Independence is a good idea after all

Central Station | Nury Vittachi 16 Oct 2019

People on Hong Kong Island want independence - from Kowloon.

It's part of a cunning three-step system to end the political unrest.

1) Starbucks-loving Hong Kong Island declares independence from Kowloon-side, where a lot of the heavy fighting happens.

2) Kowloon-side is given full autonomy to be ruled by black shirts.

3) New Territories retains its mildly pro-China stance.

Now if you average out the levels of independence, Hong Kong as a whole remains only semi-autonomous, so Beijing can't complain.

The idea started when Wan Chai resident Tom Guendert noticed how calm Hong Kong Island was last week when the MTR stopped running during the evenings.

In his plan, Hong Kong Island can have all the branches of Starbucks, the Bank of China, Genki Sushi and so on.

What do people in Kowloon get? "Those guys keep" He pauses to think. "Taiwanese bubble tea shops and, well, whatever is left over there."

Reader Mariam Yu further refined the idea. "We'd need a transition period to give people time to freely decide whether they want to live on Hong Kong Island or Kowloon-side," she said. "After that, we set up border control points at the Star Ferries."

Everybody's happy.

* * *

If Tom's plan is rejected, reader Megan Chiu had an alternative idea. "If I were president Xi Jinping, I would let Hong Kong be independent," she said. And that would include making our city immediately independent of mainland food, mainland water, mainland electricity and mainland tourists. Instant lesson, quickly learned.

* * *

Since many people agree that Hong Kong's problems are caused by misinformation, I'm pretty sure we could solve everything if all 7.4 million of us take a vow of silence. A couple of weeks should do it.

* * *

Let's not forget that some protesters are intelligent and multi-lingual.

Professors on their way to work at Polytechnic University yesterday found the walkway had been adorned with a huge graffiti message apparently in Latin.

A bit of contemplation (and a spelling correction) revealed it to be "Hasta la victoria siempre" which is "until victory, forever" in Spanish. It's a quote from iconic revolutionary Che Guevara. A lecturer who did not want to be named said: "Che was referring to the victory of communism, but maybe we shouldn't mention that."

* * *

Restaurateurs really do use Google to write their menus, as the pictured food list from a Taiwanese eatery shows.

* * *

A statue protesters hauled up a mountain path on Lion Rock was blown over and smashed by the wind, readers told me yesterday. "Rest In Pieces," said Sean Ng, who was not a fan of it.

* * *

Meanwhile, non-political Hongkongers seem to be taking their lives back. Reader Ian Dubin told me yesterday that he and his neighbors in Pok Fu Lam got used to the constant background noise of black shirts shouting political slogans at nearby Hong Kong University.

His local 7-Eleven recently resumed its 24-hour schedule so he went out to buy a drink. When he got outside, he noticed that the usual gang of black shirts was missing.

The noise was coming from a portable speaker playing a deafening recording of a large gang of protesters shouting. It was manned by two volunteers.

The racket continued until about 10.30pm, when a flick of a switch instantly silenced the protest.

There's a message there somewhere.

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