Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Short Change

My 9-year-old niece in Britain was too upset to sleep the other night, crying inconsolably because the book she'd been reading at bedtime told her that the universe would come to an end in two billion years. Assurances that she wouldn't be around by then to worry about it only seemed to make matters worse!

My own contemplations today are somewhat closer to home in both time and space. What's up with these girls who sit opposite me on the MTR wearing tiny miniskirts, then spend the entire journey tugging at the hem in an attempt to avoid showing anything? If they're so worried about revealing the colour of their knickers, why don't they just wear a longer skirt? Or would they stop tugging if I looked like Brad Pitt instead of my mature weatherbeaten self?

Friday, September 11, 2009

Sound Judgement

Hong Kong is full of speculation about the "real" reasons for Chief Justice Andrew Li's early retirement - indeed, I seem to be the only person who accepts his stated reasons at face value.

Li sad that after working for 37 years, he wanted to take the time to pursue other interests in life. I have no problem believing this, because I have also been working for 37 years and would love to give up in order to pursue other interests. Unfortunately, I don't earn a Chief Justice's salary, so unlike Li I will have to soldier on for a few years longer.

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

If it looks like rubbish and smells like rubbish...

If anyone had any doubt that the Heung Yee Kuk is an agent of the Dark Side, today's news makes it absolutely certain. Their brilliant plan for solving the problem of illegal waste dumping, which is ruining much of Hong's once beautiful countryside, is... to make it legal. This is about as sensible as solving the problem of burglary by legalising theft. When is the government going to stop giving favoured treatment to this gang of vandals?

(Yeah, the picture's not from Hong Kong, I know, but it makes the point nicely. I couldn't find a good local one, so I borrowed it from here.)

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

The Singapore Syndrome

The system that enables you to listen to your car radio when driving through tunnels in Hong Kong also allows the tunnel companies to override the radio signal with their own transmissions. This is fine when they use it to make helpful traffic announcements, such as telling you that a particular exit road is closed or when a blockage will be cleared. And indeed they sometimes do this (though as my wife noted, only in Cantonese - perhaps English or Putonghua speakers don't drive?).

Unfortunately they don't limit themselves to this. It is intensely irritating to be listening to the RTHK news in the Lion Rock Tunnel, only to have the airwaves hijacked by some inane do-gooder relaying unnecessary government propaganda, like telling you not to drink and drive. Almost as irritating, in fact, as watching television and having the government exhort you to "love your family" (seriously) during the commercial breaks. Where do these people think we are - Singapore?