. If I was too absorbed to write, maybe this is me mourning. This is me feeling sorry that the movement is in its dying days.

Study area in what is normally a six (?) lane express way.

Study area in what is normally a six (?) lane express way.

Maybe I’m mourning the fact that idealism on it’s own doesn’t win. I’m an idealistic person (just ask my friends or my boss) – maybe that’s why I was so swept up in it. The passion! The fight for justice! For freedom of speech! For democracy! There’s a reason why the words idealistic and realistic exist.

Realistically, I don’t think anyone would think that the government would give in to the students’ full demands, but at the same time, I didn’t expect the government to not concede even just a little bit.

Camp

Camp

There are many things I still don’t understand. Why the push for civil nomination? Why not ask for something the government is more likely to give in to, such as the removal of functional constituencies or whatever other way to lower the voting rights of corporate entities and reduce their grip on our lives? Why the push for the Chief Executive’s resignation? I mean, yes, he’s a complete dick and can’t talk for shit, but not necessarily the real focus is it?

Was there ever an end game? Was there ever an exit strategy? Do we just fizz out?

Bus stop

Bus stop

I come away with more questions than answers, sad that we seem to have not achieved anything.

Street signs

Street signs

On second thought, that is not true. If anything, the students and the movement have waken the government, and just as importantly, the people up. It’s a long road ahead.

those phones

The iphone 6 seem to be the talk of the office these days.

I sat in a meeting while watching these two guys staring intently at their laptops, their fingers poised on top of the keyboards. The older management seem none the wiser and thought they were having an extraordinarily busy morning.

Meanwhile, a friend tells me her management is a lot more savvy – mostly because the people pounding at the local Apple website caused a crash in the company system, leading to one big company-wide telling off, and IT blocking the site.

Seriously? It’s a new phone. Do people in other parts of the world do it to this extent? I mean, by the end of the year everyone else will have one. Does getting it RIGHT NOW matter that much?

Sometimes, or rather, most of the time, I think I live in the wrong city.

A great morning in one of the world’s most densely populated cities…

…involve not feeling like you’re in one of the world’s most densely populated cities.

(Also involves realising the limitations of this phone camera. Viewed outside of a tiny phone screen, these just look sub-par. I’m developing this feeling that my good old Lumix point and shoot beats whatever things they keep packing into phones these days. )

On reading, TV shows, and being a junkie

I realise I spend a lot of time reading books I don’t really like just because I feel like I should finish books I start. Then I put off reading because who wants to read a book you don’t like? But then I can’t start another book unless I finish reading the one I’ve started. So I don’t read. Tada. Quited retarded logic really.

For the past few months, I’ve been mostly addicted to TV shows. I binged through Seasons 3, 4 and 5 of The Good Wife. After that was done, I said I’ll take a break and read a book. I read maybe one chapter, discovered Orange is the New Black, and binged right through the two seasons in about 2 weeks. If I didn’t have Chinese slitty eyes before, now I definitely do.

Other than that, I just really really need to stop scrolling through useless brain shit on my phone. I seem to spend every waking moment staring at one screen or another. Be it the 12 hours I spend sitting in front of a PC at work; the accumulated minutes of me standing at the bus stop, waiting for the lift, sitting on the tram, waiting for takeout, and eating dinner while reading the news, googling things I will forget, and getting jealous of other people’s lives on Facebook; the hours spent binge watching TV on my computer at home…..it’s crazy. I have no self control. (And it also shows that I don’t have a life?)

Sometimes I think I’ll make the best/worst junkie. When I was reading the Game of Thrones books, I bombed through them one after another. Man, if you’re my dealer, you’re gonna love me.