Category Archives: Hong Kong

I Read the News Today Oh Boy

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I don’t pretend to be a news outlet and I can’t imagine anyone comes to this site looking for the latest news. That being said, I’ve tried to avoid posting anything in the last few days (here, Facebook or Twitter) that wasn’t relevant to the ongoing situation in Hong Kong. I’ll admit I’m watching everything at a distance – I was in Manila until Monday night, Tuesday I had to work, today … well, I’m where I am.

Anyway, a few news items that have caught my eye.

Chai Yan Leung is the daughter of HK’s fearless leader CY Leung. I don’t know if this is real or not, but this screenshot of her Facebook page was posted at Coconuts.

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You tell me if it’s the real mccoy. Also posted to that page yesterday:

Pls keep up with the trying-to-get-into-my-account/ hacking (but failing like the loser you are), sending ‘”friend” requests”‘ (as if I’ll accept), meticulously scrolling through my public fb content and commenting on every single pic or status or note- IT’S SO FCKING ENTERTAINING and I’m laughing my ass off with my friends. Should I be flattered that you’re all so obsessed with me??#SoFunny #PlsKeepItComing #MyEverydayEntertainment

And a bit earlier, something about how she thinks Lindsay Lohan is the most talented actress of her generation.

Also from Coconuts, a photo she supposedly posted to Facebook last June:

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(And please, no jokes in comments about how if you were related to CY, you’d try to kill yourself too. Yes, she slashed them the wrong way, but either way it’s sad.)

The SCMP reports that the Philippine consulate has warned Philippine workers in Hong Kong to stay away from the demonstrations as it might be unsafe or possibly illegal to attend, with fines of up to HK$5,000 (which is greater than one month’s salary for a domestic helper here).  Further, “Ferdinand Ramos, a 38-year-old musician who has lived in Hong Kong all his life but goes back to the Philippines periodically, said media reports in his country had warned nationals not to join the protest because they could be deported.”

Domestic helpers in Hong Kong received a salary raise this week. The minimum monthly salary has been raised from HK$4,010 to HK$4,110. It’s a raise of US$13 per month or approximately 2.5%.

This one here is a bit of a head-scratcher. Apparently early on Tuesday some idiot in a Mercedes literally sped through a street crowded with protesters.

Protesters scrambled for cover just seconds before a grey Mercedes-Benz, allegedly driven by a 59-year-old man surnamed Cheung, could hit them when it speeded through a section of Argyle Street near the junction with Nathan Road at around 2am.

The driver was later arrested at his Kowloon City home for suspected dangerous driving after reporters revealed his identity on social media. Police said there was no report of injury.

The driver said he had done nothing wrong.

I didn’t break any law. I was only exercising my citizen’s rights to use the road,” he told Cable TV.

“I didn’t see anything at all. All I remember is that I would not hit any people or objects. I used the road safely. I went through. That’s OK,” the driver said as he raised his right thumb.

Police senior inspector Wong Siu-leung, from the Kowloon West accident investigation unit, said the suspect’s driving manner was “problematic”.

“He rang his horn, and slowed down, but his vehicle was too close to the crowd,” Wong said.

Wong added that the driver was on his way to a friend’s home. He passed a breathalyser test.

The incident sparked anger and panic among the protesters. Some screamed as the car came close to hitting the crowd while others chased after the vehicle trying to catch the driver or rushed to reinforce the road block.

In Causeway Bay today, someone threw a plastic bag filled with water and bits of watermelon rind out of a window. One woman was taken to the hospital.

While most of Hong Kong’s entertainment industry stars have kept their mouths shut about all of this, and the HK gossip sites continue to post their usual nonsense, Chow Yun-Fat has spoken out.

Veteran actor Chow Yun-fat also spoke up. He told the media that the government made a serious mistake by using tear gas on students on day one. He criticised the government for being evasive when it should be facing the public.

“The students are very smart and rational. This is a peaceful protest. Why did [the government] have to resort to the violent tear gas?” Chow said.

“CY Leung cannot run away from this,” Chow said.

I have a co-worker who is from the mainland. This person has been posting stuff relevant to the protests on Weibo. The posts have all been deleted of course. The co-worker says they were told this is actually safer – if the posts were not deleted, it could be more troublesome for them in the long term.

Anyway, where things stand at the moment, in case you didn’t already know, is that the student protesters have changed their demands somewhat. Rather than saying they will occupy Hong Kong until China grants full democracy, they’re now saying they will go home once C.Y. Leung resigns or is forced from his post.

This is more achievable. After all, it was a mass demonstration in 2003 that forced the “resignation” of Hong Kong’s first chief exec, Tung Chee-Hwa.

But worryingly, they’ve said that if Leung doesn’t resign by Thursday, they will attempt to occupy government buildings. This could have disastrous consequences. I hope this will not be the case.

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No Idea

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Here’s the home page of KMB, one of the two major bus companies here.

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Clicking there leads to this:

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Meanwhile, MTR’s home page looks like this:

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Not terribly useful at the moment. (MTR’s iPhone app delivers near-real-time service updates. I can’t find any place on their web site for similar information.)

Driving from the airport to home tonight, signs over the roadways declared that there was congestion in Central, Admiralty, Causeway Bay, etc. due to a “public meeting.”

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Whither Hong Kong / Wither Hong Kong

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yellowrib

Just some brief-ish thoughts. I’m tired and perhaps I should be waiting to write something but things are happening too fast and I feel I have to speak up now rather than remain silent in the face of the most extraordinarily horrendous events in Hong Kong since the riots in the 1960s.

I was in Manila when all hell literally broke loose in Hong Kong.  I returned home tonight (Monday). I know that my office (in Wanchai) was closed on Monday but we’re open on Tuesday.

Based on my meager understanding of the current situation, I see no winners. I see only losers. Why?

The protesters have to realize that China is not going to grant full democracy to Hong Kong by 2017, no matter what “promises” were made in the past or how previous statements were interpreted.  If that is indeed the case, then how long will the protests continue and what are they willing to accept? Who really believed that one country, two systems would last for 50 years? It didn’t die this week; it’s been dead for years, but perhaps never as obviously so as now.

The use of tear gas and pepper spray against peaceful protesters is more than likely the result of some upper echelon idiot who panicked. Who that idiot was, we will probably never know.

If Hong Kong had a government that represented its citizens and was answerable to them, then perhaps someone might have stepped up and tried to negotiate some sort of compromise solution – though I have no idea what such a compromise might consist of.

But Hong Kong has had 17 years of inept leaders whose only qualifications for their jobs has been their loyalty to Beijing and their willingness to follow the lead of the real estate cartels that really own and run Hong Kong.

To my way of thinking, there is no truth to the old maxim “you will reap what you sow.” 25 years after Tiananmen, China still hasn’t paid any price for slaughtering thousands of their own citizens who were peacefully protesting. China doesn’t give a crap what the world thinks because China knows there were no consequences in the past and there would not be any consequences this time either, should things go even further astray.

As Great Britain has recently shown, no country in the world will stand up to China – and even if one did, China would ignore them. They will do what they want to do, which is hold on to power by any means necessary. And they will get away with it because money speaks with the loudest voice of all.

So how will this all end? I don’t have a clue. The protesters haven’t left. The government won’t allow them to stay – at least not beyond a certain point. I hope that someone with a brain or at least some degree of pragmatism will find a middle ground.

In the meantime, perhaps levity isn’t really called for here, but I’m me, and the only bright side I can find to all of this is that perhaps for the first time in more than a decade, when Golden Week arrives tomorrow, we won’t be flooded with Mainland tourists on a mission to empty out all of the shops in town.

This, from the BBC:

  • Police said they used tear gas 87 times in clashes with protesters on Sunday
  • More than 200 bus routes have been cancelled or diverted; some subway exits in protest areas have been blocked
  • Several banks have suspended operations in affected areas
  • Police said they arrested 78 people on Sunday, after 70 arrests on Saturday.
  • In the Taiwanese capital, Taipei, protesters gathered outside the Hong Kong cultural office in a show of support
  • President Ma Ying-jeou said Taiwan was closely watching the situation in Hong Kong
  • In mainland China, reports say Instagram has been blocked, it is thought due to the protests

 

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Hong Kong Prices for iPhone 6 and 6 Plus

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Apple starts taking orders for the new iPhone on September 12th. You can order online starting at 3 PM that day for home/office delivery, which starts on September 19th.  Or from 3 PM September 16th you can use the Apple store app to reserve a phone for in-store pick-up starting on the 19th.

Here’s the prices for an unlocked, unsubsidized iPhone.

iPhone 6:

  • 16 gig – $5,588
  • 64 gig – $6,388
  • 128 gig – $7,188

iPhone 6 Plus

  • 16 gig – $6,388
  • 64 gig – $7,188
  • 128 gig – $8,088

I know I’m buying one of these since I lost my iPhone 5S last month. I think I will go with the “regular size” iPhone 6 – undecided if I will go for 64 or 128 gig but I suspect that 64 will be enough.

I might post some thoughts about the Apple Watch later. My initial thought is why buy something that replicates most of the functions (aside from the fitness tracking) already available from the costly device in my pocket?

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Orange Peel

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Orange Peel is a new music bar located at 38-44 D’Aguilar Street (2nd floor) in Lan Kwai Fong. A good friend is one of the co-owners, so I was invited to their soft opening last night. A lot of the people from Peel Fresco in Soho are involved with this bar, so if you’ve been to PF, you have some idea of what to expect from OP. They’re going for a more adult crowd with a line-up of mostly jazz and they’ve got a sommelier on staff so expect a good choice of wines to go with the music. There’s a kitchen there but I don’t know what kind of food is planned.

Since I was in “party mode” last night, I wasn’t going to drag a lot of heavy equipment with me, just my Sony RX100 Mark III. I didn’t want to spend a lot of time behind the camera, but I did manage to grab a couple of quick shots here and there.

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They’ve clearly spent a lot on having proper acoustics for the music, and as you can see the place is large enough to fit a grand piano – not something you’ll often see in Lan Kwai Fong bars.

I don’t know when the official opening will be, but it looks as if they’ve got live music planned for every night this week. If you’re in the area, check them out. I see they’ve got some jazz, some blues and a bit of r ‘n b on the schedule and there’s been some discussion about nights featuring bands from HK’s indie rock scene.

I think it has probably been a year or longer since I last went to Lan Kwai Fong at night, especially a Saturday night. The first thing I noticed is how many old spots have been replaced with new ones. Maybe this is old news to you but I was really surprised to see some old favorites apparently long gone.

The second thing, no surprise, is that on a Saturday night at 11 PM, the streets are packed, and the quantity of gorgeous women to be seen remains mind-boggling. On the other hand, aside from myself, I’m not sure that I saw anyone else in the street who was over 30! Either the crowd is getting younger, or I’m getting older.

At one point I grabbed a quick kebab from a new (to me, anyway) spot called TavaQuick.

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I guess that guy is quite used to drunk people whipping out a camera while waiting for kebabs to be ready.

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Is Anyone Surprised?

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I mean, did anyone really think that Beijing was going to allow Hong Kong to have truly open elections?

That doesn’t mean we don’t have the right to be pissed off and to continue to protest. But anyone who was surprised by Sunday’s announcement must be living in an alternate reality.

(I wanted to write more on this but just no time at the moment. I didn’t want to let this pass without at least some sort of comment because it’s huge. It could be a tipping point or a watershed moment or whatever other cliche you want to apply.)

Just one other thing. I don’t get why people get upset about the earlier announcement that any candidate must love their country. Tell me an election anywhere where the candidate gets up and says, “The United States sucks, vote for me!”

It’s just the way in which Beijing defines patriotism. For them it’s unquestioningly following what you are told. Most of the rest of the world sees patriotism as standing up for what’s right.

Anyway, let’s see what rights Beijing takes away next, and how long it takes them to do it.

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If I’m So Smart Part Six

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Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5

Wow, this is going on far longer than I expected. And it won’t finish with this part either.

1996. I leave Sybase and go to work for Merrill Lynch. Getting the job was easy. I walked into the interview and sitting there with my boss-to-be was a guy I’d worked with just a few months earlier. “I know this guy, he can do the job,” said my friend. And the job was mine.

The job wasn’t that difficult. There was this application being developed for the Operations Department. It was taking too long and the users had lost interest and walked away. I re-engaged them, got the damned thing working and delivered and everyone was happy.

Merrill of course offered a better package than Sybase, especially in terms of rent reimbursement. That 500 square foot flat in Happy Valley was fine for just me, but for me and S it was too damned small. We moved to Mid Levels, a new building with a swimming pool, club house and shuttle bus down to Central. But within six months of moving there, there was construction going on three sides of our building, with those earthshaking pile drivers pounding the area 12 hours a day, 6 days a week. We were just counting the days until we hit 12 months on the lease so we could give two months’ notice and get the hell out of there.

One day we were walking around in Macau. I stopped in front of a hotel to look at the poster for their sauna. “You know, you can get a hand job in there,” she said to me. “What? Come again?” That’s how little I knew at the time. “Go ahead, give it a try.” See, she had this idea that all white guys in Asia cheat on their girlfriends and wives and that I would do it too. She figured as long as I was going to do it, she didn’t want me to lie to her about it. So she told me to go ahead but set some rules – don’t do it too much, don’t do it with anyone I know (only with hookers and sauna girls), tell her every time I do it, and don’t forget about her. Looking back on it now, I should not have gone along with this, but I didn’t know at the time that I would get so far out of control. More on this later, maybe.

Meanwhile, S was unable to find a job and she was getting pissed off. She was bored and every time we did a visa run, they’d give her another month but the questions got tougher and more personal. Finally she’d had enough and gave me an ultimatum – either we get married or she was going back to KL. So we started planning the wedding.

We did the usual Hong Kong thing: pre-wedding photos in a studio, ceremony at City Hall, dim sum lunch at Maxim’s at City Hall, 12 course dinner in a Cantonese seafood restaurant in Mid Levels. My mother flew in from the U.S. and at some point during the dinner, my now-wife pulled her aside and told her, “I know you don’t like me but I’m married to your son now. Anything bad you say about me to him, I’ve asked him to tell me. So let’s just get along, okay?” Or something like that. We were all pretty drunk and used the turntables on the big round tables to play drinking games until closing time for the restaurant. It was a great night.

Back at Merrill, with one successful project under my belt, I was promoted to Assistant Vice President. Someone resigned, I got their job, and suddenly I was in charge of all back office technology in Hong Kong. I was an AVP and I had VP’s reporting to me. So I got promoted to VP, got an office and got a bigger package just when it was the right timing to get the hell out of Mid Levels. We went to Kennedy Road in Wanchai, a great huge flat in an older building. Our flat had a sauna in it. No shit, a small room off the kitchen lined in whatever the hell kind of wood they used for saunas. Flip some switches, turn some valves, sauna. Our landlady, who liked to come to parties at our place, told us that almost every night she and her husband would be sitting in front of the TV and at some point he’d yell out, “I’ll bet that gweilo’s using my sauna right now!” Our landlady was pretty hot. She came to all our parties. And every time, one of my friends would get drunk, get to flirting with her, go a bit too far and discover that she was quite the expert martial artist.

At this point, Merrill also put me in charge of all technology support for all “tier 3″ countries in Asia. At the time, this meant Korea, Philippines, Taiwan, Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, India. I managed the set-up for new offices, trade floors and data centers in Manila and Taipei – both of which were completed on time and under budget and worked flawlessly from day one. Then I worked on the tech part of a merger after Merrill bought a bank in Thailand. And I traveled to Jakarta immediately following the anti-Chinese riots so I could sit with my staff there and make sure they were okay; they gave me a tour of the burned out areas because they wanted people to see it and tell the world about it.

So I was traveling constantly. And I was partying constantly. I was infamous in Merrill. It got to the point where guys would come home, tell their wives they had a trip to X, and the first thing the wife would say was, “Is Spike going? If he is, you can’t go.”

I was writing down all of my adventures and, since this was the 90s, I was emailing my tales to a select group of friends. Unfortunately, on one of those trips, my wife got bored, sat down at my computer, and started going through my Sent folder in Outlook. The marriage survived that – and I should have taken that as a sign of how much she loved me, but I was too stupid to realize it at the time. I also deleted everything in Outlook – no back-up. So all of those tales are long gone, except for a few memories.

Anyway, here’s one story I can share. The Thailand project was almost done and my wife had just quit her job. I told her to come to Bangkok with me, that she could spend all day in saunas and shopping and we’d go out every night and then we’d stay through the weekend for sight-seeing.

The first night in town she said to me, “Okay, I want to see what you do every night. Take me to the places you go to.” Gulp. I wasn’t about to do that. So I took her to Patpong and we went into one of those bars where the girls did things with ping pong balls and darts. We sat there for awhile and watched. She turned to me and said, “This is really boring. I can’t believe this is what you do every night.” Well, she had me dead to rights, and I confessed that it wasn’t. “Well, tomorrow night you better take me to where you really go!”

So the second night we went to my then-favorite spot, the Long Gun on Soi Cowboy. We’re sitting there and she says to me, “Some of these girls are really cute.” Duh. “That one over there, she’s not with anyone, call her over, buy her a drink, I want to see how you operate.” Um, no. “If you don’t do it, I will.” And she did. She brought the girl over to our table, ordered a drink for her, put the girl’s hands in my lap, my hands in the girl’s lap. And then she started talking to the girl. She wanted to know what it was like to work there, all the details. My wife could speak a little Thai and they started becoming friends.

Soon, this girl invited all of her friends over to our table. One of the other girls was having a birthday and before we knew it, we had 20 girls, birthday cakes and bottles of champagne. But all 20 of these girls were talking to my wife; they all completely ignored me. “See that guy over there,” my wife said, pointing at me. “That’s my husband. Next time he comes in here, take good care of him!” Oh joy.

The third night, she was sick and didn’t want to go out. I told her we could stay in and just watch TV. She wanted to sleep and told me I should go out, but she gave me two rules: don’t fuck anyone else and when I come back, tell her everything I did. So I went back to the Long Gun.

I walked into the bar and every girl in the bar came running up to me. “Where’s your wife?” “She’s not feeling well, she’s back at the hotel.” And they all ran away. Except for one. We’d spotted her the night before. Her face was so ugly and her body was so bad that we’d named her Optimistic, because the thought that she could earn a living this way with those looks had to be an act of pure optimism. So I let Optimistic sit with me and I bought her a drink. “Let’s go hotel,” she’d say. “Nope, sorry, cannot.”

I got back to the hotel and my wife was sitting up in bed, feeling better. “Now tell me everything you did.” When I got to the part about sitting with Optimistic, she got real quiet. “What’s the matter?” “Okay, let me get this straight. You went to a bar with 50 cute girls and you chose the ugly one.” “Yeah, it was no temptation this way, I thought you’d be happy.” “You went to a bar with 50 cute girls and you chose the ugly one. And you chose me. Are you trying to tell the world you think I’m ugly?” She jumped up on the bed and started beating me and screaming. Each word was punctuated with a punch. “Next! Time! You! Go! In! There! You! Go! With! The! Cute! Ones!”

The happy times would not last. First, I was put on the worst possible project. I was put in charge of Y2K for the entire region. It was a miserable project that no one wanted to be involved in. Plus, I hadn’t realized that as an expat, I couldn’t remain where I was forever. At the end of 1998, my boss came to me and told me he’d done the budget for 1999 and he was moving me to Mumbai. I told him that there was no way my wife would follow me there so I didn’t want to go. He said that I wasn’t in the Hong Kong budget and if I didn’t want to go to Mumbai, I could go back to New York, but I didn’t want that either. So he did an incredible favor for me. The Asian financial crisis was starting to hit, they were laying off hundreds in the region, and he laid me off so that I could get a huge severance package, which included relocation back to the U.S.

Staying in Hong Kong wasn’t an issue. My wife was working steadily and I could have gotten a dependent visa through her. But it was, as I said, the financial crisis. There were no senior jobs to be had in banking IT in Hong Kong, at least none that I could find. I got tired of sitting there every day doing nothing and reading about how in Silicon Valley programmers were getting BMW’s as signing bonuses. So I told my wife that I’d be using my relocation package to go to San Francisco, where I had family and friends and there were presumably jobs to be had.

There was one problem though. She’d gotten very tired of my constant misbehaving. And I did something very, very bad at a party in our flat one night (which I won’t go into now). Just to be clear, the problems weren’t all caused by me. She had issues (it wouldn’t be fair for me to detail them here) that she refused to deal with and that had somewhat distanced me from her. So she said that she wouldn’t be going to the U.S. with me, she was going to stay in Hong Kong. We were splitting up. We divided up our stuff – half to go to the apartment she’d be renting, half to be shipped to the U.S.

I spent my last few nights in Hong Kong in a harbor view room at the Grand Hyatt, very depressed. My last night in town, I went to Ricky & Pinky in Wanchai and got my first tattoo. I just picked something off the wall – a dragon wrapped around a crescent moon.

I’m sitting there getting tattooed and this gorgeous girl walks in with four guys. They sit down and start talking. She comes over to me and says, very sweetly, with an American accent, “Excuse me, where are you from?” “I’m from New York City.” “Well why the fuck don’t you get your fucking tattoo in New York City then motherfucker?”  “Um, er, uh, I live here.” “Oh.” She went back to the four guys, they talked for a bit and left.

The tattoo guy asked me if I wanted any writing to go with the picture. I thought, it’s my last night in Hong Kong, I didn’t know if I’d ever be returning. I told him to write “Hong Kong” in Chinese.

And so, 1999, almost exactly four years from when I first arrived, I got on a plane and left Hong Kong for what I thought would be the final time.

 

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Are They Really This Stupid in China?

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From the SCMP:

The business community must be protected when Hong Kong introduces universal suffrage, which is why the nominating committee and functional constituencies are needed, a mainland legal scholar says.

Wang Zhenmin said the business sector could not be drowned out by the crowd when “one man, one vote” arrives, because their role in keeping Hong Kong prosperous was vital to the city’s future.

So I guess the answer is “yes.”

Because in countries that do have one-person one-vote, businesses are suffering?

Or perhaps because he thinks that people might vote against their own best interests, they might elect a candidate who might cause damage to their employers?

Or is he saying that the best interests of businesses are diametrically opposed to the best interests of people and that those business interests should be protected at the expense of people?

I mean, why the fuck would this dime store shyster law professor think that the best interests of Hong Kong are somehow different from the best interests of Hong Kong people?

My mind, it boggleth.

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Translating Hong Kong

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I’ve been told that Hong Kong slang changes so rapidly that machine translation cannot keep up with the pace of change. I keep encountering these translations when I’m looking at reviews on Open Rice. I don’t put much stock in any of the reviews there – I use Open Rice for addresses and opening hours and usually the photos are enough to tell me what I need to know.

Anyway, when I was in London I had this Swedish cider one night, Kopparberg, and I really liked it. I didn’t think I’d find it back in Hong Kong but sure enough it’s here. They’ve got an ad in this week’s HK Magazine listing the bars that stock it. One is a restaurant in Tai Wo, just 10 minutes away from me. The restaurant name is Loosen. I don’t think I could come up with a worse name for a restaurant if I tried. User ratings total out so far at 3 yummy, 5 OK, and 4 get me out of here. No English language review but several in Chinese. Google translated them for me. Here are some of the reviews, with some bits I’ve put in bold.

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After the first one, such as the left front of spaghetti.

amount Wusuan much, but because the Department of Cream Sauce relations department, the Department for me to talk about Lebanon just good, but if a man should eat Well enough! 
first bite down to taste …. 
@ @ Link salty o both?! 
taste salty, but how many have expected, there are a lot of mushrooms with bacon, and finally I have tan lines food dish …

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

This restaurant location is not in the downtown area, unless it is the gall bladder, or are more difficult to find, has opened half a year, always wanted to try - decoration good, very style.

Honestly not clear hand in hand to fight what is not hit big difference, this is a soft cow Hamburg has gravy, hash browns is to the other ingredients and is not due to a folder, dispensable. Postprandial attached coffee produced by the coffee machine, do not fall under the expectation is not bad, a little smell of coffee, it is easy to drink. The price of lunch at Tai Yi injustice, we can say value for money, but not excellent.

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Department of Noma it really incredible, the first tease to fight food critic! Not even a fitting beginning to see a mistake, recite try to live it. I have to have four people sitting on a low left unattended for some time over the menu and I have to, to be called the canal until the first carry than I can count, you see new restaurants are considered secondary.After Dixia seats are a few cards GOD Figure attract, and then Dixia prices are Wusuan level. Honestly, the Department of Tai Li stresses eating a grilled meal $ 178 $ 98 food a Spaghetti Wusuan department level. You sell it a price I Do not ask you to take food, but the department should not even hard to eat. I left two to four people called three mature mature generous pork chop a generous eye of a seven day activity Alessandro Carboni spaghetti, after dumping dollars on the side of the side and so on. Waited and waited 20 minutes left Ciwu Duo, etc., began to have a little patience Well. Why is a soup-resistant neither Li Han, I have to pour more than five minutes. Well is preparing to ask the Drainage can be left GOD soup to drink than I lived generous first time, LOADS OF JOY Link canal began to slowly tighten over Lebanon. A soup generous big fine …… Well critical, a generous drink slightly warm near freezing. Count, I waited soup Nuisance baa requirements Haonai finally left on my way La generous entrees.

 It is not a Noma, no longerhuffyhuffyhuffyhuffyhuffysadhuffy

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Well, you get the idea. The idea I get from the reviews is that people are accusing them of serving frozen food. Whether that’s true or not, there are 490 restaurants in Tai Po and those that are serving western food mostly range from acceptable to horrendous. (Backyard Bistro the sole exception in my experience.) At this point even a branch of Ebeneezers would be a step up.

 

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Is CY Leung Stupid or Just Spineless?

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Here comes another rant ….

CY Leung is the third Chief Executive of Hong Kong. Each Chief Executive, appointed by the Chinese government in a sham “election,” serves several official purposes. Unofficially, they would appear to serve the purpose of being a running dog lackey puppet of the government of China. And apparently each one has been given the specific task of making their predecessors look better through their own ineptitude. Tung Chee-Hwa made Chris Patten look good by comparison. Donald Tsang made Tung look good. And now Leung has got people thinking that even if Donald Tsang was a corrupt scumbag, he was better than Leung.

The Chief Executives are not elected to their post by the people of Hong Kong. They do not have to stand for reelection by the people of Hong Kong, therefore they have no obligation to heed the opinions of the people they ostensibly represent.

Leung delivered a speech yesterday that was so full of lies that one can only assume that he is either an idiot or just reads off whatever piece of paper some other idiot in Beijing hands to him without question.

Excerpted from the SCMP:

The Basic Law does not stipulate that the city’s electoral system must meet international norms, Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying said yesterday, 

One might think that a man in his position would know the Basic Law by heart.

Article 39 
The provisions of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, and international labour conventions as applied to Hong Kong shall remain in force and shall be implemented through the laws of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region. 

So what does the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights have to say?

PART I

Article 1

1. All peoples have the right of self-determination. By virtue of that right they freely determine their political status and freely pursue their economic, social and cultural development.

That’s pretty unambiguous, isn’t it?

By the way, take a look at this part of the Covenant:

PART II

Article 2

1. Each State Party to the present Covenant undertakes to respect and to ensure to all individuals within its territory and subject to its jurisdiction the rights recognized in the present Covenant, without distinction of any kind, such as race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status.

Hong Kong has legal and institutionalized racism. Ethnic Chinese who wish to become Hong Kong citizens are allowed to retain their prior citizenship, whether it’s from the UK or the US or Equatorial Guinea. Those who are not Chinese have to renounce their present citizenship to become a Hong Kong citizen.

I mention this because of another section of idiot’s Leung’s speech.

Leung said Hong Kong was a unique society in many ways – including granting foreign permanent residents the right to vote.

“If the election in 2017 must fulfil international standards, should we deprive foreigners who are among the 5 million qualified voters … of the right to universal suffrage?” he asked.

First of all, no. There are other countries where permanent residents who are not citizens have the right to vote. Second – define the difference between “citizen” and “permanent resident.” I am a Permanent Resident of Hong Kong. My only home is here. All of my possessions are here. I work here. I pay taxes here. I have unconditional right of abode here for the rest of my life. The one thing I don’t have is a Hong Kong Passport – and that’s because I don’t want to renounce citizenship from the country of my birth. I think there’s a lot more of us who would take the extra step to become a citizen if the laws were not so discriminatory.

Last but not least on the above and really insulting. Definition of foreigner: A person born in or coming from a country other than one’s own. There are plenty of Hong Kong citizens who were not born here. Including Chinese. Granted, this may be a poor choice of words by the person who translated the speech. It’s just a mindless choice of words.

More from the SCMP:

Occupy founder Benny Tai Yiu-ting said there was no doubt that the contents of the United Nations International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, a United Nations treaty signed by Britain, had been carried over by article 39 of the Basic Law.

“Local courts have cited the covenant in many cases when assessing whether our laws meet international norms,” Tai, a law professor, said.

“The Leung I know cannot have such a poor understanding of our law. Otherwise he is deliberately distorting the concepts.”

I don’t think CY Leung is stupid. And actually, he’s probably not spineless either. He’s doing his job, which is to represent and protect the interests of Beijing in Hong Kong. I wish that he could come up with better defences of his bullshit and not insult the intelligence of everyone within earshot. No, he’s not stupid, he’s not spineless, he’s just evil.

You want my opinion? You’ve read this far so I’ll assume you do. Until China’s system of government changes, Hong Kong will never have true universal suffrage. Beijing will make vague attempts at appeasement by giving us the semblance of free elections, but they will always come with strings attached – both to the elections themselves and to those who get “elected.”

Just because I think it will never happen doesn’t mean that we have to keep our mouths shut and accept the situation. It is our duty as citizens (or permanent residents) to speak up against inequity and injustice wherever and whenever it occurs. That is the real definition of patriotism.

Besides, in my opinion the biggest threat to Hong Kong isn’t Beijing. The biggest threat to Hong Kong is the ever-increasing levels of corruption thanks to the mega-real estate companies that really own and run Hong Kong. They are embedded at every level of our government through appointed representatives and bribes. The end result is laws that favor the rights of these corporations and a government that turns a blind eye to the way in which they do business, all at the expense of the majority of the citizens. Break up these cartels and Hong Kong would be a far better place.

This is why these businesses are so vocal in their support of the status quo and so vehemently opposed to protests such as Occupy Central. They know that if Hong Kong really had a truly representative government, their days might be numbered. But actually not. All around the world, mega corporations have more power than governments. The Cheung Kongs and Sun Hung Kais would still rule here; it’s just that their cost of doing business would go up as they would need to bribe more people.

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