Soon we'll drive under the sea to Lantau

Central Station | Nury Vittachi 20 Nov 2020

Hong Kong will get a special Christmas gift this year: our longest, deepest, largest underwater tunnel yet.

The city's latest infrastructure miracle will open under the sea on December 27, the government revealed on Wednesday.

The dual carriageway provides a second way to drive to the airport on Lantau island.

It will run underwater from Tuen Mun for five kilometers (for comparison, the Cross Harbor Tunnel is 1.8km).

For sailors, the new airport road ends a bizarre anomaly. The sea between Lantau and Tuen Mun has long been known as Urmston Road, despite the fact that it is clearly not a road, but Hong Kong's busiest sea channel.

From December 27, Urmston Road will actually be a road, although the actual tarmac surface will be too far underwater to be visible to anyone except mermaids.

[Experiment for Hong Kong Tesla owners: tell your car's built-in autopilot to take you to Urmston Road. But put on a swimming costume first.]

* * *

The long hugs are back. Once more, people are being allowed to see their children off at the airport or greet travelers with "welcome home" signs.

"Finally, after more than a year, the public is now allowed to freely enter the airport to see off friends and family and grab a bite at the restaurants all desperately dying for business," said Gerry Em, a reader who works at the airport.

The airport was closed to non-passengers in the late summer of last year after violent protests halted flights.

"Now all we need is passengers," said Gerry.

* * *

In related news, it's astonishing how often I hear Westerners say: "Don't you just hate your national security law?" and peace-loving Hongkongers reply: "No, actually we love it."

* * *

Reacting to the "buy two, get one" sign at a North Point cake shop, readers sent this offer from the Dr Kong shoe shop in Fortress Hill: "BUY 1 GET 1 FREE". Two shoes are very useful for those of us with a foot on each leg.

* * *

UK parliamentarian Diane Abbott this week: "China massacred Muslims."

Muslims this week: "No, China didn't."

Australia yesterday: "But WE did."

UK parliamentarian: [Looks other way, pretending not to hear.]

* * *

"Want to know why a blizzard of false media articles about China appear simultaneously?" asked John Ross, a British economist, yesterday. The answer is in a recently revealed Washington document listing the US government's strategic aims, which include "inculcating in the US populace the reasons why China must be fought."

* * *

In sci-fi movies, people react to deadly killer pandemics by moving into survivalist bunkers.

In real life, my friends are all going to MF Living, a coronavirus "concept store" [not a joke] in Tsim Sha Tsui where you can watch surgical masks being made and choose one from a wide range of fashionable colors.

No pandemic can kill Hong Kong people's primal need to shop for cute stuff.

* * *

Population statistics released this week show that Hong Kong's sex imbalance [a female surplus] starts from about 25 up.

Below that age the sexes are closely balanced.

Bring back the school discos! They're only young once.

* * *

Parents: save a fortune this Christmas by telling your children that Santa can't deliver toys this year because the town where he lives is in coronavirus lockdown. You're welcome.

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