They declare us dead, but we're still here

Central Station | Nury Vittachi 3 Jun 2020

The "death of Hong Kong" has now been announced at least seven times.

1925: Governor Sir Cecil Clementi reads the small print and tells London that "the colony will be lost" in 72 years.

1977: Western businessmen tell governor Sir Murray MacLehose that Hong Kong will disappear in 20 years.

1993: Far Eastern Economic Review reporter Robert Cottrell writes a book: The End of Hong Kong.

1995: Fortune magazine runs a cover story: "The Death of Hong Kong."

2003: Western media says Article 23 "will end Hong Kong."

2017: Media reports that a train facility shared with the mainland, in Kowloon, is "a dagger in the heart of Hong Kong."

2020: Chris Patten writes an article: "The Lonesome Death of Hong Kong."

Perhaps we need a new tourism slogan?

The Zombie City of Hong Kong: the community Westerners keep announcing is dead, but somehow we're all doing pretty well, considering.

* * *

Legco Secretariat researchers were horrified when they saw the Education Bureau's furniture and equipment list for new schools that was revealed this week.

It told teachers to buy various things, including a radio cassette player, a VHS recorder and a 1.44-Mb floppy disk drive computer.

Worst of all, this was an "updated" May 2020 edition of the list.

And it may be a clue as to why Hong Kong is lagging behind in technology.

* * *

The fact that our supermarkets are now selling tomatoes labeled "round" implies that square, flat and pyramid-shaped ones will soon be on their way, right?

* * *

At IFC yesterday, protesters sent out a confusing message - they want Hong Kong's independence, but they also waved British colonial Hong Kong flags to call for reunification. Well, which do you want? You can't have both.

It reminded me of a factory in Shenzhen, which had two slogans on its walls: "Efficiency First" and "Safety First."

* * *

The recording at the moving walkway in Tsim Sha Tsui East station keeps repeating: "Be a safe escalator user! Hold the handrail!"

It needs virus-focused revision: "Be a safe escalator user! Keep your hands well away from a handrail touched by the icky unwashed hands of millions of strangers every day!"

* * *

MTR bosses are sending out warnings about "hungry" escalators in posters and on social media: "Hey, you look great in that long dress! However, loose or long clothing, sandals or slippers can easily get stuck in escalators."

In 2015, an escalator in a Singapore mall grabbed a woman's ankle-length dress and made a concerted effort to remove the whole thing. "I was sure that I was going to end up standing there, half-naked in my underwear," the woman said. "And it wasn't even my good underwear."

People around the scene leaped into action, getting out their camera phones.

A good Samaritan tore the dress in half to save her modesty.

* * *

The thing that children were dreading the most has come to pass - not for them but for their older siblings.

While schools are retaining their original dates for the end of term, universities are shifting some of this semester's courses into the summer holidays. This is going to mean a huge amount of tears, crying and tantrums - and many university educators have already started.

* * *

As a gentle "ease back" into working at the office, I think everyone should be allowed to turn up in pajamas for the first week.

Talk to me! Send ideas and comments via the Facebook pages of the author or The Standard

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