Race against time fails for this traveler

Central Station | Nury Vittachi 13 Nov 2019

True story: Hundreds of thousands of frantic, cross-Hong Kong races broke out spontaneously yesterday morning.

Hong Kong residents (Team A) tried desperately to get to our workplaces or schools. We walked, we ran, we tried multiple types of transport.

Protesters (Team B), tried to stop us.

This member of Team A had to get to RTHK studios in Kowloon Tong to co-host a live show at 8.30am.

My personal race went through four stages.

First, Team B scored early by slashing the tires of numerous public buses to disable public transport. (One point to Team B).

But this columnist arranged a lift in a car. (One point to Team A).

Second, Team B blocked the main roads through Kowloon, trapping the car I was in. (One point to Team B).

But I leapt out of the car, ran across multiple lanes of traffic and got onto an MTR train. (One point to Team A).

Third, Team B dropped objects onto the railway tracks, halting the train. Aieeyah! (One point to Team B).

I leapt onto a green-top minibus heading for Broadcast Drive, and again was back in with a chance. (One point to Team A).

Fourth, Team B spray-painted the front windows of moving double-decker buses on Junction Road, blinding drivers and causing traffic jams which halted the minibuses. (One point to Team B).

I eventually sprinted into the studio 20 minutes late for the show. (So Team B won).

* * *

Other members of Team A had more luck.

In several cases, protesters trying to stop trains and light rail vehicles were sternly ejected by Hong Kong residents.

One retreating protester was quoted to have shouted: "Okay, you go to work! Make money and buy a flat!"

Who would ever have thought the day would come when someone in Hong Kong would shout "make money and buy a flat" as an insult?

You shouldn't disrespect a community's most deeply-held religious beliefs.

* * *

Train passengers scared by violent protesters yesterday got a nice surprise from MTR bosses. At some stations, they set the exit turnstiles to $00.00. A note flashed up when you used your Octopus card to leave: "No money has been deducted."

* * *

"Clean-up porn" is trending on Hong Kong social media. When black shirts numbers fall, Hong Kong residents creep out quietly to remove the barriers and bricks blocking the roads. People share video clips of this to show "a little light in the darkness", as one caption put it.

* * *

Old people! You no longer have to just shake your stick and shout "Get a job" at misbehaving youngsters. You can show them how it's done. The government today will open a three-day job fair offering paid 4,600 posts reserved for older folk at Sheung Wan Civic Center. (Quite a few are cleaning jobs.)

* * *

German technology company SICK is now selling automatic vehicle barriers in Hong Kong--and each one, like this one I photographed in North Point, comes with the name in capitals.

* * *

The liquor licensing board yesterday processed the paperwork for a bar in Sheung Wan inspired by the famous Ernest Hemingway novel The Old Man and the Sea.

The rather nice bar is the called The Sea By The Old Man.

One of the original drinks it serves is called "Alcohol You Later". Get it?

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