The repercussions have only just begun

Central Station | Nury Vittachi 14 Aug 2019

Unfair to emos, goths, and otakus!

China's border officials are picking people of Hong Kong dressed in black out of immigration lines and forcibly checking photographs on their phones.

But here's the weird thing.

Hong Kong protesters are picking people not dressed in black out of lines of observers and forcibly checking photographs on their phones.

I hate politics.

The present writer has an otaku son at home with an entirely black wardrobe, but he now feels obliged to wear horribly bright, garish colors - such as dark grey. (It's all relative, right?)

* * *

Media bigmouths are speculating on what President Xi Jinping will do about the violent unrest in Hong Kong.

They're missing the story. Xi's focus is on what the activism might do in the mainland.

Students from a Hong Kong international school who went to a youth conference in Beijing were given electronic security tags to wear - and were sternly warned not to lose them.

As repercussions escalate, China could become like one of those hellhole countries where there is no privacy for travelers, like the United States, where last year alone border guards forced 33,295 travelers (I'm not making this up) to reveal passwords for laptops and phones.

* * *

More than 3,200 vacant jobs will be on offer tomorrow and Friday at the Dragon Center in Sham Shui Po. The job fair is aimed at young people, but I think Cathay Pacific staff and other travel-sector people might like to take a look.

* * *

A new Japanese restaurant called Sushiro opened yesterday near Jordan MTR. The plates come to you on a conveyor belt, as usual - but any dish that travels 350 meters without being chosen by a customer is robotically removed and replaced with a fresher one.

I feel a new and improved political model has arrived in Hong Kong.

* * *

As this newspaper reported on Monday, protester numbers have dwindled sharply.

When mass support is lost, the remaining hardliners turn to "guerrilla" type actions such as closing down transport hubs, which in turn causes them to lose more support.

I heard this from a university teacher who said: "This downward spiral is detailed in the political science textbooks lying unopened on students' desks."

* * *

Readers were puzzled as to why the Alexander McQueen designer clothes shop in Causeway Bay seemed permanently censored. I earlier asked the same question. Answer: "It's a deliberate fashion statement to look edgy." Not that that's annoyingly pretentious or anything.

* * *

One returning Hongkonger asked protesters at the airport why they had their mouths covered with tape. "Because we have been silenced," came the muffled reply.

The traveller said to me afterwards: "They're been on every newspaper, TV station and news website for two months. Interesting definition of 'silenced'."

* * *

On Monday, representatives of this city's 11 universities jointly announced that Hong Kong was now a "police state" - and then went off to drink Frappuccinos, organize illegal rallies and write openly on websites about how evil the Hong Kong authorities are.

Clearly we have a new definition of "police state," too.

* * *

An HSBC bank teller asked me yesterday if I wanted a bank loan. I said: "No, thank you, I'm still working to pay off an avocado I bought in Oliver's Delicatessen in 2015."

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