Schools evacuated but the rally falls flat

Central Station | Nury Vittachi 18 Sep 2019

Uh-oh. Fearful school administrators had visions of violence near their premises on Monday.

Police tipped them off that a black-shirt rally was going to be held at Shue Yan University that afternoon.

That university shares the top of Braemar Hill in North Point with six primary and secondary schools, so the area is always awash with children.

At least one school, ESF Quarry Bay, canceled all classes, giving children and teachers an impromptu holiday.

Families were kept well away.

But in the event, the rally was a bit limp. Out of the university's 5,200 students, only 194 people turned up, which is less than 4 percent.

They listened to a few speakers, sang their hymn-like anthem, then went off to 7-Eleven to buy snacks. It was a bit like church.

I've seen more drama in ParknShop queues.

* * *

Belgian educators sending a university exchange student to Hong Kong asked Discovery Bay restaurateur Philippe Moriau for advice. "We're assuming he'll need a bullet-proof vest," they told him. "Anything else?"

"Yes, a helmet too," said Philippe, who has a wicked sense of humor.

Hong Kong airport staff: If a young European arrives in full hazmat gear, listen for a Belgian accent.

* * *

Somewhere in Hong Kong the following scene will take place, if it hasn't already done so.

BOOM! A tear gas canister flies toward the protesters.

Protest leader: "Everybody get down!"

(Brad, who is a US infiltrator, starts doing the Gangnam Style dance.)

* * *

Our friends at Hong Kong Skeptics, a local club for atheists, will enjoy using the pictured DVD player from China.

* * *

Typical conversation outside the Exchange Square coffee shop these days:

HER: "I like to bet on the horses and buy Mark Six tickets."

HIM: "That's so dumb! Gambling is a mugs' game. Now hold my coffee while I buy a naked put option on a Chinese IPO."

* * *

A mystery Norwegian theater show called Cook is to be performed at the Hong Kong Cultural Centre, the government announced.

Nobody knows what it's about--not even the star Louisa Ho, who will only be given the script on the night.

"All we know is that at 8pm on October 27, somebody will do something on stage," said my arts correspondent.

It will cost HK$320 a ticket to "watch somebody do something."

Or head to your nearest protest site to watch a gripping live drama free of charge. (But maybe not on Braemar Hill.)

* * *

This city's commerce minister, the rather formal Edward Yau Tang-wah, will be visiting a Hong Kong creativity exhibition in San Francisco today.

Top of the bill is Henry Chu's Shadow Harp - a wall-sized device that makes music as each visitor dances in front it.

I can't imagine the genteel Mr Yau shaking his booty. Maybe if someone whispers GDP figures into his ear, there'll be some sort of visceral reaction.

* * *

Hong Kong technology minister Nicholas Yang Wei-hsiung told Seattle residents yesterday that "we have eight unicorns" in our city. Presumably he was confident that listeners would realize he was using it in the tech-jargon sense of "valuable start-up". If not, we may have to stick horns on our wild boar.

* * *

An observation: reader Jupy Chow pointed out that "democracy" sounds like "demo-crazy." In Hong Kong, that's a logical deduction, Jupy.

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