Single day season upsets the cool people

Central Station | Nury Vittachi 10 Jan 2020

Winter in Hong Kong last year lasted exactly one day, stunned weather experts discovered when they checked records.

On January 1 of 2019, the thermometer dropped to 11.4 degrees - but then never fell below 12 degrees again, meteorologists said this week.

It was the shortest winter since records began.

A colleague who hates the heat and loves cold weather was most annoyed.

"One day? One day? We were promised a whole season," he said. "This is an outrage. Who do I complain to?"

I told him to write to Greta Thunberg.

* * *

The present year could be even worse for people who love cool weather. It was so hot earlier this week that readers reported seeing people in bikinis on Hong Kong beaches. In January!

"My husband's not complaining," said a woman at the next table in my coffee shop. "He works for a company that distributes air-conditioners."

This is shocking. Traditionally, Hong Kong has always had two seasons, too hot and too cold.

* * *

The exodus out of Hong Kong continues.

By the end of last month, more than 10,000 older Hongkongers had asked the government to send their pensions to them in China, officials said this week.

Many Hongkongers have moved to the mainland, with more than 84,000 in Guangdong alone.

Fact: You can't be extradited to mainland China if you already live there, right?

* * *

Hong Kong's greatest, most beloved heroes were celebrated at a party in Mong Kok this Wednesday.

Yes, I refer to street cleaners.

These wonderful people signed up to do a little sweeping - but had to spend the past six months up most of the night, clearing away bricks, broken glass, barricades, petrol bombs and tear gas canisters - and often stumbling on to really dangerous stuff like corrosive acid or nail traps. And they did it all without complaining or turning political.

Hong Kong's Dear Leader Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor turned up at the function with some good news that cleaners will soon get better pay and benefits.

* * *

After the item in this column about the "Pervert" backpack, staff at Broadway in Causeway Bay gave this columnist the pictured bag saying "Predator." Were they trying to tell me something?

* * *

Polytechnic University has hired a private security company that supplies guards who are mostly black males in black suits, white shirts and black ties. Young people have to line up at the entrance under their watchful eyes to get in. The university looks like a cool New York nightclub with bouncers at the door. They just need a velvet rope.

* * *

The traffic lights in the Yau Tsim Mong area of Kowloon are the greatest single enemy of the Hong Kong protesters; no one knows why.

Engineers have had to repeatedly fix 74 sets of lights in that district alone, said transport chief Frank Chan Fan.

One particular traffic light is still bravely blinking red, yellow and green, despite having been smashed up and fixed 17 times in a row. Brings a tear to your eye.

* * *

Interesting to read the Travel Industry Council's statement yesterday that Hong Kong tourists who have booked trips to Iran have not canceled their plans. Fair enough. They are probably people who live in the protest epicenter of Mong Kok.

A weekend break at the heart of World War III will be a relaxing change.

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