Hong Kong

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ThirdDrawing
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Hong Kong

Post by ThirdDrawing » June 16th, 2019, 1:47 pm

Hey everyone.

Please keep HK in your thoughts right now - Wednesday was awful.

Carrie Lam, the leader of HK blamed the police brutality (which was severe) on protestors.

The extradition bill (which is the cause of the whole issue) has been suspended, but not canceled.

People came out today for Father's Day and demanded Wednesday's protest no longer be classified as a riot (riot means they can throw protestors in jail for years), Carrie Lam resign and the bill be fully canceled.

It feels like something big is happening, cheer HK on please!

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KSubzero1000
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Re: Hong Kong

Post by KSubzero1000 » June 16th, 2019, 2:29 pm

Yeah, it looks serious. :(

I hope the situation can be resolved promptly without further outbursts of violence.

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Alex79uk
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Re: Hong Kong

Post by Alex79uk » June 16th, 2019, 4:53 pm

Forgive my ignorance, I've been away for a few days and not seen or read any news - what's going on? What were they protesting?

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KSubzero1000
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Re: Hong Kong

Post by KSubzero1000 » June 16th, 2019, 4:58 pm


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Alex79uk
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Re: Hong Kong

Post by Alex79uk » June 16th, 2019, 5:12 pm

Thanks. It just seems baffling that in 2019 half the world still lives under such rule. I try to imagine what it would be like in China and to a more extreme extent North Korea, where everything is censored and you can be jailed for speaking out against the Government, but as a relatively free British citizen, it's just impossible.

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Stanshall
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Re: Hong Kong

Post by Stanshall » June 16th, 2019, 7:29 pm

I lived in China for about six years and it was pretty much the greatest time of my life up to that point, certainly changed me forever and I miss a lot about it almost every single day. From everything I have heard since, I left when things were at the peak for foreigners and within a year or two, it became much more difficult. All of my foreign friends from that time have now left and either gone home or gone elsewhere. A couple were effectively kicked out because they were no longer needed, couldn't renew their work permit despite having wives and kids and houses.

I went back a year or so ago for a reunion, a good group of about twelve of us made the trip from Oz and Europe and America and other parts of China and while we had a brilliant time, and many of the things I'd loved were still there, and I loved many of the new things too, it had changed significantly in terms of the atmosphere.

Aside from the massive changes in infrastructure, the astronomical wealth, ostentatious investment and modernisation and the loss of street food, it felt a lot more nationalistic and authoritarian. People were still more or less friendly but very quick to boast about China and mock the West, stuff like that. It was partly in jest but it definitely made me feel quite uncomfortable. I also found that people would simply ignore me at times or pretend they couldn't understand. I know that when I was first there I had the relative novelty/celebrity (I don't mean that literally) of being a rare foreigner and therefore I was treated better than I should have been on account of my skin colour and ethnicity, and that was completely artificial, but people were at least polite and friendly. This time around, I actually felt unwelcome in a number of places. It was pretty sad because I'd looked forward to going back ever since I left almost ten years earlier but I suppose it was also useful to close that book finally. I could never live there now.

The practical stuff like Internet censorship never bothered me funnily enough, you just get used to it. The annoying thing was that it's always excruciatingly slow.

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clippa
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Re: Hong Kong

Post by clippa » June 16th, 2019, 8:13 pm

I dread to think what they're saying elsewhere about brexit britain.

When you came back here after those six years had much changed?

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Stanshall
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Re: Hong Kong

Post by Stanshall » June 17th, 2019, 3:48 am

To be honest, I barely noticed any changes here but I came home once a year for a few weeks so it wasn't like I was completely absent for that time. In comparison, though, the UK felt static. I'd go back to China after those few weeks and something in my neighbourhood would have conspicuously changed. When I first arrived out there, someone described it as Lego Land, constant building and bulldozing and building bigger.

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ThirdDrawing
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Re: Hong Kong

Post by ThirdDrawing » June 18th, 2019, 3:38 pm

Stanshall wrote:
June 16th, 2019, 7:29 pm
I lived in China for about six years and it was pretty much the greatest time of my life up to that point, certainly changed me forever and I miss a lot about it almost every single day.
What part of China were you in? I've been to Shenzhen, across the border, and to Nanjing (which was beautiful) and Tianjin, to visit a friend. Haven't seen much else. I'm kind of leery to go, especially with what's happening between Canada and China right now.

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Alex79uk
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Re: Hong Kong

Post by Alex79uk » June 18th, 2019, 4:34 pm

What were you doing out there, Stanshall? Working?

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Stanshall
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Re: Hong Kong

Post by Stanshall » June 18th, 2019, 5:37 pm

I went out to Wuhan to teach English at a university. ESL chimp, basically, and it was absolutely tremendous fun but not especially sustainable in terms of my own boredom and very very subject to inertia. Some people never escape, chasing that first year feeling. Anyway, I met one of my best mates there, an Aussie high school dropout, left at fourteen, who was very entrepreneurial and incredibly intelligent and brilliant at just finding opportunities and not really contemplating or acknowledging the potential pitfalls. This was a really good dynamic because I feel tremendous embarrassment at that kind of thing in a very British kind of way, but for a while there I didn't. I've got a background in languages and so we set up a language school for several years and did corporate training stuff through that, like medical English at hospitals and hired some hospitality folk to help run various hotel training programmes in English, similar stuff with banks and airports, that kind of thing. Weirdly, nobody was doing any of that, it was all in-house and not very good so we got lucky with the timing and location, really.

My mate was in his element and most of the time I was able to back up his bluster and enthusiasm with something, even if just more bluster and enthusiasm. To give an example, as a marketing exercise, we had put on a few social events, cultural exchanges, language partner evenings, with some live music and we would get fifty or so people and usually get a handful of people signing up for classes or we'd make some contact or other. Soon after, my mate, emboldened by the music evenings, saw himself as a genuine promoter and events organiser, and declared in another meeting that we were sponsoring an upcoming rock music festival, the first of its kind in central China. This wasn't true on any level but because the client then offered to sponsor the event as well, we had to fucking organise it, and ended up doing so in a disused shopping mall. We had Chinese Celtic punk band SMZB headlining. Damn, I haven't thought about this in years. At the time, we almost lost our minds and killed each other pulling it all together but it's funny now, and it seems like another reality. Fond memories of some bleach blond mophead nutter (the Bez of SMZB) in a leather waistcoat windmilling like fuck into a crowd of confused passers-by and high school students.

There was plenty of competition in the language school stuff but few foreigners and most schools were absolutely awful, run by Chinese mafia money, so we did well and enjoyed the work and had to play ball with the Triads and coppers occasionally. One of my best mates married a copper quite high up though and her dad was a former gangster (she's one of the few people I will never see enough of before I die, a total one-off) so we were kind of humoured and always had someone to either call or name drop. I didn't enjoy that stuff very much but that's really part and parcel out there and we never ever had any trouble. Anyway, I decided to come home because I didn't want to stay forever and I missed family and friends. The past decade and my mates' experiences tell me that was by chance the end of an era and it'll never be like that again. I miss it pretty much every day, though, and it's never really gone away.

Sorry for the life story. I'm still love with China and I've never felt such freedom or safety anywhere in my entire life, so I'm sad that it's changed.

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clippa
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Re: Hong Kong

Post by clippa » June 18th, 2019, 6:11 pm

Stanshall wrote:
June 18th, 2019, 5:37 pm
hired some hospitality folk to help run various hotel training programmes in English
Image

Blimey, you could get a couple of films out of all that. Exciting!

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Stanshall
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Re: Hong Kong

Post by Stanshall » June 18th, 2019, 6:46 pm

Hahaha. Less well run than that in most cases!

And yeah, people roll their eyes at me when I mention China in real life so apologies for the splurge. It's the only chance I have! :D

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Alex79uk
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Re: Hong Kong

Post by Alex79uk » June 19th, 2019, 6:48 pm

What a fantastic story! Excellent stuff!

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