The other Sevens and the silent debate

Central Station | Nury Vittachi 17 Apr 2019

Imagine the Rugby Sevens weekend coming around - and nobody wanting tickets.

That's the case in Singapore.

Our cousins named Tan, Lim and Lee, etc, held an event identical to Hong Kong's Rugby Sevens, but it is rumored to be a massive annual flop.

I say "rumored" because the official story is that the latest one, last weekend, was yet another massive Singapore success story (like every official story from Singapore).

But it's easy to see empty seats in the background of the pictures.

"There is literally nobody attending the Singapore sevens on the final day," reported sports fan Mark O'Shea, posting a picture of an empty stadium on Twitter a few days ago. "Stark contrast to Hong Kong last week."

Singapore's contract with the sport's world governing body ends with the recent tournament. Will it be renewed?

"Time to call it a failure and find a new host city on the sevens circuit," said Mark.

Since Singapore taxpayers are footing the bill, the issue should be widely discussed in the Lion City. Yeah, right.

This is a Singapore government project. Thus it is successful-la. Repeat after me. Successful-la. Successful-la.

* * *

Meanwhile, Hong Kong Rugby Sevens fans reported that the goalposts at the games had become "smart," glowing bright green when a goal is scored, or red if the ball misses.

"But actually, they weren't smart at all," said a fan named Michael. "I clearly saw a little man sitting behind the goalposts, pressing green and red buttons." Old tech.

* * *

K-Pop star Sunmi amazed the audience at her Hong Kong concert a few days ago by doing the patter between songs in broken Cantonese.

And Hong Kong karaoke bars are now stuffed with people singing in broken Korean.

International detente achieved through soppy love songs.

Factoid: "window shopping" in Korean is aishyoping (from "eye shopping").

* * *

Tin Hau residents were amazed to see the pictured space-age "minibus from the future" in their district this week, all big windows and high-tech lines. A bus-o-phile tells me it's a next- generation bus from the UK being tested here: "It looks like it should fly, but sadly doesn't."

* * *

China's film board yesterday removed a rule saying that all joint film projects with Hong Kong must have "mainland-related plots."

So instead of films being about China, movies can be about strange and bizarre lands where unbelievable things happen to normal people.

So, no change there.

* * *

When I was young, there were no "special effects," I told my children. "If you wanted to blow up a planet, you blew up a real planet. That's why old books list nine planets."

* * *

Reports say that the collapse of Jet Airways will hit people flying to India. But Hong Kong people were using the airline to get to London. "By changing planes in Mumbai, I was paying half what Cathay Pacific and British Airways charge to get to London," said Mary from Tai Wai. That distant clicking noise is the sound of those airlines rapidly raising prices on Hong Kong to London routes.

* * *

Thought for the day: One day you'll throw out all your clothes that don't fit and realize that you have to spend the rest of your life in a bath towel.

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