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Showing posts from September, 2014

Six Hours in Admiralty 金鐘六小時

I gathered a few essentials — cell phone, notebook, pen, face towel and swimming goggles — and left my apartment. I Whatsapp'ed my brother Kelvin and asked him to meet me at Lippo Centre in Admiralty. From there, the two of us walked to the section of Connaught Road that had been just taken over by protesters and regular citizens who had come to support them. We were about 50 yards from the Tamar Government Headquarters, the epicenter of a massive student protest.
It was 3:45 pm. Outside the Government Headquarters, there were throngs of people all around us, the average age somewhere between 20 and 25. Their growing euphoria was suffused with tension and trepidation. Many among the crowds were wearing lab goggles and raincoats to guard against pepper spray. Some put cling wrap over their eye gear for extra protection. Tanya Chan (陳淑莊), vice chairlady of the Civic Party, was speaking into a bullhorn. She had shaved her head as part of the pan-democrats' pledge to defeat a Bei…

Kindness of Strangers 陌生人的仁慈

It was around 9 pm Sunday night when I received a frantic text message on my iPhone.
“Jason, I got a problem! I missed my flight and need cash to buy a new ticket. My ATM card doesn’t work in HK. Can you give me your credit card number? I’ll pay you back when I’m back in the Philippines.”
The S.O.S. was from Carlos, a young journalist from Manila visiting Hong Kong for the weekend. We had met the first time at a media event just the day before. My instinct told me it was probably a scam – earlier this year my brother got a phone call from a mysterious man saying that a distant relative of ours had been hit by a motorcycle and needed money for surgery. My brother hung up before the man finished talking.
I was about to delete the text message when another one buzzed in.
“This is for real. I’m stuck at the airport. I’ll pay you back. Promise!”
I decided to put my foot down.
“We just met. I don’t feel comfortable giving out my credit card number over the phone. Sorry and good luck.”